Ask the Expert: No-Smudge Makeup

Claudia Seyler shares some of her best tips for DIY makeup with staying power

Question: My budget is tight, and I’m pretty good at doing makeup, so I’m going to do my own the day of my wedding. But I’m worried about it lasting — I’ll be getting ready around 11 a.m. and it needs to last till 11 that night. What can I do to make it last?

Answer: Hair and makeup artist Claudia Seyler takes her hat off to any bride doing her own makeup, she says — and she’s got a list of helpful tips to make it all go smoothly.

  • For starters: Seyler suggests scheduling extra time for yourself, so you’re not rushed and anxious, and to be sure and set the mood. “Do it in a room by yourself, where no one else will be tempted to offer an option — unless you really want it,” she says. Play some music or do whatever else makes you feel happy and peaceful.
  • For your face: Apply moisturizer to a clean face (Seyler likes Cetaphil lotion). Have a sip of your mimosa while letting it dry, and then if you’ve got one, apply a base primer to your face with a sponge to set the foundation and help you use less of it. If your skin is oily, set foundation with a matte powder on top. If you’re using blush, she says, powder works best if you want it to last, so even if you use a cream blush, dust your face with setting powder with a brush afterwards.
  • For your eyes: Seyler suggests trying out a few eye-base primers before your wedding to find one you like (she prefers the one by MAC). When it comes to liners, use cream instead of liquid (then go over it with a slanted brush dipped in powder shadow to help it stay put); when it comes to shadows, use powder instead of cream (which tend to melt into the skin). Top off with waterproof mascara.
  • For your lips: Swipe your sponge right over your lips when you’re applying foundation, says Seyler, then dab your lips slightly with a little matte powder. Then simply apply your favorite lipstick, and top off with a little gloss.
  • For touch-ups: The less in your bag, the better, says Seyler, so keep it minimal. Even if you have nothing else in your purse, have concealer. Always dab, never spread. And keep that lipstick handy–both for your pout and your rosy complexion. “Just dab a tiny bit of lipstick on your cheeks to add a pop of color if your blush has left you.” And last but not least, bring blotting papers to keep shine away.