Wedding makeup for a hot, humid, outside wedding

I am writing this on the day that is ONE MONTH away from my wedding. I freaked out a little when I went to google calendar the other day and noticed that my wedding day is now visible in the little calendar grid on the left. And then I wrote a list of everything wedding related I still have to do, and there were thirty things. One a day. Except that’s still not going to be enough, because really I want to be finished like at least week before. Anyway, I have now managed to cross off the line that said “figure out makeup”, so that helps.

Turns out it wasn’t as straightforward as one might think. To begin with, I’m doing it myself. Because money. Also because the physical experience of someone else putting eyeliner and eyeshadow on me makes me really on edge, and because the two or three times professional makeup artists have done my makeup, they turned me into a clown each time. Not everyone is best flattered by a solid ring of black liner, you know? Personally I look like my eyes have been punched back into my skull. A clown with their eyes punched in, that’s me.

So anyway, I have a few variables to contend with for wedding makeup.
1.Equator levels of sunshine.
2. Extremely high humidity.
3. Flash photography.

Because of 1, I normally go around with sunscreen on, which because of 2, triggers an immediate melting of  my face, which does not bode well for 3. Also not boding well for 3, is titanium oxide based sunscreen, which I choose because I also am dealing with 4, sensitive, rosasea*-ry skin.

There is a bit of a conundrum here. If you’re getting married out in the sunshine, especially if you have sensitive skin, you have to choose between protecting your face with sunscreen, or having photos where your face looks white. I think as long as there are no flashes, you won’t get the white ghost effect, so it really depends on what time of day the wedding happens, and whether or not flash photography is going to need to happen. Ours will be starting late afternoon, and definitely proceeding through many a dark hour, so I’ve decided to just go without sunscreen.

Then there’s the oiliness issue. Left to its own devices, my skin will go out of control, so I’m taking every step possible to minimise oiliness. This boils down to using a shine stopper underneath my makeup, and using a matte foundation in the form of a powder. If my nose gets too shiny, I can just pile some more of that stuff on.

It’s also recommended to go sheer with makeup if you’re getting photographed in the sunshine. Plus it just feels better in the skin. So ultimately, what is needed is a sheer, matte foundation that’s good on oily skin, has good staying power, and isn’t mineral based. Thanks to beautypedia, I compiled a shortlist:

Frugallywed’s recommended foundation options for a hot, humid summer wedding:
Clinique Stay-Matte Oil-Free Makeup
Make Up Forever HD Invisible Cover Foundation
Maybelline New York Dream Smooth Mousse Foundation
Nars Sheer Matte Foundation
Sephora Mattifying Compact Foundation
Body Shop All in one Face Base
Clinique Perfectly Real Compact Makeup
MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation
Make Up For Ever Due Mat Powder Foundation

Oh and by the way, you don’t need a primer. Primer does nothing. Here is Paula Begoun, she of evidence based skin care, which you may recall is a vision of Utopia, on the subject. Some choice excerpts: “Most primers are a blend of water and silicones and essentially function as lightweight moisturizers that make skin feel silky” and “As long as your skin-care routine is leaving your face smooth and free from the buildup of dead skin cells and excess oil, you’re not going to see much (if any) benefit from using a primer.” —> so just use your normal moisturiser, if you need it. 

BONUS: There is no sponsored content in this post, yay!

For lips, I used beautypedia again to search for sheer lipstick with good ratings, made a shortlist of options, and checked out colour swatches online, because I have very specific ideas about what kind of colour I want. Then I went to MAC and Chanel and tried a few, and ended up with Chanel Boy. Iz pretty. I’m gonna use that puppy for my cheek colour too.

Ok now eyes. Obviously a waterproof mascara is needed, and I already owned Maybelline Define-a-lash, so, done. There are heaps of good waterproof mascaras around. For eyeliner that stands up to a long, teary day, Paula Begoun says gel eyeliners are the way to go. I didn’t want black or sparkles, which are apparently the only options where I live if you look in a pharmacy, so I went with Bobbi Brown in Granite Ink.

And finally, concealer, the makeup product I am more intimate with than any other. Oh concealer, how I adore you. Thank you for stopping people from telling me I look tired. I’m not tired ok, this is how my face is! I have the kind of under eye dark circles that are caused by the physiological structure of my face. I won the lottery on that one! Basically, the lack of volume under my eyes means the muscle, along with its inherent vascular system, is visible through my skin. Actually when I am super tired and things get puffy, the dark circles improve. I think a lot about some day getting restylane injections under my eyes, but until then, nothing but heavy camouflage is going to cut it. I use a corrector followed by a concealer, both from Bobbi Brown. All the other ones I’ve tried are wimps.

Oh yeah and eyeshadow. I haven’t got my eyeshadow yet. It is now item number 31 in my to do list.

*Speaking of rosacea, an interesting paper was recently published about it. Turns out, rosacea may be caused by mite feaces in your poresWhaat? And hell yeah, I’ll link to the original paper, by Jarmuda et al (2012). If you don’t have rosacea, don’t get too smug, because those mites are in your skin too. It’s good times, being a human. This has been a public service science announcement.


5 responses to “Wedding makeup for a hot, humid, outside wedding

  1. Great info! I’m actually splurging a bit on airbrush makeup, mostly because I want my foundation to last all day, despite the fact that it might still be fairly hot that day and I’ll undoubtedly be sweating. The makeup artist and I had very different ideas of what natural eye makeup looks like though, which is the good thing about having a trial beforehand. At least now she knows that I do not consider five or so thick layers of black eyeliner ringing the entirety of my eyes does not fall within my definition of natural. I get the sunken-in look too with that.

    Also, I have the same issue with constant dark circles – no I’m not tired or sick, that’s just how my eyes look. Concealer is often the only makeup I wear just to avoid those comments.

    • Haha, sounds like we have similar eyes! i also often wear nothing but concealer.

      What is with makeup artists though? When I got the complete circle of black treatment, I put it down to the locals here not being used to working with European eyes, which is fair enough. Though also he put really bright pink all around, even though I specifically requested something muted. I gave him the benefit of the doubt with the language barrier, but I do think there was a strong element of not being able to account for different eye needs, as it were. Anyway so I’m really glad you had a trial 🙂

  2. I’ve got those under-eye circles too – heredity, gotta love it. And I’m liking the Bobbi Brown corrector (but the concealer is too orange for me – which is saying something because I’m not one of those raspberries n’ cream complexion people). At any rate, gel liner is amazing (Bobbi Brown is so far the best I’ve tried). But if your powder tends to cake, might want to try alternating between that and rice paper oil pads. Those work great and don’t pile up like powder does. My best advice: assign a friend to stay on makeup duty. One of my bridesmaids took it upon herself to watch me like a hawk and was right there for lip gloss and powder touchups. I owe her bigtime!

    And OMG – 1 month before the wedding!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I have the concealer in ‘Cool Sand’, and its a close enough match for me. It’s more the corrector I have to careful about – its orangey, which is absolutely needed over my bluey-purple dark circles, but if I blend too far away from where its needed, its too much.

      I haven’t found oil blotting papers to be that useful. There’s always some shine left on my nose no matter how many I go through!

      25 days left to go, as of right now. Holy shit.

  3. Congrats on being so organised about your make-up – I think this deserves to be more than one tick on the to-do list because it’s so stressful and awkward if you’re not normally a painted and polished gal. I agree with Rogue Bride: get a friend to be your make-up buddy on the day. My lovely friend carried my whole bag of MAC around on the day and was an absolute lifesaver after my little weepy episodes!

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