The end of January is always a financially-conscious time. Time to get those bills from the holiday shopping, tax documents, and so on. For any new brides starting to plan their weddings and budgets, or brides who are getting close to the big day, funding is an always-present concern.

Things that once seemed absolutely necessary – like professional makeup application, a classic luxury getaway car, and a luxury hotel suite for the wedding prep – become less important as the costs mount.

Of course you want to look your best, but having a professional do your makeup doesn’t have to be one of the necessary expenses. With these tips and a little practice, you can create a wonderful look for yourself on your big day.

1) Have the right tools.

Part of the reason professional makeup application looks so good is because the artists have the right tools. Most women have experimented enough with makeup to have the basics, but we’ll just list them here in case you are a novice:

– Make sure you have several clean makeup brushes of different sizes and shapes like in the image below, as well as an eyelash curler, sponge applicators, mascara, eye liner, and lip gloss/lip stick and lip-liner.

2) Prep

Your makeup needs to last all day, so make sure you exfoliate your skin, apply a primer so it has something to stick to, and put it on in small, buildable layers. This will prevent any cakiness, especially on hot summer days.

3) Check out online tutorials

There is absolutely no shortage of online makeup tutorials for all sorts of looks. Whether you want an old hollywood glam look, a Rockabilly look, a more subtle and natural look, or anything else, there are literally hundreds of tutorials to check out, and they will walk you through the application step by step.  Try one or two looks a week for a few weeks to get a sense of what you like.

Here are a few youtube v to get you started:

StillGlamorous

KlaireDelys

4) Buy a setting spray

Setting sprays help keep your makeup from melting off from heat, time, or other situations. Several companies make them, so go visit the beauty counter at your local stores and tell the sales assistants what you are looking for.

5) Have good light

Applying your makeup by good light is essential for keeping  your look classy and clean. Try to set up near a window, as natural light is the best. Stay away from harsh white lights, especially if you are planning to do your prep in a hotel room!

6) Enlist a friend

Odds are, even if you don’t know what you’re doing with a brush, you have a friend who does. Enlist him/her to help you out on the big day.

7) Take photos of yourself

Grab your camera and take photos of yourself when you try out different looks. Take them in conditions that mimic your wedding plans, i.e. indoors after dark for a night-time, indoor reception, or in afternoon light for an afternoon outdoor ceremony. The photos will tell you whether you need to tone anything up or down, what colors work and what colors don’t, etc.

They will also help you recreate the look on your wedding day. This is what professional makeup artists do all the time.