‘I did my own hair and makeup for my wedding and I have no regrets’

Wedding season is fast approaching and it’s safe to say planning your big day brings with it new levels of stress and an endless list of to-dos. So we’re bringing you a bridal beauty breakdown to get you prepped and ready. From on-the-day tricks, to treatments and expert advice we’ve got you covered.

Brides-to-be know the impending pressure of spending hours scrolling through Pinterest, flicking through magazines and screenshotting celebrity Instagrams on their quest to creating the perfect bridal beauty moodboard. Then, there’s the tough task of finding a hair stylist and makeup artist you can trust, scheduling a trial appointment and hoping it’ll all come together by the time the big day rolls around.

Add to that pressure: doing it yourself. Well, that’s exactly what ‘real life’ bride and founder of Vestirsi Monica Tarca did, deciding to take matters into her own hands and DIY both her hair and makeup for her destination wedding. Here, she tells body+soul why she has no regrets.

“Being Italian, my husband-to-be and I spent a lot of time in Italy – he proposed on the tiny island of Ponza and we knew straight away that we had to bring our friends and family back to this unique location, so we planned two years to the date to get married in the same spot. But the only drawback of a beautiful, remote island destination wedding is the difficulty of getting suppliers there. To get a hair and makeup artist in from Rome would require a train, ferry and multiple nights’ accommodation, plus travel expenses – which all just got too hard, so I decided to do it myself!

The best thing about doing my own hair and makeup was that I still looked like me. There was no nasty surprise of being transformed into someone else, especially in photos. I knew I could control what I would look like which is an underrated benefit. I could also control my schedule. We didn’t have a huge amount of time but we did get ready slowly while sipping Prosecco. I have no regrets and would happily do it again. Here’s my top tips …

Make ‘life’ your practice

Between my sister’s hens and wedding, my best friend’s hens and wedding and my own hen’s weekend there were many special occasions over the two-year-engagement that I could use as “practice”. Use special social events to test out different looks and to see how well your makeup lasts and sits on your skin.

Be wary of ‘skin prep’

I had monthly extraction facials in the lead up to the wedding for about a year and followed a regime set by my facialist for the entire year religiously just to ensure my skin was in the best condition it could be. Skin is not a quick fix, it takes time, so plan ahead. For the wedding morning, I was told to be careful of sheet masks – some can leave a film that means your primer and foundation won’t settle nicely, so I just followed my usual skincare routine.

Don’t rely on references

The tricky thing with references is that you often don’t have the same colouring, face shape, eye shape or colour as the person. If you’re picking a reference try to get someone that looks like you, or has similar features. Or better yet, make your reference a makeup look you’ve done in the past that you liked and just tweak it to make it more bridal.

Update your kit

I made sure to use products I had used before and was comfortable with, but I did buy a few new items. I recommend investing in a good primer, a long wear foundation, a setting powder or spray, a liquid lipstick that’s easy to reapply but will also last and a waterproof mascara! My makeup remained in place till the last dance at midnight. God bless primer and setting spray that’s all I can say!

If you don’t feel confident I recommend going to a department or beauty store and booking in a lesson. Take your makeup kit and let them help you fill in the gaps with what’s missing and some of the essential ‘bridal long wear’ items.