How I did my own wedding makeup using only drugstore products

by Jes Roque-Medina, contributor

When my boyfriend of 12 years and I finally decided to push through with our wedding, we agreed on one thing: to be practical and not to spend too much. We agreed upon a budget and set our limits - what we were actually willing to spend on and what was nice but unnecessary. At first, it was difficult because seeing other dreamy weddings made us want to have the same thing but we reminded each other, “We can have it if it falls within our budget. If not, we’ll drop it and look for alternatives.” Weddings can get really expensive but only if you allow it to! My dream wedding didn’t entail princess-y themes or extravagant parties; I just wanted our wedding to be about me and my husband. No drama, no fuss.

With that in mind, we had to be hands on with every detail. We DIY’d almost everything to save money, from the invitations to the table toppers. We sought the talents of our relatives and friends for my wedding dress, souvenirs, corsages, and boutonnieres. Our wedding was set in Subic so we searched for local suppliers for the photos and the catering to save on transportation fees. Whatever we could do on our own, we did, so it was a no-brainer decision for me to do my own makeup.

Makeup is something that I love doing and can do decently so why not, right? Though it was, and still is, my dream to be in the makeup chairs of famous makeup artists, I didn’t find it to be a practical expense for our wedding. As much as I admire their works, I just did not have the budget for it.

I only had one thing in mind for my bridal makeup: I wanted to look like myself but way more polished. I went for my usual - defined brows, neutral smokey eyes, and deep rose lips. Since I didn’t have time to practice and play with new makeup, I went with my ever-trusted and for sure no-fail makeup products in my stash. It just happened that everything I used was from the drugstore and inexpensive!

I invested so much on skincare months before the wedding so having a clear, smooth, and glowing base wasn’t a problem. To hide my pores and keep oil at bay, I used the L’Oreal True Match Blur Cream (P400, department stores) mixed with Quick FX No Shine Mattifier (P99, Watsons). I evened out my skin tone with my favorite L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable Foundation (P899, department stores). This foundation gives me a flawless finish in one layer without caking, creating a white cast, or drying my skin!

I used several concealers to achieve completely flawless coverage. I mixed the Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer in Neutralizer (P399, online shop) and LA Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer in Yellow (P200, KeringKeri Store) to cancel out the darkness of my dark circles, then brightened up the undereye area with K-Palette Zero Kuma Concealer in Type 2 (P895, Beauty Bar).

To hide the blemishes and broken capillaries I have on my face, I used the K-Palette Zero Kuma Concealer in Type 1 (P895, Beauty Bar). I wanted to make sure that nothing would come off so I baked the eye area with Nichido Final Powder in Ivory Glow (P150, department stores) and set the rest of my face with L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Powder (P499, department stores).

My contouring game was on that day so I used the LA Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer in Toast (P200, KeringKeri Store) as a base and created more dimension with Maybelline V-Face Blush Contour (P499, department stores). I also used at bit of NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Powder in Sunny (P185, makeupinboxph.com) to add warmth to my face. I dusted Ellana Minerals Blush Duo in Kitten/Peach Passion (P450, ellana.com.ph) all over my cheeks. For a luminous glow, I used Ultraflesh Shinebox (about P1,000, phen.strawberrynet.com) on my nose bridge and cheekbones.

I’m obsessed about my brows so I had to make sure that they were perfectly on fleek on my special day! I started by drawing the outline with The Face Shop Style My Eyebrow in 3 (P150, The Face Shop) and filled it in with Maybelline Fashion Brow 3D Brow and Nose Contouring Palette in Dark (P349, department stores).

To further define the shape and to make sure everything will stay intact, I went over my brows with K-Palette Real Lasting Eyebrow in 01 (P699, Beauty Bar). To lighten and keep my brow hairs in place, I used the K-Palette Real Lasting Eyebrow Mascara (P595, Beauty Bar). Highlighting my brow bone with Nichido Spot Concealer (no longer available in stores) was an extra step but it made a huge difference!

Since I went for heavy, neutral smokey eyes, I primed my lids with Essence I Stage Eyeshadow Base (P229, Watsons) to make the colors stay all day. For eyeshadow, I used the Beauty UK Posh Palette in Eden and Masquerade (P550, Makeupholics on IG). I did nothing unusual with my eye makeup: just played with brown eyeshadows and smoked it up!

For added drama, I tightlined using Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner (P449, department stores) and lined my lids with K-Palette Real Lasting Eyeliner (P695, Beauty Bar). I curled my lashes, coated both upper and lower ones with the foolproof Etude House Lash Perm Curl Fix Mascara (P848, Etude House), then put on a pair of Wicked Beauty False Lashes in G01 (P120/box of 10, Wickedbeautyph on IG).

When I first used the Maybelline Creamy Matte in Touch of Spice (P199, department stores), I immediately knew that it would be my lipstick of choice on my wedding day! In fact, the entire look I did was based on it! But to make it last even longer on the lips, I first applied Essence Lipliner in Soft Berry (P99, Watsons). Finally, I generously sprayed L’Oreal Infallible Makeup Extender Setting Spray (P499, department stores) all over my face to seal the deal.

I feel that doing my own makeup on my wedding really made me own the look. I achieved what I wanted and achieved the outcome I had envisioned. I was especially proud of the fact that, despite using only (mostly) drugstore products, the look turned out beautiful and stayed intact the whole day! I didn’t even have to retouch my lipstick.

If you plan to do your own makeup for your wedding or an important occasion, it’s important to have tried and tested products that you’re absolutely sure will work on you. It doesn’t have to expensive as even drugstore makeup can perform like pro-quality, high-end ones if you what works for you and your skin. Of course, it also pays to research and practice the wedding look first before you commit to it on the day itself. Test wear times and study if you're not super confident about a particular detail or product.

So, how much did I spend for my wedding makeup? Honestly, nothing! Everything I used was already in my existing stash. And yes, you can do it, too!

Jes Roque-Medina is a full-time middle school teacher in an international school and a financial advisor of AXA Philippines. She blogs at MakeUpLove.

Wedding photos by Raya Photography / Product photos by Muffy Tirona