I feel you! I didn’t learn how to put on make-up as a teenager, and the first time I ever wore foundation was in my early twenties. Even then it was so sheer that it was closer to a tinted moisturiser.
At almost 30, I still don’t wear make up on a daily basis, but knew from day one that I was going to do my own make-up. This was partly because I’m having a destination wedding and wouldn’t have time for a trial, but also because I found that in a lot online make-up artist portfolios the bride’s make-up just looked too heavy for my tastes. Even when classed as natural, it just looked very fake to me.
My first step was to borrow a book from the library about how to apply make-up. I just looked at the pictures initally to see what looks I liked best. There are also tonnes of free make-up tutorials on YouTube that are worth checking out.
My next step was to head to Sephora and grab a bunch of free samples. They are extremely generous with their samples, you just have to request whatever it is you want to try from a sales assistant. If you have one close to you it’s worth a browse, but prepare to be overwhelmed at first.It took me a couple of trips to not get ‘deer in a headlights’ face.
Skin wise, I suggest you start with tinted moisturiser and sheer foundations. Anything that says full or even medium coverage is probably going to feel a bit much, and might cover your freckles.I’m going to be using Make-up Forever HD Foundation on my wedding day because it photographs really well (almost looks like you’re wearing nothing and tonnes of shades) but it might be a bit heavy for you. Look into a technique called stippling, which gives a lighter coverage. Diorskin Nude is also quite nice, and gives light coverage. Not sure what it will do to your freckles though.
You might find brown mascara more natural-looking than black mascara if you have fairer eyelashes. Lipstick is my main stumbling block. I’m convinced I look like a clown in the stuff, but some sheer colours are ok (they do fade anyway to nothing quite quickly though in my experience). I’ve recently discovered Bobbi Brown’s Creamy Lip Color in Rose Petal which is about as close to my natural lip colour as I can get.
Once you have your samples, have a play, and see what you like and what you don’t. Write down what you’re putting on and the order you applied it. Then have someone take photos of you in natural light (even better if it’s around the same time as your ceremony), preferably in your dress or a t-shirt the same colour for comparison.
Take some close-ups and ones from further away. Also take some of you without make-up and see which photos you like best. If your friend is particularly patient, have them take photos at each make-up stage (eg. after foundation, but before eye make-up) so you can easily judge the point where you think ‘Too much’.
If you prefer the way you look without make-up, then great! You don’t have to wear any if you don’t want to and you’ve not wasted a load of money on warpaint. If you like it, but need improvement, there’s still plenty of time to practice and get more familiar with techniques.
Please, please, please hold your ground about not covering your freckles though. I think freckles are freaking gorgeous.
[PS. Edited to add photo of me wearing Make-up Forever HD Foundation and brown eye make-up during the daytime so you can see how it photographs on an amateur camera. I felt like I was wearing heaps of make-up, but I think it came out pretty natural looking in the photos (shiny cheeks, visible moles and all!). I’ll be wearing more make-up on the big day, but had to build myself up to it.]