Updated: Aug 20, 2019
The other day, I was tagged in a discussion group about bridal make-up. As you may already know, wedding make-up isn't just for the bride- it is usually for the entire wedding party, and for good reason. You'll all be standing together during the wedding, at the head table, and perhaps most importantly, in photos. I get a lot of questions from brides, their bridesmaids and other important people like moms. This inspiring discussion thread and the women in it, helped me to create this list of common questions I get from brides-to-be and those who love them.
1. I have sensitive skin and have reacted to make-up before. Should I have my make-up done or should I skip it? Can I bring my own make-up and ask the make-up artist to use it, since I know my own make-up is safe for me?
It is perfectly reasonable to let a makeup artist know (either through the bride or direct contact with the make-up artist) about skin conditions or sensitivity. We are usually happy to do makeup on clients with sensitive skin. There are of course exceptions. A make-up artist can control the sanitation and safety of their own make-up but not yours; if you have a 2 year-old mascara you’ve been reviving with eye drops, for example, we don't use these types of things on you because they might not be safe. Make-up artists have to be mindful of potential safety factors like this. If you do communicate with a make-up artist and decide to bring some or all of your own products due to allergies or sensitivities, please let them know beforehand and come with the make-up as clean and as new as possible. Please note that most make-up artists use a client's own make-up for a wedding only in cases of allergies or sensitivity and do it as an exception. Many of your favorite products from a drug store, Sephora or a make-up counter might not last or be the right fit for an all-day event where you'll likely be crying, sweating and eating.
If possible, ask to contact the make-up artist personally instead of communicating through the bride so that communication is clear, and so you don’t overwhelm the bride (brides have a LOT on their plate and are trying to make everybody happy). We can answer questions for you and make accommodations for you if we get a head’s up as far in advance as possible. We are happy to do this for you!
2. Can't I just do my own make-up and the photographer can Photoshop it to look really nice?
I had a person say that “a good photographer can make anybody look good." While I do believe that is true, I disagree that it is a justification for not hiring a professional, for doing your own makeup or for staying barefaced. A wedding photographer’s job is INCREDIBLY stressful: they can round off anywhere from 2,000-5,000 shots for a wedding, they are following people around, schlepping equipment, making sure they get all the shots the bride asks for, dealing with your drunk uncle who thinks he’s a photographer because he bought a nice camera, bossy people telling them how to do their jobs after they’ve invested countless hours, dollars and classes in photography... then they get in their car, go home, dump those memory cards and exhale before the bride texts them and says “are my photos done yet? Im just SO excited to see them.” (and believe me, they understand and are excited to edit them, but they are only human and need to rest sometimes) Of all wedding vendors I would say photographers deal with the most stress. It would be impossible for them to photoshop your face (along with the bride’s and everyone else’s) in thousands of photos. Part of my job as a make-up artist is to help you look and feel beautiful in-person AND in photos, as well as to make the photographer's job go more smoothly so that that extra editing doesn't need to be done and they can get your beautiful photos back to you faster (and have you be happier with them too).
3. I am obsessed with make-up, have lots of great products, and watch lots of YouTube videos about make-up. I could save money by doing my own.
As a make-up artist, I can see a photo of a bridal party and pick out who opted to do their own make-up, even with the best photographer. I do have people in bridal parties who opt to do their own make-up and I would never force but will always encourage someone “on the fence” to spring to get it done. Its not a money-grab for me... you’re getting your photo taken next to a bride and probably other people with professional make-up applications and the photos last forever. You also may be sweating, crying or getting rained on and we apply your makeup so it will last all night through all those potential factors. My biggest humblebrag is when I did makeup for a wedding party in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at a historic plantation (read: no air conditioning) in the middle of August. The makeup stayed put. You aren’t just hiring us to make you look pretty or pamper you (even though we love doing that). We make it last until long after we leave. Also, if you have a heavy-handed make-up application and are in a bridal party of ladies that opted for a natural look, your make-up can stand out in a way that is not flattering, even if you're great at doing make-up. The style of make-up is important to create continuity with bridal parties, just like the dresses, flowers or hairstyles create continuity.
4. Can I just get my eyes done? I don't like the feeling of base make-up/I have great skin/I want to save money/I love the base make-up that I use every day.
I would HIGHLY encourage some kind of base make-up for any make-up application, for the reasons mentioned above (photo quality and turnaround time, skin tone during sweating/crying/etc). When i started out I had a huge service menu where a client could just get eyes done or just get lashes put on. I stopped doing that and streamlined my services after getting some bridal photos back. If a bridesmaid wears a Maybelline foundation that doesn’t match her skin, and pays me to do her eyes, she has wasted her money. That bridesmaid has also tagged me in that photo as having “done her makeup” which unfairly promotes that I do my job poorly. In addition, the set-up and sanitation afterward is the same regardless of how much makeup we put on you. Skin is the single most important part of a makeup application. The best advice I can give is to invest in a full professional make-up service, and communicate clearly with your artist (we work with all kinds of people, with all kinds of preferences, and a good make-up artist will never ignore your wishes and do their own thing). If make-up feels heavy to you or you love your bare skin, we can do a lighter base application so that it is photo-ready and fresh-looking. If you love the way you do your own eye make-up and have severe anxiety about someone else doing it, talk to the make-up artist that you're working with. Trust me, we understand having a signature look that makes you feel naked if you don't have it. What I would suggest is to give us clear instructions or provide a picture of what you like, and let us give it a try. There are countless times where I've had anxious clients who have hated having their make-up done in the past, but loved the results of their make-up because I understood their reluctance, listened carefully and encouraged them to give feedback that helped me exceed their expectations. If that seems overwhelming, let your artist help you to prep your eyes with a great water-resistant eye primer and a coat of waterproof mascara so that the look you put over it stays as well as the rest of the bridal party. We love helping you express your personal style and making you feel comfortable, and we want whatever that look is to be the best and longest-lasting possible.
If you have any other questions, I would be happy to answer them for you! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or click my contact button to get in touch. I can't wait to hear from you and help your experience to be the best it can be.