Finding your bridal makeup look is different for everybody. Some women are set on exactly how they want EVERYTHING to look, and others feel very lost and unsure about what would feel right to them. Your makeup artist’s job is not just to put makeup on you or make you look pretty, but to help your vision come to life (even if you don’t have one yet).
In my experience as a makeup artist, I’ve found that the best way to find out what a bride wants is to ask lots of questions. That way, I can get a clear picture of what she’s envisioning if she knows what she wants, or help her find out what she wants if she isn’t sure yet.
Here are some things to think about when you are establishing your bridal makeup look:
1. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FEATURE? Do you love your gorgeous eyes? Have you always adored your lips? Knowing what you like best about yourself is a great starting point to where your makeup look is going to go. This is one of the reasons that makeup is so different on everyone. If you have smooth, even-toned skin, there’s no need to cover it the way we might cover it if you have always felt self-conscious about having acne.
2. … AND WHAT FEATURES DESERVE A LITTLE MORE OF YOUR LOVE? Sometimes it’s a little scary to think about highlighting a feature we’ve always told ourselves we don’t like. Sure, we can cover it up or minimize it… but we can also play with makeup to help you see that feature in a different light. This is something your makeup artist can show you how to do.
3. YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR MIND. Something I say a lot to clients in the makeup chair is “let’s try it; if it sucks, then we take it off.” That sounds kind of funny, but if you’re going to pay to get your makeup done, its more-than-okay to play around as opposed to playing it safe. We can do something you’ve never done before and always wanted to. If you decide that it isn’t for you, we can There might be other aspects of your wedding that are more permanent, but you’re never married to makeup. Its not common for me, but sometimes a bride-to-be will get a bridal trial at my studio, love it and then decide that that is more their “going out” look and not their “getting married” look. Booking a second trial is okay!
4. ESTABLISH AND NAME WHAT YOU DON’T LIKE. Do you hate the way heavy foundation feels on your skin? Is lipstick just not for you? Has contour always made you feel overdone? These are things your makeup artist will love to know. Then, we don’t do them, or we ask WHY you don’t like them. For example, if the reason you think red lipstick looks bad on you is because you wore it for dance competitions as a kid alongside blue eye shadow and a pile of glitter hair gel, we will most likely be able to show you that red lipstick looks great on you. We will probably just tone down what’s around it so it doesn’t overwhelm you.
5. HAVE YOU BEEN TOLD YOU CAN’T DO SOMETHING? So many times, someone will come to me saying that they read somewhere online or in a dumb magazine that they “can’t” wear something they’d otherwise like to wear. If you’ve always wanted to try something, tell your makeup artist. Magazines and ad-heavy online sources have an agenda to make you feel insecure so that you’ll buy stuff, so they make up rules that aren’t true. We love challenging those fake rules and finding a way to make things work for you.
6. FIND INSPIRATION BUT HAVE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS. Inspiration images help makeup artists to visually see what a bride is thinking in terms of a look. However, sometimes a bride will come to me and say, “I don’t wear much makeup; I want to look really natural… like THIS” and then whip out her phone to show me her Pinterest which is full of makeup looks that are of looks with stacked lashes and cream contour. This isn’t a bad thing! If you don’t wear a lot of makeup, you probably can’t gauge how much makeup the model in the photo is wearing. It’s our job to then figure out together, what you love about the look and tailor it to the amount of coverage you want.
7. BE INSPIRED BY STYLE AND NOT BY COMPARISON. It’s fine to bring your makeup artist a picture of Kim Kardashian if you’re freckled and fair-skinned with red hair. Just know that you won’t leave looking like Kim… you’ll leave looking like yourself and wearing Kim’s style of makeup. Women draw inspiration from women who look like them, and women who don’t look like them. Most of us have been conditioned to compare ourselves to other women too. A makeup artist isn’t trying to make you look like someone you’re not, or to “fix” something that isn’t broken.
8. WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR LOOK TO SAY? Words that women use to describe their dream bridal look include things like “classic,” “vintage,” “on-trend,” “soft,” “natural,” “dramatic,” “romantic,” “luxurious.” Those words are a great guide, but what does your word mean to you? To me, “vintage” means 1940’s silver screen starlet. To you, it might mean a 1960’s bohemian, a 1950’s pin-up, or a 1980’s supermodel. Its helpful to use words that are meaningful to you, describe what pops into your head when you think of them, and paint a picture with your makeup artist. This doesn’t have to be just one theme either! If you have a modern-looking dress with a vintage hairstyle and very natural makeup, for example, all of those things can come together to represent your unique style. You don’t have to go with one theme all the way through for the sake of following rules if it doesn’t reflect who you are.
9. CELEBRATE YOURSELF. Whether you want to look like a photo-ready version of your everyday look or you want to have a look that you’ve never gotten to explore before, you should be able to look in the mirror and recognize yourself. No matter how good it looks, if you look in the mirror and it “doesn’t feel like you,” it might be helpful to ask if that’s because its inauthentic to who you are or if you have been conditioned to be uncomfortable embracing what you want. It’s hard sometimes to look in the mirror and think of what YOU want versus what someone else may want. The only thing that matters, is if you love it.
If you are a bride-to-be who wants to bring her dream wedding look to live, hit my contact button or email me at email@example.com to ask questions or book a bridal trial.