It’s not easy but try to start by looking at women with a similar skin tone to you. Usually the shades that work for you are based on the hues in your skin, lips & eyes.
It’s very easy to end up with a collection of images where if you ask yourself what appeals, you’ll find that they are all just pretty women and what you’re saying is you want to look pretty as opposed to 'that’s the look I would like’.
If you would like your artist to work from an image, make sure that this reflects what you would actually want. My experience like many other artists I have spoken to is that more often than not a bride will ask for natural makeup but then produce an example image with makeup that isn’t natural. This happens to me a lot and interestingly with images selected from my portfolio; every bride and model on my portfolio is wearing full lashes and full coverage foundation, few of the looks are ‘natural’.
Looking Like Yourself
This is commonly requested. It should be expected that when someone else applies makeup to your face, you will not initially feel like yourself. The way you wear your makeup, even the products you use will likely be different. However, there is a difference between looking completely different and looking like another/better version of yourself. I find that the key to the latter is well matched and applied foundation. If your foundation is the wrong shade or too flat you will look like a different person. Don’t be afraid to make your eyes and cheekbones stand out because you are concerned about looking like yourself, if you have a skilled artist you won’t look like a stranger.
It matters, but oh how misguided your partner can be. When he says he likes you without makeup/natural, of course he means it, but he is also referring to an overall look. At these moments he perhaps envisions you with your hair thrown into a bunch, casual clothing and even the scenario is you are likely at home or in a relaxed environment. Few men or women are able to think about the separate elements of the big day and visualise how they will come together and work as a whole. I often find that on the day, once bride’s are dressed, they ask for more makeup, this is because when you come to your trial in your jeans and t-shirt, it’s not easy to imagine how your face needs to be to carry the hair, outfit and occasion on the day. So keep an open mind, listen to his ideas but also remember that he’s likely fearful of those before and after images where the bride in the latter is two shades lighter and her lashes look like they’re about to fly off.
It’s a must. Some brides are scared of them, all I can say is trust me, don’t be, they make such a difference. If you’re not used to them they can feel strange at first but you get used to them. I often get asked about individual semi-permanent lashes. Honestly I am no more likely to promote the necessity or safety of adhesives that attach extensions for 6 weeks to your hair/scalp than I am to your eyes. That said, I find women sometimes tell me that they want individual lashes because they look more natural; yes they do, but they look natural and great when you have no/minimal makeup. With a full face like on your day, natural lashes will disappear, I often have to attach strip lashes on top of the individual lashes at the bride’s request. If you would like the lashes because of your honeymoon, apply them the day after your wedding. On the night of your wedding you will need to wash your face thoroughly, it’s not easy to do this with individual lashes without pulling a few out.
How Much Should You Spend on Your Wedding Day Makeup?
Well, this is the awkward one. So simply put; your head occupies one fifth of your body - spend at least 20% of your dress and shoes budget on your face. I really mean it, I’m honestly so surprised that the brides who haggle usually wear Vera Wang, Steven Khalil or Berta on their day. I’m not saying that you have to spend a lot, but think about the importance of your face. You could get away with a second hand or sample sale dress and no one would know, but cutting corners on your wedding makeup is not a great idea…of course I’m biased about the importance though. I'm divided about explaining my charges, on one hand I believe that when we pay for an expensive meal or buy expensive shoes we don't tend to ask for a justification of cost, we know we paid for quality, but on the other hand I am aware that a wedding is one of the few times that you will spend so much in such a short time so if you do really want to know the breakdown, I will be open...promise!
What if I don’t like the look on the trial?
Did you look bad? If you did, simply ask for a refund. If your skin was poorly matched or you don’t feel that the look is reflective of the artists’ portfolio then I think you should be able to negotiate some sort of refund. I often find that brides come to me having never had their makeup done before (please book a free makeover somewhere first) and they leave chuffed and feeling pretty. Then Mum/sister/auntie comments ‘is that it’? Because the makeup on my portfolio is not as garish as a lot of other artists, I tend to receive brides who are scared of makeup, don’t be. I’m not overbearing so I won’t force you to do what you don’t want to but if I suggest that we do more, or that you need time to get used to the makeup - trust me. Let’s wow the groom and guests on your day. If you like an artist’s portfolio - just trust them and ask for some amendments on the day, if you liked 50%/some of the artists’ portfolio - have another trial. If you liked only a few images on their portfolio - maybe they’re not for you. When I speak of ‘liking’ I don’t mean that all of the looks are for you, but do they all look good?
Should I book the all day service?
It’s usually budget and season that determines this. Yes your makeup will last all day, no your lipstick won’t and where products can prevent shine, nothing can stop your body producing sweat. Of course you can just buy a lip colour to top up yourself but sometimes you/your bridesmaids forget and since you’ve paid a good amount for your photographer, it makes sense to look flawless all day. I’ll soon be making a ‘top up kit’ available and spending 10 minutes with your chosen bridesmaid in the morning advising them on how and when you will need top ups. If you would like a change in the evening, if you're a cryer, if your wedding is mid summer, I would say budget for a full day service.
You didn’t think an essay on makeup was possible did you!…I think this is simple however, find an artist you trust, and you won’t have to worry about much else. If you’re nervous (that’s very okay) take notes and ask lots of questions, they’re always welcome!
I hope you’ve come this far because you like my portfolio and are intending to book; I work with every variation of beautiful woman but the one common thread throughout my entire portfolio - every model, bride and client has taken my creative direction - it’s my job to know what to do. If you are booking with another artist, still take notes from here, I am passionate about women feeling beautiful on their big day. The world and our journey’s through life have forced us at some stage to confront the lie that something about us aesthetically didn’t qualify us as beautiful, on our wedding day let’s create a moment that we can live in forever in which we feel unapologetically beautiful.