How to make the most of your make-up artist

Morning everyone. Last week I wrote (from a lay-bride’s perspective) about how to make the most of your hair trial. Today it’s over to the make-up artist’s corner, where I’ll be sharing my experiences – and behind-the-scenes tips from make-up artists – to help you get your make-up look right for your big day.

I hired the absolutely wonderful Sam Pearce for my wedding and was so lucky to be in the hands of an absolute pro. The whole process was very easy – I knew what sort of colours I liked – she knew what sort of colours suited me, and bam! A match made in heaven. However, not all brides have it so easy. I know many brides who’ve come away from their make-up trials feeling utterly disappointed. Sometimes, I’ll be honest, you might have just picked a bad supplier. But other times, disappointment could have been avoided with some simple communication.

How to make the most of your make-up trial

Before you arrive

Adjust your expectations. The problem with a lot of brides is that they go into their make-up trial expecting to come out looking like someone else. You’re expecting a top model-style transformation, a complete makeover. Bridal make up just isn’t like that. Unless you’re going for a heavy evening look, your make-up artist will be aiming to make you look like an enhanced version of you. It’s totally up to you how you want to look on your big day, but I’ve always said looking like “you” probably yields the best results. Great bridal make up will enhance your best features and boost your natural assets, but don’t expect to go in looking like yourself and come out looking like an A-lister. That’s a certain route to disappointment.

Take care of your skin. I got lucky with my last-minute, rabbit-out-of-a-hat skincare routine. But lots of people don’t. Your make-up artist can do their best to cover blemishes but they can’t work miracles. If you want your make-up to look really amazing, take good care of your skin well in advance of your trial and your big day. If you have a tried-and-tested skincare routine, great. If not, experiment with samples. I’d say this is the one area it’s worth really investing in. I used Dr Haushka’s rose skincare routine for the month before my wedding and was absolutely thrilled with the results (and loved smelling like roses every morning and evening!)

Oh, and how could I forget ? Do your research! Look through portfolios of former brides and see if you’re happy with the make-up artist’s work before you go for your trial. Trials are expensive and you don’t want to waste one on a make-up artist that doesn’t suit your style.

Me having my make up applied on the morning of my wedding – Image © Satureyes

At the trial

Arrive with a clean face. Don’t cake yourself in make up, it’s all coming off anyway and you’ll just waste a precious few minutes of your trial having your face scrubbed.

I know from speaking to a lot of make-up artists that one of their pet peeves is when brides try to use their own products. I know what it’s like when you’re utterly convinced only one foundation in the world will match your skin tone (before I had professional make-up done I was absolutely certain nobody would ever be able to find something light enough for me) but make-up artists are trained experts. They can glance at your skin tone and whip up your exact match in moments – and unless you have a very expensive foundation, it will probably be much higher quality than your usual stuff. If you have a favourite eyeshadow or lipstick, it is worth bringing it with just so they can see what sort of colour you’re after, but otherwise I’d sit back, relax and trust that your make-up artist knows what they’re doing.

If you don’t like your make up, say something! I loved everything about my look, except for the eyeshadow. I liked it, but I wanted something slightly more bronzed/golden. So I told Sam what I wanted and she delivered. Your make-up artist really won’t (at least they shouldn’t) take it personally if you want to change something about your look – they’re not psychic and they are professionals delivering a service, so don’t worry about hurting anyone’s feelings by politely asking for something different. The whole point of a trial is to try out different looks – so make the most of it.

Once you do figure out how you want your make up, jot down the names of the products your make-up artist is using, just for good measure. Then see if you can get small samples of each product to keep in your handbag on the day for after your make-up artist leaves. That way you can freshen up yourself with the right products.

Don’t just have a natter – use the time you’re sitting in a make-up chair to get some great skincare tips from a pro!

Make the most of your trial by booking it in on a day you need your make up done anyway. If you’re paying for it anyway you might as well do it on a day you have somewhere important to be. I had a party to go to one evening so I booked in my hair and make-up trial on the day of the party. Not only did I feel super glam that evening as it was a real treat but I also felt really smug about doubling up my money!

Even in family members’ pictures, the make up shows through well, so it’s well worth a pre-formals touch up! 

On the big day

If you’re having lots of bridesmaids / family members done, schedule your make-up artist to arrive much earlier than she needs to. Not only will people who had their make up done first need touch ups later on, but there is always one person who doesn’t like their look and doesn’t think about time. I knew that people might chop and change, so I booked my make-up artist to come with an hour and a half of faffing about time to spare just to cover myself. It turns out it was more than necessary as, despite her working to great time, she’s dealing with human beings (in a high-stress situation) and everything always takes a little longer than you think.

Make sure you go last – you’re the bride, your make up needs to be the freshest. If you need to eat, drink, smoke, cry or anything else, make sure you do it before, and not after you’ve had your make up done.

Wear clothes that don’t need to go over your head to come off! The last thing you want to do is smear your make up and mess up your hair!

Sometimes it really is worth the extra money to have your make-up artist stay on until after the ceremony. Most people have their formal pictures taken right after and you can’t predict how you will react to your wedding ceremony. You could cry, sweat, get rained on – my wedding was on the hottest day of the year and even though Sam did a great job with the powder, I was so relieved she was there to touch up my look before the formal pictures!

So there you have it – a bride’s take on how to make the most of your make-up artist. Do you agree with the above tips? Have I missed anything? Did you have a good or bad experience with your bridal make up? I’d love to hear from you!

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