Makeup by Heidi C.
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Tips: Prep for bridal makeup & hair appointment

Yay! You have crossed off one more to-do on your wedding planning list! You found a makeup artist for your big day! Their work looks solid, and the time/date/location works out. You are moving on to a trial to see if everything clicks!

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What to prepare for the consultation/trial to maximize efficiency?

Communication on expectations and reality

I recently saw a discussion in a makeup artist Facebook group talking about an experience a bride had with a makeup artist. The bride brought in an inspiration photo of a full glam face photoshopped to perfection, but asked for no foundation, no blush, no eyeliner and no lashes because she doesn’t typically wear makeup. This is a story all too familiar to all makeup artists, well maybe not to the extent. =P

That sparked me to write this post. Often times we have a preconceived notion of what “wearing makeup” looks like, but everyone’s definition/understanding is different. This particular bride might not know what is involved to get the look in the photo and it’s the makeup artist’s job to explain to her that there is definitely foundation, blush, eyeliner and two sets of false lashes on, plus about 4 hours of photoshop. How would this bride know what products are needed if she doesn’t normally wear makeup?

And here comes the next part about this incident. If this bride typically doesn’t wear makeup, it’s HIGHLY unlikely that she will be comfortable wearing ALL THE PRODUCTS available to humankind, some might be, but I can say from experience that only a very small portion of these non-makeup-wearing brides are. She likely brought in that photo because there was SOME aspect of it that she liked, so it is down to the communication to figure out WHAT she liked. From experience, it could be the lip colour, the hair, or the model’s eye colour or her dress or the floral arrangement in the background to the photography lighting.

So as the bride, look at lots of inspiration photos but REALLY look at the makeup and hair and nail down what you like about it. Cover other parts of the photo and ONLY look at the makeup and hair.

Look at inspiration photos with models who have similar hair colour as you, and similar features as you. No matter how skilled a makeup artist is, they can’t change things that they can’t change.

Chat with your makeup artist. They are there to provide you with their expertise and experience. Assuming you went through their website and chose them for their style of makeup being close to your taste, throw ideas around, think about the dress and the location and the general theme of the wedding. Keep an open mind.

Chat with your makeup artist again. Have a good look at your features and go through what you like and don’t like. Even if you haven’t found the makeup or hair style you want to go for, just figuring out what features to enhance would be immensely helpful.

For wedding day, best not stray too far away from your regular daily style, maybe just an elevated version of it. Your partner and your guests know you from your everyday look, going for a complete transformation into an entirely different person might be a shock.

have a timeline for beauty treatments

For some, it’s part of a regular routine that just needs a bit of moving around on the schedule. For others, this might be the very first time they are considering medical aesthetics to look their best on their special day. It could be just a Hydrafacial, or pico laser, or various injectables. See my post on Fillers and Botox.

Talk about any beauty treatments you are thinking about. When to wax/thread brows or facial hair? Are you considering Botox or fillers? Will you be getting laser treatments? All these things with downtime will require planning, not only for the wedding day but perhaps the trial day too. You want the treatments’ effects to still be visible, but have past the “reaction” time (redness, swelling etc.).

day-of preparations

Different artists have different preferences. I prefer clean, dry hair and some prefer day-old hair. Talking about this will help smooth out the process because time is always tight for big events.

Be ready and good to go when your time starts. Most makeup artists I know have a time limit on trials, so if your bum is not in the chair then you are cutting into the trial time, same with the actual day, when time is even more precious. Delegate! That’s why you have a bridal party to help you out!

Don’t be afraid to speak up when the makeup artist hands you the mirror. YOU are wearing the makeup so YOU have to be comfortable in it. Your artist might suggest you something different from your usual, because they have a fresh set of eyes looking at your features. Keep an open mind and give it time, but ultimately if you don’t feel good about something then let them know. It’s not the end of the world if something isn’t exactly the way you want, it’s only makeup and it washes off.

Don’t let too many people influence your opinion, again, YOU are wearing it on your special day and only your opinion matter.

Enjoy the process. Breathe. Relax. Have fun. Give yourself time and space to let it all sink in. Talk openly. Remember why there are trials, they are for testing looks out. You might not have it nailed down the first time because bridal makeup and hair ARE different from everyday styles. Book a second trial if needed. I had a bride who wanted purple eyeshadow the first time, and changed her mind and wanted neutrals after so we did a second trial. It’s not an exam that you have to get right the first time. Key is to communicate. If in doubt, just ask. Good luck!

Heidi CheungComment