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How to Select Makeup For Your Wedding Day

Intro to Bridal Makeup 101 (How to select makeup for your wedding day)

Tips and advice to selecting makeup and a makeup artist for your wedding day.

How to Choose Makeup For Your Wedding Day

What is a makeup trail?

A makeup trial is exactly that Ė a trial that one must go through in order for the makeup artist and the bride to work together to find the most fabulous wedding look. It is a process to ensure that you get the most for your money. It is through trial and error that a final look can be decided on, so that the bride can be relaxed on the actual day of her wedding and the artist can be assured that the bride will feel confident and pleased.
With so many options out there in the makeup world, it can be overwhelming for a woman to decide exactly what she may want her makeup to look like on the big day. As little girls, most of us dream of the man weíre going to marry, the elegant look of our wedding dress, and the way our luscious curls will cascade down our backs. Our makeup, on the other hand, is not something that stands out in the fantasy. Sure, we look beautiful, but we neglect to think about the steps taken to achieve that extra pinnacle of beauty. Many women, throughout the hustle and bustle of wedding planning, push aside preparing their bridal makeup, often waiting for the last minute to decide what kind of effect will complete their unique wedding look. Smokey eyes? Red lips? Fake lashes, perhaps? There are so many choices, which is why I want to emphasize the notion of a makeup trial.

Get Referrals for Makeup Artists

When searching for a makeup artist, I recommend first looking to any married female friends or family members who can recommend someone they were happy with on their special day. It is best to work with someone that has been referred to you, so that you are sure that the artist has bridal makeup experience (and so that you have access to photos of his/her past work). This will help you to find the answers to some of your essential questions. Does he/she work efficiently under pressure? Is he/she punctual and reliable? Perhaps you loved your best friend's makeup for her wedding and itís exactly the style you want. In that case, you may have found yourself a lead. Donít have any referrals?; donít sweat it. As long as you interview a respectable-looking makeup artist and see proof that he/she is great at what he/she does, youíre set! Always be sure to ask about pricing, as it may vary depending on travel time and extras such as fake lashes or extra touch-up makeup.

Why a Trail Makeup?

"Why do I need a makeup trial when I know what looks good on me?" you may ask. Ah, good question! First off, you must understand that when you are getting makeup applied by someone elseís hand, it is not guaranteed to come out exactly how you do it. Besides, it is important to remember that everyday makeup is not the same as bridal makeup. There are different rules that come into play, which is why it is so important to find someone that is confident doing makeup that will be seen on camera.

The artist should make you comfortable and must be open to any ideas you may have. Don't be afraid to speak up; after all, it is your money and your face. A professional artist will be understanding and patient.

It's hair an dmakeup together!

I always encourage my brides-to-be to bring pictures of makeup looks they see in magazines or even their favorite pictures of themselves (where they feel their makeup has looked its best). It is the job of the artist to make the bride feel as sexy and glamorous as possible Ė not just on the wedding day, but at the trial as well. I always advise to do the trial on an important day involving a future brideís wedding Ė such as her bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, etc. By doing so, it allows a bride to determine how well her makeup stays on, how it photographs, if the colors she chose were right for her, and how others react to her look. I also suggest doing it on the same day as her hair trial, so that she can see everything come together. After all, the hair and makeup must work harmoniously.

Now, ladies, I know that playing with makeup is fun and trying new/drastic looks is exciting; however, your wedding is not the time for that. If you want to add a few lashes to your look or maybe play with some different colors...go for it! Nevertheless, if youíre a chapstick and mascara kind of girl your whole life, I wouldn't recommend going the Full Monty for the wedding. You want to look like a more timeless, elegant, and gorgeous version of yourself. When you look at your wedding pictures, you don't want regrets because you cannot recognize the face in the photos as your own. For the women who love to wear makeup and are constantly changing up their looks, this can also be a challenge. It is difficult to rely on someone with something that you have become so accustomed to doing every day, but that is where trust and communication comes into play here. If you have chosen a true professional, they will be able to work with you step by step, and help you to decide which of your makeup "looks" will make you the most satisfied.

Bridal makeup is about you!

If you havenít noticed, the keyword in this article is you. Not your mother, sister, cousin or friend Ė just you. Taking someone along for the trial is fine; however, make sure it is someone who is not overly opinionated or biased to her own look. For example, if a bride is comfortable in mascara and eyeliner has a mother who insists that she wears two sets of lashes and red lipstick, this can be a major problem. If this hits home, you may get frustrated at the trial and give in, agreeing to wear extra makeup simply to please a loved one. This could result in arguing, regret, and tears Ė none of which should be involved in the planning of such a momentous occasion as a wedding. This tension can also add unwanted confusion to the process. (I've seen it all before!)

A makeup artist is called a professional for a reason Ė and there should, therefore, be no egos involved when it comes to application. I always look at the trial as a team effort. Even if you don't wear much makeup, you can communicate that to the artist so he/she has an idea of how the trial will begin. It is always better to start out lightly and build color and drama, rather than start dramatically and work in reverse. My favorite way to do a trial is to do begin with more of a natural look and then slowly build until the bride finds the level she is most comfortable with.

Eye Lashes

When it comes to lashes, I always recommend them because they allow the eyes to pop in photos. If a strip of lashes is not something that tickles your fancy, then I suggest curling your own lashes, applying several coats of mascara for intensity, and adding emphasis on the eye shape by applying a few individual lashes at the end of each eye. This gives a subtle cat-eye look that most women love. As far as the debate on smoky-eye vs. red lip, I feel that it is situational. There is no right or wrong in terms of makeup styles; it depends on the individual, how they carry it, and what look they are trying to achieve overall. Is it a themed wedding? What are the colors of the reception? What are the bridal party colors? These are all questions to consider and speak about with your artist at the trial.

Have fun Planning You Wedding Makeup

Most aspects of wedding planning can be stressful and really brain racking. Do not let the makeup trial be a negative or exhausting experience. Makeup is meant to be fun and give a woman the chance to accentuate her best features: resulting in more confidence and happiness with her look. The trial should be a chance for you to take a moment and relax. The best part of makeup is that it can be washed off in a momentís notice. If you decide to try a look and it doesn't suit you, it can be easily removed and you'll be back to a blank canvas. Make this your chance to feel a little pampered. After all, how often is it that you have someone come to your house and make you up? Unless youíre Kim Kardashian, I am sure itís not an everyday experience Ė so relish in it. Once the trial is over, be sure to keep the artistís contact information nearby so that, as the wedding nears, you can let him/her become aware of any decisions or changes you have made. You may also wish to order some of the products used during your trial so that you can retouch your makeup on the big day (though most artists will include product in their application price).

Once the wedding day finally arrives, remember that the makeup artist is there for you. You are paying the artist to do exactly what made you happy at the trial. Therefore I advise brides to take this moment to breathe and relax. The application time should be much less than that of the trial, since the artist already knows exactly what products to use. Do not grab the mirror every two seconds to check your makeup and try not to run out of the chair every 3 minutes, as straight eyeliner can be difficult to apply on someone who is constantly on the move. Close your eyes and relish in every moment. Never in your life will you get to experience this day again and, though you may not be at the point of saying "I do," the makeup/hair is still part of the anticipation of the day ahead.

Keep in mind the artist's job is done once he/she leaves, so it should be passed on to an appointed bridesmaid to be on "makeup/hair watch." You may cry off your lashes or lose a bobby pin thatís keeping up a curl (it happens). Make sure to keep all of your "reapplication" makeup (powder, eyeliner, lip products, lash glue, and concealer) in a spot that is easily accessible to you. The maid of honor could keep it all in her handbag or there can be a designated beauty bag for your important touch-up products). The makeup (if done correctly) should stay on all day long. The only touch-ups that most brides need are powder in the T-zone (to get rid of oil), more eyeliner inside the eye (if they're wearing it in that spot), a little concealer (if there were some tears), and a lip re-do. Any of these should take no more than two minute to fix!

Remeber: Your Bridal Makeup is Very Important

Makeup on a bride is like the cherry on a fudge sundae; her look isn't complete without it. It is the final touch that pulls everything together. Though the makeup will make you feel elegant and beautiful, nothing will make you radiate more than the moment you walk down that isle toward the man you love. And that, my friend, is something that money can't buy.

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