A fabulous makeup artist … can truly be a bride’s best friend!

My long time friend and colleague Kim and I wrote this article on the importance of a fabulous makeup artist on your wedding day!  It was published in Simply Chic Wedding Magazine in 2014 and we are so proud.


A fabulous makeup artist … can truly be a bride’s best friend!

All is set for your long-awaited wedding day. The dress is stunning, the flowers so lovely and your hair style is to die for…but how does your makeup look? Your photographer is poised for your portraits, but you don’t want to have “every day” make up… you need bridal makeup! While all of the items above were chosen so carefully, they are meant to be mere accessories to the stunning you. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then today yours need to be stunning pools of blue, brown, or green as you gaze at your groom down the aisle. And since you are likely to be all smiles, your lips have to look so kissable and soft that you are simply irresistible! This kind of icing allows you to shine at your own personal best, shows the special side of you, and yet allows you to look and feel like yourself. It needs to last, not run off with the heat of the day, dance off while you electric slide or wash off with tears of joy. What does this kind of miracle take? A fabulous makeup artist, of course—a bride’s best friend!

All brides are not created equal. After all, some whisper, some speak, and some shout out to express their appearances!  Those gals that would love to shout are usually very comfortable with makeup and have probably been wearing it for years. They enjoy trying the latest trends and color styles are adventurous. If this is you, embrace the idea of “bigger is better” lashes, boldly shaped lips and brows and “more is more” eyeliner and mascara. This bride is lots of fun, and your makeup artist can be given free reign to try something new by pushing boundaries or creating something extraordinary from the bridal fashion world.  Have tons of fun but be careful; you’ll want to walk that line gently. Ask a lot of opinions from your artist, trusted friends and family who know you well. Sometimes, if choices are not carefully made, you could end up regretting your photographs in the years to come. What is in style now will not always in be in style and it can be tricky.

Our second gal, on the other hand, is a bit more conservative and would like to “speak.” This is the most widely and requested look. She wears makeup professionally, when leaving the house and out for the evening. She is confident with her appearance but doesn’t want to look overly made. She wants to look polished and elegant for her wedding but not as if she was trying too hard…entirely recognizable as herself but decidedly at a formal occasion. Choose to play up your eyes or your lips so you stay balanced and the focus is in one place. If you have a perfect pout…work it! Ask your artist to choose a stunning shade for your skin tone and pair it with barely there contoured cheeks and soft eyes played up with a dose of liner and mascara. You are sure to stay timeless with a color pallet of taupes or soft browns, highlights in all the right places, and dewy, ethereal skin. With this moderate look, it is hard to make a mistake.

Lastly, those “whisper” girls are our fave.  We personally get enjoyment out of the time it takes to perfect that “no makeup look”. These gals rarely wear much makeup, if any at all, and may not really know what they want. What “a little” makeup is to you, may not be the same as “a little” makeup to your makeup artist! If this is you, we recommend bringing tear outs from magazines. It is often that brides will show their artist’s photos from their phone, but the details of makeup are so small on a 4 inch screen that it can leave her guessing. Additionally, you’ll rarely get the results you want by requesting “whatever you think…” from your artist. She so badly wants to please you and that gives her next to no information regarding your desires. So, if you are not able to bring something visual just be prepared to have a nice long conversation, ask to see her portfolio and pick out things you like, but more importantly, what you do not. It takes more skill to perfect and enhance ones appearance when the cosmetics au natural and barely there, so expect that your application will take as much, if not longer, than that of a bride who wants a glamorous appearance.

Note: In 2015 you are in luck! The classic “fresh face” and bodacious brow of Brooke Shields and the Katy Holmes “girl next door” look are here to stay… yet in a more pearlized version. Soft shimmers and barely there cheeks are the trends to follow, so you’ll feel very comfortable in your own skin.

While we have brought up skin, let’s touch on how important the condition of the skin really is. Your makeup artist is not a magician and while there are cosmetics designed to hide color and some flaws, it is very difficult to cover texture. In the time before your walk down the aisle, do what you can to take care of and enhance your own personal glow. Don’t start facials a month before your wedding. Rather, start a relationship with a skincare specialist, or start a skin care regiment of your own.  Drink lots of water and always, always wear sun screen. Why indulge in sunbathing and then ask your artist to cover, with makeup, every freckle and age spot? Instead, try some self-tanners for a sun kissed glow or a spray tan.

Note: Take heed, we’ve all seen tragic tanning experiences. We recommend trying the product first. If you like the results, book the same tanning technician 3 to 4 days out from your wedding. That way if the color is too dark, it will have time to fade. If it is perfect, you can adjust the tone with a self-applied product until the big day, always in control of the results.

The single best tip we have is to always indulge in a makeup trial with a few different artists. They should not only ask what your vision is for your big day, but also be one to listen and ask you specific questions. For example, are you having a day or evening event? Will you be at the beach at a lobster bake, or in the soft glow of candle light?  How is it you wear your makeup every day? This feedback allows an artist to decide what foundation and application will be best suited to your unique needs. A bride who regularly wears a powder-based mineral foundation, for instance, will unlikely be happy with the feeling of a cream based product. Does this particular artist show you two different looks? It’s always nice if the artist is willing to do each eye in a different style. One matte and traditional, one softly smoky and romantic…it gives you the chance to have something to choose from.  If anything else, you’ll know what you do not like and it will help you feel confident in your decision.

Lastly, the foremost reason you should hire a makeup artist is for the primers, setting sprays, and waterproof cosmetics. Qualified and experienced artists have the expertise to contour and highlight your features to look their best in flash photography. Have you ever viewed a photograph of yourself and thought…wow, when did I get so fat? Chances are the flash blew your face out flat and made your countenance appear that way. Contouring and highlighting your bone structure properly and softly can take off pounds and keep your features attractive in the harsh flashes of a professional camera. A good artist can shorten the looks of a long nose, soften the angles of a square face, or even make your eyes appear larger—all in subtle ways.

So, before you think of skipping the makeup artist…think again. She will be in your boudoir on the most important day of your life. You will be depending on her to help you look amazing and she might even hold your hand when you get nervous and the emotions are running high! And yes.. a fabulous makeup artist can truly be a bride’s best friend!


Written By: Donna Sousa Makeover Artistry R.I. – Kimberly Richard, Cosmetic Artist Cape Cod


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