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Brides have always had a special place in my heart and they always will. Being a professional makeup artist has been my second career but even as an amateur with a special interest in makeup I dabbled in doing wedding makeup for friends and family before it was common to have a beauty glam squad come to do your makeup and hair for your wedding day. While it's true that every bride is unique in her tastes, after doing a thousand brides and bridesmaids in my 17 year plus career in makeup, I've seen a lot of what goes on...
It's wedding season here with the arrival of a well deserved and long awaited Spring in the Northeast. Brides are putting the finishing touches on their weddings. One of the best parts of getting married and having a wedding nowadays is how commonplace it is to have your makeup professionally done. It's one of the few times that most women focus on themselves. All eyes will be on the beautiful, blushing bride on the wedding day. Your makeup needs to hold up for twelve hours or more, look fresh and real in person, and of course it has to photograph beautifully. In my nearly fifteen year career as a professional Makeup Artist, I've definitely learned a thing or two about making a Bridal Makeup trial go right. And I can recognize when and why it all goes downhill
Here's whats on my mind after a marathon of trials I've been doing recently. You can call it food for thought.
When you go for a trial, whether it's with me or another artist, it's important to have realistic expectations for yourself. I usually ask a bride-to-be to bring a photo of makeup looks she likes. I like to see the pictures as a point of communication. It's not meant to be an instruction manual for me to duplicate because any photograph I am shown is an unreal image. So much alteration goes into creating a magazine photo. Besides the obvious of retouching and airbrushing, professional lighting and printing perfects an image to unreal proportions. Another obvious element is difference in coloring and bone structure of a model compared to a bride/ subject/ client in my chair. It's so much more than the same hair and eye color. An image is one dimensional. The face in front of me is three dimensional. Bone structure, eye type and structure, skin tone, skin surface, skin type and one's own chemistry. It all needs to be taken into consideration in creating a beautiful face and the art of makeup. Some eye shapes simply don't look good with false lashes applied. That's the truth and the way it is. Sometimes its better to use several coats of mascara. Just because it's very popular and looks great when it fits some models face or your friend's doesn't mean it will look good on you.
It's similar to perfume. One perfume does not smell the same on everybody. One lipstick that looks good on so and so will not look the same on you. Be flexible and open to an Artist's advice. I work with makeup, study formulas, test and practice and have worked on thousands of faces and I am still amazed at how radically different a color will look from the tube to when its on a face. These are the little facts and details that most women don't know and I guess one wouldn't know. A true professional artist knows these facts but very few share them. It's so much easier to choose a few different face palettes or color looks and do the same look on rotation for clients. Not for me. That's cheating a client out of a real experience and knowledge. This is why my trials are two hours plus. Any less time on a makeup trial you are getting a "fast food" version. I am letting you know the truth. Sometimes it's true that you pay for what you get when it comes to makeup. Sometimes you are not. Know the difference!
The bottom line about trials to me is this: Let a Makeup Artist know what you're preferences are for your wedding day look but don't be locked into it. When I do a makeup trial and I see what a client wants is just not working on her and I know its not looking good, I tell her and change it. Sometimes I just adapt it according to what the makeup needs to be to bring out her beauty, photograph well and be long lasting. Most times she loves it. Other times and these are the times when I know that there was no "click" between us, is when she is disappointed that I didn't make her look just like Taylor Swift, or Brooklyn Decker, or Eva Langoria, or whoever is hot that month in the media. It's impossible to do that unless I am working on Taylor Swift, Brooklyn Decker, etc.
Some advice to a bride: Don't fall into a cookie cutter look that's currently on trend. Think timeless, elegant, soft, seamless. Think customized makeup that makes you look like your best you've ever looked. Less is more, too. Most fiancé's will agree with me, too.
Until next time...
Yours in beauty,