From the Archives: Getting Great Wedding Make-Up

From Cris: Remember those times I posted THE BEST wedding beauty guest posts ever for y'all (all about ladyparts waxing, avoiding the Dorito effect, and skincare?)! Whelp, my  old high school friend Millie, a professional Esthetician, is back and this time she’s taking on pre-wedding skin and the importance of proper spray tanning!

You may or may not be a make-up girl on a regular basis but I promise you, you will want make-up in your wedding pictures. Making sure you are adding appropriate amounts of facial color for the pictures you have chosen is important. Doing your own make-up can be really fun and cost effective. Utilizing other make-up artist resources prior to your wedding date can help prepare you.

Wedding Skin: Getting Great Wedding Make-Up

If you choose to do black and white photos or sepia, know that you will need different amounts of make-up color for each type of film. Color photos usual require the least amount of make up color. Black and white the heaviest or most vibrant. Sepia falls somewhere in between. Undecided about the color effect you want from your film? Trying all three? Apply your make up for color photos first, gradually add darker cheek and lip color for sepia, and then extra shadow when you move on to black and white. Most photographers know the drill, make sure you ask them for time to darken your color as your photo session progresses into different color effects. If you don't ask for the extra time, they won't know to give it to you. Be sure to find out if your photographer is prepared for everyone to touch up if you have a bridal party.

Going without a make-up artist? That's perfectly alright; however, here's the hard part- you have to tell your bridal party that you are skipping a make-up artist. I know, I know, they just lost a perk. But there is a upside! Being the bearer of semi-unconventional news is always hard but once you have a plan for colors, you will save at least $150-$500 for this speciality treat.

You probably know at least one person that does fantastic makeup. It is in your best interest to consider inviting this person to do a mock wedding make-up session. Getting the skinny on make-up fads from the bridal magazines is not what you are looking for in your make-up friendly person. You are interested in the techniques they use during application. This way you can pick and choose the specific types of make-up that you need to buy.

False lashes are a fantastic addition to wedding make-up. Be sure to ask for advice on application. You MUST practice putting in false lashes. No one gets it right the first couple times. You have practice opportunities all the time before the wedding – cleaning the house, on your lunch break, before you work out… I could go on and on. Chances are if you have a mini lesson, whoever is helping you will not have make-up or lashes that matches your skin or eye color. Never fear, more help is near!

You know that you can buy make-up a bunch if places. Skip the drugstore and head straight to the make-up counter to start. Many department stores require you to have a appointment for a make-up lesson with a deposit. Lucky for you, your make-up artist friend already did all that for you! When going to the make-up counter you are only getting help with choosing colors. Getting your foundation to match is simple if you utilize this resource. Buy your foundation or full coverage power at the make-up counter.

While you are getting assistance with a color match-up, look around for the other make up items that you need. You can ask as many color matching questions as you want while you are with your make-up counter artist. Matching blush, shadow, and lip color is their specialty. If you have chosen a traditional bridal palette, they will be able to help you right away. Please know that they work on commission. Keeping your questions short and non-committal will stop a pressure sale. If you purchase at least $25 worth of make-up for every half hour they help you, they will get paid appropriately. Pending foundation prices, that purchase should cover your first 30 minutes of help. Any item you choose not to purchase from the counter can be found at your drug store. Take pictures of the colors while you are with your make-up artist, this will be super useful if you go between the make-up counter and the drugstore.

Quick Tips:

  • Make sure that you choose a lipstick instead if a gloss.
  • Get a facial or exfoliate at least 4 days before going to the make-up counter.
  • Request that your bridal party bring their own makeup to any pre-wedding photography sessions. This can help stop anyone from wearing more make-up than you did.
  • Pick your jewelry before picking your wedding makeup. Bringe it to the make-up counter if you need to.

Preparing for photography, learning some free techniques, and shopping at the appropriate place for your cosmetics can help you cherish your wedding album pictures. 

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Millie Ferguson is an Esthetician and owner of Cosmopolitan SkinCare in Fairbanks, Alaska. Millie is a United States Air Force Veteran, holds a Bachelor’s degree from Park University in Business, attended Esthetics International, and is a member of the Associated Skin Care Professionals. She can be contacted at