a guide to bridal make-up – ask the expert

wedding photographer

bridal make up artist – laura power answers your big questions about wedding make up.

make-up artist’s guide to bridal makeup 

As a Wedding Make-up Artist that specialises in bridal make-up I regularly get asked a variety questions. I’ve popped together this handy little guide with some of the most frequently asked questions, as well as some additional information and tips that I hope new brides will find helpful. 

how early should i book my make-up artist? is a year in advance too early? 

My advice is, if you have seen someone you like, and you want that supplier to be part of your day, then you need to book them as early as you can. All wedding suppliers are used to clients booking with plenty of notice as we all know that you book your weddings years in advance of the actual day. It is quite normal for a client to book a make-up artist 1-3 years before the date of the wedding. 

i’m worried about having a make-up artist on my wedding day as i have sensitive skin. 

If you suffer from sensitive skin, having a trial is one of the best things to do. Testing the products before the wedding day will give you confidence that you are going to look great without having any nasty reactions. A good bridal makeup artist will have a full understanding of their products and make-up kit, and should be able to tell you if something you are sensitive to is contained within the make-up. We are also familiar with all different skin types and sensitive skin is very common. Therefore, we choose products that are dermatologically tested and suitable for the most sensitive of skins. 

my skin isn’t in very good condition is there anything i can do to get it looking better for my wedding day? 

Everyone has very different skin and its no secret that planning a wedding can be stressful and in turn, can affect a bride’s skin. There is no “one size fits all” answer to this question though. If you have concerns about your skin ahead of your wedding day then speak to your make-up artist. 

Lots of make-up artists are also trained beauticians and have a great understanding of skin and how the skin works. A perfect time to discuss this would be at your trial where your make-up artist can have a look at your skin and analyse it. They may even suggest some new products that work in synergy with the make-up that will be used on the day. Or they may recommend someone who can do facials or other treatments to help with skin complaints. 

The earlier you start on a new skincare routine the better. That way your skin will have time to settle down before the date of the wedding. 

when is the best time to have a make-up trial? 

I usually say about 3-6 months before the date of the wedding. By this time most brides have chosen their dress, picked their colour scheme, and know what they will be doing with their hair (either up or down). All of these things can change how the make-up looks and can also affect the choice of make-up, so it’s important to know these elements before having a trial. 

Some ladies choose to have a trial a little earlier, perhaps if they are concerned about hiring a professional make-up artist for the day, or if they are just too excited to wait until a few months before the wedding! If you are one of these ladies then speak to your make-up artist, I’m sure they will be able to find a time that is suitable. 

should i wear false eyelashes on my wedding day? 

False eyelashes can really enhance a look, especially on photographs. There are lots of different types of lashes including some that are very light and natural. If you are unsure whether false lashes are for you, I suggest having a trial so you can try them out before the big day. 

what do i do if i want to top-up my lipstick later in the day? 

Weddings inevitably mean lots of drinking, eating, hugging and kissing! All things that will cause your lipstick to fade as the day goes on. Your make-up artist will be able to tell you which lipstick they have used so that you can purchase one the same (or similar) for the day. Some make-up artists use products that cannot be bought on the high-street. If you ask them about a “top up” lipstick for later on in the day, then you may be able to buy one from your make-up artist. 

on the morning of the wedding where is the best place to do the make-up? 

Ideally, we need to be near a big window or in a place that is going to get lots of natural light. As some wedding preparations start very early in the morning – before sunrise – we may need a socket to plug in a ring light (a special light that make-up artists use to re-create natural light). Other than that, we don’t need much else. A table can sometimes be helpful to put a few things on, and a cuppa every now and then keeps us going! 

how long is my make-up going to take to do on the morning of the wedding? 

That all depends on the make-up look you choose. If you have had a trial, your make-up artist can tell you approximately how long it is going to take. Generally though, I would allow 1-hour per person. This is plenty of time, and gives a few extra minutes just in case there are delays (flowers being delivered, family members arriving, quick croissant break etc). 

If there are lots of ladies in your bridal party, or you get married very early, then you may need more than one make-up artist. Speak to your make-up artist about this and they will advise whether additional artists might be necessary. 

I like to be finished with all make-up an hour before you’re due to leave to go to your ceremony. This allows time for you to get into your dress, have a few photos, and have a quick drink before heading out. 

how is my make-up going to look on my photographs? 

An experienced bridal make-up artist will know exactly what to do to make you camera ready. Before I leave, I always ask the photographer to do a test shot to ensure that all my bride’s features are defined enough for the camera. 

The camera can sometimes sap a bit of colour out of the make-up. Therefore, if you’d like your makeup to show up on your photographs then I’d advise wearing a little more to make sure that it really stands out. 

I hope those few hints and tips have helped you understand a little bit about a make-up artist’s role on your wedding day and have answered any questions you may have. 

If you’d like to chat to Laura about Bridal Make up or special occasion make up then you can find her here: