“Invest in yourself; that’s the most important thing,” says Stacie Ford, a New York based makeup artist who specializes in weddings. “Sometimes clients will invest so much of their money into the photographer and yet they'll go basic on their makeup and hair. People need to realize that your photos only look as good as you do.”
Trials are an essential first step in creating a look for Stacie. She needs to know not only what the bride wants but the dress, the venue, and the photographer all so she can create a look that highlights the bride in the best way possible.
Though wedding makeup shares similarities with everyday makeup, especially for brides who want a more natural look, there are several distinct differences, namely longevity. Wedding makeup needs to last the whole day and be good for photography, because at the end of the day the photos will be the memories you have of the wedding day.
Image Courtesy of Stacie Ford Beauty
“Really research what makeup products you should be using on your wedding day in terms of waterproof and longevity airbrush,” advises Lucy Flint, the founder of Miss Harlequin. Even brides who want a natural look need heavier makeup that won’t smudge throughout the day. “The products that I use are products that I know are going to last for an 18 hour day,” says Lucy.
Stacie advises brides to think of their wedding day as like a red carpet event: “When you look at the Emmys, you look at the Oscars, Golden Globes, red carpet makeup, this is what you see.” Wedding makeup tends to be the same kind of longwear glam meant for photography as what celebrities do on the red carpet.
Part of the difference brides need to understand is creating a photo ready look, isn’t the same makeup as day to day. “It's slightly heavier, because it's gonna be photographed,” says Lucy, although she avoids making her clients look cakey. Aspects like lighting, the type of camera, angles all change how you show up in a picture. “It has to come across more radiant, more illuminating, more contoured, more structured,” says Stacie.
Image Courtesy of Miss Harlequin Beauty
Both Lucy and Stacie figure out brides' makeup in their trials. The day of the wedding is often filled with touch-ups and keeping the bride happy. “We’re therapists,” says Lucy. “You get very up close and personal with somebody very quickly, because you're in the face for two hours. And you hear things that I think people haven't even told their closest friends.” Part of the job of a makeup artist is helping get the bride down the aisle.
While most makeup artists will only do one wedding in a day, that’s not always an option. Lucy often does elopements and recently did six weddings in one day, Miss Harlequin often does around 30 weddings a week.“Probably 60% of our clients are people who just come in on a Monday morning and get married on a Tuesday morning,” says Lucy. Elopements through makeup trials out the window. Lucy will meet her clients in a hotel near where they want to get married (usually by Central Park or City Hall). When they leave to get married, Lucy moves on to the next one. But she prefers to do only one wedding a day with a trial in advance.