Wednesday, June 3, 2009

interview with a makeup artist: should a bride hire a makeup artist for her wedding day?

for the inaugural "interview with a vendor" series, rsvp chatted with makeup artist jan scott about the do's and don'ts of wedding day makeup. read on for her tips!

q: should you do your own makeup for your wedding? or should you hire a makeup artist?

a: the key is knowing how the makeup is going to photograph. lines photograph thicker, and colors photograph darker. only a makeup artist or photographer really has insight into this, which is why it is best to hire a makeup artist on your wedding day. if you do not know how your makeup is going to photograph, you could end up looking washed out or overdone. bridal makeup needs some staying power. if you decide to do your own makeup, use a base primer, eyelid primer, and lip primer to help your makeup last longer!

q: how do you choose a makeup artist? what questions should you ask?

a: look for a professional website. take a look at the artist’s portfolio online. do you like what you see? are you comfortable with that person’s style? if you’re at a makeup counter, look at how that person did their own makeup. do you like it? are they able to cover your flaws? do not overlook doing a makeup trial. this is where you will be able to tell if the makeup artist really listens to what you want, and is not consumed with selling you products. the best thing is always to get a recommendation from a friend, colleague, or family member. read reviews - but read them on websites where consumers are not paid to complete them!

q: how much should you expect to pay a makeup artist?

a: in the dc-metro area, a bride can expect to pay between $100 and $200 per application (i.e. for the trial, and for the wedding day).

q: how soon should you make an appointment to ensure the makeup artist is not already booked?

a: if your wedding is during “wedding season” (april, may, june), book early – up to 4 months in advance if you can. good makeup artists are snatched up quickly, and may only do one or two weddings per day, depending on timing and location.

q: how far ahead of time should you do a test run with your makeup artist?

a: any time since you booked him or her. don’t worry if you think you might be tanner by the time your wedding roles around. changing your foundation one or two shades is easy! the makeup trial is really important so do not put it off. it is not an ideal situation for a makeup artist to do your colors on the spot on the day of your wedding, and if you don’t like what he or she does, it will be time consuming and a little difficult to change it. at the trial, however, you’ll be able to play with different colors and make sure the artist really makes you look your best.
things you should discuss with your artist at the trial: what type of dress you’ll be wearing; what are your wedding colors; does your wedding have a theme; what will you be doing with your hair. all these factors play into your makeup style on the big day.

q: if you decide to do your own makeup on your wedding day, what changes should you make from your usual routine?

a: use primer! your makeup will last longer. emphasize either your lips or your eyes, but not both. wear a lipstick color that is a bit brighter than your everyday color; balance your eyes and your lips. choose a lipstick, not just a lip gloss. it is fine to wear a gloss over your lipstick for some added shine, but lip gloss alone may not provide enough coverage, and too much could cause a glare in your photos. blend your foundation color to match your face.

q: what tips do you have for makeup that will photograph well?

a: go easy on the lip gloss and shimmer. these things reflect light and will cause a glare in your photos. and no glitter!

q: what is in style now? do you recommend using a trendy makeup style, or sticking with something more classic?

a: timeless classic is always in style. keep in mind that you will be looking at your wedding photos for years to come. unless you are hosting a themed wedding, you probably won’t want to look back and be reminded of the dramatic eyeliner that was in style, or that cherry red lipstick that was a passing fad. a classic makeup style means no heavy drama – use subtle eye colors, and an eyeliner that is not too thick. soft lashes, a soft blush on your cheeks, and a pretty lipstick will look good forever. if you are dying to wear false eyelashes, go ahead! your makeup artist can help you choose a type that will enhance your eyes without looking overly dramatic.

q: what can you do to ensure you still look like yourself? many brides are afraid of having their makeup done by a professional because they have had bad previous experiences where makeup artists used way too much makeup.

a: speak up! a makeup artist has to know your comfort zone. make sure they are listening to what you want, and are able to make modifications to things you want to change.

q: what regimes should you follow in the weeks leading up to your wedding to help you get perfect skin?

a: know how your skin heals from waxing, facials, etc., and give it enough time to heal properly in the days leading up to your wedding. go easy on salt and caffeine – it makes you bloated and dehydrated. do not pick your blemishes. blemishes are only red because the are swollen. hold an ice cube to the blemish for 10 minutes to reduce swelling and redness. a makeup artist will have a much easier time covering a blemish without any broken skin. if you really have a nasty pimple, you can consider getting a cortisone shot from your dermatologist.

q: should you have your makeup done before or after your hair?

a: have your makeup done after your hair.

q: does it make a difference whether you have your makeup done on site or at a salon?

a: it really makes no difference, as long as there is some natural daylight. if the room is very dark or windowless, let your makeup artist know ahead of time. many makeup artists have special lights they can use to simulate natural light.

q: what is jan’s best kept secret?

a: use under eye concealer all the way up to your lashes and in the corners of your eyes.
give your lips a natural pout by applying a drop of lip gloss in the middle of your bottom lip (after applying lipstick of course). get a lesson from your makeup artist in mascara application - to give yourself the effect of having luscious lashes, you need to deposit mascara color right at the lash line by looking down into a mirror, holding the brush at your eyelash roots, wiggling it back and forth, and then pulling it through your lashes, one small section at a time. once you have done both eyes, go back to the first eye and coat the tips; repeat on the other eye. always use waterproof mascara on your wedding day!

q: what are jan’s must haves?
a: smashbox primer, and YSL touche ├ęclat highlighter – you can put it everywhere!

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