Bridal Beauty Tips

A big part of what I do is wedding makeup. I love working with brides, and my favorite thing to hear at a wedding makeup trial is “It’s exactly what I pictured!” Bridal makeup needs to be a look that the bride feels like herself in, something that will photograph well, and of course, something that will last.

If you’re getting married in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, hopefully you’ll contact me for your wedding makeup services! But if not, or even if you will be working with me and haven’t had your trial yet, here are some factors to consider before having your trial or day-of makeup done.

1) To show up in photography, bridal makeup needs to be more intense than everyday makeup. This doesn’t mean foundation has to be caked on, or you have to wear red lipstick or dark eyeshadow colors. It means that eyeliner may be heavier than usual or blush may be a brighter or deeper shade than you normally go for. It shouldn’t be so intense that you feel uncomfortable, but keep in mind that a slightly heavier application will make for much better pictures (which are, after all, your visual memories from the day!) A good makeup artist knows how to strike the balance between what will photograph well and what a bride is comfortable wearing.

2) There may be 12 or more hours between when you get your makeup done and the last dance, so product longevity is important. For this reason, skin primers, eye primers, powders and setting sprays are key. If you book with Allison Barbera Beauty, we will provide you with a touchup lipstick and oil blotting sheets to keep your makeup looking fresh on your wedding day. If not, ask your maid of honor to hold onto some touchup products for you.

3) When it comes to mascara, waterproof is the only way to go. Even if you’re not a crier, the long day and factors like humidity and rain can cause mascara smudging. Why risk it?

4) Your makeup color palette should reflect your tastes, but beware of choosing colors that are too trendy. That’s the quickest way to look dated in your pictures. I recommend that brides stick to more neutral colors for eye makeup. If you want the focus on your eyes, it’s better to choose colors that will compliment your eye color rather than compete with it (if you use an experienced makeup artist, they will know which colors will do this).

5) A red lip can be gorgeous, and if that’s your signature thing, rock on. But if you don’t normally wear a red (or any strong shade), remember that these colors are high maintenance. That means more touchups throughout the day. If that’s not your style, maybe try a strong lip for your bachelorette party or bridal shower, which will be shorter events with more chances for you to re-apply.

6) If you are going with a makeup artist and don’t have pictures of looks you like, and he or she doesn’t either, make sure you know what beauty terms and references actually mean. If you say you want a 1960s look, be clear about what it is you like about the look. Each decade had at least a few big looks, so knowing which one you like is important. (Don’t believe me? Check out pictures of Twiggy and Brigitte Bardot. Same decade, very different eye makeup.) A good makeup artist will ask you lots of questions anyway, but it’s still smart to be able to articulate what you want, or have pictures that you can pinpoint what you like in them.

7) Many brides say that they want a “natural” look, and that’s great. Just know that a true natural look is going to be colors close to your skin tone, with a focus on perfected skin and contouring and highlighting. If you’re the type of girl who could blow a week’s paycheck at Sephora, the natural look may not be your thing. I find that some people say “natural” because they are afraid of caked on makeup, but a good makeup artist won’t do that to you anyway!

8) False lashes do make a difference. I use flare lashes (little bunches of lashes) as opposed to strip lashes because they allow me to add more to build the level of “drama,” where with strip lashes, you either have them on or you don’t. I also find that the flare lashes stay on much better, and because of their design, they don’t lift off the lash base, like strip lashes can.

9) If you’re wearing a veil that comes down over your face, skip the lipgloss. The stickiness of a gloss is like a magnet for veils, which can leave you with lip color stains on your veil.

10) One of the best things you can do to make your wedding makeup look gorgeous is to take care of your skin. In the months leading up to your wedding, make sure that you are diligent about cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing. If you get facials or want to start doing that, that is beneficial as well. And please, bride-to-be, no pimple popping! This can cause scarring on the skin, and if you pick pick pick too close to your wedding, you may end up with a scabbed over blemish that is hard to conceal.

If you’re planning a wedding, you’ve already got a lot on your plate, so hopefully this has been helpful. Enjoy your big day 🙂


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