How To Get Your Perfect Bridal Makeup

When I was younger, I envisioned wedding planning to be a year-long, blissful, exciting time. My thought process went like this: Picking out a gorgeous gown? A big party with all of my closest friends and family? Pretty flowers? Six-tier layer cake? Dancing to great music? CHAMPAGNE? This is going to be AWESOME!Now that I'm in my late twenties (did I just admit that?) and have many bride-to-be friends, I'm finding out my fairy tale daydreams couldn't be further from the truth for most of them. Between deciding on a venue that isn't going to cost the balance of your student loans, narrowing down a guest list, and trying to decide on bridesmaid dresses in a color that flatters everyone, it all just sounds, in a word: exhausting.With all of the craziness that goes along with planning a wedding, the absolute last thing you should be stressed about is the way you'll look on the big day. Your makeup look, as with any other aspect of wedding prep, should be something you consider in advance and plan for adequately.

As we like to say in the beauty world:

Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding on the look you want for your wedding day, or when choosing a makeup artist for the job. First and foremost, we need to talk about “inspiration pictures”. Here’s what I think many brides forget: An inspiration pic is just that — inspiration. They aren't called “carbon copy pictures” for a reason. The purpose of an inspo photo is to give your makeup artist a general idea of the look you’re going for, whether it be glowy and natural, Hollywood glam, or Kardashian Kontoured. When looking at inspiration pictures, try to focus on the overall look instead of the specific colors used — the same lipstick/blush/eyeshadow can look completely different on different people, depending on your skin tone and undertone. If you know you specifically want a “peachy” lip, for example, tell your MUA that, and they’ll be able to pick out shades which will best flatter your complexion.

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Secondly, always book a trial before the big day. It’s so important to meet your MUA before the wedding for so many reasons. Let’s start with the most obvious — their skill level and how you feel after they apply makeup on your face. Every MUA has a different aesthetic, so if you’re looking for someone to apply full-coverage foundation and intense contour/highlighting, someone with a more natural aesthetic may not be the one for you. If you look in the mirror after a trial and decide you don't like something, speak up! Your makeup artist can tweak the look to what you're after, and if they can't, maybe it's time to meet with someone else.

It’s also important to "click" with your MUA. If you're someone who asks a lot of questions about products and what they do, you'll want to choose a makeup artist who will take the time to explain everything to you. You should always feel comfortable and relaxed sitting in a makeup chair — not terrified that your MUA won't do what you ask and you'll come away looking like someone you're not.

Some of the best advice I've learned when hiring someone for any type of service is to ask around for recommendations. Talk to other brides and see who they used and how they felt about his or her skill level. Google their names and check out their portfolios. Chances are, if you like what you see in their portfolio photos, you'll be happy with the look they create for you.

If all else fails, don't forget the option always exists to do your own makeup. Before you start panicking, Kate Middleton did it, so it's entirely possible. If this is the route you decide to take, book a lesson with a makeup artist beforehand to perfect your technique. You can do this at any beauty counter, Sephora, or have a freelance artist come to your home.

Remember, your wedding day is really about making it official with whoever you love — but it never hurt to look good while doing so!

Images: KeepCalmAnd.Com