Wedding Day Make Up Tips

Samantha looking GREAT on her wedding day in Michigan.

Avoid wedding day make up issues with these simple make up tips for (and high school seniors too). Very few make up artists set out to make you look bad. Just about all my clients look fantastic right out of the make up chair. That’s not the issue. The problem is that not very many make up artists know how their make up looks when it’s photographed with a flash. Or what it’s going to look like when the bride starts to sweat profusely. Or what she’s going to look like in 10 hours!

Here are my tips for beating the Wedding Day botched make up blues. I wish I could show you more samples of terrible, horrible wedding day make up, but I’m afraid that would be VERY rude to my brides, so I’ll start with a sample of FANTASTIC wedding day make up. When I learn who did Samantha’s make up, I will post a link to her site.



1) Do a test run! I know it’s expensive, but pick a time when you’re going out to something fancy so it won’t go to waste.

2) Use your phone or even a simple point and shoot and take lots of photos WITH THE FLASH ON. You will be photographed many, many times on your wedding day by people using flash. Not only by your professional photographer, but also my all your guests. My bride, Samantha, above, showed me her iphone images from her test run and she thought she looked like a zombie bride. Yeah, or as her fiancee called it, “The Death Bride”. Horrible. Not only was the foundation too pale, but all her cute freckles were gone. It also made her look considerable older. Better to know early on and try again!

3) Keep it looking natural! If there is one quick way for a make up artist to go wrong, it’s going too heavy on the bride’s wedding day. Foundation is important, and so is the matte finisher to keep it in place.

4) Do NOT let them put on anything “dewy” or with sparkles or glitter. “Dewy” photographs as GREASY and SWEATY as soon as the flash hits you. Glitter and sparkles photograph like reflective street signs at night with little white dots all over your face. They will also migrate to your partner, your bridal party, your guests, etc. Avoid all the euphemisms they use for this kind of make up including, “Glow”, “Luminous”, and “Naturally Radiant”. I tell you… you’ll look sweaty and greasy right from the start!

5) Use only matte make up with matte finishing powder, matte finishing spray, etc. Even if you don’t have a summer wedding, between nerves, the unbreathable dress, and dancing, you’re going to sweat. A lot! Good products will keep you looking dry (at least your face will stay that way).

6) Bring blotting paper with you and have it nearby in case you do start to get those oily looking spots.

7) Even the greatest make up artists rarely have to see how their make up lasts through the day, let alone how well (or how badly) it photographs. What might look GREAT to the eye might not look so great in photos. They might not be aware at all of how terrible this will look in photos.

8) Lastly… one completely avoidable thing that adds a lot of stress to a wedding day is when on site hair and makeup people want to work on the bride last. DO NOT LET THEM DO THAT. If they run late (and many do…. it often takes an hour to do the bride’s make up), the bride will be in a panic. I have seen more wedding timelines go wrong right out of the gate because they are stuck in a chair watching the minutes tick by while everyone else is done and reminding you not to worry and that the wedding won’t really start without you. Well… why not go earlier in the rotation and not have the stress?! Easy solution!

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