The Makeup Artist

Apr 5, 2021 | Weddings, Engagements and Photography

For any couple, planning a wedding is a mammoth task and if you’re at the very start of the process and just thinking about how to plan your big day, it must seem very daunting.  As a Wedding Photographer, I’m keen to understand and share my take on how other suppliers working in the wedding industry operate and the value they can give to you.   After all, the goal for all of us is to make your dream day be as special as it can be, and to make sure it’s photographed in a way that you will remember it for the rest of your life.

One area of essential wedding day prep for most brides – and something I had very little knowledge of, is the magical art of bridal makeup. I’ve seen the finished results, and I’ve seen Makeup Artists in action, but I was keen to understand a bit more about the role they play of your wedding day.  

I spoke to Niki Lawrence, https://www.nikimakeup.co.uk/; a Hertfordshire based Makeup Artist, who gave me some very interesting insights into the world of wedding makeup (and hair styling – she can do both). I was particularly keen to understand why a bride would want to use a Makeup Artist, where Niki saw the benefits and the process for getting it all set up. The key points I picked up from our chat were:

Experience and Expertise

In preparing to write this post I researched quite a few other Makeup Artists’ profiles before speaking to Niki, and like most of her colleagues, Niki has a lot of experience in her area of expertise. In Niki’s case, before focussing on beautiful brides, she had a varied career that included working behind the scenes at some of the world’s largest and most prestigious fashion shows (Including London and Milan), as well as being a senior trainer and Makeup Artist for MAC cosmetics.   

With a CV like this comes a lot of expertise – not just in making a bride look the best possible version of herself, but also in areas that would never have crossed my mind: 

Tying in All Those Colours

For example, the importance of understanding the other colours that are going to be present at your big day, particularly dresses and shoes (for the bride and her bridal party), flowers (including buttonholes, table decorations, bouquets), the wedding cake and general décor. All of these will be factored into the makeup that’s used on the day – it may be subtle, but Niki made me realise that these all have to work together to compliment the makeup she uses and the final overall “look” of you, the bride, as well as your bridal party. 

One thing Niki also pointed out when talking about the bridal party, was that the mother of the groom can sometimes be overlooked – which is a shame as including her makes the colour coordination complete.

Another factor I hadn’t considered were logistics and how important it is to get the timing right on the day. I know from my own experience when photographing bridal preparation that it can take a long time before a bride is ready to put on her dress and feel comfortable enough to have the first shots of the day taken. What I didn’t realise was that the Makeup Artist has probably been working for a long time before I show up on the scene, to get other members of the bridal party finished first. 

For a bride with a big bridal party and an early wedding this must be a huge challenge (Niki told me her biggest wedding challenge was a bride with twelve bridesmaids…).

Staying Power

Another key point that hadn’t crossed my mind was the challenge a bride has in looking fabulous for such a long period of time. When you think about a typical wedding that has a ceremony, reception, and an evening do, most brides are going to want to look consistently beautiful for a long time, at least 12 – 14 hours.   While there may be opportunities for the Makeup Artist to refresh the bride’s look and quickly touch up any areas that need attention, but they will not have long to do this, so having the best products available is an absolute must.  

I think this is a key area of value a professional Makeup Artist will give to their clients, and it may be one that is underestimated – having access to superior products as well as the skill and expertise to apply them professionally. Makeup Artists will always invest in the best products and they spend a lot of time researching the latest formulations being developed to ensure you have the very best experience.

Getting to know You, The Client

I got the impression that booking a Makeup artist isn’t always a top priority for some brides. However, if you are thinking of using one for your special day, then time is of the essence.  You should find a makeup Artist you like and book them early.  This will give you the peace of mind that you have the artist you want and will give both of you enough time to get to know each other. 

This often includes a makeup trial, which will give your Makeup Artist the opportunity to find out how you like to style you own makeup, identify any problems or concerns you may have as well as start to understand the other colours they will have to work with on the day.    From your perspective, it will give you time to get to know your chosen artist and satisfy yourself that they will give you the look you want. 

Conclusion

This has been an illuminating experience for me, learning about the intricacies of bridal makeup and the challenges it can present.  Chatting to Niki highlighted that there are a whole bunch of important elements that must come together on the day.  As mentioned above, the experience and expertise of your Makeup Artist is key, but so is their ability to be great at time management and having a very focussed approach to detail.If you want to get in touch with Niki to find out more, you can find her contact details here: https://www.nikimakeup.co.uk/contact-prices/4578497473

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