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Wedding Makeup 101

Most of us have had the same morning makeup routine for years, and if you’re anything like us, you can put on eyeliner faster than you can tie your shoes. But while daily makeup comes second nature to most, for your wedding day it’s best to leave a soon-to-be-photographed face to the professionals.

We recently had the chance to ask some crucial questions to professional makeup artist Shana Katz Spiers of Jerusalem Bride and thought we would share it with all of you to get a lesson in Wedding Makeup 101

Wedding Makeup 101

Most of us wake up every morning and do our own makeup, why is it so important that we use a makeup artist on our wedding day?

Well, after dating hundreds of frogs, and endless months of planning, wouldn’t you want to feel like a princess on your wedding day? With so much to do on your wedding day, it’s nice to sit down, take a breath, drink some tea and have someone make you look as stunning as  you feel.

Hiring someone to apply your wedding day makeup will help complete your look. Makeup professionals are trained to find colors that suit you, highlight beautiful features and cover up that spot that dared to appear on your big day. You also want a look that compliments the style of your dress and theme. Professional products and techniques will ensure your makeup stays fresh and beautiful all day through. A makeup artist is trained to understand how different products and colors come out in film and lighting.

The Israeli heat can make any bride sweat on her big day. What are some tricks to keep a bride looking great during a hot summer wedding?

The last thing a bride wants to worry about is a makeup meltdown on her wedding day; Valium is powerless to the sun, although I do carry it around in my makeup bag! Ok, jokes aside, as both an Aesthetician and Makeup Artist, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of good skin care. This means, water, monthly facials around three months beforehand and a daily moisturizer to keep oil under control. Moisturizer keeps your skin supple and balanced, the drier your skin gets the more oil it produces. Having said that, professional makeup is usually armed to wage war against a makeup melt! Make sure your makeup artist uses waterproof eyeliners, concealer and foundations, together with blotters and powders that keep shine at bay. I use MAC pressed blot powder. It’s fabulous for setting your makeup and it takes away shine without a heavy powdery feel. I also recommend purchasing a lipstick, gloss and pressed powder for those little touch ups after dancing and through dessert.  I had my planner carry it around for me throughout my wedding and every so often escaped to the bathroom to catch my breath, hide from the photographer and freshen up!

Wedding Makeup 101


How should a bride select her makeup artist? What kind of things should she look for? And if a bride will only be in Israel for her wedding week, what do you suggest she do about booking a makeup artist without a trial?

Every makeup application, bridal particularly, should start with a consultation, and not a short one.  Your artist should ask you to describe your current makeup routine: the products, colors, how & where you apply them, and what styles you like. She should ask about the style of your dress and hair, how you like your everyday makeup to be, what kind of look are you going for, is there a specific style you have in mind, do you have any pictures of the makeup style you like, is there a theme for your wedding, where is the wedding going to take place, what kind of setting?  Do you have any skin allergies?

The location (indoor/outdoor) and time of the wedding will impact the lighting in which you’ll be seen.  The tones, flowers, decoration, and theme of the wedding will aid the makeup look you want whether it’s romantic, natural, vintage or modern.  Finally, the dress is very important when doing makeup. The artist will need to see the color (warm vs. cool) style, neckline, jewelry, & hairstyle before deciding on the application.

Some points to ponder:

  • Is she listening to you? Are her responses in sync with your ideas?
  • What education/training did she receive and how much experience does she have?
  • Do you know anyone she has worked with, can she give any references, and does she have a website or pictures of her work?
  • What brands does she use?
  • And most importantly, do you like her?

Studies show we decide how we feel towards someone seven seconds into meeting them. Are you comfortable with her? Do you feel calm around her? Is she reassuring and do you feel that you can trust her to do a good job and also do what you want? Can you imagine her in the room when you are getting ready with your bridesmaids? She will be one of the first people to see you in your dress, and one of the last people you hug before you walk down the aisle (right after one last swipe of lip gloss.)  She doesn’t need to be your best friend, but you need to feel good around her.

In terms of a bride who will only be in Israel for her wedding week, I can tell you the process I follow with brides who are flying in:

First I correspond with the bride via email or Skype. I ask her all the questions we just discussed and I also suggest she send me a few pictures of her, some pictures of her dress and a few pictures concerning the looks and styles she likes. We then discuss colors, facial features and suggested skin care. I also recommend she visit a known makeup artist in her area for a trial run. During the trial either a friend or the makeup artist should take pictures and send them via email along with any qualms or alterations she would like to complete her look. Closer to the time we discuss skin dehydration and how to avoid it during the flight, I suggest certain products and antidotes and we also talk about jetlag and how to avoid any stresses that will aggravate her skin.I am also always available for any questions and encourage my overseas brides to keep in touch and email any questions or concerns they make have.

How much time should a bride allow for her makeup on her wedding day?

Professional Bridal Makeup usually takes 45 minutes to an hour tops. A trial can take up to an hour with each bride. The makeup artist will suggest some different looks and the bride and artist will work together to come up with a look that highlights her dress, features and personal taste. Good makeup starts with the correct skin care. Brides should go for monthly facials for a few months before the wedding, use daily moisturizer, eye cream, and sunscreen and drink lots of water. Sometimes brides have blemishes they would like to cover on their necklines and backs if their dresses are open back and that might take a tad longer. These concerns are usually discussed during the makeup trial.

What are some trends you are seeing right now in bridal makeup?

Bridal Makeup has seen a large shift from crimson lips, nails, and heavily pancaked baby doll complexions. Brides today opt for a more natural look, as I always say, people should look at the bride and express how stunning she looks, not how well her makeup has been applied. A bride still needs to look like herself, while enhancing her best features and radiance.

Having said that, I have to agree with award winning Vogue makeup artist Sarah Brock, bridal makeup has seen four defined trends over 2011: The first being the vintage, Hollywood glamour look, as seen at the Jenny Packham fashion show, the second, designer David Fielden’s smoky eyes in pastel tones, third I’d go with the passionate lip look by Carolina Herrera and more commonly, a clean, natural and flawless look used by designers Vera Wang  and Phillip Lipley.

My advice to brides is this: Your make-up should be delicate enough to enhance your beautiful features and have you looking and feeling radiant. People rarely notice may the latest trends. What they will see is the confidence in your beautiful smile. No matter what the trend, your wedding day make-up should be a more polished version of you.

Wedding Makeup 101