Wedding Makeup Secrets

On that special wedding day, every bride wants to look her very best and be at her most beautiful, but presenting your best face can be a little daunting.  How do you make sure your wedding makeup stays on all day, looking flawless in your wedding photos, and manage to make you feel like a model, but still look like you?

I spent years doing wedding makeup early on in my career when I worked as a makeup artist in the beauty salon.  I also did photo shoots and advertising on the side for top magazines, and I realized that the best wedding makeup was actually the same makeup tips and tricks that I used on top models for their photo shoot.  The dynamics are the same, whether it be a wedding, or a top photo shoot.  Pictures are being taken.  It must stay on all day. The model/ bride wants to look beautiful, yet real.

Are you having a makeup artist do your makeup?  Here are some tips that will help you make sure that you get the look you want:

1. A lot of time and detail went into choosing your dress, ring, flowers, and even your hairstyle.  Don't let your makeup take a backseat.  Take the time to go through magazines and pull out makeup styles that you really like, even tear out the ones you really hate.  It could be how a certain feature is played up, or that great lipstick color, or how the skin glows, or even how they used way too much eyeliner.  All this is easy to say and show to a makeup artist, like me, with pictures. It helps tremendously to show your desires by pictures rather than endlessly describing it. This helps me immensely in seeing what you like and don't like.  Remember, our mental ideas of pink lipstick could be completely different. There is a lot of truth in the adage that says "a picture is worth a thousand words". It really gives a lot more information with a visual sense.

2. To save some wear and tear on your nerves on that big day, by all means, schedule a consultation, or even better, a complete makeup application before the big day with your makeup artist.  Plan it for the rehearsal dinner, or a special evening out alone with your groom, or a get together with all the bridesmaids.  Don't overlook this very important step because this way you can see if you like your makeup artist's style.

Things to bring to your consultation appointment:

*Tear sheets from magazines, of makeup you like and don't like.

*A picture of your wedding dress (a Polaroid will do). This gives the artist a great idea of the style of the dress and the wedding. Is it romantic? Dramatic? Elegant? This gives an idea of your style.

*The shade of lipstick that you1d like to wear. If I don't have it, using yours is no problem. This is also a great test to see how long your lipstick will last during the evening.

*Your favorite waterproof mascara. I highly recommend using your tried and true mascara, and yes, waterproof. You just might be shedding tears of joy. If it's your brand, you do not have to worry about watery eyes, redness, allergies, etc.

Remember, your makeup run-through is the time to play, try different ideas, colors, etc.  Don't be afraid to say you don't like something.  Makeup is easy to take off and reapply.  Once you have your look down, make sure the makeup artist writes everything out, and notes makeup items you may not have that you'll needing for that day. And don't forget, if your makeup rehearsal is set for a romantic dinner with your groom, have the makeup artist change the lipstick or eye makeup a little so your groom can't tell you are wearing the same thing for your wedding day.  We wouldn't want him seeing the same look twice.

Are you planning on doing your makeup yourself? Here are some great tips and tricks that I use in photo shoots that you can easily incorporate into your look to make it last all day.

1. Make sure your foundation is an absolute perfect match.   Color blend along the side of the jaw and blend in 2-3 strokes. Is it gone? It should be. If not, or you find yourself blending forever, you have the wrong shade. It's not that it blends in, but how fast. I can make any shade blend in if I blended it long enough.

2. For under eye circles, the easiest way to lighten them is with an opposite color applied on top first.  If your darkness is gray, lightly brush a soft pink eye shadow on clean skin first, and then apply your foundation.  If the darkness is more blue, try a matte light peach shadow. You'll find yourself using much less concealer and foundation.

3. Using concealer is easier when you have the perfect shade. Don't go 1-2 shades lighter than your skin, as this actually makes the darkness appear more gray and muddy.  Mix your concealer shade with a drop of your foundation and then apply. You want your skin tone to appear one even shade.

3. To keep foundation and concealer on all day, take a Kleenex folded into squares, and lightly press into the foundation before you've powdered.   This removes excess oils from the foundation and leaves pure pigment on the skin. If you find this removes too much foundation, then apply a little more than you think you need, and then press. You'll find that foundation stays on hours longer.

4. Lightly brush on loose powder with a large brush to set. This is not the time to press powder into the skin with a powder puff. This actually can make your skin look and get shinier quicker.

5. Apply your blush next.  Find a blush brush that is the size of the apple of your cheek for a perfect application.  Pick up your color and tap onto the apples of the cheeks, slowly blending back towards the temple.  When you have enough on, take a clean makeup sponge and blend.   This one step makes your blush look real, rather than just sitting on the surface of your skin.  Also, by applying blush first, if you look great with just your blush on, you have the right amount.  If it looks too bright or harsh, lighten it up.

6. Do your lips next. To last all day, powder lips first, then apply your lip pencil filling in the entire lip.  Don't worry too much about the outline of the mouth.  Then, apply your lipstick shade, blot, powder, and apply again.   By blotting and powdering, you are actually removing the excess wax in the lipstick that causes it to bleed.  Once finished, then apply a light coat of lip gloss if desired in the middle of the bottom lip.

7. Brush and fill in eyebrows if needed with a shade that's 1-2 shades lighter than your eyebrow hairs.  Too dark, and you can start looking a little harsh.  Brush through with a toothbrush afterwards for a more natural look.

8. Last but not least, your eyes.  A soft shimmering cream or white is beautiful on the brow bone, and the inner corners of the eyes, both above and below the lashes.  This wakes up the eyes and creates a beautiful highlight. To make eyes appear larger, apply a sand or taupe in the crease of the eye.  Blend so that the shadow fades well.  Keep the eyes looking neutral, while the colors emphasize the cheeks and lips.  Make the most dramatic part of the eye your lashes and eyeliner as this looks the best in pictures. Take a black or brown pencil and line the lashes on the outer 1/2 or 1/4 of the eye.  Blend with a Q-tip.  Then, take your mascara and a eyeliner brush, and lightly line the eye with your mascara. Once it's dried, smudge again, and you1ll find that your eyeliner will stay on forever. If your mascara is waterproof, that's even better. And remember to curl your lashes before, not after mascara.

9. If you're applying false eyelashes, single eyelashes are the most natural looking.  An easy way to apply them is to apply one coat of mascara, let dry.  Apply a dot of glue on the tip of the lash and along the length. This is actually the part that anchors to your lashes.  Then, take your tweezers, looking down, and place 2-3 single lashes on the outer 1/4 of the eye.  Let the glue dry, and then another coat of mascara to seal the lashes together. False eyelashes go a long way in making your eyes dramatic and the focus of the face.

10. Finishing Touches:  When you're done with your look, you may want to apply a little more blush, and then finish with a final brush of loose powder. Make sure everything is blended well.   If you feel like you have a lot of makeup on, lightly mist with a soft spray of water to set.  This will take away the feeling of makeup on your skin and also helps to set the makeup.  If you want your skin to glow, lightly brush on a soft shimmering eye shadow or the new shimmer loose powders.  To avoid over doing it, just dust across the tops of the cheekbones and collar bones.  For a more over-all glow, you can even go across the forehead and chin.

You want to look beautiful, glowing, soft and romantic. Remember, this moment only happens once in a lifetime. 

Wedding Photography Styles

Unlike the appetizers or the flowers, the pictures taken on your wedding day are meant to last a lifetime. Because the contribution of the photographer is so enduring, it's crucial to find one whose vision and style align with your own. Becoming familiar with the basic types of wedding photography is a great place to begin. Here's a look at the main three.

Photojournalistic Approach
Photojournalism is one of today's most popular styles of wedding photography, and for good reason. The goal of the photojournalistic approach is to tell the unique story of your wedding, from the nervous anticipation before the start of the ceremony to the reception's last round of champagne. Photojournalism captures moments rather than poses, documenting the emotions and energy around the entire occasion — the father of the bride's giddiness, the groom's exuberance, the bridal party's antics, the air of excitement as the bride appears for the first time. Because the photographer doesn't "direct" the participants or guests, the results are candid and spontaneous. The images convey genuine emotion and capture the story of your day as it naturally unfolds. The downsides to photojournalism are few. You'll end up with a wide array of shots and captured moments to choose from for your wedding album. Some moments you might not even have witnessed, and they will serve as a record of how great a time your guests had at your wedding.

Traditional Approach
Traditional photography (sometimes known as "formal" photography or "portraiture") refers to posed pictures, usually of the wedding party and the couples' families. These are the shots of the bridesmaids with their bouquets, the groom with his parents, the happy bride and groom gazing into each others' eyes, etc. Most wedding albums incorporate anywhere from just a handful of these portraits to page after page of formal groupings and combinations. The upside of traditional photography is that you end up a set of professional photos of your family and loved ones. You probably don't want to rely too heavily on formal portraiture, however, or you will miss out on a lot of the energy, passion, and raw emotion surrounding your wedding. Most couples want to make sure to include some candid, photojournalistic photography in their wedding albums alongside the formal shots.

Artistic Approach
The artistic approach is a sort of catch-all category that includes everything from soft-focus lenses and filters to hand-colored images and unusual camera angles. While these stylized effects can make for a hip and modern photo collection, you run some risk of your photos appearing dated years down the road. Again, you're going to want to make sure to include some photojournalistic style photography in order to capture some of the candid, emotional moments of your wedding day that your posed artistic shots just aren't going to reflect. These more spontaneous shots also have a timeless quality that ensures you album will always remain fresh and relevant. The key to artsy photography is to use it sparingly to highlight a particular moment, rather than to create an entire photo display. After all, your album is a visual history of your real-time wedding day, and you might be disappointed if you end up with an art exhibit.

Wedding Photographer Checklist

Wedding photographs are considered one of the most precious possessions a couple can have. Think about the lovely stories the grandmother can tell their grandchildren when they pore over the photographs many years later. These magical moments are over in a blink of an eye and can never be recaptured again in its essence. Hence, it is not unusual for celebrity or famous wedding photographers to charge exorbitant prices for their skills. There’s nothing wrong in paying a little extra to get THAT photographer who suits your taste in photography. The current trend of wedding photography demands the photographer to be able to capture “The Moment” . It could be the little peck on the bride’s cheek from her father (Let’s say Awww..), the flower girl kissing the page boy (Flower girl mother beware!) or the funny moment where the granduncle does an impromptu Macarena dance(That little blue pill sure is working!)

Nevertheless, there are a few items on the photographer’s checklist you definitely want to go over before your big day. Read on and do consider them when discussing with your photographer.

Family History
It is the utmost importance to let your photographer know your family background before he goes around taking photographs at will. Sensitive issues like family feuds (This aunty hates that aunty), divorces (Stepmother and Mother is a no-no) and recent deaths must be made known to the photographer so that he knows how to act accordingly. This is to eliminate awkward photographs and potential escalating tension between the family members.

Family Photographs 
There are many photograph checklists available on the internet with regards to the flow of photographs to be taken with the married couple. A distinct flow of immediate family and extended family photographs must be followed to avoid confusion and make sure that even the family’s goldfish has taken their photo with the couple. Look up the checklist from the internet to get an idea of the flow of photographs so that no relative can complain that they didn’t have a chance to take a photo with you! Your Wish Is My Desire Don’t all brides have their whims and fancies when it comes to photographs? It could be that stunning golf course backdrop view, or that beautiful sunset, or even a wedding dress and the wedding slippers. Photographs tell a tale of our wedding day and it would be best to compile a comprehensive list for the photographer so that he doesn’t miss out on any special moments which you will want to be photographed and kept for memory. The internet again has an abundant list of ideas (crowd applause, exchanging vows, exchanging vows closeup, bride looking at mirror, bride looking at wedding dress, bride looking at her ring – you know the drill) you could use. For the picky ones, state your desires and they shall be granted. For the not-so-picky ones, you can trust your expensive photographer to do their job.

Time Is Everything Photography actually takes time! Everyone needs to stand in position, adjust their clothes, suck in their stomachs, smile/grin/put V sign, say Cheese and take at least 2 shots. The good news is – The above sequence takes only 2 minutes. The bad news is – You’re running out of time. Make sure that when you prepare your wedding ceremony or wedding banquet timetable, there is adequate time to cater for photography for you and your guests and family members. Failure to do so will ensure that you will offend many people and your shots will not turn out nice. You have been forewarned!

Tips for the Groom for your Wedding day

Some Tips for the groom for your wedding day from my observations as a wedding photographer:-

1. Go buy a nice white shirt that fits you really well.

2. Don't try your suit on the day before your wedding. The shoulders have to fit, the arm lengths have to be correct.

3. Don't walk down the aisle with your 10.1" smartphone in your front pocket! It would really stick out!

4. Get a good hair cut about a week before your big day.

5. Make sure you have a nice pair of black shoes that is well polished.

6. Make sure your trousers fit well. showing 3 inches of your "Bart Simpson" socks on your wedding day might be cute but would look silly in your formal portraits.

7. If don't want to have oily spots all over your face in your photos, get the make-up lady to put some powder on your face.

8. Remember to delegate all the work details on your wedding day to your best man and family members, you don't want to be all stressed out on your big day having to worry about the guest list, the alcohol, the angpows, the relative etc. It will show in your photos. Just delegate everything on the day and relax & have a good time!