Wedding Photography Makeup Tips
During consultations and planning meetings with my couples, many brides ask for Wedding Photography makeup tips. Makeup for wedding photography is a little different from make-up for other occasions for a number of reasons, so I have put this advice page together to explain why and provide some ideas and suggestions for your make-up, along with advice from other make-up artists I have worked with and links to helpful resources.
Lights! Camera! No SPF!
How an on-camera flash will react with your makeup is one of the most important things to consider. If your wedding photographer is using flash (which is highly likely) then reflective products on your skin will look brighter. This can end up highlighting any imperfections, which is the opposite of what make-up should do. In some circumstances where the reflective product is throughout the make-up rather than a bit of shimmer on cheekbones, it can look as if you’re sweating or as if your skin is oily. It’s not a good look, so it’s really important to avoid products that have a reflective quality. This means no SPF in your wedding day foundation. Even if your wedding photographer isn’t using flash, chances are your guests flashes will fire automatically on their cameras, and guests typically take lots of photos so you want to ensure your make-up looks great regardless of who’s shooting you.
The following articles reference how products can look different with flash:
From Make-up Geek: ”Remember that some foundations and/or powders look different in pictures, since they reflect light differently. If possible, get your makeup checked and photographed with a flash before the big day.”
From Make-up Savvy: ”No SPF. It just photographs badly and there are many foundation choices without it. Also avoid anything that promotes to be radiance enhancing, light reflective or dewy as this can appear oily looking on the skin in photos.”
As a general rule, ingredients to look out for are titanium dioxide, iron oxide or zinc oxide as these products reflect light. Bare minerals make-up is extremely reflective so if you are doing your own make-up, that’s one to avoid.
There are quite a lot of different resources online where you can find wedding photography make-up tips, there is a bit of conflicting information though which can end up being overwhelming – who’s advice is best?
In my opinion, the best make-up advice source out there is Lisa Eldridge’s website and you tube page. Make-up artist to the stars, Lisa Eldgridge shares loads of hints and tips for loads of different make-up looks, including wedding photography. Lisa’s makeup looks tend to be more of a natural beauty feel rather than any of the heavier contouring that’s on trend just now. Her tutorials are great, and she even has tutorials for different eye types so it’s well worth checking out her YouTube page. In the video below, Lisa also explains how different products will react to the light of the flash, which is so important, and she provides details about the products she uses in her tutorials too. Check this out!
Lisa Eldgridge – General wedding photography make-up tips:
At 4 minutes in, Lisa mentions how your make-up will react to flash.
Lisa Eldridge – Classic bridal make-up tutorial
Working with makeup artists – some hints & tips
If you’ve never had your make-up done by a professional make-up artist before, it can feel a little daunting to be entrusting your make-up on your wedding day to a stranger! Some of my brides prefer to do their own make-up or to get a bridesmaid to help and this is where Lisa Eldridge’s tutorials are invaluable.
I do recommend booking a professional make-up artist though as the finish is flawless and long lasting and will survive the emotions, the hugs and the kisses well in to the evening!
If you’ve not had your make-up done by anyone else before, or perhaps you have but didn’t like it, here’s some tips to help you get the results you want from your professional make-up artist:
- Always have a trial. See the trial as a collaboration. An experienced professional will be able to create the look YOU want, they just need to know what your preferences are!
- Take examples to the trial. Taking photos or pictures you like is a great visual reference point and will give the make-up artist a clearer idea of the look you’d like
- If you don’t like the results initially, that’s ok! Sometimes it takes a bit of tweaking to get the perfect look and see this as a bit of team work between you and the make-up artist, please do not feel bad about not liking something. I tend to try and arrange engagement shoots on the day of a make-up trial and I have literally lost count of the amount of brides who have arrived who were not happy with the results, but did not say anything as they did not want to offend the make-up artist! So, make sure you have plenty of time on the day of the trial, get the make-up artist to take some photos on your phone and be honest, a professional will want you to be really happy with the results, so they will be EXPECTING feedback from you. 🙂
- If having an engagement shoot on the day of the make-up trial doesn’t work with schedules, then make sure you have photos taken (on a phone is fine) although if you can do two versions – one in natural light, and one in a darker corner where the flash will go off as it’s important that you are happy with the results under flash as well as in natural light
- If you get home after the trial and decide that after looking at the photos that the look needs tweaking a bit, get in touch with your make-up artist to arrange another trial. They will be fine with this, and it’s much better that you are not worrying about make-up leading up to the big day, so if you are really happy with how your make-up will be and your make-up artist knows exactly what you’d like, then you’ll be more relaxed on the morning of your wedding.
- Finally, your make-up artist needs to be someone you feel comfortable and at ease with. A wedding day can have all sorts of pressures and being surrounded by a team of skilled people who want to help you look your very best AND who are a calming influence will be invaluable.
Nicola Jewsbury at work at Kates wedding in August 2013. Nicola even helped Kate with her dress!
Victoria Spence doing Sara’s make-up at her wedding in August 2013.
Victoria has some advice for make-up for wedding photography on her website, to visit her site, just click the link above.
Michelle Halewood – in the first photo providing make-up for Angela at her wedding in April 2013, then styling Kayleigh’s hair at her wedding in December 2013.
Some advice from Michelle: ‘Check your make-up artist has a VCTC qualification in photographic make-up, this will ensure they understand which products will work well with flash photography’.
Wedding Photography Make-up Advice – from the experts!
Some tips for your wedding day hair & make-up by Professional make-up artist Jodie Smith:
”The best way to have flawless hair and make-up on your wedding day is to book a professional hair and make-up artist. I have been a hair and make-up artist for over 8 years now and the feedback I always get from brides is how their look I created and make-up lasted throughout the whole day, which I am always so pleased to hear as that means it survived the tears, the laughter, the hugs and kisses and not to mention the dancing! The other reason I would recommend to book a professional would be the finish it gives to your photographs, it makes a huge difference when it’s applied professionally and your best features are brought out’
”In the weeks leading up to the big day there are a few things you can do to prepare your skin to help make-up sit better on the skin and give that healthy bride glow!
- Firstly, drink lots of water to keep skin clear and hydrated.
- Invest in a good exfoliator and use 1-3 times a week. This will help remove any dull or dry patches on the skin.
- Moisturise! Even if skin is oily it can often still be dry in some areas, in which case opt for a gel or lotion rather than a cream.
Jodie Smith at Cat’s wedding in May 2013:
When it comes to hair, most brides tend to grow their hair for their wedding. Therefore, it is important to keep an eye out for those split ends and to give your hair a good moisture treatment once per week or once a fortnight for oily hair, this will help keep hair in good condition.
Don’t worry about not having enough hair for the style you would like! Brides often have added padding or hair pieces to give extra fullness and drama to their chosen style.
And lastly I would definitely advise booking a trial. Try to collect images of hair and make-up you like. This will help the stylist / make-up artist to get a feel of the look you would like. Also, don’t be afraid to point out anything you are unsure of, hair and make-up is very personal and this will help your stylist / make-up artist to perfect your look.”
Great advice, thanks Jodie!