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Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Hued

By Alphonse Wiebelt June 2007 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

When providing services for brides, bridesmaids and mothers of the bride, special occasion makeup application is an important and

A Classic Application

With the skin now glowing and radiantly ready, this step-by-step guide leads you through the makeup application, with methods to make sure the bride will look classically and serenely beautiful as she walks down the aisle.

Length of application: 45–60 minutes. (5 minutes for pre-application consultation, 25–40 minutes for makeup application and 10-15 minutes for closing the experience)

Supplies needed:
Instructional face chart
Eye shadows in pearlized white, shimmery pink and matte plum-brown
Charcoal or navy eye liner
Black mascara
Neutral blush or bronzer
Pink blush
Lip liner
Lip color in a berry to pink shade
Lip gloss
Soft focus reflective powder
False eyelashes and glue (optional)

Equipment needed:
Digital or instant photo camera
Eye shadow brushes, particularly an angled, a blending and a watercolor-style
Eyelash curler
Powder blush brush

Step 1: Press a soft, white pearl eye shadow under the eyebrow to highlight, and then blend downward using the flat side of an eye shadow brush.
Step 2: Press a soft pink shimmer eye shadow across the eyelid to brighten the eyelid using a small angled eye shadow brush.
Step 3: Glide a matte plum-brown eye shadow over the eye contour to create dimension using a soft, watercolor-style brush. Blend from where eye shadows begin, and end using a soft blending brush.
Step 4: Define the eye with a charcoal eye liner along the lash line. Keep the bottom liner very soft. Curl lashes and follow with black mascara.
Step 5: Enhance the eyebrows to balance and frame the eye.
Step 6: Glide a neutral blush shade or bronzer along the cheekbones, hairline and jawline to contour and add dimension using a powder blush brush.
Step 7: Apply a soft pink blush over the apples of the cheeks using a powder blush brush.
Step 8: Apply lip color.
Step 9: Highlight under the eyebrows and along the top of the cheekbones using a soft-focus reflective power and a soft brush to finish the look.

necessary menu item to offer. It is not only a revenue opportunity but also a viable way to service existing loyal clientele and build new clients alike.
        The day of the actual application always brings the most common challenges, from juggling the wedding party at a busy day at the spa to keeping the bride from looking washed-out in pictures yet not overly made-up for the reception, and even to deciding between pale lips versus dark lips. Here are a few tips and tricks that have saved more than a few makeup artists on the big day.

Control from the beginning
        Define what each application will entail right away. By setting up simple guidelines, you’ll know from the beginning what to expect from clients, and they’ll know what to expect from you. Streamline the menu options with two basic makeup services: the special occasion application and the beautiful bride application.

       Special occasion. The special occasion makeup application should be a service that runs about 50–60 minutes in length and costs anywhere from $55–85, or about the same as would be charged for a basic facial. It is an ideal package to be marketed to members of a bridal party, as it offers a flawless, professional makeup application on the wedding day, and can be easily added onto with extras. The extras can provide the clients with unique touches such as their own lip colors or glosses, at a value of $18–25, to use for touch-ups throughout the event.

       Beautiful bride. For the beautiful bride application, develop a twofold, all-inclusive package of two 50–60-minute appointments—one trial run and the actual wedding day application. The cost should be about double the cost of one 50-minute package, approximately $110–170. Great add-ons can include digital or instant photo shots taken during the trial run so the bride has a photo of her bridal makeup, and another can be kept by the makeup artist, along with a documented face chart, for use at the second part of the bride’s appointment. Lipstick and gloss for touch-ups can be included here, as well.
      Making it work. On the day of the bride’s trial run application; request that she wear a blouse that is the same shade as her dress. Button-down shirts work best in order to manipulate the neckline. If her hair will be worn up on the big day, then have her pull her hair back. Facials and waxing are also great add-on services for wedding parties and should be recommended at least one week before the wedding day.
        On the day of her wedding application, work with the bride in a private room—no friends, bridesmaids or moms allowed. Keep the conversation to a minimum, as this may be her last moment to relax. Serve tea or water to keep her hydrated—leave the champagne for the reception. Always allow an hour for this application, even though it may take half the time of the trial run, as there is always the possibility of a last-minute delay: traffic, the hair stylist running late, or any other last-minute hiccups in the plan.
        When booking the bride and her bridesmaids, schedule the bride as the second-to-last appointment in her party and the maid of honor or the mother of the bride before her. This way, the bride’s makeup will be as fresh as possible and she still will have time to get into her gown, with the maid of honor or the mother of the bride available to help her.

Capture and intensify
        On her special day, help the bride understand that her makeup will need to be more defined than her typical day-to-day application. Do remember that this is not the day to try a new makeup trend or do a makeover. When she looks into the mirror, she needs to feel like herself, comfortable and beautiful. If her daily style of wearing eye makeup consists of a few neutral shades, do not give her a dramatic smoky eye, or if she only usually wears sheer lip gloss, do not apply a red lipstick. If, on the other hand, she naturally is more dramatic with her style of makeup, balance the application to her style.

Complexion perfection
        Perfecting the bride’s complexion is the first essential step to getting her flashbulb fabulous and ready to walk down the aisle. The following tips for proper hydration and toning will take just 5–10 minutes and help her skin become picture perfect. Necessary supplies include lightweight eye creams and moisturizers, treatment oils for dryer skin types, eye gels and oil-free hydrator for oilier skin types, eye shadow primer, concealer, mineral foundation, hydrating mist, sponges and makeup puffs.

      Skin prep. Prep her skin with the correct amount of hydration to help keep her makeup looking fresh throughout the occasion. For normal skin types, lightweight eye creams and moisturizers work best. For drier skin types, treatment oils used before moisturizing will help restore and retain the skin’s moisture level. For oilier skin types, eye gels around the eye contour area and an oil-free hydrator designed to control shine is ideal.

       Eyes. Neutralize the upper eye area with an eye shadow primer to prolong shadow wear and prohibit creasing. Conceal and brighten under the eye area by mixing a concealer shade that is one shade lighter than her skin tone.

       Tone. Even out her complexion with foundation instead of completely covering up the skin. Mineral foundations work best for their long-wearing benefits and can take her from camera-ready through to the reception. Also, make sure to match a foundation shade to her neckline and shoulders. Nothing can ruin pictures more than having a pale face and tan shoulders.
        And for the most picture perfect look, apply a sheer application of mineral foundation that offers a natural, radiant finish over the entire face. Stay clear of highly reflective finishes, as these will not photograph well. Then spot-apply mineral foundation in the areas that need additional coverage, such as blemishes or hyperpigmentation, using a small brush or a finishing sponge. This will offer better coverage than using a cream concealer. Set foundation by using a hydrating mist generously.
        For the T-zone—across the forehead and down the center of the face around the nose and the mouth—finish by pressing on a sheer application of mineral foundation that offers a natural matte finish using a finishing sponge or makeup puff. This technique allows a natural glow for the complexion while removing hot spots, or shiny areas, in photos. For oilier skin types, use a mineral foundation with a natural matte finish only, and forgo the hydrating mist.

Shining moment
        Of course, it is more important to see the sparkle in her eyes and the smile on her lips than the makeup itself on the bride’s wedding day, so use these highlighting tips to help her shine her brightest.

       Enhance. Focus on her features—eyebrows, lashes and lips—to keep her from looking washed-out in both pictures and throughout the day. Enhance her natural bone structure by contouring with neutral matte shades that have a cool undertone—think pinkish browns and plums. These shades will look softer and more natural in photos.

       Intensify. Amplify her lashes. Lashes can easily disappear in pictures once the flash of a camera goes off. A light shadowed eyelid


A professional application will last three times longer than a daily application due to the proper preparation of the skin and application techniques. However, there are a few items that the bride should have on hand throughout the occasion for quick touch-ups.

  • Compact
  • Lipstick
  • Lip gloss
  • Lip definer

 Suggest that she purchase her touch-up items to ensure that each and every photo looks as beautiful as the first.

and eye liner is key in exaggerating the lashes. Charcoal and navy eye liners will brighten the whites of the eyes and add depth to the base of the lash line. Black eye liner will give a more dramatic look.
        Keep eye liner tight and close to the root of the eyelashes, and line from where lashes begin to where they end. Deepen and kick up the outer corners to create a slight winged effect, which will widen and open the eyes in pictures.
        Curl and apply two coats of black mascara starting at the base of the lash line, working up to the tips. An extra coat on the outer corner lashes will turn the eyes upward. For a more dramatic effect, apply a few individual false lashes at the outer corners and center of the eyes using black false eyelash glue.

       Define. Blush the apples of her cheeks with a soft pink blush, and define her mouth. Take the natural lip color and intensify it. Pink to berry lip colors work best. Red lip color looks beautiful for the more dramatic bride. Be careful of dark shades, as they can look hard in pictures and can make the mouth look small. Brown shades can make the bride look tired, orange can make the teeth look yellow, and pale shades can look washed-out.
        Line the lips first with a lip liner, and then blend color over the lips. Press color into the lips using the side of a firm lip brush to stain. Blot with tissue and dust a sheer application of powder to set the color. Re-apply a second coat to complete the application. Save an application of lip gloss for just before the reception, and recommend air-kissing in the receiving line.

Kiss the bride
      With the last eyelash darkened and the final sweep of lip gloss applied, the bride will now be prepared to walk down the aisle with a classically beautiful look accentuated by her flawless makeup. Using these tips, tricks and guidelines, you can not only bring out the bride’s true beauty, but also help the events of the day flow smoothly and aid in making the bride’s wedding day as beautiful as her wedding makeup.

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