Makeup for the Bridal Party. How to make sure your bride stands out and the rest of the party looks just as fabulous.

When it comes to bridal makeup, the look and feel of the wedding and what makeup and hair you are executing is largely determined by what your client wants. Always talk through what your client envisions for the look and feel of the wedding and what they see for hair and makeup for the bridal party. If they don’t have an opinion on the makeup and hair for the bridal party, have some photos handy to show your clients to get a feel for what they like and dislike. This will help guide your choices for the day of.

You are going to have some brides that could care less about the makeup choices their bridesmaids make, and you will have others that have stressed out for months about making sure their makeup looks better than everyone else’s.  Here are some things to consider to ensure you make your brides and their bridesmaids happy, and you execute makeup that enhances your client’s vision for the wedding day.

Always check in with the bride the morning of the wedding to ensure you are both on the same page about the makeup direction for the bridal party. Things can change overnight with bridal clients, so it is always good to quickly double check you know what you are doing. If you are not doing makeup for the bride, talk to the person who is as a courtesy.

Make sure you have an understanding of the look and feel of the entire wedding, what the bridesmaids are wearing (colour and style) and what hairstyles they are choosing so you can make appropriate choices for the makeup application. Not paying attention to these details can result in makeup and hair that doesn’t look cohesive with the rest of the party and the theme of the wedding. If you are working with multiple artists on the day of, make sure everyone is on the same page. For example if the hairstyles are all soft updos for a daytime summer wedding, a black/grey smokey eye may not be the right choice…. just saying. 

If you don’t know where to start and have no direction from the client, I’m a fan of choosing makeup looks that are romantic, simple, subtle, and classic. If a bridesmaid wants to make a statement with makeup, she can save it for her own wedding day. It would be a good idea to have moodboards handy with different makeup looks grouped together by style to guide your bridal party in the right direction. Even if a bride says she doesn't care.... trust me she does. Remember to do what is best the best interest of the bride, sometimes we have to do the decision making for them when it comes to hair and makeup.

Lashes are always a good idea. They are a great way to elevate really simple make up looks and often times with a good lash you can get away with less eye makeup all together. Choose a lash that is close to the shape and length of your client’s natural lash and don’t choose anything that is going to completely take over the makeup look and your client’s face. If the bride is choosing a natural wispy style, choose something more tame like the lash trios/individual lashes for your bridesmaids. 

Back to the idea of saving trendy statement looks for another day - pictures are forever, you can do without ombre brows and panels of white concealer across the T-zone on the wedding day.  Explore looks with your bridesmaids that focus on finish and texture - glowing skin, colour on the cheeks, simple eyeshadow looks, well groomed brows and beautiful lashes. Think more red carpet and less whatever the hell is going on in social media. Subtle, simple, well executed makeup looks will make your bridesmaids feel beautiful and allow the bride to take centre stage.  

Don’t forget about the lips. By the time you get to lipstick usually you are rushing to make sure you are on time for your next client but don’t just choose any lip colour to get the appointment over with. Choosing the right lipstick can increase the pretty factor and amp up more subtle makeup looks. Get inspired by the colour of the flowers or the dresses, instead of reaching for a nude maybe think about a rose toned lipstick, or a lip stain to add colour to the lips without stealing the show.  

Try not to get swept up in the stress and excitement of the day. Stay focused on your job, envision the wedding as a whole and be logical with the makeup choices you are making for the bridal party. Try to envision what everyone is going to look like standing side by side, in their dresses, holding flowers, standing next to the bride. Will your bride be happy when she gets her pictures back in 3 months? When bridesmaids are asking you for bright pink lips, chunks of glitter on the inner corner of the eye, and the thickest lashes you have to offer (on top of their pre-existing lash extensions) - is it the right time and place? You can’t go wrong with timeless makeup looks and looks that bring your bridal party’s best features forward.