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Makeup Artists Tell All: How to Get a Look You'll Love

Since communication is key to getting a look you’ll love, we’ve asked some of our favorite makeup artists for tips on how to articulate the look you’re going for.

Monica Hessler Photography

Once a bride has decided what she wants her wedding day makeup to look like (a feat within itself!), she must effectively articulate that vision to her makeup artist. While this may sound simple enough, it's easier said than done. “I often quip that my job is 90% mind reading and 10% artistry,” says Lindsay Yarbrough of Lindsay Does Makeup.

Since communication is key to getting a bridal beauty look you'll love, we've asked some of our favorite makeup artists how to articulate your ideal look.

Talk About Your Routine

"Communicate anything you are particular about. For example, if you absolutely hate the look of eyeliner under your eyes, your makeup artist needs to know that. They need to know your normal routine so they can assist you in looking like the best possible version of yourself. If you do not feel like you look like yourself then you won’t be happy." - Amie Decker of [Amie Decker Beauty

“Say, ‘I never wear makeup, so I don't want to shock my fiancé or family and friends looking too different from my usual look’ or, ‘I typically don't enjoy overly made up looks on myself,’ or, ‘I wear makeup daily and I’m not afraid to wear a lot.’ - Lori Nansi of Le Mariee'

Bring Your Own Products

“It is even helpful to bring your own lip colors to show your makeup artist what you usually wear. You may decide to deviate from your usual lip color for the wedding day but it is helpful to show your makeup artist what colors you are more drawn to. - Amie Decker of Amie Decker Beauty

Bring Photos

“We love inspiration photos because they give us an idea of your style and what you are looking for. These days we are fortunate to have so many options online for finding the look that we want, so don't be afraid to pin and send lots of photos to your artist! A great artist will take your photos and create a beautiful look that may mimic the inspiration photos but make the look unique and fabulous for you.” - Jess Waldrop of Jess Waldrop-Makeup Artists

“Most artists are visual people. So bringing visuals is considerably easier.” - Lindsay Yarbrough of Lindsay Does Makeup

“The best advice I can give to brides-to-be is to bring photos of the looks you love and hate. This gives us a reference to go by. Photos allow you and your artist to discuss the look and what they see, and how they can make that look work for you.” - Hayley Gonzales of Hayley & Co.

Identify Any Elements You DON’T Want

“Believe it or not, it is just as helpful to be able to show photos of what you do not like as well. Showing your makeup artist photos of yourself when you either liked or disliked your makeup can also be extremely helpful. Then be prepared to articulate what you liked or didn’t like (ex. The eyelashes were too long or this lip color was perfect)” - Amie Decker of Amie Decker Beauty

Talk Tone

“It is very helpful to communicate the type of color palette you prefer the makeup artist to use (pinks and peaches, bronze and golds, grays and black, etc.) If you don’t have a preference then discuss with your makeup artist what they suggest based on your coloring.” - Amie Decker of Amie Decker Beauty

“Finding the colors that look best on each skin tone can help in achieving the most flattering look for each client. Your skin’s surface tone is the color you describe yourself as having (pale, light, medium, tan, dark, etc.) The undertone is the color underneath the surface. Typically, cool tones can be pinks, reds, or bluish undertones. Warm tones can be yellow, peachy, and golden undertones. You can also have neutral undertones, which are a mix of warm and cool.” - Jess Waldrop of Jess Waldrop-Makeup Artists

...And Finish

“Dewy is more of a sheer look with a fresh, soft glow that has light reflecting off the skin. People with normal to dry skin prefer this look because they typically don’t have that ‘glow.’ Women with an oily skin type typically prefer a matte finish because they want to cover their shine. A matte finish will look powdered with no light reflecting properties.” - Maureen Regas of Maureen Riley Makeup

“A dewy look can best be described as a rich, radiant, glow that is not greasy. Shimmery powders, lightweight foundations, cream blushes, and highlighting are a few examples of products to aid in this summery, illuminating look. A matte look is the opposite: a classic, clean, flawless look with no shine. It can accentuate the features of the face, and can also vary in natural and dramatic styles. Matte makeup can be ideal for oily skin, and won't illuminate fine lines or wrinkles like a dewy look possibly could.” - Jess Waldrop of Jess Waldrop-Makeup Artists

Communicate Your Wedding Aesthetic

“One majorly helpful tip is to build a Pinterest board and invite your artist or potential artist. This gives insight into your gown style, accessories, venue, hairstyle preferences, florals, and color schemes. So you’re painting a picture of the overall feel or theme of your wedding style.” - Lori Nansi of Le Mariee'

“Makeup artists need to be asking specific questions during the trial so they can get an idea of the entire wedding and who the bride really is. For example: Where is your wedding? What time is the wedding? What does your dress look like? How would you describe the feel of your wedding?” - Maureen Regas of Maureen Riley Makeup

Define “Pretty”

“Most women want to be a prettier version of themselves on their wedding day], but have a difficult time expressing what they really want,” says Maureen Regas of [Maureen Riley Makeup. The problem likely stems from the fact that “pretty” is a very subjective term, and it means something different to every bride. “Even if you don't think you know what you want to look like, you have some idea of what you think is considered a 'beautiful bride,' says Lindsay Yarbrough of Lindsay Does Makeup. “I have never met anyone who didn't. And that's what your artist wants to hear about. Then they can do their job to give you what you are looking for.” The solution? Come up with a few adjectives that describe what pretty means to you. Be as specific as possible. Which brings us to our next point....

Avoid Broad Terms

“Try to avoid broad terms like natural, dramatic, beautiful, etc. Just think about Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Aniston; both wear a smokey eye both look beautiful...very differently. - Lindsay Yarbrough of Lindsay Does Makeup

“The two most overused words when it comes to makeup are dramatic and natural. The problem with these words are they mean different things to different people.” - Amie Decker of Amie Decker Beauty

Instead, artists use these terms to describe a “natural” or “soft” or “romantic” look:

“Clean, flawless skin, a healthy glow, a light lip color, and eyes that are soft with natural colors.” - Hayley Gonzales of Hayley & Co.

“Use terms like, ‘clean’ or ’ ‘well blended makeup.’ Say, ‘I want to still see my own skin or my freckles’ or ‘I prefer soft colors, nothing harsh or bright.’” - Lori Nansi of Le Mariee'

“Romantic makeup is seductive date night makeup that glows in the night. I would describe romantic makeup as very soft, blended, shimmery, light, dewy coverage, battable lashes, and kissable lips.” - Maureen Regas of Maureen Riley Makeup

....And these terms to describe a “dramatic” or “glamorous” look:

“Say, ‘I love big lashes,’ ‘I love smokey eyes,’ ‘I am into being contoured and highlighted, ‘I love the Kardashian sisters’ makeup!’ or ‘I don't want an everyday look, I want to stand out.’” - Lori Nansi of Le Mariee

“Glamorous makeup is centered around just a little bit of drama and should not be confused as garish. You want people’s reaction to be, ‘wow, she looks fabulous’ and not, ‘she looks like someone applied her makeup with a spatula.’ Liner can be thick, smudgy, or bold. Darker shadow in the crease, smokey eyes, false lashes, lined water lines, heavier highlight and contour, impeccably groomed eyebrows or just a bold lip.” - Maureen Regas of Maureen Riley Makeup

“A dramatic look can be building on a natural, softer look to achieve more definition, highlight, and shadowing. While versatile, a dramatic looks are typically darker (whether it be lip, eye, etc.) and creates more depth and attention.” - Jess Waldrop of Jess Waldrop-Makeup Artists