Expert Advice

The Big Day: 5 Ways to Help Brides Feel at Ease During Makeup

Alison Alhamed | April 6, 2016 | 9:22 AM
Makeup: Shayna Shapiro, Hair: Amanda Diedrich @blohaute (photo credit:
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When a future bride envisions her wedding day, the dress takes center stage, but hair and makeup complete the package. Here’s how to help her feel like a princess.

The day of the wedding is filled with last-minute details that can stress the bride-to-be. The makeup artist has the opportunity to help alleviate some of that stress before her walk down the aisle. MODERN talked to Chicago-based freelance makeup artist Shayna Shapiro about ways professionals can help brides feel at ease during the makeup experience—and it starts with creating the ideal environment.

1. Set up a trial. At the trial, you will learn so much about your client, Shapiro says. Is she laid back? Does she have a specific vision? Is she looking to you to create that vision? Ask her to bring reference photos so you can relate to what she is looking for: a smoky eye is different to many people. Having a trial eliminates any confusion or frustration the day of the wedding. Make sure you write down all products and specific techniques you will need for the big day. When the bride sits down for her makeup, it should be calm and smooth sailing.

2. Allow time to create the ideal environment. “Allow yourself  enough time to set up so that you can come into the room, set up your work station in an area where the bride and her bridesmaids will be comfortable," says Shapiro, who is the lead trainer for NARS Cosmetics and works backstage at Fashion Week--so she knows first-hand the importance of time management and planning a schedule to stay on track. “Leave enough time to find the best lighting in the room, too. Having the bride or bridesmaid face the light, with your back to the light with give the best results. Many makeup artists will bring lamps, but that is a lot of money and a lot of lugging—the sun is your best friend.”

3. Layer products. "The makeup should last at least 15 hours," Shapiro says. "A proven technique is to layer cream and powder products. Not only will you achieve longevity but also dimension. Start with your primers: eye base, face primer, a lip balm to soften the lip. Then apply a cream product: a cream shadow, cream blush, a creamy lipstick. Set all of it with a loose powder, then apply color powders. Avoid cream on top of powder—that will create a muddy mess.”

4. Protect your work. “When you do the finishing touches, make sure you do not mess up your beautiful artistry,” Shapiro says. “I use a small pinky pad by Esum to anchor my pinky, or a large pad to anchor my hand on the face to finish up brows and lashes. This way, oils from my fingers won’t disrupt the work.”

5. Stock her purse. “I recommend the bride purchase the lip  products and a pressed powder for her forehead and nose at the trial. Those are the two areas she will want to touch up through the day and evening.

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