How to Describe Your Bridal Makeup Style To Your Makeup Artist

This a hot topic especially among makeup artists because it can be challenging to understand what a client is asking for especially if she’s asking for a “natural look,’ but she’s showing you “Instagram-style” makeup that is full coverage, heavy, and filtered to the max.

 I have dealt with this challenge with my clients. As a makeup artist, I realize it is not the client’s fault if she cannot decipher what she is looking at. Her eyes are not trained the way a makeup artist’s eyes are trained, and she may not be able to identify coverage, gradients of color, or face shapes/eye shapes, etc. 

So what’s the solution to this big issue? The answer is for makeup artists to ask the right questions about a client’s preferences, history with makeup, lifestyle, clothing, accessories, and comfortability with makeup. By investigating and learning more about a client’s tastes and desires, we should be able to determine what she is asking for.

So what can a bride-to-be do to ensure she is communicating what she wants? I’m going to share an exercise I use with my brides. 

First, collect photos of makeup you love. Scrutinize the images to identify what you love about the makeup look. Is it the color choice on the eyes and lips that you love? Is it the way the skin glows? Do you like how natural the makeup looks in photos? 90% of my clients sit in my chair and ask for “natural makeup.” I always ask them to describe what “natural” means to them. A chuckle always follows this! Guess what!?!? Natural means something different to each person. After they describe natural and I look at the photos they brought, I break down what’s natural in the picture and what’s not. The biggest tip I can give a bride-to-be is to understand natural doesn’t mean “neutral” colors on the face. I have used “neutral’ colors on clients who had full coverage foundation and lots of contouring. It may look natural in photos, but it is not “natural makeup.” I just used soft colors and blended them well. 

 Listed below are three tips to help you describe what you want when visiting your makeup artist: 


 1. Determine what colors you want to use on your eyes and lips. For example, you can say, “I want a soft bronzey eyeshadow with a soft peach lip.” Your makeup artist should then talk to you about eye shape and placement suggestions. 

 2. Think about what kind of foundation coverage you want. Take into consideration what condition your skin is in. If you want your skin to show or you don’t want to look like you’re wearing foundation, ask for a sheer coverage foundation. When I used to work for MAC, we described sheer coverage as pantyhose and full coverage like tights. Pantyhose are pretty see-through, and tights are opaque. You may want your foundation to be somewhere in the middle (medium coverage). 

 3. Think about what kind of textures you want on your skin, eyes, and lips. Foundations come in many different textures. Matte foundation is very flat and has no sheen. Dewy foundations give off a healthy glow. If a matte foundation and a dewy foundation made a baby, it would be what you call a modern day “Satin” foundation. Your makeup artist should evaluate your skin to determine which foundation would be the best fit for you. The three pictures above demonstrate three different types of foundation coverage and texture. The first is a medium-to-full coverage foundation with a dewy finish. The second is a medium coverage foundation with a matte finish, and the third is a sheer coverage foundation with a natural finish. Each one of these ladies described “natural” as their makeup style, but only the last one is a true natural makeup. If you examine the photo carefully, her foundation is almost imperceptible, and she wanted very neutral colors on her eyes and nearly no blush. I describe the last bride as my “Meghan Markle bride.” This bride truly wants little enhancement, and she has the skin to carry little to no foundation. A great makeup artist is going to help you understand what you’re looking at in photos, communicate honestly whether or not she can deliver your desired look, and execute your dream look once she has an understanding of what you want.

I hope these tips help you prepare for your bridal trials or makeup appointments. 

Let me know if this post helped by following me on Instagram @daniellerochonmakeup and commenting below my blog post there. 

 Danielle Rochon