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Make Up - The Reality

What It Can Do and How To Research Your Look

In my last blog post, I touched on the fact that it was hard for me, a seasoned hairdresser and master bridal stylist, to recreate hair looks clients show me from the internet. I wanted to continue the conversation here but more specifically to do with make up. We already talked about how what you look like on the outside has a lot to do with how you feel on the inside. Well, I'm here to tell you that there is a limit to what we can make you look like on the outside. Yes, I said it. I am not that make up artist that fills your head with delusions of grandeur, promising the world and making you think that the answer to everything can be found in my make up case. I'm not blaming you. It happens to me too. In a world of instant gratification and imagery coming at us from all sides, it's easy to think a make up artist can do anything. It happens to me. I scroll through my Instagram feed and I'm like "dammit , that make up is so good!" It happens with hair pictures too.

Let's get 101 here. Make up is meant to enhance the things you like about yourself and diminish the things you don't. Here are some things make up can't do: remove wrinkles, remove acne bumps or scarring, lift your brows, get rid of a double chin, make you lose weight or have cheekbones. Now, before any make up artists go nuts on me - yes - there are plenty of tips and tricks to create the illusions of what I just mentioned. But that's just it, they're illusions. No one is more critical of you then yourself and when you look in the mirror, you may see improvement but you will still notice your flaws. You will still detect bumps or wrinkles and while your double chin may be a shade darker to shadow it away, it's still there. You will seek out your flaws, guaranteed. That's the skinny on hiding the flaws. Now let's accentuate the good.

As a make up artist I can even your skin tone, make your eyes pop, lengthen your lashes, add color, and so much more. I'll use myself as an example. I have naturally long eyelashes, dark under-eye circles, chubby cheeks, decent lips but I hate lipstick and more double chin than I would prefer. When I get glammed up, I play up my eyes big time because my lashes are my thing. I do a smoky eye, conceal my dark circles really well and mascara my lashes to the gods. I go for an even finish on the skin tone and light to no lipstick. I put the focus on my eyes (the part I like) and leave the rest pretty simple. I don't try to carve my cheekbones with a hard contour line or darken my neck to hide the chins. I work with what I like the best. I think this is a good attitude to adopt when having your make up done. Draw the eye to what you want people to look at and forget the rest. Well, we don't forget it, we just make it look good.

Here's the other thing - I want people to say to you "wow, you look so pretty" on your wedding day not "wow, your make up looks great". Does this make sense? You're supposed to look like you, not like someone painted another face on you. I see in process photos on other make up artist's stories where they are marked up like a tiger with peach and brown lines all over their face, you know the ones I mean. I know that there is a reason for that. Some ladies want a full beat. It's great, it looks good in pictures, in person - you need a chisel to get that make up off. It's just physics, the more layers of product you add to the skin, the thicker, denser and more caked on it looks. I'm not saying it doesn't look good and it's not an art form, it's just not our style. If you want a full beat, we can do that but we find most of our brides want a more natural look to the skin. Everyone always says "it will look great in pictures". While that may be true - don't you want to look good in person too - actually live in the moment of your day and not walk around looking like a cake face just for the sake of the pictures? I know what I would choose. Besides, our make up style looks great in pictures too. Photographers rave about the airbrush make up in photos. See my post on airbrush make up for more on that.

So when you are researching your look for the big day and pinning away like crazy, remember one thing - these photos are for inspiration not re-creation. You can't find a close up of an eye and expect the artist to make yours look identical. She has a different eye shape than you, her skin is different. Look at the pictures from a critical standpoint. Pick out the parts that will inspire your look and don't be afraid to find more than one. You could like the winged liner of one photo and the color palette of shadows from another. You may like the matte look but want to change the color scheme. You may want glitter or shimmer - find examples of both. A good make up artist will be able to draw from your inspiration and create a customized look that's right for you. Your colors, your finish, your liner, your lash size - all the way you want it. Even if the artist replicates the look exactly on you - it will still look different. That's the beauty of humans - we're all unique!

Peace. love and beauty, Allison

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