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Experts' Advice for Flawless Event Makeup

SMP Contributor

I, like many people, learned everything I know about makeup from YouTube makeup tutorials when I was 16. Once I mastered the basics, I was done. As a makeup novice, the concept of having your face professionally done up for your wedding or a big event can seem daunting. I've rounded up some great beauty professionals who will collectively calm your nerves, offer some great info and tips, and leave you looking flawless!

Michele Beckwith PhotographySkyla Arts Makeup and Hair

1. How do I communicate the look I want with my makeup artist?

Elizabeth Chang, of Skyla Arts Makeup and Hair, recommends clients to do some visual research before taking to their artist, utilizing tools like SMP and Pinterest to allow someone to really get a sense of what you're going for. Then, include photos of your dress, accessories and even venue if applicable. She explains that "communicating visually through inspiration images, and then extensively through verbal feedback is essential for a successful appointment. It's a collaboration, and so the artist relies heavily on your input to help you execute your vision." If you need some time to process what you've discussed, definitely let them know! Their priority is to leave you feeling confident and excited about the work that is to come!

Alyssa, of Bridezilla Beauty, finds that the best way to uncover what her clients want is by asking a lot of questions. Things like: "What do you wear for makeup (if any) on a day-to-day basis? What would you put on for makeup if you were going out to a party or event? On a scale from 1 to 10 how natural or dramatic are you wanting your look to be? What feature would you like me to play up, if any? Do you prefer your skin to be matte, or have somewhat of a glow?" And one helpful hint: when searching for photos, try searching for people who have similar coloring (hair, skin) to yours! This keeps your expectations realistic and allows you to better visualize the final look.

"Not everyone knows the "lingo" of a professional makeup artist," explains Gina of True Beauty Marks,"but you can start by making a list of what you do and do not want for your makeup or hair style". It could also be helpful to describe features you typically wear on your nights out, such as shimmery eyeshadow or a matte, bold lip.

Rhythm PhotographyBridezilla Beauty

2. How do I prep in the days leading up to my event?

If you are going to start some sort of new regimen, ideally start it 6 months before the event, explains Liz. Don't begin anything new within a month of the wedding, as your skin may not have the reaction you're hoping for. She stresses to "stick to the skincare routine that work best, and keep your skin and lips hydrated with regular exfoliation and masks, and internally, stay hydrated and maintain a balanced diet". If you do want to appear tanned, avoid direct sunlight as makeup will struggle to adhere smoothly to dry, flaking skin. Instead, try using airbrush tanning! As for the night before the event, make sure to drink lots of water, avoid salty foods, alcohol and get plenty of sleep. All of these will ensure your face is not bloated or red and your eyes are not puffy.

Lauren Fair PhotographyTrue Beauty Marks

If you do want to go for a nice facial treatment, Alyssa recommends going at least 4-7 days before your wedding, in case you have any breakouts from the treatment. This is only if you often get facials and know how your skin will react. Otherwise, test out any new treatments in the six months leading up to the wedding."It is never a good idea to try something new so close to an important event in case your skin reacts negatively," Alyssa explains.

Gina recommends doing a hair or a makeup trial a few months leading up to the event in preparation. That way, your professional can recommend any other prep such as skin care or regimens that could enhance your particular look!

Lauren Fair PhotographyTrue Beauty Marks

3. How is event make up different than my usual routine?

"Event makeup is geared towards helping you look great in the media you will appear in, " says Elizabeth, and needs to look good not only in person, but also in photos, videos and from a distance. Therefore, the products selected are a bit different from one's day-to-day repertoire. And the time spent on the look can vary, as event make up is very detail oriented!

Some products Alyssa likes to integrate into flawless event makeup are primers, good setting sprays and individual false eyelashes. The individual lashes are a great way to make a more natural look a bit more dramatic and way less-risk than the full strip, because if one or two fall off, you can hardly notice! She uses a setting spray on all of her bridal clients (like a hairspray for the face) and helps your makeup stay fresh for the entire day!

Gina agrees that the key to event makeup is the longevity: "when you need flawless makeup for a longer event, especially including photos, you will need to start and finish with the correct products. and so primers and sealant sprays are crucial".

As long as you find a professional you like and trust, and communicate your vision with them to the best of your ability, you're sure to have a look you love!

Style Me Pretty Contributor - Goli Parvinian is a bridal enthusiast and masters student living in Melbourne, Australia. Over the past few years, she has worked for bridal brands in her hometown of Chicago, New Zealand and New York City. You can typically find her in a cafe, face-timing her nieces or out on a long run.