MUA Guide: Bridal Edition

MUA Guide: Bridal Edition

We were visiting a beautiful butterfly garden a few weeks ago, (if you ever find yourself in Dallas make some time to visit the butterfly garden in Fair Park!) and there was a bride having wedding photos taken. My four year old daughter was enamored with the “Princess” in the stunning gown and long veil holding a delicate bouquet of flowers. It was sweet to watch her reaction and reverence she held for the Bride. I didn’t have to explain to my daughter that being a bride is a special moment in time. From a very young age girls start planning and dreaming of their “perfect” wedding, and in 2017 one of the most important aspects of that day is the photographs  to be treasured as souvenirs. Thanks to the quality of photography and the detail that photographers are able to capture these days, bridal makeup application technique is more important than ever. If you as a makeup artist, or your salon are not offering bridal services you are missing out on a huge opportunity. With wedding season upon us I thought it would be fun to highlight some bridal and bridal party makeup tips.



This is highly variable depending on your area, but a general rule is to offer a consultation over the phone or in person and set up a trial run. Typically this will cost $50. If the bride chooses to book makeup application for the wedding day after the trial, then the cost is usually around $75 for the bride and $50 for each additional member of the party. It is best to ask for a deposit to hold the reservation and that can be credited toward the final cost. If travel is required, don’t forget to charge for this as well, usually $150-$300.

Education and Suggested Selling

Remember that a bridal makeup application is also a makeover, and a chance to introduce the bride to the makeup line. As you are applying products explain why you are picking certain formulas and shades. If they have oily skin and you are using the matte finishing powder, tell them how it controls shine and contains Chamomile to soothe the skin. So many women are intimidated by brushes, so don’t be afraid to explain what each one does and how you are using it for them and their face. Not only can they walk away with a beautiful makeup application, but hopefully they will learn a little about their skin type and new products that would work well for them.

Application Technique

Before you pick up a brush, spend a few minutes determining the bride’s desired look. Everyone’s version of glam, or even a smokey eye may not be the same. Request that she bring in a photograph or two for inspiration.

Do the eyes first. The last thing you want to do is clean up from a mistake or eye shadow fall out after you have spent time perfecting the complexion with concealer and foundation. Start with the eyes (priming them first) and any clean-up can be performed easily before complexion makeup.


Select the foundation and concealer to be used depending on the bride’s skin type and condition and/or concerns. For a natural look applying BB Creme with Loose Minerals over the top to set makes a great pair.

Contouring and highlighting is a must-do step for photographs. It is the best way to shape the face, enhance and brighten certain areas and ensure that the light will reflect in the right places. Use a bronzer a couple of shades darker than the bride’s foundation in a three-shape, starting at the hair line on the forehead, down the temples and under the cheekbones and then directly under the jaw line to add definition. Add radiance and blush next. Don’t forget to blend!

Fill in the brows with brow powder. This is one step that is great to stop and educate about the color you are selecting and the technique and tools you are using to create a beautiful brow shape.

Layering is your best bet with lips. Ask the bride to exfoliate her lips before coming in so they are smooth. Begin by filling in the entire lip with liner and then layer lipstick over. A dot of lip gloss in the center can make them appear more full. Make sure the bride has a lipstick in the color you use to touch up at the reception and after drinking, eating and kissing.


ALWAYS use a setting powder with shine control. This will prevent shiny noses, foreheads and chins. It also ensures that the makeup stays in place all day/night.

Tips for Success:

Consider the colors you are using for the bride. This is why the trial run is so important to confirm the foundation is the correct shade. All of the colors should be applied a tiny bit stronger in order for the makeup to show up on camera.

Your safest bet for mascara and liner is black. It is the most flattering for photography on almost everyone. Have the bride consider wearing false eye lashes. These can really make a difference in photos.

Check your kit the night before. The last thing you want to do is to get to a location to do makeup on a bride and five bridesmaids and not have disposable mascara wands, or have expired products. Take a little time to make sure everything is in its place.

Keep Skin Spritz in your kit. The last few days before a wedding can be a tad stressful. Your blushing bride may have forgotten her moisturizer and will probably not have had a full night’s sleep the night before. Use Skin Spritz to prep the skin before applying foundation. Also eye drops are a good addition to your kit to waken the eyes.

When doing the trial-run confirm if the bride plans to self-tan before the wedding day. If she intends to do this you want to be sure to make adjustments for matching her color. Always keep a full range of foundations in your kit.

Offer a discount to the bride/bridal party on products purchased. This can be a great motivation to purchase.

Get photos of your work for social media. Let people in your community know of the services you offer.

If you are at a salon that offers other services: hair, nails, etc. then suggest a package deal. Add a bottle of champagne and you’ve got a spa party!

Most importantly have fun. Remember you play a very important role in the special day that a woman gets to feel like a princess.


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