written by Dolly Marshall

As a Makeup Artist, I hear so many horror stories of brides who ended up not liking their wedding makeup looks. Which is why I’m here to tell you all the things that will save you a lot of unnecessary stress and heartache before your big day. You know a picture is worth a thousand words and more than anything else you want to look like yourself, but natural. But achieving that has to be well thought of in advance. So if you’re looking to hire a pro to do your makeup then I want you to use these tips as a handy guide when planning for your bridal beauty.


1. Do your research

Just like with all your other wedding vendors, selecting the right Makeup Artist is just as big a deal. There’s a lot of prerequisites to consider beforehand that will dictate your choice. Such as, are you having a local or destination wedding? Is your MUA mobile or do you have to come to them? Does everyone in your bridal party require services, if so are you footing the bill? Do they offer a pre-wedding trial and what type of package is offered, if any? These are the things you must consider during your initial planning stage. Once you answer these questions, you’ll scheduled trial will go off without a “hitch” pun intended because you’ll be prepared.

bride to be getting ready
bridal makeup by Dolly Marshall
makeup artist Dolly Marshall applies makeup for bride

2. What’s your style

After the selection of your venue comes picking out your dress, so any wedding makeup needs to complement your overall style. For instance, if your wedding dress is more bohemian and simple accompanied by a ceremony in your backyard, then you probably don’t want to wear a full-on glam look because it would be too overpowering. Contrary, if your dream wedding is on a beach then your makeup choice should be softer yet long-lasting. The neckline of your wedding dress is also something you need to consider during your trial as well. If you’re wearing a sweetheart neckline your skin should be finished with powder and discuss if you want any visible tattoos covered.

lace wedding dresses styled by Dolly Marshall
wedding dresses styled by Dolly Marshall
wedding dresses styled by Dolly Marshall

3. Natural v/s S’natural

We have so many sayings in the makeup artistry world, but none more poignant than this. Do you want a natural or a “s’natural” look? Meaning what’s natural for one bride is totally glamorous for another. Know the difference because the terminology is subjective to every makeup artist as well. Granted you’ll find out during your trial if your pro can execute the way you wish to look, but you still need to have an idea starting out and what your comfort level is. Also remember that today’s hi-def photography requires the application of more makeup too, so during the trial your Makeup Artist will demonstrate what this means.

makeup artist Dolly Marshall applies eye makeup
bride wearing natural eye makeup by Dolly Marshall
Makeup Artist Dolly Marshall applies lipstick

4. How will you wear your hair

Whether you wear your hair up, down or half-up/half-down plays a pivotal part in a bride’s overall makeup look. Also knowing which type of wedding veil you’ll wear is a big factor on the type of makeup look you’ll decide for your big day. Whether you don a fingertip, cathedral or fascinator all require a different style of makeup application.

bridal makeup by Dolly Marshall
bride to be wearing red lips and lace wedding dress with makeup by Dolly Marshall
bride wearing horsehair veil with makeup by Dolly Marshall

5. Focus on the eyes

By far my favorite feature to play up for my brides are the eyes! Since they are the windows to the soul, you want to make sure they really pop in photographs. Consider wearing faux lashes for your big day because the way they’ll make your face look is a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!! I recommend you start wearing them in daily life in order to get comfortable with how they feel. Make sure your makeup artist tries a variety of styles from strip lashes, flares and individuals during your trial. That way you both can see what will work for your eye and face shape before your wedding day.

wedding day eye makeup look by Makeup Artist Dolly Marshall
eye makeup looks by Dolly Marshall
bridal eye makeup by Dolly Marshall

6. Do you want more than one look

Decide if you want a ceremony look and you’re comfortable with that all day. Or do you want to change up your makeup look to go with you outfit for your reception? This is where communication with your Makeup Artist is key. During your initial trial is when you’ll discuss if you want a makeup change after the ceremony and before the reception. Also remember that this will be a different rate of service requiring your Artist to be on call or work hourly. So make sure what you both want and need is communicated effectively.

bride wearing ballgown and tiara in front of love sign by slays displays
bride wearing tiara and makeup by Dolly Marshall in front of love sign
bride wearing lace wedding dress and holding bouquet in front of neon sign
bride wearing wedding makeup by Dolly Marshall

7. Take care of your skin

Being a licensed Esthetician, I recommend that you start a bridal skincare regimen at least one year in advance. This will allow enough time to start getting facial treatments from an expert that are personalized for your skin type. No matter what makeup you decide on wearing does not take the place of good balanced skin. And to achieve this you must develop healthy habits like which foods to steer clear of and what skincare products to incorporate into your daily routine.

bridal skincare by Dolly Marshall
bride wearing natural makeup by Dolly Marshall
wedding makeup by Dolly Marshall

I encourage you to keep these tips in mind for stress-free bridal beauty and be sure to check back here for more expert wedding-related advice!


Photos: Laura Caporizzo Photography | Deibert Photography | Clicke Photography | Venue: Location 215 | Displays and Backdrops: Slays Displays