Wedding Day Makeup

USABride recently spoke with bridal makeup expert, Vicki Morgenstern, of Vicki Morgenstern Cosmetics in Boston, MA. She is a licensed, professional makeup artist specializing in photography makeup as well as skin care and treatment. We talked about what brides should consider when planning their wedding day makeup.

We’re hearing that more and more brides are hiring a professional makeup artist for their wedding day. Do you agree?

Absolutely. I think this is largely due to the media attention to makeup, skin care and both women and men taking more effort to care for themselves. The media has been increasingly educating people that the services of professional makeup artists, specializing in bridal makeup, are available. Not only are they available, they are affordable and beneficial. People are recognizing that a healthy lifestyle includes proper skin care to prevent premature aging.

People may have the perception that makeup on their wedding day is too expensive or an extravagant expense. What do you say?

No, it is not true at all. For a bride, it is a service that can easily fit into their budget and more importantly – a necessity to ensure that photographs and videos are flattering. Compared to the cost of disliking the way they look in the most tangible memory of their wedding, the investment is minimal. Prices vary throughout the country but typically range from $100 to $300 and up for a large wedding party of six people or more.

What criteria should brides consider when choosing a makeup artist?

Experience is the most important factor. The makeup artist should be thoroughly familiar with how the camera “reads and translates” different colors. The level of professional skill usually goes hand-in-hand with an artist’s experience. The more skilled artist will be adept at “sculpting” and transforming facial features through the use of highlighting and contouring to enhance bone structure. Using “high performance” products is essential for achieving professional results.

Training, licensure, and professional temperament are other key factors to consider. You will want someone with whom you are comfortable – they set the tone for the rest of the day.

Can you tell us what “high performance products” means?

High performance products are those professional products that are long lasting, have high pigmentation and blend easily. The newest products have built in “healthy” ingredients (i.e. antioxidant vitamins, moisturizers, etc.) so that they treat the skin as well as define the features.

Colors should compliment the wedding attire. Keep in mind that flash photography makes any blue-toned colors darker. So warm, neutral shades create the most natural-looking visage. In general, it is advisable to avoid the following:

* Lipsticks that are too bright – fuchsia, blue-reds

*Highly reflective, frosted cosmetics (the sheer, luminescent textures of the ’90s are fine)

*Avoid skipping concealer and foundation

If you are going to do your own wedding day makeup, what advice would you offer?

First, I don’t advise doing your own bridal makeup. However, even if you feel more comfortable doing your own, consult with a professional makeup artist for a private lesson to learn some of their specialized techniques.

In designing your wedding day look, first assess your skin condition (i.e. oily, combination, normal, dry, etc.). Look carefully at the anatomy of your facial features (close-set eyes, thin face, wide forehead, etc). Determine the undertone of your coloring (warm or cool). Finally, design a color palette that compliments your coloring, considers the lighting variables under which your pictures will be taken, and use products that are compatible with your skin condition.