The Makeup Artist
“Don’t use generic adjectives, like ‘smoky’ or ‘glam,’ to describe what you want. Take pictures to your run-through.”
Emily Kate Warren
You used to be an editor. How did you become a makeup artist?
I’ve been playing with makeup since I was a little kid. My friends and I would do photo shoots with a Polaroid, and in college, it was a good way to meet people. When I worked at CosmoGirl, I did the editor-in-chief’s makeup for events. Then I began doing shoots, and building up a private clientele.
So, what’s big in bridal beauty now?
Recently, I worked with a bride who specifically wanted bright-red lipstick. She wore a feathered hairpiece; it was a whole look. But most women just want to look like a prettier version of themselves.
How do you accomplish that?
I like to do very natural skin—light foundation—with fun accent colors. Blush is key, and I smudge a little liner around the eyes, maybe a couple of false lashes at the outer edge. Sometimes a bride is very conservative, and I have to tell her to punch it up a bit. If you’ve spent $10,000 on a dress, you want your makeup to be up to par.
What are women doing with their hair?
Wearing it down, really pretty and soft. You can make it look special by doing a braid, pulling it up on one side, or changing the part. Or try an old-Hollywood-style wave, where you set the hair and then brush through the curls. The most important thing is that the hair and makeup go together.
How much do you usually charge?
I’ll ask for $500 if it’s just the bride, but I’d rather charge $1,200 for the day, during which time I’ll work on as many people as I can. Recently I did thirteen. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a makeup artist you think you can’t afford; she may be willing to offer a discount or recommend someone who can better accommodate your budget. And the bride shouldn’t feel obligated to pay for everyone’s makeup—unless, of course, she’s insisting that they get it done.
What sort of a beauty regimen should a bride embark on before her wedding?
If you’re worried about your skin, see a dermatologist six months or even a year in advance; she may want to try a few different medications. Have your hair cut and colored, and your brows done, about one week before your wedding. No matter what, do not get a facial one day ahead—all that scrubbing and extracting can cause breakouts. Don’t tan, either: I had a bride who went into a tanning bed the day before and broke out in a crazy rash.
Do you have any tips for the trial?
Live with the makeup, especially the lashes, for a few hours after. Some people have sensitive eyes and can’t wear false lashes. Take pictures—you may find you need to pump everything up one step. I look at my wedding pictures now and see that I didn’t have enough gloss on. It bugs me.
Did you do your own makeup?
Yes, thick black eye makeup, very bohemian. But you can’t do that if you’re a weeper. I told my dad, “Don’t say anything sweet to me when you’re walking me down the aisle. I don’t want to cry all my makeup off.”
From the Summer 2010 New York Wedding Guide