SIMPLYPHOTO » Rockford Wedding Photography by Chris Warkocki

Wedding Day Tips by Chris & Rachel – Makeup

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A not so talked about topic from us photographers that I’d like to take some time out and chat about has to do with your face. Almost every single wedding I’ve ever done our beautiful bride has had a few extra touches to enhance their makeup and make them look their wedding day best and it’s lasted nearly the entire day. On the darker side of this topic I have had a good handful of makeup disasters that I’d like to make sure never arise so keep reading and be prepared to be amazed by my manly knowledge of makeup.

If you don’t know this already I am in fact a dude and I also don’t wear makeup. Can I put makeup on someone? Indeed I can! I was a fashion photographer in a previous life and to this day continue to work closely with my models on their look and have had to do adjustments and even put on those long lashes on my own. Am I a makeup artists? Heck no, but I did learn a ton and always keep their secrets with me and I have had to apply them on wedding day.

First and foremost always hire a makeup artist to take care of you on wedding day. It’s your day, be pampered and let an expert in the field make you look your wedding day best. I’m not saying you couldn’t do it on your own, but what I am saying is there are tricks that they know that they won’t tell anyone and somehow with that voodoo doll in their makeup kit you look like a movie star even after the last guest leaves the party. If you’re looking for a great local makeup artist that travels to you check out rdArtistry here in Rockford and now Los Angeles. They are my go to team for anything face related so give them a shout when you’re ready to commit to an awesome makeup artist after this article. If they are booked or you won’t cheat on your salon then apply some of the techniques I have below to make sure you’re at your wedding day best.

So I sent you to an already awesome makeup artist what am I going to teach you since they are the expert. Basically I want to help you learn what it feels like to look like someone you’ve never seen before. Huh?

1. Wedding day makeup is going to be applied with far heavier hand than you day to day makeup selection of lip gloss and eye liner.

The subtle makeup you wear to work or out on the town isn’t going to happen. Subtle makes sense when you and your friends are all face to face the entire evening but at a wedding or any event where you are the star people are looking at you from a distance so makeup for this type of social interaction has to taken up a notch. This bolder style also leads to far better pictures because they will layer foundation and magic potions to highlight your great features while toning down the areas you don’t want people to notice. This is awesome for us photographers because this leaves the skin smooth and blemish free in the real world. Great makeup far outweighs what photoshop and camera magic can do believe you me. Those bold eyes and long lashes don’t have a button on my computer so have them make you look epic before your photographer thinks he or she can make you look better.

2. It’s going to feel weird.

There is a lot more going on here and if you don’t typically wear makeup then this is going to feel completely unnatural. Give in and just relax. I have seen plenty of times when brides think it’s too much and they look amazing and then a bridesmaid makes a comment that it looks too heavy and wham she is fixing it and is the Jackson Pollack to the Rembrandt. Bad bridesmaid!! So now when you’re sitting there feeling like, “wow this feels weird,” you can know with great certainty that this is how it should be unless you’re already used to this treatment. Welcome to going from beautiful to, “Oh-My-Lanta.”

3. Always have a pre-wedding trial.

Order a trial if you don’t already get one with your makeup artist. It’s always good to have a little fun so get pampered even before the wedding and have them apply what they think is the best for your face and not from a picture of someone with a different face. Why? A picture of makeup you like is a great starting point but in the end your face is yours so let the artist take control. It’s like hiring a super awesome photographer but telling them exactly the photo you want from a picture on a beach with sand and waves while your photos are in the middle of downtown Chicago. I can’t make sand or waves appear but I will do my darnedest to make a similar image, just don’t be mad when there are buildings in the background. After your pre-wedding trial I have a little secret to see if their makeup is truly water proof. Bring along a small thing of eye drops and dab some on and let the tears run. Did the makeup run??? Go tell them and see if they can do anything to lessen the effect. If it continues to run then try someone else who promises tear proof makeup.


Please never ever take a napkin or towel and just wipe your face. Makeup can be waterproof, but for it to be waterproof and smudge proof you’re asking for paint or tattoos. If you cry or need to remove anything from your face please dab lightly. Practice this until this is the only way you place anything on your face ever. Two times I’ve fixed makeup on wedding day, once was the tears literally melted it off and second was tears that combine with the excessive wiping loosened one fake eyelash off and smudged everything into one long streak on her face. Dab, dab and dab!!!!

5. Say yes to the fake lashes.

Always say yes to the fake lashes unless your allergic to the lash glue. They do make your eyes pop and we will not have this discussion again so I’m glad I was able to make this decision for you.

Now that is about the extent of my makeup knowledge so thankfully I have an expert on the topic on speed dial. Everyone say hello to our first guest appearance on the site and hold your applause for the beautiful Miss Rachel Danielle, owner and operator of rdArtistry. Rachel is basically my favorite makeup person ever because not only does she know exactly what to do but she is also a blast to work with. I believe we’ve had about a half dozen weddings together and numerous commercial shoots and quite a handful of modeling and high school senior sessions under our collective belts. Since I’m trying to help out brides and make sure they are getting the best info on the topics there may be expert analysis such as this from Rachel herself to take things up a notch!

Thank you Rachel for taking the time out of your busy day to help out an old friend. Below are her tips for you beautiful brides come wedding day so take out your pen and paper and jot these down right now!

6. Airbrush is a must!

If at all possible shell out the extra cash and opt for airbrush foundation.  Trust me on this one ladies!  The airbrush foundation not only give you a flawless finish, most are water and sweat resistant (notice I said resistant, not water proof!) and you will have less creasing, fading and shine.  The airbrush application makes you feel like you don’t have much makeup on your face which is perfect for you non-makeup wearing brides! Your photos will look stunning and perfect with airbrush makeup.  It may cost a little more, but its totally worth it!

7. Bring a touch up kit!

Ok, I know you are thinking “I am paying a makeup artist and I still have to do my own touch ups?!” and the answer is, well, yes.  Makeup is makeup, it shifts and moves when you sweat and cry.  Also, your makeup will be applied in the morning and you will be wearing it, dancing the night away with your groom, until the wee hours of the night.  A touch up kit is essential!  I suggest a bag with face powder, eyeliner, lash glue and lipstick/gloss.  Your face will become shiny, you will most likely shed a tear or two thus making the liner shift a bit and of course the whole, “you may kiss the bride,” thing so you will be needing to touch up those lips!

8. Practice a pre-wedding skin care routine.

Perfect makeup starts with a perfect canvas so get a facial 2 months prior to the wedding and speak with the esthetician about creating a skin care regimen catered to your skin type. Be very strict with this skin care routine! Cleanse your face morning and night and apply the magic potions and lotions that will make your canvas perfect for your wedding day! Be sure not to get any major microderm abrasions, peels or facials the month leading up to your wedding.  Most peels need time to heal so any type of facial do at least two months prior to your big day!

9. Pin-It right.

So you are browsing through Pinterest for wedding makeup, as I’m sure you have your entire wedding planned via Pinterest (its awesomely addicting, right?!), and you find THE PERFECT wedding makeup look for you! Please, please make sure the woman in the picture has a similar eye shape and skin tone as you.  Makeup artists can mimic the exact look in the photo you bring them and it may look completely different on you! Search for women with similar tone, face and eye shape as you to achieve the look you desire.  Makeup should be applied to enhance your face not completely make it someone else! Let your beauty show!

10. And lastly, feel BEAUTIFUL!! Enjoy being a pampered princess for the day!

Glad Rachel stepped in right there cause that was a whole bunch of things I have no idea what they are… microderm abrasion??? Science is a magical thing folks just like women.

Stay tuned for more wedding day tips and until then enjoy the pictures of Rachel behind the scenes and some of her work as well as some shots I’ve taken of awesome brides with flawless makeup! Check out Rachel and her team on her Website and Facebook!

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