How To Plan Your PERFECT Wedding Make-Up!

5 top tips on planning your perfect wedding day makeup - by our resident MUA Amy / picture by Hayley...

Seeing as wedding season is in full swing, I thought I’d give any brides to be out there my top tips on booking your MUA for the big day. For most this will probably be the first time that you've had to book a makeup artist, and can seem quite daunting given there are soooo many artists out there now. Wanting to look your best will obviously be a priority, so knowing what to look for in a makeup artist is so important! After all your going to be looking back at those photos for many years to come!

Tip #1 Book in advance: Ok so booking your MUA as soon as you get engaged may seem a little keen but trust me, MUA’s are usually booked up a year (some even 2 years) in advance. Plus it's another thing ticked off your long to do list. This will also give you loads of time for a trial to work out what look you want to go for!

Tip #2 Do your research: I cannot stress this enough! Researching the artist you want for your big day will give you an idea of their level of skill, style and speciality. Word of mouth is best - if you've been to a wedding and love the makeup, ask who did it! Look to see if they have a website, they will usually have a gallery of work they have done. Most also have a testimonials section where previous clients will leave reviews. Now lets talk money.. For a professional MUA you can expect to pay anything from £60 upwards (some may do special packages if you need bridesmaids makeup too). This may seem pricey, but don't forget you are paying for their professionalism, high quality products, skill, milage, insurance etc etc. I would be very wary of someone who charges £25/£30. In short, you get what you pay for. Lastly, you want to have an amazing morning getting ready so finding someone that you ‘click’ with is super important!

Tip #3 Trial: This is SUCH an important step, and any artist worth their salt will always suggest a trial. You will get to meet your MUA  and try out the look you think you'd want to go with on the day. The MUA will talk you through the prep for the day i.e time of arrival, who will have their makeup done first, how long each person will take etc. My advice would be to wear a white top as this will give you a good idea of what the makeup will look like with the dress. Create a mood board (I am not talking sheets of cardboard with hundreds of magazine clippings). Pinterest is handy and has thousands of amazing images, bridal magazines also have images with makeup ideas, so just have a few good quality pictures ready. It may turn out that the super smokey eye you thought you wanted to go for actually is too smokey of your liking and you need another trial to try out another look. (This relates back to tip #1 - you'll still have ample time so no stressing if this does happen!)

Tip #4 Have a clear idea of what look you want: So as I've said, booking in advance is a good idea, but not if you haven't decided on your colour scheme/theme for the day. Have your mood board ready with clear images for the makeup artist. There have been plenty of times where the BTB has told me she wants a soft subtle look, then whips out a picture of Kim K at the grammys. Knowing what you want to go for will save you time and money (trials can also be pricey depending on what artist you book). My advice would be go with something that you feel 100% comfortable in, and take lots of pictures in different light once you've had the trial so you can look back and ask for other peoples opinion.

Tip #5 DIY: If your confident enough to do your own makeup on the day, I would 100% recommend booking a lesson with a professional MUA. Bridal makeup is very different from your usual day to day get up - it needs to last all day, look perfect in natural and indoor light as well as being photographed well. You can also book a lesson with a counter, but I would go somewhere like Space NK where they can cherry pic different brands to suit you rather than going with one brand for your whole face. Unless you love a certain brand and are super happy with their products, obvs. Start practicing months ahead and wearing the look for the whole day to see how it lasts, what works and doesn't work. On the actual day, give yourself plenty of time to get ready (lots of people will be popping in to see you, lots of toasts, drinking etc) and take a little makeup bag with you with some pressed powder or blotting paper (especially if your having a summer wedding - hello shiny face!) cotton wool buds to clean up any fall out from your eye makeup (fallout from tears - happy hopefully) and lipstick is a must. There will be an awful lot of talking/kissing/eating/drinking throughout the day!

Do you have any tips for planning your wedding makeup? I hope you found this post helpful!


  1. Lauren 14th September 2016 / 11:22 am

    I’ve a question!

    I can’t decide between two looks; one a deep red velvety lip with thick black liner and a blood red glossy nail varnish, the other a ‘no makeup’ natural look with a nude nail.

    Do you have a lot of clients with the same problem and if so, what do you advise? I don’t want to look back at pictures and think OMG I have red lipstick all over my teeth but I don’t want to look at photos and think bloody hell, I look washed out and too natural.

    Maybe there is no right answer?

    Lauren ( x

    • Hayley 15th September 2016 / 2:55 pm

      I always advise my clients to go with what they feel comfortable with or something similar to what they usually wear. If you love the vintage look/have a vintage themed wedding then go for it. However.. You want your wedding photos to look timeless. A natural look won’t look ‘washed out’ at all! You want to look back and feel like you look like yourself. Hope this helps! X

      • Lauren 19th September 2016 / 9:52 am

        Thank you!
        That’s a good point actually, something I usually wear is a good shout. I remember coming into our lounge with my hair in a chignon bun for the first time in about 10 years and my fiancé commenting that I didn’t look like me! x

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