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It’s redhead season, aka fall, which means it is officially one year until my wedding – huzzah! But that means I need to start seriously planning, looking into things and worrying about things I never thought I would have nightmares about. Which I now do. All the time. Like makeup. I do my own redhead makeup every day: sunscreen, blush, eyeshadow, liner, mascara…. Done! But wedding makeup? Apparently, this is a whole other animal.
So, I decided to get my makeup professionally done at a close friend’s wedding in California. The makeup artist was one who worked in LA, and someone who, from preliminary research, was very skilled. She was great at giving the glowy, healthy, vibrant appearance anyone would want on their wedding day. The bride’s makeup was flawless and long-lasting — she looked alive and glowing. Her skin was warm and subtly contoured and looked amazing against her warm, dark hair. And I looked… pretty. It’s true, I looked pretty. But the makeup didn’t represent me. That’s all I can say.
What I learned from this experience was incredibly eye-opening. The most important lesson learned was no matter how skilled and talented a makeup artist is, they must have experience and confidence in dealing with a redhead’s skin tone and coloring.
I am afraid I may have scared my makeup artist a little bit because I kept giving her kind but strong warnings. Besides the color of the foundation on my face, there was almost no other color. The blush was pretty, but light and the bronzer was non-existent. My eyes were beautiful and my lashes full (which I loved) and my brows were lovely. But, next to my beautiful, glowy friends, I looked colorless and sallow.
My foundation, I will say, matched perfectly! It was a miracle. I normally don’t wear foundation because I have never found one that doesn’t either make me look either dead or crazy. I was very adamant about not wanting to look yellow or pink, which on my nearly translucent skin any pigment shows up tenfold (I am sure many redheads can understand).
After getting my makeup professionally done.
Overall, it was a fine experience. But it really showed me how important it is to find someone who is familiar with your coloring, and confident enough to take control when it comes to your overall look. I have read and listened to every article and podcast about bridal makeup on H2BAR, and still, the experience of having an incredibly skilled and talented makeup artist struggle with my complexion really drove it home. DO YOUR RESEARCH and try makeup artists out! My goal is to find someone I can trust to make me look like the best version of myself.
To help anyone in this position out, I have come up with 5 tips for redheads when choosing the best makeup artist for your wedding day:
Make sure the artist has experience not only with your coloring but with your specific skin tone — we all have different undertones!
2. Do a trial
Test them out ahead of time! Don’t ever go into a special event without having tried the artist at least once. That way you know what to expect.
3. Step out of your comfort zone
Don’t be afraid of color – you can glow too! Being pale doesn’t have to mean being sallow or colorless. Find someone who isn’t afraid to add bronzer to pale skin, all while not making you look like you have stage makeup on.
4. Be subtle
…but not too subtle! Too much color or makeup doesn’t look good on anyone, and with sensitive redhead skin, it can be bad in many ways.
5. Speak up
Bring reference photos of yourself and looks you are interested in trying. That way the artist can work with what colors and tones you like on yourself and play with them within a safe margin.
Good luck out there!