I went straight to the source for today’s blog post: my FABULOUS wedding hair and makeup artists, Selina and Sarah from Hannah Elisabeth Beauty! I could not have been more obsessed with these two, and over the course of working with them for my engagement hair and makeup, my wedding day trials, and then my actual wedding day, they truly became friends – and I learned SO much from them throughout the process – and learned some interesting insights on exactly what your wedding hair and makeup artists really want you to know.
As a beauty lover, I had so much fun planning out my hair and makeup styles, creating a beauty regimen to prep the months leading up to the big day (so much more to come on this soon!), and creating a vision for my wedding party (here I talk about my process for creating an overarching vision, and then having all of the girls choose what felt right for them – and I am SO glad I went this route; it went so smoothly and the girls all looked so stunning!).
But, as someone who isn’t so great with relinquishing control and is very particular, there were also times where the wedding pressure certainly made me feel a bit uncomfortable. What if I don’t have the right hair type for what I’m envisioning? What if I cry off all of my makeup? What if the compact I pack makes my makeup look blotchy throughout the night?
So, I asked the Hannah Elisabeth Beauty girls a LOT of questions. And I’ll tell you what – I am so glad I did. Because every time I asked one of those stress-induced questions, they made me feel SO much better. Their expertise and experience was abundantly clear. They really knew how to handle any situation, and so on my big day, I felt so confident that they were going to absolutely nail it.
And so, this inspired me to pick their brains a bit more and write down all of the amazing tips they offered along the way. So here we go… here’s exactly what your wedding hair and makeup artists want you to know:
10 Things Your Wedding Hair and Makeup Artists Want You to Know
1. Search for wedding hair and makeup inspiration on people who have similar tones and shapes as you.
We all know that feeling of trying out a new hairstyle or makeup look that you saw online and being disappointed that it just doesn’t look right on yourself… Avoid this let down when searching for your bridal beauty looks by finding styles you love on girls that have similar skin tones, hair color and texture, eye color and shape, and facial structure as you! Or, at least level-set expectations that the style might look a little different on you than it did on another girl. Similarly, lots of hairstyles you see on Pinterest are done on mannequin heads that have really thick hair. I was not blessed with that thickness, so I had to recognize that my face framing pieces would look a bit different than someone who had thicker hair.
It’s all about expectations. Lean into what you love about your personal beauty, rather than comparing yourself to someone else’s cheekbones or nose, and recognize the same makeup style will look different on everyone.
2. Your makeup will be heavier than you’re used to – for good reason…
You will have cameras on you all. day. long, and your makeup artists know exactly how to make you look your best for those cameras. But, in order for your makeup to really be picked up by the cameras, remember that it will need to be a bit heavier than you might be used to. Especially if you have a light and airy wedding photographer, the lightness will wash out a lot of the dimension in your makeup. I have never loved darker eyeshadows on me, so Selina found the perfect balance for makeup look so I loved what in looked like in person AND in photos (after all, you want to feel gorgeous when you look in the mirror, not just when you look at pictures) by doing some “barely there” eyeshadow on my lids that still offered contrast in the pictures, plus some more defined contouring that photographed beautifully, and was the perfect natural glam in real life.
3. Extensions are not always the answer.
When I first met with Sarah, one of my first questions was “do I need extensions for my wedding day?” And when I told Sarah I wanted to do an updo, to my surprise, she told me no! If you’re looking at my pictures and thinking, “how does she have that much hair without extension?” I will tell you, it’s just an illusion. The whole center was filled with padding and covered by my hair! Sarah told me that she recommends against extensions for updos (with the exception of ponies) because it is actually harder to cover up the clips or roots, and they really just aren’t necessary. And she definitely proved that! That said, if you are wanting to have your hair down or in a pony, your stylist likely might recommend extensions, and they can tell you exactly which ones to buy.
4. Spray tan instructions are not suggestions!
The talented Selina also came to my Airbnb the week of my wedding with her pop-up spray tent and gave me the most gorgeous on-site wedding spray tan! I asked her what she wants her clients to know most about the spray tan process, and she said that the instructions they send out are tried and true and guaranteed to provide the best results. When they say shower after 8 hours, don’t say “close enough” at 6. My spray was absolutely flawless, not an imperfection in site – so do not be fearful of a spray tan. Just follow the care instructions exactly as provided, do a trial to ensure you love your color, and you will be golden (quite literally).
5. Speak up! Communicate your vision and expectations.
Who else will leave an appointment saying “I love it!” because you felt too uncomfortable to say anything else? Guilty… (and definitely something I am working on) but I never felt this pressure with the Hannah Elisabeth Beauty team, because the girls would so genuinely ask me if I felt 100% in love with everything, and assured me that anything I didn’t fully love could be changed. I knew I only got one shot with my wedding day hair and makeup, so I challenged myself to really vocalize my vision and expectations, and I felt SO relieved that when I asked for little tweaks, the girls were beyond accepting and very welcoming to my feedback and both Selina and Sarah assured me at different appointments that they want to hear feedback and want to make sure everything feels perfect for their clients.
So, my piece of advice is this: communicate your expectations from the very beginning and also throughout the process. Only YOU know how you feel in your hair and makeup. No one else will know if you are self conscious about how your nose looks or always getting irritated by a hair that just won’t sit right. Your hair and makeup might look perfect to someone else, but if you don’t feel perfect in it, communicate! And your makeup artists and hair stylists absolutely want to hear your feedback, because above all else, they are there to make you HAPPY.
When I started my process, I told Selina and Sarah about my insecurities and also what I loved about myself, as well as provided pictures that clearly communicated what I was envisioning, and they told me that all of this was so helpful so they could effectively make my vision come to life.
6. It’s absolutely okay to make adjustments from trial to wedding day.
I think a lot of girls head into their trials thinking that it will be an exact replica of their wedding day look. It totally could be! But also, a trial gives you the opportunity to make adjustments. When I did my makeup trial with Selina, I shared my vision for a natural glam look. She absolutely killed it, as always, but after looking at the photos from the trial more as the wedding day got closer, I realized I wanted to lean a bit more natural than glam. I texted Selina this, and she got back to me the exact adjustments she could make to achieve exactly that, and made me feel so at ease! With Sarah, we made little tweaks to my updo on the spot, and it was so easy that I had no fear heading into my big day. I actually learned afterwards that a lot of brides will make big and small adjustments from trial to wedding day, so it is not unusual. A good artist will know exactly how to manage this, but always remember to clearly communicate your expectations and vision!
7. Your skin is your canvas. Invest in a good skincare regime leading up to your big day!
Selina was also an esthetician prior to leaning all of the way into her world as a makeup artist, so we had so many insightful conversations around skincare! I can’t wait to share my whole skin prep routine leading up to the wedding, but Selina definitely validated my decisions to invest more heavily in my skin in the months prior to the big day. A beautiful base will make a world of a difference in your makeup application. A few wedding skin prep recommendations from the beauty guru herself:
- Dermaplaning (removes dead skin and peach fuzz)
- Hydrafacials (combo of exfoliation and infusing skincare using a facial machine)
- Chemical exfoliation/peels (uses AHAs + BHAs to exfoliate the skin while adding hydration or antibacterial properties depending on the acid being used)
- Microneedling (helps produce more collagen and elastin while also minimizing the appearance of scars)
Start talking to your esthetician 6-12 months prior to your big day to develop a plan that works best for your skin type!
And while facials are such a fun treat, they also are not necessary. The biggest difference you can make on your skin really results from a consistent, daily skincare routine that is created for YOUR skin type.
8. But you don’t have to have flawless skin to have a beautiful application.
Read that one more time, and take a deep breath. I woke up with a horrible cystic pimple on my forehead the week of my wedding. Shocking, considering the stress of wedding week… But Selina assured me it’s NOTHING she can’t handle. When she came for my spray tan the Thursday before the wedding, I pointed to my forehead and said “all of that skin prep dedication the past year, just to be stuck with this for my wedding day.” And she told me the exact process she was going to use to cover it up and that it wouldn’t even be noticeable. And she was right. A talented makeup artist can absolutely cover up any imperfections.
9. Pack a makeup essentials kit to keep your face looking fresh throughout the day.
During my trial, Selina and I ran through everything I would need in a wedding day makeup essentials kit, so if anything were to budge (which, truthfully, hardly anything did) I would be totally fine. Here’s what she recommended:
- Lip liner (I got Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk)
- Lipstick (again, Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk)
- Lip gloss (I got the Dior Addict Lip Maximizer and was obsessed)
- A concealer that matches your face (she recommended the Nars Creamy Concealer; truthfully, I never used it because my makeup stayed so well all day, but I loved the insurance policy of having it on-hand just in case)
- Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Finish Setting Powder (CT girlies here; I loved this compact and it helped to minimize shine as the night went on)
- Milk Hydrogrip Setting and Refreshing Spray (Selina said a little spray of this later on in the night will help keep you face looking fresh and she was right! This was also on Selina and Sarah’s list of 5 Can’t-Live-Without Products, which I share here.)
10. Your makeup and hair artists are there for so much more than just your bridal beauty look.
When I asked Selina and Sarah what the number one thing is that your wedding hair and makeup artists want you to know, here is what they said…
In the wise words of Selina: “Enjoy your day and ask for help when you need it. Artists are there to help you lay your train beautifully for a good IG pic or to get you a glass of champagne. We’re here to make you feel your best and most relaxed – a great artist doesn’t mind.”
I also asked Sarah completely separate from Selina, and loved that her sentiment was the exact same: relax, enjoy the process, and soak it all in.
I know I have very particular visions and am a bit picky with my hair and makeup, but I also HATE to be an inconvenience to anyone. So I have to say, the Hannah Elisabeth Beauty girls made me feel so relieved in ways they probably didn’t even realize, because their intentions were so pure: made their brides feel their happiest. And THAT is my favorite part about the beauty process. It’s all about making people feel their absolute best, and maybe that means covering up an insecurity while accentuating a part of the face that someone loves, or maybe that means hyping them up and helping them FEEL the glow others see.
I was absolutely obsessed with my experience with Hannah Elisabeth Beauty! If you’re interested in booking them too, they have locations in Chicago, Nashville, Charlotte, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Orange County, Dallas, and South Florida! They were sweet enough to give me a code to share with you all too! KYLIE will get you 5% off your ENTIRE wedding package, or $10 off your first appointment if you’re looking for some one-off glam, or 50% off your first month of your beauty subscription. What a trifecta!