Wedding Make-Up and Skincare Q&A with Karen G.

Photo by Carla Choy

For brides-to-be, one of the most important things to consider before the big day is how you want to present your beautiful face for all to see (and photograph!).  Remember that this will be how your grandchildren will see you in old photographs, so I always recommend that you try to accentuate rather than hide your natural beauty! The right make-up artist will know how to do that.

   One of the most knowledgeable people I know on the subject is my older, very talented sister, Karen Meza-Gordillo.  She's been doing make-up and doodling face sketches in her Mead notebooks and Pee-Chee folders since her late teens and now as a grown-up she has a killer kit to work with.

I've been her guinea pig and a testament to her skills since I was about five years old. 

So, naturally, I trusted her to make me look as good as I felt on that incredible day.

Here's a Q&A session I did with her about pre-wedding make-up and skincare planning to help you shine (in a good way) on your big day:

Q: What are some skincare tips to prepare brides for their wedding day make-up?

A: Good skincare is a very big part of any good make-up application. If you don't have a regular skincare regime that you are happy with, it's important to start looking now. Skincare is different for everyone and it must also be age appropriate. A basic skincare regime should include a good cleanser, moisturizer, weekly exfoliation and a daily sunscreen lotion. Serums, Retinol and other anti-aging elements should be age appropriate as not everyone needs them. 

Once you have that down, I suggest a facial one month before the wedding. Depending if you currently do any facial depilatory services, I suggest to always take into consideration any skin reaction you may have. Two to three weeks is a good window to deal with any inflammation or breakouts that may occur. 

Q: What should I look for in a make-up artist? 

A: Although most makeup artists are able to master any look, I do believe that we all have a style and a personal belief behind our makeup approach. 

Before you book your MUA (make-up artist), do some research and have an idea of what you want for your wedding day makeup look -- bringing pictures with you helps -- and also, knowing what is your comfort zone when it comes to makeup. 

Once you have an idea, don't be afraid to call and speak to a make-up artist before you set up an appointment. Ask if you can see pictures of their recent work and ask for referrals if you have any doubts. 

Cost should not be a factor when it comes to your wedding MUA. Remember the saying, "You get what you pay for." 

A good make-up artist will ask you lots of questions so they have an idea of who you are and what you are looking for.  Don't forget to always have a TRIAL before the wedding and if you are ultimately not happy, don't settle; find someone else instead who meets all of your needs. 

Q: How soon before my wedding should I get my make-up trial done? 

A: I always suggest doing your trial a few months in advance. To get more bang out of your buck, I suggest to coincide the trial with your engagements photos or bridal shower.  The make-up trial will allow you to see how the product feels on your skin and to determine any allergic reactions before the big day. 

Q: What if I don't like my trial? 

A: Express your concerns to your MUA so he or she can fix the problem.  A trial is a work in progress so give your MUA a chance to make necessary changes, if you are still not happy then you must look elsewhere and keep notes of what you would like to change so you are prepared.

Q: How can I be prepared on the actual wedding day? 

A: In addition to a good night's rest and drinking plenty of water, I suggest a relaxing massage on the day of. Once you are showered, moisturize well and remain with a clean face. Before your artist arrives, put on a robe or clothing that opens in the front. Many brides also put on their wedding lingerie prior to hair and make-up. 

Q: What about sensitive skin? What tips can you give me about what products to avoid pre-wedding day and on the day of?

A: Avoid any new products or services at least month before the wedding. If you are unsure of how your skin will react, don't take a chance. Also don't forget stress can also bring about skin reactions so prepare your body from the inside with lots of good, clean food and rest. 

 Karen G. has been a professional make-up artist for over a decade. She currently lives in Miami, Florida but travels to Lima, Peru often and is available for work internationally. You can get more advice and see recent work by visiting her website here or following her fan page on Facebook

Photography of my wedding day thanks to Carla Choy & Christine Chang.


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