Jaclynn Wilkinson


A Photographers Top 3 Tips for Bridal Makeup



I feel a tiny bit out of my element as my role on the wedding day is not professional hair and makeup, but advocate, friend and photographer. That being said, I’ve observed an awful lot.

Tip #1: COMMUNICATE OPENLY with your artist. Your makeup artist wants you to LOVE the way you look. It’s the way they stay in business and book brides they love who love them, too. If you think something is too much or not enough, speak up!!! An experienced makeup artist plans for extra time just in case. An extra ten-20 minutes of perceived inconvenience is worth LOVING the way you look all day. Especially, on a day when you want to feel your most beautiful.

Tip #2: Have a trial run. If I were a makeup artist, I would include a trial run in every package and strongly encourage it be used in the same way I handle engagement sessions. Most hair and makeup providers charge extra for a trial to keep their services obtainable for those who can’t do both. I’m just telling you if you can, DO IT! It’s worth it. It will save time, ensure you’re with the right artist for you, and in most cases, practice makes perfect! DO NOT let this discourage you from having professional hair and makeup if you can only swing day-of services.

Bonus Tip! Schedule your trial run for the same day as your engagement session! This will give you a chance to see how the makeup looks when paired with your wedding photographers work! Find out if it’s perfect, or if you’d like a little more, a little less, or a slightly different color for your wedding day. If schedules don’t line up, use it for your bridal shower or bachelorette party!

Learn from me! Clynn and I were married in 2011. PRE-PINTEREST, friends. My inspiration legitimately came from Google Images and 1-2 bridal magazines. Something that was trending was BOLD LIPS for brides. I never wore lipstick…like ever. But, I decided to pick a bold berry color for my wedding day. If I had used it in a makeup trial, I would have learned it wasn’t the right call. Clynn wasn’t a fan. After the day and I was thinking clearly, neither was I! Now, I’m grateful for my black and whites and kicking myself for passing up the beautiful neutral lip color my Mom & Sister voted on.

Tip #3: Do check your bridal makeup in natural light! I typically keep the images behind my camera private, as any artist would protect an unfinished piece. But for a makeup check, I am more than happy to snap a photo and give you a peek behind my camera before you commit to your look for the day. Makeup for photos usually feels like allot. But behind the camera, it’s less than how it feels (just like stage makeup!). Either way, a quick high res photo while getting ready will let you know if you’d like a little more, or a little less.

Check out my FAVORITE local hair and makeup artists!

Seattle Area: Salon Maison – Award Winning Salon Specializing in Bridal Hair & Makeup. I have worked with brides who have had their artists come to their venue and also brides who spend their wedding day morning in their beautiful salon location in Seattle! Their results always blow me away and last ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT.

Olympia Area: Love Your Haiir Company – Provided hair and makeup at SJP’s first ever wedding and has grown as a company along side me. The owner regularly invests in her education and equipment, is a pro at the “A little extra for my wedding day but not too much” look, and is the absolute nicest person to have around morning of! She’s so good with bridal parties and flower girls!

Lastly, Hair & Makeup Artists ARE ARTISTS. They are not all the same. Just like when you’re selecting a wedding photographer, look at their portfolio/instagram/blog! See if their style reflects your own. Some will be better at Glam, some will be better at Natural, some will be better at Contouring, and some will excel in detailed eye work. Some Hair Stylists will have more experience with your hair type, some will be obsessed with up-do’s, some will love simple curls or half-up do’s. Choose someone who loves what you love and you’re more likely to be a great fit.

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