5 Things You Must Ask Your Wedding Makeup Artist

I recently got an email from a bride asking me for advice on what to ask makeup artists before she chooses one.  So I got to thinking and came up with a list of five things you absolutely must ask a makeup artist before hiring them.

Indian Pakistani Wedding Bride Makeup Jewelry

via Pinterest

1)  Ask the artist for photos of brides they’ve done makeup on

This will help you see their work, a photo speaks volumes of a makeup artist’s ability and I recommend asking to see examples of past work.  You wouldn’t buy a wedding dress without seeing the designer’s quality of work, so don’t make the same mistake with your wedding makeup artist!

2)  Get a trial

If you can, get a trial!  Usually, brides start scheduling their trial appointments 6 months prior the wedding, and more in advanced if the makeup artist is in high demand (particularly in the Pakistani/Indian wedding industry).  You can negotiation to have the trial cost discounted or included in the day-of rate if you end up going with the artist.

3) Ask what brands makeup is used

This may or may not be important to brides, but, I would like to know what kind of makeup will be used.  I asked if an artist airbrushed and also made sure to find out what my eyelash options were.  My favorite brands for face are: Make Up For Ever, MAC, Nars, and Bobbi Brown (they have great colors for Indian/Pakistani skin tones).

4) Ask them how they would do your makeup (Face Chart!)

Urban Decay Face Chart

Urban Decay Face Chart

If you have the misfortune of living far from the wedding site or simply don’t want to pay for a trial, ask them to fill out a face chart with the colors they would use on you.  Ask them to tell you how they would accent your face and highlight your features.  If they can confidently tell you they will “slenderize” your nose by using xyz highlight techniques, they kudos to them.  (I still highly recommend trials if you can get them!)

5) Ask how many weddings they have done in the past year

It’s important to know how many weddings an artist typically does because the more experienced in-demand artist is probably better at their art.  This is also important so that you can talk to brides who have used the artist to find out how they felt about the makeup artist.  You wouldn’t hire an employee without a reference… don’t hire a makeup artist without one either!
I hope this list helps out.  Do you have anything else you would add to this?  If you’re a makeup artist, what would you add to this list?

Make me pretty! Pakistani Bridal Beauty

These past weeks have been incredibly busy!  I have gotten a ton of work done for the wedding, it’s coming up in a little over two months, cannot believe how time is flying!  Pakistani weddings are INSANE.. I have my wedding to shop for, my mehndi, my maiyon, an all the other pre-wedding events!

I got my wedding dress a week ago and I’m in love… this means I can *finally* work on getting my makeup trials!!!

I think alongside getting makeup trials, it’s important to take care of your face before the wedding!  I’ve been really careful about taking care of my skin before the wedding because the last thing I need is blotchy skin…  I’m getting regular facials and doing a micro-dermabrasian next month which I guess evens skin tone and makes my skin glow.  My MOH got me an amazing Philosophy “Microdelivery Peel” set for my 25th birthday which has been an amazing little treatment to make my skin look soft and glow coming up to my wedding (thank you!).  After one use, my skin felt really soft and had a nice glow, highly recommend this cleanser!

This is going to be apart of my beauty regimen coming up to the big day for SURE.  I also  am exfoliating  day + night with an organic product called Eminence Blueberry Soy Exfoliating Cleanser that’s evening out my skin, and tons of sun-screen!  I was going to get a big visor that these Asian ladies wear for my drive to work…. kinda like this….

I was going to use this to block out the sun but then I just heard bad stories about these so I’m a little scared.  Might just wear a hat as I drive.

The makeup lady I did a trial with (Carina at Flawless Faces) and I were joking that she has people come to her for a full-body spray tan and Pakistani/Indian women get their skin bleached because our ideal of beauty is bleached, fair skin.  The irony of our people and our ideals of beauty!  The fair-skinned blonds would die for tan skin like mine (literally–skin cancer!) and the dark-skinned South-Asians do harmful treatments for lighter skin tones.  I am just going to hope that my exfoliants, microderms & sun-screen keep my skin glowing before the wedding!

Anyway, I just want to avoid being the silly bride who gets her first ever facial a week before your wedding and wonders why she’s breaking out, or why she doesn’t have fantastic results.  The treatment has to start months before your wedding, never ever do a new treatment just a few weeks before your wedding!


Pakistani Bridal Makeup

Clown bride… that’s what I think of when I think of Pakistani brides of the past.  I cannot believe what so-called makeup artists would make gorgeous Pakistani girls look like on their wedding days.  For Western brides, the tradition is “less is more” and brides choose to go for an “enhanced” look of themselves.   Now I don’t think that correlates at all to the beauty, intricacy, and boldness of a Pakistani bride.  Beautiful faces with done up eyes, bold lips and softly blushed cheeks are essential to Pakistani brides…we have intricate outfits, heavy jewelry, having a bare face just makes the look incomplete!

I just barely began to schedule my makeup trials (soo essential brides!) and I’m looking to Pakistani fashion sites for inspiration…I’ve been looking at the posh new Pakistani salons back in Karachi to see what the new trends in makeup are.

Here are a few photos of some beautiful Pakistani brides with their makeup:

A little more subtle bride

I love this because it’s a Pakistani bride’s definition of subtle (done at Rukaiya’s Salon in Karachi)

Here’s a picture from the amazing Bina Khan who is arguably the best makeup artist in Karachi…. she made this little Pakistani bride look so pretty… look at her eyes and her glowing skin and her soft lips!

Bina Khan's make up on a Pakistani bride

Not to mention how beautiful the embroidery on her dress is and the jewelry!  Everything on here is simple yet she really looks beautiful.  I’m going to take this photo to my trials because her skin tone matches mine more than the other models I see posted on these websites!

Here are some other photos that I’m in love with, all from salons in Karachi:

I can definitely do without the bright pink lips but I love how her eyes pop.

Now this below is definitely something I’m going to take to my trials too… her face looks really clean, love her eyes, and her lips are not too shiny but they look good.

And now I have to show you my most favorite bride, hopefully she doesn’t get mad, but she was the most beautiful bride I’ve seen… my cousin!!  Her makeup was done in West Palm Beach by a lady named Sumaiya Waheed (who really needs a website!)


My Beautiful Cousin

I included a photo where she’s looking down so you can really appreciate her eyes.  I love that she chose the accents of her dress (green) as her eyeshadow color rather than use red or gold eyeshadow which is really typical of Pakistani brides…. really unique and looks amazing on her.

Anyway, just some photos of Pakistani brides.

And for all my non-Pakistani friends, hope this gives you a glimpse of how my wedding will be!

*Yes, we wear all that jewelry (the head pieces, called a teeka/tikka are a must for a bride!)
*Yup, we have our veil (called dupattas) draped like that… and yes its usually made of silk and is really heavily embroidered.  There’s a whole blog post about that coming, because draping a dupatta is really an art!
*And yessss we wear that much makeup and love getting dolled up for our weddings!  There is no such thing as “natural makeup”… but thankfully more modern Pakistani brides have kept the outrageous makeup of days past under control a bit!

Tips for other brides:
-Research makeup artists, get referrals from friends
-Get a trial!  Usually these are discounted over the normal rates they charge, and some places even give them to you for free if you pay in full for you wedding on that date.
-Take photos for inspiration, especially of your dress and also photos of other brides for inspiration
-Take pictures after your trial so that your makeup teams remembers how they did your makeup for your big day!

Some salons in Southern California that I’m looking at for bridal makeup:
-Oscar Naranjo at Ziba Beauty. He’s infamous in the South Asian bridal community, the first name that comes to mind when they discuss makeup artists.
-Jeannie Jeffries at  Couture Beauty Team. She specializes in South Asian bridal and does an incredible job.  She’s a little more subtle than Oscar I hear.
Monique Powers whom I met at a South Asian bridal show.  She’s certified by Here Comes the Guide and does a really good job–uses airbrushing!
Flawless Faces in Costa Mesa amazing girls who post photos periodically on their blog, enough photos to show me that they definitely can create the dramatic and beautiful look I’m going for.  And yes, you’ll see Gretchen from the Real Housewives of Orange County‘s photos are on there periodically because apparently this place is her preferred makeup spot! nice.

Anyway, so those are the top four places I’m visiting for my makeup… always looking for suggestions!