So, you’re getting married.. congratulations! Capturing your big day so you can share the memories with others is often considered the most important aspect of the day, but there’s another part of the photographs future generations will see, and that’s how you look! You likely splurged for the dress and of course, you’re excited about the food, so what about making sure yours is just as perfect? While many people want to look similar to their everyday appearance, others may want to look more glamorous than ever before. Regardless of your preference, a makeup artist can help you achieve your goal. (All pictured makeup by Melissa Elliott)

photo credit: Caroline Schiff

You may not have considered a makeup artist, but what you may not know is, not all makeup is suitable for photography and the wrong makeup can be downright disastrous. Have you seen those photos where someone has a greyish white hue to their face? Well, there’s a common ingredient in makeup called titanium dioxide that reflects when flash hits it, causing the skin to look washed out. A good makeup artist will use professional grade makeup that is meant to be photographed, assuring this is not an issue. Additionally, you want makeup that is long lasting, another area where a professional is going to have experience with what gets the results you desire.

photo credit: Tiana Hunter

Obviously, not all makeup artists are created equally. When selecting an artist, be sure to take a look at their portfolio. Are there makeup looks you would like to see yourself in? Does the artist have a range of people in their portfolio showing range and experience? Do any of the looks seem dated, too trendy, or unflattering? Does the face color match the neck? Are all of the colors cohesive? There’s a lot to consider!

photo credit: Tiana Hunter

I highly recommend a trial run before the wedding. This is the time to nail down the exact look you want, so on the wedding day, it can be applied efficiently without needing timely changes. This also gives you the chance to photograph yourself in the makeup look and see how you feel! When I do a bridal trial, I suggest the bride look at herself in both natural and artificial lighting and take photos of herself, both with and without flash. You will be in a range of settings and situations on your wedding day and the last thing you want is someone tagging you on Facebook post-event and finding out your makeup looked a mess!

Experienced makeup artists can be costly, so this is place where you’ll have to budget accordingly. It is not uncommon to pay in the $100 – $300 range for a wedding day makeup application. Make sure you are 100% happy with the service provided, so you can be thrilled with how you looked on your special day every time you look back at photos. (All pictured makeup by Melissa Elliott)

Guest post: Melisser Elliott, vegan makeup artist.

Did you enjoy this article?
Get free updates!
We'll only send emails with important updates or special news. Sign up today so that you don't miss a single thing! xo


  1. Kimberly Sandie February 16, 2011 Reply

    Great post Melissa! As a photographer who works with a lot of make-up artists I have yet to see any professional make-up kits that can be all vegan. What is your experience and thoughts on this?

    By the way, who did your photos? I don’t see a photo credit! 😀

    • Melissa February 16, 2011 Reply

      Hello Kimberly,

      I have a professional makeup kit that is 100% vegan, but yes, it is still uncommon. I wanted to show it is completely possible, so I launched My kit has products from lines like MAC, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Smashbox, Urban Decay, Bobbi Brown, as well as other well known brands, and all of my brushes are animal hair free.

      You’re right, we do need some photo credits here! The top image is by Caroline Schiff and was shot in Paris (so fun) and the other two are by Tiana Hunter.

      • Kris February 16, 2011 Reply

        Photo credits added! 😉

  2. Sarah S. February 16, 2011 Reply

    Great article!

    I wanted to leave a note in case someone reading the comments has a recommendation for me. I’m on the hunt for a vegan or at least vegan-friendly makeup artist in Las Vegas for my Oct 8 wedding. Thanks!

    PS. I <3 The Vegan Girl's Guide to Life!

    • Kris February 16, 2011 Reply

      Hi Sarah – we’ll see what we can find. In the meantime, I’ll post your request to our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Oh and – any chance you’d like to submit your proposal story to the website…to share with our readers? :)

      • Sarah S. February 16, 2011 Reply

        Hi Kris!
        Thanks for your help, and absolutely! I’ll put that through your submissions page :)

        • Kris February 17, 2011 Reply

          Yay! :)

  3. Katie July 21, 2011 Reply

    Thanks for the info! Do you have any recommendations for artists in NYC??

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>