FAQ Series: Do you do “just eyes” for bridesmaids?

 In Announcements, Clients

I thought I’d start a new blog series about the questions I’m often asked by clients, and this one comes up quite often:

“Do you have a price for eye makeup only?”

The eyes are just the beginning of a beautiful story.

The eyes are just the beginning of a beautiful story.

This is a great question because partial makeup is a common service at makeup retail counters, where the staff don’t always have enough time to execute a complete face (also, their job is the demonstration and subsequent sale of products, whereas mine is to make everyone in my chair camera-ready). Between that and budgeting, I totally understand where this question comes from!

But since I don’t offer partial services, I figured an explanation was in order.

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Liz’s campaign slogan: No maids left behind! (Photo: Michele Ashley Photography)

First and foremost, my concern on wedding days is the long-term performance of the makeup I do for everyone who sits in my chair. Simply put, I can’t guarantee the longevity of makeup I didn’t do – not just the product choice itself, but the way in which it is applied and set. If someone sits in my chair with makeup already on, I have to guess how well it’s going to hold up and whether or not it will play nice with the products I’ll be adding. While this doesn’t necessarily spell disaster, it’s definitely not ideal.

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“Yup, we’re all fabulous.” (Photo: Dani Fine Photography)

I also can’t predict the camera-readiness of makeup I didn’t do. Some products (and application styles) are either a poor color match or simply too shiny, sparkly, heavy, or dusty-dry to work well on high-definition cameras. Worse, what appears fine to the naked eye might look very distracting on camera, and that’s a bummer when you only get one shot at documenting your wedding day. (Remember these disastrous red carpet photos? The culprit: excessive application of translucent 100% silica powders on dry skin: invisible to the naked eye but a huge no-no for flash photography! In some cases, the actresses themselves overapplied the offending powder after leaving their pro artists’ chairs, but guess who generally gets the blame?)

Keep your girls selfie-ing, not scrambling. (Photo: Four Wings Photography.)

Keep your girls selfie-ing, not scrambling. (Photo: Four Wings Photography)

The truth is, while eye makeup is a LOT of fun (and can be very challenging to do yourself), it’s probably the least important from a professional makeup perspective. Most of the photos you’ll get with your bridal party will be pulled back far enough that complexion stands out the most. Making skin look beautiful is the most important part of makeup artists’ jobs, because when something’s off with the skin, it shows – even in a group photo from across the room.

No odd girls out in this gorgeous group!

No odd girls out in this gorgeous lineup!

Finally – and this might be the most important point of all – I have seen firsthand how much more relaxed and happy everyone is when they don’t have to worry about their makeup. The day of a wedding can be pretty chaotic, so having this piece taken care of is a real treat for everyone involved. This is undoubtedly why so many of my brides include beauty services as part of their gift to the group.

"Let's hear it for the bride!" (Photo: Max Benjamin.)

“Let’s hear it for the bride!” (Photo: Max Benjamin.)

Of course, I’m the first to admit that a big part of my objection to partial makeup is artistic integrity. I like to make the whole face light up; I want the different elements (eyes, eyebrows, skin, lips, cheeks) to work in concert; I want everything I do to be something I’d be proud to put my name on. I’m confident that the consistency will make a big difference in the final photos, and I’m blessed to have so many clients who agree (and countless bridesmaids, moms, & more who were endlessly grateful to be included!)

Happy-go-lucky gals-in-waiting. (Photo by Love & Perry Photography.)

Happy-go-lucky gals-in-waiting. (Photo: Love & Perry Photography.)

I hope that sheds a little light on this policy (and I had fun sharing some pictures of my fabulous bridesmaids – thank you, ladies, for entrusting me with your beautiful faces!) Got other burning questions for me? Hit me up here.

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