Bridal MUA Series: Speed and Large wedding parties

Howdy folks!

If you're reading this (insert Drake joke here), then you're more than likely a makeup artist, new to the industry, or maybe not a new artist, but maybe new to bridal makeup. Either way, you're looking for pro tips and tricks to cutting down your time on bridesmaids and other attendants, which is definitely something to help you with! Now, most seasoned and veteran artists will tell you that "speed comes with practice", which is TRUE, but until you can bang out full glam in 20 minutes, there are some other ways to cut down on time while you're getting your practice in.

1. Keep the eyes simple

A bridesmaid who preferred a softer approach to glam. Photo credit: Samantha Reese, Makeup Artist, 2015.

A bridesmaid who preferred a softer approach to glam. Photo credit: Samantha Reese, Makeup Artist, 2015.

If you're anything like me, you get excited each time you do makeup. Even after a decade, I still get excited about working with my clients. With that being said, it's easy to get carried away, especially when you have a bridal party that really loves glam looks.  That is one of the biggest "time sucks" in bridal makeup. 3 eyeshadows in, and you realize that you're 20 minutes in, and you're just getting to applying lashes, and you still have the rest of the face to do. Solution? Cream eyeshadows. Trust me, they'll save your life. They come in tons of colors, and most cream shadows come in water and smudge proof formulas, so it allows you to skip the eyelid priming step too, if that is something that you typically do. For bridal parties that prefer more understated glam, I'll go for a pale shimmery kind of cream shadow, a pair of Demi Wispies, and a little mascara, and for those that want some "POW!", I'll opt for a deeper colored cream with some smudged kohl liner and a pair of wispies. Some of my favorite cream shadows are:

  • MAC Paint Pots (see my review on eyelid primers HERE for my full opinion on them), as they come in tons of colors and finishes, from soft iridescent pink to matte black. 
  • Makeup Forever Aqua XL Paints, for the same reason that I love the Paint Pots, plus, the Aqua XL Paints come in squeeze tubes and save space and weight in your kit, and they are waterproof as well as budgeproof (seriously, whenever I use them, it takes a hope, a prayer, and some serious elbow grease just to remove it from my palette).
  • Maybelline 24-Hour Color tattoo cream eyeshadows. They're a legit drugstore dupe for the above two, and they're also super long wearing.


2. Stay Organized! 

A glimpse of my kit. I use the Zuca pouches to keep my products organized by facial feature.

A glimpse of my kit. I use the Zuca pouches to keep my products organized by facial feature.

I can't tell you how much this one shaves off the amount of time a client is in your chair.  Establishing a place for everything, and maintaining that order with each application, is so worth the effort needed to stay organized. If you have a large wedding party to do, make keeping your space organized your assistant's job. A good way to motivate yourself to organize your work area is to get creative with your setup. Other makeup artists, as well as makeup enthusiasts, LOVE seeing other artist's setups on social media, for product recommendations and just for the #MakeupPorn of it all. Keeping your things in the same spot, shaves off time used to look for things like your tweezers, eyelash glue, pencil sharpener, etc.

3. KISS: Keep it simple, sweetie!

I know the contouring, double highlighting, bronzer, baking, and triple stacked lashes, with lips lined, filled and glossed to IG perfection is fun creating, but when you've got 6+ bridesmaids to do, plus the bride, and you're only on girl #2, AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT! This is where you cut corners. Cut out the highlighting and contouring process. What I tend to do, is concentrate on making sure each bridesmaid's skin is even and beautiful, by using a full coverage foundation (sheered down a teeny bit with a beauty oil like the Kevyn Aucoin Beauty Elixir, $52) for a luminous, skin like finish while covering EVERYTHING, then using a soft, matte bronzer like Nars 'Laguna' or 'Casino' bronzers to softly sculpt the cheeks and give a sun kissed veil around the face, before applying a little blush on the cheeks. From there, I use a long wearing liquid lipstick like Jouer liquid lipsticks with a gloss on top, and vòila, you've done a full face in about 30 minutes!


I hope this helps someone who is trying to get their speed up when doing weddings! If you have any other questions on this subject, comment below!

Thanks for reading, and stay beautiful. <3