Bridal Beauty Tip #12 ~ The Wedding Makeup Trial Checklist

I can’t stress enough how important your pre-wedding day makeup trial is. Not only is it your opportunity to perfect your look for your big day, but it is also an opportunity to avoid a major disaster on the biggest day of your life.

Jenny Lee Wedding Dress

In the past few weeks I have had multiple brides call me the week of their wedding to tell me their makeup artist has cancelled on them. They wind up being totally stuck because all the good makeup artists have invariably been booked for months, and unless they get incredibly lucky they have to face their wedding day with no makeup artist.
I even had a maid of honor call me in tears 2 hours before the ceremony because the artist they booked didn’t bother to show up. 
He decided he had something better to do.
The bride and all her bridesmaids came with no makeup because they were paying for  makeup artist. Can you even imagine walking down the aisle with no makeup on??
I was already booked and couldn’t help her.

The common thread in each case was that the bride had gone the super budget route, and had chosen a makeup artist from Thumbtack. I’m sure on some level you can find a good makeup on a cut rate service, but I don’t like your odds.

So how do you avoid a wedding day makeup nightmare?
Start with the clues you can spot at your makeup trial.

1. Beware the “free trial”
When someone offers a free trial they are telling you straight up that they don’t attach value to their time, their skills, the products in their kit. If they don’t see themselves as worthy, why should you?
A professional will attach value to your trial. 

2. Expect Punctuality.
A good artist will arrive to your trial on time and fully prepared.
If they arrive late to your trial you can’t expect them to arrive on time to your wedding. The trial is the job interview – your artist needs to present their A game, show you that they respect your event.

3. Note Their Appearance.
As above, this is a job interview. Your artist needs to present looking like a great hire. That means clean hair, good grooming, nicely – not sloppily dressed, and they should be sporting nice makeup. If their makeup is poorly applied or looks overblown, you can take that as a warning sign!
Even if the artist’s work is brilliant I would see a sloppy appearance as a giant red flag. 

4. Check Out Their Kit.
When that makeup kit opens up there is a goldmine of information looking right up at you!
My first concern is how clean is the kit? Does it look dusty and powdery? Are there broken powders and shadows floating around? Are the bottles of foundation and palettes of products looking clean and well cared for, or are they messy?
Next you want to glance at the makeup brushes. There is never, ever any excuse for anyone to arrive with dirty brushes. Artists carry brush cleaning fluid, and part of packing up from a job is cleaning your brushes before you head out to the next job. When an artist gets home the expectation is that they wash their brushes, no matter how late it is.
Think about a chef after a busy night at the restaurant. Does he say he’s too tired to clean up and leave dirty dishes and food scraps everywhere? or does the entire restaurant get cleaned spotlessly?

5. What Products Are They Using?
We all use a variety of makeup products, but the majority, if not all of the products in your artist’s kit should be quality products. Cheapie products aren’t built to last 12 hours. You are paying for the artist to do a great job with quality products that have been designed to work well, be photographed and last all night.

6. Listen For The Questions.
Is your artist asking you a lot of questions? He or she needs to ask questions about you, your makeup style and preferences, your dress, the overall look of your wedding, the time of your ceremony – there are tons of questions to ask. A good artist will get the information and then create something fabulous to go with it. 

7. Where’s The Contract?
You don’t have a deal – a business deal – without a contract.
A contract binds the 2 of you together for your big day. I would be very wary of anyone who didn’t give you a contract to fill out and sign. A freelance makeup artist is an owner operated business. The contract shows their commitment to their business, without a contract its all just talk. 

8. Check Their References.
Check your artist out online before you make the commitment. If they have been doing weddings already (do you want to be their first?) they will probably have reviews that you can read. If they don’t have reviews you can call around wedding planners and photographers and see what the word on the street is about this artist.  People love to praise artists who have been reliable and who have done a fabulous job.

Remember: when it comes to your wedding makeup, a bargain is seldom a bargain. Don’t blow $5000 of photography on $50 worth of makeup

Destination Honeymoon ~ Which Beauty Products You Should Pack

Last September I shot a story for 

Phoenix Bride and Groom Magazine 

about which beauty items you should pack 

to take on your honeymoon. 

If you are getting married this year, or if you are traveling, this is a great guide for you.

Here is the Phoenix Bride and Groom Magazine article, reposted.

Bon Voyage!

Corinna Cooke on an Easy Honeymoon Beauty Routine

“I’m always getting on a plane to somewhere! Whether it’s a shoot across the country or across the world, I always follow these four beauty travel tips. They work perfectly for your honeymoon too!” 
Corinna Cooke



Travel Bags. I like my beauty products to go in my cabin baggage, so they arrive at the same destination as I do, when I do! I use see-through cosmetic travel bags from Stephanie Johnson. They are beautiful and chic, are easy to take through airport security and are sturdy enough to protect all my beauty products. I also take them to the beach – one with sunscreens and a separate one for any post-beach hair and makeup goodies. I don’t want sandy bottles of tanning products mixed in with my hair and lip products, and I like being able to see what’s in each bag. Remember all your liquid products have to be 3 fluid ounces or less to go in your carry on baggage.


Honeymoon-Travel-Beauty-Packing-Verso-Skin-CareThe Skin Care Equation. Think about the climate you are traveling to before you pack. If you live somewhere dry, like Phoenix, and are going somewhere humid, such as a beach honeymoon, you will need to change to lighter skin care products. I travel with Verso skin care products (thoughtfully sized at 3 fluid ounces or less). I add a broad spectrum sunblock with the highest SPF I can find (a sunburned face isn’t exactly honeymoon glam), an eye-makeup remover to dissolve waterproof mascara, and a soothing face mask like luxurious Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask to keep skin looking lovely.



The Makeup Story. 

The key to travel makeup is to keep it simple. You don’t want to spend your honeymoon in front of a makeup mirror and you don’t want to weigh your bags down with more cosmetics than necessary. Opt for a fresh-faced look with a BB Cream instead of a heavy foundation, pack a little something for your brows, a bronzer to keep you looking beachy, and a soft blush to add a little color. Take one color story for your eyes. I like a soft goldy/bronzy look as it goes with everything, always looks gorgeous and you can dress it up or down. Waterproof mascara and a great eyeliner in espresso brown or a deep plummy-grape complete the perfect travel eye makeup story. Lastly pack two lip options: a soft, kissable glossy lip in a gentle tone and one bold color for a va-va-voom lip to knock ‘em dead on a dressy night out.


The Hair Story. A climate change can make for a really bad hair day, so you want to have some rescue options with you. A little hair decadence feels divine, so I travel with Oribe products. I pack the Oribe single-use travel shampoo and conditioner packs because they are fabulous, smell divine and take up absolutely no space at all. Oribe’s travel-sized Anti Humidity Spray tames any flyaways or crazy humidity hair, Dry Texturizing Spray is fantastic if you need a little post-hat-hair lift, and Apres Beach Spray gives you great beachy-looking waves when you don’t actually have any. I also love the Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Oil both to make hair glossy and shiny, and also to protect color and keep the ends from getting destroyed by sun, surf and wind.

Travel sized Oribe Hair Products

All photography by Jessica Savidge

Here I am behind the scenes laying out the items for the shoot


10 Bridal Beauty Tips

The spring/summer wedding season is about to take off, so if you are getting ready for your wedding in the next few months here are 
10 bridal beauty tips to have you glowing and gorgeous on your big day.


1. Hydrate.


Even if you are months away from your wedding day start drinking extra water. Every cell in your body will love you for it and your skin will start to glow and look super vibrant!

2. Book your makeup artist.
The good ones book up fast so make sure you secure one as quickly as possible.

3. Book your trial makeup
I’m a big believer in getting this done as quickly as possible. You need to be certain that she is the right artist for you, and if she isn’t then you want tht extra time to find someone else.
Your artist may have some fabulous ideas for your look that take some time – maybe she wants you to grow your brows in, or maybe she wants you to get a series of facials. The sooner you can get started the better!

4. Find a really great facialist.
Whatever your budget, find someone to work with you on facial treatments to get your skin in super good shape. The better your skin looks, the better your makeup will look.
Your makeup artist can probably give you some great referrals if you don’t already have someone.

5. Book a trial airbrush tan.


Instead of planning on UV hours on a cancer bed, opt for an airbrush tan. Have a trial so you can see that you like the color and see how many days its good for. I like to count out how many days it is til perfect. For me day 3 is the best color. Once you know which day is the prettiest you can schedule it that many days prior to you wedding day.

6. Get a trial eyebrow session.
Everyone looks better with well groomed brows, but you don’t want to make any drastic changes, or have any drastic errors happen right before your wedding! Find a great brow girl and have a trial with her a few months out. If you love the look she gives you its easy to keep it maintained until your wedding day.

7. Plan your body treatments.
Start losing the rough skin of winter, and get some glow into your skin. Making the skin on your body glow can take a little work, so start early with exfoliation treatments and luxuriant lotions. Whatever skin is showing in your dress needs to be smooth, supple and radiant.

8. Cool Sculpt.
If you have problem areas that no amount of working out is helping, such as over the bra fat that wants to roll over the top of your strapless dress (even slim girls get this!), and if you have at last 3 months before your wedding day, look into Coolsculpting.
This is the miracle cure to literally melt away (well, freeze away) the problem folds and have you both looking and feeling sensational. I send my brides to Sandra at the Blume Skin Centre (click HERE for info). The results are nothing short of spectacular!

9. Treat your hands to some TLC

Every bride has photos taken of her hand with the ring, her hands holding the flowers, her hand slicing cake – her hand gets a ton of attention on her wedding day! Getting some hand treatments along the way helps to keep the skin smooth and luscious. If you have sun damage you can get photofacials on your hands. If the skin is just dried out and tired a few parafin treatments will make it look and feel like a million dollars!

10. Love your lips.
Soft, supple lips take work to achieve. Invest in a gentle exfoliant and a super lip balm and use them religiously in the months and weeks leading up to your big day.
Your lipstick will glide on and hold better, and your lips will look fantastic. Chapped, scaly lips never look good!

Space NK