Beauty Advice: Picture Perfect Wedding Makeup

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We asked makeup guru Siobhan Kelly of Napoleon Perdis for her tips on picture-perfect wedding makeup.

What are your top-10 tips for getting photo ready onyour wedding day?

  1. Use a professional makeup artist and ensure you do your research.
  2. Have a trial at least one week before your big day.
  3. Inform your artist on all your skin concerns.
  4. Be specific on how you wish to look and be open to taking your makeup artist’s advice.
  5. Ensure your makeup artist uses primers. This will prevent your makeup from looking too shiny or cakey.
  6. Make sure the powder used to set your foundation is designed for photography. This will avoid an overly white complexion with fl ash photography.
  7. If you are not a makeup artist, keep the makeup design simple. The more colours you add to your face, the more your makeup may wear off and look messy as the night goes on.
  8. Be aware of lipstick travelling on to your teeth. Ask your bridesmaids to be on the lookout too.
  9. Take touch-up products with you or ask your bridesmaids to keep them on hand. This includes pressed powder, lipstick, eyeliner, concealer and eyelash glue.
  10. Smile! If you are wearing a bright or bold lipstick, try not to show too much teeth as it can look strange in photos.

Where do you get your inspiration from? For brides, do you tap into your own inspiration when doing their makeup or do you let them guide you with what look and style they want?

I usually ask the bride about how they like to wear their makeup and their comfort level first. Then I can design a look that incorporates what they feel comfortable in and what would enhance their natural beauty. I like to steer clear of bright trends as they can date the photos easily but I do take inspiration from the catwalk, celebrities and the women in my life.

What advice do you have for brides getting their makeup done that they should take on board ahead of the big day?

I would advise brides to think about the mood of the wedding. Whether your style is vintageinspired, dramatic or a carefree beach wedding, everything needs to tie in and complement all facets. Definitely collect images from magazines you love, to help with the hair and makeup. Next, hire a professional makeup artist to trial your look at least two weeks before your big day. This way you can see how the makeup lasts and it allows you to get to know the artist a lot better. Napoleon Perdis offers a bridal service with amazing artists. Finally, take a lot of photos. This will allow you to see how your look translates in coloured and black-and-white photos.

Also, what advice do you have in terms of getting makeup done for different times of the year, for example, winter vs summer? And for different locations — a church wedding compared to a beach wedding?

As Australia’s weather is unpredictable, your artist may need to alter your makeup look to ensure you look glamorous all day. If the wedding is an outdoors event, keep in mind in spring/summer you may sweat and become slightly shiny so touch ups and a more matt foundation are needed. During the winter months, the cold temperature and or rain can cause eyes to water and the nose to become red. You may need to carry concealer and eyeliner in your handbag.

For an indoor wedding, there are no rules! Your makeup artist will design a makeup look based on your skin type and features more than the elements.


Are wedding makeup trends influenced by other factors, for example celebrities, fashion, film etc? What are a couple of the on-trend styles at the moment?

Wedding makeup is largely influenced by the red carpet, fashion, music videos and movies. I remember a time where every bride wanted to look like Eva Longoria and Beyoncé, now the trend has changed to a more natural and bronzed Charlize Theron and Taylor Swift style. On the runways, key trends at the moment that are great for brides are:

  1. Luxe lashes
  2. Radiant orchid — Pantone’s colour of the year. Just a hint is ideal for brides
  3. Graphic eyeliner (à la Sophia Loren)
  4. Satin, matt skin
  5. Matt lipstick and eyeshadow 


Are most brides nervous about their big day while getting their makeup done, or are they mostly just excited?

Most brides are nervous and excited about every part of the day. There is so much emotion. If they have had a trial or are aware of the artist's previous work, they feel very comfortable and the session can almost be a welcomed moment to sit down and relax.

Do you have any memorable moments or stories from clients whose makeup you’ve done on their wedding day?

I had a lovely moment once where I was invited to the wedding and reception by the client after I did her makeup, as she had experienced such a great time. I had about five minutes to get ready but it was a beautiful ceremony.

Do you have any funny or horror stories of brides-to-be you’ve dealt with?

I did the makeup of a Greek bride who seemed to have had 100 relatives in each room. After I had completed the makeup, the elderly mother of the bride asked the family to help with the flowers and do the dishes. Everyone was too busy chatting and eating so I just dropped my kit and started washing the dishes then picked up the flowers. I could see they needed help and it was the least I could do to take some stress off the family. The mother of the bride was eternally grateful.

How much time should a bride allocate to getting her wedding makeup done? And at what stage of the day do you advise this, ie before or after hair?

I would definitely leave one-and-a-half hours for the bride and one hour for bridesmaids and mother of the bride each. This may sound like a lot of time but there are always delays and so much to organise on the day. No one should be rushed. Always get your hair done first, just in case the stylist needs to wash or apply hairspray as this can affect and ruin makeup.

How much (generally speaking) should a bride budget for makeup? Is it per person or by the hour?

Makeup artists will charge by the person. The cost covers time, products, travel and expertise of the artist.


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