You will probably recognise today’s guest blogger, she’s one of my lovely TNWC Real Brides, Emma, who is sharing all her wedding planning experiences with us.  She recently emailed me a blog post she’d written about her experience of her wedding make-up trial as she felt it might strike a chord with some of my other bride-to-be readers.  And I think it will.

I decided not to include it among Emma’s TNWC Real Brides posts as I think it needed to stand alone.  If you’d like to read more about Emma’s wedding plans, you can do so here.  

I also wanted to extend an invitation to any other brides-to-be out there, like Emma, who’ve had positive or negative experiences during their wedding planning and want to share them with others – you are welcome to write them up and pop them in an email to me at and I will try and feature them here on the blog.

Over to Emma…

Beauty Is A Feeling

I wanted to share with you all my experience of my make up trial and why I decided to cancel having a professional make up artist on the day, leaving me out of pocket.

I always thought that having my make up done on my wedding day would be a real treat as I so rarely wear make up and thought it would be nice to feel and look glamorous.  Every bride wants to look their best on their wedding as so much attention is focused onto you and there is a little pressure to look better than you would on any other day, which is why I thought professional make up would make me look ‘more like a bride.’

I booked a trial with a local make-up artist and was looking forward to having a girly time trying out different looks.  When I arrived at the studio I explained that I rarely wear much more than a bit of mascara and some tinted moisturiser and that I wanted to look really natural but have my features enhanced.  The make up artist started by tweaking my brows, which turned into a full on overhaul with wax, threading and trimming with scissors… I was a little worried as I quite like my eyebrows to be natural but I trusted the make up artist as she has an excellent portfolio and is clearly very talented.

She then threaded my upper lip, which again I wasn’t prepared for – I know I have a soft downy hair on my upper lip, like many women do but being fair haired I never wanted to interfere with nature and encourage a full blown Mexican tash!

I then had my make up applied.  It looked beautiful and enhanced my features as I had asked and my skin looked flawless, BUT I didn’t look like me.  More to the point I didn’t feel like me and therefore didn’t feel confident or beautiful.  Yes my eyes looked more sultry, my skin more even and my brows more symmetrical and refined (a little too refined for my liking) but to me beauty is not looking flawless.

I like my freckles and that I have one dimple and a slightly wonky smile.  I don’t mind having a slightly peachy fuzz on my upper lip and nor does my husband to be.  He likes me best when I have first woken up, rumpled hair with creases on my face; he doesn’t notice the tiny broken veins on my cheeks and I have grown to accept them as part of me.

I walked away feeling very strange (and a little sore) and questioned whether I wanted to look ‘like a bride’, whatever that is anyway, or just like me.  So I did what any girl in my situation would do and went for tea and biscuits with my Mum.  We discussed how I felt and I came to the conclusion that beauty is a feeling not the way you look.

I may have looked immaculate for the camera but I didn’t feel beautiful – surely it is better to feel nice than look nice?  I took the plunge and contacted the make up artist to cancel.

I have decided to do my own make up, the way I have always done it.  Light and barely-there with maybe a little bit of cheeky eyeliner.  I just hope my eyebrows grow back in time 🙂

A huge thank you to Emma for sharing her experience here on The Natural Wedding Company blog – I hope that her shared experience will help other brides-to-be who are worried about how they look and feel on their wedding day.

Images: Rebecca Roundhill

Categories: Planning

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jess on 11. June, 2013

YES!!!!!!! People are scandalised that I’m not doing having my make up professionally done. Unfortunately every time I go any where to have it done, I end up looking like a man in drag!
I too dont wear an awful lot of makeup. I’m a girl with a heavy jaw, and sadly as much as I’d love to play with colours and styles, it just won’t work for me. I finally bit the bullet and made the commitment to do it myself, and then recieved a lot of raised eye brows and drawing in of breaths!
However, I think that I know my face best – I see it everyday, I know what works for me, and I know what I will be comfy with.
I don’t think you should ever let anyone tell you what you should look like on your Wedding Day – you’re the one who looks back at the photos not the artist. You have to recognise yourself!

Nik on 11. June, 2013

I think you probably echo the sentiments of many a natural bride out there – I had exactly the same thing with my hairdresser. She insisted she understood that I liked the ‘relaxed, beachy look’ and then promptly straightened my hair poker straight, which looked utterly ridiculous! So hair will be done myself and I’ve recruited my younger sister for make-up, as she is a dab hand with make-up brushes!

Good on you for choosing to be a true ‘real’ bride 🙂

Organic Make-up Artist on 11. June, 2013

I’m saddened to read about Emma’s experiences with her Make-up Artist and those of Nik and her hairdresser. I can assure you we certainly are not all like that.

One of the key things is to listen to what the Bride wants and understand how she sees herself. Yes, we do make suggestions and offer advice but that is part of our role. That is one reason for having the trial. So we can understand and work WITH the bride to be. Our ultimate aim is to make a bride look and feel her best on her wedding day but Make-up Artist’s should never pluck, thread, apply lashes, cut, dye or whatever else WITHOUT the express permission of the client and before doing so should thoroughly discuss the outcomes. These things (with the exception of false lash application if it is desired) should certainly never be done at a trial and I know I speak for the majority of Make-up Artist’s when I say that.

Doing your own make-up or choosing to have a Make-up Artist isn’t what makes you a ‘real’ bride. There is no distinction, just personal choice. Neither is wrong and what matters ultimately is that you are happy with the choice you have made.

I am glad that Emma has made the decision that makes her feel happiest and look forward to finding out more about her wedding plans.

Sarah London on 12. June, 2013

I think finding the right hair or make up artist is as tricky as finding the right photographer. I agree with the Organic Make up Artist above. I think there are ‘artists’ out there who could have got the look just right but you do need to do your research and probably have several trials. Im a photographer and have seen some simply amazing hair and makeup stylists, beautifully applied or styled and so natural it amazes me!! but similarly I have seen some not so great ones too, with upset brides – thankfully not very common! I often have a makeup artist saying to me ‘ isn’t it true you need heavier makeup for the photographs’ and being someone who wears very little also and knows how it feels wearing too much and feeling uncomfortable about it, I find myself being very diplomatic about it and agreeing but at the same time also suggesting ‘quite strongly’ 😉 that bride needs to feel comfortable and if that means wearing less then that should be the priority – they will still look amazing because I am a good photographer. Its not a fashion shoot, its a precious day that should be cherished and enjoyed for every single moment and the last thing you want to feel is uncomfortable about the way you look.
So i’d say definitely shop around or ask for recommendation, there really are some amazing stylists and MUA’s who really do ‘get it’ or ‘you’.
And if not, its not the end of the world – I see many who have friends or relatives doing their makeup – at least you can have lots of free trials and fun getting the ‘right’ look 😉 x

yoojin on 12. June, 2013

TRUE WORDS! That’s the reason why I didn’t even really consider to go to a professional make-up artist. On that day I want to look like me and don’t want my financé to wonder who this pretty lady is, walking down the aisle! 😉

And I’m sure, you don’t look more beautiful with a professional make-up. Your inner glow and your smile is what makes you really beautiful!
🙂 🙂

Love, Yoojin

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