Your wedding will be one of the most photographed days of your life. So, it’s important you look and feel your best! I asked one of my most trusted makeup artists, Michelle Hinkle, for her advice on not just wedding makeup, but finding a great skincare routine leading up to wedding day. She also gives advice on how far in advance you should book your makeup artist, scheduling getting ready with your bridal party, and how to find the right wedding day look.
Why did I ask Michelle specifically? The first time I saw her work, I was shooting a wedding with 103˚ heat index that had a brief rainstorm. When the sky cleared, a sauna-like effect took over making for literally the hottest ceremony I’ve photographed. The park we were in had next to no shade. But every girl in the bridal party still looked flawless by the end of the night. After seeing her single-handedly pull of the makeup for another summer bridal party as well and her contribution to a styled shoot I planned, I would trust Michelle’s work in a heartbeat. This girl knows makeup.
“Hi my name is Michelle Hinkle, I’m a licensed cosmetologist. I do hair at In Style Salon and Spa in Fort Wayne, Indiana and I am also a freelance makeup artist specializing in bridal party makeups
“The best skincare routine before the big day would be clean products. Find a regimen that works for you at least 6 months before the wedding. Focusing on brightening your skin and working on texture/tightening pores is perfect for an airbrushed look. Finding the right moisturizer is key. Moisturized skin is the easiest skin to work with in regards to makeup. Realistically no one’s skin is perfect. As long as it’s healthy and balanced- any small random blemishes can be covered and it’s nothing to stress over.”
“Skincare is hard just because everyone is so different. Overall routine wise a lightweight sunscreen for day time, and a nice moisturizer I like is Ole Henriksen Vitamin C moisturizer at night. Differin Gel is a staple of my night time routine to help texture and keep blemishes away. A little pea size amount is all you need.”
“Do not, I repeat do not, get a random facial or try exciting new products a couple weeks before the wedding. From my own personal experience, it’s a big no no. It’s best to have your skin routine down well before the wedding so you don’t irritate or break out your entire face. Not only in regards to makeup but so you yourself don’t feel uncomfortable. Also – waxing can also irritate the skin or even worst case burn the skin off and applying makeup over a scab isn’t ideal. Even if you’re a long time waxer, be extra cautious and make sure the temp is low when doing any facial hair removal to prevent irritation!”
“Booking your makeup artist should be one of the first things you do once you have your wedding date down. My brides book me a year in advance and I even have several who have booked two years in advance. Summer and fall Saturdays go super quick.”
This makes a lot of sense. I often see brides scrambling to find hair and makeup stylists close to their wedding dates not realizing how far in advance they book. Like anything you’re making a priority for your wedding, it’s important to reach out to those vendors early!
“It takes me about 30-45 min per person for a bridal party. I’ve done parties ranging from 2-12 ladies. My biggest advice for timeline is to have a list of who goes first, second, third, etc. and that takes the stress of you being in charge away, I can then read off the names and it goes smoothly time wise!”
“It’s up to the bride, but second to last is my normal placement for them. Close to the end so it’s the most fresh but also gives her time to take some selfies and take it in while the last girl is getting hers done.”
It’s nice for getting ready photos too! Sometimes I can come in for finishing touches photos and everyone is pretty much done at that point. Then we can really easily move on to the bride putting her dress on.
“My biggest advice for finding the right look is take into consideration the season you’re getting married in, your wedding color palette, and most importantly what you feel the most beautiful in.”
“If you’re normally a natural kind of girl but want a bold wedding look, I would recommend doing a trial with the bold look first. Have a girls’ night, take a bunch of photos in different lighting, and then look back and see if you enjoy the way you look. If you realize you don’t look like “you” we can always glam up a natural look, and focus more on making the skin pop versus dark eye makeup.”
I never would have thought of that. That’s such a good idea!
The possibilities are endless, choosing your bridal look can be daunting at first but seeing it as a fun opportunity to be creative makes it so much more fun. There isn’t a one look fits all with me. Everyone is uniquely beautiful and the goal is to feel amazing inside and out.”
Where you can follow along with Michelle’s work: