Bridal Party Makeup Artist | Non- Professional Experience

Bridal Party Makeup Artist | Non- Professional Experience

Last month I had the awesome opportunity to do makeup for my friend Kendra’s bridal party.  We were friends in college and when she got engaged and decided to do her own makeup for her wedding, we got a lot closer as she researched products and makeup tutorials.  I’ve never done wedding makeup, so this was really exciting for me. I thought I’d talk about the experience in case anyone out there is in the same situation as me! There weren’t any resources that I could find on this topic for rookies doing bridal party makeup when I was looking.

bridesmaid makeup

When she originally asked me, I immediately said yes excitedly.  When I’m getting ready with my friends I like to do makeup for some of the other girls whenever I have time, so I knew I could do it.  I started thinking about what looks I should do on all the girls and what makeup I would need to bring.  

Makeup looks kendra

The looks the girls chose for their makeup

The bride provided me with the looks the girls had wanted a couple weeks before the wedding.  They were all simple neutral looks and I immediately knew that I would be using the Tartelette in Bloom palette for the majority of the eyeshadow.  All the girls that I worked on didn’t do spray tans, and the majority had fair skin with blonde hair. I knew my personal face products wouldn’t work on them, so I provided a list of what I needed them to bring. That worked out nicely and they each brought their personal makeup bag so I could use their face products and other non hygienic items like mascara and pencil liner. 

bridemaid makeup packing list

I went to Target and Ulta to get some essentials. I picked up pointy cotton swabs for eyeliner clean up, makeup wipes, new Real Techniques sponges, NYX Angel Veil primer, Ulta matte setting spray, and micellar water.  Along with these, I brought the Tartelette in Bloom and a few more eyeshadow palettes, Stila Glitter and Glow, liquid liner, lash glue, tweezers, Cetaphil moisturizer, translucent powder, contour and bronzers, blush, and the following list that I found on that I found when googling.   I packed the night before and also used my personal method of packing makeup for the trip. 

bridesmaid makeup artist packing list

My friend is a bad ass organizer, so she had the schedule for every girl set out for me with details on what they needed. (Names are scribbled out!)  Before each girl sat down to have their makeup done, I asked them to have clean skin, moisturizer on, and brows done.  Not being 100% familiar with all of the bridesmaids, I wanted them to do their own brows that they normally wear so that they looked like themselves.  My plan was to darken or add brow gel to make them stand out a little more in pictures if necessary, but everyone did a really good job on their own and I didn’t end up doing many brow touch ups.

bridemaid makeup schedule

Here was my schedule on the day of-
4:45 AM Get ready
6 AM Departure
8:30 Get to bridesmaid house
9-12:45 Makeup
1 PM Get ready at hotel
3PM Head to wedding

It was easy to tell who was comfortable with heavier glam once I got started.  For those girls I went darker on the outer corner, added winged liner, and placed some Stila Glitter on their lids.  Those little touches made a huge difference and easily helped me perfect their makeup for photos.

For lips, Kendra gifted the bridesmaids Burnt Spice liquid lipstick by MAC (a bomb choice!!) so I think they mostly all wore that.  They all had bought their own pairs of Koko Lashes in styles they liked as well. I brought a checklist that I kept in my pocket of the order of makeup steps- eyeshadow, brows, base, powder, contour, etc.  This helped me stay on track and not forget any steps as I did each face. 

Overall I did seven girls makeup, and applied lashes, brows, and liner on two more. I was doing finishing touches on the girls up until the very last minute as the photographer took pictures at the house before they headed to the venue.  

The wedding was BEAUTIFUL, held at Mount Hood Bed and Breakfast. My own makeup did not turn out well that I did at the hotel lol. I was exhausted from the long day already, and was a little frazzled in general from not enough food and too much coffee.  That wasn’t a huge deal though, and didn’t put a damper on the day at all.  Because I was dead tired, my boyfriend and I ended up on the first shuttle bus out at 8:45PM, even though I would have loved to have partied with everyone if I had more energy!  I’m such a grandma these days.

Niki Rhodes Photography

Bridal party by Niki Rhodes Photography

Everything turned out really great, and I was really proud of how everyone looked at the wedding. They are gorgeous girls so I had some easy canvases.  The biggest challenge was doing makeup on lighter skin since I’m not used to it.  Having the girls bring base products for their skin tone worked out well and allowed me to not buy a bunch of new face products since I’m not a professional.  Getting everyone done on time was also difficult! Ideally I think having 45 minutes per girl would be a good amount of time.

My favorite makeup that I did wasn’t the most glam of the bunch, but was on one of the girls that doesn’t typically wear a lot of makeup.  I kept a light hand with hers, using mauve and pinks from Tartelette in Bloom with Sissy from the Jaclyn Hill Morphe Palette for a touch of shimmer.  The result was light but beautiful, and I was happy to show someone that typically shies away from makeup that it is not intimidating.  Recently Kendra told me that girl said she felt beautiful, which kind of makes my life.

It was an amazing experience and one that I wish I could repeat every single weekend.  Unfortunately I didn’t go to cosmetology school so I can’t legally advertise to do wedding makeup.  One day I hope to do that, and should probably get started immediately because of how rewarding this experience was.  Seeing my name tagged on Facebook as a vendor for her makeup artist was surreal.

Thank you for reading! There may be a few more pics of the wedding in my tagged pics on Insta if you’re interested in seeing more.  Feel free to ask any questions you have about the experience, I’d love to talk about it!


Leave a comment

  1. October 20, 2017 / 1:03 pm

    I loved this. My sister just got married a few weeks ago and we had a poor experience with the makeup artist. I enjoyed the idea of the schedule and the personalized list for each bridesmaid. I also liked that you asked each girl to do their own brows, this was one thing that went wrong with the artist we used. I love that you took the time to to plan each girl’s preference. This sounds like an exciting day to take part in! Thank you for sharing your experience.

    • October 20, 2017 / 1:58 pm

      I’m glad you liked it! Ugh that sucks, especially when you pay someone thinking they will do a good job.

  2. Anonymous
    October 20, 2017 / 1:37 pm

    You are an absolute rock star and were better than any other “professional” make up artist I have seen! Thank you so much Kim! You made my bridesmaids feel beautiful with perfect make up! xoxo

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