Stevenage, England, United Kingdom
I havent posted under my mua account as i don't really want my brides finding this thread when they google me but i am an experienced MUA who frequents this fourm alot.
I have been doing bridal makeup now for about 2 years, its slowly picked up and now i have bookings coming out of my ears. I have been told by so many people my work is great and I have images in most of the uk bridal magazines , lots of contacts and a steady flow of brides wanting to book me however since i have been working on "real people" my confidence has taken a big knock.
The pressure of bridal make up gets to me so much, i've had brides crying during their trials ,retrial after retrial after retrial, brides telling ME how to mix their foundation shades and apply products, that look of uncertainity from the bride when she looks in the mirror on the day, that look of disgust when you pull out something that isnt MAC. I'm constantly worried they don't like their make up or judging me and my kit and I get soooo nervous, i can't sleep properly the day before or eat in the morning.
I thought it would have subsided by now but ive done about 20 odd weddings this year and it hasnt.
I don't know if its all in my head but I'm such a perfectionist and ive been told i'm a bit of a push over. I just want everyone to be happy and will do whatever i can for them but I have been considering giving up bridal due to the stress, it makes me alot of money and *apparently* im very good at it but if i'm not enjoying it is it worth it!? Does it get easier?
Anyone with experience in this field please help! :-( x
Aug 20 12 10:20 am Link
Hereford, England, United Kingdom
I have only done a few weddings as I *hate* the experience with a passion. I understand that it is the bride's 'big day' but I cannot stand their diva attitudes (although I can handle it when it comes from a model. Weird).
What you need to ask yourself is this: would your confidence improve if you stood your ground and defended yourself or are you simply not enjoying the whole wedding MUA experience?
I have had people in my chair who have questioned my choices re a particular eye colour or foundation type and I have usually won them over by pointing out that the colour is flattering for them/will accentuate their eyes/the foundation is ideal for their skin type/is of a better quality than MAC etc. Due to this, I have had no problems at all from non-brides. Brides question everything (I think) because they have planned the whole day and every last detail and are now finding it very difficult to relinquish some of that control to an MUA.
Although you are doing well as a wedding MUA - are you suffering a crisis of confidence because you don't really want to be doing it? If that is the case, admit it to yourself and think about moving into a different area of makeup if it would make you happy but then you may take a temporary drop in pay.
If you do enjoy it and want to carry on, then you have got to learn diplomacy and how to handle the stress. Stopping yourself from second-guessing every thing that you do will make a big difference. Stand by your decisions and if the bride questions it, then explain your decision and how it affects her in a positive way. You'll get the hang of it.
Aug 20 12 11:49 am Link
London, England, United Kingdom
They're looking for you to believe in it. Learn how to sell confidence in your work.
I do a lot less bridal for this same reason - I become very acutely aware how hard work it is to remain upbeat in the face of doubt.
Aug 20 12 12:36 pm Link
Washington, District of Columbia, US
Heather J M wrote:
priceless tenured wisdom... i.e. strive to ignite a passion for self realization of the enchanting inter-beauty latent within each and every client...
Aug 20 12 08:51 pm Link
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Weddings are my area of expertise!
I do not give them a lot of choices and I do what I think will be best.
How I get them ready for a trial.
I ask them to have some pictures/photos ready of make up that they like and remind them to have a face that kind of is similar to theirs. ( I once had a blonde blue eyed caucaisian girl show me a picture of Halle Berry and ask for her make up style)
When I see the photos I point out areas of the make up - like how much liner is used and how 'smokey' the eyeshadow is and talk about how it would suit their eyes.
I ask what sort of foundation coverage they want - like if all freckles have to be covered or not.
I don't give them a lot of colour options - I ask if they want browns/golds/pinks or charcoals.
I tell that I will put false lashes on them as this gives instant glam to the eye and you can have less eyeshadow used.
Then I just do what I think will look best.
I do a medium depth eye with the falsies and full face of make up.
I show them the final look and then talk about wether we should do more liner underneath the eye and then I add a little bit at a time until we are both happy with the result.
I also get them to check blush and make sure they have enough cheeks.
I use a range of products and I talk about the different brands and why I use them - I do use the MAC F&B foundation on many brides.
I use Inglot eyeshadows in the Freedom systems and Nars blushes
I get them to supply a lip colour they like as lips are what throw a lot of brides off - if they don't have a lipcolour with them I use MAC Viva Glam IV on them as it a great neutral colour.
Then I just don't take it personally if they don't like what I do, as it their insecurities that play havoc with their emotions and if they don't book me because of their uncertainty, then I know I have dodged a bullet and I will be able to book another bride in for that date.
I really don't let brides be a lot of work - I am the expert and they are paying for my experience and knowledge and I go into every trial with confidence and an attitude that does not allow them to intimidate me.
Keep it up - it does get easier over time. I have been doing bridal work for 10 years and I have a great trial strike rate with how I operate.
Aug 21 12 12:23 am Link
Nashville, Tennessee, US
Bridal makeup isn't easy. It's also many time unrewarding IF you don't take full control in the process, early on. I cannot stress this enough: be the best at lashes, blending makeup, concealer and lip liner. Do it fast and seamlessly. Have a light touch..and be able to build on it if she wants MORE.
my bridal site: www.bridesbylisa.com I have to say that I take control early on and am ALWAYS nice and gracious to my bridal clients. I alwyas ask two things - are you allergic to anything makeup or skincare wise/ and what do you want to look like? And i listen really closely. Do you want a light look, a glamourous look with lashes, are you mostly a blush girl? How about lashes, what do you want? Lips? glossy peach/pinky or full on lipstick plum or red?
Bridal makeup to me, is a beauty specialty. I have had brides tell me what they want - like it's a paint by numbers relationship. OK. I can do that, but if you really want my expertise, you will work with me and allow me to DO you like I see as an artist.
What I use is my business - and many brides (most) are product whores - just something you have to consider and deal with. NARS, CHanel, Lancome, etc. They have no clue wht Ben Nye or at some cases MUFE is. It matters not, really - as long as you can produce what they envision. CHanel and NARS are always in my kit however - for brides - it makes them confident and happy. That is the way it goes.
I trial my brides. If they don't suit ME, as an artist, I pass them on. This is key.
What I sell is my LOOK and expertise. If they want something else, well, they can keep looking. I never refund money from a trial because - it is a TRIAL for us all.
You have to become more confident in what product you are serving the bridal clients. You cannot be so upset with them that you don't do the work you were hired for. Many people are unprofessional and immature, especially in our line of work - you are hired to be a professional and take it all on the chin.
That's all i can say, really. You are either cut out to handle the situations tossed at you, or you are not. Communication is the key. Get a lot of info up front and that makes it smoother. Another reason I charge a lot.
Aug 21 12 01:36 am Link
New York, New York, US
It has been said that makeup artistry is 10% skill, 90% psychology...brides are notoriously difficult but you must learn to leave your pride at the door and not take things personally. If you are getting referrals you obviously have skill, you just need more confidence!
Aug 21 12 08:12 pm Link
Hershey, Pennsylvania, US
I was talking about this with a friend of mine. This is only my 3rd year doing bridal. I honestly was not really interested as I had heard the horror stories about brides and I know myself. I will not stand for it....
Anyhow one of my mua friends kept telling me to try it and I did. I actually did my first wedding kind of last minute, someone had cancelled on the bride at last minute and well at that point I was a hero..LOL
Anyhow I didnt really know what to ask specifically but I did know to ask about allergies, if they wear contact just so I was aware.
Now I usually ask them for a picture of them, this helps me see what their makeup style already is. I have them email me or bring pictures to the trial and as Lisa mentioned, I always have a trial, it gets me to know the bride and see if we are a good fit.
I have to say I get more brides telling me to do what I want so that can be cool but the more and more they do that the more I feel like I am bored...LOL
I try and write donw different combos to try and see how I like them. I even have a small doc that I made out of them just in case I just need an idea. This year I have to say I have been doing very well and I can't wait until bridal season is over just so I can relax.
Anyhow, when it comes to them telling me to do what I want, again knowing what they usually do themselves helps me also because if they are generally not a makeup person then I won't do too much and I always say, I will start light and if you want more we can build it up.
If even if you don't feel like you did the best you have to act like you did, they will sense your insecurities also and if they can see that, forget it...you will end up having a 3-4 hour trial.
Aug 24 12 12:23 pm Link
Dallas, Texas, US
i can honestly relate to you on this issue .i have been offering bridal make up for about 3 yrs and i just learned you just have to be able to sell yourself and be confident. I always try to be a step ahead of my client before they have a chance to question my "skills, products, or opinions".
from where i am from, MAC is the only cosmetic brand that they want. MAC MAC MAC.....It is really annoying........ But i always educate my clients with my product choice to ensure they are in good hands. I even encourage my clients to try other MUAs before booking with me. I dont need peoples business if they don't respect me and my work.
One advice i can you for your difficult brides, give them a hand mirror so they see you apply the make up during the service. This can be annoying for the MUA, but it works for those really reallllllllly picky brides. There are no surprises and they will feel more "calm" seeing your every step.
Aug 26 12 09:27 pm Link
Boston, Massachusetts, US
julie ho wrote:
It definitely calms difficult clients to understand the steps you're taking and why - I talk to the "control freak" types extensively throughout - but beware the hand mirror. I had a bride last year who insisted on looking in the mirror every time I paused to grab something, and it was very intrusive and slowed things down considerably. (She was also accustomed to very heavy, 80's-style makeup, and since she was looking at an incomplete face, all she would say was "more." More of everything. I was very patient and accommodating since I didn't want to fight with a pushy bride, but it was pretty frustrating.)
Aug 27 12 07:37 am Link
Toledo, Ohio, US
Bride complains to her friends that she didn't like her make up, they will take their friend's word to heart.
Aug 27 12 07:49 am Link
Los Angeles, California, US
"I really don't let brides be a lot of work - I am the expert and they are paying for my experience and knowledge and I go into every trial with confidence and an attitude that does not allow them to intimidate me."
I love this quote someone above said. Bridal work can eat you up if you are a pushover! However, in addition I'd like to add that for me I can see how it would help to separate accomplishments with publications, commercials, celebs with bridal work. My brides may at first see all the cool shoots I've done but at the end of the day it's all about them and whatever the hell they want. Are you that amazing of an artist but because of your personality you are showing weakness...and this in turn is making the bride nervous? You have to have a bit of attitude in my opinion and "own" your work. BUT ask yourself, are you giving these brides every opportunity to find something wrong because you aren't confident? I personally don't do more than 1 trial. Why waste everyone's time?
I dont keep my schedule open for too many weddings since I dont particularly care for the stress of the wedding day....but at the end of the day bridal work is just like any other service industry. we advise on what we think looks best and do our best to read the client and make them happy. if all your clients expect MAC, then let them see some MAC products. I've had some brides that I chat with so much during the makeup process that they don't see every little product I use. I can tell when they are nervous and need some distracting. Some I let hold a hand mirror and we build the look together. Give your brides options, give them what they want, expect to have to give them a lot of assurance sometimes.
Yet.....brides shouldnt be crying in your chair. Is this happening a lot? If you are noticing patterns occuring it may be best to reconsider how you are running your trials.
Aug 27 12 08:01 am Link
Atlanta, Georgia, US
Ive done quite a few weddings this year myself and Ive only had one bride to tell me what I need to do. Its not what they say, its how your respond to it. You have to remember, its THEIR day and they want to look absolutely amazing. You cant blame them. A bride getting her makeup done should be her moment of zen. She has been through a lot of preparing, people canceling at the last minute, unexpected expenses, etc. Just try to understand what she is going through and make the best of it. If brides like MAC, invest in it. Do what you can to make them happy but never let them see you sweat.
Walk in with confidence and dont allow the comments to get to you. You create the environment when you walk into the room. When you walk in with confidence, you can potentially walk out with more money in your wallet. Out of all the weddings that Ive done, they ALL had great feedback and on top of that, the others in the room wanted their makeup done too.
Dont put to much pressure on yourself. Have fun and make some money doing what you love to do.
Aug 27 12 08:54 am Link
Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
What good advice from all you the mua's here, I can relate to all of your stories.
For the most part THE CLIENT IS ALWAYS RIGHT - EXCEPT where it borders on abuse. Nobody has the right to abuse your good nature. Some brides-to-be think they are getting inaugurated to become queen and take abuse to whole new levels.
One of my brides fired three photographers before her wedding day and screamed at her florist over the phone, even after he told her his wife had just died. Then she rehired the 3rd tog on her wedding day after he begged for his job back right in front of me!
Another bride was a darling at her trial but on her wedding day refused to sit still for me, and spoke down to me. In my contract I request that the bride organises a high chair on the day if I go to her home. She did not so so. She kept standing up and as you can guess it is hard to work with someone who won't sit down. Her neck was apparently hurting from the hair salon before (I did only makeup that day). All the while she complained out loud to whoever would listen, that I am taking too long with her makeup! After her wedding I asked her why she was so rude to me on her wedding day and she didn't recall being rude - so either she lied, or "blacked out". Perhaps they REALLY do not remember their bad behavior afterwards because everything is so surreal for them on the wedding day.
You do not need to take abuse from anyone, if you are convinced you are on your A-game!
I have only once refunded a diva bride-to-be after I "fired" her at her trial. She paid for her whole wedding in full, in advance, so I refunded the difference and retained the trial money, as I worked very hard at her trial to make her happy.
However, this bride-to-be of mine who I "fired" already gave me issues long before she arrived for her trial, requesting that I change my booking policy for her and ignoring my many requests for her to sign my updated Bridal Contract.
I knew then already that I better be on my A-game at her trial, AND I WAS on my A-game. I did her hair and makeup. My work was good considering she chose not to have strip lashes and considering I was trying to be creative under difficult conditions. She refused to smile for the photos I took. She liked her look in the end, especially her hair, but gave me grief about both hair and makeup every single step of the way. Personally I know I could have done even better had she been less difficult and had she actually allowed me to do my best and if she had been more realistic about her trial.
She was a nurse getting married to a doctor so I maybe her nose was already out of joint.
If their attitude is so bad before their trial, never mind throughout their trial, I can guarantee you it will be a hundred times worse on the wedding day - and THAT is why I fired her.
You do not have to work under those conditions when you could have booked another bride in her place instead. You do not have such little self esteem that you need to put up with too much nonsense! (Unless you are desperate for the fee of course).
I have many inquiries for bridal makeup and hair, often more than one inquiry for the same date and I have to refer them. I have a diploma with all distinctions and awards for hair and makeup. It sounds to me like most of you here are also as experienced and as talented. Therefore, the client who is brought up spoilt and used to getting her own way no matter what, does not realise that she can actually be fired by you - until it happens to her - You are allowed to say no!
Frankly, if your bride gives you hell on her wedding day for no reason, and you do not need her money, then I feel you have full right to walk out and let her bridesmaids do her makeup on her wedding day. You can refund her afterwards, depending on your policy if you have a contract.
A contract is essential. You need to cover all kinds of things in a contract.
Contact me with your email address and I will send you a copy of my contract if you need ideas for yours.
Fortunately I LOOOOVE MY CAREER, and my brides, and I have remained friends with many, long after their wedding day. These are the ones who voted for me to get my awards. These brides make our careers all worth it, so don't give up, be in control, and remember you are not alone, you have us, your mua family
Jan 23 13 09:38 am Link
Wellingborough, England, United Kingdom
Would love to see your contract! x
Jan 24 13 03:39 am Link
Chicago, Illinois, US
Would you mind please sending me a copy too? I'd love to use it as a good example. info@Jocelyn morrismakeup.com
Jan 24 13 05:39 am Link
Harrison, New Jersey, US
I do bridal as well...they are crazy thats all!
all the stress of the wedding gets to them and they take out on you.The way to handle brides is to me confident.A strong consultation is key,they bride explain to you what she is looking for maybe even bring photos with them right.1. do the consultation with they bride along...no peanut gallery,let her know that you want to ensure that her own vision is what you're getting not what they friend s & family think is good for her.Ask her to bring 3 different looks she likes.2. explain to her that you will try couple of version of the one look or just 3 looks to decide that would look best for her features,explain the process before you start.As you apply charm her with a real or fake story about celeb or designer or TV show you did and also ask her about her fiance, what movies or books she like,etc(hopeful you like them too and you talk about it) this will help her relax & also like you as person.If she doesn't like the make up,stay calm and ask what about the make she doesn't like specific and charge it,if she still not happen,let know that may this style it not right for her and if she is willing to let you try some that might sue her more,but by all else fails by all means if she that difficult then calming tell her maybe she should try someone else since clearly she not happy and let her go.
DAY OF: Make sure that you do her make up in a room w/just her and maybe the hairstylist,no bridesmaids,family or friends,because the majority of the time it's the peanut gallery charming in with their opinions and making the bride nervous or unsure of something you already decide,any case be firm and remind her that you had already decide the look and that she will regret making a change do to nerves or remind her you're an expert in your file and that what she paying for.
I usually bring my male gay assistant with me and he charm the hell out of the bridal party and most of the time they ask him what he thinks and of course the bride always looks amazing.
Hope this helps!
Jan 26 13 05:31 pm Link
Los Angeles, California, US
They're out of their mind. They'll love you during the trial; then day of the wedding they hate everything. My very first bride came to me during my time spent @ a makeup counter. A VERY popular counter in a high end department store that doesn't charge for makeup applications. (Booooooo) OH and of course she was late, and in a rush, and tacky enough to pull out her own crusty makeup and request I do a tattoo cover up on her back (WTF?)... she was miserable the whole time as I did everything for FREE. Ugh! No thanks! Regardless of how good her makeup looked when she left, I sure as hell wouldnt want to see that thing charging down aisle towards me
If nothing else I learned to be firm. VERY firm if need be. You are the expert and they are hormonally imbalanced (hopefully only temporarily) and they wont hold it against you if youre more direct than usual. Of course you want them to be happy, but you cant allow their emotions to derail the system.
Since my first unpleasant bridal experience, I've been fortunate to work with some great clients that make all the bad seeds seem few and far between.
Mar 03 13 03:35 am Link
New York, New York, US
I had a bridesmaid a couple days ago who had only a couple hairs for eyebrows. I hate to toot my own horn but I gorgeously filled them in and they looked amazing on her. Once I was done with the makeup she promptly told me to "please take the eyebrows off I don't look like myself" the makeup honestly looked like complete crap without eyebrows since I did a light smokey eye on her.
This is what I have been able to determine from doing weddings now for years. Most people are used to not so well done makeup or even doing their makeup at all. It's not so much that you are not doing really good work it's that you are not doing what they want.
My suggestion: re think your consultation process. Every time I do a trial run I spend a good 15 minutes talking to the bride about how much makeup they normally wear (this is a good indicator for how much they will be comfortable with), then I ask them what they want (typically what they say is not always what they want), I have pinterest boards broken up into different makeup looks so I pull out my Ipad and have them point out pictures they like.
By using this consultation process the bride is typically happy with the look the first time.
Mar 03 13 05:28 am Link
London, England, United Kingdom
I do a lot of brides, I have been doing on and off for 20 years, I think I have got it down to a fine art now. I get them to fill in my client questionnaire before I meet them so I have a fair idea of what sort of look they want to go for and spend plenty of time chatting to them before I start. I show them step by step what I am doing and give them the opportunity to say if they don't like anything, that way I can change colours etc, before I have completed the whole look so I don't have to start all over again.
I am lucky I can afford to be picky on what clients I do and now the first whiff of someone being awkward I don't take their booking. In the past I have been brought to tears, but now I take it with a pinch of salt they are all a little bit crazy and in some instances you just have to pander to them and give them the look that they want even if it goes against everything you believe in (although in the past I have said to brides if they have wanted the Orange fake tan look what they do when I leave is up to them but I am not going to go against principles!)
Mar 04 13 10:49 am Link