7 Wedding Hair and Makeup Myths Every Photographer Wants You to Know

If there’s one day in your life where you want to feel look AND feel your best, it’s your wedding. And a big component of that is not only the photos you get back, but the hair and makeup captured in them!

Wedding day beauty is best left to the pros, and nobody knows this more than wedding photographers. They’ve seen what a not so great job can do, and how it can influence your entire day. From throwing off your wedding schedule to the photos themselves, a negative experience can have a ripple effect.

“Few things are more emotionally distressing than finding yourself running late at the very beginning of the day or not getting the look you originally planned for your big day,” says Meredith Ryncarz, photographer and owner of Meredith Ryncarz Photography in Savannah, Georgia. “This can then feed into how you feel in front of the camera for all of your wedding portraits,” she says. Hiring a professional will also ensure that you are on time, which leads to more opportunities for pictures.

Despite the fact that wedding hair and makeup artists are one of the most important vendors you can hire, the process is still shrouded in mystery. After all, unless you’re a celebrity or hire hair and makeup teams on the regular, you’ve probably never worked with one before. Especially not ahead of such an important day like your wedding.

To help clear up some common wedding hair and makeup myths, we went right to the source! Read on for advice from photographers and HMU artists to make sure your hair, makeup, and photos look amazing.

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MYTH: Your everyday makeup will be just as good for your wedding

You might love the way you look with your everyday makeup, but it’s a good idea to trust the instincts of your makeup artist. “Makeup with a heavy amount of glitter in the eyeshadow or zinc oxide in the foundation and concealer can cause makeup flashbacks in photos,” warns Ryncarz. This may give you a “ghostly” hue that is “almost impossible to fix as a photographer,” she adds.

MYTH: Contoured makeup will be the most flattering

Makeup contouring has been the rage in the past few years. But Ryncarz warns that isn’t always the right choice on a wedding day.

“Some people think contouring will make your face look thinner, but this only holds true when it is done correctly,” she says. “Unfortunately, it is often applied in a heavy-handed way.” This can be picked up by the camera and look more like bruising than sculpting. For this reason, Ryncarz highly recommends not only having a makeup trial, but sharing the results with your photographer.

MYTH: How you look in person is how you will look in your final edited images

If you look in the mirror and think your wedding-day makeup is too heavy, it very well might be. However, it is also possible that your makeup artist knows exactly what they’re doing.

To make sure the balance is right, consider using photographers and wedding hair and makeup artists that complement each other, notes Shani Gailbreath, owner and principal hair and makeup artist at Canvas + Coif in Nashville, Tennessee. For example? “Suppose your photographer edits on the darker, moodier side, and your makeup artist uses an excessive amount of bronzer,” she says. “In that case, there’s a possibility you could look patchy and orange in your pictures.”

MYTH: Photoshop can fix everything

“If you are a crier or getting married in the heat, [you may want to] you to hire your wedding hair and makeup artist to stay on for touch-ups during the photos,” says Gailbreath, adding that it’s always beneficial to have a set of eyes solely fixed on the bride. Bonus? Having your hair and makeup artist stick around after the ceremony means you can freshen up before your reception. Gailbreath notes this can really come in handy if you plan on transitioning into a different look.

MYTH: A spray tan will only level-up your look

The opposite is usually true—a fact that surprises most couples who think that a spray tan makes for better photos. “Oftentimes it will leave your skin looking oddly orange,” warns Ryncarz. It can also lead to other issues. “When we capture close-up images of your wedding rings, your fingers and knuckles will look oddly streaky.” Opt for your natural skin tone instead.

MYTH: Airbrushing is a must-have

For a flawless look, many brides believe they need to opt for an airbrushed foundation. But Lynne Reznick, an Adirondack-based wedding photographer, points out that a great makeup artist will be able to give you a flawless look, no matter the type of application. “What’s more important is that you feel comfortable with the makeup on your face,” she says. “If you try airbrushed foundation during your trial and you feel like it’s too heavy, be honest with your makeup artist about wanting to go a different route.”

What’s more, Amelia Cooper, creative director at Amelia C & Co in Las Vegas, points out that airbrush isn’t photoshop.

“Many times, brides think that if they get airbrush makeup, their skin will look smooth and flawless in photos. But unfortunately, even the most perfect skin does not look that way through the unforgiving lens of the camera. Instead, it’s created through digital editing,” she says. “…The texture they see in the mirror is not the same texture they see in their inspiration photo.”

MYTH: You should start growing out your hair the moment you get engaged

The idea that you should grow your hair for your wedding is another old myth—and one Cooper is ready to debunk. “Not only are one-day hair extensions easy and affordable, but [longer] hair does not mean that the style will be fuller or better,” she says. In fact, the opposite is often true. Hair that is too long usually doesn’t curl very well. “There’s no need to let the hair grow. Usually, the extra length is hidden at best, a hassle at worst.”

Hopefully these wedding hair and makeup tips will help you look (and feel!) your best. And remember, always ask your photographer for their tips regarding your wedding hair and makeup. The same goes with showing your photographer’s portfolio to your HMU artist. Just like in professional photo shoots, these two (or three!) often work together to get amazing photos. So it’s no different on your wedding day!

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