Which Bridal Makeup Is Best? With Nicola Keegan, Nik Makeup Artist interviews for Wedding Espresso

May 23, 2019
Which Bridal Makeup Is Best? Full time MUA, Nicola Keegan from Nik Make Up Artist shares her best tips for looking your Bridal best on your Wedding Day!

Listen to Nicola on the Wedding Espresso Awesome DIY Wedding Planning Podcast…
Nik, Make Up Artist
Rachel [00:00:03] Hi Nik. Thank you for joining us. It’s really great to see you again.
Nik [00:00:10] Nice to be here. Tha

nk you for having me.
Rachel [00:00:13] You’re welcome. So you are Nicola Keegan from Nik Make Up Artist up in beautiful Scotland – Paisley isn’t it.
Nik [00:00:22] Yes Paisley, Glasgow, all over Scotland for bridal, yes.
Rachel [00:00:29] And we’re going to talk bridal makeup. So I’ll start off with a little story.
Nik [00:00:33] OK.
Rachel [00:00:34] I was bridesmaid for James’s sister. Quite some years ago now, and I decided to have a few makeup trials, I don’t know, to feel nice when I was trying on my Bridesmaid’s dress. So I went to a Department store and had my makeup done. And I thought, you know, “Awesome I look fabulous”, then I went out in the street and I was getting the weirdest looks and when I’d looked at myself in natural light I looked like the Gruffalo.
Rachel [00:01:12]

So that made me really cautious when we were booking our own wedding. I went to tons of trials and got clued upon it because I didn’t want that to happen on my big day. 

Nik [00:01:37] No of course not.
Rachel [00:01:37] There’s lots of things to consider isn’t there when you’re talking about Makeup. The question that we’ve been asked is.

“Which Bridal Makeup is Best?”. 

Rachel [00:01:49] I suppose you can take that from two different angles can’t you. You can take it from what is the best look and what is the best product. So what would you go with? Is a bit of both? What do you think?.
Nik [00:02:09] OK so I always say. Firstly thanks for your story. And it’s always nice to hear feedback from brides and their experiences because everyone is different. And any feedback make up artists can get is vital to us in our businesses for learning and growing and adapting to all different types of women out there.
Nik [00:02:33]

So that would bring me to what is the best type of bridal makeup. The answer is there is no best type. If you’re looking for a broad spectrum we can do that. But every woman out there is different.

Every woman out there has different skin types, skin tones. And nowadays that can be changing every day. It depends on what time of the month it is, what time of year it is. You know, we all used to know our skin types and then we think we’ve nailed it and all of a sudden one person might have dry skin and they wake up with a breakout all over their chin or forehead because of the weather, because of what time of the month it is etc, etc. So I would say the best advice that I give to my brides is stick to what you know.
Nik [00:03:33] If you are super glam and can’t go outside without eyeliner and your three layers of foundation then I am not going to strip – well I’ll do it in a very professional way! And give you a full look makeup without making you feel like you have the three layers of makeup on but still make you feel comfortable,  Like you’ve got enough makeup on for what you are comfortable with. If you are totally natural, you don’t wear makeup on a day to day basis.
Rachel [00:04:08] Yeah that’s me!
Nik [00:04:16] So I would advise you to definitely have a trial and try possibly two different looks. One with a BB or a CC cream.
Rachel [00:04:32] Oh right!
Nik [00:04:32]

So these are more like tinted moisturisers they’ve got normally five skin benefits, they’ve got primers in them as well. They feel more like a skin care but they give you coverage, they even out your skin tone. 

If you’re not used to wearing makeup I know if can be hard to even do that step. But once you have done that step you might be more adaptable to wearing a lighter coverage foundation.  Not all foundations make you feel like you have foundation on, so it is vital that you go to a makeup artist with all this experience because they’ll know how to advise you in the right direction. What products to use for your skin type and not just your personality. You might have redness or breakouts you want to cover but you don’t like wearing make up.  How do you combat that?
Rachel [00:05:43] Yeah totally.
Nik [00:05:43] So again it would be using the right products, using a really good primer with green tones in it to combat the redness first.
Rachel [00:05:43] Oh ok, yeah
Nik [00:05:43]

So you get the skincare down first, it’s not all about masking. We want to  give you a flawless finish without putting the mask on you, it’s about layering products up so really good primer. 

Nik [00:06:09] If you’ve got redness or dull skin maybe a lavender toned primer or a green toned primer will neutralise everything first, then using a concealer to conceal any breakouts, then a light coverage foundation over the top.  So everything’s covered but you don’t feel like you’ve got tons of makeup on because you haven’t – you’ve just used really good skin care, a really good concealer  – just on the bits that’s needed and then your light coverage foundation over the top. And once you kind of go to those steps for the more natural bride you may want to come in and try and more full on look because you feel so comfortable with the process but you’ve got to stick to what you know.
Nik [00:06:58]

You don’t want to come in thinking “Oh you know it’s my wedding day, I’ve never tried makeup before but I want this Kim Kardashian look”. 

Rachel [00:07:04] Haha.
Nik [00:07:09]  You’re going to feel totally out of your comfort zone.
Rachel [00:07:11] Can you imagine that? Ooh Crikey!
Nik [00:07:12] Yeah and you know your Wedding Day, there’s been such a huge build up to it.  You’ve already been hugely uncomfortable probably on the run up to it with all the do’s and don’ts and what should I be doing and is this the right way to do things?
Nik [00:07:31] Listen. There is no right way, the right way is your way.
Rachel [00:07:36] Your way, yep, yeah totally. You know what we’re all about doing things your your way, it’s your day isn’t it!
Nik [00:07:43] That’s why I always say to my brides stick to what you know.

For the natural bride we would use NARS foundation, this is sheer glow, this gives you a more radiant finish like what I have (on at the moment) but it’s so light, a fantastic foundation.

It lasts for hours as well. Always use a setting spray to set bridal make up. That will set you for the rest of the day with a good primer and foundation underneath.  Yeah, first step good primer. Then the foundation sits on that instead of sitting into your fine lines and pours – Argh, who wants that?? Not me.
Rachel [00:08:33] Haha, yeah, yeah.
Nik [00:08:33] Another good one for the natural bride. These can be built up, so they are really good products.  Even though I am saying they are good for the natural bride, they can be built up to more of a full coverage finish if need be.  So this is your Laura Mercier.
Rachel [00:08:53] Yeah , I’ve actually heard of her!
Nik [00:08:54] Yeah they are a big bridal foundation. So that’s probably why. I know you did your research back when you had to.  The thing is don’t spend too much time researching brands, makeup and makeup types, spend time researching also makeup artists in your area.
Rachel [00:09:17] Yeah that’s what I did.
Nik [00:09:17] And then they do all this work for you. Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with educating yourself along the way but I’m sure all our brides to be have got a million other things to think about.
Rachel [00:09:29] Alot on…You know yourself with your own wedding don’t you?
Nik [00:09:36] Yes, I do! Even though I’m in the industry it’s still not as easy as it looks. So well done all the brides, like yourself, that have been through it and are then at the other end.
Rachel [00:09:50] Yeah, it’s worth it, trust me.
Nik [00:09:53] So those are like the more natural buildable ones.

And the bad boy of the industry I would say is your Estee Lauder Double Wear.  This also can be mixed, sheered down with a highlighter.  I’m also for using Jojoba oils – I mix a lot my foundations with skincare depending on my clientele. 

I don’t find any one foundation can be perfect, so what I do is have an in depth consultation with my clients and I’ll normally mix them up an amazing bridal blend of foundation.
Rachel [00:10:40] Maybe you should set up your own line!
Nik [00:10:40] I know I know.
Rachel [00:10:48] Do your own blends!
Nik [00:10:48] Totally because since I started nine years ago, it’s always come really natural to me. I’ve never really, unless the days I was on the counter, days when I had my managerial roles I had to obviously use the foundations on the counter to colour match people.  But that’s such a good experience, I can colour match someone as soon as they walk through the door, because of that experience you know.

but since being a freelancer in the industry and using the products for so many years I love to mix bespoke foundations for my clients. 

Rachel [00:11:33] That’s very cool. I love that!
Nik [00:11:35] Yeah it’s exciting because no one else can ever make that blend. I write down the the exact formula. So that on your wedding day you have the exact same look.
Rachel [00:11:48] Yeah. Yeah it’s very important because it’s not trial and error on that day, you as a professional need to be as fast as possible, don’t you, because you could have nine people plus the bride to do it in a morning.
Nik [00:12:09] Yes. This is why trials are so vital as well.  Once you have been around someone’s face and all the Bridal Party and everythings written down to a tee.

The second time you do someone’s makeup is always, I don’t know why, but it’s always better.  Because you know their contours you know their face shape, you’ve got everything written down to a tee. You know the skin type, you’ve made a bespoke foundation for them, you know exactly how their skin’s going to react to certain things. 

Nik [00:12:49] So when you go on a wedding day it’s literally like step by step, job done and sometimes the time gets halved on the Wedding day to the actual trial because you’ve had that experience on that specific person’s face, it just goes on much quicker.
Rachel [00:13:12] Yeah I totally get that. That’s fabulous information, there, thank you.  Little quick question then, What’s the favourite part of what you do then? Is it you you blending because you seem pretty, you know, jazzed about that, you’re well into it!
Nik [00:13:26] I’m gonna make you a blend once we’re finished today, we can have wee consultation. I’ll make blend and send it down.
Rachel [00:13:43] Sounds like a plan.
Nik [00:13:43] We can confer in another month’s time.  The the best thing about my job is making a woman feel amazing about herself. And you just know. You know she looks in that mirror, even throughout the makeup.  If I’ve got a mirror sitting and you can see wee glances.
Nik [00:14:07] Because this is something they’ve always imagined, always wanted glowy skin, they’ve always wanted a really matt skin without any shine on it.
Nik [00:14:22]

You can see how excited I get when I’m talking about glow and matt – my earphone literally just jumped out of my ear! 

When you are going through this process, you know, you have to use your instincts in this industry not just in  makeup but as a supplier in the Wedding Industry you have to use your instincts and build that rapport and if they’re not giving me the wee looks as I am going along, I would stop and I would be asking how does this feel? is this the look you wanted? do you want maybe try a more matt look instead of a glowy look? You know, if they’re not giving you the smiles and the agreement along the way then you stop and check.
Nik [00:15:12]

And then the final outcome, you look in the mirror and the whole body language changes their shoulders come up, swagger comes out and it’s all because they’re feeling more confident about themselves. And that is what makeup can do for anyone.  And that is why I love it.

Because there is no better feeling than just nailing it and finding out what a customer wants and achieving that for them. It gives me life, honestly, I just love it!
Rachel [00:15:53] It’s lovely to see how passionate you are about what you do. It’s absolutely fabulous. I’m afraid that’s all I’ve got time for.
Nik [00:16:01] All right sorry I was just going to say. I am a freelance artist I do all sorts in the Industry but the biggie is for Brides because it’s such a special day.  You’ve been waiting for this day your whole life. So I know that, I’m a bride to be myself!
Nik [00:16:21] Its of huge importance to me to make sure that you’re comfortable and get the exact look that you want.
Rachel [00:16:30] Yeah it’s it’s absolutely fabulous that you’re so passionate about what you do, it.  It just shines through. You can see it in your face it’s great.
Nik [00:16:40] Thank you.
Rachel [00:16:41] And on that note. Where can people connect with you like Facebook Instagram, E-mail, Web site. Go on tell us.
Nik [00:16:50] Yeah. All of them.
Nik [00:16:52] So and I am really trying to  build my website now, I was social media for many years but 
Rachel [00:17:04] That’s now with a K isn’t it.
Nik [00:17:06] Yes. Thank you. Nik no spaces and the same for Facebook and Instagram. Just the Facebook/NikMakeUpArtist and the same for Instagram and Pinterest.
Rachel [00:17:24] All right. Cool. Do you do Twitter?
Nik [00:17:28] I do Twitter and that is @NicolaK1983.
Rachel [00:17:42] Well it’s been absolutely fabulous to speak to you today Nicola and see you again.
Nik [00:17:48] All right. Thanks for having me.
Rachel [00:17:49] I will speak to you soon.
Nik [00:17:52] Okay. Bye.

Huge Thank you to James and Rachel for having me.

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