Tips to Making Your Makeup Last

Sweating bullets, like actually…

Sitting at my desk (aka kitchen table), writing this blog, it’s currently 27 degrees (that’s over 80 in Fahrenheit for my northern hemisphere friends). No biggie you say, that’s mild. Ordinarily it would be, for Queensland anyway, but, it’s currently 86% humidity!! And it’s not even raining!

If you were a bride, you might be mildly freaking out. How will my makeup stay put? Am I going to look fresh beyond two minutes after stepping outside the ac? Is my face going to slide off, ruin my dress and my life?

And the answer is, maybe. I know, that’s not what you want to hear but there are things you can do on the day, and, in the lead up to your event. Your artist too (ahem, over here, hi *waving) should have tips and tricks for makeup longevity, so let’s look at a few…

What you can do:

Skin Prep

Makeup works best on well prepared skin and while your artist will do this on the day, you can help your artist and your skin by becoming dedicated to your skincare routine. If you’re not already following something that’s working for you (excellent – I’m so proud!), check out my basic skin routine here. Your makeup artist will also be able to guide you if you’re unsure or you can find a beauty therapist to help. Just don’t start crazy routines two weeks out from the wedding, start now, and your skin and makeup artist will thank you on the day.


Avoid alcohol the night before and even too much on the day. Alcohol makes you sweat.  Where do we sweat? Our largest and most clever organ, the skin! I’m not saying don’t drink all but perhaps take it easy, stay hydrated too. Long glasses if you’re having spirits, mimosa’s if you’re having champagne, mineral water and water and even cooling water filled snacks like watermelon, cucumber, celery all help. 

Hair and makeup by me on Tiarna, wearing robe by Little White Couture, photographed by Keira McCall at Montville Country Gardens.

Stay Cool

Well duh! Thanks Captain Obvious, but I mean to say physically AND, emotionally, try to stay calm and keep your cool. Sweating is also a reaction to stress. Try to remain calm on your wedding day, surround yourself with calming people (pre-empt any drama llamas from making an appearance or popping in and let them know you won’t be taking (those) visitors), take time out if you need, get some fresh air, listen to a calming playlist or use an app like Insight Timer to find some stress-less guided soundtracks. 

Match Your Season

Avoid heavily layered gowns, long sleeves or heavier fabrics in warmer climates and seasons. Wedding dresses aren’t known for being like your fav pair of jogger pants and tee so as much as possible, choose something that will be comfortable to wear in the aircon and outside. Consider your hairstyle and how that might affect your body temperature too; if you know you’re inclined to sweat up a storm, try an upstyle to get all the hair away from your neck and back. 

Hair and Makeup by me on model Nora Haukland, captured by Sharleen Christie, wearing gown by Niki Teljega, styled by The Bella Styling Co

What your artist can do:

Skin prep on the wedding day

There are products that can stop sweating however, I’m not a huge fan as I feel they affect the finish of the makeup and change the texture. They also contain ingredients that I wouldn’t wear on my face and taste like ass. Skin prep in terms of a gentle exfoliation/cleanse, tone and moisturiser will absolutely help. I do this for each makeup, but I take care to ensure I’m using the best for you, so we don’t end up creating extra slip.

The right products

There are so many products on the market. Some make extraordinary claims, I use products for your base that I know and trust. I prefer a silicone base for most of my foundations, they have staying power and with the right skin prep, a winning combination will see your makeup lasting through sweat, tears, all-night karaoke and head-banging on the d-floor. I have brides and clients tell me they wore their makeup to bed and only needed to touch-up their lips for the next day!!! PLEASE don’t do that – maybe one night, I know your wedding day is a big one and you just want to flop at the end of it, so you can have a free pass, but just this once. 

Finishing your look

A setting powder can help however using too much will appear cakey and potentially gluggy with too much moisture. Your artist will use powder sparingly and in the right zones to secure your look. I like Ben Nye Neutral Set – this is a powder used in stage and theatre so I know it lasts, Graftobian HD Pro Powder – adds a little more coverage and setting power, Mecca Cosmetica Soft Focus Finishing Powder – with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E to help diffuse light, and ByTerry Hydra Hyaluronic Powder – like the name suggests, it also contains hyaluronic acid to plump lines, this one also contains silica microspheres to increase the appearance of  smoothness.

Makeup & Hairstyling by me, Gown by Hilde Heim Designer, image by We Are Twine. Tiara by Crystal Eclipse Crowns.

Setting sprays 

These sprays are especially helpful to lock in your base. I use a few depending on your look. I love Model in A Bottle for a more mattified look and for a glow-up look Ciate’s Dewy Spritz, another great one is Ben Nye Final Seal. They allow you to sweat through without the makeup shifting.

Touching up

Touch-up kits are a good idea to investigate too, your artist can make suggestions on what will work with the makeup they have applied, and, will look great on camera too. A small pressed powder compact and a puff gently pressed to areas like the nose, forehead and chin to take away shine. Avoid being too heavy handed or using loose powders as your makeup could become cakey or gluggy, not to mention the possibility of spilling the contents on one’s dress!!

Blotting sheets are a handy item to have in your clutch, these take away excess shine and oil without disturbing the makeup at all. 

Ask your artist too about their All-Day or Extended service to attend to you and your makeup and bridal party after your ceremony and prior to having those all-important wedding photos. While this may seem too much to some, your wedding day is likely THE most photographed day of your life, knowing you look your absolute best is worth the investment. 

I hope that helps. The weather can be such a big factor on your wedding day, I hope that knowing your makeup at least will stay put and you can look and feel amazing all day and night will help create those calm, Zen feelings that every bride deserves.

Thanks for reading, until next time.

Carly xx

Stalking. The good kind…

Are you stalking me? Exxxxcelllennnnt!!!

I love it when my clients tell me they’ve been stalking me, and following me and my work for ages. That makes me feel great, (hello ego - of course) but, more importantly, I know that you love my work.

Because, I want you to KNOW me through my work. I want you to know who I am and what I stand for. I want you to know that I truly care for you and your wedding day and I am there to do everything I can to make it super happy and special and moving for you, your loved ones and your fiancé.

So then, how DO you decide on a makeup artist & hairstylist for your day of days?

Generally, most people are only planning on one wedding. One day-of-days, one perfect day, one time to “get it right” and “feel like a queen”. So how do you choose when there are so many artists out there? 

Here are some points that might help.

Price: For some, budget comes into play, and while I completely understand budget constraints, I urge you to not let that be your only deciding factor.

Products: Marketing for brands is big business these days and many artists use name brands to ride that wave of success. I use products based on performance, ones I know fit my style and will stand up to the tears, the heat and humidity and, crazy dance floor moves.

Social Media: Social media channels are a popular and easy way to search for an artist. Bear in mind however that feeds are highly curated, you’re getting the cream off the top so definitely stalk, stalk, stalk away.

Are you stalking my bridal instagram?

Search Engines: Yes! A great way to search your wedding location, your local suburbs or keywords “boho”, “full glam” or whatever your heart’s desire for an artist near to you however, many great artists don’t make it to the first page.  Also using your social media as a search engine #brisbaneweddingmakeup or #newyorkweddingmakeupandhair or whatever suits your search best is it’s own search engine. 

Consider a search engine that helps our planet

Referrals: My cousin or neighbour used this artist and he/she was amazing, Yes! I bought a TV from TVLand and the salesperson was so helpful and not pushy at all, yes! What a wonderful way to find someone that you can trust too, based on the experience of someone you know, like and trust. I am lucky to have many client, fellow vendor, friend and colleague referrals for my weddings (you all have my eternal gratitude), and I love it, because you already feel like you know me. 

And, Stalking: Stalk it all. Stalk all the channels, stalk their website, google their images, stalk so you know what you’re getting, and who you are getting. Stories on Facebook or Instagram too, are a great way to learn more about your artist so stalk them too!

If you have been married already, how did you decide? I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading, until next time.

Carly xx

Beautiful Carly & Matt at their Eudlo wedding Oct 2019, captured by Nicola Holland Photography

Should I book a Makeup Trial?

Why Should You Book a Trial?

I know, you’re budgeting, you don’t want to outlay money, right? Or you know what you usually like and your partner has said, “you don’t need makeup anyway”, so why “waste” that money? Well, here’s what I know from years of experience, and how booking a makeup trial can help you.

Skincare, beauty treatments, waxing, threading, faux-tanning, they should all have a timeline in the lead up to your wedding. You can check out my previous blog here for some tips on timing, but at your trial we can go deep, talk about your plans for your beauty regimen leading up to the wedding day, how to schedule your appointments and how to get your best wedding day skin!

“I wear makeup every day and I know what I like.” Fantastic, that’s great and it will really help your makeup artist in creating a beautiful wedding day look. What you might not realise is how your everyday look will translate on camera, and how it might come off a little more natural or lacklustre than you had imagined. A skilled artist can talk you through small changes to amp up that look so it will photograph like a dream and you still feel like you.

Tiarna wearing Anna Dutton Couture, captured by Keira McCall

“I want this exact look (insert Pinterest photos here).” Ok, I get it, Pinterest is a great resource to find inspiration, it’s also packed full of airbrushed, photoshopped images that barely resemble a normal human face. Your makeup artist wants you to be happy, we want you to love your face so much after we’re done, you nearly cry (don’t ruin your makeup though), we also know you don’t have a huge almond shaped eye like the model and it might not suit that really dramatic look you’re favouring, you have fair skin – not olive and those colours won’t look the same on your skin as on that model, and although that silver cut-crease and liner is really well executed in the picture, it might possibly be a bit too much for that day of days. Are you picking up what I’m putting down?

Beautiful bridesmaid, wedding ready, hair by Lou

A trial is not just road-testing that look you’re set on, it’s also about what I bring too. I can offer years of experience, what I know works and what doesn’t, we can chat about small details like wedding day timing, when should you start getting dressed, how you might like to have your mother in law come later on in the day and not be there for the duration. 

And, are you really willing to roll the dice on probably THE MOST photographed day of your life? For the sake of a small outlay, I believe a trial is well worth the investment, it’s for your piece of mind. You can truly relax, knowing your makeup artist has the ball.

Rhiana wearing Little White Couture captured by Keira McCall

And now, for your wedding, drop me a line here about your date, what you’re dreaming of for your day of days, and how I can help you look like your best you. 

Thanks for reading, until next time!

Carly xx

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