I know there are a lot of wedding DIYers out there, and I salute you; those invitations were adorable, the handcrafted details throughout  are charming, and let’s face it, the props you have picked out for your photobooth are pretty much awesome.  Kudos!  However, pretty please really consider if you want to do extend the spirit of DIY into your own makeup on your wedding day.  In today’s blog, top rated NYC wedding photographer Casey Fatchett and I weigh in on why you should hire a professional makeup artist for your wedding day….




1. Not All Makeup Is Created Equally (or Photographs the Same)

The Photographer says:

While you may be saying to yourself, “I do my own makeup all the time. I want to do my own for my wedding, and then I know I will look like I normally do”, you don’t know how your everyday makeup will look in photographs in different types of light. Some makeups can photograph very shiny and make you look oily or sweaty – and nobody likes to be shiny in their photos! Other types of makeup can also make you look extremely pale when your photographer uses any sort of flash, like in dimly lit houses of worship or large reception halls. It is best to work with a professional makeup artist who can use products that won’t result in looking like you just ran up a flight of stairs or the dreaded ‘ghost face’.

The Beauty Pro says:

Everyday makeup just doesn’t cut it for an extraordinary occasion like your wedding day. For a flawless face, expect to wear about 30% more makeup than you would normally. It may sound like a lot, but that 30% in the right places works to create a look that photographs better-than-natural (I promise!) A little powder and a swipe of lip gloss may look ok at the office, but consider the following key points:

On your wedding day you will be wearing an elaborate, often expensive, light colored garment usually exposing your shoulders, arms, and décolletage, which may be a different shade than your face and require some color correction. Colors in the white family (even warmer ones like cream & ivory) can leave you looking washed out and tired unless your features are properly balanced and accentuated. Speaking of accentuating your features, realize that as the star of the show all eyes will literally be on you! From afar, close up, and all day from all angles, for hours and hours…friends, family, (and your photographer) will be looking at you and snapping pictures, shooting video, and sharing on social media. These pictures are going to be looking back at you for the rest of your life and with HD photography the stakes are definitely higher.

2. “Just Photoshop It” Is Not Your Best Option When Dealing With Your Skin

The Photographer says:

“Oh, you can just Photoshop that out, right?” I have heard that question so many times that I think I lost count nearly a decade ago. While it may seem like a valid option to deal with a scar, bad tan lines, or a skin condition like rosacea, Photoshop is not the right tool. Yes, a good photographer can retouch an image for you, but most often retouching will not be included in your photography package or perhaps only on a select number of images. If you have a photographer who is willing to individually touch up hundreds of pictures they are either extremely generous or very, very expensive.

Photoshop also isn’t just impractical because it’s expensive, it’s also difficult to make it realistic looking. The basic principle behind ‘retouching skin’ is that you either blur and smooth the skin (making it look somewhat unrealistic) or “borrow” a swatch of “clean” skin from another area and then use that swatch to cover the unwanted portion of the image, whether its a scar, a tan line, a tattoo, whatever. Consistency is difficult to achieve because there are so many different things to consider to get a good match for the swatch, such as lighting, the way your skin texture looks on different parts of your body, etc.

The better option would be to work with your makeup artist and find a way to cover up anything going on with your skin so that you look the same – flawless – in every photo!

The Beauty Pro says:

Photoshop!? Leave that to the washed up celebrities on the cover of the Fall fashion issues and the like. Professional corrective cosmetics ranging from heavy duty concealers to air brush makeup for face or body are by far the best way to handle any irregularities or features that you are self conscious about and provide a flawless, consistent finish that will reflect the best version of you. And never ever underestimate the value of good skin care in advance; see a dermatologist if you can as soon as you get engaged to begin a treatment plan for any longtime issues you may want to address, and squeeze in a few appointments with an esthetician with good reviews for a facial.

3. Stress

Pros agree:

You have plenty of other things to do on your wedding day. You’ve already put in all this work taking phone calls at weird hours from your panicked mother, picking up your in laws at the airport, and staring at the perfect handcrafted programs on Pinterest until your eyeballs hurt. Do you really want to have to worry about doing your own makeup? Just sit back, relax, and let someone else do the work!


A bit about my co-author:

Casey Fatchett is an award winning photojournalistic photographer whose work has been published in   magazines such as New York MagazineThe KnotBridal GuidePlatinum WeddingsSophisticated Weddings – New York, as well as The New York Times and international art publications.  He is an active member of the Wedding Photojournalist’s Association (WPJA) and the Wedding and Portrait Photographer’s International (WPPI), and an all around swell guy.  His work is beautiful and his heart is big!