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Watch Carmen’s Wedding Makeup Trial

BY: Colleen Loggins Loster | Jan 2, 2019

How do you want to look on your big day? Do you want to look like you do most days, with maybe a tad more eyeliner? Or do you want to wow them when you do your vows, opting for a fully beat face?

Choosing how to do your wedding makeup is stressful, especially when you remember that you’ll have the photos forever. And if you’re someone like Carmen, a beauty junkie who wears a full face to work every day, it’s particularly challenging. After all, you don’t want to look like you do on a regular old day.  

That’s when you turn to professionals like Milian Bonillo, a Chicago makeup artist who does wedding makeup looks for publications, as well as real-life brides. During Carmen’s makeup trial ahead of her spring nuptials, Milian gave Carmen two looks: a classic pretty, understated bridal look and a move vamped up bridal glam look.

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Look #1: Classic, Natural Bride

  • Prep: removed Carmen’s current makeup with micellar water, then added oil-free moisturizer and eye shadow primer
  • Eyes: blended lilac and neutral shadows, then tightlined Carmen’s top waterline. Because Carmen has hooded eyes, Milian opted against using a thick eyeliner line, choosing instead to show more eye shadow. Added mascara.
  • Concealer: covered any blemishes and acne scars with creamy concealer
  • Foundation: added a professional brand of foundation after concealer, then blended with a brush. Carmen says she was surprised to see the concealer first because when she normally does her own makeup, she applies foundation before concealer. But, she says, “I didn’t notice a huge difference. I feel like it’s maybe just a personal preference.”
  • Finishing face touches: dabbed on setting powder followed by blush
  • Lips: Added clear gloss over a nude lipstick

Carmen’s Thoughts

Brows: Milian opted to leave Carmen’s brows alone because Carmen had just had her brows waxed and tinted. “I personally would have done more,” Carmen says. But Carmen also recognizes that the wedding makeup artist was giving her a more classic look.

“I trust that she knows what is more of a traditional bridal makeup look. There were many moments where I would comment, and she would say, “oh that’s Instagram makeup, not bridal makeup. For instance, when she was doing undereye concealer, I was like, are you going to do some setting powder over it? And she was like, yeah, no.”

Highlighter: Carmen was also surprised Milian didn’t add any highlighter. “Every day I put on some highlight or I feel naked,” Carmen says. “It’s funny because it’s only been in the past year or two that I’ve cared about that and now I’m like, where’s my highlighter? So I would ask her to add some on the day of.”

Lips: Milian typically finishes a more natural wedding makeup look with a clear lip gloss, not a color. But Carmen wanted something more.

“When I heard natural, I was not even thinking how natural it would be,” Carmen explains, adding, “I wear more makeup every day than this. My natural is a step up from other people’s.”

So they picked out a nude lipstick color and then added gloss. “I was definitely happier with that!” Carmen says.

Look #2: Glam Bride

Note: Milian added to the first natural look to create a more glam look, rather than starting from scratch.

  • Eyes: Added a Stila glitter liquid eye shadow in purple, then smoked out Carmen’s eyes even more
  • Brows: Defined Carmen’s brows with a pencil
  • Highlight and contour: Contoured Carmen’s face, then added a powder highlighter on her cheekbones
  • Lips: Lined Carmen’s lips with a slightly darker nude lip liner to create a nude ombre effect.

Carmen’s Thoughts

Eyes: “I would probably do more eyeliner. I asked for a cat eye, and she said she would recommend just doing the tightlining with the shape of my eyelids,” Carmen says. “It looked good, but maybe I would add a wing to it on my actual wedding day.”

Milian also asked Carmen if she wanted fake lashes, a staple of most glam wedding makeup. However, Carmen told her that she liked her natural lashes with mascara on the best, so they left them out.

Lips: Carmen was happy with Milian’s choice of a nude ombre lip. A lot of times, glamorous bridal looks come with a dark, vampy lipstick, but Carmen didn’t want that. “I know when I personally wear dark lipstick, it’s hard for me to keep it from getting everywhere,” she explains. “Maybe it’s different when a professional does it, but I didn’t want to have to deal with that on my wedding day.”  

The Winner: Glam Bride

Carmen says she “would keep everything about this look, just maybe add a cat eye.” She also says she might try a matte nude lip on her wedding day “just to see how that looked,” but she also likes the idea of not having to worry about touch-ups during the day, “and a gloss is more flexible than a matte lipstick.”

Why Carmen Was Happy She Did a Wedding Makeup Trial

In addition to liking Milian as a person, Carmen was very pleased with the whole process. She especially loved how much feedback she was able to give. “It wasn’t just like, OK, here are your eyes, they’re done. Milian was checking in with each step.”

Carmen also admits that she was nervous about her wedding makeup before this trial. “There is pressure to look amazing on your wedding day, and it’s like, can I look amazing?” Carmen explains, voicing the doubt almost every potential bride feels. But that doubt died when she saw herself.

“Oh yeah, I can look pretty good,” she smiles. “I learned that if a professional is doing your makeup, you can look real good. Makeup is art.”

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