The Do's and Don'ts of South Asian Bridal Hair and Makeup

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Brides to be … congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Wedding planning is a fantastically challenging process and there are times of utter confusion when making certain decisions. Bridal makeup and hair styling is definitely one of them!

You love to be in the know of the latest makeup trends, follow tutorials on blogs and video sites, always stop by a makeup counter to try out a new launch, but you still feel like you are at a loss when it comes to your wedding day look.

While working with brides for over 15 years, one thing has always been consistent in my interaction with my North American brides. They want to look flawless and natural, but glamorous and not caked-up. Here are some guidelines on how to achieve this goal.

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1. Do start looking for a professional artist at least 6 months before the big day, especially if your wedding is on a Saturday or a long weekend.

2. Do put aside a realistic budget for your beauty. There will be a higher price tag if you expect the artist to remain with you the entire wedding day. Try offering the artist more clients to work with at your wedding to make it worth their time commitment.

3. Do get comfortable with your artist's style. This includes reviewing their portfolio, considering recommendations from their previous clients, and a one-on-one consultation and trial makeup session.

5. Do set aside a budget for the trial sessions. Remember that the artist is investing time and talent to help finalize a look that looks exquisite on you.

4. Do have your outfit with you when you set up a trial session. A black T-shirt will not represent your wedding day outfit and therefore will not be able to fully translate the impact of the final look!

6. Do take your dupatta/chunni to your hair trial, especially if you need to have your head covered during the ceremony. Many a fabulous hair style succumbs to the weight of an embroidered chunni, so the hairstyle has to be pretty, as well as functional.

7. Do take pictures as reference, but remember that every look will have to be translated to reflect your features, hair, and skin tone. The Jodha Akbar look when replicated on you will be your version of it, not Aishwarya Rai's.

8. Do be open to your artist’s recommendations. They do this for a living and know how certain colors and intensities will turn out in pictures.

9. Do try out different styles of eyelash enhancements - extensions, individual lashes or custom made full sets. They look spectacular and mascara is no match for what they can do for your eyes!

10. Do remember that colors look different in different lighting situations. If you get a trial session done for an evening event that is going to be in the soft mood lighting of a hotel, don't judge your makeup by looking at it in sunlight as it will look too bold.

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1. Don't attempt to do your own hair and makeup. The bride has an enormous amount of nervous energy during those last few hours leading up to the wedding.

2. Don't ask a best friend or aunty to do it either. Yes, your friend does an amazing job with makeup when you go out to party, but can she make it work for different lighting situations and for professional photography? Does she have an array of professional grade tools and products on hand to do emergency fixes for stress related acne that just showed up or really dark circles that reflect the sleepless nights of the week preceding the wedding?

3. Don't try to cut corners on cost by going to a makeup counter to get a makeup for product purchase deal. Do you really want to run around the mall on your wedding day?

4. Don't show up at your consultation and trial session without taking care of grooming. Out of shape brows, facial hair and peeling skin will never let the flawless, perfect look come into play.

5. Don't opt for a trendy look for your wedding. If you must follow a trend, do so on the night of the sangeet. You really don't want to look time stamped on your wedding day.

6. Don't insist on dark eyes and nude lips for the wedding. Nude lips will not show up in the photographs and you will look washed out.

7. Don't go with an all out shimmery look to replicate the look you see on magazine cover shoots. It will make you look like a disco ball! Instead, keep the shimmer and sheen for your eyes with just a tad bit on your cheekbones.

8. Don't keep your hair all down for the garba and reception if you want to dance the night away. The energy, movement and passion of the moment will make you sweat and your hair will stick to your face and neck … not very pretty!

9. Don't believe everything you read about beauty products. Airbrush makeup does not last for over 18 hours and unless you use a perming chemical for curls, your curls will get looser, softer and more open as the hours progress.

10. Don't take too many suggestions from multiple friends and family after a trial session. Everyone has their own taste and viewpoint which may end up frustrating you. Let this be your decision and work with your artist until you discover the look you love!

Stay Beautiful!
Saman Ansari
Master Makeup Artist.

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Saman Ansari is a Master Makeup Artist and Hair Designer specializing in South Asian Weddings. Her international career started in 1994 as she learned hands on how to do makeup for Television and Film while working as a talk show host on Pakistan TV. Learning from the industry gurus she quickly mastered the technique of makeup for different lighting situations and moved to launch her career as a Bridal Makeup Artist in North America shortly after. As a traveling artist for Studio Sila, Saman offers her services of bridal makeup, hair design and styling of the outfit to brides-to-be in her hometown of Austin, as well as all over North America, Canada and for destination weddings.

To connect with Saman you can visit her website, her blog, her Facebook Group or her Twitter.!/group.php?gid=2436679643

You love to be in the know of the latest makeup trends, follow tutorials on blogs and video sites, always stop by a makeup counter to try out a new launch, but you still feel like you are at a loss when it comes to your wedding day look.


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