professional asian wedding photography

Bridal Makeup and Beautician Hair, Henna and Asian Weddings

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Over the last twenty years we have come across number of brides and have to say the biggest let down we see is their make up. Some brides are naturally pretty and they know it, yet on the day of their wedding they forget that they are putting make up on and its here where they completely mess things are up.  This is particularly important to stress for asian weddings, where brides are wearing make up which is quite heavy and saturated.

Your make up should be put on that takes the punishment and ensures that you look good for the whole day. Remember Brides, you don’t want your makeup to start running in middle of your hot religious ceremony or for it to fall apart when you start grooving on the dance floor after the first dance.

I always tell all my clients that they need to tell their make up artists that the make up should be put on for photography and filming purposes. Despite this I get some brides putting make up on that is shiny that ends up highlighting the cheek bones. This may look fine but the photographs would show them having golf balls growing out of their faces. You have to remember we as photographers are working with additional lighting and that means using reflected and fill in lighting, which involves using  flashguns. Photography is all about reflected light, what is reflected of the person is captured by the camera. Therefore all those features highlighted by makeup in a photograph will look very unglamorous if the make up is not done properly.

There is a common tendency for asian brides to go to their hair and makeup artist with the latest asian bridal magazine, telling them their beautician that they want to replicate the makeup in the magazine.  This is where things go wrong, they don’t realise that the models in those magazines are mostly non south asians and therefore do not have similar skin tone and complexion to south asian brides. In addition to this the photographs have been heavily edited and smoothed out.  Therefore to replicate this make up would make the bride look like a walking pastry! Believe me, I have seen this and it is not pretty!

The following are some tips which I have picked up from the Cosmopolitan Magazine which I think you will find to be useful.



The key is to have a flawless, natural looking glowing complexion, build your make up in very thin layers, blotting lightly with a tissue to remove moisture.

It’s tempting to try and get the coverage in one go, however it always looks more natural and lasts longer when you work with smaller amounts of product and blend really well.

For a photogenic finish, apply an illuminator across the cheekbones and temples, and use a light reflecting concealer under the eyes for a lift.

Use a translucent powder to lightly (and sparingly) matti fi the t-zone  flash photography will make the centre part look shiny.


Shape your eyeliner into a beautiful Audrey Hepburn flick which you feel comfortable with, to enhance the shape of your eyes.

Define the brows,  so the features don’t start to get lost, threading helps.


Looking washed out –  the secret is to make sure you wear some colour on the lips with a glossy finish to make you look fresh.

To get longevity try finishing it with a tiny bit of Chanel Glossimer lip gloss in Sonate. Layering and compressing the colour will keep it in place. Also try to dust translucent powder around the lips to prevent feathering.


Make sure that your hair holds for the whole day and that it does not fall apart. You should try styles with your hair person and really test them out to see how they hold.


A friend of mine said that she never had henna before, let alone bridal henna, but loved experiencing the tradition. The night before the wedding her hands were painted for over an hour and a half and in the morning woke up to crumbles of the dye in bed all around her, no one told her about this!

Her mother-in-laws top tip to remove it in the morning was to wash her hands with olive oil which worked like a treat.

Her top advice for first timers is to keep a pair of latex gloves handy for bathroom visits before you re able to wash it off! You will be surprised how many people do not realise how long the whole application process takes and that we do have nature pressures to deal with.