Shauné Hayes On What EVERY Bride Should Do Before a Wedding Makeup Trial

wedding makeup artist red carpet ready
Shauné Hayes of Red Carpet Ready Makeup

Shauné Hayes is the owner and principal makeup artist of Red Carpet Ready Makeup, a Washington, D.C. lifestyle and beauty brand that helps you look gorgeous for all of life’s spotlight moments (like your wedding!).

With over 15 years experience creating boutique beauty experiences for celebrities like Rita Wilson and John Legend, as well as CEO’s, athletes and of course brides, Hayes knows exactly how to create a gorgeous and natural glow on your wedding day.

We spoke with Hayes about choosing a wedding day makeup look that stays true to you, as well as what she recommends all brides do to prepare for their makeup trial. Read our Q&A below!

Tell us about you and your company and how you got started!

A lot of people are surprised to know I am former journalist turned beauty entrepreneur. I spent 15 years as a journalist working for newspapers around the country and became interested in makeup simply by learning to do my own. My friends started to notice my makeup skills and would often ask me to do their makeup. So what started as something I did for fun eventually evolved into a passion for makeup and beauty. In 2012, I decided to leave my journalism and media career in 2012 (I was working at The Washington Post at that time) to run my makeup business Red Carpet Ready Makeup, full time. My company has grown from primarily servicing weddings to a lifestyle and beauty brand that creates experiences to help people look and feel confident in any spotlight moment.

From bold lips to a “no makeup” glow, what are some of your favorite wedding day makeup looks?

First, I love when brides stay true to their personality and don’t feel pressured to do what’s trendy. My favorite wedding day makeup looks are those that really enhance a bride’s features. One of my past brides has beautiful hazel eyes and we created a look that made them stand out even more on the wedding day with champagne, gold and bronze eyeshadows and the perfect lash. Another bride loved color on her lips, so her eyeshadows were soft and natural because she wanted to wear a red lip for her day. Lastly, I love for skin to look like skin, not product, so another favorite wedding day look is the “no makeup” look.

Via Red Carpet Ready Makeup. Photo by Jeff Simpson Photography
Are there any wedding makeup choices you think a bride should try to avoid?

I don’t think the wedding day is the day to experiment with something new. The goal should be to look defined, finished and still like yourself. Don’t get caught up in trends. One trend that is still big is using a lot of bronzer and highlighter to bring out your cheek bones. It can look too harsh especially if your wedding is a daytime wedding. Avoid glitter and sparkles! Makeup with particles — or flecks not only can it get messy and leave dustings everywhere, but a photographer friend shared that it can reflect back light towards the camera and result in white spots across your skin in the images. This can lead to costly retouching to remove. I would also avoid shimmer or iridescence in the wrong places, such as on the nose or forehead because it can look like your skin is greasy. Forgo lip gloss because it wears off quickly and will get all over your groom when you kiss. It can also be sticky and becomes more problematic if you’re wearing your hair down. Piling on products, particularly foundation and powder. There’s a misconception that a heavier foundation is needed to look good in photographs. As I stated earlier, I like skin to look like skin, so a sheer foundation can give you great results for your bridal portraits. Avoid using too much powder under your eyes because it can sink into any tiny wrinkles and magnify them. You don’t want the under eye area to end up looking dry in photos. The less powder, the better, to keep the under eye skin looking fresh and beautiful.

You might also like: 11 of Our Favorite Wedding Makeup Looks

Via Red Carpet Ready Makeup. Photo by Love Life Images
From the time a bride contacts you until the wedding day, how does your process work?

My process begins with an initial bridal questionnaire which allows me to get a better feel for the bride’s wedding day vision and budget. From there, I like to schedule a 15-minute “meet and greet” phone consultation so we can get to know each other a bit more. On the call, I also walk her through my makeup packages which I call “Experiences.” I take a very personalized approach and my Experiences are customizable because every wedding is unique. The bride is able to curate a package that speaks to her needs by adding various services. If she wants to add airbrush, or mink lashes, touch-up services or makeup for other wedding-related events, for example, she can customize her Experience. After the “meet and greet,” I put together a proposal for her to look over. If we seem to be a good fit, the bride can decide if she wants to do a makeup preview (aka trial) first or she can hold her day with a non-refundable retainer and schedule the makeup preview for a future date. Part of my process also includes creating a mood-board to ensure the bride’s makeup look, as well as the look for the bridal party, is cohesive. I also customize a makeup-specific timeline which makes it easier for the planner to drop it right in to the overall wedding day timeline. Throughout the entire process of us working together, my bride’s have their own private client portal where all emails, contracts, invoices and communication is kept.

Red Carpet Ready Makeup
Via Red Carpet Ready Makeup
What should a bride prepare for her makeup trial or first consultation? And how soon before the wedding day do you recommend hiring a makeup artist?

I created a Makeup Preview checklist for my brides so they know how to prepare for the first consultation. It’s really helpful if a bride has some ideas or inspiration makeup looks that she likes and even looks that she doesn’t like. Having these initial pictures is a good starting point for me to see what resonates with her and what doesn’t, and it allows us to talk through how she envisions herself on the big day. Make sure the pictures are of women with similar coloring to yours. Bring photos of yourself where you like (or dislike) your makeup. I want to avoid a situation where the verbal description of a makeup look turns into a disaster. I want to make sure I am seeing what the bride is seeing. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Via Red Carpet Ready Makeup. Photo by Love Life Images
Other suggestions to prepare for makeup preview:
  • Wearing a shirt similar to your gown color is ideal as it will give us a better idea of how the makeup will photograph.
  • If you have jewelry selected for the day, bring to the preview so we can see how it looks with the completed makeup look.
  • It’s always helpful to have your brows freshly groomed because they open up the eye area and enhance the overall makeup look.
  • Inform your artist of any sensitivities or allergies to any makeup/skincare.
  • Arrive with your face clean and makeup free.

I recommend hiring a makeup artist early in the planning process as opposed to later. A lot of makeup artists book up fast. To ensure you’re able to work with who you want, I wouldn’t wait to the last minute.

Via Red Carpet Ready Makeup
When working with brides of color, what are your favorite bridal beauty looks/ tips?

My favorite bridal looks whether it’s a bride of color or not, are looks that enhance their features. This is how I like to use the power of makeup on all of my clients. One of my tips, particularly for black brides, is to make sure your makeup artist understands the different tones in your skin and how to marry those tones so you don’t look one-dimensional on the big day. A lot of times artists miss the mark and choose the wrong foundation color or get the undertone wrong, or forget to make sure the face and neck match. The canvas isn’t only face, but the neck and décolletage too.

Shauné Hayes is one of the amazing vendors featured in our Black-Owned Wedding Businesses Every Couple Should Know About.  Follow her on Instagram and Facebook for daily inspo!


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