Tips For Booking A Makeup Artist For Your Wedding

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and you want to look and feel your best!  I’m sorry to break it to you, but it’s inevitable that you’ll experience some sort of drama surrounding the wedding... as a makeup artist, we want to keep the drama on your eye makeup and divert the negativity.  Here are some tips to make sure you get the look you want from the perfect artist for you.

  1. Your wedding day is NOT a time to try a new dramatic look. If you don’t normally wear a lot of makeup, don’t request a dark smokey eye. Stay away from all things Kardashian when you’re looking for photo inspiration. You won’t feel like yourself and it has nothing to do with the Makeup Artist’s talent. The perfect wedding makeup is an enhanced version of yourself. Pinterest is your best friend. If you really have no idea where to start, try looking up bridal makeup looks specific to your eye color.

  2. Always always always schedule a makeup trial. I can not stress how important scheduling a!makeup trial is . This is your time to work with your artist and lock down your look to ensure a seamless wedding day. Be HONEST and descriptive. And if you’re able to, have a few inspiration images ready so that the artist can feel out the vibe you’re going for. Notice how I said “inspiration” images above? That’s because the makeup will never be identical to the photo you’ve shown because a good artist will tailor your inspiration photo to your specific needs. Typically, the trial can take a little bit longer than the makeup on the day of the wedding since you’re working in tandem with your artist to nail the look you’re going for! Once you’ve perfected the look, make sure to take photos for reference. Last but definitely not least, if you are booking with a salon, a cosmetic counter / store, a company that has multiple artists please make sure that the artist who performs your trial is your guaranteed artist on the day of the wedding!

  3. Lighting is key. Aside from your venue and food expenses, the cost of wedding photography will be a large investment. If you’re spending all that money on photos, they need to stand the test of time and it’s your makeup artists job to make sure you are camera ready! Your makeup should be tailored to the type of wedding you will have (ie: indoor vs outdoor or daytime vs evening). For example, if you’re having an outdoor daytime wedding, try to schedule your makeup trial around the same time that you’ll need to be ready on the day of your wedding. That way you can have someone snap a couple photos of you in natural lighting so you can see how it photographs.

  4. Lashes are a MUST. Even if you’re going for a very natural look, adding a few lashes will enhance your eyes and give a more youthful appearance. Not only that, but lashes photograph well and complete the look. If you’ve never worn false lashes or if they are uncomfortable, you can request that your artist uses individual lashes. Individual lashes are lighter in weight and give more of a natural enhancement to the eyes. Strip lashes can vary from natural to a more dramatic and glamorous look. Your artist can work with you to figure out the perfect lash during your trial.

  5. Avoid new skincare or invasive facial. Introducing new skincare can c!se you to have a reaction or break out and that is the last thing you want to stress about close to your big day! I’m not telling you to not take care of your skin, I’m just telling you not to change up your routine too close to the date of the wedding (about a month out). Sometimes new skincare can cause your skin to purge and detox so give it enough time to adjust.

  6. Personality is EVERYTHING! Make sure that you feel comfortable and relaxed with the artist that you choose! You should feel at ease and trust your artist to do their job. Use your gut instinct and use the tips above to make sure you book your perfect bridal makeup artist.

I hope this advice helps you find your perfect makeup artist for your perfect day!

Don’t hide your blues!


Color influences perceptions that are not obvious, but  they do induce emotions or enhance placebos.  The psychology of color is used in everything around us.  Have you ever noticed that most fast food restaurants use yellow and red tones?  It’s not a coincidence... red stimulates your appetite & hunger whereas yellow triggers feelings of happiness.   So the “Happy Meal” quite literally becomes a happy meal until you start to digest it (there’s nothing happy about that).  Fast food aside, businesses have researched the psychology of colors in order to better market themselves for years!  Most successful companies tend to use the color blue to market themselves.

Speaking of blue, what are your first thoughts that come to mind when you think of the color? Most commonly,  Blue is associated with the sky, and the sea.  It can produce a calming effect because it is a “safe” color.  Symbolically, blue represents trust, loyalty, wisdom, and confidence!  From a color psychology perspective, blue is “reliable” and “responsible”.   Isn’t that what we all want when we are hiring a company for outside services?  We want to know that they can be counted on and trusted.  Here are some reputable companies that use the color blue in their branding:


Okay, so we’ve gone over the psychology of blue now, let’s discuss the metaphysical effects of blue.  Blue represents your throat chakra.  The throat chakra is directly related to your ability to communicate as well as your speech.  If you have a big presentation, meeting, or conversation coming up, I strongly suggest looking in to techniques that will cleanse and enhance your throat chakra.  You will be able to verbalize your thoughts and feelings more effectively.  We’ve all been involved in circular conversations that feel never ending and that’s because of the inability to communicate effectively.  The throat chakra also ties in to your throat (duh) , lungs, and thyroid gland.  If you don’t know, your thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate the body's metabolic rate, heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development, mood and bone maintenance. 


  A few signs to keep an eye out for that can alert you that your throat chakra is blocked is high anxiety, problems with the throat, neck, ears, and jaw, inability to focus, or feeling powerless.  I personally like to keep my throat chakra balanced by incorporating the color of the corresponding chakra in to my makeup (see more down below) or by using healing crystals.  You can wear the crystals as jewelry, or just carry them in your purse or wallet.  Just make sure to clear them and charge them first! 


So the real question is.... why doesn’t that translate in to makeup?  The second most popular joke I hear from a client (next to bald men asking if I can make their hair grow back) is not to use “Hooker Blue” on their eye lids.  Why is there a notion that blue turns you in to a woman of the night?  How come in all other aspects of our day to day life, blue is a trustworthy and dependable color, but when it’s associated with makeup it is taboo? That’s because most people don’t know how to use it! You can incorporate subtle hints of blue in to your makeup routine to reap the benefits!  Here are some ideas that are easy and fun to incorporate in to your routine.

Blue Mascara - This was a hot trend in the 90s, and it’s back! So many brands have come out with colored mascara.  It’s probably the easiest and most subtle way of introducing a pop of color in to your makeup routine.  It’s fun, stylish, and it can enhance your eye color.   Some brands to look at would be YSL and L’Oréal.


 Blue Eye Liner -  It doesn’t have to be dramatic to make a statement, or to make you feel good.  You can even use a little in your water line for a more subtle look.  Plus, when you add blue liner to your water line it makes the whites of your eyes look whiter and brighter!


Blue Eye Shadow - For my babes who aren’t afraid to take a risk, a blue Smokey eye is all the rage right now.  Concentrate the deepest part of the color closest to the lash line and have it diffuse up as you approach the crease.  Pair it with a nude lip and you’re ready for a night out!


I would love to know if this was helpful! If you end up trying any of these tips, please tag me on Instagram or leave a comment below!

Instagram:  @sheena_zar

Facebook: The Beauty Initiative  

How To Communicate With Your Makeup Artist


I have been a working makeup artist for over 13 years and I have had some amazing interactions with clients, and some that have left me questioning myself and my choice in career.  That can probably be said with any creative field right? When you’re a creative, you have a certain emotional bond with the work that you produce so if that work is criticized, it’s easy to be offended.   I realized it’s not that I’m doing a bad job, but instead there is a lapse in communication.  So now, I start out by telling every client that “it is not about me, it’s about how you feel”.  That immediately releases tension and opens a stream of communication.  The last thing I want is for someone to leave my chair unsatisfied. 

With the cosmetic industry booming the way that it has, there are a lot of terms that are tossed around and misinterpreted.  Today, I am here to clear things up and give a little bit of advice on how to clearly communicate with your makeup artist! 

First of all, if you have never worked with your makeup artist before, I recommend having inspiration photos.  Show some CLEAR photos of when you have felt the most beautiful.  Please exclude filtered photos that include bunny ears, dog ears, heart eyes, or anything else that changes your face.  One time, I had a client show me a Snapchat filtered photo where she had bunny ears and a bunny nose as inspiration for how she wanted her wedding makeup done.  Needless to say, that was one of the moments where I walked away questioning myself. 

Next up, if you’re having a hard time describing what you want your makeup to look like use the internet!  Just a heads up, if you are looking up pictures of Jennifer Lopez (medium complexion with dark hair and features) and you look more like Jennifer Lawrence (fair complexion, blonde hair and lighter features) that same makeup will not translate.  However, if your makeup artist is a professional, they will know how to tailor that look to you.  Just be aware that you won’t look exactly like the photo you’ve shown.  Be open to looks that are customized for your face shape, eye shape, and complexion.  Even better, look up photos of people that have similar features to you.  


  Let’s talk terminology!  


The thing that I hear the most while doing makeup is “I don’t want to look Cakey”.   Honestly, I cringe when I hear a client say this.   I am NOT a baker and have no intention of turning you in to a baked good.  Actually, I’m Gluten free so rest at ease!  

What you mean when you say cakey:   

  1. I don’t want heavy foundation
  2. I don’t want to see too much texture in my skin  
  3. Make my pores magically disappear  

Understand that there are different types of makeup for different occasions.  That beautiful celebrity on the red carpet.... her makeup is cakey!  She needs that makeup to stay on all day without a smudge.  If you zoom up close, you can see a ton of makeup and a ton of texture.  However, she will look like a million bucks in photos!  See below for a great example. 

Katy Perry Up Close 


 Katy Perry photographed on the red carpet 




The next term that I hear used incorrectly is natural makeup.   Sometimes when a client tells me that they want “natural” makeup, they truly mean it.  Most of the time when a client wants “natural” makeup, they mean this:


Let me say this loud and clear.... THE ABOVE PHOTO IS NOT NATURAL!  Actually, it’s a shit ton of makeup.  If you’re looking for a look like the one above, try telling your artist that you’d like to use more taupe shades with matte textures.  What your makeup artist envisions when you say a natural makeup is truly minimal makeup that is used to enhance the features of your face. 



When you say Smokey Eye, your makeup artist probably envisions a beautiful, well blended cloud around your eye.  A traditional Smokey eye carries the darkest part of the shadow closest to your lash line while diffusing as you pass the crease.  This eye shadow technique is great for any eye shape, size, or color.  If you’re not expecting it, it can feel like too much makeup.  


However, when most of my clients refer to a Smokey eye I know that they mean lighter shadow closer to the tear duct and darker shadow on the outer corner.    If this is the look that you’re wanting, just tell your artist that you would like a smoked out outer corner.   It is important to know the difference and to effectively communicate it with your makeup artist!


I hope this advice helps and it takes any anxiety out of having your makeup done.  Remember to discuss your preferences, use photos as reference, and don’t expect to look like Jennifer Lopez when you’re done!  


Let me know what you think of this article by leaving a comment and follow me on Instagram!  @sheena_zar

Flower Petal Fashion

In the fashion industry (clothing, hair, makeup), it is so important to allow things around you to inspire your creativity.  Such is the case for 22 year old Grace Ciao.  Grace is currently a student in Singapore studying business and works freelance as a fashion designer.  Her idea to use flower petals came to her when she was trying to preserve the beauty of a dying rose that a boy gave her.  Now, she constantly uses flowers because of the unique patterns, shapes, and designs.  

Open your eyes, and get inspired!


Every Good Makeup Needs A Great Foundation



As of September 1, 2013, Nars has released the bad mama jama of foundations!

Say hello to “Radiant Cream Compact Foundations”!  Yes, it’s a mouthful, but I promise it is worth it.  Do you want pretty glowie skin?  Do you want flawless NATURAL coverage every day?  What about something that takes less than a minute to put on?  What if I told you this product does all of those things and more?!

Radiant cream compact foundations can be worn in three different ways:

1. Slightly dampen your sponge before applying in foundation.  This will give you a sheer wash of natural glowy skin.  (Like a tinted moisturizer)

2. Use dry sponge directly into the product and on to your skin.  By using this technique, you will get a beautiful medium coverage.  (Nars Sheer Glow / Smashbox Liquid Halo / Mac Mineralized Foundation. )

3. For a full coverage look, use your fingertips!  This will warm the product and allow it to melt on the skin.  This will allow the product to layer more naturally on top of itself.



Another amazing benefit to these foundations is that they are so convenient to carry.

As a consumer, the convenience of a refillable case makes resupplying the product less expensive!  The foundation palette and the refill sells for $48.  The refill alone is $38.  On average, this will last you about 5-6 months if used daily.  Now my fellow makeup artists can appreciate that you can simply carry the refills in your kit.  UM HELLO!!!  One foundation, that can be used in three different ways, that is the size of the palm of your hand?!  That will save a lot in back problems over the years.

Hope you guys enjoy this amazing product as much as I do!