Nigar & Kayennat

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Make Up Rants | and She Did Her Own Hair and Makeup...

Asian weddings in the UK have turned into such big, lavish affairs. Every couple it seems has a great amount disposable income. One of the most irrelevant costs? Bridal Makeup. Off the top of my head, I had quotes for £400 per event (2 years ago) for an Asian Bridal Makeup Artist. Friends of mine who married recently paid upwards of £800 this year. I see your jaw has dropped. This is on the "cheaper" side actually and to have any of the "top international celebrity makeup artists" turn your face in someone you don't even recognise anymore can cost more than £1000. Per event. Typical Asian weddings are 3 to 4 events and, let's not forget you'll have to pay the travelling costs for the make up artists to come to your house/venue. Overused words in the Asian industry; "celebrity", "exclusive", "couture", "designer", and "stunning".

My issues;

1. The price: I don't care how talented makeup artists think they are. These prices they demand are extortionate. I understand they did a course and they'll typically spend 3+ hours with a bride (although I assume they do slow some processes out so they can justify the price), but seriously, £1000? and why do they insist on changing people's faces so much that they look unrecognisable. Why do people still match the eye shadows to the outfit? That look was never in and will never be in. Why do they want to make people "fairer"? Why slap on so much make up on that your face looks like a cake and please don't say you need lots so it photographs better. What is wrong with your skin looking like actual skin? 

2. The brides: WHY DO YOU WANT TO LOOK LIKE SOMEONE ELSE?!??! Sure it's your wedding day and you want to "look a bit different", but you should look recognisable as you. I went to a wedding last year, and despite being friends with the bride, when she turned up I did a double take. Was it her, was it her sister, was it a cousin, was it just someone who looked a bit like her? I wasn't even sure who it was. Girls, if you don't wear makeup on a regular basis you'll end up looking so different that any future children won't recognise mommy in the photos.  Yes the Kim Kardashian contouring is super beautiful, but don't alter your features so much that you're not longer you. You'll end up looking weird if you don't usually wear so much slap. Why don't you just want to look like a better version of yourself instead of looking like someone else. Your husband chose you, he loves you and must be attracted to you on some levels, so why don't you love you like he does? Most guys prefer natural looking makeup, but here you go and wanna look like bride of Chucky. Just don't do it.

3. Makeup artists don't know best: During a trial I had, one insisted on using a Mac foundation on my face. Despite me telling her I was allergic to Mac foundations. She said this one was "different" and I won't break out. It was just a trial so I let her. Came home a few hours later and my face started exploding with spots. Also she caked my face so much that my skin felt really suffocated. This was despite me saying I want my skin to look like skin, not a layer of paint. There is no way I would let one near my face (an Asian makeup artist that is). Asian makeup artists in the UK just wants to pile products on and on. They don't understand the concept that "less is more". They'll call their own work "stunning". They like to over flatter themselves and their work. FIY complimenting your own work is cheap and trashy. I recently saw a picture of someone's work which she described as fresh and dewy skin. All I could see was awful blush. So bad that it looked like she gave the model rosacea.Asian Bridal Makeup looks cheap, garish and not to mention ghastly.

4. You can do your own makeup: It's YOUR face, you've spent years mastering that canvas. No one knows it better than you. So why not do your own makeup. It's what I did. Partly because I thought it was ridiculous that someone could demand so much money for so little work. Secondly I thought I could just buy myself lots more makeup with that money saved. Thirdly my husband said I looked like a "ghost" when he saw me post the trial (the makeup artist actually was pretty good for an Asian bridal artist). He thought the foundation was too heavy (which it was) and she had altered my eye shape with the eyeshadow and eyeliner (because I guess she didn't think mine should look like how she thought they should look). Don't be scared of doing your makeup. Practice lots beforehand, and take pictures with flash to see how it fares under harsh lighting. You might need to add more to certain features so they pop under photography lights but adding tons of foundation to your skin is never a good look. e.g. you might to deepen the eyeshadow colours, or add more of an intense liner. The amount of bride whose face I've wanted to wash off for them because looking at them becomes painful. 

5.Why does your hair have to be in an awful updo? why, why, why? If you normally leave your hair open, then that's probably what suits you best. You don't need a beehive on your head just because it's your wedding day. It looks awful, you look awful, your head must actually hurt and it looks like some bird is actually about to hatch and fly out of there.

Here are some pictures from my wedding week. Makeup all done by me, with Nigar doing my eyeliner (coz she' gets it so perfect every time). I looked like me, looked great in pictures, my husband loved it (I mean he recognised me!), no regrets whatsoever. If I had to do it all over again I would do it exactly the same! Well maybe darken my eyebrows a little bit more, in some pictures it looked like I had none...

My face looks really slim in these pictures and that's because I was 10 kg lighter then.
I looked like me, this is a similar amount of makeup I'd wear on a regular basis and to someone else's wedding. And most importantly I felt like me, which feels like a confident and relaxed person. Did I want to worry about my lashes falling off? No (I wear them on a regular basis, and can apply them in no time at all). If you're not used to wearing false lashes it'll feel weird (opt for real hair lashes instead of synthetic, it makes a world of difference). Whatever it is you do, you want to feel comfortable as discomfort will show on your face and forever in the pictures (I'm not sharing pictures I have of other brides because we're friends and I'd like to keep it that way).

So do you think Asian bridal makeup artists are worth the price they ask for? Well clearly a lot you do which is why they manage to stay in business.

Are they worth it? Doing your own bridal makeup, yay or nay?
What do you think of me doing my own? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. 

Have a beautiful week guys.

Input by Nigar:
I agree with everything Kayennat said in this post, but would like to add another question. Where did this culture of wearing so much wearing on our wedding days come from? 
I mean seriously, take a look at these images here, from the WedMeGood website, and compare them to the pictures you see in the British Asian Bridal Mags. Its a world of difference. 


  1. WOW - This is a long overdue post! Asian Make Up Artists are almost always beyond terrible, they come armed with a certificate, a kit and a severe lack of imagination. There's a distinct lack of invention, as you alluded to in the post, which actually makes me so sad that women are paying these frankly criminal prices to 'Paint-by-numbers' MUAs.

    And you ask who would pay these prices, obviously a great many do and I think it has everything to do with Bollywood, Celebrity Culture and Asian Magazines in the UK. There's this undying obsession in our communities with fairness and lightness, which is only ever promoted by Asian mags and Bollywood films, never critiqued - how many Asian bride mags have you seen lately using *white* models instead of Asians?! It's outrageous!

    But aside from all that, your own makeup looked perfect. I did my own make up for my wedding as well.



  2. Lovely post and I am so proud of you Kay! :)
    I would also like to add another thing, this wedmegood link that you have shared, although the brides don't look ghastly in these pictures, you have to agree that the weddings featured on wedding blogs even in India are mostly high-end weddings (basically people who can afford good makeup artists). If you see regular weddings, you'll be shocked at the makeup, downright trashy! I have seen so many cousins' and friends' and their relatives' faces become ghost-like, most people don't consider it an option to go to the beauty parlour,it's a must if a wedding, hardly matters whether the beauty parlour lady actually has some skill.
    I used to get such judgemental looks when I used to be almost bare-face instead of going to the unskilled beauty parlour (as I wasn't into makeup at that time), i think i looked far better than people with caked up faces. Now that I am into makeup a little bit, I do it myself and enhaces features and that's how it should be.

  3. If I'm going to a wedding these days, chances are I'll book myself in with one of my trusted MUAs, because 30 minutes sat in their make-up chair, means all I have to do is go home and get dressed - if I was going to do my own make-up it'd take me much longer and because my make-up skills leave much to be desired, it would be a huge stress too!

    There's a lot more pressure I think, even as a guest at a wedding, to have a flawless face and your hair done up. I try not to follow the crowd, but it's difficult not to feel "underdressed" sometimes when you've gone for a less-is-more/natural look with your make-up and everyone else has it caked on!

    Back to the topic of bridal's so hit and miss to find someone who doesn't charge loads and is willing to work with you on your look, rather than imposing their own style on you, but there are some good people out there for the lazy girls like me! My recommendation for finding someone good, is instead of booking bridal make-up trials, book them for "party" make-up and actually wear their look to a function. See how it feels wearing it for a few hours, see what feedback you get from people and how you look in photos, and most importantly, how the MUA treated you and if you had a good rapport.

  4. Hi Kayennat.. super post! I'm planning to do my own make up for my engagement function.. would it be possible for you to do a post on the steps you followed and tips and tricks to keep in mind while doing your own makeup for an important event.. Thanks!

  5. I love this! It's so true - I've never liked it when girls experiment too much with makeup on their wedding day.
    I remember hearing that Kate Middleton did her own makeup for her wedding to keep a natural look.
    Glad I've stumbled upon your blog. I have plenty of catching up to do now :)


  6. Hahaha i soooooo agreee!!!thxx for this one
    Nice blog by the way, keep it up :)))


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