Finding the right makeup artist for your wedding day can be intimidating, especially if you have more Asian features that don't fit the Western best practices for bridal makeup. So we sat down with Kelly from Soyi Makeup & Hair to get her thoughts on how you can get your wedding look right for your style.
How did you get started doing makeup for Asian brides?
In 2011, I took my first professional makeup course at a school in Hong Kong just for fun while I was still in banking. I invited a lot of my friends to be my models during the courses and they in turn asked me to be their makeup artist for their wedding. When guests at my friends’ weddings saw my work, people started reaching out to me to be their bridal makeup artist as well. That’s how I developed a larger client base of Asian brides, and eventually I left my finance profession to become a full time makeup artist.
What are some tips for doing makeup for Asian brides?
As Asian women, we have our own unique set of facial features and characteristics so makeup techniques that work for other races may not be suitable for us. My main tip is to find a professional makeup artist that has a lot of experience in doing makeup for Asian brides and understands how to work with Asian features.
What do you think is the most impactful part of the makeup routine?
If I had to choose one thing, I would say focus on the eye makeup. Most people focus on other people’s eyes when they look at their face!
What is the most popular style for bridal makeup for Asian brides?
The most requested bridal look from my brides is the soft, romantic look. This kind of makeup style is very timeless. I usually recommend going with a style that flatters your facial features instead of following any current trends. 20 years from now, you want to still look at your wedding pictures and say “Wow, I looked so nice at my wedding!”
Any makeup tips for wearing a red cheongsam dress?
This is a great question! Many of my Chinese brides have two dresses for their wedding day—a red cheongsam and a classic white bridal gown. I usually recommend my brides to wear red lipstick for their red cheongsam dress. You will be surprised by how good red lips look when you are in a traditional red dress. And simply changing just the lip color and switching the accessory can give you a very different bridal look!
Hair up or down with a wedding cheongsam?
I would recommend having the hair up when wearing a traditional Chinese wedding dress. An updo is more culturally and traditionally appropriate based on the attire. Many cheongsam dresses also have a higher neckline and beautiful details at the back that you don’t want to cover up!
What do you recommend an Asian bride tell their makeup artist to get the right look for their big day?
I recommend brides to do their research and find a makeup artist that’s experienced in the look that they are dreaming of. Look at the artist’s portfolio and see if you love the artist’s style. Every artist has his/ her own style and his/ her own way of seeing beauty.
Having a bridal trial before the wedding day is very beneficial to both the bride and the makeup artist. During the trial, I usually talk to my clients to understand their dream look. I ask about their wedding style, details, colors, etc. I also show them pictures of different makeup looks and see which one they like the most.
I also recommend finding some inspiration pictures online—especially ones of brides that are of your ethnicity and have similar facial features. Inspiration pictures greatly help the makeup artist visualize what beauty means to you. It is also important to tell your makeup artist if you have any specific areas that you want him/ her to address or achieve.
To get some inspiration from other brides’ makeup on their wedding day, especially while wearing a wedding cheongsam, take a look below at Soyi’s brides!
Left: JJ Chen Photographer, Right: Rahel Menig Photography
Left: Sally Pinera Photograph, Right: Chcinemaphoto
About Soyi Makeup:
Soyi Make-up & Hair is a team of experienced, energetic and passionate Make-Up Artists based in San Francisco Bay Area, California specializing in stunning bridal make-up.
Instagram: @soyimakeup / Website: www.soyimakeup.com
More to Love:
- Check out our Style Guide for the modern bride here.
- Learn about the 5 traditional elements of a qipao.
- Get inspired on how to accessorize your qipao dress.