How did you get started doing makeup and/or hair?
I started my makeup career with a course at LG Cosmetics in 2005, a professional stage makeup course. I met a lot of other professional makeup artists there and started my stage makeup career.
I immigrated to the United States towards the end of 2007 and got hired at a wedding planning company around 2010. At that time, I didn't have any experience working as a bridal makeup artist. Stage makeup is much more dramatic compared to bridal makeup, but I really enjoy doing makeup and had a big interest in it, so I took bridal makeup and hair courses to gain bridal specific skills.
I didn't plan on becoming a full-time makeup artist but after my first few weddings, I began receiving referrals from my previous clients and guests from those weddings. So I gradually began building up a client base and as I got more and more requests, I decided to quit my job and focus on pursuing a career in makeup full-time.
What are some tips for doing makeup for Asian brides?
Asian skin tones usually tend to have more yellow undertones, therefore choosing the right foundation color can help the makeup look more natural, even with full coverage foundation.
For example, a lot of Asian brides like to have their skin look lighter and end up choosing a pink base or lighter tone foundation, but this actually makes the skin look very gray and unnatural.
Additionally, Asian brides tend to have puffy eyes, single eyelids or epicanthal folds, therefore, you want to try and avoid heavy eyeliner and eye shadows that are too dark. Using correctly shaped eyelid tape and lashes can also make the eyes look more enlarged but still retain its natural look.
Of course, hiring a makeup artist with experience working with Asian brides is always a good idea. ;)
What do you think is the most impactful part of the makeup routine?
I think the most impactful part of the makeup routine is determining the bride’s best facial features. This allows me to really focus on the features that help them stand out.
Many brides like to emphasize eye makeup, but the truth is, every brides’ stand-out features are different. Therefore, I usually like to focus on enhancing their best features.
Aside from that, skin preparation and choosing the right foundation is extremely important. Preparing the skin correctly can allow it to glow naturally beneath the makeup and also help the makeup last longer.
What is the most popular style for bridal makeup for Asian brides?
The style that is requested most by my clients is the classic natural, soft romantic or glamorous vintage look. It also depends on the dress that the bride has chosen among other things.
What are some trends you love? What are some trends you are not a fan of?
For hairstyles, I tend to lean towards something more simple and elegant. Some of my favorites are the loose lower bun, classic french twist, or soft Hollywood wave.
I’m not a big fan of dramatic pageant updos, styling hair into flowers or styles that are too complicated. I think less is more, therefore starting with something simpler and adding small accessories can create an elegant and classy look.
For makeup, most brides don’t wear a lot of it every day, so using a soft and natural makeup can usually accentuate the bride's natural beauty without making her look unrecognizable, creating a timeless look.
I’m not a big fan of dark smokey eyeshadow or lashes that are too dramatic. I personally feel like these looks are more suitable for a night out rather than your wedding day.
Any makeup tips when wearing a red cheongsam dress?
For a red cheongsam dress, I usually recommend going with a brighter lip shade (usually red) to create that “pop” effect. If the lips aren’t bright enough, it’ll make the bride look very tired, especially in the pictures.
If the bride isn’t comfortable with having full red lips, she can also consider a “bitten lips style” which is usually a darker shade applied on the inner part of the lip and a lighter shade on the outer.
How should a bride go about finding the right MUA for them?
Planning a wedding can be stressful, so finding a makeup artist with the right attitude can make you feel at ease and make getting ready a fun process!
Here are some tips on finding the perfect MUA for you:
1. Brainstorm a few looks or styles you like. Having an idea as to how you want to look on your wedding day before starting your search can help you narrow down your search of potential makeup artists.
2. Browse makeup artist portfolios. Browsing makeup artist portfolios can give you an idea of their style and examples of looks they’ve created. When browsing their portfolios, make sure that the photos look real and that the makeup artist has a style that you can see yourself wearing.
3. Schedule trials. Scheduling trials will give the bride an opportunity to know if the makeup artist is suitable for them. Make sure you hire someone that you feel comfortable with.
What do you recommend an Asian bride tell their makeup artist to get the right look for their big day?
This should happen during your makeup trial. A picture speaks a thousand words! Prepare some photos of looks you like and show them to your makeup artist on the day of your trial. We’ll be able to use them as a reference point and give suggestions on why we think it will or will not work for you.
You can then consider our recommendations, but of course, at the end of the day, choose a style that you are most comfortable with. Also, providing additional details such as timeline, venue location, dress, skin type, and even about your personality to your artist can help them determine the best products and techniques to use for you.
What are some tips on how to choose the right hairstyle for a bride?
A suitable hairstyle can elevate a bride’s entire look and at the same time, help balance the shape of their face. When browsing for hairstyle inspiration, make sure to search for images that match your hair length, texture, and color.
Some hairstyles might look good with lighter hair shades but might not be as pronounced with darker shades. Also, the hairstyle should complement the cut of the dress and be suitable for the weather and location of the ceremony that day.
What are some hairstyles you recommend when wearing a cheongsam dress?
Since the cheongsam has a high collar to show more neckline, I highly recommend a simple elegant updo. Depending on the bride’s preferences, either a clean high updo, a traditional lower bun, or even a vintage Old-Shanghai wavy bang would be good choices.
What are the most popular bridal hairstyles for Asian brides?
Most of my Asian clients usually prefer something that looks more natural. A simple updo, romantic half up half down, or loose side braid are some of the most popular.
About Alice Tang Makeup:
Alice Tang Makeup is a professional team of makeup artists with a passion for beauty and makeup based in the San Francisco Bay Area. We have been blessed to have traveled across multiple states and countries to be a part of so many amazing weddings. We love our job because we can help the bride and bridal party look their best on a very special day and it puts a smile on our face to see them loving their look!
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