Makeup artist Blair Mathis shares tips for looking your best on the big day and beyond.
So long smokey eyes and glass skin, the latest look in wedding beauty is soft-focus makeup or “cloud skin.” Like the rattan lighting, bubble letters, and disco balls that are all the rage at receptions, going more natural may be a nod to the trending 1970s but with subtle pops of color to accentuate features. We talked to makeup artist Blair Mathis about the look—plus how to get it and keep it during Charleston’s steamy summer. With stints at Bobbi Brown and Giorgio Armani, Mathis has spent years traveling the globe for photo shoots, runway shows, and celebrity makeup sessions. When she’s not jet-setting, she can be found at Ooh! Beautiful in Mount Pleasant’s Old Village and on Instagram @blushingbridescharleston.
“I love working with everyday women. I tell them, ‘Bring your make up and let’s go through it,’” she says. “I like to teach people, not sell products.”
Tricks of the Trade: (clockwise, from flower): RMS Beauty Luminizing Powder in “Midnight Hour,” $38; Ilia Beauty Super Skin Serum Tint SPF 40 in “#7 Diaz,” $48; RMS Beauty Luminizing Powder in “Grande Dame,” $38; Ilia Beauty True Skin Serum Foundation in “#3.5 Corsica,” $54; Ilia Beauty Limitless Mascara in “After Midnight,” $28; Jane Iredale Beauty “Barely Rose” blush, $30; Ilia Eyeshadow Palette in “Cool Nude,” $38; Ilia Beauty Color Haze Multi Matte Pigment in “Sing” and “Temptation,” $32; Ilia Beauty Multi-Stick in “At Last” and “All of Me,” $34
Blair on Big Day Beauty
The soft-focus look:
It’s basically much softer than glass skin, which is reflective and shiny. It’s subtle highlights with pops of color, like a Renaissance painting. It’s more natural and brings your features out, rather than masking them. For instance, I want to accentuate eye color. I don’t want to see that makeup. You don’t want to look like a mannequin in real life. My biggest compliment is “What did you do to your skin? Did you go to a spa?” Less is more.
Skin care ahead of the big day:
Invest in your skin first. Once you get that part, that’s 80 percent of it. Get your routine down, whether it’s products from the drugstore or Neiman’s, and don’t drastically change it. And definitely don’t do radical stuff like laser treatments unless you know how your skin will react. No acid peels the month of your wedding!
Working with a makeup artist:
Look for experience. And bring inspiration pictures. Always get a trial because you want everyone to be on the same page and don’t want any surprises on your wedding day. Be honest with your makeup artist: you liked it, you didn’t like it. Just make sure your styles are in sync. Some people go to a makeup artist, and it’s too heavy. Don’t let someone take you out of your comfort zone or talk you into something. And book at least six months out, if you can.
The Charleston summer:
Less heavy foundation is better. Setting sprays are always great. For heat, I do a topcoat and then HD modifying powder so you don’t get shiny in the heat. It’s made for the camera.
Fill your entire lip in with liner and then use a soft stain with a balm. Definitely use waterproof or water-resistant mascara. You will have to touch up with powder and blush throughout the day.
• In warmer months, pick a lighter textured foundation or tint. Avoid heavy or cakey makeup that is more noticeable in the heat.
• Use soft pops of color on your cheeks and lips. Color gives your skin the depth and dimensions in real life as well as in photos.
• No crazy facials, peels, or radical change in your beauty routine right before the wedding. You need to give your skin plenty of time to adjust.
• Don’t let makeup wear you. Accentuate features, don’t mask them.
• Stay in your comfort zone. Don’t let anyone talk you into a look you don’t feel like yourself in. Your husband-to-be will agree.
• Beauty and happiness radiate from within. Be present in the day. You’ve done all the hard work—just enjoy.
Blushing Bride: Sophia Vann models the soft-focus look that makeup artist Blair Mathis favors for brides right now.
Beauty: Blair Mathis, Ooh! Beautiful
Images: Aleece Sophia
Model: Sophia Vann
Stylist: Terrie Clarke, Out of Hand
Hair: Swish Salon
Clothing: By Together (white eyelet dress), Dixie (feather trim dress)
Jewelery: Chan Luu (pearl necklace & earrings), vintage (blue zirconia ring & hair comb)