Before you put on that dreamed of and carefully selected gown, there is nothing nicer than spending a relaxing morning with your close friends and Mum being spoiled with a gorgeous makeup and hair style that enhances your individuality and ensures you are camera ready. Carla of Carla Dyson Makeup brings loads of commercial and wedding experience, an eye for enhancing your best features and giving you a timeless polished look that you’ll love. It all adds to the excitement of feeling you’re about to embark on the best day. And there’s something about feeling your beautiful best on the outside, that brings out the sparkle and your beauty from within. We chat to Carla today about all things wedding makeup and hair – and then we’re rushing out and buying those delicious looking Paint Pots – one of Carla’s favourites!
What led you to this career path?
Since a young age I have always had a love for beauty, makeup and creative arts. I knew I would end up doing something along the lines of makeup artistry!
How long have you been in the industry?
I have been working in the industry for close to 10 years now.
Image by T-One Image
Do you travel in the course of your work?
Yes, I love travel, and always jump at the chance to fly somewhere exotic for a photoshoot, or a wedding. A recent trip to Bali to work on some editorial projects was a career highlight.
What do you love about doing wedding makeup and how does it provide variety from your commercial work?
I love doing bridal makeup – it’s lovely to spend the day with the bridal party and making everyone look and feel amazing. I also really love to do mature makeup (usually mother of the bride/groom), I feel this gives you extra job satisfaction, as mature clients don’t often have their makeup professionally done.
Image by Jessica Abby Photography
Do you suggest a hair and makeup trial before the wedding day?
Absolutely. I think it is important to meet the makeup artist prior to the wedding day. The bridal trial is a perfect time to get to know each other and the styles you love. After all, this is your face on your wedding day – don’t go in blind!
What should a bride take into account when discussing her wedding day look with you?
I advise my brides to do some research into what styles they love and what styles they don’t love! Being able to show me images and break down exactly what you love about an image, helps me to get an idea of what styles they may like on the day. I also really like to understand how brides usually wear their hair and makeup. Seeing a picture of something and loving it, is very different to having this style on yourself. Every bride is individual, and when a hair stylist or makeup artist is planning a look, we need to take the inspiration images shown, plus face shape, skin tone, eye colour etc into account.
How do you makeup a bride so that she looks natural, yet camera ready?
I strongly believe skin should look like skin. My signature looks are based around perfecting the skin without using layers of full coverage foundation. I then use very sheer powders to achieve a shine free, yet glowing base. I also use subtle hints of colour, to enhance each bride’s natural beauty – this will help the eyes pop on camera.
Image by Katie Grant Photography
Are there any special tricks with bridal makeup that you like to use?
The trick to creating perfect bridal makeup, really is in the prep work. Making sure the skin is perfectly cleansed, and primed before application to ensure the look stays perfect all day. I also love to use cream eye bases which ensure the eye shadow does not crease. Longevity is the key!
What products are favourites and you use time and again?
- Smashbox photoready (light) primer – this really helps to absorb oil and ensure the base stays on perfectly all day.
- Becca shimmering skin perfecter (liquid) pressed on with a beauty blender onto the cheek bones.
- MAC Cosmetics Paint Pot in Painterly or Soft Ochre, as an eye base.
- Urban Decay All Nighter spray to set the makeup after application.
What are the essentials in your toolbox?
- Kevyn Aucoin lash curlers – curling lashes makes the eye appear much larger and wide open. Even when applying false lashes, the natural lash should always be curled prior.
- Small fan brush to ensure mascara is applied right to the root of the lash (mascara wands don’t always cut it!).
- Beauty blender to add liquid highlight to the face with a natural finish.
Image by Katie Grant Photography
Does the style of makeup you create depend on whether the wedding is more formal than casual, or outdoors rather than inside?
I will always ask where the location of the wedding is, and what vibe they are going for. However, the only thing that really matters is the bride feeling like the best version of themselves. The only specific addition for an outdoor wedding would be to add SPF – the Australian sun is crazy!
What features do brides like you to emphasize? Is it all about eyebrows and eyes in makeup now?
Yes, eyes and brows are always a feature. I find most of my clients comment on their brows after I have done their makeup, more than anything else!!
Is it ideal for you to do both hair and makeup to create the most cohesive look for the bride/bridal party? Does it look better if they look similar (does this matter)?
I enjoy doing both hair and makeup for the bridal party, however, I have a close knit of amazing hair and makeup artists that I work with regularly. If my bridal party is large and I am unable to do all services myself, we can work together to create cohesive looks for the bridal party.
Does a bride’s hairstyle influence the makeup look you create?
I always try to create styles that compliment each other. For instance, a Hollywood waved hair would look great with a red lip.
We have had questions from girls with dark skin about finding a makeup artist who understands their needs. Are you able to provide some tips?
I would advise researching artists that show different complexions in their portfolio. Most experienced artists will have a strong knowledge of colour theory, therefore should be able to make any skin tone look amazing.
Image by Lusy Productions
Do you have some pre wedding tips to help brides to look their most radiant on the day?
I would certainly advise a series of hydration facials that will help the health of your skin prior to the big day, although, it is extremely important to plan ahead, and start treatments well in advance. The worst thing to do is try something new right before the wedding
You live in Melbourne after having relocated from the UK. What do you love about living in Australia?
I love the lifestyle of living in Melbourne. Also I live in a very central location here in Melbourne, which makes working much more accessible than in the UK.
What discoveries have you made that inspire you?
I am inspired by many different things; fashion, travel, nature.
Thank you Carla for sharing your story. I love that beautifully applied makeup by a professional, can make you feel so special and your radiant best. To find out more about Carla Dyson Makeup visit the website.
Headshot by George Ganio