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Mar 14
2 months ago



A typical South Asian wedding has multiple events, outfit changes and looks.

Finding a Makeup Artist that you're comfortable with is important.

From the very beginning of your Bridal journey i.e. Engagement, Hen Party, Mehndi party, Sangeet, Reception, and walima will be spent with your chosen makeup artist.

In this blog, we sat down with Bela Irfan to get her expert advice on all things makeup, from tips and when to book.

Tell me about yourself

Bela has been a makeup artist for the last eight years and has over 13k followers on her Instagram. It's safe to say that she has ample experience in the industry and glowing reviews for her brand.

Bela started off her career as an architect but always had a passion for makeup, so it was a hobby she converted into her day job - a dream she made a reality with hard work and passion.

Bela calls Mario Dedivanovic, who some say is the guru of contouring, her inspiration for her signature skin focused glam. The techniques he has perfected are what many makeup artists apply to their brides, such as contouring and highlighting and giving a brighter eye look.

For Bela, it's all about the flawless and natural-looking base; you can glam up or tone down everything according to the individual bride's needs.

Where should a newly engaged bride start when it comes to makeup for her big day?

Bela recommends creating a mood board of looks, colours, outfits and jewellery that you like as soon as you can. It's always a good idea to save images that inspire you, even if the images are for a party or looks celebrities have used. It's always a good idea to have a mood board and vision of the types of makeup look you like or that you feel suits your personality. You can save things on Pinterest or screenshots on your phone; just store all of this information somewhere. It's also important to identify things you don't like or don't want; this is really helpful in narrowing down the looks you want. Some brides, e.g. do not want defined strong brows, others want eyeliner or large thick curly eyelashes.

What if a bride wants a look that is way too glam or different to what she's used to?

Bela recommends going for looks you're comfortable with or love; you want to be you and not a different person on your wedding day. She suggests experimenting on a night out or a party but to go for what you're comfortable with or colours you like during your wedding. E,g, you don't want it to be the first time you try a coloured eyeliner and not like it on the day. Your wedding day images will be there forever, so you don't want to try something you might hate a few years down the line. It's always best to keep it classic and go for a look you're comfortable with, or that isn't too outrageously different to your everyday look. Timeless is the keyword you're looking for, simple and elegant, however, if your everyday look is already edgy, then the sky's your limit.

What if a bride doesn't know what she wants and gives you creative freedom?

Bela would typically meet a bride ahead of the wedding so she could gauge her personality and style. During the initial consultation, Bela would ask questions to further her understanding. Typical questions that Bela would ask, but not limited to are;


  • How she wears her makeup daily if she does wear makeup

  • what kind of colours does she like

  • what kind of looks she likes in general and what her vision is for her wedding day look/s

From the responses, Bela can identify what type of looks she might feel are most flattering and suitable. Images are the best way to communicate, as one person’s soft glam can be too much makeup for someone else. Once the makeup is on their face, brides find it easier to visualise if they want to go more dramatic or keep it classic. Starting softer and building up the look always works at trials.

How do you handle brides with different skin types or concerns?

Skin is a huge factor for most brides; they are particularly concerned about the finish they want for their skin. Women with oily skin, for example, often like a more matte finish and women with dry skin invariably want a dewy glass skin look. Bela also feels her makeup is a skin focused glam, so she focuses on creating a lovely polished base, suited to the bride’s skin type, and ensures other elements enhance and complete the look. She feels it's essential to have a great base for other features to pop out; a bad base can take away from a beautiful smokey eye look as an example. Bridal makeup needs to be long-wearing. Multiple thin layers ensure that.

What about for different seasons? How do you ensure makeup lasts?

During the summer months, she tends to change the type of makeup used, especially for oily skin. She uses products with a long-wearing effect and doesn't slip or move around. She uses several layers, but it is essential to not apply too much; thinner layers allow for a flawless base. The makeup should not look too cakey but still be long-wearing and breathable. She uses appropriate primers, moisturisers, and foundation formulas to ensure a skin-centric flawless base. As always, the skin needs to be prepared according to the type of skin a bride has.

Should all brides have a makeup trial?

Bela highly encourages a trial. It's an added expense; however, it's really worth it to ensure you mesh well with the makeup artist. Also, the makeup artist can assess the bride's skin type and skin concerns, preferences and vision.

Makeup Artists are your best friend during your wedding preparations.

From Bela’s personal experience, she has wiped tears, given hugs and pep talks to her brides; especially if you'll be using the same makeup artist over several days.

A trial is a great way to preview your wedding day look. You also don't need a trial for all your looks, one trial with one look such as your most glamorous can be enough to build trust in your artist.


If a bride cannot have a trial, an example could be if the bride is on the other side of the country or in a different country altogether, Bela recommends an online consultation as it's the next best thing to a face to face trial and meeting. During the session, they would discuss the different looks for all the different events, which adds extra time to the day, so you want to have this nailed down ahead of time.





If a bride wants to do her own hair or makeup what would your advice be?

Bela has worked with brides who have done their own makeup if they are confident enough but never hair.

Bridal Hair is a completely different skill set, as you need to;


  • Set your dupatta,

  • Pin your hair correctly,

  • Add in hair extensions

  • Ensure the hair holds the dupatta or other hair accessories

Bela is happy to work with other artists - hairstylists and makeup artists - it is all about the bride’s preferences.

Advice on what to bring for a makeup trial?

Popular makeup artists get booked quickly - if the wedding is 6-9 months away, the bride may not have her outfit sorted when looking at makeup artists. Bela suggests that if you have an outfit colour in mind already, then go ahead and bring a headscarf or top similar to the colour so you can see the makeup against the colour. To secure a makeup artist, ensure you book them early; you can finalise the look via text or phone when you have the jewellery and outfit. If you have your heart set out on someone, go in soon and secure them. Most makeup artists already have some jewellery for the hair area or neck, so you can see how the makeup looks with jewellery and your outfit colours.

Additional advice:

Bela’s advice would be to assess your overall budget if you have several events and the artist you are looking to book is outside the budget, then possibly, only have her for your main event. Another way to manage budgets is having a trial for only the main look.

Bela also advises her brides to start a skin routine as early as possible. Looking after your skin is always important but even more so leading up to your big day. Makeup can only do so much. Having good skin will ensure your bridal makeup will sit beautifully on top.

If you have skin concerns, see a dermatologist or Aesthetician as soon as possible.

For further advice on skincare, check out our skin care blog.