Wedding Makeup Questions Answered By Courtney Dapper MUA
There’s no doubt about it, wedding makeup plays a huge factor on your wedding day. It pulls together your entire look and all eyes are on you! You want to feel & look your absolute best, enhance your natural beauty and have your makeup photograph flawlessly, so choosing the right makeup artist is extremely important! You want to make sure you find a makeup artist that you are comfortable with and will make you feel like a princess! I had the opportunity to sit down and interview the insanely talented Courtney Dapper about all things makeup, specifically wedding makeup! She graciously shared her professional knowledge she’s learned over the years of her career and tips you future brides need to know and ask when it comes to selecting your makeup artist!
Hello! My name is Courtney Dapper and I am a self-taught make-up artist from Rancho Cucamonga, CA. Everyone always tells me, “Courtney you are so lucky you are so blessed when it comes to your make-up skills.” That is NOT the case!
I never wore makeup or even had an interest in it! It wasn’t until about 2014 when I really became fascinated with make-up and YouTube. Michelle Phan and Blair Fowler were the girls I would watch for hours on end. I would pause/play/pause/play their videos trying to perfectly recreate their looks on myself. My sisters were the ones who pushed me to start my “Courtdappmakeup” Instagram and share my looks with the world. NEVER would I imagine people would ask me to do their make-up!! Once I said yes to my first appointment (that I took in my bedroom) it has been the most amazing snowball effect. I have only gotten busier and created a more loyal clientele. I still pinch myself sometimes that I get to be apart of some women’s most special day of their lives!
When do you recommend a bride starts her trial runs? And on average how much does a trial run cost?
Every bride prioritizes make-up differently, some reach out 1 year in advance while some wait until 2 months before. I recommend scheduling a trial at least 6-8 months out. It’s always best to inquire ASAP just so your desired artists can put your date down in their calendar. I am one of the few artists (I know because I have researched this) that includes the trial in the bridal makeup cost. Most artists will charge $75 (minimum) for a trial in addition to $200 for your day-of makeup. I include the trial in the total cost if they book within 24 hours of their appointment; this gives my brides the chance to go home, get opinions from family, and see how the make-up wears throughout the day.
If a bride changes their mind on their beauty look, is there a charge for a retrial?
Yes, I do charge $75 for a retrial. Out of all my weddings I haven’t had to have one yet! I think this is because I take my time at the initial trial, they can take up to two hours. I try to create a fun environment for my bride that way she feels comfortable enough to tell me if there is something that is not sitting well with her. We can change the look, add more, blend anything away, until they are happy with the end result. If you aren’t happy with something you have to speak up–any MUA will be grateful you did! We are not mind readers!
How do you keep track of all your clients and their looks to ensure the look in the trial all the same products are used day of to recreate the look that was chosen?
I write every last detail down, take photos from every angle, flash, and no flash. My notes include their skin type, products used, any tweaks we made to the look, etc. I have a client who said, “I mentioned the very first time I came to you that I don’t like highlight on my cupid’s bow and you haven’t done it since!” Well of course I am going to remember that! It’s very important to me that everyone has a look catered to them.
What is your favorite foundation you recommend for lasting all day, best for photography?
Ooh this one is tough. Usually when I am running low on a range of foundation I like to try something new. With that being said, Laura Mercier foundations are incredible. I use the flawless fusion foundation on my normal/oily clients. Makeup Forever Ultra HD Stick foundation is amazing for dry skin ~only~. It is so hydrating it can look shiny very quickly on oily skin. Beware of SPF in your makeup because that is what causes the bright white flash back in photos.
How long on average do you spend on the brides makeup on the day of? How long for each bridesmaid?
My appointments are 45 minutes for each bridal party member and 1 hour for the bride.
On wedding days I am in the zone. I always warn my brides at the trial, “Ok I know we are chatting away and having fun now but on the wedding day I am going to be all business and just focused on the glam!” It is up to me and the hair artist to have everyone out the door on time so having a schedule and sticking to it is crucial.
How many people can you do alone on the wedding day, and at what number do you typically bring an assistant?
If time allows, I can do up to 10 people on my own. Sometimes there are only 5 bridesmaids but they need to be ready by 11 A.M. That is when I will bring an assistant. It just comes down to what the artist is comfortable with.
What is the best way to your artist how you want your makeup to look? Do you prefer someone to bring in pictures from Instagram or Pinterest.. or just a general description?
I am so happy you asked this question. Unless you personally know your MUA, please do not say, “Oh just do whatever you think! I trust you!” It is so important to bring inspiration photos.
It’s really helpful to have a photo handy of a time you had your make-up done as a frame of reference for your artist. Even if you hated it, it helps us get an idea of what you’re comfortable/not comfortable with.
Anything helps! Unless your inspiration photos are unrealistic. For example, I have some clients who tell me they don’t want a lot of makeup and don’t even feel comfortable wearing it. Then, their inspiration is of a Kardashian. This makes my job difficult because I have to explain to them why that isn’t possible to achieve.
Basically, try to find an inspiration photo of someone who has a similar skin tone to you or facial features. Even better– take inspiration straight from your artist’s portfolio.
Is there any skin care prep you recommend for brides before their wedding?
MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE. Make-up can conceal discoloration but not texture. That means when I am applying foundation, concealer, powder, etc. I will clearly be able to see if someone has dry patches which makes the make-up look muddy or unblended.
I used to think this had to do with my technique or products but it absolutely comes down to the person’s skin type and how they treat it (or neglect it). Having an oily skin type does not negate the fact that one must always moisturize. Listen to your mother and don’t neglect your neck! I have had some brides who truly take my advice have seen an immense improvement in their skin and how their makeup looks as a result of it.
What is your personal fav “wedding glam look” or your “specialty” look that you create?
It is a tie between a cat eye with a nude/pink lip or a gold shimmer eye with bronzed skin. SO many of my clients bring the same photo of me as their inspiration. I’ll attach it below!
What is your rate and what does that include?
My 2018 rates are $200 for bridal and $80 for the bridal party. It includes the whole sha-bang! Prep/prime, highlight, contour, one (sometimes two) pairs of lashes. I use only the most comfortable, long-wearing lip colors so there’s no need to reapply!
If for whatever reason there is an emergency on the day of the wedding (sick etc) what is your backup plan?
I have been sick enough to where the average person would call out of work and I have still shown up, medical mask across my face and all! Always keeping in mind that I would never put my clients at risk of catching what I have at the time; it would take hell and high water for me to cancel on a wedding day. The fact is, if I were to be sick enough to cancel, I am going to know far before the wedding day, that way I have time to contact one of my assistants.
Thank you so much Courtney for sharing your professional advice! For any future brides in California I highly recommend contacting Courtney for your wedding day, she is the sweetest and her talent is out of this world. Ladies, go get “Dapped” you won’t regret it!
I hope the rest of you brides to be can use some of these questions to ask your own makeup artist, and they will help you find the perfect match for you! Keep scrolling for some of Courtney’s stunning portfolio pictures!
Check out Courtney’s website here for her contact info!