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Helen McNeill Bridal Makeup

Say ‘hello’ to Helen, the lady there to make you the best version of you on your big day.

Helen McNeill Bridal Makeup

What made you become a makeup artist?

From a young age I was creative and loved doing my mum and friends’ older sisters make-up. I loved helping people feel good about themselves!  From there, I went on to study Beauty Therapy and Makeup when I left school and haven’t looked back since.

Is there anything you think you’ve learnt so far from being on the job?

There are a number of things I’ve learnt from experience.  During a wedding morning you are always working to a tight schedule, so planning my journey and arriving in good time is essential.  Another lesson I have learned is setting expectations with the Bride before hand and talking through the schedule for Hair and Makeup – this way, there aren’t any surprises on the day.

Having a well organised kit and good lighting always help things to run smoothly, relieving any pressures for everyone to be ready on time and in a relaxed state.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing instead?

If I wasn’t doing makeup, I would either be doing something creative with flowers or running a pet grooming business.  I adore spending time with my black lab and springer spaniel and also pottering in my garden, creating colourful hanging baskets and flower arrangements in pots.

Where do you get your inspiration from?    

I take inspiration from quite a few sources: from current bridal makeup trends, the venue where the wedding is taking place, the theme and style of the wedding, the colours of the wedding and bridsmaid dresses and bouquets – these all add to the look of the day.  But mainly, it’s about listening to the Bride and achieving the look that she wants and feels comfortable with .. I call it ‘Makeup Personality’!

What do you love most about wedding makeup?

The one thing I love the most about wedding makeup is having the privilege to spend time with my Brides and their families on their special day.  I love making them feel the best version of themselves.

How long will it take to do each makeup application on the morning of the wedding?

I like to a allow at least 45 minutes per makeup and any time longer is a bonus!

What would be your best tip to give to future brides on choosing a makeup artist for their wedding?

I would suggest when choosing a makeup artist to look at all their recent work on social media and read their reviews and feedback.  Ask about the products they use, make sure that they are a quality brand that you have heard of – in most cases their work speaks for itself.

What should I do first on my wedding day – hair or makeup?

From a makeup artist point of view, of course I am going to say makeup!  In all seriousness though, it can be done before or after the hair as long as the hair is washed first.

What type of preparation should the bride make either the night before or the morning of the wedding?

On the lead up to the wedding and the night before, it’s important to follow a good skincare regime. However, make sure to avoid any drastic treatments that will draw out impurities.

Eat a healthy diet and keep well hydrated – if you are having a last minute trip before the big day, be careful when sunbathing to avoid strap marks or sunburn.

But most importantly keep calm and try and get a good nights sleep – they don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing!

How far in advance do I need to book my hair & makeup artist?

In order to secure the hairdresser and makeup artist of your choice, I would recommend booking a year in advance to avoid disappointment – my diary is always open 18 months ahead.

Do you offer a trial? Is this complimentary or added in with a package?

I always recommend a trial 6-8 weeks before the wedding.  It’s usually just the bride and occasional mother of the bride who join me at the trial.  I see this as an opportunity to get to know my bride and get a feel for the wedding and and the type of look  that they are after.  The trial is in addition to the wedding balance and I usually carry this out in my studio at home where possible.

Are there any special touches you add or a signature look you go for?

My signature look tends to be a classic, elegant makeup.  A look which accentuates the brides natural features, creating the best flawless version of themselves.  It’s always important that the look will last all day and look good on and off camera.


Love Helen McNeil Bridal Makeup?  You might love, love, love our other suppliers too!  Our ‘not so little’ black book is packed full of experienced, familiar faces that we’re lucky to work with (and our brides are more than welcome to get in on the secret!).

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