Five Bridal Beauty Lessons From Michelle Obama’s Makeup Artist


The way you want your makeup to look on your wedding day—glowy, natural, flawless—is the way the First Lady’s makeup has to look every single day. No pressure, right? Which is why it’s so fitting that Michelle Obama’s go-to makeup artist throughout her tenure as First Lady, Carl Ray, also happens to be Washington D.C.’s most in-demand man for bridal beauty. We snagged a conversation with him on the coattails of the Trump Inauguration, looking back on what he calls “the highlight of my career and best ride of my life,” as the personal makeup artist to Obama, to chat about all he’s learned for ensuring your makeup appears impeccable—whether that’s on your wedding day or for a State Dinner.

1. Experiment with a bridal beauty trial—or two.

You absolutely should have a wedding hair and makeup trial before the big day. But don’t feel like you’re chained to just one, either. Ray reccomends booking trial appointments with a handful of different makeup artists to see whose style you feel the most comfortable with about a year before your wedding. Don’t settle until you’ve found the artist that brings your vision to life. “Do your research and find a makeup artist that is very reputable, passionate, and has plenty of bridal experience,” he says, “and book as soon as possible before they are booked on your wedding day.”

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2. Tan Ahead

So you’ve booked your makeup trial. The next thing on your to-do list should be a spray tan.”If you will have a faux tan before the big day, make sure to come to trial with your tan so your makeup artist can pick the makeup shades that corresponded with your bronzed body,” he says. Any good makeup artist should have a range of foundation and concealer shades to match your skin tone—no matter how much it’s changed—but it’s still critical that the trial look as close to the real thing as possible (it’s all about minimizing surprises).

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3. Wear White At All Times

We know the siren call of a hoodie is hard to resist, but in order to get the best read on how your hair and makeup will look against your white dress, you’ll need to wear something white. “Wear a white T shirt or button up on your trial, much like the robe or button up you should wear on the big day too,” says Ray.

4. Lashes Always Look Great

If you don’t plan on getting lash extensions, be sure to request individual false lashes from your makeup artist. Not only will the end result look more natural, but the band of the strip lashes will be hard to miss in images. “It’s a brilliant way to have your eyes to stand out,” says Ray. “Eyes are the most expressive feature on your face—make sure they shine, and lashes are an instant eye-opener.”

5. Makeup Shouldn’t Stop At Your Face

You don’t want to look like you’re wearing a mask of foundation, but all that HD photography does require a strategic application approach. “Don’t just add makeup to face, also apply it on your ears, neck and shoulders for a blended, even look,” says Ray.

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From: Harper’s BAZAAR US