Tips & Tricks

MAC PRO Master Class: Bridal Makeup Tips by MAC Senior Artist John Stapleton

March 7, 2011

Last night, I attended the MAC PRO Bridal Makeup Class by Senior Artist John Stapleton. John has been in the industry for 15 years and has worked in Fashion Week, theater, film, concerts and with celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Kelly Osborne. Read on for some of my favorite tips I picked up from John!

Me with the fabulous MAC Senior Artist John Stapleton

• Forget the trends and stick to classic, timeless makeup. Think smoky eyes, cream liner, peaches and cream complexion, neutral lipstick and red lips (John likes MAC Viva Glam I).

• For acne skin, go matte to help wash out the bumps. Avoid applying color directly on textured skin and try to distract from problems areas by focusing on the eyes or lips. If the client insists on a glowy look, highlight only above the cheekbone and under the browbone.

• Instead of using a waterproof mascara, John likes to coat lashes with MAC Liquidlast Eye Liner for maximum wearability. I too am a fan of the product and it does stay on well until you remove it with oil.

• Got a mascara smudge? Let it dry and it will come right off with a q-tip.

• To apply fake lashes, John swears by one of my favorite methods – gluing them from underneath. Basically, what you do is cut up your strip lashes, apply glue on the top (instead of the bottom) of the strip and apply directly underneath your natural lashes. It looks a lot more natural this way and will prevent that ugly white space you get between your natural and fake lashes.

• To cover up tattoos (which is definitely something all bridal makeup artists should know), John first applies MAC PRO Longwear Lipcolour to counteract the blueness before applying MAC Face & Body Foundation. He uses the peachy shades on light skin tones and the reds on darker skin tones.

• The rule of thumb to figure out which two colors counteract each other: – Mix two primary colors and the remaining one is the complementary color, i.e. red + yellow = orange, counteracts blue ; yellow counteracts red + blue = purple; yellow + blue = green, counteracts red.

• When working on really dark skin tones, be creative. Use your purple lipstick to contour or a bright/yellow eyeshadow to highlight.

• Check all sides to make sure the makeup looks good from all angles.

John doing a bridal makeup demo with neutral eyes and red lips

John doing a quick smoky eye demonstration

And a few tricks to being successful as a bridal makeup artist:

• Referrals are extremely crucial. Team up with photographers, wedding planners and hand out your card to hotel concierges, salons etc. to build up a greater potential clientele.

• Create an online presence with a Facebook page, website and blog.

• Trial runs are key. If you do not feel comfortable doing the client’s makeup during the trial, walk away.

• Have your client come in with her regular makeup on to get a feel of what she likes.

• Protect yourself. Have a mutual understanding of how you will be paid and come up with a cancellation policy or contract.

• Take pictures of your work whenever possible.

Got more tips for bridal makeup? Share with us and don’t forget to follow John on Twitter!

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  • Reply Rei March 8, 2011 at 7:14 am

    You looked so beautiful in the pic 🙂 Can I ask you what blush did you have it on, it looked so good on you!

  • Reply Erika March 8, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Great tips! Thanks Phyllis!

    • Reply Phyllis March 8, 2011 at 4:22 pm

      No prob! Glad you liked them =)

  • Reply Chloe March 8, 2011 at 9:27 am

    I love your makeup here!! Tutorial please! 🙂

    • Reply Phyllis March 8, 2011 at 4:28 pm

      Thanks Chloe! Here’s a breakdown of the look:

      * NYX Cosmetics HD Studio Photogenic Foundation in Sand Beige applied with MAC #187 Stippling Brush
      * MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus to set foundation
      * NARS Orgasm Illuminator topped with MAC High-Light Powder in Marine Life on apples
      * Marbelized side of MAC Mineralize Blush Duo in Love Rock above cheekbones

      * Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in Hazel to fill in eyebrows
      * Kiss Me Heroine Makeup Smooth Liquid Eyeliner in Black along upper lashline
      * Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara in Extreme Black on upper lashes

      * NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in Hopi

  • Reply Yvette March 8, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Thanks for the tips, girl! I should really keep this in mind for my wedding day (which probably won’t be happening until way down the road haha). By the way, you look radiant in that picture!

    • Reply Phyllis March 8, 2011 at 4:29 pm

      Haha same here! And thanks for the compliment =)

  • Reply Susan March 8, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Your hair looks sooo lushhh. I love it!

    • Reply Phyllis March 8, 2011 at 4:30 pm

      Thanks Susan. I’m actually thinking of dying it or getting a cut to change the look – any recs?

  • Reply Beautiful Canvas March 9, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    You look really good in the picture. How do you sign up for these MAC classes? Where do they post information? Thanks.

    • Reply Phyllis March 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm

      You have to be a MAC Pro member in order to sign up for them. You can go to for more info.

  • Reply mz_orb March 9, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Nice! I am taking a Master Class on April 11th and I am beyond excited. I live in Philly and the class is in NYC, so I am making a day trip of it.

    • Reply Phyllis March 9, 2011 at 6:34 pm

      Awesome! Which class are you taking?

    • Reply Victoria March 26, 2012 at 10:13 am

      Hello Mz_orb
      I too live in Philly and im very interested in attending the MAC Master Class. Can we chat please?

  • Reply Rachel March 24, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    You look SOOOOO pretty and glowy!!!! :0)

  • Reply Megan Christman September 5, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Thanks for the tips. I have been using MAC for years but always love a refresher.

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