DIY Bridal Beauty – Interview with author Sara-May Monaghan of Makeup Utopia

DIY Bridal Beauty – Interview with author Sara-May Monaghan of Makeup Utopia

DIY Bridal Beauty with Hair Romance and Makeup Utopia

One of the best parts of working on DIY Bridal Beauty has been working alongside Sara-May Monaghan of Makeup Utopia.

Sara-May is true makeup professional. She has a passion for cosmetics, but she sees them for what they are: a tool for creation and fun. She doesn’t seek to cover up or create a mask. She plays with colour and designs makeup to enhance your natural beauty.

Creating the DIY Bridal Beauty ebooks together has been a labour of love, and I’ve learnt so much from Sara-May. In this new ebook she shares her beauty secrets and I asked her a few more questions about how this all came about.

What inspired you to write a book about DIY wedding makeup

I love weddings, so much so that I’ve spent the last 6 years dedicating my weekends to helping brides to look just how they imagined they would on their wedding day. The sad thing is, at just about every wedding I’ve been a part of, someone has shared a horror story about a bad experience with a makeup artist. Makeup is so subjective, and if you’ve booked an artist who isn’t the right fit, you can end up feeling really unnatural or uncomfortable on your wedding day.

I wanted to create a resource that empowers women to make the makeup choice that is right for them on their wedding day. To give them permission to take control of their appearance on their wedding day, and to share the makeup artist secrets to making sure their makeup looks as beautiful in photos as it does in real life.

This book is for every woman who doesn’t have a trusted makeup artist for their wedding day. It could be because you’re having a destination wedding, it could be because your budget is better spent on other things, or because (like me) you’re not confident that anyone else knows your face and style the way you do. I’ve shared all my tips and tricks to make sure you look amazing in-person as well as in photos.

Of the 10 looks you shot, which one is your favourite?

This is a really difficult question to answer, because I love them all so much, but I think if I were to get married again I would wear something like the Ballerina look as modelled by Larah. It’s so pretty and girly without looking forced or overdone.

DIY Bridal Beauty with Hair Romance and Makeup Utopia - the ballerina

What was the most memorable moment from shooting the images for the book?

Oh there were definitely a few memorable moments! I think one of them would have to be doing Laura’s makeup with a crying baby strapped to my chest – I don’t want to repeat that experience any time soon. Oh, and the day that you grabbed a hot hair straightener and burned your hand, then I did the same thing 10 minutes later!

[HR: OMG I had completely forgotten this happened! I can’t believe I did that!]

Behind the scenes on DIY Bridal Beauty with Makeup Utopia

What sort of a timeline do you recommend for a bride who wants their makeup to look great for their wedding?

If you have any sort of serious skin condition, consult a dermatologist as early as possible. If you want to dramatically alter the shape of your eyebrows, start seeing an eyebrow specialist as soon as possible. Otherwise, make sure you are extra-diligent with your skincare routine from about 6 weeks out from the wedding, and your skin will be a great canvas for makeup on the day of your wedding.

There is a lot to consider with your beauty timeline for a wedding, and I’ve included a full guide in the book.

What advice would you give a bride-to-be who wanted to do their own makeup for their wedding?

Practice, practice and practice some more. Make sure you do a trial using the products that you plan to use on your wedding day, and take some photos (preferably in dim light, or at night) using flash photography. This will give you an idea of how your makeup will react to photography on the day, and make sure you have photos you love.

What makeup looks are hot for weddings at the moment?

Some of the most beautiful bridal looks I’m seeing at the moment are looks with a single statement feature, so a beautiful sheer, dewy skin with either a really bold lip, or a very dramatic lash, and eyebrows that are bold but not heavy. Of course there is also the ever popular winged liner/bold lip combo – it never goes out of style.

What wedding makeup trend do you wish would go away?

I think the heavily contoured, sculpted makeup, with drawn-on, super sharp eyebrows made popular on pinterest and instagram can be very unflattering in real-life (many women don’t realise that these are old-school drag makeup techniques, and they can look almost masculine). I think this style of makeup will look very dated in the future, much like the blue eyeshadow of the 80’s and the brown lipstick of the 90s. I’d love to see more women embracing their natural beauty on their wedding day.


Thanks for sharing some more from behind the scenes, Sara-May! I have loved watching you work on these looks and creating this together.

DIY Bridal Beauty ebooks will be released on 19 November!

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