Handing the task of your makeup over to someone else on your big day can be a little scary. It’s a lot of trust to place in someone else’s hands! So you want to make sure you choose an artist that’s worthy of that trust and will do everything in their power to understand and deliver exactly the look you want. And that’s where Mel Manning Makeup comes in!
An Alberta local and longtime resident of Canmore, Mel is highly experienced in creating flawless mountain wedding looks. We had a chat with Mel to learn a little more about Mel Manning Makeup, her opinion on bridal beauty trends, working with bridal parties, and lots more!
Tell us a little about yourself!
I was born and raised in Alberta and now reside in Canmore. Originally, I came to the Bow Valley to pursue my dream of living and working as a freelance artist in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. I am very passionate about being WildSmart, supporting efforts to reduce negative human wildlife interactions.
How did you get started in hair & makeup for weddings?
My very first wedding was for my beautiful Mother. She had an intimate family gathering and I did her hair and makeup for her. But it took several years to build my reputation as a professional wedding makeup artist. I love to set my own hours and interact with brides looking to achieve their best face for their monumental occasion.
What wedding services/packages do you offer?
Rates are based per person for groups of 5 or less. Full day rate for groups of 6 or 7. False eyelashes are always included and there is no extra charge for airbrushing services.
Do trends in wedding makeup change a lot?
Most of the clients I meet want to look natural and appear to be wearing a minimal amount of makeup for their day. But the trends I have seen that are here to stay are facial contouring and highlighting. The popularity of microblading eyebrows and eyelash extensions has increased over the years and these are nice compliments to a natural makeup application for the wedding day.
What is the biggest up and coming bridal beauty trend right now?
Minimal makeup looks including the “no makeup” makeup look, so drawing lots of attention to the eyes with soft smokey neutral shadows and customized false eyelashes. Skin that looks like skin and not seeing visible foundation. But I think we will also see lots of pops of colours for some brides, including bolder colours on the eyelids.
How would you describe your philosophy when it comes to working with the bridal party ahead of the big day?
The bride has put a standard and level of trust in me to provide her and her bridal party with a service that will make them look and feel great for the big day before ever meeting me.
So I work out a timing schedule beforehand and provide it to the bride to review along with specific instructions on how they can all prepare their skin prior to the application. I come with an attitude of gratitude for the amount of time, energy and resources it takes to put together a wedding and try to walk through the door as down to earth as I can be.
Firstly, my main focus is on creating a small space for each member of the bridal party to feel pampered, to be able to relax a bit before getting dressed while still providing her space to be engaged in the surroundings of the getting ready room. Secondly, I’m there to put forth 110% to meet and exceed the expectation that is asked of me. Sometimes I am the last person to leave the room and lock the door behind me so I am very humbled by the level of respect and trust that I am given by bridal parties.
What is the most common request you hear from brides regarding their bridal makeup?
Makeup – “I want to look natural, I want to look like myself.” Also, “yes I want to try false eyelashes, I’ve never worn them before!”
What are the most frequently asked questions you hear from brides?
Can I sleep in my false eyelashes and wear them tomorrow?
Yes and no, it won’t hurt to sleep in them and remove them in the morning. But if you do sleep in them they will bend and curl and will not look the same as they did on the wedding day. So I would not recommend it.
What do you think about wearing red lipstick?
Red lipstick is a classic look that will never go out of style. However, wearing red on your wedding day is more high maintenance and you will need to touch it up a lot more than lighter tones. But if you really want the red look, opt for a stain or a gloss instead of lipstick. These are more comfortable options to wear.
Can you cover this pimple/scar/pigmentation?
Yes! I carry DermaColor. This product will cover unwanted abnormalities including tattoos while creating a waterproof finish to last the day.
Can you do airbrush foundation?
Yes, I have a portable air compressor and can apply the foundation with my airbrush gun. The effects are light and the application is faster than applying with a brush/sponge. This is also a great option for any skin type.
What is the most important advice you would give to brides when it comes to their wedding day look?
Come equipped with some images to show your artist that inspire you. If you’re nervous about the makeup, get a makeup trial. Get as much rest and hydration as you can prior to the wedding day. Makeup can be done so many ways, so ensure you trust who you hire by doing research on them and their sanitary practices. Have a conversation with the artist prior to application and don’t be afraid to tell them what you want. Also, know that if you allow the artist to do what they want, you may not get the results that are best for you.
What are some of your favourite products/brands to use?
FaceAtelier foundation, Viseart eyeshadows, MAC blush, NARS lipstick. Too Faced Shadow Insurance and Matte Bronzer. I love to use Avene mineral water to moisturize and Bioderma to cleanse.
Do you have any skincare recommendations for brides in the lead up to their big day?
Get a skin care routine that you can do at home that works for you. Wearing sunscreen and moisturizer along with exfoliation of the face/neck/decolletage months prior to the wedding day will help the appearance of the skin. So invest in facial sunscreen and reapply it after 80 minutes daily year round. Keep your lips moisturized and exfoliated too!
What positive feedback do you hear most frequently from brides/bridal parties?
I often hear things along the lines of “I loved how my makeup lasted the entire day/night.”
Is there anything else you would like to mention?
I am a local small business in Canmore, AB. I am professionally trained and have over 18 years experience working with makeup and over 13 years experience doing bridal makeup with 6 years of that time residing in Canmore.
“Mel is so friendly and accommodating! I have gotten my makeup done with her a few times, and both times I was beyond satisfied. I would highly recommend her!!” Kylah
If you want to chat with Mel about makeup looks for your engagement, elopement, or wedding, you can find all her info here.
Check out some of Mel’s fabulous work on social media: