Why You Should Let Your MUA Freestyle

In today’s blog post, I want to talk all about why you should let your makeup artist freestyle during your makeup booking. I know, it is a scary concept! Putting your face in someone else’s hands (literally) can be very daunting and it does take a lot of trust, but I want to chat a little bit more as to why letting your MUA take the lead is so worth the risk.

The makeup industry is a very fast paced world, with new trends, products and techniques coming out every single day. I will admit even as a professional makeup artist, it can be very overwhelming at times! With so many conflicting opinions and an endless amount of choice with what products to use, knowing what is best for your features, your skin type and your colourings is very challenging. As a professional makeup artist, it is my job to know the ins and outs of all of these things to ensure you get the best outcome from your finished look.

Going into 2024, one of my main goals is to elevate my knowledge of makeup artistry and fine tune my personal style. At the beginning of March, I attended a masterclass with the very talented Kristina Gasperas at her academy in London. 2024 marks the beginning of my third full year as Imogen Sandy MUA and I can safely say I have learnt a LOT in these last few years! However, I feel there is always more to learn in such a quickly evolving industry. Kristina is an incredible makeup artist whose work I have admired for years, so it was amazing to see her work in person and learn from such an experienced MUA.

I left Kristina’s masterclass with a massive amount of motivation; it was so interesting to learn new techniques and see new products, but it was also lovely to see similarities across our two styles of artistry. In the last few weeks, I feel as though I’ve gone back to my early days of learning about makeup and I have been freestyling makeups on some kind ladies who offered to model for me. If you have read My Journey as an MUA blog post, you will know that I used to spend hours practicing makeup on all of my friends, so I feel as though I’ve transported back to that era! It has been so much fun getting creative again and I’ve created some looks I’m really proud of.

Whilst doing these glams, it made me think more about the trends I see and what images I often get shown when doing my initial consultations at the beginning of my bookings. Throughout all of my makeup bookings, I always recommend having a look through my portfolio to find any looks you like – or looks you don’t! This is super helpful for me to better understand your personal preferences when it comes to the level of glam you’re looking for. What I may see as a ‘natural makeup’ may be very heavy for someone else, so having photographic inspiration of what you’re looking for is always very helpful.

However, a key thing to discuss when searching for inspiration photos is how makeup can translate differently on camera. For example, this makeup below is one I have requested all the time. This look I did on Maddie features a range of pink toned eyeshadows, but I often get this image shown to me when requesting a neutral brown toned makeup. This is important to discuss as when looking through images or watching tutorials on TikTok, lighting can be very deceiving! You may think you have found someone with your similar colourings so choosing to directly replicate one of their makeup looks will therefore work perfectly for you, but their camera may skew their actual tones.

That is where listening to your MUA’s professional opinions is so important. As a makeup artist, I am trained to quickly evaluate your features and know what techniques and products will elevate your natural beauty. I would never totally disregard your ideas for your makeup as makeup is all about personal preference and one of the most important things to me is that you still look and feel like yourself! I always work collaboratively with my clients so would never totally shut you down. However, I may suggest going for a slightly different colour palette or softening certain elements to better suit you.

So, what things am I taking into consideration when making these recommendations?

Your Skin Tone: Across all skin tones, there are three main categories for what skin tone you may have; warm, cool and neutral. A warm skin tone is one that pulls more yellow, a cool toned skin pulls more pink and a neutral skin tone falls just between the two. Establishing which of these categories you fall into is crucial to ensuring you create a flattering makeup look that elevates your natural features.

Using this makeup on Sheena pictured below as an example, you can see we went for a warm colour palette to suit her warm complexion. Sheena discussed how she liked gold tones on her eyes, and here I chose quite a yellow based gold as this is in harmony with her natural skin tone. You can see from the before and after, this warm colour palette brightened her skin tone and suited her beautifully!

Your Outfit: Learning more about what you’re wearing for your event is something I always fall back on when my client isn’t sure on what colours to go for. Your makeup is a part of your total look, and it’s very important that the total look is cohesive so one element is not competing with the other. Now, this doesn’t mean I will be using purple eyeshadow if you are wearing a bright purple dress! I often ask what colour accessories you are wearing if you have gone for a statement dress to pick up on those tones instead.

You can see below in Georgie’s makeup, we went for neutral tones on the eyes but chose a pink toned lip that was in the same colour family as her dress to tie the look together.

Your Eye Shape: Advancing my knowledge of all the eye shapes was one of my main focuses when attending Kristina’s masterclass at the beginning of March as understanding how to flatter each eye shape individually is so important in makeup artistry. When discussing your desired eye makeup, I may recommend a small winged liner to help lift the eyes if they are more downturned, or I may recommend a lighter colour palette if your eyes are more deep-set. All of my recommendations will have one goal in mind – to flatter your features and enhance your natural beauty!

Fully trusting your MUA to freestyle can be nerve wracking, but when you let them take the reins, magic happens! When booking in for your bridal makeup or your special occasion glam, you can be assured that I will always work alongside you to create your finished look. Even when I am told to do whatever I want, I will always double check it with you first to get your feedback. That way you can relax and feel confident that you will love your completed makeup.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about the thought process during my consultations with clients and what elements go into deciding your finished look. Thank you so much for reading!

Imogen Sandy

Imogen Sandy

Professional makeup artist based in Wokingham, covering Berkshire and surrounding areas.