stephanie bennis, carmina cristina, wedding makeup, brideThis month’s blog post comes from real bride, Stephanie who having never had her makeup professionally done before just recently completed her trial wedding makeup with Carmina Cristina. Stephanie shares her personal experience as well as some common misconceptions she had about professional makeup prior to working with Carmina. We can’t give away Stephanie’s final wedding day look just yet, but be sure to stay tuned after her August wedding for pictures of Stephanie’s dream look and Carmina’s artistic skills that helped her achieve this for her big day!


This August 4th I’m thrilled to be marrying my own Prince Charming. But between now and then, there’s a lot more to be done than just counting down the days until I walk down the aisle. As many other brides may relate, in the months and weeks leading up to my big day, there are countless details and to-do lists that need to be completed. Among those items, is determining how I want to look on my wedding day. It’s easy to simply say “I want to look beautiful” or “I want to be a blushing bride,” but in my own planning process I quickly realized that to achieve this end result, I would need to give my wedding day look a bit more consideration than just a verbal wish. The anticipation of a hot August wedding and an already hectic-enough day, I knew that a professional makeup artist was the only way I could achieve my dream look, have it last all day and take one stress off of my wedding day list.

My wedding trial makeup was the first time I ever had my makeup professionally done. Prior to this, I always thought what I could do on my own was good enough. And it is – for most days. But my wedding day isn’t going to be like “most days.” At least I hope not! So before my appointment with Carmina Cristina, I shared many misconceptions about trial makeup and professional makeup that I’m sure many other women out there share as well.

The Misconceptions:

 Professional wedding makeup is an unnecessary expense.

It’s natural to want to keep a tight budget and not waste money on things that your guests won’t ever notice. I’d put items like napkins, escort cards and monogrammed hand towels in the bathroom into this category—but not wedding makeup. You’re the focus of this day and not one single guest will walk away without seeing you. Moreover, you’ll have wedding photos that will forever remind you of what you looked like on your wedding day. The best part is that professional wedding makeup is a small expense in the grand scheme of your budget, but makes a huge difference where it matters most—on you!

Only I know what type of makeup looks best on me.

I thought this before too. I like how I do my makeup and even get compliments from time to time. I was afraid that someone else might make my eyes too dark or my lips to bright and not listen to my vision. Carmina proved all of this wrong. She first designed my look around the inspiration photos I brought to her, but went one step further and interpreted that look into what fits my face shape, skin color and eye shape the best. Not all makeup trends are for everyone, and in reality who can you trust more to tell you this than a professionally trained makeup artist?

I’m concerned I won’t look like myself if someone else does my makeup.

I think we’ve all seen examples of makeup that make someone look like a completely different person. Whether this is intentional like costume makeup or just too much product, this was never even close to being an issue for my wedding trial makeup. When I looked in the mirror, even after Carmina spent hours airbrushing my skin, shaping my eyes and contouring my cheeks, I still looked very much like me. A better version of me, yes, but Carmina kept my look very natural while highlighting my best features. Even my fiancé, a guy who much prefers me with no makeup at all, loved my look!

I don’t really need trial makeup, I’ll just explain what I want the day-of.

On your wedding day, so much else is going on that you can’t afford for your makeup to take longer than planned or in the worst case scenario for you to try one look you don’t like and then have to completely start over. This could throw off your entire day’s timeline or leave you with a look you don’t really love. The trial makeup is a critical day, just like trial hair. If you pick a day where you can take your time and try out a ton of different looks, you’ll be so much more excited (not nervous) for your wedding day makeup and this is one less stress you’ll have to worry about!

Isn’t trial makeup sort of a waste?

It’s easy to think that just because you’re not going to a fancy event or a night out with your friends right after your trial makeup that it’s a waste to take all this time and use all this product for something not many people will see. However, the point of trial makeup isn’t to be showcased, it’s main purpose is for you and the makeup artist, like Carmina, to design your look, become comfortable with it and be sure that your makeup wears well for hours with no allergic reactions. If you achieve these things alone, then trial makeup is well worth it! But if you really want more “bang for your buck” try scheduling your engagement photo shoot right after your trial makeup and you’ll have professional makeup for all of your special photos too!

My Experience:

I can summarize my trial wedding makeup experience into 3 words—relaxing, fun and educational. First, Carmina’s studio is a chic and organized space full of natural light which makes it easy to feel instantly relaxed. Unlike a busy hair salon with just a small section for professional makeup, all of Carmina’s studio is dedicated to her makeup. I was the only other person there with her and was given 100% of her attention. We first started looking at my inspiration photos and discussed what I specifically liked about each look. Carmina closely examined the shape of my face, eyes and brows to determine the best way to interpret the models’ makeup on to my own face. I knew I was in very knowledgeable and professional hands. She talked me through her exact ideas so I had a good understanding of what my final look would be like before she even began. If there was anything that sounded different than what I had envisioned, I had plenty of opportunity to clarify this with her.

Once we got started, Carmina and I talked the whole time and the process flew by! We really got to know each other and by Carmina gaining a better understanding of my personality and my wedding style, I could sense she was gaining a better understanding of how to make my makeup reflect who I really am. She gave me a ton of options, like eye shadow colors, fake eyelash styles and eyeliner techniques, to choose from but guided me with explanations as to what each would do for my look so I could best decide. She was also very willing to go back and try something new if I wasn’t quite sure. One of my favorite aspects about working with Carmina was that most of the products she used were from her own line, CARMINA-CRISTINA which gave me confidence I was getting the highest quality makeup that Carmina believes in enough to put her name on. When looking at my skin, she suggested I begin to use eye cream now until the wedding to hydrate the dry skin around my eyes. Without the trial, I wouldn’t have known I needed this and it would have made the makeup around my eyes dryer and more difficult to blend on the day of my wedding. This is one of the many benefits I found to doing a trial wedding makeup—and to working with Carmina.

In addition to being my first time having my makeup professionally done, it was also my first time having my makeup airbrushed. What a cool experience! It felt like the smallest breeze against my skin but created the most flawless skin I’ve even seen on myself. It was completely dry to the touch and looked the same 7 hours later as it did when it was first done. Heat, sweat and tears don’t stand a chance against this stuff – and that’s exactly what it will be up against the day of my wedding!

Carmina spent nearly two hours perfecting my look! I never once felt rushed and I left with a look I truly loved. The next morning Carmina and I chatted over email to confirm everything felt OK and wore the way I wanted it to. She was thorough and professional from start to finish—and we haven’t even gotten to the wedding day yet! I’m most pleased with the fact I know that my wedding day makeup will not be a stress for me at all. I’ll have the flawless, but natural look I wanted and be able to wear it with the confidence that it will last all day…no matter what type of heat and humidity Mother Nature throws at us on August 4th!

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