Advice from a Make-up Artist – Charelle Mc Allister

I love working with Charelle, she is always fast, friendly and efficient and has experience with all sorts of make up on all sorts of faces (even my own!)  Thanks so much for stopping by to give us your tips!


Tell us a little bit about yourself ….

I am originally from Nelspruit and after Matriculating in 2003, I studied makeup artistry, body painting, prosthetics and hair Styling in Gardens, Cape Town.  I have been doing makeup ever since, as I have an absolute love to create, enhance and beautify.  I relocated to Durban in 2008.  I love to dance (a lot!), socialize, work, exercise, pamper and beautify brides and models!  I also love makeup, animals, chocolate, modeling, people and music.

How did you land up in this profession?

I was the type of child who would use my gran’s makeup to apply on my cousins for dress up.  So the fascination with makeup and what I could do with it started at a very young age for me.  One would also find me in the Ladies during my high school years, fixing friends’ makeup when out on the town.  I loved it and still do!  Making people feel and look beautiful make me so happy.

What do you love most about working on a wedding?

I have to say that when it comes to weddings, just being a part of the bride’s special time when prepping and getting ready with her dearest and closest friends/family and being a large part of having her feel confident and beautiful, is something quite special for me.  My favourite part to that prepping time is as I call it, `the hustle and bustle`, when the dress is to be tied/ bound, the jewelry applied, the photographer is snapping away and all final touches are being made.  It is a privilege to be amongst it all as a service provider.

How would you describe your ideal client?

My ideal client would be anybody from the `au natural` who does not wear much makeup, to the more daring/ unique ladies, who have an idea of what they want to look like on their wedding day.  Knowing what tones, colours, textures (frosted, matt etc) you prefer and whether you like smokey/clean eyes, helps a great deal when it comes to the trial and getting your desired look spot on first time around.  It is okay to have pictures of different looks if you are confused or want to ask advice. This opens a discussion of what will work with your features.

What is your advice for choosing your look for your wedding day?

When choosing a look for your wedding day, I always recommend ladies stay true to their personality/style with a bit of a timeless professional tweak to it.  If you rock a bold liquid liner most of the time, let’s keep it (considering your eye shape of course).  What always works best for bridal makeup is soft, subtle, well-blended colours and lines.  Remember you want to look amazing in your photos, as these are what will keep those memories to share forever.

Do you think a make up trial is necessary before the wedding day?

A trial is very important and I highly recommend it.  This gives both the bride and myself an opportunity to meet before-hand to discuss different options and what is expected, and for me to advise what look etc would suit you best.  This allows for a stress-free, easy-going wedding party.  The bride can relax knowing what to expect.

Any Wedding makeup no no`s ?

  • Over-done, heavy artificial eyelashes. There is nothing natural and beautiful about a heavy plastic lash look.  This can look too much and even cast shadows under your eyes.  When choosing your beautician for this service, be sure to use someone who has been highly recommended and perhaps try them out before hand as a trial to be safe.
  • Very dark smokey eyes- This is awesome for a night out on the town, but is too heavy for bridal and will not give you that fresh wide-eyed, blushing bride look.
  • Emphasis on every feature- The last thing you want is for everyone to only notice your makeup and not necessarily you and your radiance.  Having bold eyes, bold lips, cheeks overly contoured/ highlighted/ shimmers/ glitters etc is just an example of too much everywhere.  You don’t want your features fighting against each other.
  • Authentic dated makeup looks- 1920’s/30’s/40’s/ (50’s can work, this will never be outdated and is a timeless look)/ 60’s/70’s and especially never 80’s looks.  Most of these era`s do not suit all face shapes and features.
  • If you are a more extroverted person who is punk/ colourful/rock/gothic/hippie etc in life, then that is an exception, as that is you/your style and I believe in keeping true to one’s individuality with a professional twist to your look for your special day

What are the latest trends out there when it comes to bridal make-up?

Following trends for bridal makeup can be a personal thing.  What I find always works well, is to take the season that you are getting married in, to account.  If it is a Spring Wedding or a Winter Wedding, there are different hues that can be used to create either a cool look or a more spring/ summer look.

Do you have any tips on ensuring your skin is in the best condition for the big day

  • Cleanse, tone, treat, moisturize and eye creams/gel’s twice a day is very important.
  • Gently exfoliate once/ twice a week (depending on your product/ skin needs), removing buildup of dead skin cells.
  • Regular salon visits covering facial/treatments (pigmentation/ acne/ cholesterol/ psoriasis/eczema…).  Your Cosmetologist/ Beautician will advise.
  • Sunscreen- Start today if you don’t already do this!  The sun ages and dehydrates the skin, creating fine lines and pigmentation.
  • Drink water whenever you are thirsty.  Plenty of water helps keep the skin plump and rid your body of any toxins preventing them from surfacing on the skin.
  • Take anti-oxidants to rid body of free radicals which age the skin.  Green Tea is one example of a brilliant anti oxidant tea.
  • Do not squeeze or pick at your skin.  Leave that to the therapist. You will only make the problem worsen, spread or scar your skin.
  • Most importantly- Eat well.  Refueling your body with natural, vitamin rich good food is vital for over-all health and keeping your skin glowing and healthy.  Your skin’s condition is a mirror of your health.
  • Try keep stress-levels low, it wreaks havoc on our entire body and shows.
  • Get enough sleep! This is the time where our body rejuvenates and repairs cells, as well as in the skin.
  • Never ever go to bed with your makeup on.  Always thoroughly cleanse (repeat point one of cleansing and treating) before hitting that pillow.  Be sure to use a nourishing night moisturizer and don’t forget your eye treatment products

You can find Charelle here or call her on 079 8888 777

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