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  • Writer's pictureLovestills

Lovestills™ Behind the Scenes: A Q&A with Karis Chiu Makeup's Versatile Bridal Makeup & Hair Artist

Lovestills sits down with Karis, talented and experienced makeup artist behind the effortlessly glowing bridal makeup and hair of many brides to learn more about what magic goes on behind the scenes to help brides look their most stunning selves on the big day.

Photo by: Alwin (Trouve Photography)

Hello Karis! Tell us more about how you came to pick up your skills in bridal hair & makeup?

It might be surprising, but I worked in a laboratory environment for about 5 years before I began to learn hair and makeup skills professionally. Two years into my first job, I began to find work very routine and wanted to pick up a new interesting skill. Fun fact: I dabbled in hair cutting classes for a short while before deciding to focus on hair styling and makeup. However due to clashes in working hours and classes, I had to put this on the backburner.

It’s a funny story about how I got re-inspired again to start picking up bridal hair & makeup skills professionally. At a friend’s wedding where I was a bridesmaid, due to a miscommunication with the makeup artist, my look for the day was a disaster - I looked nothing like myself. This really got my passion reignited again - and when I changed jobs, I took the opportunity to pick up professional hair and makeup skills with The Make Up Room to make sure that such disasters never occur again.

What is your bridal beauty philosophy?

That the bride should wear the makeup and not the other way around. I’m committed to highlighting each bride’s natural beauty and best features to create an elevated look for the big day.

Do you have favorite looks that you like to create?

I don't really have a favorite look - it really depends on the bride. But currently my favorite color to use on brides is rose gold/warm pink. I think it works well on most brides that I have come across.

Hairstyles wise, I enjoy doing up light airy, textured hairstyles, be it updo or half updo. And yes I love incorporating braids into my hair designs too.

Take us through your typical wedding consultation process with a bride.

To help me visualize and put together the final look, I would typically start by asking the bride to send me photos of them in their chosen gowns and also the kind of looks they are interested in so that it can help me to understand their preference and style they would like on their wedding day.

Based on the above information, we’ll schedule a trial where I will try out about two to three looks for them. Depending on the individual bride’s skin condition, I would also recommend them proper care for their skin in the lead up to the big day.

From experience, is a makeup trial before the actual a must have?

It is highly recommended although not a must. A makeup trial is the perfect opportunity to discuss your options and to try different looks that will work for you. On the actual wedding day, schedules tend to be pretty tight, so already having discussed what look is desired and knowing how long it takes to do up the look can help potentially save brides some valuable time.

While I work with mostly hypoallergenic products, it is possible that a bride may be allergic to an ingredient in a cosmetic or hair product, so a makeup trial is the best time to ensure that such sensitivity can be tested for too.

Photo by: Kompactfen

Thoughts on eyelash extensions for the big day?

Yes that works! If brides prefer to have eyelash extensions, I would recommend to do eyelashes that is more curled, at least C curl, to prevent eyelashes from blocking your eyes, which can result in looking sleepy.

What are some of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job?

One of the most challenging aspect for me is waking up early in the morning. :D It is truly rewarding when brides send texts to thank me after the wedding. Knowing that the bride loves her look and feels confident and beautiful on her big day is how I know it was a job well done and that waking up early for the wedding was all worth while.

Photo by: Joel Lim Photography

How would you recommend brides to take care of their skin in the lead up to their big day?

Be regular in your skincare routine. Exfoliate regularly to prevent dead skin build up and mask after that. Always remember to drink more water and avoid sugar-added beverage. Ensure you always have on sunblock. And be extra cautious in trying out anything new that is harsh or invasive for the skin to close to the actual day.

Do you have any professional makeup artist tips to help brides make sure their makeup lasts all day?

Hydrate & Exfoliate! It’s no secret but well hydrated and clear skin without dead skin build up helps makeup to be applied smoothly and remain longer lasting.

Photo by: Matthew Ng Photography

Last but not least, any tips or wisdom to impart to future brides looking to find their perfect MUA for the big day to create their dream look?

Always look at the MUA's portfolio to ensure they can achieve your desired look. Even if your best friend recommends someone, be sure that the makeup artist's style is the right fit for you, as makeup preferences can differ from person to person.

If you're a bride looking for a makeup artist to help you highlight your natural beauty to create an elevated look for the big day, do visit Karis's website to see more of her style of bridal look (all images in this article has been kindly provided by Karis Chiu Makeup) or drop her an email at to get to know her better!

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