Sunday, 22 August 2010

Bridal make up artist ( The difference between a high-end and medium-end MUA)

What a mouthful of a blog post.

Sorry but that's exactly what this post is about. Seriously there are so many makeup artists (MUA) around these days with so many different prices and styles, it's really hard to find the 'perfect' one unless you really do go and have a trial done with each and everyone of them.What most brides do, is get a few recommendations, go for trial and choose the one which suits her best.

However, being a bride working in Slim River and working on-calls quite frequently, who has time for all that hassle?? What i did was get a recommendation , research on the forums and then just stick to it.

Of course, i could not find anything about make-up artists in JB, cos many of them don't have blogs and neither are there much information about them on forums (English ones anyway). But KL make-up artists are a savvy lot. They have websites, FB profiles , glowing reviews and horror stories up on the forums.Definitely a bride could do much research on the net. However, pictures do lie so a recommendation is always your best bet.

So, having had gone through 3 make up artists (one free with bridal shoot , one famous one from KL who was recommended by a friend and has glowing reviews on forums, and the MUA from JB was one who made up all my friends during their weddings).

Of course price range was also different. I do not want to 'spoil market' or anything but the price for my KL MUA was slightly less than double the price i paid for my JB MUA.

The MUA i got from Keep Gallery for my pre-wedding photoshoot was needless to say included in the package. My mistake was not insisting on choosing a make-up artist that was recommended by the forums. In fact, i did not choose at all as the sales assistant at KG insisted that all the make up artists were VERY professional and will assign the MUA based on the photographer. I thought that was odd but did not bother arguing.. Big mistake.

This is what happened.

Okay not fair i was making a face. 

This was the nicest picture i could find.

If you want to see the ugliest picture click here cos it pains me to put it up again.

Two layers of fake lashes, 'garang' eye brows and over the top eye make-up!

Bad mistake. I did tell her the make up was a tad... heavy, but she insisted that make up for photo shoots HAVE to be heavy!After chatting with my KL MUA i realized it was a big fat lie.

So what my pre-wedding MUA achieved was, obliterated all my features in one sweep by dolloping a humongous amount of foundation on my face and then for good measure decided to add on 2-3 layers of foundation on top of that.From those first few strokes, i did not look like me anymore. Being a MUA virgin then, i thought this must be how it's like. Maybe my features are not compatible with make up. Running though my mind was 'How will i face people on the actual day itself looking like this?'

Bleh.. even now i shudder at the thought of my transvestite-like self in a wedding gown parading around various parts of KL having my photo taken.Worse still, some ang moh guy had photographic evidence of it (read here) and is probably saying to hi friends back home, "... and this is how brides look like in Malaysia. Ghastly!" (assuming of course that he is Brit and speaks in Enid Blyton English.)

Thankfully the photos turned out all right. But certainly i looked unlike myself.Too much make up was the key word.

Thankfully my make-up in JB was not as horrendous but oh the stress that this make-up artist put me through!

Because i've seen her work on many of my friends, this JB make up artist- let's just call her Annie, seemed to be a really good choice. And her asking price for a whole day make-up and hair plus staying back for the second outfit change was only a middlish 3 figure sum. She was an obvious choice since i did not know any other make up artists in JB anyway. So i booked her- a freaking 6 months before hand.

So 2 months before my wedding i sent her a simple sms reminder- which yielded no reply. I then called her only to get this response:

'Oh.. you are Mei May's friend right?" (at least she remembered)"Um.. would you mind if i ask my colleague May to do the make up for you? i might be going overseas ler."

OMG. Of course i mind. I didn't book you 6 months in advance only to have you pull out 2 months ahead. And she did not even have the decency to contact me first!

Tried to find another MUA but 2 months before my wedding many of them had already been booked. And those attached to the bridal houses could not come over to the lunch venue. I had to go over to their shop!

So what to do. I accepted May with the promise that she would come and do trial make up for me beforehand.

But then.. 3 weeks before my wedding Annie suddenly says she will be available after all.So she will be doing make up for the lunch plus a stay back for the second walk in while May will do my morning make-up. Okay whatever , by that time i was so just wanting to get over with the whole wedding planning thing. And of course May did not turn up for the trial make up. I just had to trust whatever make-up style and skills she had.

And these are the results.

Morning make-up by May.

By the way love my JB photographer. Go see his work here.

May was okay. She didn't do anything outlandish. Make -up ran a bit and hair was a bit messy but i was pretty satisfied with the results.

Then for the afternoon lunch, i had Annie as my MUA.

Gorgeous photography and make-up was at least natural. She did ask my opinion first before putting on the fringe hair piece and i was game to experiment.

However was a bit bummed she did not change my hairstyle or make-up for me for the second march-in which was essentially the whole purpose of her staying back right? But nooo.. she just parted the fake fringe a bit, added a big purple bow, helped me get into my dress and that was it!

Bummer.. i was getting sick of that fake fringe and wanted it off! But of course she was hungry and wanted to leave FAST. Cheh.. and it did not help my make up had been on since 6 am in the morning. For the Lunch Annie came late! No wonder she asked me not to remove the make-up May did for me in the morning. Sh said that she had her ways. Should have known better. May told me i should remove the make-up cos the lunch would be a whole kind of make up look.

Anyway since Annie said not to remove the morning make up , i being the obedient bride heeded her instructions. So Annie basically just did some touch up and changed some eye make-up. The result of that and the fact that they used brandless make-up? OXIDATION!! Luckily my photographer was so good with playing with lighting, it did not show in any of my official pictures. But you could see clearly from my friends digital camera pics that my face was turning an ugly shade of grey!! So you do pay for what you get.

Now on to my KL wedding with Remy Ngan.

By far the best! Attentive, punctual, professional and most importantly a naturally talented artist!Sorry for gushing but she really is all that. I did not have a trial make-up with her as i was really busy and tired after the JB wedding. Furthermore since she is the more 'famous' make-up artist she had to be better than my JB make-up artist. And my JB make-up though using less than stellar make-up products did manage to make me feel pretty. I'm not fussy.

And i didn't need the trial anyway. She knew exactly what to do with my hair and make-up. She took one look at me and told me what king of person she envisioned me to be and how she would make me up to look as natural as possible. The point when i totally connected with her was when she told me : 'Why did you pre-wedding make up artist make you look so old? ' She sees what i see. I need less heavy make-up!

This is me before make up.

She is totally painting me like i'm a piece of art.

And I'm loving it. I just knew there was something different about her.

And these are the results.

I specifically requested for flowers 'cos i love the flower-in-hair look.

 Natural make-up to hide my imperfections and unconventional facial features, beautiful yet simple  hairdo, what more can a bride ask for? It almost looks effortless.It helped so much that she had a great eye of aesthetics in general. She picked up straight away that my evening gown needed major ironing (Thanks Yeng Wen and Yung2!) and she helped me look better in my wedding gown. I can't tell you how but don't you think i filled this gown so much better than my JB ones? She even prepared a 'care pack' of q-tips and a straw for me to use throughout the day.Thoughtful and experienced or what?

And i so do love my dinner hairdo.I think this is the very first time in my life that i actually looked elegant!

I don't really know how she did it. But i remember her using her fingers, minimal bobby pins and minimal hairspray too.It was actually already really nice without the flowers but yeah i sort of insisted i wanted flowers! And these posies were fresh of my bouquet. On hindsight she was spot on that i didn't need the roses, but still with the roses it wasn't a total mess either.

And the front part of the hair did not bother me at all. It stayed in place quite well the whole night!

I would say money well spent! 

I wish i had her for JB. The make-up products she used were a mix of high end and medium range brands. She has though a penchant for Japanese based cosmetics some of which are not even available in Malaysia.I had a peek and saw Paul & Joe, MAC and Canmake among others. She also used a Beautymaker product to prep my skin before make -up.

Thanks Remy!!

 So yup, that is the difference a make-up artist makes to a bride. So girls do your research and find someone who really suits you cos looking good gives you the confidence to thoroughly enjoy your day without feeling self conscious about donning a can-can and over the top gown and lots of make-up.

PS. I'm not affiliate to Remy in any way but i am a fan.


Sherlyn said...

Nice post about diff range of mua. i'm very agree of ur statement. I did not regret of change my mua for my AD and pay double up the price for 2 good mua in my AD. they really worth the price!

Beautiful Life said...

Really looked elegant and nice.

bride2wife said...

thumbs up to remy ngan!!
the make up looked very natural..
simply gorgeous

saltvinegar said...

Thanks girls! Yup Sherlyn Tong Tong is good! Who is the other MUA?

Anonymous said...

hi, came across your blog by accident..and cant help myself to put down few words...
I had Remy as my MUA also for my wedding last year. I booked her 1 year in advance after all the surveys I did, without trial make-up. There are many MUA out there can do fairly good make-up, but not good hair styles...Remy is the one who has both...I love the hairstyles she did for me! She did excellent job for me and I really glad I found her! :)

saltvinegar said...

Wow one year in advance!! I was lucky i booked around 4 months in advance. Very lucky for me. She is just so good at what she does!Maybe we should tubuhkan 'Happy Remy brides club'.

Sherlyn said...

saltvinegar another mua for my dinner is monliza mua ^_*

Carrie said...

Who was your MUA for prewedding shoot at KG? But the photos look nice... this is the reason for heavy makeup

Sugarbaby said...

Your makeup by Remy Ngan looks much much more nicer than the ones by May and Annie! Really enhanced your facial features. Thumbs up!

saltvinegar said...

Thanks sugarbaby i do agree!
Carrie.. hmm dunno if i should say or not.. but i think you can guess lor.. not your make-up artist or Tong Tong. My pics look nice because of photographer? But my face really look old la in the close-ups.My fault also i guess i told her i like Japanese make up and maybe she interpreted as heavy make up. i should have said natural make up.

Jo said...

congrats on your wedding! you looked beautiful :) stay together happy always!

Denise said...

hi, came across ur blog while googling keep gallery. My MUA Shirley at keep did a wonderful job and i looked like a prettier myself in the photos, she was very accomodating to my requests (to look like myself) and preferences (flowers in hair)- feel free to browse my blog. Although on hindsight, i regretted not being more adventurous and restricting her free rein of artistry. Heh.
Anyway, i still think your pics look great. Best wishes and happy marriage! :-)

saltvinegar said...

Thanks Denise.. haha Shirley was actually the SA who signed me on and she said 'Don't worry we will assign you a good MUA.'Ha ha but i have no doubt she is a good MUA. I'll go check out your blog.

Sophia Soong said...

hi, i like her make up very much. Can you provide me Remy's contact number? email me at

Thanks a million...i dont want disaster MUA..:/

saltvinegar said...

Hey sophia.. i replied on your blog

ivy ng said...

can i have remy's contact no..

email :


saltvinegar said...

sure. I've replied to ur mail.

Stephanie said...

hi, can i have Remy's contact as well.
Thank you in advance.

peiling said...

Hi can i have Annie's contact and real name? I'm looking for JB MUA but couldn't find much from the net..Thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

hi, can i have remy 's contact?

thank you very much.

Jessying said...

wow nice writeup ! enjoy reading it though not getting married any time soon. I think Remy done an excellent job.. my friend who had her wedding few months ago also looked gorgeous under her hands.. And i think all my classmates are now going after this Remy!!

saltvinegar said...

Thanks for dropping by Jessy! Your blog is a great read! Remy is a brides perfect MUA! And i think she's getting more and more popular!

Jiaen said...


Enjoyed this post! good MUA is so so important!
Can you send me Remy's email ?
Many thanks!


Jiaen said...


You looked so elegant under Remy's hand...

can you send me her email or contact?

Many thanks! Jiaen

1sphere2love said...


May I have Remy's contact too??
Do she have any gallery for viewing??



1sphere2love said...

Hi hi..

May I have remy's contact or do she have any gallery so i can take a look too??


i dont like my pre-wedding photo too. It don look like me, even my parents and in-laws commented tat too. Sigh..but its adi taken and money adi paid so I cant do anything. Kinda sad to have such pre-wed photos.

The reason I dont like its bcos its too heavy eye makeup..just like wat u have double layers eyelash and too black eye makeup....etc etc...
Why must MUA always say: oh..for photoshoot must have heavier makeup so that when your photos are out, you look prettier!! But the thing is we(the brides) must look natural and nice oso. Not necessary heavy and more layers of foundation look nice.. I'm not biased of m'sia MUA, i noticed Spore MUA prefer natural makeup for brides. Its totally way different look compared against Spore and M'sia MUA.

Alrite, engh of my fus here.. I shouldnt have comment too negative here to affect you.. keke..

saltvinegar said...

1spehere2love:Finally someone who understands how i feel!! I wish i had known that overly heavy getai makeup is not a prerequisite to good photos! Remy my high end make up artist also attested to that! I really want to warn brides out there before they go for their photoshoot to know of this fact hence the post.

I'll send you her contact tru your email.

Anonymous said...

Hii dear, can I please have Remy Ngan's contact as well? Thanks alot dear!!

::little projects in style:: said...

make up artistes really make a huge difference! in our australian wedding, i felt like i was two shades tanner!! :)

saltvinegar said...

Oh my gosh we shld be able to sue these incompetent mua's for their poor work!

Shines said...

Wow, thanks for such a lengthy and informative post babe...really hor there's such a big difference between talented and 'normal' bridal MUAs. Remy's artwork on your face is such a look so lovely! *hugs* ♡ And I agree, natural makeup always is the best! :)

By the way, is it possible that you email me Remy's contact too babe? And may I know which part of KL is she normally based in? My email is Currently got no plans to get married yet lor, but who knows in the very near future...hehehe. *blush* Thanks a lot in advance ya! And you stay gorgeous darling! :D

saltvinegar said...

Shines : Thanks girl! The lesson I learnt from my own wedding is always invest in a good make up artist and photographer. The rest can be compromised hahaha. She covers KL area I think but she does charge extra for outstation projects.
I'll send you an email once I find her contact. And here's looking forward to your big day girl *wink*

Shines said...

Haha! Agree with your dear, the rest can be compromised! Cause at the end of the day hor, the main memento from our big day (besides the wedding ring of course, haha) is the pictures! And to have great pictures, besides a great photographer we need an awesome MUA right! Hehehe. :)

About Remy's contact, I just googled and found it already babe...found her FB page and forums with rave reviews about this wonderful lady, so will just leave it here for all the other pretty brides-to-be:

Anyways you take care k and thanks a lot again for the great post dear...I really learned a lot! *hugs* :D

saltvinegar said...

You are one resourceful lady! Haha glad you found her contact. Apparently for popular dates you have to book 6 mnths to a year in advance *stress* that's how popular she is! Haha good luck and have a great time organizing ur wedding!

wjingyi said...

I stumbled into your blog by accident and such a good write up on MUA. I am preparing for my wedding as well and is still looking for the right MUA and so stress from all this looking and researching around. Do you have the email add for Remy? It is possible to email her add?


bee hong said...


Can i have contact for the Remy? Can you email to my email


Anonymous said...

hi dear can I have remy's contact? my email is

Unknown said...

hi dear, im having my wedding at end of the year. can i have remy's number? my email is
thanks a lot

saltvinegar said...

Hi dear bride to bes.. sorry i've been neglecting my blog and did not notice the comments.

One resourceful lady already put up the link actually.. but just in case you didnt see it, heres her FB link. You can contact her through the page :


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