Ask The Experts: The Face Maker

On the big day, your groom won't focus on anything but your eyes, lips, and smile. Enlist a pro to make you glow, and the rest is just added oomph.

makeup artist

Primping pro Luiz Filho has many a secret beauty weapon; Photograph by David Yellen

LUIZ FILHO IS A LOT OF THINGS — makeup mastermind, hairstylist extraordinaire. But there’s one thing the Brazilian import is not: a diva. Sure, he primped for big names such as Mario Russo and Christian Dior before getting pulled into the glitzy world of high-end events by Boston party king Bryan Rafanelli, then opening his own operation, Luz Beauty, in Brookline Village. But when it comes to a bride’s wedding day, Filho says, she’s the star: It’s his job to make her look beautiful, feel comfortable, and be free of all stress. The secret is all about pre-wedding day homework. Well, that and a little gadget called an airbrush.

You do a lot of weddings, as many as 30 per year. Does handling that many brides drive you crazy?
No! I love my brides and am really into it. I’m there to relax them, to make sure they’re the most beautiful thing on earth. It’s like a fairy tale for each one, and it’s an honor that I get to be a part of the most important day of their lives. That’s why I’m so respectful of my place in relation to the bride, as well as of the time — I’m always on time, and we do hair and makeup in two hours. Beautiful and done!

How should the process of auditioning a makeup artist work?
It’s very much like dating. First, you go by the looks: Check out websites and make sure you see something that feels like you. Choose a few artists who can relate to your style, then go and try them out. Find out if your personalities work, as well. The reality of a wedding is that time is precious, and you don’t want to spend it with someone who stresses you out. Find someone who can compromise, who can help you—not someone who just says yes-yes-yes. This is a collaboration. You’re seeking a professional for a reason. Stay away from people who say you have to wear a lot of makeup to be photographed. They’re wrong!

Speaking of being photographed, how does a bride navigate the line between what makeup looks good on camera versus what looks good in real life?
Things have changed because of digital photography: Everything shows, but little flaws can be fixed in post-production. One technique that is ideal for the digital age is airbrush foundation, which is about understanding the skin tone. It’s flawless in person and in photos.

How do you make your look last?
Remember that your wedding is a real, living thing. It is not a photo shoot. Everything should be comfortable — your hair, your shoes, your dress. It has to be a progression. Your makeup isn’t going to look the same when you walk down the aisle as when you cut the cake. And it shouldn’t. It’s not like you’ll have makeup running down your face, but you don’t want plaster, either. Today is all about romantic and casual. It’s about looking like you didn’t try too hard.