In 2023, we can understand that allergies are important to address and cater to.
But when a lot of people hear the word ‘allergies,’ they think of food or bees or pollen. Often, makeup products fall by the wayside, and they’re unsure how to navigate those allergens, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
As much as she loved makeup and bold looks, Redditor swishyswishy1234 was certain that she was allergic to some ingredients in some makeup because of reactions she’d had on her eyelids and lips, but she was unable to identify that harmful irritant.
When she tried to cater to her own medical needs while serving as a bridesmaid, the Original Poster (OP) was surprised that the bride accused her of seeking attention and trying to sabotage her big day.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for reaching out to the bride’s MUA (Makeup Artist) behind the bride’s back and almost getting the entire bridal party fired as clients?”
The OP’s friend was excited about the upcoming rituals the morning of her wedding day.
“The bride, ‘Rika,’ is super nice and undemanding. Her main request to the bridesmaids was to have hair and makeup done by the same MUA (Makeup Artist), which Rika would be paying for, the morning of the wedding for the getting-ready hangout.”
“Rika had her mind set on a specific MUA that offered a fancy bridal experience with lots of extras, and she was very excited about it.”
However, the OP had some concerns about some potential allergies she had.
“I wear bold, dramatic makeup daily. I had no issue sticking to Rika’s very different preferred style for her wedding.”
“However, over the last few years, I had a number of painful reactions to makeup products, and I was never able to figure out the trigger on my lips and eyelids. If I immediately take makeup off, the pain goes away in a few hours, and the discomfort fades in a few days. While reactions are rare, I now stick to specific makeup lines I know work for me.”
“I’ve been to doctors and had allergy testing done. Nothing. They think it’s not a ‘true’ allergy but a reaction to something my body finds particularly irritating for some reason. There’s no obvious common ingredient. I have every outwards symptom for referred pollen energy but not an actual pollen allergy.”
The OP tried to discuss these concerns with the bride, but she didn’t seem to be listening.
“I asked Rika if she could ask the MUA what products they use or if I could do my own makeup while everyone else was getting theirs done (trying for the same look).”
“But Rika just kept saying she had a reputable MUA that followed professional standards of hygiene and that the makeup would be quite light.”
“It seemed in her head, reactions could only happen with a shady MUA or heavy makeup.”
The bride came up with an alternate solution to determine the OP’s makeup look.
“Rika said she could pay for me to have a trial done on the same day she’d have hers, so I wouldn’t have to worry.”
“I agreed like a dumba** but then realized that that wouldn’t work, either, because if the MUA used a triggering product, I would still have a painful reaction, just on a different day.”
“It’s not that we could just do a patch test; my reactions only trigger on my lips and eyelids, arm swatching or whatever doesn’t help. The artist would have to do my makeup as she planned, and I’d have to wait and see if I had a reaction to it.”
“I messaged Rika again and had the same pointless conversation.”
The OP decided to try something else.
“The trial day was coming. I didn’t want to just cancel… it made sense in my head to message the MUA with my question directly.”
“Unexpectedly, the MUA straight up said she can’t work on me for liability reasons as I cannot identify problem ingredients. Not even using products I name as safe.”
“She also asked if the bride was aware. As it turns out, Rika had filled out a form that confirmed no one had known makeup sensitivities. I don’t blame Rika, she signs medical and customs forms without reading them.”
“But the MUA was enraged: she almost fired Rika as a client, five weeks ahead of the wedding (they worked it out; I haven’t ever heard of a MUA with such forms or such a hardcore stance in general).”
The bride and Maid of Honor (MOH) were furious about what the OP had done.
“Rika and her Maid of Honor have since implied I was intentionally sabotaging her wedding day plans so I could do my usual ‘attention-grabbing’ makeup.”
“I’m hoping that’s MOH’s and bride’s stress talking and not what Rika really thinks of me.”
“Several people told me I should’ve just risked it, considering my reactions (and the chance of them occurring in the first place) are relatively minor. The more people say this, the more I’m thinking maybe that IS what is expected of a friend.”
“Obviously, my worst move was messaging the MUA directly. But I wasn’t getting anywhere with Rika, and I was afraid that she’d be mad if I just said I wasn’t doing the MUA thing. But the more I think of it, going behind her back on something so important to her may make me the AH.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some understood the OP’s concerns and the importance of addressing allergies.
“NTA. Addressing your medical needs directly is totally reasonable! To be honest, I would be willing to quit the bridal party over it. You never know when a skin reaction could turn to something more serious.” – LongjumpingSnow6986
“NTA. Rika knew you had a medical reaction to makeup and lied to the MUA, prioritizing her ideal wedding look over your health. This isn’t your friend. I would be horrified to find out that my friend experienced physical pain as a result of my wedding expectations.” – Equivalent_Box5732
“NTA. ‘Attention-grabbing’ and ‘sabotaging the wedding’ are not words I’d expect to hear from a ‘super nice and understanding person.’ Rika sounds insecure and clearly believes that your choice of makeup style exists to attract attention from everybody.”
“Professional makeup artists should ask clients about any skin problems or sensitivities before working on them via a contraindications form, and they should take it seriously when an allergy is disclosed. I’m unsurprised that Rika’s makeup artist hit the roof when she found out that your allergies had been omitted; she has her business and reputation to protect, and Rika almost put her in a very compromising position.”
“Risking a painful reaction to makeup because the bride is worried about you ‘sabotaging’ her wedding is NOT what is expected of a friend. You have said that you will respect Rika’s natural look wishes with makeup that you know is safe for your skin, and that should be enough for her. She will be there the entire time anyway to make sure you stick to the color palette she wants, so clearly she doesn’t trust you enough to take you at your word.” – ImStealingTheTowels
“I have makeup allergies, too. Not worth the antihistamine shot if I get it wrong. I just don’t wear the wretched stuff.”
“I’d be putting my medical needs first, too. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t even trial it. Fortunately, all my loved ones know and as a result wouldn’t expect me to wear it, even as a member of a bridal party.”
“NTA but I can see why it’d raise questions if you routinely wear makeup.” – Significant-Spite-72
“‘I put my medical needs in front of your wants.’ This was the sentence that ended my 28-year marriage. The moment I learned to advocate for my own medical needs was the moment I realized who actually loved and respected me.”
“Sadly, this friend group isn’t understanding, and they are extremely judgemental over YOUR PERSONAL EXPRESSION.”
“NTA. And you did nothing wrong in reaching out to the vendor. The fact that she was livid is a validation of the scope of the situation.” – Odd-Resource3025
But some were frustrated by how the OP handled the situation.
“Why on earth didn’t you just pick up the phone and have a conversation with Rika, if messaging was going round in circles? YTA.” – Hcmp1980
“YTA. First of all, for contacting the MUA behind the back of the bride, the least you could have done was to inform the bride.”
“Second, the request you made to the MUA is not something she can work with. You don’t know what you are allergic to, so she cannot tell you whether her products are safe for you. And asking a professional to work with products she doesn’t know? Of course, that is not going to happen.”
“Honestly, you should have stepped down as a bridesmaid.” – Abigail-ii
“YTA. You could’ve just met with them at the trial to do a small test or to discuss options, but it sounds like you just wanted to do your own makeup and make a big production out of it to get your way.”
“I have several allergies, too, and I would never make a scene about it like that.”
“To put this in context: I’m allergic to blue cheese. What would you think if I messaged the caterer for my friend’s wedding about it? Would that still be OK for everybody, or would you be calling me an entitled a**hole right now?” – RedneckDubutante
“YTA, because the bride tried to reasonably accommodate you. You should’ve gone to the sampling and asked your questions there with her present, not gone behind her back like that. That was rude, I’d say.”
“If you just straight up didn’t want to have it done at all and just really wanted to do your own makeup, you should’ve stuck to that and not agreed to have the artist do it in the first place.”
“Even if this wasn’t an attention-grabbing move, that’s what it now seems like to all the others, and it could’ve been avoided if you had accepted ‘Rika’s’ help as she offered or said a straight-up no.” – SurestLettuce88
“You only have issues with your eyelids and lips? That’s so easy. Quickly ask about the overall palette to confirm it’s not very bold (which would be unusual for a wedding)”
“Likely you’d just bring a nude eye shadow palette and a few nude lipsticks with you that won’t react on your skin. You wouldn’t look identical to other bridesmaids, but you’d look reasonably comparable and ready for the event.”
“Honestly, this is NOTHING compared to what many people have to deal with when getting professional makeup done for an event. I’m surprised that your minor reactions to undefined ingredients ended up causing such a big commotion.”
“Given that the solution was so insanely simple, YTA.”
“On the MUA. Overall, it seems she was very professional. She tried to confirm issues in advance with the bride (though that was unsuccessful). She agreed to a trial in advance, just for you. Then later, when this kept being a ‘thing,’ she covered her own a** by refusing to work with you.”
“Her work is largely reliant on client reviews and word of mouth, so she doesn’t need this situation metastasizing to a review titled, ‘My eyelids are ScArReD now, avoid her at all costs!’. This is the reality of her line of work.”
“On the bride. She fumbled the forms in advance. Then, she was ignorant about why makeup can cause reactions on the skin. But she did try a little by getting you that little trial in advance (even if that didn’t make great sense). She didn’t do a great job handling the situation but it’s understandable.” – tadaa13
Others agreed and found no fault in how the makeup artist (MUA) responded.
“YTA. I’m a bridal and special event makeup artist.”
“First of all, a REPUTABLE makeup artist would have forms and contracts. And yes, they WOULD take such a hard stance. It’s a business. Not just putting makeup on for fun. That’s why they’re the professionals, and your cousin Sally, who does makeup ‘professionally’ is not.”
“Were your other ‘makeup artists’ no contract, didn’t ask about allergies prior, maybe even used the same brushes on you and others? Possibly spot cleaning in between? Because that could be where your reaction came from. Dirty brushes or the spray cleaner.”
“You could’ve spoken to the artist directly with Rika there at the trial. That’s your first mistake. We deal with a ton of back and forth with the bride, it gets confusing when randoms from the bridal party start interjecting.”
“YTA for not looking into your allergy. It’s not the brands, it’s the chemical in the makeup causing the reaction. So go look at all the brands you’ve tried before and figure out the common denominator.”
“It IS a liability for us to use your own makeup due to not knowing what’s in it or who you’ve shared it with, not to mention we can not guarantee it will hold for the duration of the day. There’s a reason why we use what we use. It’s why real makeup artists have insurance and contracts.”
“If someone has an allergy and can’t tell me what it is, I will kindly deny them service. If they know the allergy, I will not use it on them. Because that’s what a true professional does.”
“You might be allergic to red pigments. A lot of people are. Though from the condescending tone of your post about MUA, it sounds more like you had dirty wannabe artists and not true artists.” – throwitaway3857
“YTA. If you had agreed to the trial, you would have seen if any of the products were ones you had a reaction to or you could have had her spot-test the items on a discreet part of your face.”
“You could have also, at the trial brought in your own brands and asked if she could use them. If she refused at that point, you could have just declined the service and explained to Rika that you needed to do your own makeup.”
“I absolutely understand the MUA’s hesitation to work on you for liability reasons. And I can also understand why she may have wanted just to wash her hands of the whole thing. Rika shouldn’t have signed that form without making sure no one had allergies or severe reactions.”
“From the sounds of it, I don’t think you were trying to sabotage anything. But the people who know you better think you did, so you should think about that.” – rchart1010
“YTA. I have very sensitive skin, too, plus several allergies that lead to blisters and very severe skin issues. When I have to have make-up done for an event, I can list the ingredients and/or products to help the MUA with what she can put on my skin. If you don’t know what causes the reactions, how are they supposed to cater to that?”
“If you had a food allergy and went to a restaurant and demanded they catered to it but weren’t able to specify what ingredients or foods you would react to, would you expect the restaurant to still serve you food at risk of killing you?”
“Your allergies and sensitivities are your responsibility to disclose and be very clear on.” – Primary-Stretch2024
“YTA. You could have attended the makeup trial and discussed it with both of them, and you could have brought your own makeup to the trial so the MUA could see what kind of products you have. Then she could have instructed you on how to use them to create a look that worked with everyone else’s, so you weren’t being too much of a show pony.”
“The fact that this is what the bride was concerned about and why she wanted everyone using the same MUA is very telling. I bet you’re someone who thinks of themselves as the main character, and she was pre-empting that.” – Penelope_Dredful
“YTA. The bride is the client, not you, so you have no business contacting her MUA about particulars in a contract you didn’t sign.”
“It is a huge liability to work on someone using products they-could-be-but-don’t-know-if-they-are-allergic to. You can’t even tell the MUA what your allergies were, but you’re expecting her to accommodate them without doing a trial. And it kind of sounds like you’re expecting her to purchase the products that you do use?”
“That’s great when you’re the bride with the contract or when you know what your allergies are. It seems like a highly demanding liability to work on you.” – Leviosahhh
While the subReddit could appreciate the importance of addressing potential allergies, they did believe the OP was in a tough spot by not being able to report what she was actually allergic to.
That said, known allergies or not, the OP could have gone to the trial session and brought makeup with her that she knew her skin could tolerate. The MUA either could have used the OP’s makeup on her, or she could have recreated the wedding day look with her makeup, or she may have even known enough about makeup ingredients to help the OP identify her potential irritants.
Fortunately, the OP admitted that she may not have handled this situation very well, but with the way things were looking, she might not have had much of an opportunity to make things right.