How to: Choosing Your Makeup Artist

Is there anything that can induce an instant case of severe anxiety and bridezilla-nitis quite as quickly as having the wrong makeup? After all, this isn’t just about what you’re wearing, but to an extent, transforming your face itself. If applied incorrectly, bad makeup can make you both look- and more importantly, feel- pretty horrendous. But if done right, it amplifies your beauty and matches both your internal emotions and the tone of the day (not to mention, will last those long hours where you dance the night away). But choosing the right makeup artist takes research and your personal input. So follow along these steps to find the right cosmetologist and look for you!

Decide On Your Style

A good makeup artist will give you what you want rather than imposing her own style on you. But this doesn’t mean that every makeup artist can successfully mimic every style imaginable. Some specialize in glamorous, pinup-inspired looks, while others prefer a more natural aesthetic. Source some images of made-up women (online, in makeup books and in magazines, or wherever else you can find), and creating a literal ‘look book’ of a few makeup styles you like. Whilst you don’t have to focus on bridal makeup per say, it’s generally recommended that you choose a look that won’t date easily. If in doubt, aim for simplicity, and to emphasise your natural features and assets. If you have a particular look in mind, begin you search for a makeup artist who specializes in this style. Some questions to ask yourself about your personal cosmetic style include:

  • How much makeup do I usually wear? If you’re a makeup aficionada, you’ll probably feel more comfortable wearing more makeup, and potentially wearing a more glamorous look. You also might be more picky.
  • What features do I want to accentuate? Is there anything I want to hide?
  • What’s my personal style? Is it vintage, vampy, or inspired by the girl next door? Choose a makeup artists whose style is evocative of your own personality.
  • Are there any makeup looks I hate? Maybe you loathe red lipstick or thick eyebrows. Steer clear of makeup artists who make these styles their trademarks.

Get Recommendations

Your best bet for finding the perfect makeup artist is to ask friends whose wedding makeup you’ve adored. If you don’t know anyone who had the perfect wedding day makeup, it’s time to head online. Read reviews of makeup artists, and try posting in makeup-related forums seeking a recommendation. People are often eager to help you find the artist who perfectly matches your needs, and a service provider’s online reputation can tell you a lot about the kind of experience you’ll have.

Review Portfolios

After you’ve narrowed down your options to a few choice makeup artists, ask to review their portfolios. This can give you plenty of insight into the kind of work they do, and looking at photos will give you an idea of how your makeup will look when you get your wedding album from your photographer. Show your makeup artist candidate looks in her portfolio you love, and if there’s anything you want her to avoid, point this out as well. Reviewing your makeup artist’s portfolio not only helps you decide whether to hire her; it also gives you the chance to give her a very specific idea of what you want.

Do a Test Run

Like you wouldn’t pick a wedding dress that you didn’t first try on, you should never hire a makeup artist without doing a trial run first. No matter how nice she is and no matter how good her portfolio looks, what matters is how suitable she is for you and your specific needs. Plan your test run far enough in advance that you’ll have sufficient time to find a new artist if you don’t like your makeup results (usually around 2-6 weeks in advance).

Check on Policies

No matter how perfect your makeup artist is, you’ll need to make sure their policies are fair. Ask them about the following:

  • Specific rates. Will you be charged hourly or a flat fee? What about if you need her to come to the ceremony for touch-ups or travel to your home?
  • Cancellation fees. What happens if you have to change your appointment or no longer need her services at all?
  • Makeup for the bridal party. Can she work with everyone, and how much will it cost?
  • How long makeup will take. You need to plan your wedding day schedule carefully, so be sure to find out how much time you need for makeup.

No matter what look you choose, a good makeup artist means you won’t be wrestling with eyeliner catastrophes or a shiny nose on your wedding day. For many brides, the slight bump in expenses is well worth the piece of mind. Don’t hesitate to see what your options are – you may discover a wedding look you never even considered!