Five Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Makeup Artist

Photo by: Mike Sperlak Photography

As you may know, I have been a wedding makeup artist for about six years.  Some might consider wedding makeup as not-so-important, especially when compared to all of the other details that go into to wedding planning.  However, I PROMISE you that if you hire a good makeup artist, you will look and feel your best on your big day. Plus, you will have amazing photos to look at for years to come…like this one (makeup by me!):

Photo by: Jessica Schmitt Photography

​1. Do your research! By research, I don’t mean picking the first makeup artist you find on Wedding Wire who has five stars. Try digging a little deeper than that. Many artists at the top of the list pay a fee for that special promotion. It doesn’t mean they are necessarily better than others. Search a variety of wedding planning websites (Wedding Wire, The Knot, and Borrowed and Blue are a few of my faves) and even check out Instagram by looking under different hashtags like #weddingmakeup + your state of residence, for example. Word of mouth is also a great way to book your artist! If you loved the wedding day makeup of your BFF who got married last spring, ask her who did it. I’d say 90% of my bookings come from referrals from previous brides. There is nothing like a recommendation from a trusted friend.

2. Choose an artist who caters to your style. Some may say that a makeup artist is a makeup artist and they’ll all do something similar. However, I tend to disagree. My bridal makeup style is very clean, blushing bride with a bit of glam. Some artists are much more dramatic. If you want an uber glam, strong makeup look, a different artist might be more your speed. Look at the makeup artist’s website or their previous work to get an idea of their makeup style. A makeup trial is also a great way to see if the artist is a good fit for you. You get a sense of their personality and whether or not you feel comfortable with that person. You want someone who will put your unsettled bride mind at ease. Also, when you meet someone in person they can get a feel for who you are and make sure they give you a makeup look that truly reflects YOU.

3. Be prepared. Makeup artists are not mind readers! If you are picky, tell the artist exactly what you want (ex: black eyeliner with a long, glamorous lashes, matte skin, and matte, nude lips). If you have no clue or have trouble describing what you want, pictures are the way to go. Pinterest is a great place to start because you can save as many looks as you’d like and then narrow down the ones you want to bring to the trial. When choosing a look, think about your personal style and your wedding style. Are you super glam, boho chic, natural/earthy?  Think about what kind of makeup you wear on a daily basis.  If you only wear mascara, you may not want to go super glamorous on your wedding day.  This is not the time to change who you are. I always like to tell my brides that you want to look like yourself, just enhanced!

4. On-location makeup. When it comes down to it, the last thing a bride wants is to go somewhere other than the getting-ready location or venue in order to get makeup done. It’s worth the extra cost of hiring a pro who can travel to you and be flexible with your wedding timeline. That way, everything is customized to your needs, minimizing stress in the process. Plus, what girl doesn’t want to feel a bit pampered in her wedding day?! It’s nice to have those moments just before the ceremony where you get a little relaxation time.  This brings me to my final tip…

5. Choose an artist who is cool, calm, and collected.  This sounds like a no-brainer. Maybe you assume that the makeup artist will remain professional.  However, even for a makeup artist, the chaos of the wedding day – people shuffling in and out of the room, late bridesmaids, overbearing relatives, multiple texts and calls to the bride’s cell phone (that’s for another post, but totally leave this to a trusted friend or your wedding planner!) – can be quite stressful.  You want to select someone who will handle all of this in stride.  Your nerves may have kicked in by this point, and you want a makeup artist who can remain calm and be a voice of reason.  If you are not sure how your artist handles stress, look at their reviews or ask them yourself during the trial.  The way they answer that question can tell you a lot!

Hope this helps ya’ll!
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