Choosing your Wedding Makeup Artist

Bridal Makeup Artist

Choosing your Wedding Makeup Artist

One of the most daunting processes in your wedding preparations is deciding whether to enlist the services of a professional Makeup Artist, how you go about choosing the right one for you and what questions you should ask. Here I am going to offer you some guidance and hopefully make this process a little less confusing.

Should you or shouldn’t you?

It is very common for Brides to decide against hiring a Makeup Artist, primarily as this can be seen as an unnecessary additional expense. I actually believe that hiring a Makeup Artist is one of the best investments a Bride will make. “You are a Makeup Artist so you would say that!” I hear you say. Ok yes, of course I am going to be a little biased but I will explain my rationale.

Firstly, speaking from personal experience, you may well have practiced applying your wedding makeup yourself and be more than happy with the outcome yet the wedding morning arrives and you are a bag of nerves, everything that can go wrong when applying your makeup does go wrong. Your eyeshadow looks more Rocky Horror than soft and sultry, your foundation seems to have taken on a whole new consistency and you have grown a record breaking spot right on the end of your nose, which has even terrified your concealer! As a result you end up sat on the edge of the bath in tears! Yep, that was me, minus the zit thank goodness! By hiring someone to do this for you it will make your morning much less stressful and give you time to relax in the midst of the hustle and bustle.

You should also remember that Makeup Artists have a vast knowledge on the best products and techniques to not only ensure your makeup looks flawless but that it lasts all day, even through the tears, thousands of kisses, nose blowing, 45 minute best man speech and your first dance!

Who do I choose and how?

This is the part that requires research and lots of it. There are many ways of locating local Makeup Artists, the best being via recommendations through family or friends or via local wedding fayres, bridal forums, regional wedding magazines and also online. I.e. Google, Facebook, Twitter and sites such as or Once you have found a couple that have caught your eye, check through the portfolios to see their standard of work and if there are styles that look similar to what you would envisage for yourself.

TIP: If their portfolio mainly consists of theatrical and Special FX makeup you may want to move on to the next choice, I don’t think your fiancé would revel in the idea of you looking like Draculas bride, unless this is your theme of course! Check through their reviews for client feedback and if you haven’t met them, call them and have a chat about your requirements. It is at this stage that you will get a feel for their personality and professionalism. You need to not only be happy with their work but also get on with them on a personal level and feel totally at ease with them. After all, they are going to be spending quite some time with you on the most important day of your life!

What questions should I ask?

Ok you may want to get comfortable for this section! Joking aside, although the list is a long one, these are the kind of questions that you may not think to ask and are actually very useful. Your Makeup Artist may already cover a number of these in her initial consultation with you but if he/she doesn’t, ask away! Do not be afraid to ask as many questions as you need. Your Makeup Artist should be more than happy to answer all of your questions and provide any information you require to assist you in deciding if they are the right Makeup Artist for you!

  • Is your Makeup Artist insured and do they have a certificate of insurance they can show you?
  • What will it cost and are there any extra charges such as travel surcharges, parking, bank holiday charges etc.
  • Do they specify a minimum number for a wedding booking? You may be surprised to hear that some Makeup Artists specify a minimum number for wedding bookings, particularly during peak wedding season.
  • Does your Makeup Artist only work on one wedding per day? This is definitely an important question to ask. You want to ensure that you do not feel rushed on your Wedding morning due to the fact your Makeup Artist needs to dash off to another Bride! Most Makeup Artists will wait until you are happy for them to leave in case you require a touch up. However you should note we are a jack of all trades and can turn our hand to lacing up dresses, assisting photographers, childminding and dealing with fainting brides, the list is endless. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • When would the trial be held?
  • How long would a trial last, is there a time limit?
  • Where would the trial be carried out?
  • If you change your mind about your makeup look following the trial is there a charge for a re-trial?
  • Will they be happy to try different looks if you aren’t happy with the first makeup look?
  • Will your Makeup Artist come to you on your wedding day?
  • Are false lashes included in your makeup package?
  • Can your Makeup Artist advise you about top ups for lipsticks, blotting papers, mascara etc. – do they offer extras packages to include these items?
  • What products does your Makeup Artist use? Most Makeup Artists kits contain a variety of products mainly from High End or Professional Brands. If your Makeup Artist uses all one brand or cheap makeup it may be time to look elsewhere. As the saying goes ‘you get what you pay for’.
  • You have a skin condition or problem skin – would the Makeup Artist be happy to use some of your products?
  • You have a rather large wedding party, does your Makeup Artist have an assistant she can bring along to help?
  • What happens if they are ill on the Wedding Day? Will a replacement be found?

What to expect at my Bridal Trial

Finally I would like to also advise you of what to expect from a Bridal Trial with me and my preferences and suggestions to brides:

  • I always ask my clients to provide me with a picture of themselves with no makeup on prior to the trial. This isn’t so I can have a good ole laugh, trust me I look like Uncle Fester without my Makeup, it is purely to allow me to plan suitable looks based on their skin tone, eye and hair colour and eye/face shape. I also request images of looks my client like. Pinterest is a great place to search for inspiration. This is great for Makeup Artists as it gives us a clear idea of the look you would like to create on your Wedding day. A picture or description of your style of dress/colour would also be useful as would the hairstyle you have chosen.
  • It is advisable to wear your makeup from your trial all day. Many Brides take their makeup off after the trial as they don’t want their partner to see it but unfortunately this doesn’t allow you to see how the makeup wears on you, whether you have a reaction to any of the products used and most importantly if it lasts all day. I always carry out my trials mid to late morning for this reason.
  • Trials should be carried out in natural daylight so it is best to arrange a space for your Makeup Artist close to a window or area that gives plenty of natural light.
  • Wear a white or light coloured top for your trial to mimic the colour of your wedding dress. This makes a huge difference to the appearance of your makeup. Very light colours below the neck reflect onto your face and can actually wash out your makeup.
  • Ensure your face is clean and clear of all makeup products including mascara.
  • My trials generally last approximately 1 – 1.5 hours although I do not have any time limits and will only leave when you are happy with the look created.
  • I always take pictures throughout the trials not only as a reference for myself but also to you the bride. If you have tried out a few looks it is useful to be able to compare the looks and choose the one that you love the most. I also make a note of the products used so your look can be recreated easily on your wedding morning.
  • I also advise my clients to take plenty of pictures of themselves throughout the day with and without flash to ensure they are happy with the makeup not only in person but also on camera. No-one wants that tell-tale white caste under their eyes or to look like a ghost when the flash is used. So if you have managed to evade the ‘selfie stick craze’ you may have to concede or get your inspector gadget arms on!
  • Ensure you wear a top that is easy to remove should you be changing to go out later. This tip is also a must for your wedding morning; wear either a loose necked top or a dressing gown so that it doesn’t disturb your makeup or your hair, if you are having it styled, when removing it to get into your dress. Why not tie your trial date in with a special occasion or night out?
  • Finally enjoy your trial. This should be an exciting time. Do not be afraid to tell your Makeup Artist if you aren’t happy with something or would like to try something different. It is called a trial for a reason. Make full use of it!

I hope this has been helpful to you. If you do have any questions please do get in touch, I would be only too happy to help. Good luck with your preparations!

Sam x

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