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How to Choose the Makeup Artist for your Wedding Day (and do you need one?)

You’ve already done a little research leading you to a make-up artist that seems to tick all the bridal boxes, but now you’re wondering what you should be asking them, and whether it’s worth the investment.

I spoke to a couple of well-renowned make-up artists Larissa Carlson and Annalee Muggeridge/Kemsley to get their advice on how to choose your make-up artist (“distinguish ‘pro’ from ‘foe” – Larissa), and also consider whether you really need a professional make-up artist for your Big Day.

Do you really need to hire a professional makeup artist?

Annalee – Yes, it is another line to add to the budget spreadsheet, but the use of a makeup artist may be justified when you consider what they offer.

Booking a professional makeup artist is to minimise stress, allow someone to pamper and take-care of you and your friends, prevent the need for everyone to bring their own bags (sacks) of makeup and styling-tools, and also makes for lovely pre-wedding photo opportunities too.

What if one of your friends/bridesmaids is really good at make-up?

Larissa If you think that one of your bridesmaids has the necessary skills to do the job, in which case do consider the amount of time it takes for each girl (around 45 minutes for each of hair and makeup), and what else she may be helping to set up.  Most bridesmaids barely have a chance to sit down let alone help out with someone else’s makeup, so ensure to organise plenty of time, and ensure you practice well in advance of the big day!

Do Your Research

Annalee – Look into work artists have produced either on their website or facebook and if you like their style of work! 

Ask Questions

Larissa – Asking the right questions is a productive way to get the ball rolling. Its important to establish a relationship with your artist, find someone you ‘click’ with. Having anxieties about your artist doesn’t only effect you, artists can pick up on these vibes which may effect their performance on your wedding day. A great artist will answer your questions with confidence and have a positive attitude towards your queries. Be sure in this stage to take the opportunity to communicate valuable information such as your wedding date, the style of makeup you want, if you have allergies and brands you prefer to use, all of which will help determine if this artist can satisfy your needs.

What questions should brides ask their make-up-artists in advance?

Annalee –

  • What’s their deposit fee?
  • What products do they use?
  • What time would they like to start in the morning (thinking about number in bridal party and ceremony time (generally its fairly early)
  • How long does each person take?
  • Are they familiar with mature skins for mothers of the bride?
  • Should you buy your own lipstick for the day or do they provide sample pots with the desired lipstick?
  • Do they use indivual lashes or strip lashes on the day of the wedding (I would always recommend individuals they arent as irritating)

Budget for the investment

Wedding makeup isn’t cheap. Indeed you get what you pay for, do not expect the work of an artist who charges $45 to look like the work of an artist that charges $100 plus. In saying that a service that charges that much should have it all covered. From skincare, primers, makeup and setting sprays, all of which should be long wearing, video and photograph friendly. Be sure to also enquire about the artists travel expenses.

Do – Invest in a wedding trial

Referrals are a great way to cut through the long list of artists available, an artists online portfolio is a good way to determine weather you like their work, but only a makeup trial will give the chance to see them in action. A trial allows you to experience their professionalism and view their work in the flesh. A trial is the only way to guarantee they are cut out for the job. Take some example visuals of looks you like to your trial, bearing in mind your makeup artist isn’t a magician and can’t transform you into Kendall Jenner. They should however have the expertise to tailor a similar look to your face and eye shape. It is the sole duty of the artist to record details of products used in your trial, ask for a copy and don’t forget a selfie or two for your photographic reference.

Image via Kerry Makeup

Book an artist early

Larissa – Artists that specialise in bridal makeup are booked up to a year in advance. Depending on where you live its important to know when wedding season is as to secure an artist at earliest convenience. Don’t miss out and end up with second best.

Annalee – Booking in as soon as you can will save any major heart break when you have your eyes set on a particular artist.

Be honest

You need to be 100% about the artist. A great artist will welcome you’re feedback, adjust and tweak the look without hesitation to ensure you are happy. Weather its during the trial or on your wedding day honesty is key. It’s the one day your allowed to be a tad selfish and have everything your way.  

Once the make-up artist leaves, how can we keep make-up fresh all day?

Annalee – A good translucent powder with no colour or coverage is amazing to keep you t-zone shine free.

Make sure to read the Ultimate Guide to Pre-Wedding Skincare for Healthy, Glowing Skin

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