If you've never hired a professional makeup artist before, you might not know what things are really important to consider - especially if it's for your wedding. As a professional Wedding makeup artist, I talk with lots of brides who ask only about rates and availability, but nothing else. They don't realize having your wedding makeup done is so much more than price! Putting on someone's makeup is an intimate process. And being at someone's wedding is incredibly special. Not to mention... the bride and bridesmaids are in the large majority of your wedding photos, so it's an important job! Here are a few items you should consider to find the perfect wedding day makeup artist for you.
Business Related Questions:
1. Are you prompt with correspondence?
You wouldn't believe how many brides I talk to that say it was impossible to get in touch with an artist they want to get information from. She might be the greatest makeup artist this side of the red river, but emails that go unanswered and voicemails that aren't returned could spell disaster on wedding day. What if you are desperately trying to reach your artist on wedding day with a location change due to weather and she doesn't pick up? Professionalism, customer service, and reliability matters.
2. How do I book you for my Wedding? Is there a deposit? What about a contract?
Professional Makeup artists will almost always require a deposit and contract when you book your wedding date. Make sure you understand how the deposit will be applied to your total bill, and what the contract says. READ EVERY WORD of the contract. Make sure the artist clearly states the cancellation policy, travel fees, minimums, and what happens if you get sick and have to cancel a trial or call off your wedding. There should also be a clear statement of what happens if the artist has to cancel on your wedding day. Will she hire another artist to show up in her place? Will she give you your money back?
Signing the contract legally protects the artist and you, so make sure you are comfortable with everything that's written and don't sign it if you aren't.
3. Do you have an online portfolio, website, or blog?
If you're reading a blog post about hiring a makeup artist, chances are you're internet savvy and know how to get information about planning your wedding online. If you find an artist on facebook, twitter, or instagram, go find their website. Look at the photos carefully. Do you like the style? Can you see yourself in those images? Every artist has a distinct style, and although each bride may look different, the quality of the work should be consistent and professional.
4. May I call a few references?
The answer to this questions can be INCREDIBLY important. If she says "of course!" and immediately gives you a few names/emails of brides who were married within the past year, this means she has been working recently and the women she's worked with had a good experience. Getting honest feedback from a previous client gives you a window into the artists personality and work ethic.
5. How much do you charge?
Ah... the rates! This isn't the only criteria to consider before hiring an artist, but it's an important one! Ask about rates for large groups, minimums (some artist require a certain number of people that must get services, others have a minimum dollar amount that must be met) pricing for bridesmaids, moms, flower girls, etc. Also be sure to ask about touch-up costs and any additional charges that might be added on during makeup application like lashes or airbrush.
6. What methods of payment do you accept?
This is easy to figure out because you'll pay the deposit early in the booking process, but be sure to ask about what forms of payments they accept on the day of the wedding.
7. What are your travel fees? How are those determined?
Each artist has their own travel fees for certain situations. Ask about mileage rates, parking expenses, and how the pricing changes if you have your makeup done in their studio vs. at the venue. The most important thing to do is make sure you have a rough timeline established before you sign the makeup artist contract. Figure out how many people will be needing makeup and the times you have access to the venue's getting ready area or bridal suite, and the artist will be able to tell you where she'll need to be to get her job done on time.
8. Do I come to you or do you come to me? Can I come to your studio?
Many Wedding Makeup Artists travel to the venue on wedding day for on-site service. She might also have a studio to go to as well! Ask about studio vs. on location and the benefits of one over the other.
9. How many weddings do you schedule in a day?
Don't forget to ask this question!!!!!!! If you are the fourth bride on your makeup artists schedule and your wedding starts at 7pm, you are only going to start on time if the previous 3 weddings have no hiccups WHATSOEVER and your artist is able to drive to your venue without any traffic or delays. I personally offer bridal exclusivity and only book one wedding per day so I never have a conflict. You might pay a bit more for Artists to be available only for you, but for as much time and money you have invested in your wedding, that extra reassurance is worth it.
Hiring a Makeup Artist for your Wedding (the 17 Essential Questions you need to ask!)
Last updated: November 2020
Makeup Related Questions
10. What happens at the trial? What services are included? Is the trial part of my bridal package?
The trial is the time to discuss your wedding day look, and give it a go! It’s a good idea to take a camera with you to preserve the look she creates for you. If you're taking a selfie, make sure you straighten your arm all the way before you snap the photo. This will best simulate how your makeup will look to others... cause no one is going to be 10 inches from your face :) It's really more like 3-4 feet.
11. Will it be YOU at my wedding or another artist?
This is another incredible important question. There are makeup artists that are solo, and makeup artist teams. If you book a team, you need to be sure you have the same artist at your trial and wedding day. Don't assume they will send the same person. Larger teams often book multiple weddings on the same day.
12. How many people can you put makeup on in 1 day? What if I have 10 bridesmaids?
Ok so here's how it works: If you ceremony is at 11:00 AM and you have 6 bridesmaids and 2 moms and yourself , be prepared to be up and at'em early on wedding day. Most artists will need a minimum of 30-45 minutes with each bridesmaid per service (30 minutes for hair, another 30 for makeup), and up to an hour and 1/2 with the bride. Make sure you plan well.
13. Am I or any of the other girls getting their makeup done supposed to supply their own foundation and concealer or do you supply all of that?
Professional makeup artists (including myself) provide everything! Makeup, lashes, concealer, foundation, skincare, anything that goes on your face UNLESS the client specifically asks to use makeup/lipstick of her own.
14. Can you duplicate a makeup look from picture on pinterest or glamour magazine?
Not all artists need/want photos, and some love them! The most important thing to have is reasonable expectations. Professional print photos are heavily edited, and the first thing they do is take out texture. Makeup cannot change the texture of your skin, nor can it make your wrinkles go away. Choose photos with models that are the same age, skintone, and bone structure as you. This will give you a better idea of what looks good on your unique features.
15. What kinds/brands of products do you use? Will it make me look good in pictures?
You may not recognize the brands used by your professional makeup artist, and that’s OK. What you want to watch out for is an artist that uses only 1 brand of makeup. There will never be a single brand of makeup that works for everyone, and that’s why professionals carry a wide array of makeup to accommodate a wide variety of skin types and ages.
16. How do you handle extreme temperatures? What if it's 100 degrees and our photos are outside? What if I cry? What if my lips dry out from all the chatting, kissing, drinking and eating?
This is a great questions, especially if you live in Texas like the majority of our brides! Professionals do weddings all year round. They received special training and know how to apply wedding makeup so it lasts all day. Although no makeup is 100% fool-proof, most artists use waterproof, sweat-proof, humidity tolerant foundation and use various methods to prep skin to keep makeup on all day. That being said - always ask about how they handle weather and tears. Ask if she provides professional touch-ups, or a touch-up kit.
17. Do you sell your own cosmetic products? Do you require that I purchase your products to use on my wedding day?
Some artists have their own private label cosmetics or brushes (or are part of a direct sales company that sells beauty products) but you might not know that when you book. If she’s focused on making you buy her makeup, you’ll find yourself in a situation that’s more like a sales pitch than a makeup session. In my opinion, that’s not only unprofessional, but also rude. It happens more often that you think. In fact, it happened to me!! I signed up for a makeup class from another professional makeup artist to learn some new techniques, and it turned out to be a class to “try out” her makeup line. I was disappointed, and also ticked that she wasted my time. It's ok to ask up front if makeup sales is a part of your time together.
THAT BEING SAID - If your artist uses a product that you love, ask her about it! I know I am happy to tell my clients about products that I use. Every artist has preferences for products, but the wisest thing to do is find products that work for YOU, not her.
I hope this list helps you find the perfect beauty vendor for your big day! Have additional questions? Be sure to contact me and I'll help!!