You have the venue and photographer booked, your dress picked out, and your cake and flowers chosen, now you just need a makeup artist. Often times booking a makeup artist is the last thought on a bride’s mind. However, if you think about it, all the other items fade with time but your wedding photos you will have forever. Therefore, it’s imperative that you hire a makeup artist that can make you look radiant on your special day.  There are so many makeup artists to choose from, the task of selecting one can often seem daunting. Fear not, we have a 5-step plan that will aide you in making perhaps one of the most important decisions you will ever make for your wedding day!!

Question 1: Does the makeup artist have a portfolio or website showcasing their work?

Photographs of an artist’s work will give you a glimpse into the style and capabilities of the artist. A good artist will have a variety of different looks in their portfolio or online gallery. According to Marlena Stell owner of Makeup Geek Cosmetics, looks can range from “Clean makeup (simple but flawless), editorial makeup, avantgarde (experimental makeup), and beauty makeup.”

Often times an artist will have a separate portfolio or online gallery showcasing their bridal work. If they don’t that’s not to say that the high fashion makeup artist cannot do a bridal look, it just might not be their sole focus. It would still be worth it to give them a shot. Often times these artists are able to do any style of makeup and execute it flawlessly. However, if an artist has no photographic proof of their work, run!

Question 2: Can you schedule a bridal trial with the artist?

A bridal trial allows you to book one-on-one time with the artist to discuss in detail the look you want for your big day, as well as a chance to see the artist’s skills in action since they will actually be doing the full look on you at the trial. Essentially, the trial allows you to audition the artist to see if they are a good fit for you. If an artist does not suggest, or refuses to do a trial it’s a no-go. You want to make sure you do not have any surprises of the unpleasant variety on your big day especially, with your makeup! Getting to see the artist’s skills and making sure they can deliver on what you want before the big day will save you from that.

Generally, most if not all makeup artists charge for a trial. Pricing can range from $50-$200(sometimes more) depending on what area you live in, current industry rates, travel time, etc. The reason artists charge for the trial is because you are paying for their time, and the product used. Sometimes the trial is included in the overall pricing, and sometimes it is in addition to. It’s different for each artist, so when you book a trial make sure you ask the artist up front about this.

Question 3: What are their rates?
One of the ways in which makeup artists determine their pricing is by the amount of experience they have. An industry pro who has been doing makeup for years will likely charge more given that they have more extensive experience than brand new artists fresh in the industry. This does not mean you need to break the bank to get a good artist, newer artists can be extremely talented as well. Just keep in mind cheaper is not always better. If an “artist” is only charging $20-40 a person be wary. A good professional makeup artist, even one newer to the industry would not charge down in that range. Would real Chanel ever be sold for $20? At the end of the day it’s all about what fits into your budget, so finding out prices will help to narrow down your search into something you are comfortable with.

Question 4: Do they have a contract?
This seems like it would not be all that important, but it is extremely so. If an artist has a contract it means they are serious about their business. A contract not only protects the artist but the bride as well. Prices and terms are set up front, so you both know what to expect going into it, there are no surprises. You have to sign a contract with your wedding vendors, so it only makes sense that you should with your artist as well.

Question 5: Do they have testimonials/reviews from past and present clients?
Besides a portfolio, this is another big way to not only find out about an artist’s work but their reputation. We are in the day and age where technology is the main mode of communication. Testimonials and app programs such as Yelp are great ways to see what some past and current clients think of the artist’s work and what their overall experience with the artist was/is. Makeup is the top priority, but being given excellent customer service should not be discounted. When looking at reviews read them with a critical eye. Are they mostly positive? Mostly negative? If there are negative reviews were they due to an issue with the makeup or the service? How did the artist handle it? etc.

Overall, asking these five questions will help to ensure that you nab a great makeup artist who will be able to help enhance your natural beauty for your big day. After all, there are so many things you have to think about on your wedding day, with an experienced makeup artist on hand your makeup shouldn’t be one of those things!

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