Being a Pro Make-up artist with over 27 years of experience, including working on London Fashion week, magazines, T.V and theatre, (14 of these working exclusively with Brides/weddings and private make-up lessons), I regularly hear horror stories of how people have bad experiences having their make-up applied, this often gives seasoned Make-up artists bad press and a hard time gaining trust with potential clients. I also often hear of how people are uncertain about the kind of things they should be looking for when booking a Make-up artist.
Sometimes people go for the cheaper option when booking a Make-up artist and in turn, they mostly end up paying more money in the long-run as they soon find out they are not going to deliver what they expect on their make-up trial. Thus, they then have to pay out for a higher end Make-up artist so have ended up wasting time and money, often the higher end Make-up artist is not available, so more stress!
The right Make-up artist will be spending several hours with you and the rest of your wedding party, therefore, its essential you actually like being around them and have a good rapport. Trust and confidence is key here. Its so important to be able to talk to them and be yourself. A good Make-up artist should have this skill naturally. Giving moral support and being a calming influence is very important as nerves are always present, especially on a wedding morning.
Not only should a good Make-up artist apply beautiful make-up but she needs to be professional, work hygienically, be a great time keeper, be calm and like working under pressure, this in turn will help you on what will be one of the most important days of your life, so you need to choose very wisely.
Here are a few tips to help you choose and avoid making expensive mistakes when choosing a Make-up artist -
Look at the Make-up artists social media/website/blog and read their reviews - this is a very important indication of the artists' level of professionalism and dedication to her career. First impressions count.
Make sure you get at least 3 good reviews for the Make-up artist you have in mind.
What experience have they got? How many weddings/Brides have they worked on?
Do you like their make-up style?
Do they have a contract? - A Pro will have a contract in place, (mine is devised by my solicitor and updated every year.) Be wary of any artist who does not provide a contract or does not require a deposit.
Make sure they provide you with receipts of any money paid and keep all correspondence.
Are they quick with correspondence? A good artist will not keep you waiting for days to answer your e-mail/phone call.
Does the artist have a back up plan in place on their contract? if for any reason she cannot honour your booking on the wedding day?
Does the artist appear calm and professional? (even if this is via e-mail/telephone.)
If you meet them for the trial - does their kit/brushes look well stocked and hygienically clean and sanitised? Are they hygienic in how they work? (I lose count of the amount of times I see "artists" using the same wand out of mascara! and using that on lots of different people....ewwwww! Do they clean their hands before touching your face? Ask them how they clean and sanitise their brushes/kit and how often. Are they presentable in their appearance? Do they work in a clean and tidy workspace on the trial, (if they work from a studio.)
Study the artists portfolio - this will give you an indication of their style and versatility. Can she follow your brief and the rest of your wedding parties?
Where did they study make-up? and for how long? how long have they been a Make-up artist?
What are their rates? This is indicative of their experience and service. Make-up artistry is a luxury service, and the price should be a reflection of that too.
How long does it take them to apply each persons make-up? (On the wedding day it takes me about half an hour per person, with the Brides about an hour. Trials about an hour each. I can apply make-up for up to 10 ladies make-ups in one package.)
Do they have knowledge/experience in Beauty therapy? as this will ensure they have the relevant knowledge about any skin conditions that may arise, so they can be dealt with in the correct manner. Do they have knowledge about sensitive skin or acne for example? or how to camouflage a black eye? (I have had to do this on numerous occasions!..a long story!)
What brand/s do they use? Choose an artist who can cater for every skin tone and requirement. Also ensure they have a wide range of skincare for each skin type.
How long does the make-up they apply last? - Pro products and the way they are applied last longer than your usual shop bought make-up. Be prepared to re-touch at least the t-zone and lips, if anything. (I supply a personalised face chart and product list on my make-up trials so touch up items can be purchased prior to the wedding day. I often get feedback from my Brides that the make-up lasted well into the evening...and some the next day as they didn't want to remove it!)
Do they have their own studio? do they travel out to you on the wedding day? are they insured? Do not book an artist who isn't. Ask to see their Public, products and treatment liability certificate as proof.
Do they sell the products? If so, most artists are more passionate about the art of make-up than selling actual products.
Do they apply false lashes for you? (from my experience full strip false lashes look better and are less harmful than individual false eyelashes.)
These are just a few things to take into consideration. Don't be afraid of asking questions.
(Note - the image used was from a recent enquiry.)