First of all , congratulations on your engagement!!! Getting married is such a monumental milestone and it should be celebrated as such. However, the stress of planning such a large event (if you're not planning to hire a wedding coordinator or are planning from out-of-town) can sometimes be a daunting task to undertake. Here's a few tips on how to choose a wedding makeup artist for your special day, how to get the best results from your makeup trial, and the best way to ensure beautiful results for your wedding day makeup application:
1. Book your wedding day vendors as soon as humanly possible. ALL of them!
You've decided on your venue and selected your wedding date! Now it's time to start researching your vendors. Despite what you may read in many of the popular bridal magazines about your "Bridal Booking Timeline", great vendors sometimes book up to 12-15 months in advance. This is especially true when you want someone to come to your location to provide services for you. For on-location makeup services, I would suggest that you start booking 6-12 months out, at the minimum. You definitely don’t want to wait until the last minute, only to find out that your top pick(s) of makeup artists have already been booked months ago. This is particularly true for the very popular Spring (March-May) and Fall wedding dates (September-November) here in Florida.
*Securing your makeup artist should be scheduled soon after you book your wedding photographer.
2. Don't wait. Schedule your makeup trail in advance.
There are some brides that feel totally comfortable booking their makeup services over the phone (or online) and doing their trials 2 months before their wedding. Sometimes, you're planning a destination wedding and live so far away that a makeup trial isn't even possible at all! However, some women want to be 100% sure that their makeup artist is someone they will like both personally and professionally. If this is the case, you'll most certainly want to schedule a trial. Most makeup artists charge separately for trials because it's an optional (but highly recommended!) service, so don't go blowing your entire wedding beauty budget going to a million different trials. I suggest narrowing down your options (artist availability, pricing, services offered, etc), choosing your Top 2-3 favorite makeup artists, and then go from there. Makeup trials are for two very important reasons: finding things you love and figuring out the things that you DON'T love or things you want to change. If you felt a connection with your makeup artist and like their work, don't delay! Be sure to seal the deal by signing your contract, submitting your deposit, and then move on to your next wedding day checklist item.
*If you want to be sure you “click” with your artists and are possibly nervous that you may not like what they do, schedule your makeup trial(s) soon after you say "Yes!" to your dress.
3. Speak up! I can't read your mind.
At your trial, be sure you tell your makeup artist your vision for how you'd like your finished makeup to look, the things that you generally like when you do wear makeup, and definitely some of the things you don’t like during your initial consultation before they begin. Statements that I generally hear a lot are:
• "I don't usually / never wear makeup, so I have no idea what to ask for."
• "I want to look like the best version of myself in photos and when people see me."
• "I like clean / natural / subtle makeup that accentuates my best features."
When your makeup artist is finished, there should be a quick recap of what you discussed and then explaining what was actually done. This ensures that your artist was listening to you and didn't just start working in auto-pilot mode. Makeup is not permanent, so if you don’t like something, be sure to speak up! If you tell your makeup artist that you like something, when in fact you don’t, they believe you because you aren’t telling them otherwise. So when you leave your makeup trial unhappy, it frustrates BOTH you and your makeup artist too. Makeup artists want to make you happy, so don’t be shy about speaking up.
If you feel the makeup artist missed the mark entirely and if they didn’t even get into the ballpark of your expectations, it’s probably best to keep looking. However, if they were pretty close and a few changes here and there would set your mind at ease, that is something that can be done at a later date or on the day of the wedding. I always recommend that my clients wear their makeup the entire day, take pictures and notes, and then send me feedback on: how it wore, how it felt, what they loved, and what (if anything) they'd like to change. I'm a big girl. You won't hurt my feelings by telling me there's something you're not in love with or want to change.
4. You're not entirely sure what you want.
Working with an experienced makeup artist can take into account your face shape, eye color, skin tone, and wedding dress and accessories to create the perfect wedding day look. As a matter of fact, we just might surprise you with what we create given minimal direction! If you are completely unsure as to what you want, doing makeup trial(s) months in advance of your wedding day can allow you to try a few different styles of application to see which one you feel the most beautiful and comfortable in.
5. Have realistic expectations.
We all have perceived imperfections about how we look. But in this new age of Instagram and Pinterest, many makeup artists are finding that a lot of our clients don’t know how to tell the difference between "virtual looks" (edited and touched up) and what is reality. We know that you know the difference, but sometimes when we look in the mirror and “real life” doesn’t look exactly look like what it does “online”, don’t be so disappointed. Let's be real for a second - If you have acne scars, makeup isn’t going to “cover” them up. If you think you have a big nose, contouring isn’t really going to do anything drastic to minimize it. If you have tiny lips, there's only so much plumping you can do. The main thing to keep in mind is: does your makeup artist LISTEN to you? If you are insecure about something, tell them! We will more than likely already be aware of your issue and try our best to work around it or play up a different feature that you do like to minimize the look of something you don’t. As we say in the industry, "It’s a makeup brush, not a magic wand." So if you have insecurities, your makeup artist isn’t going to magic that away for you. That is seriously something you will have to work on for yourself. We think you are truly beautiful just the way you are!
6. You are a self-proclaimed "Makeup Junkie" and are super picky about your makeup.
If you know you tend to be super particular about your makeup, then be sure to let your makeup artist know! Makeup artists are there to help you look like the very best version of yourself, so keeping the lines of communication open is crucial. Breaking news: How they apply makeup on you is not how you will apply it on yourself. So please always keep that in mind. Makeup can easily be taken off, but finding a makeup artist who will listen to you and will happily makes changes, is really the number one thing to look for when selecting your artist. If you already know that you’re picky, find a gentle, calm, and patient professional to guide you and put your mind at ease.
*If this section speaks to you, be sure to do your trial(s) 6 months or more in advance.
7. You have skin issues that you need help with
If you already know that you're having issues with your skin, doing your makeup consultations and trials as far in advance as possible is highly recommended. If you're having bad breakouts, have a chronic skin or medical condition, or generally just hate how your skin looks, please consult with your makeup artist AND your esthetician as far in advance as possible. Help us, help you! Doing this will give you the time needed to work on any problems you're already dealing with and the ability to make changes to clear up any issues. If you generally have pretty good skin overall, you can do your trials 6-8 weeks before the wedding day.
8. Have an client / artist contract and understand it.
Sadly, I can count on BOTH hands the number of times I've been booked (sometimes at the very last minute!) as a replacement because another "artist" is unresponsive, or even cancels on the bride the month / week of their wedding. It's unacceptable and just down right embarrassing. This hurts my heart and gives a bad name and reputation to so many of the hard working people in our industry. That said, never ever assume that just because a makeup artist has your wedding day open and is still currently available that you are automatically booked with them for your wedding day. Makeup artists are like any other wedding vendor, so be sure you secure your makeup artist services with a signed contract and terms of services. This contract protects BOTH parties involved, the bride and makeup artist, so be sure you have one. A wedding contract with your makeup artist means that they are legally obligated to show up on your wedding day, or will send someone just as qualified in their place should an emergency arise. If for any reason YOU decide to cancel your makeup artist's services, 99.9% of the time wedding deposits are non refundable. Read your contract carefully and be sure to understand it before signing it. Makeup artists are turning down other work to provide services for you and if you cancel on them this means they have been compensated for the inconvenience and potentially lost income.
9. Be on time and ready to start when your makeup artist arrives.
Your makeup artist should be very aware of your “day of” timeline and is respectful of that. Please show them the same courtesy and be mindful of their time as well. If you do, they will be sure you are on time for your photos and the start of your ceremony. As they say, "Teamwork makes the dream work" and you are part of that team. When a makeup artist is forced to wait for someone to sit in their chair, it makes it very stressful for the artist performing the services. Will they have enough time to perform their services? Or do they have to scramble to do an entire wedding day makeup look in 5 minutes? You paid your artist for their services and to do a beautiful job. When you leave them with no time to work, you not only run the risk of being late to your own party, but their work may not be as beautiful as it could have been because they were rushed. We are all apart of the wedding day team, so let’s work to create that magic together!
10. Cooties are gross. Sanitation, please!
Please consider your makeup artist’s sanitary practices when working with them. Here are a few things to look for when working with your potential makeup artist(s):
• Do they use single-use disposable applicators, spray their products, and scrape their cream products?
• Do they sharpen their pencils before and after they use them on you?
• Do they spray their brushes and sanitize their hands between clients?
• Do they keep their work area clean?
Serious makeup artists are very serious about sanitation and they should be. Please ask your makeup artist if they have a sanitation practice in place and what that entails. An artist who is religious about sanitation will be able to share with you their sanitation practices…. happily and without hesitation.
Congratulations again, you gorgeous Bride-to-be! Have Fun & Be Fabulous!