If you’re getting married this year (or maybe even next year) the chances are you’ll be thinking about your make up for the big day. Some people like to do their own make up, while others like to book a professional to do it for them. Today’s blog post will explain the process of booking a make up artist, what you should expect from them and all the considerations you will both factor in together, in the lead up to and on your big day.
When I got married, I did my own make up but I still had to book somebody to do my hair, because that’s not something I’m confident enough in doing myself. For me, this was quite a nerve wracking process because I didn’t have anybody in mind, so I had to do a bit of research and asking around to see who is out there local to me and if they came with any recommendations. The recommendation part was the most important, because it’s all very well looking up local stylists, finding them on the Internet, etc. but if you have no knowledge of their credibility and their previous work then you’re not necessarily going to have confidence in booking them. Long story short, I found someone, I booked them and they were good. But the point is, the process made me appreciate the concerns and uncertainty people may have when finding a make-up artist, i.e. me. So I write this to give you guidance from a professional who’s in the know but also from the perspective of a client (and I’m one that has high expectations and is not easily impressed!), as I have been in the past.
Obviously it’s great if someone comes with a recommendation from someone you know or trust but if they don’t, here are some of the things that you could look out for, to make sure you’re getting somebody safe, credible and who’s going to do you a professional, yet beautiful job:
- They have insurance – Public Liability Insurance to be precise. This covers both you and them in the case of things like property/equipment damage, allergic reactions and contra-actions, professional negligence, etc.
- They should have evidence of previous work for you to see, they may bring a portfolio for you to look through or, even better, have this on a website or page for you to view ahead of meeting them.
- They should be fully qualified – I include a copy of my professional qualification certificates in my portfolio for clients to see when I meet them, that way they don’t have to feel embarrassed asking to see them.
- References or reviews from previous clients – a lot of people have a website or page for you to see these days which normally have these on but you are well within your rights to ask to see some if they’re not readily available.
Once you’ve found someone you want to consider, don’t feel pressured into going with the first person you enquire about. You should feel free to get a few quotes and perhaps chat to a few potential Make-up Artists to get a feel for them and choose who you want to go with when you’re comfortable.
- How many people will require make-up on the day (perhaps bridesmaids, the mother of the bride and the bride herself)? There is a limit to how many people one make-up artist can do in the time given, so if they exceed this, they may also need to book an extra make-up artist.
- What time is the service and where is it? What time will the party need to be ready by, in order to leave for the service? This helps me to calculate how early I need to start the party’s make-up and how much time I can spend on each person before they all need to leave.
- What is the colour scheme for the event/wedding? I have worked with brides before who have part of their colour scheme in their wedding dress or accessories and they wanted their make-up to co-ordinate with this. Bridesmaids’/mother of the bride’s make-up also needs to take into consideration their dress colour and accessories.
- Not so much a question but I would ask the bride to start collating images and inspiration (a Pinterest board if they want?!) for the sort of make-up they’d like on the day. They can the share this with me at their trial and we can work together to create the image they have in mind. Sometimes they change their mind completely after having it done, which is why a trial is so important.
Talking of trials, perhaps not every make-up artist does this but I ask my brides if they want their bridesmaids to have a trial too. Some brides have a strong image in mind of how they want their bridesmaids to look and others don’t mind so much but the offer’s there; I’ve done trials on bridesmaids and even mothers of the bride before! Brides should feel able to ask for more than one trial if they feel the need for it and I’ve always been more than happy to do this (you’re allowed to change your mind if you want to and we won’t always be able to fit it into just one trial). In most cases, each trial is charged individually, so it’s also up to what the bride can afford but it’s an option.
A bride will normally have their own set of questions for me too and these are a few of the most common:
- How many events will you be working at on my wedding day? I personally don’t normally book more than one wedding in a day (unless they were timed well clear of each other!) but it’s a good question to ask because some peoples’ work ethics may be to do as much as possible! So it’s nice to know if your make-up artist will be itching to rush on to their next appointment – it may affect your choice to book them or not!
- What’s a trial? It’s strongly recommended that you have at least one trial before your wedding day to try out the look you want and also to suss out the make-up artist’s work and make sure they’re the right artist for you. It’s a good idea to book your trial either before a night out or in the morning, so that you get a good wear out of it and a feel for how it will last you on your big day.
- Do I come to you or do you come to me? This is good to know for both the trials and the actual wedding day. I personally go to wherever my brides are (outside a certain distance I would add on travel fees to my charge) but there are many make-up artists who want you to go to them, which is a real factor to consider, especially if you would prefer to be in one place getting ready in a more relaxed fashion, rather than nipping here or there for things.
- How much are the trials and how much is the make-up on the day? Normally a trial is cheaper than the actual wedding make-up. Sometimes you pay a one off charge and this will include the cost of one make-up trial and other times you pay for trials and the big day separately. You need to find out for sure to save embarrassment on all parts.
- Does my make-up include the application of false lashes if I want them? I personally carry a stock of cluster and strip false lashes to apply if they are wanted and the cost of these is included in my fees but it’s a good idea for brides to ask about this and also be aware that there may be an additional charge for them.
- How will I be able to top up my lipstick during the day? I give my brides a sample of the shade I’ve used on them, so that they can top up during the day as needed and I believe many make-up artists do this but I would ask about it to double check, because your lipstick will NOT last the day, especially with all the kissing you’re going to be doing!
- What products do you use? A lot of make-up artists use professional only brands which you may not have heard of, so perhaps this is a good question to ask in case you want to look into the products they use beforehand. I use a mixture of professional brands and brands that are available on the high street (like MAC, Benefit, Smashbox, bareMinerals, etc.) and I find many of my clients like it when they recognise some of the brands.
One last thing I think it’s worth mentioning is the fact that I always ask my clients (normally at the first trial) about their skincare routine, their skin type and any skin concerns they have. This can have a major impact on how well their make-up will last in the day and, if I think it’s going to be a problem for their big day, I also advise on skincare in the lead up to and on the wedding day. Just a few simple changes can make all the difference if needed and I find brides are always happy to hear about anything that’s going to help them look their best!
Hopefully this post has given you an insight as to what’s involved when booking someone to do your make-up for a special occasion and maybe I’ve even given you a few questions you hadn’t thought of asking! Drop me a comment below if you have any other questions on this topic, I’d be happy to help! What’s your experience been when booking a professional make-up artist?
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Thanks for reading x