• 5 Tips for Choosing A Makeup Artist for Your Wedding Day + Why They Are Worth The Investment

    5 tips for choosing a makeup artist for your wedding | elegance by alex on ohlovelyday.com

    Today’s 5 Tips Post comes from Lovely Vendor Elegance by Alex.  You can see her fabulous work on yours truly in my current headshot and our celebration shoot here, and in the photos below.  She’s sharing some tips on why you need to hire a professional makeup artist for your wedding day and how to find the one that is right for you.

    From Alex:

    When it comes to wedding preparations, a lot of brides choose to forgo hiring a professional makeup artist for their wedding, as they see it as an added expense that they could do without. Being that I am a professional makeup artist myself, of course my advise is a bit biased, but I believe it could be one of the best investments a bride could make for her wedding day. Although I recognize that hiring a professional isn’t for everyone, there are certain types of brides that it could be most beneficial for. If you’re the type of bride who gets riddled with nerves easily or has little experience with makeup applications, hiring a professional makeup artist for your wedding would not only make your wedding day less stressful, but sitting in a chair and getting pampered helps you totally relax so that you can focus on walking down the aisle, and finally be married to the one you love! Here are my five tips for brides to keep in mind when hiring a professional makeup artist for your wedding day.

    5 tips for choosing a makeup artist for your wedding | elegance by alex on ohlovelyday.com

    1.  Examine Makeup Techniques: Your skills or a friend’s skills may be passable for an everyday makeup application or even a date, but a professional makeup artist comes armed with skills to ensure your makeup for your wedding will stay intact and fresh looking throughout the day and into the night. A true professional makeup artist has a keen eye for art. They view every clients face as their blank canvas to create a beautiful masterpiece. They are equipped with the proper tools and knowledge to use the correct colors and techniques that are needed to bring out your best features for your wedding day. Many professionals have received advanced training in makeup education, having gone to reputable schools and continue to take classes to keep up with trends and techniques for clients. Professional makeup artists have a wealth of knowledge in face shape, color theory/analysis, and are also skilled in camouflage and cover up techniques to adequately conceal the flaws in your skin. Like I said before, if you’re the type of bride who typically wears little to no makeup or gets easily stressed, I highly recommend hiring a professional.  Believe it or not, it elevates a lot of stress and tension that tends to build as your wedding day approaches. Everyone gets filled with nerves, jitters, and excitement while getting ready for their wedding day. Trying to apply a top quality makeup application that looks not only flawless in person, but in pictures as well is hard enough. This is where having a professional comes in handy. We’re there to help clam, pamper, and elevate your stress, leaving you looking effortlessly fresh and radiant, so you can start your forever with the one you love looking and feeling your absolute best!

    5 tips for choosing a makeup artist for your wedding | elegance by alex on ohlovelyday.com

    2.  Do A Trial Run: Some women may choose to go to a makeup counter for their bridal makeup because its cheaper, or may choose to have a friend do their makeup for their wedding day because its free. While in theory these options may sound great, the reality of it is, you never have the option of having a trial run through of what your makeup will look like the day of your wedding. So if you end up hating the way it turns out, you’re stuck with it. The bad thing with getting your makeup done at places like department stores or even places like Sephora or Ulta, is the majority of the personal working there aren’t real makeup artists, and are not trained in how to properly analyze and work on different face shapes and colors. They’re there only knowledgeable about store products and are there to sell store products. Being able to do a good makeup job on yourself is one thing, but being able to do it on someone else’s face shape or skin color is a totally different ball game. Having a trial run of your makeup for your wedding day is essential. A trial run is basically a preview of what you will look like on your wedding day. Most professionals will charge for a trial, being that they are spending their time, money, and supplies doing this makeup application. In my opinion, this is money well spent. A professional will assess and analyze your face and personality to help determine how soft or bold you’d like your bridal makeup to be. Also during the trial, the makeup artist will be taking down continuity notes of everything they use on you; color and types of foundation that were used, powders, names of lashes that were applied, names and colors of blush and lipstick etc. *Everything* is written down and kept so that no time is wasted the day of the wedding, and to ensure that you will look exactly the way you did for your trial. Additionally, if the makeup is not done to your liking for the trial, you have the time to communicate that with your makeup artist, in order to make the necessary changes right then and there (as well as in their notes) so that you can be given exactly what you are looking for. Trial runs also help the makeup artist with timing themselves so that they can make a set schedule for you the day of the wedding, that coincides with the photographers schedule as well as your wedding coordinators (if you have one).

    5 tips for choosing a makeup artist for your wedding | elegance by alex on ohlovelyday.com

    3. Choose someone you click with AND whose work you love.  I always tell my clients, “Above all else, the two most important things to remember when interested in hiring a makeup artist is to make sure you view their work in-depth, and to make sure you get along with them on a personal level.” Viewing a makeup artist’s work and researching  your makeup artist is so important. You want to make sure your makeup artist has a top quality portfolio. It can be a personal website (which is always best because it looks more professional) or even a Facebook Fan page, Twitter, or any wedding blogs their work may have been featured on. You want to make sure their work matches the quality of makeup you are expecting to receive for your wedding. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for references. Even though we live in a technology based society, and it is super easy to find reviews on just about anyone or anything, don’t be afraid to get personal. Ask for names, numbers, or emails that you check in with, and personally ask how that client liked their experience with this specific makeup artist. There is absolutely nothing wrong with checking to make sure you are making the best decision for you, for the most important day of your life. You will also be spending a significant amount of time with your makeup artist leading up to your wedding day, so it is super important that you get along with your makeup artist. Personally, I always make it a point to not only have a professional relationship with my clients, but a personal one as well. I love to make my clients feel comfortable enough around me that they don’t feel awkward, ashamed, or embarrassed to ask me to change or add anything when I’m done with a makeup application. I also love to make my clients feel like they can ask me about anything: makeup, makeup tips, or even just vent to me about wedding stress. We are there to help you carry the load!

    5 tips for choosing a makeup artist for your wedding | elegance by alex on ohlovelyday.com

    4. When you find the right one, BOOK THEM (and expect to sign a contract):  When you find a professional whose work you not only love, but can also get along with on a personal level, it is vital for you to book them as soon as possible! We professionals tend to book up quickly (about a year in advance) especially during wedding season (March-September) so it’s really important to lock down your makeup artist as soon as you find the one that fits you best. Also, any professional working in the wedding industry is going to contract you; Makeup is no different. I know many women see makeup as something frivolous and would never think it necessary to need a contract, but in all reality it is quite crucial and beneficial for all parties involved. As makeup artists, we use contracts to protect and benefit you the client, as well as ourselves.  Contracts help to keep everyone clear and on the same page in terms of expectations, and helps to provide ways of resolving conflicts that may occur. It also keeps the makeup artist from bailing on you last minute (which should never happen if you’re working with a true professional). Like most wedding professionals, no dates are set aside for professional makeup artists until the contract is signed and returned, and deposit is received. If any professional you are interested in working with for your wedding or special event does not give you any contracts to look over and sign, that should raise some red flags and is something you probably should not move forward with.

    5 tips for choosing a makeup artist for your wedding | elegance by alex on ohlovelyday.com

    5.  Budget for the Investment. As I’ve stated before, a lot of women tend to not hire a professional makeup artist for their wedding day for various reasons. The number one reason I hear for not hiring a professional makeup artist is because “It is too expensive.” While it can be expensive, many people tend to forget the amount of money, time, and energy we put into our kits, our work, and education in order to do our job effectively and efficiently. I’ve had a lot of women come to me expecting to pay $60-$70 maximum on full wedding makeup, and while I completely understand and sympathize with them if that’s all they can afford, that is a completely unrealistic expectation. Whoever quoted you that price was either working for a makeup counter, or was a makeup artist who is just starting out and is trying to build up their career. Actually anything $100 and under is quite unrealistic. When searching for a professional makeup artist for your wedding, expect to pay at least $200-$500 on bridal makeup alone, not including travel and taxes. Being that we are often self-employed small businesses, we also have many things we have to factor into our prices like the cost of supplies, replenishing our kits after a job, travel, gas, time, expertise, insurance, taxes, and if we’re working on more than four people for a wedding party, we have to hire an assistant to help with the makeup applications, that we pay for out-of-pocket. Also being a professional makeup artist isn’t just a part-time gig or hobby for us. It is our full-time job. What we professionals do is so much more than just applying makeup to someone’s face. If it was that simple, everyone would be able to do their own makeup, and would be walking around looking flawless at all times. Long after the preparations are done, your vows are said, the first kiss as a married couple was had, and the celebrating is over, all you are going to be left with is your photos and the wonderful memories of your wedding day. Those pictures are going to be the only tangible thing that you will be able to look at with fondness. The decision to hire a professional makeup artist for your wedding day is an important one, and is completely up to you. But when all is said and done, having a professional with the proper skills, the right techniques, and tools can really help tie together the look and feel of your perfect day.

    Thanks so much to Elegance by Alex for this helpful post!  Much like this post about what wedding photographers do, today’s tips post also gives you insight as to why professional makeup artists are worth the investment for your wedding day, what they do for you, and what gets factored into their pricing.  If you do have a budget that allows for it, I strongly recommend hiring someone who will help you look like your most beautiful self, for the most photographed day of your life.  You’ll be so glad you did!

    {photo credits} 1: Jessica Fairchild / 2: Shea Anne Portrait / 3 & 4: Becca Rillo / 5: Stephanie Godfrey

    Elegance by Alex is a member of our Lovely Vendor Guide. If you’d like to apply to be a Lovely Vendor, go here.

    Leave a comment.


    1. Posted Jun 18 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Thanks so much for the post Chandra!

      I hope this post helps any soon to be brides out there who were looking for more insight on hiring a professional for their wedding day 🙂

      Alex Flores
      Elegance By Alex

    2. Posted Jun 18 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      Such an informative and wonderful post! All of these tips are key in ensuring your wedding look is cohesive. We can’t agree more on doing a trial run, or two, with the actual makeup and products to be used on the big day.

    3. Maxine
      Posted Jun 19 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      I love doing my own makeup. Looking like me is the most important thing on my wedding day and no one can do my makeup like me. Looking forward to the hussle and bustle of making myself look gorgeous on the day

    4. Sara
      Posted Nov 28 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Hi Chandra! Great post! This article absolutely puts everything into perspective, such as the importance of having a “relationship” and not just a “transaction” with your makeup artist. And the importance of not going cheap on some things for your wedding, especially if it concerns how you will look on your wedding AND in photos. Thanks for posting!

    5. Posted Apr 8 at 3:51 am | Permalink

      The wedding is really a very special day in each and every person’s life. It is important that we make it more memorable. Choosing a right makeup artist and makeup material is really a very big challenge. If your makeup is good , then you can look perfect and different to others. So select the best one is only your responsibility.

    6. Posted Aug 28 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Thank you SO much for your wonderful post regarding the importance of professional makeup artistry! As a pro makeup artist with over 18 years bridal beauty expertise, it warms my heart to read how valued our services are. So often we are often thought of last in the picking and planning of a wedding – and there are many inaccurate advice columns and blog posts regarding makeup and hair for a wedding. The bride that considers her hair and makeup of utmost importance, early on in the planning process will reap the benefits of a better outcome in her photos AND confidence level. That’s priceless in my book!

    7. Posted Mar 2 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      So true. I cringe when I hear brides who plan to do their own makeup. At least just have the bride get a professional in.

    8. Robin Johnson
      Posted May 11 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Great blog! However, I just wanted to let you know there is one sentence with a couple errors in it you might want to fix: “We’re there to help clam, pamper, and elevate your stress…” I’m pretty sure it should be “calm” and instead of elevate (which means to “increase,” so you’re saying, in this sentence, that you’re there in “increase stress,” which is the opposite of what you had been saying in the rest of that section), you meant “alleviate.” Anyways, I don’t mean this in a judge-y way, it was just something I noticed and thought you might want to fix so it doesn’t undermine the rest of what you’re saying.

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