How to Work with a Bridal Makeup Artist

Often, a brides first time working with a makeup artist is for their wedding. This can cause a lot of confusion and frustration. It is possible you might not even know where to begin! Below are some tips for finding and working with a makeup artist for your wedding.

  1. Research Artists in your Area. Ask for recommendations, peruse social media, read reviews. Find someone who has a portfolio that matches how you envision yourself on your wedding day, whether that be natural or full on glam.

  2. Reach out to your top picks. It’s a good idea to have a few backup options in case your first pick is booked. Reputable bridal artists book out one to two years in advanced. If you find one you like, don’t hesitate! Someone will book them, I promise.

  3. Gather necessary information before you book. Some key information you will need is your wedding date, getting ready venue, timeline, and the amount of people needing makeup services. These are all equally important! Your artist can help you determine how much time is needed to complete your bridal party.

  4. Expect a contract. Most, if not all artists will require a contract. If they do not, there is a good chance they are not a seasoned artist. Contracts ensure that both parties will hold up to their end of the agreement. They protect you just as much as they protect the artist. Do not be afraid of them.

  5. Read the contact thoroughly. No one wants to be hit with “surprise” charges. When you sign your contract, you should have a full understanding on what you’re getting charged for. There can be a lot of additional fees, like travel, bringing an additional artist, early call times, delays, valet, tolls, etc. If you are unsure of something in your contract, ask!

  6. Expect a retainer. The amount of the retainer you will need to pay to reserve your date will vary by artist. Some work by a set amount, while others work with a percentage (up to 50%) of the total bill. Paying a retainer and signing a contract are typically both necessary to book your date.

  7. Set up a trial. Trials are best anywhere around 4-8 weeks before your wedding. If you set up your trial too soon, there are a lot of variables that can change in that time. Skin can change with the seasons, trends can change, and the products your artist stock in their kit can change, as well. If you are out of state or need to book your trial sooner for various reasons, your artist still may be able to accommodate that.

  8. Understand that Bridal Makeup is not cheap. While most clients think they are paying for the perceived difficulty of their look, that is not how bridal makeup is priced. While it may only take your artist 30-40 minutes to execute a natural look, that’s because they have spent years perfecting their craft. You are paying for their professionalism, admin work, travel, set up, and most importantly, their time. When you work with an artist that makes your day stress free, trust me when I say that every penny is worth it!

Don’t let booking an artist overwhelm you. Finding an artist with a portfolio you like is important, but finding someone who delivers great service to you is equally as important. Remember, they will be with you on one of the most important days of your life. Send out some emails to artists and see who you vibe with. Have fun with it!


Photo by Marissa Decker

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