What to Look for in the Perfect Wedding Day Makeup Artist
Once you have your wedding date, venue, and a few other vendors in place; the next thing is seeking out a makeup artist for your wedding. Some makeup artists can book up to a year early in some cases, and you do not want to wait until the last minute to book. It’s recommended that you seek out a makeup artist at least 6-8 months before your big day. Most professional makeup artists help you with preparing your skin for your wedding day look! Booking a month or so before your wedding does not allow the artist time to help you with any skin issues you may have.
“Traditional” or Airbrush foundation:
From there you will need to decide if you will want airbrush or “traditional” makeup application. Brides are encouraged to complete trials to help determine what style they would like for their wedding. Airbrush makeup is light-weight makeup that is applied through an air gun compressor that provides a thin, even layer of makeup that creates a matte finish. Your artist can match your skin tone perfectly by mixing foundation colors. Airbrush makeup covers the skin and leaves you with a flawless looking appearance. Airbrush does not transfer onto clothing, and it looks fantastic in professional photographs! Airbrush is sweat and tear resistant but be sure to blot instead of wiping away sweat and tears as this will help the 16-hour guarantee of your airbrushed makeup. “Traditional” makeup which is a liquid, cream, or pressed powder that is usually applied with a sponge, brush, or fingertips. This makeup often comes in a wide range of skin colors and can have a sheer coverage or when mixed with other products can create a full coverage. This type of makeup is typically not waterproof and will rub off on clothing. “traditional” makeup often requires occasional touch-ups throughout the night. If misapplied the application can appear to be “caked on.”
Budgeting for your makeup artist:
When planning your budget for your big day do not forget to give yourself some extra for makeup services. Most professional makeup artists will run about $75-$150 for brides and $60-$100 for bridesmaids. It can be overwhelming to see the price your favorite makeup artist charges but remember that getting your makeup done on your wedding day is a luxury. You do not want to have to worry about making sure you have applied your makeup flawlessly for your professional photography. A professional makeup artist has a wide range of knowledge and professional products. An expert is also skilled in the application of makeup and sanitation of their makeup kit! An unclean makeup artist is not a professional. Make sure to be observant at your trial and ask questions. Your makeup artist should have professional grade products and provide a clean working environment.
Cleanliness and Organization of your artist’s kit:
During your trial is the best time to get familiar with your makeup artists’ sanitation, organization, and cleanliness of their equipment. A makeup artist should have clean brushes stored in a sterile area and enough for your whole wedding party. The artist should never have dirty brushes with their clean brushes or stored in their makeup case on top of palettes. If the artist is using the same brushes on you and your bridal party make sure the artist is cleaning them with a high-grade professional brush cleaner or at least 70% isopropyl alcohol although “spot cleaning” does not always fully clean brushes. Soap and water does not clean brushes. Using dirty brushes can spread harmful bacteria. Disposable wands should be used for mascara, liquid eyeliner, and lip products. Do not hesitate to ask your artist about their cleanliness during your trial. Your makeup artist’s kit and work area should be organized. Their professional products should be able to cover a wide range of skin tones. Your artist while working should never place items such as other containers on top of their open makeup palettes or place makeup items on the floor. This includes airbrush machines.
Does the artist have lighting of their own:
One thing to also prepare for is making sure that your artist has a portable light to bring on location. Natural window light is not always available at venues. Sometimes makeup artists will have to apply makeup in dark rooms and making sure they are prepared with their own lighting system will help with a flawless application.
Do your research when seeking out a makeup artist:
Do not be scared to look at recent work that your makeup artist has completed. A professional will also have a website not just Facebook or Instagram with their current work posted. Make sure their work is consistent on other brides with their photographs. A professional should have more client photos vs selfies. Do not be scared to look at the reviews other brides have left for your artist. If you love what you’re seeing make sure to book your artist before another bride does!!!
Do not hesitate to talk with your artist and make sure to be communicative:
Make sure to communicate during booking, your trial, and on your wedding day. In preparing for your trial create a look board of makeup styles you like to have for your wedding day. Be open to your artist if they do something you do not want let them know. It is ok to guide your artist but remember to be open to their suggestions as well.
Here is a downloadable beauty checklist from our Wedding Beauty Guide to help you prepare for your wedding!
I'm the makeup artist and owner of Makeup by Keria. I started doing makeup in 2010 in fashion and modeling. I moved into the wedding makeup in 2013 and fell in love. I'm a sucker for wedding days and all the emotional moments around it. I love helping the bride fulfill her dream wedding and making her look flawless for her big day! I've been married to my husband Westley for over 10 years and he happens to be a wedding photographer. We enjoy working with one another but when we have separate weddings we also enjoy telling the bride's big day over dinner.
I'm great under the pressures of the big day's timeline and make the bride my focus. I have a degree in social work that I have used to help some brides ease their anxieties while also relaxing them while they are in my chair getting their makeup completed. I'm an easy going person and put others forward and I can't wait to talk to you about your big day! <3