Wedding Make-Up and Hair
Mary Erickson, is a commercial as well as bridal make-up artist/ hair stylist, she has been doing weddings for the past 18 years. She does Airbrush as well as traditional make-up and has had her work published in many national magazines such as Rolling Stone Magazine and has worked on numerous television shows, videos and film. She has complied important questions to ask a potential make-up artist before you hire her or him for your wedding
For the past 18 years in this business I have had many brides call and tell me that they really dont wear make-up much and have had a bad experience in the past with an artist making them look like a clown or just bad looking make-up. Im not surprised most make-up artists are just people that enjoy applying makeup and think they are good at it, they get a job at the cosmetic counter or put an ad in a magazine and call themselves a makeup artist. You may think what an artist did to you was awful, their friends may love the way they apply makeup. This is not a regulated profession. There is no test of competency and beauty is in the eye of the beholder so be prepared to do some information gathering for yourself.
When in search for a makeup artist you will need to ask some questions. Don't be shy the professional you hire will be working for you and must meet your qualifications.
Here are some questions you may want to ask.
Do I come to your shop or do you travel to me on my wedding day?
Consider what travel will be like on that day, how far will you have to go etc. and make sure you are up to it if the makeup artist can't come to you.
How far do you travel and what are the travel charges?
Most make-up artists will travel but if you give them a distance too far from where they are located they may charge you, find that out up front.
What size of party can you accommodate?
Many artists will try to do too much in order to make more money, your party may suffer if the artist is going too fast or if she makes people sit around all morning waiting. A good artist will want the party fresh and will never keep a party sitting around waiting for more then a few hours.
If you bring help is it an apprentice or is it a full Makeup artist with equal qualifications?
This is a hard one! Most artists will bring an assistant that really knows little about make-up, that is why they are assisting and not out getting weddings on their own, the artist will generally pay a small amount to the assistant and pocket the rest, even letting the assistant do the brides maids all by herself. Ask to see the portfolio of the assistant. You may want to hire another artist yourself for the rest of the party if it sounds like your getting an apprentice.
How do I keep my makeup fresh during the day?
Will you be given touch up makeup to go or will you be expected to buy it. If you are being airbrushed regardless of what the experts tell you, you will need to powder during the day and touch up a little. Remember that you will be hot and probably perspire a lot on this day regardless of the temperature outside, you will be hugging people, kissing etc. It is not realistic to think you will go all day without a touch up.
What products do you use?
Products that the artist's use can vary and most artists will use many brands depending on what she feels appropriate for this person. If an artist mentions one brand and uses it exclusively, find out if she sells it, if she does chances are you have a sales person and not an artist.
Do you sell makeup? Will you be trying to sell my friends and relatives products on my wedding day?
This is my pet peeve! A real Make-up Artist is an Artist not a sales person, they are charging you for their talents and if they need to make money by selling product as well perhaps they just aren't charging enough for their talents. No bride wants to be sold products on her wedding day and she does not want her party sold to on her special day either. This is awkward an unprofessional in my opinion
Do you do Airbrush makeup?
A few makeup artists do airbrush make-up, it is beautiful and has a few benefits that traditional makeup doesnt have. I do both and in all honesty can get the same clean flawless look with both methods, I do believe the airbrush lasts a bit longer and blending to look natural is easier on the artist. Do not discount an artist because she doesn't airbrush, I have seen poor makeup application with both methods and beautiful application with both methods, It really is in the talent of the artist not in the method of application.
How much do you charge for a practice session?
A practice session is VERY important. Never let your wedding day be the first day you have an artist apply your makeup. Most artists charge a minimal fee for this. I suggest you have your make-up done for a special event, party or date, that way you can wear it out in public and get a feel for it and how you will feel in it that day. Getting feedback from others is also good, your friends are more objective about the way you look then you are.
Is there a chance that someone else will do my makeup on my wedding day if you can't make it?
Another pet peeve of mine, Imagine going through a practice run and loving what someone does for you. You get to know them and they know your face and what you like and don't like, then on the most important day of your life a stranger shows up to do your makeup!!!! This happens and it can be very freighting for the bride. Make sure that this make-up artist has never done this to anyone and never will.
Is the practice session a full make-up just as on my wedding day or is a quick version?
You of course want the full version, go ahead and pay for the full version if the artist offers only a partial for free, this will not be sufficient.
How much experience do you have with weddings?
Find out how long the artist has been doing weddings, of course she can stretch the truth and many do but you will be able to catch that at the practice run. Experience is something very hard to fake.
Where did you learn to apply makeup?
Did the artist go to school, learn from a friend, is she self-taught? If an artist is good it really does not matter how she learned to do make-up but it may matter in the photos. How the makeup looks to the naked eye and how it looks in photos will be different, make sure the artist knows enough about photography to know what to do different for the photos.
Do you also do wedding hair?
You may want a make-up artist that can come out and do both. Keep in mind that there are very few make-up artists that are good at up-dos and very few hairdressers good at up dos and good at make-up. You will find out at the practice run if the person is good at both, you may find you love what she does with make-up but don't care for the hair or vise versa, so you may want to hire her to do just the make-up and look further for someone to do your hair. I will repeat, to find one person that you like for both will be a real trick so keep your options open.
May I see your portfolio?
I think it's a good idea to look at the artist's portfolio to get an idea of their style and what beauty is to them.
A word of warning here, you never know whose work you are looking at! Unless the work is published on the Internet or has the artists name on the work published you will never know for sure that they are showing you work they have done! You should know after your practice run.
May I call a few references?
If you have any doubts about the artist then call a few references but do not let this be a substitute for a practice run. Make sure you get at least 6 references and then choose one or two at random to call. If the artist only gives you one or two you may have a problem, every artist should have a lot of happy brides to refer you to.
What do you charge?
Keep in mind that prices will vary with experience and demand, just like any vendor. You can waste a lot of money going to practice sessions so make sure that you check the person out before you spend the money. If the practice is free and you have time on your hands then go to as many as you can. It can't hurt and you may have fun trying on the different looks for size.
Keep in mind there are many good makeup artists and many that really do not know what they are doing, you must do some shopping and start early. Good makeup artists are busy and you need to book your artist well in advance just like you would any other vendor. If you find the artist you have in mind is booked on your wedding day get a referral from this person, usually a make-up artists is the best source of finding another good makeup artist.
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