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What To Consider When Choosing Your Wedding Makeup Artist

What To Consider When Choosing Your Wedding Makeup Artist

Makeup artistry is not created equal.

From the glam celebrity looks of modern makeup artist Renny Vasquez to the makeup minimalist, less-is-more style of Bobbi Brown, an artist's style will tell you a lot about how you'll look on your wedding day. For most brides, having their makeup done on their wedding day is one of the few applications they will ever receive, and that means it's ever more important you do research on who may be the right fit for the day. I've heard too often stories from client's about how they used someone based on a referral from a friend without ever looking at their portfolio. They will finalize their thought by saying they weren't completely happy with their makeup or the person on the day of. 

As a means to make selecting your wedding makeup artist a bit easier, I've outlined some considerations when browsing online portfolios that will help you wade through the variety of options, and find someone that will be the best fit for what you're looking for.

1. Style. That is, their portfolio! A lot of artists today specialize in what I call the "You Tube" style makeup, which includes a heavier application, fuller brows, contouring, big lashes, and all the products on your face. While this isn't bad, it tends to be a lot of makeup for the client type where I live. If that's what you want, great! Other artists, like myself, have a minimalist approach to makeup. I use what I need, and try to keep the client's natural features popping through while also listening to what they feel comfortable with. Each style serves it's purpose in the marketplace, but a bride should have an idea of what direction she wants to go in before hiring someone officially. The portfolio, behind the scenes work, Instagram feed, and other online social media sites should give you a great idea of the work an artist provides before you reach out to them.

2. Price. Obviously, price is extremely important for most brides. When shopping around to choose your makeup artist, through research, get a feel for the market rate. Some artists can vary greatly based on experience, but typically, there is set range of cost for stylists in your area. Higher ends makeup rates will likely bring more of a makeup 'experience' with well-established artists (like what I provide!), where as lower end may mean an artist is just starting out or isn't charging the market's going rate. In this one instance, you definitely get what you pay for.

3. Personality. Certainly there are clients over the years I have really jived with, where as others, not so much. When you meet for the trial run for your makeup and hair, that will be a telling indication of how the wedding day will go. I've been told I have a very calming, relaxing presence and that's exactly what I want my clients to feel on one of the biggest day of their lives. If you don't feel entirely comfortable with your artist on the day of your trial, it's important that you share any concerns with your stylist, or look elsewhere for services. You only get married once!

4. Experience. I'm coming back around to 'the experience' simply because, the wedding day is one of those days where you shouldn't feel stressed. Too often I hear "Our team was two hours late!" or "She didn't have a lot of time to do my hair, so it looks liked a rat's nest!" With my clients, I provide a wedding day schedule with buffer room, re-confirm details the week of, work in constant contact with my assistants to ensure they are in the loop, make notes of all changes to makeup/hair the bride and I discuss, etc. I want everyone to be on the same page. This allows the day to go smoothly with hair and makeup showing up and finishing on time, so the rest of the vendors can do their job well. From working with many other artists over the years, not all stylists keep those things in mind. With the additional time invested in creating the happiest of wedding days for you, that separates many makeup artists from the top tier artists in their industry.

5. Products. I only bring up products for a couple of reasons. One, some clients are product junkies and want to know that an artist is using similar products for their makeup application. A client is always welcome to bring their absolute favorites for use, so they may feel most like themselves. Two, my focus on my makeup artistry is using cleaner, safer products. A lot of people have shifted their buying power to non-toxic, healthier alternatives in the past few years, and want to work with a makeup artist who does that same. While some products can make or break an application, a makeup artist is an artist, and usually, they can create a beautiful look no matter what products they are using. Lastly, we test and try each product we use, and if it doesn't make the cut, it doesn't go in the kit!

6. Referrals/Reviews. I listed referrals close to last, because while I think they are awesome and extremely helpful (shout out to all my word-of-mouth, ladies!), they should be only one consideration in this list of choosing your makeup artist. 

7. Education. You're probably wondering why I put Education last? I think continuing education is important, but truly, an artist gains their experience by working on clients. I love to watch tutorials, take online lessons, watch other artists, and read makeup books, but without applying that knowledge to a client, I won't retain it! 

Truly, I could elaborate more on some of these topics, but I've tried to simplify it as best as possible to be an easy read. For those of you out there who are also artists, if I left anything out, comment below! I hope this is a great resource for brides-to-be. Thanks for reading! 

#womenwhoinspire: Ashley Stephenson, Photographer + Owner at Story Photographers

#womenwhoinspire: Ashley Stephenson, Photographer + Owner at Story Photographers

#womenwhoinspire: Melissa De Leon, Fashion + Personal Stylist

#womenwhoinspire: Melissa De Leon, Fashion + Personal Stylist