Start With Recommendations
- Ask someone who was recently married who they used. Don't know anyone who has been? Ask friends and family if they know of someone.
- Ask a vendor you've already booked. My photographer, Josh Jones, recommended a list of wedding vendors to me when I met with him. During his years of experience, these were the vendors that stood apart from the other ones he's worked with. Among that list was Katie Cotton of Cotton Rouge.
- Check out forums on wedding websites like The Knot or Wedding Wire. The reviews are generally straight forward and can provide you with quite a list to check out.
- Look at the portfolios on their websites and Facebook page. Can you see yourself in any of the looks they've done? Do they seem capable to achieve the look you want?
- Contact them. Ask if they have your date available. Ask for their rates. Get them to send you their contract or an information packet. Katie was very helpful and immediately sent me her bridal inquiry packet and contract.
- Ask questions. Here is a list of 16 questions to ask bridal makeup artists.
- Don't be shy! It takes effort to choose the right person.
Something to Keep in Mind
Some makeup artists do not offer this, but I strongly urge you to find someone that does. Not only does it last longer, but it feels much lighter, evens your complexion more, and provides a beautiful finish for those important pictures.
How to save: If you're looking to save money, ask a friend whose hair and makeup you love to work with you. If you don't have one, consider going to a salon the day of your wedding. It will be cheaper since they will not be traveling to your location. It will be even cheaper if you don't tell them it is for your wedding. This sounds terrible, but the mere mention of "wedding" jacks up the price. Tell them it's for a party, a photo shoot, a night out. If you're uncomfortable with this, you'll have to accept the higher prices. It sucks, I know!
Book a Trial
- It's a good idea to have your hair and makeup trial 4-8 weeks before your big day.
- Make sure to get it done in the morning, this way you can truly test the wear of the makeup and hairstyle. Usually the consultation is free.
- Be sure to clear your schedule as it will take a couple of hours.
- Be opinionated! If you don't like something, tell them.
Next she did my makeup. Following the picture I showed her, she first corrected any problem areas on my skin. Next she used the airbrush. It was cold, it tickled, and it smelled a little funny, but overall it was kind of relaxing. Weird huh? Next were my eyes. She got me involved, asking if I liked hard or soft lines for eyeliner and what type of look I wanted for my eyelashes to make sure she picked the right false ones. When I wasn't sure, she offered her honest opinion.
Next she had me look it all over. I was honest. The hair did not look as good on me as I thought it would. When I said that, she replied, "Oh good! I'm not a fan of this on you either. Why don't we do this...?" She then took the hairstyle I liked and made it work for my face shape! After I was made fabulous, I signed the contract, paid the $50 down payment to secure my date and paid the $60 for the hair and makeup (discounted price since it was for the bridal shoot and I was booking her for future wedding services). Over ten hours later, the makeup was still in place. A little shiny of course, but nothing that couldn't be solved with a little blotting.
My experience emphasizes the point that you need to speak up. If I hadn't told her I didn't like the way the hair looked on me, I would have left looking like Snooki with a huge hair bump! Yikes!