As a bride to be there are many things to consider before your big day. One of which is makeup. Your wedding day is stressful enough, the last thing you and your bridesmaids want to worry about is makeup. That's where hiring a professional comes in.
Some of the most common questions I get from my engaged couples before wedding day are what do makeup artists charge for wedding makeup? How do I find a make up artist for my wedding? Should I get a makeup artist for my wedding? Why is wedding make up so expensive? How do I choose makeup? What make up looks best on camera? Do I choose a makeup artist I like or that I can afford? Does it matter if my MUA has a license? What questions should I be asking myself before hiring a makeup artist for my wedding day?
So I thought there would be no better person to answer these questions and more than my super talented friend and makeup artist Megan Blake. She was kind enough to give me some of her time and insight. Megan and I have worked together on multiple projects and she is one of the most popular Wedding makeup artists in Portland. I'm honored she took the time to be my guest author for today's blog. We hope these tips help. Make sure to connect with Megan on Instagram HERE
In this article my guest will explain the Wedding industry from the point of view of a Professional Makeup Artist. The wedding industry is extensive and has many levels of services to navigate through. Below we hope you will find a few ways to help you ask the right questions to help find your perfect fit for your special day. Make sure to connect with me on Instagram HERE
1: What's your Vision?
When you think about your wedding day you think about all the people that have come together to help make your day so special. As you start planning out how this will look. Who will be there? Where will you be getting ready? You start to get a beautiful vision in your head of all the special details. Most brides even envision the way they will look from the dress to the makeup to the hair. Then they have the task of finding all the right vendors to help make that vision happen.
At the top of every brides list is securing that one Makeup Artist in a list of thousands that will be able to see their vision through to the end. This is where finding your right fit from the beginning will help. So often when planning a wedding it becomes more about checking things off a to do list then actually experiencing the special time you are in.
Weddings are about more then the wedding, it's about the journey you will have putting all the pieces of the puzzle together. So lets think about this process as more of a puzzle then a to do list. Finding that perfect puzzle piece is more about figuring out how you see yourself. Give yourself a moment to think about how you will communicate your vision. Having a clear idea of this will help you narrow down your search
2: What's your style?
Do some research, make a dream board, use Pinterest since it can organize everything with links included to specific artists and vendors. Then take a minute to find and compare different styles of Makeup and hair artists. No two beauty professionals are alike, in fact every artist has different styles as well as different skill sets to offer clients. This can range from organic product lines to luxury brands and services. Some artist offer day of services while others offer pre wedding spa services to help you enjoy your planning experience the whole way through.
3: Do you want someone cheap or someone you connect with?
As many brides begin the process of finding their ideal choice for a makeup artist they should keep in mind that, “what you get is what you pay for in life”, so this is not the time to “select” based solely on pricing. While a budget is expected, this shouldn’t be your deciding factor when choosing your artist. You should also consider your connection with your artist over shopping based off price ranges.
The person you choose will be the one who is with you on the most anticipated day of your life. They will be the one who will transform you into your dream vision. Having trust in who you pick should matter more than a predetermined budget. You should consider your selections based on the levels of service that they are providing you. Whoever you choose will be with you throughout your planning process. This job is about applying makeup and doing hair but its also about making you and your guests feel special on your wedding day. Every wedding has timelines to keep, people to make beautiful and a handful of emotions to navigate.
Choosing someone who truly understands the process and handles these moments without disrupting the flow of the day is crucial especially since there is always room to negotiate price. When narrowing down between two of your favorite choices instead of emailing about their prices try scheduling a phone consult. The interaction you will have can make all the difference in your final decision. Any one can make a pretty website that includes prices and pictures. The artist you should choose is someone who can make you truly shine and who will not just replicate trends or past client expectations.
4: Do you want a MUA with a license?
This is so important! In a world where social media sites are used to find wedding inspirations, as well as finding potential vendors, one must decipher the difference between popularity and professionalism! In fact, having high levels of followers does not guarantee that they are properly trained in all the same areas that licensed artists must know. Sanitation, cleanliness, knowledge of skin anatomy, and the use of disposable tools is not based on personal preference it’s pertinent to the law. You will find that many Artists that are unlicensed can be seen taking shortcuts, dipping into products, and using the same mascara from one person to the next as just a few examples.
This is completely unacceptable and puts you as a customer and your whole wedding party at risk for your health. For weddings happening Post-COVID, this should be a huge factor to consider when choosing an Artist. The levels of safety have been increased even more for this industry. Professionals everywhere are getting new safety and sanitation certificates to properly prepare for their clients. This should be made clear in your contract.
5: Does your dream MUA only care about the big day or the whole process?
Hiring a professional makeup artist is an investment in the Artist as a whole service, you are not investing in the cost of the makeup application itself. So many Brides start the process with asking…what is your price? To be transparent this question cannot be summed up with a generic list of prices. Actually there are many factors that go into an Artists pricing: schooling, continued professional trainings, new certifications, state licenses (there are separate licenses required to service clients on location too) personal and business insurances, kit cost, skin care products, makeup products for all skin types and skin tones, separate kits of makeup for different needs such as cruelty free, gluten free and vegan, then there is the business costs like rent, driving expenses and wardrobe so with new sanitary/safety products this will increase…
There is also the time spent on each individual clients needs that all come into factor when providing a services. Since no two people are the exact same you will have different needs then the bride before you and the bride after you. As a professional artist our job is to treat you for what your unique needs are. To say all makeup is one price would be misleading as some people require different product needs and techniques. It is our job as the professionals to give you the best level of service for your investment. Instead of leading with a request for prices try a new approach.
Ask them what it is that might set them apart from the rest of the artists whose work you have also selected. Then you will have a better understanding of what you are getting when choosing them. When they explain their personal rates… please keep in mind all that they will also do for you as a client behind the scenes… the constant emails, texts, calls, contracts, waivers, timelines, last minute changes, scheduling appointments, sending reminders, then there is the actual cost to apply your makeup, travel costs and of course the actual application that also goes into this price. After learning these details, you will have a better feel for who will be your missing puzzle piece.
6: Does a contract to protect you and your investment on wedding day matter to you?
Having a contract will help to protect yourself and your investments when hiring any service provider. Contracts are helpful tools for laying out the exact terms that have been agreed upon between both parties. It is important to fully read and understand any contract you are signing so that you understand your rights as a client.
Be cautious of vendors who do not offer a formal contract between both parties. The need for a contract is crucial now more than ever being that times are as chaotic as they are today. Industry professionals have worked to include these added precautions to protect our clients as well as our industry from future risks. Make sure to ask these questions when in the process of choosing your MUA for your wedding day.
7: How can you prepare your skin for the big day?
Water is the biggest trick I can tell you. As a professional who works in the fashion industry it is my Job as Makeup artist to give you that flawless skin can look. The same gorgeous looks that many of you have pinned to your inspiration boards are created by the exact same professionals that you are hiring for your wedding day. The only differences between you and the models in the pictures that you like, is your pre-gaming! A model’s job is literally to take care of their body from the inside out… This includes mental health, body maintenance, skin care routine, fueling their bodies while maintaining their ideal physique, all while preparing their skin as best they can prior to each job.
So the only difference is that they are choosing to make their health and beauty their first priority whereas when one is preoccupied with things such as wedding planning, life stressors, jobs, combining families and having that giant “wedding puzzle” to figure out along the way these things can and often take a back seat. Have no worries though there are little things you can start today that will make a major difference by the time you tie the knot. First start with an increase of water intake, as you achieve this each day you should aim to increase your goals. (an increase of water will add to your skins over all look, texture and vibrance…as an added bonus…often an increase of water can also help to the waistline!)
Next, start to make “you time” a daily priority. It can be a small change based on your life’s needs but make small personal goals! Whether it is to start washing your face regularly with “real face wash” (not body soap) I promise this will make a world of a difference when it comes to your wedding day application as well as how you feel you look daily. You must also consider that every product, makeup, lotion you choose to put on your skin is actually absorbed by your skin within 20 seconds of application… so make sure you are protecting yourself by using healthy products daily.
Limelife by Alcone and Arbonne international are two amazing companies that offer professional grade products that are also healthy options for your health, skin, body, and makeup routines. Another important thing to remember about achieving a natural healthy look to your skin is to learn how to exfoliate based on your skins particular needs (if you don’t have a skin care regimen you should ask your artist if they teach personal classes or if they provide you a custom spa service). The best thing you can do for your skin is to take the time to learn how to properly care for your skin. This means not buying based on convenience or based off of what your best friend swears by… but by doing the research into what goes into the products your choosing and learning to pick healthy options that will make your skin glow from the inside out. Small changes every day make all the difference for your future self-happiness!
8: Why are you getting married?
The best advice one can give any couple entering the planning stages of their wedding is that when things get frustrating remember “Why” you are having a wedding. When you said yes to your partner you said yes to that person for your whole future not for just the wedding day. Couples plan these elaborate celebrations as a symbol of their love for all to see, yet all too often many will lose sight of why they are celebrating in the first place. Weddings have become all about the “Show” and less about the “love” that they begin with!
The goal for any wedding community is to facilitate love stories and to help our clients tell their own. To any future couples who start to lose their purpose by focusing too long on the “show” you must remember to take a step back when you’re feeling caught up in the process. Take a day to just refocus your energy into what brought your lives together in the first place. Surrounding yourself with the right group of people to help guide you and to encourage your love is key. Having true friends along the way can be the best life-savor you can have…
The kind of friends that step up without asking, who show up before you know you even needed them, the ones who keep you from getting so caught up in the costs, schedules, decor that your not enjoying the special time you are in. These people in your life are here to support you when the planning gets tough, be thankful for each of them. Finally, remember to set some one on one time aside on your wedding day too… Find a place that can oversee everything and everyone your love brought together. The biggest gift that any couple can feel together is that feeling when everyone comes together to celebrate their new adventure!
9: Do you want trendy or timeless?
Trends are cool and all but they are short lived and often embarrassing to look back on. The fact is that when planning your wedding you should think about what your pictures will say about you in 10, 20…50 years from now. There is something to be said for “timeless Beauty” looks in pictures. Furthermore when choosing a classic look or a look that is true to your unique style, you can never go wrong staying true to you, no matter how many years pass the memory and feel will always remain the same. Choose the people who will align with your shared vision.
10: What do you truly want on your wedding day?
So many brides make the mistake of underplaying their actual needs, wants and hopes when deciding where to spend their wedding budgets. There are those who will spend their whole budget in the chase of the perfect dress or in the hopes of securing that highly sought-after venue that they have waited for a date to open up for so long now. All too often couples will spend thousands of dollars on items like flowers, décor, and food without a second thought, yet they choose to barter over things such as professional trade services like a MUA or the perfect photographer.
When you look back at your wedding you might not remember all the costs of everything that went into making your day special, but you should remember how special you felt. When you think of how special you felt I hope a smile graces your face in memory of just how beautiful the Beauty professional you chose helped you feel. The true payment for an artists work is the transformation that we can give someone. We already see your beauty within it is a privilege and an honor to get to help you see it too! When you hire a makeup artist you are giving yourself the gift of self love...
You are worth every penny.
Author Lance A Reis
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