Wedding makeup

Last week, we started talking about hair and make-up vendors for your wedding day. As I mentioned in the previous column, many of the questions you need to ask and the pointers to keep in mind are similar for your hair stylist and your make-up artist. After all, the two professions are similar and made up of artistic people who use unconventional mediums (your hair and face) as their medium.

This week, we’re going to focus on make-up artists and what you need to have your trial and wedding day run as smoothly as possible. One thing I want to mention: Not everything will be perfect — at least not perfect in the conventional sense. Perfection is such a subjective term. You will have mishaps, delays, miscommunications, etc. What’s important to keep in mind is the need to minimize risk, and to take surprises in stride.

Questions to ask your make-up artist:

Do you come onsite or do I need to schedule an appointment at your salon/studio? Most of the make-up artists I have worked with will come onsite, even if they have their own studio or work out of a salon. But it’s important to ask anyway, as policies may differ. There may be fees associated with onsite appointments, or the artist may not have a salon/studio and will require onsite appointments.

How much time do you estimate the appointment will take? How long it takes to do your make-up will depend significantly on what you’re having done, the personal skill/speed of the technician and the artist-to-client ratio. Your vendor will be able to give you far more accurate time estimates than I could, so you should ask. Remember to consider adding time buffers to your appointments in case of unforeseen delays. I’m not saying there hasn’t been a wedding without any delays, but I am saying I haven’t been in, planned or attended one.

Do you provide a trial run? If not, can I schedule one? Not all make-up artists offer a trial run, and certainly not for free. Some may charge you full price for a trial run, others may give you a discount and still others may include it in their wedding package fees. To avoid any misunderstandings, ask up front. You’ll know what to budget for and how to schedule your time.

Here are a few reminders for your make-up trial.

Tell your artist if you have any allergies or skin sensitivity. Most likely your artist will ask you about allergies and sensitivities. Tell the truth. And if s/he doesn’t ask, tell them anyway. A medical emergency is a pretty big price to pay for make-up on your wedding day. I don’t suggest you risk it.

You won’t look exactly like your picture. No matter how many people have told you that you resemble Katie Perry, you are not the same person. Your facial features, shape, skin tone and texture are all different from any person whose picture you bring to your artist to emulate. Your artist is different than the artist from the picture. They will use different techniques and have different tastes and preferences. Go into your appointment thinking about your photo as inspiration and not a blue print, and let your artist do what s/he does best: the art.

Trust the expert. Just as I said last week about hair stylists, your make-up artist is an expert. S/he has probably gone to school for years studying the best practices and techniques, not to mention the latest trends. Make-up artists not only have to go to school to hone their artistry, but they need to learn about chemistry and dermatology and a plethora of other studies.

Basically, try not to micromanage your vendor. If you are super intent on having your make-up done perfectly the way you do it, then you should do it yourself. If you hire a make-up artist, you need to trust his/her expertise and listen to their advice.

If you don’t like it, speak up. As with anything wedding vendor related, people join this industry for the money, but mostly to see happy clients. It’s important that you speak up if you don’t like something. Of course, be respectful, but your artist will understand. It’s important you like what you see in the mirror on the wedding day!


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