The process of finding a makeup artist for your wedding might seem as daunting as the "process" of finding your soul mate in the first place. Luckily, you've already covered the latter; so allow us to help you out with the former. Unsure of where to start? Overwhelmed by how to go about it? Stress no more. Keep scrolling to learn how it's done!
Ask For Recommendations
The natural first place to start is with any friends, family, or co-workers you know of who recently got married and whose look you loved. Because if you've witnessed the results of an artist's work firsthand and loved it—someone who successfully made it through your friend (or whoever's) wedding day without snafus—it just might be the person for you, having already been vetted and proven. But if nothing comes to mind and you're starting from complete scratch, our first piece of advice is to begin with two of the biggest, best wedding resources out there: Style Me Pretty and Once Wed. The reason? Their wedding features list all vendor information (from hair and makeup to furniture rentals and photography), so you can reach out directly to the makeup artist who created any bridal look that particularly speaks to you. No matter your style or the vibe you're looking to go for on your big day, if you see a look you love on the site, you can get into contact with the very artists who created it with a simple click to their website.
Search by Location and Look
When starting with a wedding blog like the aforementioned, you can search by look (e.g., "romantic wedding" or "beach wedding"), but it's best to search based on the geo location where you'll be having your wedding—unless of course you are open to traveling a makeup artist out to you. Many makeup artists are available to travel; it will just cost more on your end. So say your wedding will be in New Jersey. Narrow your search by looking for New Jersey weddings on Style Me Pretty, as the makeup artist used for a given wedding is likely local to the wedding venue. The makeup vendor listed was Make Me Up Eva. One click over to her website, and you're looking at contact information (including email and phone), a whole portfolio, rates, and a Frequently Asked Questions page. Of course you can always google wedding makeup artists in your area, but a well-respected wedding resource narrows down the pool of options and ensures that the vendor used has made at least one bride happy enough to share her wedding pictures on a well-known blog. If you like what you see and get a good vibe from the artist, then the next step is to reach out!
Do a Makeup Trial
Many of the initial questions you have will be answered by the vendor website, such as rates, what's included, any package discounts, and whether or not trials are offered. Though doing a trial comes with a fee, you definitely want to do one, as you risk wasting far more money (and emotional stress) if you go into your wedding day having never seen how your makeup will look. You can't ensure you'll be getting what you really want, and what really makes you feel like yourself, until/unless you've met with the artist in person and seen what he or she does with your face.
Bring Inspiration Photos
Because a trial costs money, oftentimes half of what the actual wedding-day application will cost, it only makes sense to set up a trial with the person you're pretty positive you'd hire. So do plenty of research before reaching out to schedule your first trial. Pore through the photos of past work, read testimonials, and even google reviews (sometimes you can find Yelp reviews on artists). When you set up the trial, the artist will likely give you instructions on anything you should bring, such as inspiration photos, but like with anything, preparation is key. Your goal will be to communicate what you want, but words like "natural" and "glowing" can mean different things to different people, while a picture speaks a thousand words. Visual inspiration will help both of you to get on the same page.
However, even if you love the look, it's best to schedule another trial with a different artist if you can afford it (your two top contenders), to have a point of comparison. This is generally recommended as a best practice for brides, and one of the brides we spoke to in our story on how real brides found their makeup artist said it was a regret of hers that she did not do this. Sometimes (especially for something as big as your wedding day), it's just nice to know you didn't limit your options, confirming you love something by trying something else.
Go with Your Gut
Lastly, when meeting in person, and even while researching online, trust your gut. Don't underestimate the importance of vibing with your makeup artist and feeling like the lines of communication can be open and honest. All of the brides we previously spoke with underscored how important it is to feel comfortable with the person before hiring. This person will be spending time with you, your friends, and your family on the day of, and you don't want to feel an awkward or negative presence. Steer clear of someone who seems inflexible or unwilling to listen to you and your wants and needs. You're the client! You want someone who is knowledgeable, reliable, and professional, but you shouldn't feel like the artist won't listen to you.
Start Researching Early
Timing-wise, ideally you should start looking a minimum of six months out from the day of the wedding so you have ample time to research, meet, and conduct trial(s).