Planning a wedding or planning an evening out with the girls - finding the right Makeup Artist to give you the A-List treatment is crucial and we're here to help....
12 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR ARTIST
- How do I book you for my wedding date? Do you require a deposit? What about a contract?
Understand what the artist requires to secure your date In her book. Sometimes the deposit will be nominal, but most will require 50% of the total package of services. And be sure to get it all in writing, with receipts for each payment. A well-written contract will list the services being provided to each member of your bridal party with a schedule of appointment times. There should also be provisions made for unusual or unforeseen events like cancellation of the contract or illness on the wedding day. This gives you legal recourse to recover your funds if the artist does not provide the services as agreed. Be wary of any artist who does not provide a contract or does not want a deposit. There once was a time when all business could be done on a handshake, but for something this important, do you really want to risk it?
- Will it be YOU at my wedding or another artist? What happens if you can’t make it on my day?
The artist who does your Trial Run or Preview Session should be the artist who does your makeup on your wedding day. This is the person you’ve discussed the details of your wishes and developed a report with. Some larger studios and salons will not give you that promise, so be sure to ask. Also ask what happens if that artist is unable to come on your wedding day. Any studio, salon or even free-lance artist worth booking will have a back-up plan.
- How many weddings have you done? Do you normally work with brides? How long does each makeup take?
Your Makeup Artist should be experienced in all areas - not only bridal makeup. Techniques used in Runway to Body Art all contribute to creating clean, lasting and print-worthy looks. In addition to providing beautiful makeup in the style requested, an artist must be able to work with unpredictable lighting and space in various settings (hotel rooms or wedding venue dressing rooms), adhere to a tight schedule, and remain calm, relaxed and create individualised pieces of face-art. Each special occasion makeup application should take no longer than 50 minutes. Fancy dress and SPFX will of course always take longer but your artist should be trained and efficient to not take any longer.
- What is your background? Where did you learn to apply makeup?
This is an extremely important question to ask. Although there are incredibly talented artists who have never set foot in a classroom, this is rare. Accredited Makeup Academy training is the most desirable. These artists have dedicated years of their lives to learning a huge range of skills and developing themselves as a professional Makeup Artist through working and assisting on the front line. Overall, the artist’s portfolio or most recent work should also weigh heavily in your decision. Beware of the "Fakeup Artist". They may apply makeup beautifully on themselves but YouTube clips and a handful of makeup classes within their Beauty Therapy certificate do not instantly qualify them.
- May I see your portfolio?
Her portfolio will give you a good indication of her versatility and style. Are all the faces made up the same like a cookie-cutter, or has she brought out the best in each face?
Will she follow your style requests and welcome input from you and/or friends and family? After all, this day is about YOU, not her portfolio, career advancement or ego.
- Do you have a website or blog?
This is a good indication of the artist’s level of professionalism and dedication to her career. You will probably gain your first impression of the artist from online media, and so it should be informative, complete and current. Any artist with photos of work she did in the 20th century on her site is not the artist you want on your wedding day.
- What kinds/brands of products do you use? Is this makeup good for pictures or photography?
You may not recognize the name brands used by pro artists, and that’s OK. What you’re really looking for is to exclude any artists who cannot tell you the finer details on their products. As professionals who have used many, many brands, we can assure you we are very familiar with the products we use and we are always happy to share with you our knowledge on the ingredients and how they perform. Choose an artist who can select the correct products to suit your skin, time of year and occasion, it's important that the products are of a professional grade and suitable for the occasion.
- How do I keep my makeup fresh for the whole day? How will the product wear? What about colour-matched products to touch up with?
This is another area where choice of products is so important, and having an artist that can tailor those products to fit your needs and skin. Professional products will tay fresh looking for many hours longer than most consumer-grade products. Products should be on offer for touch-ups - mainly a lipstick as this tends to be the first makeup component to wear.
- What do you charge?
While this shouldn’t be the only criterion you look at before hiring an artist, it must be considered, of course! Ask about the rate per person - if an artist insists on charging more for a bride than a bridesmaid - Resist! All special occasion makeup applications should be of the same quality, using the same quality of products and require a similar timeframe, there is NO reason a bridal makeup should cost more than an evening makeup. Also ask what’s included in that rate, such as lashes, fixing spray and products for touch-ups.
- Do you charge a travel or location fee? How far do you travel for that fee? What other travel-related expenses will I need to cover?
What will be the total cost of the services I want?
Many artists will offer on-location makeup for your wedding day, but may require that you travel to their studio or salon for your Trial Run. Some artists tack on a “location fee” for any wedding venue, no matter the driving distance or based on the location in relation to their studio or base. Are you being quoted an hourly or per person rate for your bridal party? Either way (hourly or per person) is fine, but it’s best that you know so there are no surprises. Other fees or costs that may be extra or are deferred to the bride include parking at the hotel, covering large tattoos or providing products for touch-ups, after the artist has departed. Be sure to get a full ist of what is, and is not, included in writing…or better yet, a signed contract.
- I have skin allergies or severe acne. Can you work with me? Can you contour my face? How about covering blemishes or my tattoo?
Do you apply false lashes? How can I best prepare my skin?
Based on your particular needs, you may want to ask some or all of these questions and we have listed them here as a group just to get your mind thinking these details…
- What happens at the Trial Run or Preview Session? How much is the Trial or is it included in your services? What is included in the Trial Run?
The Trial Run or Preview Session is so important to ensure that the makeup your artist provides on Your Day is everything that you want. Your trial should cost the same if not more than the official makeup as any professional artist will create your look exactly - no halvzies! Lashes, fixing spray and full use of all products should be included in your trial and it can sometimes take up to 1 hour. It’s a good idea to take a camera with you to preserve the look she creates for you. Take pictures from a natural distance in order to get a “real” feel for how it will look.. The makeup should photograph well and not reflect the flash (white face-brown body).
CAUTION: During your trial you should be aware of the steps taken by your artist for hygiene and sanitation of tools and products. Any makeup you are wearing should be removed, the skin cleansed and moisturised prior to application, All brushes should be clean and should be sprayed with an anti-bacterial brush cleaner in between clients - NO EXCEPTIONS!