How to choose a makeup artist – guest post

Unsure of how to choose a makeup artist for your wedding? Finding your perfect makeup artist may seem like a daunting task. Yet, it doesn’t have to be. This guest post by Susan (pictured above) from the highly sought after Makeup Mode provides a tonne of useful advice for choosing your perfect makeup artist.

How to choose a makeup artist: Social media

Let’s start with social media…..the two edged sword. There’s no doubt that Instagram is the source of a plethora of images and services for the bridal industry. But where images are concerned, sometimes what’s real is anything but! I’m amazed today by how many makeup artists are posting images that have been manipulated by Photoshop, filters, apps like Face Tune or even the beauty mode on their mobile phones. If you’re not sure which artists are posting these images, check to see if the subject has an outline to her nose or other features on her face (if not, that’s courtesy of beauty mode or Face Tune – it blurs everything). Or is it that the skin is so perfect that you cannot see pores? Thanks Photoshop!

“The professionals you hire for your day should contribute emotionally to you, be attentive and not make you feel stressed”.

The problem with the above is you’re not getting what you think you’re getting. Definitely a problem if you are booking a makeup artist without a trial and he/she cannot deliver what they post. Here’s a good tip when considering how to choose a makeup artist….check out the work that photographers are posting. Yes, they may Photoshop some images but they do this with such subtlety, if at all. They know their stuff, their cameras, their lighting etc. If you love a photographer’s work ask them who the makeup artist and hairstylist were.

How to choose a makeup artist: Paying a deposit

This is another extremely important aspect when considering how to choose a makeup artist. I have had brides-to-be call me, crying, one week before their wedding stating that their artist had ‘double booked’ .Most likely she hadn’t, she just had a better offer like someone with a bigger bridal party which meant more money. This will only happen to the brides-to-be who book with the ‘promise of word’ not with a deposit and contract in place. Yes, many artists work on a cash only basis and don’t want to leave a paper trail….not very reliable for the bride-to-be! Please, make sure you pay a deposit, via some sort of bank transfer and insist on a contract/work agreement.

How to choose a makeup artist: Consider the reviews of the artists you like

Bridesmaids standing together after getting hair and makeup finished

Look at wedding portals like Easy Weddings, Google reviews etc. Of course, take note of the reviews regarding their work but also consider how was the artist been perceived personality wise? You will find this in the reviews. The morning of your wedding needs to be calm or at least the people around you need to be able to help calm the environment. The last thing you need are diva artists taking over your space, placing more attention on themselves and making you feel uncomfortable. The professionals you hire for your day should contribute emotionally to you, be attentive and not make you feel stressed.

So, you now understand how to choose a makeup artist and have booked the professional for the day, now what?……

The best advice at this stage is STOP LOOKING!!!

You have found your ideal photographer, ideal dress, ideal makeup artist and hair stylist. Don’t second guess yourself. I see this happening over and over again. It results in feeling down and losing the excitement you once had.

Collect images from Pinterest

Be realistic. No good desiring a detailed eye makeup if the model in the imaged has very spaced eyelids i.e. a lot of spacing between the top of the crease and the bottom of the crease and you have hooded eyelids! Have an idea of what you want. If that means having an image just for the lipstick, another for the eyes, another for the cheeks etc then do it. The same will apply with the hair; have an image for the fringe, another for the sides and another for the back…even one for the top ‘crown’ of the hairstyle.

Consider the durability of the hairstyle

Yes, we get it, you love a downstyle. However, most images you see in bridal magazines are taken in studio or under a controlled environment, meaning, the hairstylist is next to the model and the shoot is only lasting a couple of hours with touchups constantly applied. The reality is with our Aussie weather, it may be hot and humid resulting in a frizzy and messy hairstyle within a couple of hours, or it may rain and be windy, resulting in the end of your beautiful look. Even under the best conditions downstyles hardly ever remain the same as they started. There is nothing wrong with reconsidering your hairstyle on the wedding day due to an unfavourable weather forecast.

Consider the lasting aspects of the makeup

Is the makeup durable enough through the humidity, through the kisses and hugs from guests? Ensure your makeup is sealed with a spray sealer, a good hint is spraying this as a primer as well. Oh how I wish everyone could air kiss the bride!! Imagine if this could be requested…I’m sure it won’t. Insist your makeup artist apply more foundation and more blush around the cheeks area (in fact waterproof cream blush and powder blush on top should do the trick).

Have a mattifyer with you

I always suggest this stays in the groom’s pocket or to give it to the photographer. A wedding is a long day and the skin breathes, this results in oil on the face not only for the bride but also for the groom, including a bald head! A skin coloured mattifying lotion is great at drying up the oil on the face with no build up. (Blotting tissues are also great, however, they do not last as long).

Put together an emergency kit (see here)


Bride and portrait in dramatic window light

Most importantly, following the ceremony and kissing 100+ guests, it’s now time that you and your bridesmaids redo your lipstick (and mattify). You are about to take the pictures that will no doubt grace both your and mum and dad’s walls, so make sure you are wearing lipstick. In fact, consider a strong lip. Nude lips can look like bare lips in pictures! It’s only reasonable to have your makeup artist supply you with enough lipstick to do retouches throughout the day.

Spray tanning

Personally, I’m all for it, especially with a white dress. However, please think of the groom. If he is pasty, you are better only having a very light tan so as not to contrast with him too much. It’s amazing how many brides just don’t think of the groom!

DO NOT try any new skin treatments/facials or new hair colours 2 weeks prior to the wedding

Also, consult with your wedding day hairstylist regarding any trims to your hair. A bad cut may result in not being able to achieve the ideal fringe style for the wedding day. Hairdressers can go a little crazy with their scissors. My suggestion, leave the fringe long and let the hairstylist trim the few pieces that may need trimming on the completed hairdo.

Do not look at yourself in a mirror as close as 5cm away

Bride in pajamas

My biggest pet hate. With your makeup, do not look at yourself in a mirror (this applies to bridesmaids too) as close as 5cm away. At this distance you will always find faults; even an 18 year old super model will have ‘flaws’ this close! Remember, no one will be looking at you that close, be reasonable. As we mentioned at the beginning, pictures on Instagram that have no pores or flaws are usually manipulated. You, up close, have pores and flaws!

Communicate with your photographer

Work out your timing and then advise the makeup artist and hairstylist. They should aim to have the bridal party ready by the time the photographer walks in the door. If possible try to complete the bride second last, that way if the makeup artist and hairstylists are running late this will not interfere with the photographer wanting to work with the bride.

Bridesmaids sitting on bed with wine glasses whilst laughing together at Deux Belettes

If the bride is wearing a strapless gown, do not wear a bra with straps during the morning of preparations. The marks this leaves take hours to fade and are often seen when the bride gets into her gown during the first pictures taken by the photographer at the house.

Get a good night’s sleep

But don’t try going to bed any earlier than you normally do. This is guaranteed to keep you tossing and turning even longer. Have a glass of warm milk before bed (yes, this is scientifically proven to make you drowsy) or better still have a scotch! Speaking of sleep, who thought having a group of women at your place the night before the wedding is a good idea? It’s going to be a big day. Better to be in your own bed with no distractions!

Don’t sweat the small stuff!

You have hired professionals, let them do their job. Enjoy the morning with your family and friends, that’s what memories are made of!

Okay, hopefully you now feel more confident when making your decision how to choose a makeup artist for your wedding day. If you have any other questions about how to choose your makeup artist, feel free leave a comment and send an email to either Susan @Makeup Mode or myself.

Makeup is based in Sydney.

Getting hitched in Byron or the Tweed area? Send Rachael Hair, Beauty and Makeup a message. She’s amazing at bringing out peoples’ natural beauty!

Getting hitched in Gold Coast or Brisbane? Contact Natalie Lucas Studio @Natalielucasmua or