If you – or someone you know – is getting married soon, chances are the makeup artist and the hairstylist have already been booked, or are part of a short-list. It seems these creatives are finding themselves at the top of the priority list for MANY brides, right below the date, venue, and photographers of course. SO, how do you find the best bridal makeup artist for you? And how do you communicate with them to create a makeup look you absolutely love?
It can be SO much fun, but also overwhelming finding suppliers for your wedding. If you live in an area where there are a lot of choices, whilst that may seem like it’s a good thing, I’ve found it can sometimes cause more stress and a lot of questions and doubts. Is this artist the right one for me? Are they going to be available? What is the pricing like? Will it fit the budget? Will their style suit me? What is their vibe?
I’ve worked with brides and bridal parties for over four years now, and I absolutely LOVE wedding mornings. I believe that it’s because 95% of my brides had done their research before reaching out to me. They had either gone from recommendations, asking around for the best bridal makeup artists in their area, had trials with other artists and found the style wasn’t quite right, and most importantly – for both artist and bride – made sure they were comfortable and happy before the day began.
Here are my tips to finding your perfect bridal makeup artist match. Please note this advice is only from my personal experience, and also applies to finding your best hairstylists!
1. Instagram is your best friend.
Whilst Google is helpful in all things, I highly recommend getting on Instagram first and having a look on there, as it is a VISUAL search. Rather than trolling through hundreds of websites, you can simply type in a search on Instagram and have instant access to makeup artists and their work.
I’m also seeing that less and less makeup artists (myself included) have updated/functioning websites that are correctly optimised for Google searches. Meaning that whilst their work may be exactly what you’re after, you might not find them on Google until you get to page 6.
When beginning your search on Instagram, I would suggest typing in the name of the city where you are getting married, followed by the service you need. Do this both in the username field, and hashtag field.
For example, #melbournemakeupartist #melbournebridalmakeup #bridalmakeupartistmelbourne
I suggest also searching in username field, as some accounts have things like ‘Melbourne Makeup Artist’ listed as their bio, meaning they will pop up as a suggested account.
Tip: If you are getting married somewhere a bit more rural (say Daylesford, for example), find an artist in the nearest city, and be prepared to pay a travel fee. Makeup artists and hairstylists are more than happy and willing to travel to you for your wedding, but keep in mind they do need to be paid for their time and fuel costs.
2. Ask your friends, siblings, colleagues & gym buddies for recommendations
Word of mouth is a powerful tool. Chances are SOMEONE you know has either been married recently, been in a bridal party, attended a wedding, or knows someone that fits one of those categories, so why not ask around for recommendations?
It’s always helpful to go off a recommendation, because not only can this person attest to the makeup look and longevity over the night, they can also tell you about the personality of the artist, which TRUST MEEEE makes a HUGE difference to the wedding morning… which brings us into point 3
3. Book in a trial, and get to know your artist BEFORE the big day
I always insist on a trial. It is so important!!
For the obvious reason of working together to create a makeup look you are happy with, but even more importantly to make sure you get along. I’ve only once had to decline a job due to clashing with a client, and this was due to the client asking for makeup that was not my style, and honestly quite out of my comfort zone. It’s not fair to the bride to say yes if you aren’t able to give her what she wants.
It’s so important to remember that your makeup artist will be there for the morning of your big day, with your closest group of family and friends, for houuurrrs getting you all ready. It should be fun, breezy and so easy having an almost stranger there with you.
Vibes are important.
4. Know what to look for in your reference photos
A friendly reminder that anyone can edit a photo to make it look amazing, anyone can put makeup on a model with perfect skin and have it look amazing, and anyone can make tweaks to an image to make the makeup look different to how it would have in real life.
When searching on Instagram, if you are finding a page where 95% of the images are very obviously edited, there’s a chance you won’t love the result in real life.
Beautiful makeup on real clients does not need to be edited for their skin to be blurred showing no texture. Texture is completely normal and cannot be hidden with makeup.
5. Work out the style of makeup you think you may want, and do your research to find the makeup artist that does it best
Is it natural? Glam? Somewhere in between, or something completely different?
Yes, makeup artists have the ability to create a look without being told a brief – we do this a LOT. However, your wedding day is YOUR day, and artists want you to be completely comfortable and happy with how you look and feel.
Have a clear idea of what you are wanting, and find an artist that does the style really well. Again, jump on Instagram and Pinterest to find looks you like. Just be realistic when saving/pinning these images.
A good tip is when looking at reference images, try and find looks that have been done on people with similar features to your own – skin tone, eye colour, hair colour etc, as it will give a better idea of how the makeup will look on you.
Here is an idea of questions that a makeup artist might ask, to get you prepared before your trial
- Do you prefer to be dewy (more of a natural, glowing finish) or matte (longer-wearing finish, more powder to set)
- Do you like dark eyeshadow, or something soft to accentuate your eyes naturally?
- Are you planning on wearing a bold lip? Be PREPARED for the ongoing maintenance if you answer yes to this – unfortunately your makeup artist will not be there to touch it up throughout the night
- How do you usually do your brows (this one is so important, people are very particular about their brows!!)
- How does makeup usually last on your skin?
- Have you had any reactions to skincare products or makeup?
Most importantly, enjoy the moment!!!
The one thing I love to hear modt from my brides on the wedding morning is how relaxed and happy they are. To have that time in the day before the formalities begin, to sit with their bridal party, enjoy a mimosa or two, listen to music, wear robes and slippers and get absolutely pampered with their best girls – is there a much better way to spend a morning than that!?
Your wedding day and morning should be a stress-free, relaxed, and a completely memorable happy moment in the day. It begins from the minute you wake up and the getting ready begins. Being involved in so many wedding mornings makes me so excited for when it’s my turn!
PS. If you are getting married in Melbourne or the Sunshine Coast (I travel between the two), and need a makeup artist, please check out my work on @bridesbykellyrose and @kellyrosemua and send an email to email@example.com x