How to Choose The Right Makeup Artist For Your Big Day

Everyone wants to look their best on their wedding day, but sometimes, looking your best can be stressful!

80% of brides hire a professional to do their hair and makeup for their big day with the average cost being a whopping $650 (The Wedding Report, 2019). There is a myriad of options when it comes time to choose a hair and makeup artist and the choices can leave us feeling more lost than focused. Local makeup artist Jennifer M Viveiros shares her take on how you can choose the right makeup artist for your big day!

So you’re engaged! Congratulations! Now what? I know that the question can be very daunting. The average engagement is about a year and a half. Even though it can sound like a long time, we all know a year can go by in a flash. After getting the date and the venue out of the way, a couple can feel very lost. My suggestion is to get your absolute favorite vendors booked asap. No matter what that vendor is. Maybe it’s your photographer, florist, DJ, makeup, or hair…but whatever it is book it first! I try to tell all my brides to basically ignore timelines you may find on wedding sites. Most wedding advice columns will put booking a makeup artist three months out. I can not tell you how wrong that is. With the video and photography technology getting better and better and with social media influence at a peak, brides are more aware than ever that an artist who is skilled in special occasion makeup, is not just an after-thought anymore. Experienced bridal artists can be booked well over a year in advance depending on the date, location, and time of year. For example, New England brides for a September or October wedding in 2020 should be booking hair and makeup in spring 2019 whereas a bride getting married in mid-July or August may have a little more time.

Ok, so you have your desired artist and it’s time for a trial…but when? The when depends on your unique date, but what I recommend is as close to the date as possible. For me, the sweet spot is about 3 months out so that everything will be fresh in everyone’s mind for the big day. Let’s say you do a trial a full year in advance…A LOT can change in a year and that also can leave a lot of room for you to start questioning, rethinking, and more Pinterest searching. Take your time and really search out what you want and have a handful of very cohesive looks ready when you go to our trial. Red carpet looks are best because there is less of a chance they are highly edited or photoshopped. Don’t stray too far from your style. Your wedding day is not the day to do winged eyeliner and a bold lip when you normally wear mascara and lip balm. That said, you should be prepared to wear a little more than usual. You are potentially wearing the most formal dress you will ever wear in your life. Your face should match. You should look formal, but still yourself. If you don’t feel like you, everyone will feel and see that. Also, either come by yourself or with a really supportive friend/mom. In my experience bringing an entourage just makes things more confusing and you end up leaving with someone else’s vision, instead of your own. My best advice is to have multiple applications with your artist if possible. Do a trial, yes, but maybe go again for your shower or bachelorette. Not only will you both be comfortable with each other by the big day, but you can also try multiple looks and get a feel for what you like and don’t like if you are unsure.

Last but not least… lashes! Get the lashes!! Even if you are a natural girl, I would recommend lashes over eyeshadow, if it came down to doing one or the other. Even better is an artist who can do individual lashes, if you are nervous. They come off at the end of the night just like strip lashes, but they are comfortable, light and there is no line of demarcation. That way when you look down no one will be able to see a strip, so they are incredibly natural looking while still giving you the volume you need to show up in pictures. What I wouldn’t stress too much about is airbrush makeup. Again, this all comes down to experience. Airbrush used to be the only option for a long-wearing makeup application. Now, that is simply not the case. Most times an expertly applied makeup application with the correct tools, product, and skincare prep from a seasoned artist can match and even outperform an airbrush application. That said, an airbrushed application can look beautiful, it just depends on your skin and concerns… but I wouldn’t obsess over it. Talk with your artist to see what the pros and the cons are. Which brings me to my next point. Trust. Trust your artist. Chances are you booked your artist for a reason. You looked over every review, stalked their Instagram, talked to countless veteran brides and you know what you are getting into. Trust them! Take their suggestions, try something you may not have thought of before. After all, it’s just makeup. If you hate it, it comes right off. That is what a trial is for. At the end of the day it should be a vision you created together. Most importantly though, have realistic expectations, come prepared and just HAVE FUN!


Photos: Maaike Bernstrom Photography, Melissa Robotti Photography, Mel Colvin Photography, Chelsea Shaw Photography, Sarah Pudlo Photography, Molly Lo Photography

Leave a Reply