How to Find a Makeup Artist For Your Wedding

Augusta Falletta

Makeup Artist

Of all the days to skimp on makeup, your wedding is not one of them. After all the planning, the pinning and the picking, the last thing you want is to hate how you look in every wedding photo for years to come. A good makeup artist is key, but the actual process of finding the makeup artist that’s right for you can be a bit daunting (especially considering your wedding is likely the first time you’ve ever had to think about looking for a makeup artist). To get the expert insight on how to find the best makeup artist for your wedding, we went to celebrity makeup artist Jo-anna Lynn of Sally Hershberger Salon. Besides just telling us the price range, traits to look for in a good artist and red flags to avoid, she also gave us her tips for how to look your best on your wedding day. Below are Jo-anna’s words of wisdom.

How to search for a great makeup artist: Jo-anna says that if you see a bride whose makeup you love, find out who she had do her makeup and take down the person’s name immediately. Even if you’re not engaged (or even in a relationship), if you see the work of a great makeup artist, bookmark his or her information and save it for when you really need it. Also, first-hand recommendations from people are key (don’t listen to someone who says “I saw the pictures from so-and-so’s wedding and the makeup looked amazing even though I never saw it in person). If you have no one who can give you a good recommendation, you can search online, but be wary of the source. Bloggers who are experts in beauty and trusted media websites can be great resources, but steer clear of Craigslist and other shady sources.

Traits you should look for in a makeup artist: Besides just doing great work, your makeup artist should have a personality you can click with. Jo-anna recalls that often times, she’s with a bride through an entire weekend of rehearsals, dinners, and the wedding itself, so if you don’t click with the artist’s personality, it can be a miserable experience. Look for someone who does great work but also has a calming, reassuring presence so you’ll have an extra support system on your big day. Plus, keep in mind that you should be finding someone who is reliable, responsible and confident. You shouldn’t have to worry about if your makeup artist will show up on time or have the right products. When you’re comfortable and confident with your makeup artist, you’ll look even more beautiful. 

Let’s talk price range: Jo-anna tells us that you do indeed get what you pay for, and that of the costs you can cut for a wedding, the makeup artist should not be one of them. You could find someone who could do your makeup for $50, but the likelihood of getting someone who is reliable and who does great work will be extremely low. There are different rates for what you need, and the duration of the time you hire the makeup artist for is directly proportional to the price you pay, which makes total sense. Jo-anna says that it’s important to remember that price for a makeup artist is not a black and white number. For a professional, quality base rate for one person, $500 is a solid starting point. Full day rates can go up to $2,500 depending on how many people are on the makeup artist’s team, how many people in the bridal party are getting their makeup done and other factors.

How long before your wedding you should start looking: Like we mentioned earlier, if you get a good recommendation now, hold on to it. The real process should begin anywhere from 6-8 months before your wedding. Jo-anna typically has the first trial with the bride about six months before the wedding to talk about skin care and the possibilities of needing to see a dermatologist, whether eyebrows need to be grown in over time and other long term fixes that take time to happen before the big day. Plus, before you even have your trials, be sure to communicate with your artist about the kind of makeup you want with any pictures and visuals you can find. This will make the trial process much quicker and more effective.

Red flags to avoid in makeup artists: First and foremost, avoid makeup artists that have a “know it all” attitude. Yes, a makeup artist should be confident in what they’re doing, but they should be listening to what you want for your wedding day. Along with that, stay away from artists who won’t listen to your needs or artists that have bad attitudes in general. You want to feel comfortable on the day of your wedding, not like a burden. Lastly, avoid makeup artists who avoid cleanliness. If your mascara isn’t being applied with a disposable brush or a brand new tube, red alert! Get out of there.

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