Bridal Beauty Tip #12 ~ The Wedding Makeup Trial Checklist

I can’t stress enough how important your pre-wedding day makeup trial is. Not only is it your opportunity to perfect your look for your big day, but it is also an opportunity to avoid a major disaster on the biggest day of your life.

Booking-A-Makeup-Artist-For-Your-Wedding
Jenny Lee Wedding Dress

In the past few weeks I have had multiple brides call me the week of their wedding to tell me their makeup artist has cancelled on them. They wind up being totally stuck because all the good makeup artists have invariably been booked for months, and unless they get incredibly lucky they have to face their wedding day with no makeup artist.
I even had a maid of honor call me in tears 2 hours before the ceremony because the artist they booked didn’t bother to show up. 
He decided he had something better to do.
The bride and all her bridesmaids came with no makeup because they were paying for  makeup artist. Can you even imagine walking down the aisle with no makeup on??
I was already booked and couldn’t help her.

The common thread in each case was that the bride had gone the super budget route, and had chosen a makeup artist from Thumbtack. I’m sure on some level you can find a good makeup on a cut rate service, but I don’t like your odds.

So how do you avoid a wedding day makeup nightmare?
Start with the clues you can spot at your makeup trial.

1. Beware the “free trial”
When someone offers a free trial they are telling you straight up that they don’t attach value to their time, their skills, the products in their kit. If they don’t see themselves as worthy, why should you?
A professional will attach value to your trial. 

2. Expect Punctuality.
A good artist will arrive to your trial on time and fully prepared.
If they arrive late to your trial you can’t expect them to arrive on time to your wedding. The trial is the job interview – your artist needs to present their A game, show you that they respect your event.

3. Note Their Appearance.
As above, this is a job interview. Your artist needs to present looking like a great hire. That means clean hair, good grooming, nicely – not sloppily dressed, and they should be sporting nice makeup. If their makeup is poorly applied or looks overblown, you can take that as a warning sign!
Even if the artist’s work is brilliant I would see a sloppy appearance as a giant red flag. 

4. Check Out Their Kit.
When that makeup kit opens up there is a goldmine of information looking right up at you!
My first concern is how clean is the kit? Does it look dusty and powdery? Are there broken powders and shadows floating around? Are the bottles of foundation and palettes of products looking clean and well cared for, or are they messy?
Next you want to glance at the makeup brushes. There is never, ever any excuse for anyone to arrive with dirty brushes. Artists carry brush cleaning fluid, and part of packing up from a job is cleaning your brushes before you head out to the next job. When an artist gets home the expectation is that they wash their brushes, no matter how late it is.
Think about a chef after a busy night at the restaurant. Does he say he’s too tired to clean up and leave dirty dishes and food scraps everywhere? or does the entire restaurant get cleaned spotlessly?

5. What Products Are They Using?
We all use a variety of makeup products, but the majority, if not all of the products in your artist’s kit should be quality products. Cheapie products aren’t built to last 12 hours. You are paying for the artist to do a great job with quality products that have been designed to work well, be photographed and last all night.

6. Listen For The Questions.
Is your artist asking you a lot of questions? He or she needs to ask questions about you, your makeup style and preferences, your dress, the overall look of your wedding, the time of your ceremony – there are tons of questions to ask. A good artist will get the information and then create something fabulous to go with it. 


7. Where’s The Contract?
You don’t have a deal – a business deal – without a contract.
A contract binds the 2 of you together for your big day. I would be very wary of anyone who didn’t give you a contract to fill out and sign. A freelance makeup artist is an owner operated business. The contract shows their commitment to their business, without a contract its all just talk. 

8. Check Their References.
Check your artist out online before you make the commitment. If they have been doing weddings already (do you want to be their first?) they will probably have reviews that you can read. If they don’t have reviews you can call around wedding planners and photographers and see what the word on the street is about this artist.  People love to praise artists who have been reliable and who have done a fabulous job.

Remember: when it comes to your wedding makeup, a bargain is seldom a bargain. Don’t blow $5000 of photography on $50 worth of makeup

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