The Importance Of A Professional Bridal Makeup Artist
You've probably dreamt about it a thousand times, walking down the aisle - dressed in all your bridal finery. Your lengha is stunning, your jewellery dazzling and you look resplendent and absolutely flawless. Whilst all eyes are fixed wonderingly on you, you walk up elegantly into the admiring gaze of your husband-to-be…
Every bride's dream, and indeed obsession, is to look stunning on their wedding day. Whilst the right lengha and coordinated jewellery are no doubt very important, having flawless and stunning make-up is perhaps the most essential element in making this dream come true. And choosing the right make-up artist is paramount to helping you achieve a stunning look that makes the most of your features and hides any flaws in your complexion. It is none other than the make-up artist who has the right tools and expertise to transform you from the girl next door into a radiant and stunning bride that will take your man's breath away.
Many brides, especially those on a budget, make the mistake of hiring an amateur makeup artist or use the services of a friend for their bridal beauty needs, but to achieve the stunning results you desire it goes without question that you should stretch your budget and hire an experienced and talented makeup artist do the job. Only a professionally trained makeup artist will have the experience and expertise to beautify you, sculpting and transforming facial features, concealing flaws, giving you styling, dieting and well-being advice (beauty does start from within!) and using her charm and charisma to calm your nerves on your big day.
With such an important role to play in making your wedding dreams a reality, it's essential to execute your research thoroughly to find a good bridal make-up artist and book her as soon as possible, before another bride nabs her!
How to Choose a Makeup Artist That Is Perfect For You
We recommend you begin your search at least nine to twelve months in advance of your wedding date. Skilful make-up artists are always in demand, particularly during the wedding season and a good make-up artist may even be booked up more than a year in advance.
A good place to start would be to go through the listings in the Bridal Make Up Artists section of top wedding directories (such as YourDreamShaadi.com, AsianBride.me, Asiana.tv) collate details from bridal magazines, wedding exhibitions and ask for recommendations from friends. If you have employed a wedding coordinator for your wedding then you can also source information from them.
Most makeup artists will have comprehensive websites where you can view their work and find out more about the services they have to offer and what their clients have to say about them. Makeup artists can initially be assessed on the following criteria:
Experience and qualifications are the most important factor to consider while selecting the right person. He or she must have expertise in their field and show evidence of professional training.
Look carefully at the photographic output of their work. A good makeup artist should be thoroughly familiar with how the camera "reads and translates" different colors and the photograph should look as stunning as the makeup application.
Do not let your decision making be swayed by photographs taken on bridal magazine shoots. These will have been re-touched to perfection using advanced graphic design packages and are often far from a true reflection of the makeup artists actual skills. Moreover the models, clothes, accessories and stunning looks all come together to create an impressive tapestry that sometimes masks fairly mediocre makeup skills. Photographs of "Real Brides" with before and after shots should form the basis of your assessment.
When browsing the makeup artist's portfolio, study the individual photos instead of just flicking through: Does everyone seem to have the same look or style of makeup applied on them? Does he or she have experience working on different types of skin tones and textures? Do the people in the photos look polished and complete?
If the makeup artist is just starting out, don't worry if they don’t have too many photos to show you. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they are incapable of creating a great look for your wedding day. Often, makeup artists without a portfolio will charge you less if you agree to give them some copies of your professional photos after the wedding as it would help them in the future with other prospective customers.
The make-up artist has to be an expert in highlighting and shading techniques to bring out your best features and minimize flaws. Corrective make-up art is a prerequisite because you need to look perfect on the most important day of your life.
Look for recent testimonials from actual brides on the website. It's all very well choosing a makeup artist who is very skilled, but this should be backed up by excellent customer service, she should turn up on the day and have a pleasing personality; remember you will be spending your last and most probably most stressful hours of single life with her!
Make sure that the make-up artist is up to date with latest colors and looks as well as your particular cultural traditions and the requisite look for your wedding.
If prices are indicated on the makeup artists; website or brochure make sure these match your budget to ensure you do not waste the make up artist's time.
Make A Shortlist
The next step is to short-list the suitable makeup artist's against your chosen criteria and elicit more information from the ones that appeal to you the most.
Give them a call or drop them an email and ask a few pertinent questions before making a decision to go for a trial with them. This will narrow down your shortlist further and ensure that you get the best makeup artist suited to your needs.
Enquire about their availability for your wedding date, if they're booked up, move swiftly on! Ask for pictures of their work on real brides and to forward you recent testimonials, if not available on their website. If they are hesitant to do this and only keen to exhibit magazine work, this should act as a warning signal. You should enquire about the prices and discounts applicable if other close relatives or friends are to get their make-up done. They may also offer discounts for applying makeup for multiple events.
Clarify if accessories like false eyelashes, nails, bindis or shimmers are included in the package cost and if not, how much extra these are likely to be. You should also clarify transport costs to your wedding venue, if known. Moreover ask about the brand of cosmetics going to be used on your face. Make sure to have the best brand cosmetics applied.
Confirm that the makeup artist offers hair styling services along with make-up or if she has a partner who does the same. You need to ensure you have a fully coordinated look and that your makeup and hair work together and not against each other. Enquire how long the make-up will last? Ensure that the beautician gives you a long-lasting and waterproof makeup for the long drawn ceremonies and all the sobbing at the bidai ceremony.
Enquire how many brides she will be dealing with on your wedding date. A work of art takes time to accomplish and you should not have your wedding day compromised by a makeup artist who is delayed from a previous appointment or has to rush off to another wedding. Lastly, don't forget to ask what their charges are for a makeup trial and if these can be claimed back when a booking is confirmed.
Before Your Bridal Makeup Trial
When to have the trial?
To ensure that you get the maximum benefits of an effective bridal makeup trial, here are some helpful tips to prevent you from simply wasting your time and money.
Some of you may have already booked your makeup artist (with a contract and deposit) to secure the date and are going for your trial to finalise all the details for the day. In this case it is advisable to go for your trial at least 6-8 weeks before your wedding date.
Otherwise you may be going for a trial to simply test the beautician’s skills in hope of possibly booking them for your wedding event(s). With most of the talented beauticians being booked up at least a year in advance, you need to start arranging these trials as soon as possible; leaving it just before the wedding would be too risky and you may not find the right beautician for you. At this time, you probably won’t yet have bought your outfit or jewelry, so the trial itself would need to be focused on finding a makeup artist whose style of work suits you best. A good makeup artist will always be able to recreate a similar look on the day, adjusting to the exact colours and details of your wedding dress.
Checklist of things to take with you
Do lots of research in advance and bring along different images that appeal to you for various functions, so that the makeup artist can get an accurate idea of the looks you are trying to achieve. Bridal magazines usually have plenty of ideas and most makeup artists are familiar in how to re-create those styles.
Note down photos and clippings showing makeup styles that you would like to avoid.
It may be handy to bring along a photo of yourself that you really like, to show how you usually do your own makeup when you are going out. It will give them an idea of your preferences and general makeup style.
If you have already bought your outfit and jewellery, it is a great idea to take this with you so that your makeup can be coordinated with it. Hair accessories such as tiaras and diamontes, for example, play a major part in the overall hairstyle that you end up choosing.
If you have not yet chosen your wedding outfit, an experienced makeup artist will be able to work from the pictures you present and create an appropriate look. Even a dupatta alone or a fabric swatch of the exact colour of the outfit is sufficient for the makeup artist to work with. .
You may wish to bring the colour of the flowers from your bouquet into your makeup, so taking colour samples to the trial would be helpful.
If you have preference to a certain foundation or cosmetic item which you would want to wear on the day, then take it with you to the trial session and let the makeup artist try it with the rest of the look.
Remember to take a digital camera with you so you can see what the makeup looks like when a photo is taken.
You may like to bring a friend or relative with you for a second opinion
Remember to go to the trial absolutely natural, without wearing any make-up.
The Bridal Makeup Trial
Before the trial, you will have a good idea of what you want to look like on your wedding day, but more importantly, you will know what you do not want to look like! Try to explain clearly and concisely what kind of looks you have in mind and any personal likes and dislikes. Photos are a great way to communicate the look you are aiming for as everyone perceives colours and textures differently; a photo will show the beautician what you mean to say and vice versa, preventing them from making too many errors. However, remember that the same makeup applied on you may look totally different to what you expect to see from the photograph.
A few points to explain clearly:
Which facial features you would like to accentuate or try to cover up?
Do you prefer shimmery colours / glitters / matte / powdery shades in eyeshadows?
Would kind of foundation coverage do you prefer – light / medium / heavy?
Are you allergic or sensitive to any skin products?
What kind of lipstick or blusher shade will you require – light / medium / dark?
Other points to show or explain can be your flowers, the wedding colour theme, dress style, and bridesmaids styling and colours. This information can be very handy in helping the makeup artist create and coordinate your bridal look.
Bear in mind that a trial is a chance for you to experiment different ideas, so don’t be afraid to try something different that you wouldn’t normally imagine on yourself, or a style that your beautician suggests for you. You never know, it may be the perfect look for you.
The trial can last as long as necessary, however, a reasonable time for a full bridal trial including hair and makeup would be approximately 90 minutes. So make sure you arrive at the time allocated for the trial so that your beautician is able to spend maximum time with you without excuse. They will also appreciate your punctuality and will have more time to devote to discussing your needs.
Paying attention to the small details within a trial will aid you in the decision making process. Here are some pointers on things to look out for:
Take note of the beautician’s hygiene, make sure that their hands are sanitized before starting the makeup. Notice whether the make-up is applied using fresh sponges, wipes, and disposable wands for the eye-make-up.
Notice the beautician’s attention to detail. Ideally, you would want to find a beautician who has a similar taste and style to yourself or somebody who genuinely cares about your needs. She will be able to understand straight away the kind of style that you want and listen to your personal needs throughout the trial.
Make sure that your beautician is up to date with latest trends as well as understand your particular cultural traditions and requirements, particularly when it comes to dressing or setting the dupatta.
A talented make-up artist will know how to use effective highlighting and shading techniques to bring out your best features and minimize flaws. You will notice the difference it makes straight away when you look in the mirror and this style of corrective make-up art is a great bonus if your beautician is able to achieve it.
Make-up artists should understand your skin tone and adjust the use of colours and shades so that it suits you.
During the trial, do take a note of the amount of time spent with you to make sure you are happy with the result. This will also give you a rough indication on how long it will take your beautician to get you ready, hence helping you prepare a schedule for the day to help things run smoothly.
Ask for references
Testimonials from actual brides on the website are helpful in finding out more about the beautician, as long as they are genuine! Make sure you ask the beautician for references from previous bridal clients. You can later follow through by calling them to get a real opinion from somebody who has used them in the past.
As well as the makeup and hair itself, ask about the beautician’s punctuality, time management, ability to work under pressure and how they worked with everyone in the bridal party. Things can get hectic on the actual day (with family members rushing around, etc), hence it is important to find a beautician who is able to cope with the pressure and is organised enough to work efficiently if things are running late. Also, ask how they were referred to the makeup artist and if that individual would hire them again in the future. Faces by Avina believe that if the beautician comes recommended, it is always a good sign.
Take a camera with you to the trial so you can see what the makeup looks like when a photo is taken. This is often very different to what you see in front of you and a makeup artist’s real flaws are often exaggerated when a picture is taken from a digital camera.
Remember, bridal makeup for photography requires different rules than makeup for every day. A good makeup artist will know how to use colours, textures and tones within the makeup to ensure that you look just as great in person as well as in photographs.
Other Questions to ask
You get a good idea of the dedication and work of a beautician during the actual trial. Don’t shy away from asking questions to give you the peace of mind.
Ask about their background, how many brides they have got ready, any disastrous experiences they’ve had, etc. Try to build a rapport with them; it will help to know if they have the sort of personality that will calm you on the actual wedding day.
Know exactly what is included in your full makeup package. Clarify if accessories like false eyelashes, hair pieces and bindis are included in the package cost and if not, how much extra these are likely to be. You should also clarify transport costs to your wedding venue, if known.
Ask how long the make-up will last? Ensure that the beautician gives you long-lasting and waterproof makeup that will throughout the entire day, including past the sobbing at the Vidai ceremony. Enquire if your make-up would require any touching up after a while and whether this would incur any extra costs should you hire the makeup artist for this.
Enquire how many brides she has booked on the same day as your wedding. There is nothing worse than compromising the quality of your bridal look by a makeup artist who is delayed from a previous appointment or has to rush off to another wedding.
Also remember to ask if the charge for the trial itself can be claimed back if you decide to confirm the booking for your wedding.
Speak your mind
After the beautician has completed the chosen look at the trial, remember one thing:- you know your face better than anyone. You need to ensure you have a fully coordinated look and that your makeup and hair work together and not against each other. The beautician is there to guide you, but if the end result is something you are not comfortable with, let them know. Even if you disapprove of any particular product or minor detail, make sure you speak up. Make up can easily be fixed so an understanding makeup artist should not be offended if you ask for a few changes to be made. Do not let yourself get talked into something you are not confident about; remember those wedding pictures will last a lifetime and you want to be proud of them.
Make sure you are 100% happy with the chosen look and have full confidence in the beautician before finalising any bookings on the spot. If at all unsure, just say you will have a think about it and get back to them at a later date. You may even change your mind afterwards about the look you have chosen during the trial, but it is important that you have confidence in your makeup artist’s ability to recreate any look whatsoever (even without a trial) and make any adjustments on the day according to your new requirements.
What many brides don't always realize is that this initial consultation is actually a trial run - which means, most professionals will only want to give you an idea of the look you're after, not an exact replica of what to expect on wedding day. It’s all about experimenting with different looks - your artist might do the left eye in one colour combination and the right in another, so you have a comparison of which works better.
Finding the right beautician for you can be more difficult than expected – especially with so many makeup artists in the Asian bridal market. With all the trials you go to, you’re bound to find both positive and negative attributes on all the makeup artists, possibly making your choice even harder. The best advice would be to go with your instinct and book the beautician who gives you the most confidence about the big day in all areas – quality of work, reliability, personality, etc.
Booking Your Chosen Makeup Artist
If you are satisfied with the results of your trial and wish to place a booking, you will need to sign a contract and pay a deposit to secure your booking. Some inexperienced beauticians may not have an official contract, so it may be worthwhile for you to write down the terms of your agreement on paper before any money changes hands. Ensure that you understand all the contract conditions and that it covers the following points:
Who will be getting you ready? Make sure it is the same person you did a trial with and not a trainee.
Ensure the full date, time and location for the arrival of your beautician is given clearly in writing.
Also negotiate a price for additional time incase your event is running late.
A full description of the service you have booked - including any additional charges for transport, hair accessories, body art, dupatta setting, bindi/peer, makeup re-touches, etc.
Ensure that the contract covers you by way of providing a substitute makeup artist in case of unforeseen circumstances, or compensation if your beautician turns up late on your event or doesn't show up at all.
If you pay a deposit, make sure this is either stated in your contract or you have a receipt as proof.
Ensure that the contract is signed and dated properly and get some sort of confirmation of the booking in writing, otherwise it would carry no value!