Looking your best on your wedding day is definitely a high priority on the wedding checklist. Everyone wants to look and feel like a princess when walking down the aisle.

One way to achieve this is by hiring a makeup artist to do your makeup for your wedding day. But what do you need to know before hiring a makeup artist? What should you expect during the months leading up to and during your big day? We spoke with Shannon Sells, a makeup artist with 10 years experience,a Motives certified trainer and makeup educator, to find out everything you need to know when it comes to hiring and working with a makeup artist for your wedding day.

Beginning the hunt for the perfect makeup artist may feel overwhelming if you’ve never had to hire one. When beginning your search, look for a makeup artist with bridal experience.

“Make sure that the makeup artist has done application professionally for brides; ask to see their portfolio. There’s a difference between editorial/photo-shoot makeup application, senior picture application and bridal application,” said Sells, who is based in the Kansas City area.

Hiring a makeup artist who has a bridal background will assure you that they understand the ins and outs of wedding makeup and know how to create a beautiful bridal look. A great way to know about their previous work is to ask for references.

“Ask for a reference or two and find out how previous brides feel about their work. If they are professional and do this for a business, this shouldn’t be a problem,” Sells said.

When searching, “feel free to get two or three quotes from different artists to find out what services are available and what the costs are,” Sells continued. Some makeup artists may offer pedicures, manicures or spray tans with their bridal packages; shopping around allows you to find out your options and decide what you want. The cost of a makeup artist will depend on their experience, services included and travel fees. “Expect to pay anywhere from $50-$200.”

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, there is one important thing to do: “Check, double check, confirm and triple confirm your date for application. Ask if they have a “backup” that you can use if for some unseen reason they are forced to cancel too close to the big day. And of course if this happens, find out how they handle a refund,” Sells continued. Book your makeup artist sooner rather than later; many book brides about a year ahead of time!

“Usually your date is not officially booked until after your consultation and you agree on everything, have made a deposit toward the total cost and some require a signed agreement,” she mentioned.

Once you’ve picked a makeup artist, it is important to set up a consultation. What should you expect during a consultation?

“An in depth conversation about your skin type, your desired look and coverage, suggestions or recommendations to achieve your desired look based on your skin and features and at minimum a sample of the product on your skin,” Sells replied.

To be completely comfortable with your look the day of the wedding, ask the makeup artist to do a run through at your consultation so you can see the makeup and make any tweaks or changes before the big day arrives. Sells recommends going to the consultation alone so the makeup artist gets your opinion and understands exactly what you want; it’s your day after all!

“Feel free to bring photos or pull up a Pinterest board at your consultation,” Sells said. But be aware that facial features will effect the makeup application. “Still bring in your favorite looks and the makeup artist should be able to modify the look for your features. Between the consultation and the photos, they should be able to make recommendations for your desired look and make the modifications needed to customize the look for your unique features.”

Keep in mind that you should look recognizable for your wedding, Sells continued.

“Wedding makeup is all about flawless, glowing skin that is soft and pretty. That doesn’t mean you can’t have an edgy look or use red lipstick; you just don’t want an edgy, dramatic look walking down the aisle when it’s not your normal style,” she said.

With these tips from Sells, you can feel secure in your pick of a makeup artist for your big day. Doing research, checking prices and having a consultation will help make things run smoothly and look beautiful when you walk down the aisle.

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