How to Find the Best Makeup Artist for Your Wedding

Woman applying lipstick to a bride getting ready on her wedding day

Photo by Lauren Fair Photography

A lot of thought and research goes into your wedding day. While trying to find the perfect venue, photographer, entertainment, and, of course, wedding dress, you’re constantly researching, relying on recommendations, and stalking the social media accounts of potential vendors. Selecting the right makeup artist should be no different.

Putting your big day beauty in the hands of a stranger can often be nerve-racking. Being secure in your choice and having trust in your selected artist can make all the difference in the world. With all the makeup artists out there, it might be hard to narrow it down, especially if you're not sure what your wedding day look is going to be. To help you out, we spoke with makeup pros Nicole Pucillo and Jen Sbarbaro to get the deets on what you should know, do, and ask before hiring a makeup artist for your wedding day.

Meet the Expert

Read on for five expert tips for finding the perfect wedding makeup artist.

Get Referrals

Word of mouth is often the most reliable way to secure a makeup artist whose skills and talents match your beauty goals. “When looking for a makeup artist, I find that referrals are a great way to start!" Pucillo says. "Many of my clients are referred to me by past and current clients over the years. It’s always great to find a makeup artist that comes with a great recommendation from someone you know.” Check out your friends' Instagram pages to view their results, browse reviews online, and familiarize yourself with the artist's portfolio prior to calling to book a consultation or trial.

Have a Vision

Once you begin considering options for bridal beauty, gather any photos that speak to you from magazines, social media, and even screenshots of people you know. It’s okay to not know exactly what you want, but having some idea will help guide conversations with your potential artist and make your makeup trial more successful. Pucillo suggests discussing your vision for your makeup and the details of your wedding with the artist upfront. “Whether you want a soft, natural look or a more dramatic look, as an artist, I ask many questions to understand the client's vision and to ensure that I create the look they have always dreamed of.”

Relay Your Details

Before you book a trial and fall in love with an artist, it’s important to ensure their availability for your wedding date, as well as their ability to accommodate the number of bridesmaids and family members who will also need professional makeup. Sbarbaro says this will affect pricing, timing, and how many artists are needed. So, having your details in order and being able to share them from the outset will prevent any hiccups or conflicts going forward.

Know Your Look

Pucillo stresses that your wedding makeup should enhance your natural beauty, and Sbarbaro says you should go with a similar look to what you usually wear. But it’s important to remember that for the majority of brides, you’re going to want a bit “more” for your wedding day. “Your wedding makeup is always going to look like more than what you usually wear," Sbarbaro explains. "The camera doesn’t pick up pigment like the naked eye. This goes with brows and lashes too, so don’t be wary of your artist filling in your brows or wearing false eyelashes.”

Explaining your daily makeup routine (or lack thereof) and understanding the need to kick it up a small notch will help your artist design a look for you that complements your style and natural beauty.

Shop Around

Don’t be afraid to shop around! Even if you love the result of your first trial, who knows what you might think of the second or third. There’s a reason makeup trials exist, and it’s perfectly okay to book consultations with several different artists until you find the perfect fit. That said, be careful not to go overboard. Being educated and prepared when you begin your search for a makeup pro should help you find the right one in just a few consultations. Looking thoroughly at the portfolios of each of the artists you're interested in will help you narrow it down.

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