The big day is coming and you need to look great. Whether it’s a high school reunion or the wedding of your dreams—you’ll stress less if you know a pro is in charge of your glam squad.
We talked to Renee Strong, owner of Faces By ReDience in New York—and a top-rated makeup artist on Thumbtack—shares her tips for the 10 questions to ask when hiring a makeup professional.
What are some examples of your work?
Review those portfolios! Scope out Instagram accounts and profile photos—verify the artist has experience with your type of event. Strong says that most artists can do anything, but some only specialize in certain looks. Make sure they aren’t solely into natural beauty if you’re going full glam-tacular at the wedding. Pro Tip: Create an event makeup Pinterest board of the looks you want to share with the artist.
How do you determine your rates?
Some charge by the hour, and others by the service. Strong charges a fee for her consultations, as they include her time, services, products, and travel. If a client commits after the consult, there is a set fee for makeup—which includes lashes and brow grooming. There are additional fees if the bride wants hair included, or additional people made up. Each pro has different rates and packages, so find out what is on offer! Strong urges brides to always get a consultation. You don’t want any surprises on your wedding day.
Are you a licensed cosmetologist?
Confirm your makeup artist is certified and licensed by the state. Although someone may be talented, Strong explains, they may not have important skills such as how to respond to allergic reactions, or keys to proper hygiene.
Tell me about a time things went wrong and what happened?
Maybe the maid of honor had an allergic reaction and needed a fast fix for serious trout pout. Learning how people handle high-stress situations is critical for the day of your big event.
Will you travel to me?
Strong often travels to her clients for consultations and always for wedding events. Make sure your artist is able to work with your location for the consult and the day of event.
Do you have insurance?
Not super exciting, but important to know. It’s good for the professional, and for the client— especially if you’re hosting them at home for a consultation. Strong states that they can’t have insurance if they are not operating officially with a state license.
What is your experience with different skin tones?
Strong works with a variety of brides and their families. She says the makeup needs of African American women are different than those of an Indian bride, which are different than a woman with very fair skin. Make sure the artist has experience working with your skin tone so you look amazing on your big day.
How long do you need to make me up?
It’s all about timing. Strong says she needs to know how long and what timeframe she’ll have to get you ready for the event, and the clients need to know how long it will take the artist (approximately) to apply makeup so they can plan the day’s schedule. Be sure to ask about approximate timing for bridesmaids if they’ll be getting their faces done, too.
Will anyone be assisting you?
If you’re planning on including every friend ever as a bridesmaid, Strong suggests making sure there will be backup to get those 20+ ladies made up and out the door on time.
Are you available for full day or travel services?
Strong often does hotel stays, such as for a recent extended wedding ceremony for an Indian bride. There were festivities throughout each day, and the woman wanted to look gorgeous for every brunch, dance, and dinner. Even if you’re not hosting a multi-day event, confirm the makeup artist is available for not only full application before the ceremony, but also touchups before the reception. If you’re doing a dress change for the reception—a touch up is definitely in order. Or if you’re a cryer.
Ready to get your glam on? Here’s how to find a makeup artist in your area.
Top photo via Instagram from Lisa Eldridge Makeup