Prosecco & Petals

Wedding planning guide

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choosing a wedding makeup artist

If you decide to have your make up done professionally, it is worth taking time to find someone talented who will make you look the best version of yourself for your big day.

Below is a step by step guide covering everything you need to know from when to start searching, how to find talented makeup artistis, what to expect at a makeup trial and tips for on the day itself.

choosing a wedding makeup artist

bridal makeup looks - wedding hairstylists - Planning pictures

wedding makeup artist: When to book

As with most wedding suppliers, it is best to start searching and book your make up artist. Word gets around quite quickly about the most talented, rising stars, so it is good to be ahead of the hoards who start to look in springtime.

It is recommended to start this process about eight-nine months before your wedding date irrespective of the time of year. In peak season there is more demand, but in off-peak seasons there will be fewer makeup professionals working.

wedding makeup artist costs

makeup artists' costs do vary quite dramatically, but the quality of the products, professionalism and finish do also significantly vary.

  • Lower-end local beauticians who charge from £40 - £70
  • Specific wedding make-up artists who can vary from £80 - £200
  • High-end renowned makeup artists who can charge significantly north of £200

  • When considering a budget, it is worth also factoring the trial price too, which is usually around a similar price.

    Bridesmaid and mothers/mother-in-law make up is offered at a 10-20% cheaper rate as less time is usually spent doing theirs.

    choosing a wedding makeup artist

    Locating wedding makeup artists near your venue

    Look at venue preferred suppliers. They will be preferred for a reason and will understand what look suits the venue (i.e. How dramatic to go).

    They often have direct contacts at the day so set up can be very seamless and leave less for your consideration.

    Look for suppliers located near to your venue: These will have lower transport costs and can be more adaptable to changes in the schedule, makeup trials can also be incorporated into venue visits.

    Talented wedding makeup artists online

    Look at regional and countrywide wedding supplier awards websites. These outline the nominations and winners.

    Some of those who have won in previous years or are newly entering can be very gifted but due to their usual clientele may not get coverage or indeed prices.

    Useful websites to search on are:


    choosing a wedding makeup artist
    Shortlisting makeup artists from social media

    1. Make sure they are within your budget (if you can’t see upfront costs be wary)

    2. Review website pictures, Instagram for the following:

  • They have experience with your skin tone and type of makeup you like.

  • Variance in styles and that they work with a bride’s features (you want to look like the best version of yourself not entirely different)

  • 3. Review Facebook and Instagram to see popularity and comments from other brides.

    4. Determine from their bio and experience that their interest is in wedding makeup and this is not just a side-line.

    choosing a wedding makeup artist
    When to organise a wedding makeup trial

    Once you have found a person you like, do book a trial asap as your make up professional’s diary may get filled up very quickly in peak season.

    It is recommended to book an appointment around a month before your wedding if you have confidence in their ability. This will mean that your skin is in the condition that it will be on the day and the tan (colour) will also be similar.

    If you are keen to check out a few makeup artists, it is recommended to do these as soon as possible, so you do not miss out on your first choice.

    Why makeup trials are a must

    A makeup trial is a practice session, which will mean your wedding day will go smoothly and you can be 100% confident you will love how you look. It gives them a chance to trial products on your skin and colours until you are happy with the result.
    A trial also gives you the opportunity to be more direct about what you like and want from your bridal makeup.

    While you can do this on the day, this can severely affect timings and also lead to skin getting inflamed or irritated.

    Makeup trials should be a must for anyone with sensitive skin, allergies or particular requirements.

    Lastly, a trial enables you to build a rapport and determine if this is someone who you will enjoy having around as you are getting ready – this is something that a lot of brides later regret not considering.

    choosing a wedding makeup artist
    Preparing for a wedding makeup trial

    It is essential to compile inspirational, looks and styles for your makeup trial. Make sure to bring these visuals on a tablet or phone. For tips on what to consider read the article "how to pick your perfect wedding make up style’.

    Essential items to bring are:


  • Bring ideas of looks you like

  • Picture of the dress and how you will have your hair (if known)

  • A colour swatch of bridesmaid dresses

  • wedding makeup trials explained

    Makeup trials usually are limited to up to two hours. This will give enough time to discuss your preferences, try out a few looks and perfect the perfect one without irritating your skin.

    The trial will start with a short chat about your day and bring a few visuals is often helpful. This will be followed by getting your foundation right and then trialling different lipstick, eye makeup and blusher options.

    At the end, logistics will be discussed. If you do not want to commit at this point merely state this and that you want to see how the look stays for the day.

    Let them know you will be in contact within a short period and stick to this.

    choosing a wedding makeup artist
    wedding makeup trial tips

    Before going to a makeup trial, it is essential that your skin is in perfect condition and also that you are wearing complementary colours so you can assess their work.

    Top tips include:


  • Exfoliate and moisturise skin before you go

  • Be well-hydrated

  • Wear a top with a white or ivory shade similar to your dress to show the makeup.

  • Wear hair in a style similar to what you will on the day

  • Take pictures in real-time in the trial/remember the mirror does not reflect how others will see you

  • Topics to discuss at a makeup trial
  • Start time and running order (expect to be last so that your make up looks freshest)
  • Skin preparation tips for the morning

  • Best ways to keep make up flawless all day

  • How makeup will be adapted for bad weather

  • What contingency plans the makeup artist will have in case of unexpected sickness.


    You should also mention if you want false lashes (as these may need to be ordered in advance)

    choosing a wedding makeup artist
    Tips for straight after a makeup trial:

    After you have had your make up done just the way you want it, it is essential to take some time to assess the job over the day. Make sure to:

  • Go out in natural light and take pictures

  • Keep the makeup on after the trial and see how it lasts the day: If you are not happy with something overtime to do keep the feedback and let the makeup artist know.

  • Send a complimentary email after and include questions then do not bombard your artist: This should be sufficient planning before the day

  • Booking a talented wedding makeup artist

    Either at the trial or after some consideration, you will hopefully decide that you love the look created. If not, do not feel guilted into booking someone. Merely decline politely and cite a change in plans or budget.

    Often all that is needed to book is to either call the artist or make your intentions clear when communicating the details. Some makeup artists will ask for a small deposit to secure their services others may merely take the booking on good will.

    choosing a wedding makeup artist
    Confirming your makeup requirements

    Typically, your make up artist will contact to re-confirm the logistics in the week before your wedding but if not feel free to do this as it will help to keep you feeling relaxed. At this point do let them know of any changes.

    Where possible, it is recommended to give your make up artist the contact details for your wedding venue contact (if she is going there) or a bridesmaid – do expect to be busy or slightly nervous on the morning and delegation will help. It can also be easier to pay costs before the day to avoid stress but if concerned by doing this do delegate payment responsibility to a bridesmaid.

    choosing a wedding makeup artist
    wedding Makeup Artist: On the day of the wedding:

    Just relax and let your chosen make up do their thing. You will have picked a makeup artist for a reason, and they will make sure they work to times needed. That is part of their job.As they are doing your make up, make this a chance to relax shut your eyes/listen to beautiful songs or have a nice chat.

    Brides that are flustered can move too much, will make their skin flushed and watching each step with a critical eye won't help – make up needs time to come together correctly. Once all is done, ask someone to take a picture to make sure it is as you wanted. If not, be polite and ask for the changes needed. Part of the makeup artists job is to make you feel great.