Bridal Makeup: A service worth paying for

Today I am going to write about why it is important to scout out the best and most professional makeup artists for your big day. A lot of brides will have a budget and within the budget lists there will be no sign of “makeup artist”, or there will be a ridiculously low budget of £20 for a makeup artist. I feel like this is a big mistake for most bride-to-be’s, as looking your best is one of the most important aspects of your day. These pictures will be around forever, so you need to make sure you look good in them!

The first aspect of my post is going to be about “makeup artists” or people who claim to be a professional within the industry and how a low budget can affect massively the service you are offered.

These are a few of the things that will be limited to you if you limit yourself to a low budget.

They do not offer a trial

Most professional makeup artists I know, if not all, will offer you a trial before your big day. A trial will usually be done three months before you wedding day. The reason for this is for them to assess your skin and give you skincare advice to follow for the next three months to ensure that your skin is in tip top shape for your big day.
The other reason is that it gives you an opportunity to see how your desired look will look on you, as well as offer you the chance to tweak anything and make it your own.
The makeup artist will then note down all the products used, as well as take a picture of the look and sometimes even make a facechart of it.
A trial is important so that you are not running yourself and your skin ragged with trying out different looks on your wedding day, you will roughly know what you want and that it suits you and will only make slight changes on the day. It will ensure your happiness and confidence with how you look.

They will not have a contract

A contract is there to protect both you and the makeup artist from any “faffing about” if you may. It ensures a money back guarantee for you if they do not show up, cancel or you are unhappy with their services. It gives you more protection against a makeup artist cancelling on you last minute, as well as your money back for anything that goes wrong. Without a contract, there is nothing that can be done if any dire circumstances occur.

They will not know the basics of makeup hygiene

So most of the time, the makeup artist will not just be putting the makeup on you. There will be a mother of the bride and bridesmaids. They will have previously done other people’s makeup too. The thing with this is, makeup is sort of like food in a way, in the way that there can be a cross contamination if it is not used in a hygienic way. What I mean by hygienic is ensuring to throw old products out, scooping creams out on a palette/back of the hand, washing hands, an obvious one would be maintaining clean brushes and not using dirty brushes on the client.
My guess is that if they have not had the proper training, cross contamination will occur, as well as possibilities of infections from dirty brushes and dirty, unsanitized products.

They will rush your makeup

Most of the time, makeup artists will like to make sure that everything is absolutely perfect for you before rushing off. They ensure that they leave you happy and a happy bride means a happy day! If the makeup is rushed, it will probably not be as perfect as you may have wanted it. It also may not last for entire day, as the proper skin preparation will not have been applied.

They will not be prepared

Preparation is key. Most professionals will pack their kit the night before, as well as have their brushes cleaned and sanitized specially for your day. They will then double check everything they need in the morning to make sure that they have not missed anything. They will even pack extras, such as varied lip colours and eyeshadows, just in case you change your desired look at the very last minute. Someone who has been hired for £15 is probably gonna pack their “kit” five minutes before they leave.

They will do what they want, not what you want

With these kinds of “makeup artists” they usually only have one specific look or style. They cannot diversify. The thing with this is that it may suit them, or other people they have worked on, but it may not work for you. For instance, if they are used to applying an “instagram brow” and “heavy contour” when you want a very soft and natural look, they will not be able to cater that look for you as they are not accustomed to doing it. To spot a professional makeup artist from these ones, you will notice that they have an array of looks, especially sporting bridal, that they have done. They will know how to cater for you, and at the end of the day, what you say goes.

They will often not show up, be extremely late or cancel last minute

I have heard too many horror stories of a bride-to-be booking a makeup artist for around £20 because they prioritise everything but the makeup. It comes to the night before and they get a text.

“Sorry, can’t make it. Forgot that I have a doctors appointment, oops! Congratulations tho lol!! x”

Of course, the bride-to-be meant to be getting her beauty sleep for her busy day ahead is now in full panic mode, not forgetting the heightened emotions from stress of planning and now she has no one to do her makeup. She has no one to blame but herself.

Do you want to end up in this situation? No. No you don’t.

You may say to yourself

“…but surely doing your own makeup on the day won’t be that bad! Sure, it just means you have to get up a little earlier but it’s not like most women don’t wear makeup every day and do their own makeup all of the time.”

This brings me onto:
Doing your own makeup!

So most of the time, unless you are Kim Kardashian who gets photos flashed in their face every day, (keeping in mind she has a personal makeup artist anyway) you are just doing a normal, every day makeup. Not a makeup meant for 24 hour wear, to last through running around everywhere, dancing in a crowded room and flash photography.

“How different can it be?”

The makeup has to last all day and all night long

Most people I know do not know what products or techniques to use to make their makeup last the whole day. Usually they will take bathroom breaks to reapply their lipstick and blot their face with powder, redo their eyebrows, contour etc (yes guys, that’s why we take so long!). When it is your wedding day, you will probably be lucky if you have time to pee twice throughout most of the day, nevermind reapply your makeup! Why would you want to be stuck in the bathroom reapplying your makeup and risk getting it all over your white gown anyway?! You want to be looking in that mirror whilst washing your hands thinking “damn guuurl, I still look smokin’, I would marry myself too if I could.” Don’t forget all that crying you’ll be doing! If you don’t know how to avoid that messy disaster then good luck! My point is, you do not want to have to worry about how you look, you wanna know that you look gorgeous and not have a face looking like melted plastic!

You are the star of the show. You will be photographed by everyone.

Do you want to see yourself in your own wedding photos looking like a reflector for cyclists because of your overly shiny looking face? No, you don’t. You wanna look back and think, wow. That day went perfectly. I wish I still looked as beautiful as I did back then in my wedding photos. There are specific application techniques and makeup products themselves that are designed for photographs, an example being foundation without an SPF (which causes a white cast on your face also known as flashback). A proper makeup artist will have the knowledge to make sure you are looking your absolute best in your wedding day pictures! Just because you have a professional photographer (I hope) taking pictures and using photoshop to edit out any shininess or flaws, does not mean that other people will not be taking photos and tagging you in them!

  • The makeup has to last all day and all night long
  • Makeup used for photographs is different from the makeup for every day wear
  • Makeup artists know the best application techniques for your desired look

It is your day. You should be getting pampered.

The thing with getting your makeup done is that it is very relaxing and you get to slow down and unwind for an hour or so before rushing on your feet to get every other task done! If you have someone who is cheap by standards of the main industry (which usually means they are unprofessional and underqualified) they will either not show up, show up late or cancel at the very last minute!
They massage specifically chosen skincare onto your face and with a light hand, applying each makeup product brush by brush. Now does that not just sound serene to you?

You are more likely to make mistakes and take longer

Not gonna lie, even I will not be doing my own makeup on my wedding day. F-that! I know for a fact, even if I perfect it ten times in a row before my big day, because of how nervous I will be, I will do something wrong and stress myself out – the unnecessary stress that you do not need! Plus, why would you even want to do your own makeup on your big day? Get pampered, treat yo’ self!

You will not have the professional products required

Wedding makeup takes more than just a maybelline quad eyeshadow palette and a covergirl foundation. Most products that a makeup artist will use are not only expensive to buy for yourself, but also high quality, pigmented products that are to be especially used for these kind of events. Professionals will ensure that they have every product at their disposal that they will ever need to recreate your desired wedding day look.

Whose gonna do everyone else’s makeup?

What if a bridesmaid hires a professional to do her makeup? What if she just happens to be better at doing her makeup? Do you want her to outshine you? No. You want to be the focus of the day. You are the one who should be the most beautiful. Do you want someone stealing your glory? I don’t think so. Get on the phone to that makeup artist now! At the same time, you do not want your wedding pictures to maybe not look as good because everything is not in uniform according to the makeup.

What you are paying for

I think that a lot of people seem to just think that we come to you, apply your makeup and then job done. No. Not job done. Job halfway finished. In this section, I am going to go into detail about what we actually do behind the scenes.

A lot of people don’t realise that it is not only the application of their makeup that they are paying for, but also the costs of the makeup kit, the time that makeup artists spend cleaning their brushes, organising and preparing.

Costs of Professional Makeup

Most of the makeup used by the makeup artist is high end, costly products. If you were to buy each individual product yourself to recreate the same look on a “budget” you would actually end up spending more than what it would cost to hire a professional makeup artist. Makeup ain’t cheap! Even the “cheap” makeup! Not to recreate a whole look anyway. My kit is probably worth over more than £1,000. Yes, I am deadly serious.

Knowledge and Training

Makeup artists who actually know what they are doing are not just randomly plucked off of the street and straight into a job. Most require some form of training, may it be workshops, shadowing a more experienced artist or even enrolling in an accredited course. This takes time and money. Unlike what some people seem to think, we don’t just go to makeup school for one week and then suddenly roll out becoming a professional. It takes years and as with every profession, there is always room for improvement.

The Preparation

The phrase time is money is real. You are not just paying for what happens on your big day, but also the preparation leading upto this. This includes back and forth messages/emails about dates, times, what look you would like, etc. Not only this, but we need to prepare our kits the night before which can take a good half an hour, if not more depending on how many products we are to take and the amount of brushes that need cleaned to be used on the day. Don’t forget the time it takes for us to set up and to wait out any inconveniences.


If you know any lawyers who are willing to write up a contract for free, hit me up. Usually contracts cost money, especially when you tweak it for certain circumstances. Usually contracts will be standard, but depending on the situation, it may need changed. We do not just get these handed to us on a silver platter, we need to pay for that silver platter.

These are just some of the main things I wanted to talk about. I really hope that you got something from this post, and that you have a better understanding of makeup artists and how undervalued they can sometimes be.

Rach X


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