Everyone wants their big day to go smoothly. Gorgeous hair, beautiful skin and physique, captivating dress, and classy set up. But just how do resourceful brides select their makeup artist for their special day? We spoke with numerous brides, and came up with a list of common considerations. These 10 tips will help you make the right choice, and we’re not talking about your other half.

1. Start early

About eight months prior to your wedding, start to take note of makeup artists and their works. If you’ve recently attended a wedding and you liked the makeup style on the bride, ask for the name of the makeup artist and do some research on their portfolio to assess if you like what they do. Also useful is creating a mood board depicting the looks that you like. This can serve as a source of inspiration for your to-be makeup artist.

2. Reviews matter

using phone at work

Every makeup artist has a track record, and it pays to read reviews given by past clients. Participate and read comments posted on bridal forums, to get a sense of who’s who in the bridal makeup industry. From there, you can shortlist the top few makeup artists you’d like to speak more with or even select for your big day. Be mindful to take reference from reviews by other brides, and not just marketing teams out to convince you of how good their artists are.

3. Try it Out

wedding makeup artist

The same way car buyers request for a test run before laying down their down-payments, ask if the makeup artist can do a trial session. After all, your skin is just as important as your big day and you would want to be in the care of those who know their stuff. To the trial, bring photos of looks you like, and share the mood board and all your preferences so that the makeup artist can get a sense of what you want. Schedule a whole day shoot, both indoors and outdoors. This way, not only will you see how well the makeup lasts in real life, you’d have it on print as reference. This can be especially helpful so that your makeup artist can decide on the type of foundation to use for your indoor or outdoor segments during your big day. Take note, though, that trials usually come at a fee.

4. Does the brand suit my skin?

bride wedding

Some makeup artists stick to a particular brand of makeup, but if you dislike the smell or consistency of the product it helps to discuss swapping those for something you prefer. If you have specific skin concerns and can only use a limited number of products, remember to consider this in your short list as well.

5. Hair styling

bridal hairstyle

Your wedding look is incomplete without styled hair, and here’s a tip a bride shared with us: it helps when your makeup artist and hairstylist can work well together. Schedule a trial session where both stylist and artist can work con-currently on you, so that you can preempt possible clash in opinions or flare-ups. Remember that weddings can sometimes be hi-pressure work environments, and when big families or wedding entourages come into play, it really helps to know you’ve got people who’ve got your back no matter what.

On the other hand, if your makeup artist is doubling up as your hairstylist, it’ll be a good idea to check out her hair portfolio too, to make sure you like her hairstyling as much as you like her makeup style.

6. Catering for your entourage

makeup for bridesmaids

Factor in makeup for your bridesmaids, family members, and special guests. Speak to your makeup artist and ensure that they have it included in the cost. Let your makeup artist know exactly how many other people you’d like her to offer her service to as well, so she can decide if she needs to bring along assistants. This is especially important if you have a huge entourage. Say if you have a family of twelve, you may definitely wish to get a supporting makeup artist to help your guests look good, while your makeup artist attends solely to you.

7. Knowing your location

One bride shared how she brought her makeup artist to the actual wedding location, so that they could get familiar with the required tools to bring. Granted, she had planned for a beach wedding and things do get messy with a bit of sand and sea. However, if possible it is always better to let your to-be makeup artist know what they are working with – and that includes their surroundings. Some makeup artists have been known to politely turn down outdoor weddings as they prefer working in more controlled environments such as a hotel ballroom or a fancy restaurant.

8. Contingency plans and being budget wise

how to choose a bridal makeup artist

Always work out a budget before meeting your makeup artist. A good starting point would be to aim for quality – ask your makeup artist to help you understand what products they will be using, and what essentially you’d be paying for. Some brides go as far as to engage standby makeup artists in the unlikely event that their key makeup artist cannot turn up on the actual day. While costly, this gave the bride peace of mind and the confidence to know that she had a contingency plan in place.

9. It’s all in the attitude

woman with radiant skin

Ultimately, you’d want a makeup artist who has a good attitude – select someone you feel comfortable and well taken care of by. It is one thing to have a creative flair that helps you look good on your big day and another when that streak runs its own course. Speak honestly with your makeup artist, and let them know if you are uncomfortable with any aspect of the agreement. It is your big day, and apart from looking good, it is crucial that you feel positive and happy throughout the day.

10. Prep’s on you

radiant skin bride

No matter how professional or seasoned your makeup artist is, you have to do the necessary to look the part. Prepare in advance for last minute emergencies such as the sudden unwanted red eyes, or swollen lips. Use only linen that your skin is used to in the days leading up to the wedding. Eat simple and cut salt from your diet to reduce the appearance of bloating. Avoid new food or drinks, and do not test out new facial or skincare products two weeks before the big day.