Check Out These 14 Stellar Pros for Bridal Hair and Makeup in Chicago

From hair and makeup legends to beauty agencies with dozens of artists, our comprehensive list has a beauty pro for everyone.
Elle Cashin headshot
Elle Cashin
Elle Cashin headshot
Elle Cashin
The Knot Fashion Contributor
  • Elle writes for The Knot online with a focus on fashion, covering gown design trends and shoppable accessories.
  • Elle is a contributor to wedding publications across the country, including Brides, The New York Times Vows and Modern Luxury Weddings.
  • Prior to shifting to weddings, Elle covered lifestyle, culture and celebrity across Chicago as the editor of the Chicago Tribune’s SPLASH magazine, where she interviewed cele...
Updated Apr 18, 2024

In a city chock full of some of the nation's top beauty talent, bridal hair and makeup in Chicago is a big business. A handful of pros rise above the rest thanks to decades of experience, on-trend aesthetics and of course, uniquely exceptional talent. Here, we're showcasing 14 favorites selected for their high rankings and rave reviews on The Knot Vendor Marketplace and elsewhere and their stunning portfolios. The list includes both full-service beauty agencies (with teams who do both hair and makeup) and solo pros renowned for their singular prowess at makeup or hair. (If you go with the latter, ask your hairstylist or makeup artist—whichever you book first—if they have favorite partners to work with; often, they regularly collab with certain artists.)

Rare Bird Beauties

There's no shortage of beauty talent at Rare Bird Beauties: Founders Ioana Qureshi and Jen Beyers have curated a team of 40 talented artists whose expert skills align seamlessly with the Rare Bird aesthetic. "We are committed to ensuring every bride receives a personal and customized experience by providing a dedicated beauty coordinator and a hair and makeup combination that will perfectly complement the overall vision they have curated for their wedding day," Qureshi says. They use a unique consultation and artist-matching process and, in addition to onsite hair and makeup services, offer custom hair extensions and in-studio lash, wax and brow treatments.

Review Spotlight: "Rare Bird Beauties was great! The artists were attentive and kind and made me and the women in my family feel so beautiful. The planning process was easy and the service was outstanding. My hair and makeup were perfect. I felt like a princess." –Lily Y., The Knot Vendor Marketplace

Shannon O'Brien

Chicago bridal makeup artist Shannon O'Brien is the cool girl's queen—she's stylish, friendly and fun, not to mention stellar at what she does. Her aesthetic is "skin-forward," she says. "Elevated with an ethereal touch; glam, yet grounded." She'll have you quite literally glowing on your wedding day, but her approach starts long before the makeup application. "I believe that building a strong rapport and trust with each client is the key to creating the perfect customized look," O'Brien says. "When you take that deep dive to understand who they really are, it shows in the makeup and how they present themselves, creating a look that transcends without transforming who they are."

Review Spotlight: "Would 1000% recommend Shannon as your makeup artist! I felt so beautiful on my wedding day thanks to her. She's so kind, laid-back, professional and easy to work with. She had the perfect balance of checking in throughout the process and asking my opinion to ensure the look was exactly how I envisioned it, but also shared her expert opinion and suggestions for the look—a perfect collaboration! I still felt like myself on the wedding day, which was very important to me. (In the past working with some other artists I've looked in the mirror and not even recognized myself.) My mom and bridesmaids also felt so beautiful and her team was of course so awesome and professional and fun! They got my wedding day morning off to a great start and I'm so glad I was able to book her." –Jamie J., The Knot Vendor Marketplace

The Bridal Beauty Team

After winning The Knot's Best of Weddings award for nine years running, The Bridal Beauty Team easily secured a spot in our Hall of Fame. (If the artists look familiar, it may be because you saw them doing wedding makeup on Season 2 of Love is Blind.) "Over the last 14 years as a team, our focus has been on creating looks that are just an elevated version of the bride's [natural beauty]," says owner Kate Johnson, who adds that her team specializes in beauty for all skin tones and hair types. "Focusing on hiring and training artists to have a diverse portfolio and know how to cater to the beauty needs of different cultures is key—that is what the Midwest is made of." Services include hair and/or makeup for the bride, bridesmaids and even flower girls. Touch-up services are available for an hourly rate; keep an artist by your side during your portrait session to look picture perfect.

Review Spotlight: "The Bridal Beauty Team did a fantastic job for my wedding! We had a lot of services for myself, bridesmaids, a flower girl and the moms, and Alexa and Myriam did such beautiful work in an efficient and timely manner. I was really appreciative of how they tailored each look to the individual, especially for our moms, and they were great with my niece as well. Kate, Gina and the team are very communicative in setting up the trial, timeline, etc. and it was a super easy experience with very fair pricing. Would recommend them!" –Liz K., The Knot Vendor Marketplace

Erin Graham Hair

Erin Graham is a sought-after wedding hair stylist in Chicago who can do anything from long Hollywood waves to tousled updos to sleek and straight; she's a particular master of the chic and unique chignon. And while she does hair for roughly 60 brides per year, it's another set of experiences that brought her to the top of her game. "My signature aesthetic and what sets me apart from bridal artists in Chicago is my extensive background in film and print," Graham says. "It allows for my bridal work to have a bridal-meets-red-carpet vibe, showcasing a refined creativity while simultaneously enhancing each client's personal aesthetic." Graham books a full year to two years in advance, so get on her books early.

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Review Spotlight: "Erin is the best of the best when it comes to wedding hair! She was one of the first vendors I booked upon getting engaged & working with her was an incredible experience from start to finish. She captured my vision for both of my wedding weekend looks even better than I could describe them - I've never felt more beautiful & totally trusted her and her art! On the day of the wedding, her and her team styled 13 women seamlessly - she is extremely professional and just all around a cool and calming presence to be around on your wedding day. Thank you Erin for the most gorgeous wedding hair!!" –Marissa M.

Crystal-Eyez Makeup & Beauty Lounge

"At Crystal-Eyez, our signature aesthetic focuses on enhancing natural beauty, while also offering an unparalleled flawless finish to every bride's unique features," says owner Bisi Essien, who leads a team of onsite bridal makeup artists and also runs the South Loop salon. "We believe what sets us apart in the industry is our commitment to inclusivity, our ability to cater to a diverse range of clients, and our expertise in working with all skin tones and hair types. We are dedicated to providing a personalized experience for each bride, ensuring that their wedding day beauty reflects their individuality and style." Crystal-Eyez has a Best of Weddings badge and more than 50 standout reviews on The Knot's Vendor Marketplace. In addition to wedding services, they offer microshading for eyebrows, makeup classes and their own line of products, including lashes.

Review Spotlight: "We were committed to working with women-owned or Black-owned businesses for our big day and Crystal-Eyez did not disappoint! We had 10 bridesmaids and two moms on schedule to have their makeup done, and this team stayed on time while making sure everyone felt and looked beautiful. Would highly recommend!" –Paige T.

Three One Two Bridal

At Three One Two Bridal, the artists stick to what's trending and of-the-moment—and it shows. Their cool-girl brides have been featured in countless digital and print publications (and left the artists a dozen five-star reviews). "Three One Two Bridal shines in Chicago's bridal hair and makeup scene thanks to our personalized approach," say co-owners Leila Birkenheier and Karina Mugnolo, besties who went into the beauty biz together. "[Looks are] curated by our skilled artists who tailor every detail to reflect the bride's unique style, preferences and vision for her wedding day. Inspired by current trends, our aesthetic exudes modern elegance, catering perfectly to the bride seeking sophistication and timeless beauty."

Review Spotlight: "Karina and Kacey were INCREDIBLE. Everyone looked absolutely stunning! My mom (MOB) is very picky and she felt and looked like an absolute rockstar. I asked for some small changes between my trial and the wedding day and they absolutely slayed. They were flexible between changing dates because of covid and I was so grateful. Cannot recommend this team enough!!" –Ada F., The Knot Vendor Marketplace

Alyssa Diana Makeup

"I consider myself a bridal beauty expert, providing unmatched luxury for an elevated experience—no nerves necessary," says Alyssa Diana. Her approach starts with pampering: She uses high-quality skincare products to prep brides for airbrush makeup application. "I specialize in soft glam, focusing on radiant skin so my brides can feel comfortable and confident on their wedding day. In addition to getting ready, the Chicago bridal makeup artist offers hourly touch-up services as an add-on. Her passion sets her apart. "I really have the best brides in the world; they bring me so much joy," Alyssa says. "I always leave a wedding feeling like, 'How is this my job?'"

Review Spotlight: "The fact that I slept in my makeup (and eyelashes) and it stayed on flawlessly until 5pm the next day should tell you everything you need to know. Alyssa worked magic. Her makeup skills are outstanding and she is truly the nicest person to work with. She was so fun on the wedding day (and at the trial) and I received so many compliments from my bridesmaids who worked with her. Highly recommend hiring Alyssa! It was one of the best decisions." –Madelaine W., The Knot Vendor Marketplace

Megan Schnell

Chicago bridal hair stylist Megan Schnell has a decade of experience and has trained under some of the industry's most recognized names, such as Jen Atkin, Priscilla Valles and Anh Co Tran. She's especially skilled with hair extensions, and her work—from chic bridal updos to long loose waves—is inspired by celebrities and current trends. But, maybe most importantly, she's personable and fun to work with. "All my clients feel like friends," Schnell says. "The relationship between my bride and I is collaborative, intimate and trustworthy. I have a private studio in Chicago that provides an intimate and special experience for every appointment—and I try to emulate that exclusive approach when working with brides." She collaboratively crafts the perfect hair look for a bride over the course of several lead-up appointments, so the final result is exactly what the bride envisioned. "I tend to work with the feminine bride who wants to create a clean, sophisticated and style-forward look for her wedding day."

Review Spotlight: "Megan was an absolute dream to work with for my wedding day, and I could not have been happier with how my hair turned out. Megan was always both professional and warm and supportive. On the day of the wedding, when hiccups inevitably came up, she was calming and positive, an energy that I definitely needed at that time. Would highly recommend Megan to everyone!" –Kathleen H., The Knot Vendor Marketplace


Among our favorite bridal hair salons in Chicago is Goldplaited, a longtime destination for blowouts, updos, makeup and finishing services for Chicago's busiest women, that now offers full-service bridal hair and makeup as well. Packages include hairstyling, lash application, airbrush makeup, veil placement and more, plus a trial; and services are offered onsite or in one of Goldplaited's two salons in River North and Lakeview, with a discount for in-salon services. The salon sells hair extensions by Bellami and extension styling can be added to any wedding package. BTW, Goldplaited is also our pick for wedding guest hair and makeup in Chicago.

Review Spotlight: "Goldplaited was a fantastic salon to work with! I wanted some crazy, unique braids and updo and they exceeded all my expectations! The style was fabulous! I also used them for my bridal makeup and they did a great job listening to and executing my style. I used them for my bridal party and they came to our hotel which was amazing and they were all so fun to work with. Would highly recommend!" –Marie M., The Knot Vendor Marketplace

Pin Me Up Chicago

Ranked in The Knot's Best of Weddings for nine years running—and now a member of the Best of Weddings Hall of Fame—Pin Me Up Chicago has a team of more than 75 hair and makeup artists led by founder Dana Fountain (who also owns several salons and a wedding venue, Row 24, in the South Loop). The team's work has been published countless times, but it's their more than 150 five-star reviews that speak volumes. Onsite services include bridal and attendant hair and makeup, men's grooming (and hot-towel shaves!), and more. There's no one specific aesthetic, either: The team can bring to life just about any look, from natural and glowy to dramatic and glamorous.

Review Spotlight: "I booked Pin Me Up hair and makeup artists for my wedding and the whole experience was amazing! Their customer service is excellent with easy communication, quick feedback and overall organization that makes you feel at ease. Both hair (Isabel Johnson) and makeup (Mei Moy) artists were professional, timely and talented women. They provided great service for both my trial and my wedding day. I had the utmost confidence in them to make me feel extra special and beautiful on my day. They listened to what I wanted and exceeded my expectations on their delivery." –Amanda P., The Knot Vendor Marketplace

Elle Artistry

Beauty is in the details—and at Elle Artistry, the details are what matter most. The experienced team has done makeup for Real Housewives and SNL stars, been published in bridal magazines and won countless awards—including The Knot's Best of Weddings—but it's the real client feedback (including nearly 100 glowing reviews) that prove their talent best. "With meticulous attention to detail and a dedication to personalized service, Elle Artistry transforms bridal clients' wedding day visions into reality," says lead makeup artist Michelle Boyce Natywa. "Specializing in soft glam makeup and timeless hairstyles, we ensure that every wedding client receives a bespoke experience that reflects their unique style and personality, and delivers a beauty service that is both luxurious and unforgettable."

Review Spotlight: "Elle Artistry is everything you want in a makeup team on your big day. From the easy communication, the reasonable pricing and the AMAZING girls that do your hair, you need to book them!!! Shout out to Isabel, Jamie and Rose! They were such a great (and fun!) addition to getting ready, and made each bridesmaid absolutely gorgeous. Thank you Elle Artistry team!!" –Kelly M., The Knot Vendor Marketplace

Nicki Rouge Bridal Team

For Black and brown brides looking for flawless wedding hair and makeup in Chicago, the search can be difficult. Nicki Rouge serves as a beacon. "Our mission is unwavering: to offer exquisite, soft and natural beauty services tailored specifically for minority women," says owner, key makeup artist and educator Nicki Rouge. "With a keen eye for detail and a passion for enhancing individual beauty, our team transforms dreams into reality, ensuring each bride radiates confidence and grace on her special day." And it's a whole community: The diverse team of hair and makeup artists are masters of flawless makeup and intricately styled hair, and show up in more ways than one for their "bougie brides" (as the team lovingly dubs clients). "We blend artistry with cultural sensitivity to create unforgettable bridal looks that celebrate diversity and empower every woman who walks through our doors."

Review Spotlight: "I cannot recommend them enough. Nicki's team made everyone from my bridesmaids to my mother and mother-in-law and myself feel like themselves but also beautiful. I did not have to touch up my hair and makeup once! We all come from different backgrounds, and I felt they were able to take care of everyone and make each person shine. I truly did not feel I was able to take a bad photograph on my wedding day thanks to Nicki's magic." –Nicole E., The Knot Vendor Marketplace

Sandy Thinnes Makeup Artist

Mindful and intentional are words that describe Chicago bridal makeup artist Sandy Thinne's approach: She works to enhance clients' natural beauty and is a champion of clean beauty products and practices. "I work with brides looking for a delicate balance of natural elegance and soft glam," Thinnes says. "Not only do I have a trained eye for enhancing a bride's natural features and accentuating her beauty without overwhelming her look, but I am also certified to coach nutrition for skin health to help promote the best skin results for the wedding day." In addition to a pre-wedding makeup trial, set up a one-on-one Beauty FLOW Method session with Thinnes to learn best practices and a holistic approach to achieving healthy skin—so you can glow your absolute brightest on the big day.

Review Spotlight: "Sandy is professional, timely and so, so talented. She really helps bring out your natural beauty by making you feel like yourself but elevated! She works with you on color choices, coverage etc. she is so sweet and great at working on all ages. My mother and MIL were nervous about having their makeup done but she works so well asking questions and not over doing anything! 20/20" –Erin O., The Knot Vendor Marketplace

Glam Atelier

If va-va-voom is the vibe, look no further: The Glam Atelier aesthetic is full glam as opposed to barely-there beauty, and they are masters of the craft. Onsite services include clip-in extension installation, lashes, body glow, signature glam waves and more. They offer destination bridal packages for weddings outside Chicago, as well as touch-up services or look changes. They have a stacked roster and even recently worked with Bachelor in Paradise star and recent bride Mari Pepin. "Glam Atelier is committed to being the ultimate destination for luxury beauty, known for our visionary approach and redefinition of industry standards," says general manager Kaley Lukancic. "We aim to be recognized as a trendsetter, leading the way in innovation and luxury while empowering our brides to feel glamorous, confident and beautiful in their own unique way."

Review Spotlight: "Klaudia & Kaley were a DREAM to work with! Not only were they so on top of responding to every email and request my party sent, but the service from trials to day-of was also amazing!! I can't thank both of them enough for helping make myself, my bridesmaids and my moms all look and feel beautiful on such a special occasion. Absolutely recommend to anyone looking for true glam on their wedding day!" –Tabitha H., The Knot Vendor Marketplace

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