Here's What You Need to Know About Working With a Wedding Makeup Artist

Does the mere thought of doing your own eyeliner make your hands tremble? You may want to hire a pro for your day.
maddy sims the knot associate editor
Maddy Sims
maddy sims the knot associate editor
Maddy Sims
Former Associate Editor
  • Maddy is a Brand and Social Content Manager at Birdy Grey, and was a former associate editor at The Knot.
  • Maddy has written for several different publications, including HUM Nutrition, Insider, Bustle, Real Simple and Apartment Therapy.
  • Maddy has a Bachelor's degree in magazine journalism and a Master's degree in health, science and environmental reporting (both of which are from Northwestern's Medill School of Journa...
Updated Jul 25, 2022

We get it—when it comes to your wedding day, you want your makeup to be on point. Unless you're a beauty aficionado or a professional makeup artist, the mere thought of applying products to your own face on your wedding day might make your head spin. Hiring a professional wedding makeup artist will take the stress out of your morning. If you do opt to work with a beauty pro (which we highly recommend), there are some things you should definitely make sure you do. Don't know what they are? Here's everything you need to know when working with a wedding makeup artist.

Get Inspired

You've spent time browsing Pinterest, scrolling through Instagram, and tearing pages out of wedding magazines. But your hunt for inspiration shouldn't stop there. The easiest way to ensure your makeup turns out exactly the way you envision it is by using a reference photo. Did a celebrity have a major beauty moment on the red carpet you've been dying to recreate? Was there a makeup look on the runway that caught your eye? Take those images and file them away for your makeup artist to reference. If you don't have a specific image in mind, that's okay too. Even just knowing the shades you'd like to incorporate or the feeling you'd like to invoke can help your makeup artist lock down a look you'll love.

Find the Right Pro

One of the easiest ways to find any pro for your wedding is by asking your friends.Nothing beats word of mouth, especially in the world of weddings. Your photographer or hairstylist might also have great suggestions, since most have worked with a wedding makeup artist in the past. The Knot Marketplace is also a great resource to connect you with makeup artists right in your area. You can search by city and state, read reviews from real brides, take a look at artists' portfolios and save their pictures to your favorites. You can even contact the vendor directly through our site to get an estimate or check if they're available on your wedding day.

wedding makeup brushes

Schedule Your Makeup Trial

Your makeup trial should be booked as soon as you send your wedding makeup artist your reference photos. You'll want to know as early as possible if the beauty pro is the right fit, and if the makeup look you've been envisioning for your day will work for you. But remember, your inspiration photo should be just that—inspiration. Be open to suggestions from your makeup artist, especially if you don't have specific images you're referencing. They can guide you to a beauty look that complements everything from your features to your wedding color scheme.

Time It Well

Schedule your trial around the time of day your actual wedding will be. If the ceremony is in the morning, have your trial early so you can see how the makeup looks in different lighting throughout the day. Take photos from different angles as well and pay close attention to how your skin reacts to the products they use. Is your mascara flaking off? Does your skin feel irritated from the foundation? Has your concealer completely disappeared? You want your makeup look and feel amazing, so don't be afraid to voice your concerns to your makeup artist—now is the time to do so. It's also a good idea to time your makeup trial so that you have an estimate of how long it will take on the actual wedding day.. Make sure to ask your makeup artist if they'll come to you on your wedding day or if you'll have to go to them. If it's the latter, be sure to budget extra time for travel. If they're coming to you, make sure they have a clean well-lit space to lay out their products and tools.

Get Made Up

On the day of your wedding, you should be as relaxed as possible, so leave plenty of time to get ready before the ceremony. It usually takes two to three hours to complete a bride's hair and makeup look. Something to keep in mind: If the makeup artist is also working with your bridal party, you'll need to set aside additional time (the larger the group, the more time it will take).. If possible, consider hiring a separate person for your bridesmaids or give them the option to do their own makeup. But if the pro is working on both you and your wedding party you should go last so your look is nice and fresh for pictures.

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