Bride to Beauty, Jillian Elizabeth Hair and Makeup Artist, Wedding Makeup, Wedding Planning, Wedding Suppliers

How To Choose A Makeup Artist For Your Wedding Day

Choosing a makeup artist for your wedding day is no easy task nowadays. With makeup artistry being a popular career choice it is difficult to tell who is a professional and who is a hobbyist. When booking for your wedding there are some important things to consider to ensure that you book with an experienced professional

Photograph by Kirsty Brown Photography
Hair and Makeup by Jillian Elizabeth Hair and Makeup Artist 

What to look for in a professional makeup artist and what questions to ask them

Experience/ Training

An unfortunate side to the beauty industry (at least in Scotland) is that there is no regulation, meaning anyone can claim to be a makeup artist with little or no training. It is possible to do a one day training course then start advertising bridal make-up the next day. I am not disregarding day courses (I myself use them to brush up on skills) however it is important that brides book with professionals who have the relevant experience.

Correct training allows you to gain the skills needed and incorporate the hygiene practice required for make-up. With experience comes the ability to problem solve and handle any situation that arises on the day. An experienced makeup artist will have timings down to a tee so you are all ready in time, if you have an acne or eczema flare up they will know how to best cover it, and if someone in your bridal party has an infectious cold sore they will know how to correctly deal with it so there is no cross contamination.

Ask your makeup artist:

“Are you qualified in makeup, and how long have you been doing bridal makeup?”

Portfolio/ Style/ Before and After Photographs

There are lots of different styles of makeup artist out there, so how do you find the right one for you? First of all think of the style of makeup you want for your big day. Do you like a no-make-up look, a natural, classic or vintage look, or do you like a full on glam look? Once you have decided on this, look for a make-up artist that has your particular style in their portfolio.

Selfies are great for social media, however in a portfolio look for professional bridal photographs. It is also great to see before and after images so you can see exactly how the make-up looks on a client’s skin.

Photograph by Siobhan Diamond Photography 
Hair and Makeup by Jillian Elizabeth Hair and Makeup Artist 

Ask your make-up artist:

“Where can I view your professional portfolio and do you have before and after images I can see?”



This one is a no brainer; your makeup artist should be insured. If not then I wouldn’t consider them a professional.

Ask your makeup artist:

“Do you hold insurance for the wedding makeup services you provide?”



It is extremely important that you and your make-up artist both sign a copy of your wedding contract. The contract is there to protect you both and should contain all of the makeup artist’s terms and conditions, a breakdown of all of the pricing and how and when you should pay. Without a contract should  your makeup artist cancel last minute, or not turn up, there is nothing you can do. Make sure to check your contract to find out what happens if you or the artist cancels.

Ask your makeup artist:

“How can I read and sign my contract, and what happens if you have to cancel my booking?”
If the answer is “I won’t cancel on you for your wedding day,” don’t accept this as all professional make-up artists need a back-up plan and an answer to this question. Life happens; people get ill and sometimes there are uncontrollable factors that will lead to your make-up artist having to cancel. It is just important that you know where you stand if this does happen.

Photograph by Siobhan Diamond Photography 
Hair and Makeup by Jillian Elizabeth Hair and Makeup Artist 

Are they established?

It is common for brides to book their makeup artist one or two years in advance, so it is important to ensure your artist is established and will still be around in a few years’ time for your wedding. Do they have a premises, a website, flyers and business cards, a work dedicated number and email address? It is important for brides to feel that they can contact their make-up artist and stay in contact with them in the run up to their wedding.

Ask your makeup artist:

“Can I have a link to your website and will you be available in 1 – 2 years for my wedding date?”



Although it is great to feel comfortable and get on with your makeup artist it is still a professional relationship and you should be treated like a respected client. Emails and calls should be responded to within working hours in a timely manner.

Social media is great for seeing reviews and casual images, however these apps are always changing so a website is also a great professional point of contact and online presence for your make-up artist. Websites also tend to have more in depth details and professional photographs of their work.

My Website Jillian Elizabeth 
Photograph by Kirsty Brown Photography
Hair and Makeup by Jillian Elizabeth 

Look out for timely replies, a good phone manner, and professional conduct on social media.


Part of being a professional makeup artist means being prepared for anything. If a client has acne scarring, discolouration, a birth mark or rosacea then the artist should have the correct products and techniques to work with these conditions. The same goes for skin care. Skin prep can make or break your makeup look. If you have dry or oily patches, dehydrated skin, or open pores then these should all be addressed before makeup is applied.

Photograph by Photos By Zoe
Hair and Makeup by Jillian Elizabeth Hair and Makeup Artist 

Your makeup artist must have the correct shade of foundation and concealer for your skin, the right fullness and length of lashes, and the perfect lip and eye colours for you. In order to do this they must have or be able to mix these colours in their kits. The products in the kit should also be professional and of good quality, they should be sanitised and the makeup artist should keep the highest levels of hygiene when working with you and their kit.

Ask your makeup artist:

“What do you use to prepare my skin before make up and what makeup products do you use?”


Everyone has to start somewhere, and you may find that a beauty therapist or a recent graduate has a lower rate. While it is great to grab a bargain these artists may not have the relevant experience or extensive kit that are essential for bridal makeup.

You are paying for professionalism, reliability, high quality products, experience and product knowledge and expected business tasks like drawing up a contract and setting aside time to consult, email and call you, and answer any questions you may have.

The makeup artist should be upfront about all pricing and extra charges (call out fee, lashes etc.) and should send you a pricing breakdown for your day. It is important to be told how and when you need to pay and to keep records of all payments made.

Ask your makeup artist:

“How much does it cost for makeup on the wedding day and at the trial per person, and how much does it cost for you to come to my wedding venue?”

To sum it all up, ensure that what you are paying for is worth the services you are getting and the experience, training and products used by the person providing it, and never be afraid to ask questions or to ask to meet for a consultation before booking

I really hope this information has been helpful for any brides to be, and I would love to hear back from you to hear what you think. Please comment below if you have any questions.

Jillian Elizabeth at Bride to Beauty Blog



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