Saturday, 24 January 2015

How to get the very best from your Bridal Make Up Artist

When I first started doing make up a few years back, I knew of a couple of beauty therapists who told me that they "hate doing make up". It was too personal a thing for them. I always remember thinking that that was the point of an extensive consultation process. To get what your client wants.

One of my bridal clients I have so far met for the upcoming season confided in me that she had thought long and hard about booking a make up artist. As I know her personally, she told me that the fact that she knew me and knew my work was a double edged sword. She knew how I worked and had seen tonnes of my images, but what if she really didn't like what I did for her? It would be really awkward to say anything to me, as a friend.

I told her in no uncertain terms, in my characteristically understated way (?), that I would be mortally offended if she did not tell me!

(Photo by Love Dub Weddings)

She was INCREDIBLY relieved to hear that a good make up artist would have the same concerns. What if they really didn't get it right? What if they wanted something really awful? What if they decided that this bride was not one they would not like to work with? It's a two way street. As a friend of that person it could be awkward, but as a stranger it's harder to say something and therefore you're more likely to not get what you want. Or is it the other way around? There are pluses and negatives either way.

Informal shot! 

I think it's really important to get across the difference between a make up artist and a good bridal make up artist.

A good bridal make up artist will be confident (not overly) in his or her abilities but not judgmental about their look or their wants.

A good bridal artist will talk through the desired look, the whole feel of the wedding, the colour of the dress and the color theme of the wedding. They'll also talk about the features of the bride that are their favourite and their least favourite.

(Photo by Love Dub Weddings)

They'll explain about skincare leading up to the wedding. They'll ask the questions like "How do you usually wear your eyebrows?" and "are you a lipstick girl?" because these things mean a lot to people and the degree of satisfaction in the outcome and the comfort-ability they have for the duration of their day.

A good make up artist will take the time and trouble to find out what the client wants and needs. They'll talk to them about possible alternatives and slight changes that might help, but ultimately, the bride's wishes are paramount.

I say to all my brides "If you want your face painted purple with orange spots, that's what you get. I will advise against it and give you a fabulous alternative, but if that's still what you want, that's what you get!". Luckily no one has ever called my bluff!

A good make up artist will never leave the bride until she is a) 110% happy and b) commencing the ceremony. We don't leave until the last minute - to avoid dramas!

So, some tips to get the very best out of your bridal MUA:

1 - Have a couple of conversations, either over the phone, text, email, whatever before the trial. Get to know each other a little bit. Have a bit of fun.

2 - Fill in their forms etc promptly and return them. Ask to see a copy of their insurance too.

3 - Do some research into your desired look. Some things to think about are "when have I been most happy with my make up in the past", what celebrity looks do you admire; current trends, that sort of thing. A great way to communicate this is by setting up a hidden Pinterest board that only the two of you can see. This works for hair too.

4 - Be open minded, but not easily persuaded. If you really dislike something, you must say. Your artist will not be offended. It's her job to put on your face the look you have in your head. Remember, it's not make up - it comes off!

5 - When you have your trial, you will most likely be sat in your kitchen, with greasy hair, jeans and a big pile of washing up to do. On the day itself, if you're lucky you might be in a swanky hotel, you will certainly have smashing hair and nails, you will be wearing a fabulous dress, probably some variation of the colour white, so the make up needs to reflect that. It is going to look a bit odd without all the other bits. You'll be the best made up person in Sainsbury's though! Just bear in mind that the day itself is going to be very very different to the day of the trial.

6 - If you are super, uber specific and fussy about your make up and like it a really certain way, consider not having a make up artist. If you're happy with your look and don't mind doing it, why change? You might not get the result you're looking for if you've spent 15 years perfecting it on yourself - we can't compete with that!

7 - If you have any allergies, concerns or really important dislikes, declare them as soon as possible!
Understand that if you have conjuctivitis or a cold sore, it might be your wedding day but we CANNOT touch you. There are no exceptions. Ever. (there are a few more contraindications like that but they are the main ones).

8 - Keep your trial make up on all day, look at it from as many angles and lights as possible and take loads of photos. Write notes about your likes/loves/not so sures and feed them back.
Follow these tips and you're sure to have a great bridal make up experience.

9 - Don't be a "Bridezilla". Not cool! Don't expect them to be at your beck and call 24 hours a day. Give them a reasonable amount of time to get back to you, unless it's an emergency. I'm so lucky I've only had one partial 'Zilla so far! 

10 - Ask them for referrals to other bridal specialists, eg: hair, photographers.

Bridal make up is a great investment when taken care of properly and ensures your comfort and staying power for all of those smiles. And lets face it if you can't have pampering on that day, when can you?!

Enjoy it and make a new friend in the process!