With all there is to do for your wedding day, your makeup may be the last thing on your mind. Well, not the last thing, but pretty close. In my many years of experience doing bridal makeup, I have noticed that makeup for the wedding day may not be thought about until a few weeks before the big event. So, whether you have planned months in advance, or it is two weeks before your wedding, the way to go about finding a good Pittsburgh makeup artist is always the same. You have to know where to look.

Start Online

With the modern bride using the Internet for so many aspects of coordinating the event, this would be the first stop. Visit wedding websites, like this one, and look in the beauty or makeup artist categories. Most professionals who work with brides will be listed on these sites. You will easily be able to do a quick comparison of pricing, services offered, and even view photos of their recent work.

Now you have to ask yourself some questions. Do I want to go to a salon or do I want them to come to me, and if they do, is there a travel fee involved? Will they do a trial run of the makeup before the wedding, and is that included in the fee? Do they require a deposit to hold my date? Will I be the only one getting my makeup done, or will other members of my party be receiving the service as well? Do I want someone who can do both my hair and makeup? Do I have an idea of how I want my makeup to look (natural, glamorous, exotic, etc.)? Do I have any special needs I should let them know about, such as allergies to certain products, plants or foods, tattoos that will need covering or severe acne? Are they Licensed? (we’ll discuss this a little later). Plus many, many more that you will come up with on your own!

Make Sure they Understand the Look YOU Want

So, you’ve narrowed down your list of makeup artists to call and you are armed with your questions. I think that the most important things you should consider when choosing your makeup artist are that they listen to you, they answer all of your questions to your satisfaction, and that you feel comfortable with them.

Now, they must have talent too, but if you are going to be uncomfortable with someone touching you and being in your space at possibly the most important moment of your life thus far, you must feel comfortable with them and their demeanor. There are makeup artists and there are Makeup Artists. What that means is, there are some artists out there that have no experience other than selling makeup. Working with makeup and being a makeup artist are very different things.

A State Licensed Makeup Artist will have schooling behind them, will have worked in an atmosphere with other licensed beauty professionals and should have acquired a more sophisticated set of skills. Many states require continuing education to keep a license, so these professionals are always learning new skills. They may also practice more rigorous sanitation guidelines, and perhaps even have OSHA certifications.

Once you’ve had the conversations and you think you have your makeup artist, how do you tell him or her how you would like to look? Often times, a picture speaks volumes. Cut out some pictures in bridal magazines of makeup that you like, and give them to your makeup artist. A good makeup artist will give you what you want, a great makeup artist will give you what you want, taking into consideration what you have. What I mean is, that if you want to look your best, a look has to be designed with your coloring, features, bone structure and overall beauty in mind. All the while keeping your desired vision as the cornerstone of the look.

Mesh Makeup and Photography

Also, don’t forget to mention to your makeup artist what types of photography will be involved. Are all the pictures going to be in color or will some of them be in black and white? This little detail can dramatically change the makeup design, and not all makeup artists are comfortable working with a black and white medium. Wedding makeup is an art. The bride must look natural in person, yet defined enough so that she appears to be glowing in photographs. This is challenging to achieve, and is truly a learned skill.

Timing and Trial Run

The time line for finding a good artist should be 2-3 months prior to the wedding. Have your trial run about 3-5 weeks before the event. Take a picture of your trial run makeup. Also, go outside and look at your makeup. What may look great under soft salon lighting could look garish anywhere else. See how long the makeup lasts, and if you will need to touch up during the day. And don’t be afraid to say you don’t like something. Remember, this makeup will live on forever in photographs and video, so you want to be pleased with your look. Most of all relax and enjoy the experience. It isn’t everyday that you will have this kind of pampering from a highly skilled, professional makeup artist.

by Pamela Jeschonek

Photo by Weddings by Heather of Pittsburgh