How do you choose your make-up artist?

Hi ladies,

This might be a daft question, but how on earth do you go about choosing your make-up artist? I'm totally baffled as there are so many on Google and I just can't tell what makes a good one.

A friend of mine had her make up done professionally, recommended by a friend, and although I would never tell her this, on the day I thought her foundation was too dark for her and a bit caked on trying to disguise a couple of spots. Her photos look fab, but in person I didn't think her makeup was good and this is now haunting me and worrying that mine may turn out that way. She also said afterwards that the lady had done it totally different to how she had in the trial.

My main concern is that I want my skin to look as dewy and flawless as possible. I have had problem skin since my teens and am prone to spots. Although it's not bad at the moment (have just started a new Liz Earle regime) I just don't know how it will be on the day. I am also very very pale and it can be very hard matching foundation to my skin tone.

Having taken to Google, I've picked out three MUAs, sort of randomly. A lot have really bad websites, or rubbish photos so I've just discarded these to narrow down the search, but it could be that they are very good at what they do.

The first one I was drawn to, also describes herself as a skin care consultant and all her brides in her portfolio look really glowy and flawless. However, could it be that these ladies had naturally good skin to begin with? This MUA is also very expensive and I don't want to fork out she's never going to be able to get the same look with my skin. Another pro for her is that she uses Estee Lauder which is the only brand I've been able to find to match my skin tone. She also writes beauty columns and things so seems very professional. If budget wasn't an issue I'd probably just book her as she seems to be the most experienced, but feel a little guilty spending so much on my makeup.

Another lady looks pretty good, about £60 cheaper. Has a fancy website and good pics but it's so hard to tell what the makeup is like without seeing 'before' pictures, you know? Some look amazing, others look a bit over done etc (but that's probably what they asked for), but some people are blessed with a natural beauty and don't really need makeup and others need a little more help so I find it very hard to judge what makes a make up artist good! 

Another lady I've found has a crap website, but the portfolio looks good (although not as extensive and quite a few are older brides) but she's half the price of the first girl and has lots of good testimonials.

I'm not local to where I'm getting married so I have nobody to recommend someone to me. My BM is telling me to do my own, but I know I'll get myself in a flap on the day, particularly if I have spots to try to cover, and while I'm confident doing my eye makeup, I don't think I could do my base well and have it stay all day.

So, how did you choose your make-up artist? Am I over thinking it and being daft? Any advice on how to choose would be hugely helpful, I want to get one booked asap. Not being local I can't go for lots of trials, plus that would get expensive anyway.

Or does anyone have someone they can recommend in Gloucestershire? Thanks for any help you can offer! L xx


  • JodielouJodielou Posts: 4,058

    It's so hard, Laura! My MUA was fab, but she had a really crap website which put me off quite a bit at first; luckily, I found an article on Rock My Wedding featuring a bride whose gorgeous make-up she'd done, not to mention several lovely photo-shoots for regional magazines. My MUA used mainly MAC products but, like you, I'm a bit 'funny' about foundation- so I actually asked her to use my Estee Lauder Doublewear Light (I use regular Doublewear too, but the 'Light' version is more photo-friendly) for both the trial and on my wedding day xx 

  • Hi laura!

    it can be a nightmare finding a makeup artist & to be honest how expensive or cheap their site is doesn't guarantee a good artist! I have seen artists with amazing websites charge a bride £200 just for makeup and been horrified by the cakey result! You need to be careful of artists with overly photoshopped or filtered pictures also. This can hide a multitude of makeup artist mishaps! Look for some with photos that look like they have taken them themselves. With your skin tone for foundations mac and Bobbi brown will be able to match you well with a natural finish to. Bobbi Browns BB foundations with their concealer would be lovely. Mac's face and body foundation will give you that lovely dewy natural finish you love and their Mineralize skinfinish will keep it on all day for you. Ask about those products in store or from the artist you choose. You'll love both as an alternative.

    at the end of the day the best thing you can do is have a trial with one of the three you've had narrowed down. Have it early morning, about the same time you would get ready on you're big day. This way you can see how the makeup will last, also get as many opinions from friends as family as you can in the evening. 

    Good luck and enjoy this process, don't be scared to ask the makeup artist loads of questions before booking them, during your trial and once you've booked them. They are there to make you feel and look beautiful!




  • laurapjlaurapj Posts: 726

    Thanks ladies, glad to here I'm not being daft worrying about it. I get the best 'feeling' about the most expensive one, but that could be a case of a sub-conscious link between cost and quality!

    Claire, thank you very much for your advice. I've actually had a consultation with Mac in the past and they couldn't match my skin tone and it was them who sent me to Estee Lauder. My problem is that I'm very fair, but also neutral toned, so most foundations look either too pink or two yellow. I have heard good things about Bobbi Brown though so you may have convinced me to go and have a trial with them. I do like Mac mascara though.

    JodieLou - that's a good idea looking on some of the bridal blogs for recommendations...

    I just feel a little like it's going to be a game of eenie-meenie-mynee-mo otherwise!


  • JodielouJodielou Posts: 4,058

    I definitely think there's an element of 'pot luck' no matter how much research you do; you can only really tell after meeting the makeup artist and experiencing their 'work' first-hand, and it's not realistic (or cost-effective!) to book several trials with different people just in case! I could have written your foundation 'story' myself, Laura, do you wear Ecru by any chance?! xx

  • laurapjlaurapj Posts: 726

    Jodie, I've actually just run out of a massive vat of it that I had. I actually wore Shell but it's not the same as the Shell they now have so I think I will be Ecru now. 

    When I found Doublewear, they were discontinuing the Shell colour, and the lady who served me in Boots felt so bad for me that I'd finally found a decent foundation that matched but it was being discontinued, that she went to the stock room and gave me a massive bottle of stock that they use to top up the samples. It was huge. One of the nicest things someone has done for me. It must have been hundreds of pounds worth of make up that they would have just thrown away! Kept me going a long time. Then I got excited they had brought Shell back, but they've changed the formula and it's a different tone. Ecru looks more like the old Shell though but I need to go in and try it.

    Sigh! the pursuit of beauty, eh?

  • allison 2allison 2 Posts: 150

    I think its a case of not being afraid to walk away after a trial you are not happy with if you wear a certain brand make up like my daughter uses mineral make up find an artist who uses it she had a mac trial but because it was not what she was used to she hated it x


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