Before you decide on a makeup artist for your big day, you need to do your research. And “doing your research” doesn’t just mean asking your sister-in-law who she used for her wedding. Here are five essential questions you need to ask every potential makeup artist you consider:

1.) How many weddings have you done and when were the most recent? Someone may have done 100’s of weddings, but if all those weddings were done prior to 1989, you might have a problem. Technological advances in makeup are constantly occurring, and your artist needs to be up to date on the options that are out there.

2.) How much will it cost and what does that cost include? Many makeup artists have their own personal fee system, so you’ll want to see where you get the most bang for your buck. Does his/her total fee include the trial run? Does it include additional products if adverse circumstances present themselves (you need different foundation because it ends up down-pouring on your wedding day)? What about the other bridesmaids or your mother, how much will it cost to pretty the up too?

3.) How much time will you need? After the trial run (you should always have a trial run) your makeup artist should be able to give you a fairly close estimate to how much time it will take them to complete your look on the big day. Make sure they have this much time (and preferably a little extra for unexpected snags).


4.) Do you have references I can contact? Any professional of any kind in any industry should have references. Without them…well…the person probably isn’t a professional. Ask for at least three references, and make sure to contact them with any questions you may have (How was he/she to work with on the big day? Were you happy with your makeup? Were you happy with the price? Would you use him/her again for another occasion?).

5.) Do you have a backup plan? Things happen, we all know this, and if something happens that prevents your makeup artist from making it on the day of the actual wedding, you don’t want to be hung out to dry. A good makeup artist will have something they can call on in case of an emergency, and this person will also be able to do the job you have planned. A “clean, natural” look should mean the same thing to both the original artist and the backup.

If all else fails though, you would be smart to learn a few tricks yourself, so if anything does happen you aren’t completely helpless.