November through March is the high season to book a makeup artist for your wedding, and with all the inquiries coming in, I thought this would be a good time to touch on this question. I see many brides debate about hiring a professional, verse a salon, verse the friend that is good at makeup, verse doing it themselves. That's a lot of verses to ponder. I'm going to try to break it down, and hopefully help at least one bride.
My brain works well in lists, and I know I did a list in my previous post, but you will just have to bear with me and suffer through another.
1. The difference between a professional and your sister's best friend's cousin.
Let me start by saying, I used to be that sister's best friend's cousin type that would show up and do the makeup and hair for anyone that I knew. It was great practice (I was in high school and college), and I thought I did a pretty darn good job. Looking back though, I wince.
The wincing is a result of several things (Now there are lists inside of lists!). First, I had literally no training, and some of my choices and techniques were questionable. I had literally ZERO concept of what makeup would translate well in a photo (brand, color, anything). The biggest problem though, was not those. It was that I did not have a professional kit, and I did not know a thing about sanitary procedures. I thought I did, but I also thought it was ok to share mascara with my best friend, like you would a margarita.
Nothing disturbs me more than seeing someone doing someone else's makeup, and potentially spreading disease. A makeup artist should always have: 70% alcohol, or some other type of disinfectant that has 70% alcohol in it, hand sanitizer, brush cleanser, clean spatulas for scooping product, clean brushes, and disposable mascara wands on them at all times. They should NEVER blow onto a brush to get rid of excess product (always gently tap the brush on a wrist), and should NEVER put a finger or a brush into a jar of foundation, lip gloss, whatever. If someone who is working on you does not have those things, or displays these tendencies, quickly run the other direction. An eye infection or skin rash is no fun, and could cause scarring. The "friend coming to do makeup type" is most likely going to use her personal makeup on you, and personal brushes. If that is the case, both are more than likely chalk full of bacteria. NO thanks. Make sure she (or he) has fully sanitized their tools before they use them on you, and you stick to your own liquid and creme products.
There are always exceptions of course, and many of the "friend types" are very talented!! Now you are armed with the knowledge to keep yourself healthy.
2. Training and no headache.
The great thing about someone that does makeup for a living, is that we are mobile! I am a complete studio on the move. This means that on your wedding day, or engagement photos, or whatever you are getting glamorous for, I can come to you in the comfort of your own environment. There's no running across town to have your makeup done in gale force winds, only to step outside and have your hair whip into your lip gloss like a fly on fly paper. Ok that was a little extreme, but the point is, you can sit back and sip on a mimosa in your bathrobe while we jam out to some great tunes, if that's what you want to do.
I am also trained to do this. I'm a licensed cosmetologist, which means I can stop any hair catastrophe in its tracks, as well as the fact that I am state certified in all of the sanitization laws. I'll make you pretty and keep you clean. I also assisted another makeup artist for around a year before I started taking clients, I attend workshops with pros (Kevin James Bennett, etc.) multiple times a year, and have a bachelors degree in art and design. All in all, that is SIX plus years of education, in addition to the fact that I continually seek new training so I am always growing. I've been training in this field almost long enough to be a doctor (with the student loans to show!). In no way shape or form did I mean any of that to come out condescending. The point I am trying to make is: everyone else I know that does this for a full time job, has very similar credentials. We take our craft seriously, and this is our career.
3. The photos.
If you are hiring a makeup artist for your wedding, you want to blow everyone away the second you step out onto that aisle. What you may not consider is, you also want to blow everyone away when they see the photo of that moment fifty-years from now.
Putting it bluntly, drugstore and non-professional makeup does not translate on camera like the stuff we have access to. We also know how to play up your angles, and give you those amazing cheekbones you fantasize about in the mirror. Photoshop is great, but it can't do everything. Ask any photographer, and they will tell you that a knowledgeable makeup artist makes a huge difference. (At some point I want to do a post that just compares photos with professional makeup, and photos without. Don't let me forget!)
4. The higher price tag.
I know you are thinking, a professional sounds great, but what about the higher price tag? Here are my uncensored thoughts. You are about to spend a significant amount on your dress, on your flowers, on your food, on your photographer, etc., etc. Why are you not worried about the true center of attention that day? You silly!!
Our rates are higher because we have put a lot time and money into our training and education, and we have specialized products to offer you. Your wedding day is very important, and you will look back on your photos forever. Don't throw all of your budget at crab cakes and leave yourself to Aunt Susie with the twenty-year old Maybelline. That may have been a tad harsh. If you are on a very strict budget, and hiring a professional isn't an option, it truly is OK and I hope I haven't given you an anxiety attack. If that is the case, consider splurging on some higher quality products for yourself to use the day of. Perhaps my next post could offer a few suggestions?? Let me know in the comments if that sounds good!
I could go on and on about this, but I think that sums it up nicely for now. The last little thing is remember this, we ALL offer consultations. If you are on the fence, consider having a preview session and if you aren't satisfied, no harm.