"Why should I hire a professional makeup artist to come to me for my wedding when I can just do my own makeup?"

You've most likely thought about it: "Why can’t I just do my own makeup?  I know how to do it and I know what I like." That may be true, but keep in mind that "everyday makeup" and special event makeup are two completely different things.  Plus, you don't want to look like you do every day...right?  You want to look ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY STUNNING. The best version of you. Did you get your makeup professionally done for your prom? Your graduation or yearbook photos? Your big 21st birthday party? Your driver's license photo? If not, do you kinda wish you would have? Photos and memories from those important days last a lifetime. 

The day you get married is arguably the most important day of your life. It's the day when you should feel the most confident and the most beautiful.  You've spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars finalizing every detail of everything...all of your closest family, and friends will be gathered together to see you in your moment of glory! You'll never have had so many photos taken of you...in fact, your face will be in almost every picture, and your face will be the first thing all of your loved ones see!  Not your dress, not your jewelry or shoes...your face. Which is why hiring a professional to do your bridal makeup is one of the most important decisions you will make regarding your wedding.

A professional will own the tools of the trade and have years of training under their brush belts.  True professionals use professional brushes and prestige makeup brands...we aren't talking Covergirl, Wet n' Wild and Rimmel, or even BB cream, chapstick and mascara.  You're gonna need something more heavy duty...prestige makeup brands are high performance, and they have to be. On a wedding day there is dancing, smiling and laughing, drinking, eating, hugs, kisses, sweat, and tears of joy. Everything needs to wear flawlessly for 8-15 hours.  Makeup is long-wearing, not bulletproof, so touch-ups are necessary to control shine, but for the most part, the makeup won't budge.


Well what about getting it done at the mall?  Like at the MAC counter?

While making an appointment at your local makeup counter may sound like a good idea because it's the most cost effective option, you may want to think again.  There’s no need to drive all around town risking the possibility of hitting traffic, or stressing out about not being able to find parking at the mall when you have 100 other things to worry about on the biggest day of your life.  A professional comes to you!  An on-location artist will pamper you and create a relaxed environment.  Having that relaxation and pampering before the ceremony is an important stress reliever.

When you go to a makeup counter, there is typically loud music, crying/screaming children, people rushing about, customers interrupting and other distractions. The environment is less than ideal for prepping a bride. Plus, you have the possibility of encountering one of three artists: the new artist who has little to no experience, someone who is very talented, cares, and has been there for years, or someone who will give you a rushed job resulting in "meh" makeup because they need to get back to selling.  Do you really want to take that chance on your wedding day?


A counter makeup artist's primary goal is to sell makeup, not do makeup (they are a business, not a salon service facility), so most are trained on sales and not artistry. Even if they are skilled artists they typically don't genuinely care because: a) they don't know you and are not invested in you or your event b) they know you will be purchasing the minimum amount because most makeup appointments do c) you most likely will not tipping them because most appointments don't. Why should they go above and beyond for you? Makeup artists make approximately 2% commission on sales, so they make about $1 from performing your service with minimum purchase, so pleasing you is not their primary focus. They will most likely step away from your appointment session to help walk-up customers in order to achieve their impossibly high sales goals.  They can’t take the time out for you the way a professional would in a private environment, due to the pressure from management to meet their quotas.  Besides, think about the makeup testers she's going to use on you...everyone touches these, and they may not have been sanitized correctly.  A professional brings their own kit and sanitizes each product before use on every client because their reputation depends on it.

Here are the bullet point differences of hiring someone to come to you, and going to the mall:

-A private make up artist will travel to your home or location and will be on time.
-A private make up artist will work around your schedule and will be available in the early morning hours or later night hours.
-A private make up artist will cater only to you and your guests in a comfortable relaxed environment.
-A private make up artist will not try to sell you anything.
-A private make up artist will care to use proper sanitary techniques and may have a higher level of expertise in artistry skills.
-A private makeup artist will take her time with your makeup.

-A make up counter artist will only be available usually in between 10 AM to 5 PM, or 11 AM to 5 PM on Sundays.
-The counter make up artist will need you to travel to them, you'll have to spend time and gas driving to the mall and then have to find parking.  (The artist also may be late for her appointment because after working for MAC for 6 years, my co-workers were 10-15 minutes late for their shifts 90% of the time.)
-However if YOU are 10 to 15 minutes late for your appointment your appointment maybe given away to someone else.
-A counter make up artist may have to step away from you to help other customers who come up to the counter to buy products.
-A counter make up artist’s job is to sell you products, no “do your makeup”; it is a retail establishment business, not a salon; they have a incredible sales pressure on them to sell you approximately $125 during the hour they are with you.
-The mall is very distracting, noisy environment
-The counter make up artist may be new to doing make up, or she may be experienced; that is a risk you take.
-If you don't like how your make up turns out, you have just wasted time and money only to go home and do it yourself or have another make up artist attempt it.

Often times, the amount of money you spend getting to the mall, having your makeup done and purchasing your items turns out to be about the same amount of time or money you'd spend having someone come to you.  Having a private artist travel to you is a luxury service, but it is sometimes worth the convenience and quality!


"What about my cousin or my family friend? She's really good at doing makeup, she watches YouTube all day and always buys the latest makeup products!  Someone also was posting on Craigslist for $40 per person...I've already spent so much money on this wedding I may have to go with one of these options."

The beauty industry is bigger than it's ever been due to the rise of Instagram and other social media outlets.  We have access to all kinds of information regarding makeup that we didn't have access to 10 years ago.  Things have changed! I absolutely believe that people have friends and family close to them who are knowledgeable and truly skilled at doing makeup.  But be sure to ask if she does makeup on other people.  Not just for her friends for prom, I mean brides.  Does she understand how to time manage, how to sanitize her products, and does she have a kit specifically for clients or is she using her own makeup from her bathroom? Does she have a professional director's chair and portable lighting in case the room is dark?  Is she reliable?  Will she show up on time?  Will she use the correct foundation on you or will you be left looking ghastly white or orange in photos? Do the products last on the skin and look natural?  Does she have a contract with both your signatures in place protecting you in case she has to cancel?

A $40 makeup artist from Craigslist may cancel on you the day before your wedding because it's not worth it for them to show up at 8am for $40 dollars, or she may show up, have you sit on the edge of the bed in your hotel room and use her own mascara on you and dollar store lashes.  These are all very important things to consider before letting a family member, friend, or an inexperienced artist from Craigslist do your makeup for your wedding.

Look for an artist who has a website with a photo portfolio, minimum 5 years experience, and a good reputation.  Always do a trial with them. Pay attention to your artist's timeliness in communication with you, punctuality, sanitation practices, and professionalism. It should never take longer than an hour and 20 minutes to do a full face of makeup unless you are experimenting with different eye and lip ideas, so if your artist seems slow they won't be a great fit for a wedding (which is an event with a schedule and deadline). If she requires both of your signatures on a contract, suggests a trial run ahead of time, and charges between $100-$250 for bridal makeup and $75-$125 for bridal party member makeup, she's likely a good choice. It truly costs this much to run a legitimate makeup service business. We understand weddings are expensive ($36,000 on average in California for 2018 according to WeddingWire.com!), but purchasing and replenishing our makeup kits is also expensive. Beauty school, workshops and seminars are expensive. Trust us, bridal beauty is not something worth cutting corners on. Keep searching until you find the right artist for your style and budget!