I recently met Lyn Lynch at my fiancé’s friends’ wedding. A perfect complexion, great lipstick and hip glasses, I asked her what she does for a living. We chatted about her experience as a makeup artists and she agreed to share some of her tips here. As someone who rarely even buys tinted lip glass, I was really interested.
How should a bride start her search for a makeup artist?
It’s great if a bride can get referrals from friends or family members who have used the services of a great makeup artist before. Aside from that, an Internet search is really OK – type in “makeup artist” and the city you live in, and take note of what is listed. Many freelance artists have Websites that highlight their work, and that should give you a good idea of what kind of artist they are, and if they fit your needs. Of course, it’s always a good idea once you find an artist to contact them and set up a time to talk about your wedding, or better yet meet in person for a trial run. That way, you can try out the makeup artist before your big day, and get a sense of what they’re like. A good makeup artist will ask lots of questions about your style, personality and what you envision yourself looking like on your special day. I always recommend that the bride supply me with a few pictures of what she thinks is the ideal look – makeup artists are obviously very visual, so it helps us to see what you see in your mind.
What should a bride who doesn’t usually wear a lot of makeup do on her wedding day?
There is always a tendency to play it safe – what works for you in real life is right for the wedding, right? But keep in mind that you’ll be wearing a beautiful dress, your hair will be done (most likely different from what you do in real life, too) and there will be pictures taken, which always calls for more makeup than what you would normally wear. Keep in mind, a good makeup artist will respect that you wear minimal makeup in real life, but know just how to emphasize your best features on your wedding day.
How does a makeup trial work?
A makeup trial is just that – a practice run before the big day. Generally, the makeup artist will apply makeup exactly the way he/she plans to apply it on your wedding day. You’ll have a chance to critique it and ask for changes – more/less color or definition – that way, there are no surprises on the actual day. It can take place anytime before the wedding day – months, days, whatever the two of you work out.
Is it customary for a bride to have her makeup done before engagement pictures?
It’s a very personal decision – often, engagement pictures are the perfect time to do a trial run with your makeup artist – while the look won’t be exactly the same as it might be for the actual wedding day, it’s a good time to evaluate whether the makeup artist “gets” you and your personal style.
Who else usually likes to have their makeup done (bridal party, mother of the bride, etc.)
It really runs the gamut- I’ve done makeup for the bridal party, mother of the bride, mother of the groom, grandmothers, friends of the family, flower girls and friends. I’ve even provided a little concealer and bronzer for grooms who need to look picture perfect.
Do you bring your own makeup or should the bride provide her own?
It is really up to the bride – most makeup artists have extensive kits they travel with that can create any look they need. If you are allergic to certain products or just prefer certain colors, it’s OK to supply your own makeup for the artist to use. It’s something you work out with your makeup artist. Personally, I’ve done it both ways.
What can the bride do to make things easier for you?
It’s helpful if brides are open to suggestion – makeup artists who have done many weddings have a lot of experience with what looks good in pictures – trust them to know what is going to show well on camera. It’s also helpful if you have a clear picture of what you are looking for – we want to make you happy, so be clear about your preferences. It’s really a happy medium between the two of you – sometimes, you’d be surprised about what will really bring out your beauty. Trust a good makeup artist to do that for you.
What is the price range? Are there “recession tricks” to keep the price down?
The price range varies by artist and by city; there is no real guideline. You can keep your price down by offering to do part of the look yourself – maybe book the makeup artist for your complete look, then have your bridal party do their complexion (foundation, powder) themselves and have the artist just do their eyes, cheeks and lips (I charge half-price for that scenario, myself). It saves time and money, especially if your bridal party is savvy enough to do at least part of their look themselves.
Lyn Lynch is a New York City makeup artist who is slightly (OK, really) obsessed with makeup and skincare. She has a full-time job at Sephora, the ultimate candy store for kids like her. She also does freelance work in her free time, when she’s not researching other obsessions. She firmly believes looking good should be fun – and should take as long as you want it to take (sorry, husband).