Brides: Are Makeup & Hair An After Thought?

The topic of how important hair and makeup is on your wedding day has come up a lot lately with my current brides. For the most part, the majority of brides book a hair and makeup person well in advance, but there are the few stragglers that have hair and makeup at the bottom of their to-do list. Understandable really when you consider how overwhelming planning a wedding can be! There are so many details, ideas, and vendors to sift through all the while trying to stick to a specific budget.

In my opinion, every aspect of the wedding is important – from the flowers to the food to the venue. These will usually take up the majority of your budget including your wedding dress, photographers, invitations, DJ, and cake. Then it seems whatever is left over is for your hair and makeup.

I think that hair and makeup should be right up there with your photographers, but I’m not saying that you should dish out the same amount of money because the services are completely different from one another.  I’m just saying that the way you want to look on your day is just as important. When you think about it, will you be framing and displaying pictures of your food and cake all over your home? Probably not. You’ll be blowing up photos of you and your spouse right?

With that being said, the question of how much you should spend on hair and makeup is entirely dependent on how much importance you put on your looks. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look spectacular on a day when all eyes will be on you. This isn’t just any other day. It’s your BIG day; the one you’ve been dreaming of as a little girl (for some!). You want to be able to look back at your photos with no regrets.

When deciding how much to spend on the right hair and makeup artist, here are a few things to consider:

  • You get what you pay for. Rates vary and can go as low as $25 (seriously) to as high as $500. You might think, “Hey if I can get my makeup done for $25 I can pay for everyone and have money left over to go towards other things”. It’s true, but someone who charges that low will most likely not give you the same quality of work and attention to detail as someone who charges well above that. It’s like staying in a cruddy motel and expecting the same customer service from a 5 star hotel. The going rate for a good hair and makeup artist for bridal range from $85 and up. The saying more expensive doesn’t mean better is true in a lot of instances, but artists that have an amazing body of work and experience will speak for itself. The ones that charge anything lower than $75 most likely don’t do this full-time or are a junior artist. But the reality is sometimes it’s just not in the budget to book a top artist. If you’re trying to cut costs, book a well experienced artist for yourself and only the best junior artist for your bridal party.
  • Good vs. Exceptional. Hey, if good suits you just fine then more power to you. What’s the difference right? I’ve been fortunate enough to work and learn from some of the top artists in the industry. Through my growth and learning (still learning!), I can recognize “ok” makeup vs. red carpet or magazine worthy makeup. Exceptional makeup is found in the little details. Experienced artists have little tricks they do that make the person pop both in person and in photos (I can’t give away all my secrets right?) It’s these added details that separate the exceptional from the rest of the pack.

When you’re comparing artist’s portfolios really study the photo. Does the face match the neck and chest? Are the eyebrows unnatural looking? Is the shadow well-blended? Are you looking more at the makeup rather than the bride? Do the fake lashes look too obvious or applied crooked? Does her face look like skin or foundation? Is the eyeliner uneven or too harsh? I’ve realized paying attention to detail comes with time and experience. If there’s any type of flaw, that’s all anyone will notice in the photo. Believe it or not, natural makeup is not as easy as it looks. An exceptional artist will know how to find the right balance of natural looking in person but still noticeable in photos. My advice? Don’t settle for good when you can look your most beautiful.

  • Get to know your artist. Prior to booking a trial the only interaction you have with the artist is over email or the phone. If you’re having a hard time deciding which one to book, getting to know the artist will make the decision process easier. If he/she has a website, explore it to no end! Read their bios, who they’ve worked with, and of course study their portfolios. If he/she writes a blog, take a quick read. Blogs are usually more personal and you can get a feel for what their personality is like. And if he/she was referred to you, then ask your friend what her experience was like. If you don’t require a makeup trial (some artists don’t offer one), book a free consultation instead. This will give you the chance to get acquainted and see if you “mesh” together. Sometimes really knowing who you’re booking makes all the difference in choosing one artist over another.

In the end, the most important thing is to enjoy the day with the ones you love. But remember when you look amazing, you feel amazing! You’re spending a lot of money on your wedding photos so really put some thought into your hair and makeup. Whatever you decide to spend, make sure you’re booking only the best! When your photos come back and you look like you just stepped out of a magazine, you’ll thank me! 😉


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