I sat down with Larrissa Spears, a hair and makeup specialist and owner of MI Bride Hair & Makeup. I’ve worked with her on multiple occasions. Larrissa is fun and joyful person, doing work for professional shoots like my own, to doing her own makeup as an homage to Prince. Finding her inspiration as a child by watching her mom put on makeup, Larissa said “My mom would wake up every morning at like 4:30 or 5:00 and do her makeup before work.”
She has been in the industry for 5 years as an assistant as well as the lead makeup artist and hair designer at a local boudoir photo studio before building her own artistry team. I asked, “What are the important things brides should be looking for when they are ready to hire a makeup artist for their wedding?”
LOOK AT THEIR PORTFOLIO:
This will tell you a few things right away. Is their portfolio on a website or only social media? Any professional selling their services should have a website and any easy way to get a hold of them. If they don’t it could be a red flag. Are their portfolio made up of quality photos or cell phone pictures? This again points back to professionalism. Makeup artists and photographers work closely together and often on multiple occasions, easily becoming friends. It should be an easy task for a good makeup artist to ask the photographers they work with for a few good shots for their website. If all you see are cell phone pictures that may be a sign of inexperience. They might be a little less expensive, but is it worth the risk on what is arguably the most important day of your life? Most importantly look at the style in the photos. Does it match up with your vision of your makeup look? If it does don’t wait to contact them wedding dates can fill up fast.
CHECK THEIR REVIEWS:
Look both on their website and off, checking, google, yelp, or the knot to get an idea of how they stack up. Ask them for references. As a business owner I won’t give out any client information but I am happy to share the names and numbers of other wedding professionals I’ve worked with. Expect your artist to operate the same way.
GET A QUOTE IN WRITING:
There’s nothing worse than being told a price verbally and it’s different on your wedding day. This usually isn’t done on purpose. Your artists may have been running a special or was in the process of changing their prices. So like all things happening on your wedding day, get it in writing. You can get away with an email quote, but ideally having a proper invoice and payment schedule keeps everyone on the same page and lowers the chance of wedding day surprises.
HAVE A TRIAL MAKEUP SESSION:
Before putting down a deposit or signing a wedding day contract. You can test a few things out. Do they have a good personality? They will be with you while you getting ready for your day, and it’s always nice to have people around that you get along with.
You can time them. Did it take too long to get your look done? Do you love their work enough to adjust your wedding timeline? It’s better to know now than on your big day. Some artists offer this for free but some may charge a small fee, after all makeup isn’t free.
If you don’t like something about your makeup during your trial session, it’s important to say something. Your artist may be able to adjust to you. Just like any other beauty industry makeup has its styles which are constantly changing. Just because you don’t like your artist regular look doesn’t mean that’s all they can do. They might do these changes at your trial or have you schedule a second one. Keep in mind there may be an additional cost even if the first trial was free.
CAN THEY HANDLE YOUR WEDDING:
Your artist may be the greatest thing since the blush brush, but if they are a solo operation and you have a large bridal party you could be in trouble. Ask how many people they can handle. Do they have a team of artists to bring? If not, you may want to consider hiring another team of artists to take care of your bridesmaids leaving your favorite artist to concentrate on you.
HOW TO FIND YOUR MAKEUP ARTIST:
The best way is though the wedding vendors you already love. If you’ve booked your photographer and they recommend an artist. It’s likely you’ve already seen some of the artist’s work, and they probably get along pretty well. If you get along with your photographer it’s not a big leap to say the artists they recommend will be similar.
Recommendations from friends who have gotten married. This would be a second way if referrals don’t work out. You don’t always like the friend of a friend. The same can be said for wedding vendors they may have been perfect for your office buddy but are they perfect for you? Last you can always do a google search, or use sites like GigSalad.
In the end just make sure your happy, don’t settle, and do your best to avoid wedding day surprises.
I want to thank Larrissa for taking the time to sit down and provide some helpful tips in the wedding makeup world. If you’re in southeast Michigan, and in need of and absolutely awesome makeup artist, follow one of the links to check out her website.