How To Choose Your Make Up Artist
Hello, thank you for taking the time to read this blog, I hope that it proves helpful to you in making your final choice to book your make up artist for one of the biggest days of your life, when all eyes are on you!

Firstly, let me introduce myself. My name is Hilary and I have been in the industry for 10 years, styling brides from all over the world. Every bride I style is as important as the very first one. My business name is Hilarys-Wedlocks, and as the name suggests I am a hairstylist and make up artist. I have also been a regional finalist in the West Midland Wedding Industry Awards in 2015 and 2016.

With the date set and the venue booked, and the long list of other services you will need to make your day exactly as you would like it, hair and make up sometimes gets forgotten until the last few months, when panic can set in! This is because the really organised brides book their artist at the beginning of their planning, sometimes 18 months in advance. Magazines and brochures give the indication that 3 to 4 months before your wedding is enough time however if there is someone you like be sure to book them early before someone else does.

Bride after Hilary has waved her magic make up wand. Beautiful.

I am sure you will have many questions, including these:

  • How do I choose a make up artist? There are so many!
  • Do I need to have a make up artist?
  • Can I do the make up myself?
  • Shall I get my friend to do it?
  • Shall I ask for social media recommendations?
  • May be I will get a lesson at the high street stores make up counters?

Hopefully I can answer some of those questions for you.

During my time in the industry I have spoken with many Brides, I always ask why they booked with me? Some say Google search, some recommendation, some through my website, and some through social media. Pinterest is great for ideas, but please bare in mind that they are images and with today’s technology some may have been photoshopped etc to improve them. The Wedding Industry Awards and Style Me Pretty are great places to start looking online.

If you have booked your venue already ask them for their recommendations. Most venues have a preferred suppliers list and you will not go far wrong with this. The venue strives to make your day a success so will have a list of tried and tested make up artists local to your area.

You may have attended weddings and liked the way the bride’s make up was done. Ask her who she used. It will be a lovely compliment to the bride and you get a recommendation to a good make up artist. Your photographer will also have worked very closely with stylists so ask their opinion too.

Once you have recommendations speak with the make up artist by phone, or make an appointment for an initial consultation. Write a list of questions to ask before you approach them. Check out the artists website, and look at their reviews and testimonials.

“Hilary was absolutely amazing. I had so many worries, her approach was calm and in control. I felt totally relieved i was in safe hands. not only did she do this for me, but also my mum, who i have never seen look so confident”
previous wedding client

I see brides to be on Facebook asking for cheap make up artists for their wedding day. I want to scream at them saying….your day is about you and not just the money! When the day is done you will have your photographs and a few keepsakes, but more importantly you have images of how you looked on that day, and these will be your memories for the rest of your life together. Even when on a budget be sure to make the same checks and make sure they are right for you. Employing a make up artist purely based on the cost rarely works well.

You may visit some wedding fayres where you can see the artists at work. Again talk to them. Do not feel the pressure to book them there and then, just take the time to chat and this can be continued via phone and email after the wedding fayre if you need to. Do remember that lots of successful businesses do not always exhibit at wedding fayres. Many are working weekends when the fayres are running.

Hilary doing a bride’s make up

Photograph by Russell Lewis Photography

Do I need a make up artist?

My advice is do not sell your self short! You have the most fabulous dress, shoes, underwear, flowers, and accessories, so why would you not have the most fabulous hair and make up to match? Stick to your budget by all means, however in the grand scheme of things your make up artist will cost just 1 or 2 % of your total budget.

Can I do my own make up?

What you need to ask yourself here (and be totally honest!) is how well do I do my own make up daily? Is it a quick bb cream and mascara, or are you a pro at producing the full works? How well does it last through the day? Yes, some brides do choose to do their own make up but you do need to be confident and use the correct products for it to last all day and into the evening. Will your nerves hold up on the morning for you to be able to do it?

We only need to pop in to some of the big department stores to see the brands of make up out there…..even I get confused! However they do offer make up lessons and also bridal packages but of course you have to go to them on your wedding morning. The lessons are usually free if you purchase the products they use, so with each product costing an average of £30 per item, you will soon be spending £££££s. Even if you are happy with this remember you have to know how to apply it all on your own.

My friend could do it!

If your friend is a trained mua then by all means go ahead and book her! Please also think about whether your friend will also attending your wedding. Will she have the time to do your make up and your attendants’, and then get ready herself, or worse still will she be one of your attendants? I have recently styled hair and make up for my very dear friend and the bridesmaids. Although I am doing this work every week the pressure was so much more.

Also consider potential problems – are you friends enough to tell her that you didn’t like the full false lashes liner and red lipstick haha!  Value your friendship, and if you are in any doubt that you cant be that honest or critical of each other there is no better reason for a relaxed wedding morning to book a professional.

I hope this has given you a short overview to how to choose a make up artist. For further information on how I can help you with your make up for your wedding day please visit my website, where you will find images of real brides and my work. I’d be very happy to chat with you, answer your questions, and arrange a consultation.

You will find my website at, or you can find me on Facebook. If you’d like to email me my email address is I look forward to hearing from you and helping you prepare for your wedding.

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