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Wedding Makeup Artists and What They Provide

Updated on September 21, 2013
Wedding Makeup Artists and What They Provide
Wedding Makeup Artists and What They Provide | Source

A wedding make-up artist is a professional in charge of applying cosmetics to brides, and their bridesmaids, mothers, and flower girls. Often found working as movie or stage professionals, typical makeup artists have careers in the entertainment world. Whether they are getting a star ready for an awards ceremony, putting just the right amount of scarring on an actor for a horror scene, or preparing a bride to walk down the aisle, cosmetic professionals have a talent needed in a variety of areas.

Traditional training for a make-up artist is in an educational setting, like at a cosmetology school, and may also be practical, like training aside a much more experienced makeup artist. Many of these individuals start in high school or college, learning to apply makeup for theater productions or for friends. Many universities and community colleges will often offer cosmetology classes and even specialized degrees focused on stage or screen makeup. However, most of this kind of training and certification is obtained at local beauty schools.

There are not many makeup companies or businesses available to offer makeup artists job opportunities straight out of school. These professional usually must carve out their reputation and business on their own through word of mouth and references. As the majority of these individuals are freelancers, they typically carry a design portfolio of their work with them at all times in order to show potential clients their abilities at a moment's notice. In order to make it in the wedding industry as a makeup artist though, many obtain jobs with fashion magazines or even candid newspaper photographs in order to build their work and their reputation.

Make-up artists who do not find work in the entertainment field, or find success in the wedding industry, often find employment at salons and spas. They then offer special occasion services for bridal parties and special events like school proms. They may also team up with a hairdresser to provide more complete services and packages to brides. (WiseGeek)

Professional Makeup Artists vs Wedding Makeup Artists

Professional makeup artists typically work in film, television or stage makeup. “Some make-up artists specialize in fantasy and creature make-up, blending prosthetics, airbrush, and traditional makeup techniques to create ghouls, ghosts, fantasy creatures, and special-effect designs. Others do realistic makeup for the stage and screen, applying just the right amount of eyeliner, blush, and concealer to make a starlet's face glimmer in the moonlight, or a leading man's eyes gleam over candlelight.” (

Wedding makeup artists, on the other hand, specifically work with brides and their wedding parties. Like wedding hair stylists, they are very familiar with the trends and popular ways in which brides are wearing their makeup, and are very experienced in giving brides, mothers, and bridesmaids alike exactly what they are looking for on the big day. Not too much different than what professional makeup artists in other career paths do, a wedding makeup artist will give any and all individuals they service a timeless look that they will be able to remember fondly for years as they look at their wedding pictures.

The big difference is the expertise of those in the wedding field, knowing exactly what will look the best in wedding pictures, in the wedding video, and all night long as the bride and her friends and family celebrate. As these particular professionals will offer different services than their counterparts in other fields, it’s important to know what they have to offer.

Products and Services Offered

Wedding makeup professionals have a big job. A wedding comes around once in a lifetime for the luckiest of us, and leave memories the bride and groom will likely want to remember for the rest of their lives. A bad makeup job can definitely leave a lasting impression, but not one that anyone will want to remember. This is an important job that you wouldn’t want left to just anyone.

  • Initial Consultation – This is the first meeting, in person, in email, or over the phone, where the makeup artist takes the time to get to know the bride a little more, what she is looking for in a makeup artist, and what services she needs. Sometimes there is a charge for this meeting, but some professionals choose to offer these as complimentary.
  • Bridal Makeup Trials – Makeup artists usually suggest that brides have a trial appointment in order to give both the professional and the bride the chance to try out the bride’s chosen look for her wedding day. This takes the guesswork out of the makeup for the wedding day, and usually comes at a price.

  • Airbrush Makeup Application – This is a service where liquid is applied using a small air compressor with airbrush on the end. Not only can foundation be applied in this way, but so can blush, concealer, and eyeshadow. This is a little more expensive, but leaves a flawless look to skin that will not interact with the oils in your skin, leaving it looking great all day or all night.
  • Traditional Makeup – Obviously traditional makeup consists of the common powders and liquid makeup that you can purchase at the grocery store. Although the professionals have a higher quality makeup than can be purchased at the grocery store. They have also had the experience and training of professional schools and likely years of wedding makeup experience.
  • Fake Eye Lashes – For an extra feminine touch, many brides want fake eyelashes for their wedding day. Makeup artists are getting more familiar with this service as brides are requesting it more often.
  • Bridal VIP Service – With this service, makeup artists and their attendants are actually staying to be available for touch-ups throughout the wedding service, picture taking and reception. An hourly rate on top of the bride's fee is applicable. This also usually includes helping the bride with dress, veil, hair, etc. to make sure the bride looks her best throughout the festivities.

Extra Services

  • Airbrush Spray Tanning Services - This service usually means standing in a booth as airbrushed turn around you spraying the tanning liquid onto your skin. How long this lasts depends on the solution used and the professional you are working with. This service typically includes pre-tan pH Balancing Skin Spray, Barrier Cream Application, a customized pre-tan, and a post-tan skin care plan.
  • Tanning Bed Tanning Sessions – This is another alternative to tanning, being a physical tanning bed you would lay down in after applying tanning oils to your skin. Once again, how long this lasts depends on the solution used and the professional you are working with.
  • False Lash Application – This is for brides that want to go dramatic with strip lashes, natural with individual lashes, or try the special double process technique. With this service, lashes look stunningly full, long, and natural, and will undoubtedly last through the 1st week of the honeymoon. Consult with the makeup artist about which option will best suit the bride’s needs and look.

Wedding Makeup Artists and What They Provide
Wedding Makeup Artists and What They Provide | Source
  • Special Occasion Makeup - This includes engagement photos, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, bridal shoots, cocktail parties, or any other special occasion the bride where the bride might need her makeup done.
  • Photo Shoots - For fun, kind of like Glamour Shots, makeup artists can set up photo shoots for the bride, and/or others, where she can have her makeup done and have pictures taken. These make great gifts!
  • Facials – Along with makeup, these professionals also provide great bonuses like facials.
  • Eyebrow Waxing and Styling – This is a quick and clean way to remove hairs from the root so that they don’t grow back for weeks. Makeup artists can change the shape of anyone’s face with some simple eyebrow styling.
  • Facial Waxing – For any unwanted facial hair (for women this is likely in the moustache area, cheeks, between the eyes, etc.), makeup artists can easily remove it with a simple one time waxing. No unwanted facial hair for the bride or her bridesmaids on the wedding day.

  • On-site Makeup Artistry - For those brides that would like a little more personal attention and would like their makeup artist to come to the wedding venue on the big day to do their makeup (and possibly that of their bridesmaids/mothers/guests), this is one great perk wedding makeup artists are known for. However, it will come as an extra charge.
  • Travel Expenses – Depending on how far away the wedding venue is from the makeup artist’s place of business, this charge may include a trip charge, gas and mileage. If it’s far enough away, this may even include food and lodging.
  • Skin Cleansing and Priming – With this service, usually preferred by all makeup artists and clients before makeup application, skin is cleaned thoroughly and prepped with skin healthy treatments to be smooth, clean, and ready for makeup application.
  • Gloss and Blush Application – For brides who want a little makeup application but not the whole hurrah, or even flower girls and junior bridesmaids that want to get in on the action, a simple lip gloss and blush application is available for a small fee.

  • Mini Photo Shoot After Makeover – A mini is a much more compact version of the full photo shoot. Where a normal session typically includes hours of shooting, possibly at many locations, a mini photo shoot offers a shorter time, a small number of edited photos to choose from, and a lower price.
  • Eyes Only – A small package where the makeup artist is solely responsible for handling the bride’s eye makeup.
  • Tattoo Coverage and Corrective Makeup – Makeup can be used anywhere on the face or body, creating a beautiful, flawless look. Pigment irregularities like vitiligo, varicose veins or leukoderma, much less tattoos or piercings, don’t have to be covered up. A talented makeup artist can create an even skin tone in minutes, allowing the bride’s natural beauty to take center stage.
  • Bridal Emergency Touch up Kit – Typically including at least lip gloss and lipstick, blotting papers and tissues, a bridal emergency touch up kit provides a bride anything and everything she could possibly need to keep her makeup looking fresh and clean all event long on her own.

Wedding Makeup Artists and What They Provide
Wedding Makeup Artists and What They Provide | Source
  • Makeup Lessons – One on one classes to teach individuals how to master different aspects of their makeup. Some of these lessons might include:
    • How to Apply Your Perfect Makeup Look
    • Beginner’s Makeup
    • How to Pick and Wear Blush
    • Filling in Eyebrows
    • Eyebrow Shaping
    • Choosing the Right Foundation
  • Makeup demonstrations – Group classes to teach individuals how to master different aspects of their makeup and teach them more about makeup in general. Some of these demonstrations might include:
    • Evening Eye Makeup
    • Smokey Eye Makeup
    • Five-Minute Fabulous Face
    • How to Do Expressive Makeup
    • Latest Trends in Bridal Makeup
  • Skin Care Lessons – One on one classes to teach individuals how to master different aspects of their skin care regimen and tackle problem areas they may have. Some of these lessons might include:
    • Importance of Skin Care
    • Preventing Pimples
    • Natural Skin Care 101
    • Proper Moisturizing
    • All About Masks
    • Proper Exfoliating
  • Girl’s Night Out Package – Otherwise known as a Spa Day, this package typically includes manicures, pedicures, facials, and other fun group pampering to prepare the bride and her bridesmaids for the big day.

Check out our next article on How Much Wedding Makeup Artists Charge for more information on Makeup Artists!

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