The Fab-Bride Series: Choosing a Makeup Artist, Step 2: Making Contact

Model: Estelle
Photo Copyright: Cameron DC ProStudio
Makeup: Kimberly Roberson
Dress: Phoenix Bridal, Washington DC

So now that you have your list of makeup artists you would like to contact, it’s time to make contact. You can make contact via email or phone, whichever you are most comfortable with. Keep in mind, as like most people, the makeup artist may not answer your phone call right away, as she does not recognize your number, so make sure to leave a detailed message with your name, phone number, and state you are a BRIDE.

Before you do, take the time to draft a couple questions that are important enough to be answered, as well as include what you expect in terms of the makeup look, and include the date and time of your wedding. Do not include your budget as of yet, most artists do not list their prices on their websites to keep their rates competitive. You want to be able to review the rates the artists’ give you in their responses to compare cost and quality of work.

Example Questions to ask a makeup artist include:

-What is your rate for consultations/trials? (Typical range $50-$100 depending on your location and proficiency of the artist)

-What is your bridal makeup rate? Do you have any bridal packages? (Typically $150-$250 depending on your location and proficiency of the artist)

-What is your rate per bridal attendant? (Typically $70-$150 depending on your location and proficiency of the artist)

-Do you provide touch up services?

-Do you provide touch up kits? Is there a charge for the touch up kit? (Typically $5-$25 depending on location, and type of touch up kit makeup artist provides)

-Do you offer day rates for your bridal clients? (Assuming if you would need the makeup artist and her team to stick around for touch ups throughout the day, typical rates for half-day (up to 5 hours) range $300-$500, and full day (up to 10 hours) $550-$1000—again depending on location, bridal party size, and proficiency of the artist)

Sometimes Makeup Artists also do hair or have a partner who does hair, this is a great way to save money and time contacting another makeup artist, so go ahead and ask if the artist does hair or has a hairstylist associate who can perform the task. (Allot an extra $100-$250 for a separate hairstylist)

-Do you require makeup assistants? What is the rate per assistant? (Recommended for bridal parties of 5 or more, typical makeup assistant rate is $25-$50 depending on what the makeup artist requires the assistant to do, and again on location)

-What other fees should I be aware of in regards to your makeup services? (Typically the makeup artist will provide you a schedule of fees and other makeup services listed a la carte. Such fees can include, but not limited to travel and transportation fees, lodging, mileage, early morning fees, date change fees, and cancellation fees.)

-How soon would you be able to fit me in for a consultation? Could you please define your process of performing the consultation? (The consultation should include a discussion and a full makeup service with options to modify the look to your wishes)

-Are you willing to travel to my location for my wedding?

After contacting the makeup artists, read each response carefully. Did they address all your questions or concerns? How well written is their response, and how well do they communicate with you? Did they ask YOU questions to help better understand your expectations?

Do their rates fit within your budget? Do the rates fit in with your bridal party’s budgets? Did the makeup artist give you options to manage your budget or discounts? (Discounts are normally awarded to larger bridal parties)

Carefully review each response from each makeup artist. Additionally, track the response time of which each makeup artist responds to your email. Typically, a reply should be received from the makeup artist should take roughly 24 to 48 hours at most. You want to make sure that when you choose a makeup artist that their response time is attentive. This is your big day, and you need a makeup artist who will make sure to make the time to answer your questions and concerns. Their email or phone conversation with you, should allow you to determine whether or not you would like to schedule a consultation. You don’t have to narrow it down to one makeup artist to have a consultation with, you can keep the original three you picked from your portfolio review, just keep in mind that you will be charged per consultation. Remember, the consultation is more of a formal interview and performance review of each artist, they should and always perform at their best.

Next: Consultation and Rate Negotiation

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