12 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a Hair and Makeup Artist for Your Wedding Day
As a local #Nashville freelance hair and makeup artist, I wish some of my friends and acquaintances would do a little more homework before hiring their beauty gurus. I know my personal pricing menu isn't affordable for everyone, and I totally get that, but there are more things you can ask someone you've got your eye on before just blindly hoping it'll work out. And there's TONS of artists in the area that you should def shop around, so I'm in no way making this post saying you should hire me. Although, that would be cool too.
I'm going to answer these questions as if you were interviewing me.
THE OBVIOUS QUESTIONS:
What are your rates?
This is a personal thing for me, but it irks me when artists fees aren't easily available on their websites. Like, why hide it? It seems a little shady when you have to go out of your way to email someone about their price menu. If you were to reach out to me and ask this, I would direct you by saying "My pricing is listed under the Rates section on my website (www.declanandmae.com/rates) so please check that out first and let me know if you have additional questions." I want to be crystal clear with all potential clients.
Do you work in a salon or travel on-site?
All of these questions in this section should be a transparent thing to find when browsing the artist's website. I am a freelance artist, so I will travel wherever you need me to within the Middle Tennessee area. My travel fee is the standard $0.58 per mile and I don't begin charging that until after 10 miles of my home base in East Nashville. On a side note in regards to an artist who works in a salon, I feel like there are different sides of the brain when it comes to a hairstylist. Most of the time, you either have a bomb af artist who cuts and colors or you either have a bomb af artist who can whip up this magical updo in 30 seconds flat. It's a little rare when you have someone who can do both. So if you talk with your mom or other previous generational women, they might suggest going into a salon to get your wedding day hair and makeup services done, and I would suggest finding a mobile artist. We've been trained with down and updos specifically and we've had years of experience doing them. It's a very special craft to us. The same goes for makeup artistry.
Do you have a portfolio where I can view your work?
My portfolio is my Home page on my website, so when you click the link to find me, there's a light box saying "welcome, etc" and my portfolio page is directly behind it. I put up one image from each wedding on that page and if you click on it, it will take you to a blog post that has more pictures, makeup product breakdown, before-and-after photos, and more.
What about references/reviews?
I have a section on my website dedicated to my reviews. Because I want those reviews to be in a specific format, the way to send them to me is via my Facebook page, a direct email, or through The Knot or Wedding Wire. I'll then just copy and paste onto my website. Once I have met your needs on your wedding day, I'll send out an email about a week later asking for your review. I want your true opinion of me and any assistants I had with me because the only way I grow is to hear the truth. And same goes for any artist you hire. We should be continually striving for excellence and beauty trends always change. So if you find someone who is still doing the same look from 5 years ago, you might should consider someone who knows who to adapt based on current trends and what you want for your big day.
THE BEAUTY QUESTIONS
What is the difference between airbrush and traditional foundation?
Airbrush became super popular at a time when there was nothing like it on the market. It gives you that seriously flawless face and stays put all night long. And it's still a very trendy thing to request for your wedding day. Since then, most brands have improved drastically and are very comparable to airbrush. If you want my personal opinion, you want a foundation that 1) stays all day, 2) doesn't make you look like a cake-face/settle in lines, and 3) has a glow-from-within look to it. Airbrush definitely offers that (depends on brand and formula, of course), but I prefer a traditional foundation like Nars Radiant Longwear. It's a medium-to-full coverage, has a huge shade range, and makes your skin look like butter. It's what I keep in my kit. I do still offer airbrush if that's what you chose to go with, so there's options.
Do you supply all makeup or will I need to bring mine?
Any professional artist will supply 100% hair and makeup products themselves. If someone tells you that you need to bring your own foundation, I would advise to not hire them. To me, that's a big red flag that they don't know what they're doing.
Are you comfortable with different ethnicities?
Again with being a professional artist, if you went to beauty school, you should know how to work on different skin tones. There's no excuse not to. Even if you're a self-taught artist, educate yourself with undertones and practice as much as possible. There's a reason our melanin queens don't trust Caucasian makeup artists because in the past, they don't get the undertone correct. I don't work with darker skin tones as often as I'd like, but I feel very comfortable applying makeup for ALL women. There's a makeup educator, Nicky Posley, who always says "You should be able to work with women from Norway to Zimbabwe." On the flip side, if you're super fair, I've seen artists make them look too yellow or too dark. I am one who wants to make every person feel happy after they see the finished look.
Are you comfortable with mature skin?
This target audience is a little tricky to learn if you're unaware. Mature skin requires totally different products, skincare included. Prep-work is the key for both makeup and hair. If you use anything matte for younger skin -- because they want zero shine and are afraid of looking oily -- it can't be used for mom or grandma. They've already got life lines and something matte will just completely suck out any remaining moisture they have left. They want to look young and youthful again, so it's best to stick with cream or satin products. So without giving away all my beauty secrets, YES, I'm comfortable with mature skin as well.
THE DIG DEEPER QUESTIONS
If I book and pay right now, will you offer any discounts to me?
I do not offer any pay-in-full discounts right now. There are some artists to where if you pay in full at the time of booking, they'll offer 10% off. But from my experience, most brides don't have a confirmed number for hair and makeup from their wedding party yet, so it's difficult to do this.
Do you offer discounts for larger parties?
I just started offering large party discounts. If you have a large wedding party (bridesmaids or bridesmen only apply to this) of 8+, then I will offer a discount of $5 per service. So if one of your ladies are wanting both hair and makeup, it'll be $10 off total.
Who puts together the beauty schedule?
Some wedding planners want to put together the beauty schedule and this drives me NUTS! They do not know how long it takes me to complete a face or head of hair, so why do they think it's their job to do this. It's not, plain a simple. Please reach out to me in regards to this. For those that book me, I schedule each slot at 40 minutes each. Most times, hair is done quicker, but I want it all to be uniform. And if we happen to get done sooner than the finish time, then that's just extra time for you to perfect vows, take some deep breaths, take a last minute potty break, or eat a quick bite.
Do you offer services for the LGBTQIA+ community?
ABSOLUTELY! It truly hurts my heart when artists refuse service to this group of people. Your personal feelings should always be left out of your business practices and I just don't get it. Not only are you losing out on money (not the most important thing, obviously, but it's still a factor), but you're denying them a basic right. Every single person deserves happiness and making it legal with a wedding.
So tell me, what did I forget?
I want to hear your thoughts on this blog post and if there is something I forgot to mention, I'd love to add it in hopes that it will help me as well as other brides out in the future.
Much love, Meghan
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