As a professional makeup artist in Bristol (MUA) I love making people feel and look their best, especially on big days like their wedding.
I wish I could help women look their best every day, but being realistic, unless you’re a Hollywood superstar, most people are only going to have the money to get a professional to apply their makeup a few times in their lives.
And because of that lack of familiarity with the process it can start to feel overwhelming.
I know so many of my clients who have never worked with a makeup artist before go into their consultation, wedding day or special event with loads of questions.
What should I bring? Do I need to wear anything special? Should I take my own products? Am I meant to come with foundation already applied?
But I (and every makeup artist I’ve ever met) want it to be an amazing experience for you, so I’ve put together these quick tips every professional makeup artist wish you knew to make the process of working with a professional MUA stress-free.
1) Tell us if you’re a makeup virgin
As professional makeup artists, a big part of our job is to make sure you feel relaxed, pampered and comfortable.
So I always make sure to guide all my clients through the process and explain everything as best I can. Going the extra mile is just part of the job!
But if you’ve never used a professional makeup artist before or rarely use makeup, tell us. I promise we won’t laugh or judge.
Instead, we’ll offer even more support, make sure we explain even clearer and really go the extra mile, giving additional advice about touching up and the process.
We really want you to come away from the experience having loved every minute of it.
After all, we’re here to help and create an amazing look for you that’ll leave you glowing for days!
2) Come clean
It’s not unusual for clients to come to me already wearing foundation or sometimes a full face of makeup.
Just like it’s best to go to the salon without any product in your hair, it’s best to start your appointment with your makeup artist without any makeup.
In most cases your makeup artist will be applying everything and providing the products as part of the complete package.
If for some reason you have to come already wearing makeup, it’s not the end of the world, it will just have to be removed before your new look can be started.
But removing even the smallest amount of makeup can leave skin a little irritated, which is a less than ideal canvas for getting started, so it’s best avoided.
3) Make a look book
We love giving advice about what will work with your skin type, skin tone, facial structure and a million and one other factors. That’s part of why you’re going to a professional.
But most people have some idea of what they’re looking for and the best way to communicate that to your makeup artist is with a look book.
Whether it’s printed out pictures, a link to a Pinterest board you email us beforehand or some pics on your phone, seeing exactly what you’re after can help us to make sure you get the look of your dreams.
This becomes even more important if you’re looking to model your look on a celebrity, because their looks can vary drastically between projects. And you might be thinking of one look of theirs, while your makeup artist is thinking of another.
4) Enhancing not changing
I’m a bit of a wizard (Hermione, of course!) with the makeup brush, if I do say so myself. But makeup isn’t magical.
And while highlighting and contouring can do amazing things for your face if you’re going for a more extreme look, makeup isn’t magical and can’t change your underlying facial structure.
Instead makeup is best when it’s used to enhance your natural beauty, rather than trying to change it. So keep this in mind when deciding what look you want.
And if your makeup artist says a particular look won’t work for you, trust her. She’s got your best interest at heart!
By choosing to work with and enhance your natural features, rather than change them, you’ll come away feeling and looking great!
There’s nothing more important to me than making my clients happy and having them leave loving their look! And that’s the same with every Makeup artist I know.
So please, if there’s something you’re unhappy with or the look is going in a direction you don’t like, speak up!
We’ll both be glad you did!
It might just be that like with a haircut, you’re in the middle section of the look where things don’t look as you expect and it’s heading in the right direction. Or there genuinely might be some miscommunication. But the only way to be sure you walk away happy is to voice your concerns.
And don’t worry about hurting our feelings. We won’t be offended, we’ll be happy you spoke up.
6) But remember: silence is beautiful
I love gossiping with clients. There’s nothing better than when you’re really getting along with someone and having amazing conversation.
And you’ll have plenty of time for great chats with your makeup artist. You’ll meet, you’ll discuss looks, life and everything in-between.
But at certain times during the makeup application process, a moving face makes it really difficult to create those clean lines necessary for an amazing look.
So have a great time with your makeup artist, but also enjoy relaxing in silence during parts of the application process, especially the delicate parts like lipstick, mascara and eyeliner application.
7) Let us know your allergies
This is quick, but super important. Please let us know any allergies to makeup products you might have and we’ll be able to work around it.
Or if you’re unsure, we might recommend patch tests to make sure you won’t have a crazy reaction to any products we apply.
So many people are unaware of makeup allergies they might have, so especially if you’re not getting a consultation or trial run before a big day, like your wedding, it can be a good idea to try patch testing loads of products.
Or ask your makeup artist what products they’re likely to use for your look and try patch testing them before you meet up.
After all, even a little reaction can ruin your look.
8) Prep your face
Your face is the canvas. And the canvas is just as important as the artist.
So make sure in the weeks and months ahead you’re taking the best care of your face possible, to provide the best canvas.
If your skincare routine is normally a little lax, get more disciplined with it.
A facial a week before your appointment can do wonders.
The better the canvas you give to the makeup artist, the happier you’ll be with the final look.
9) Ask us for advice
If you’re having a big day-long event like a wedding, unless you’re getting us to stick around all day, chances are you’ll have to do a little bit of touching up yourself.
We’ll try to explain what we’re doing as we do it to help you with that. But if anything is unclear or you want to know why we chose a specific product for your skin or a technique, please just ask!
We love helping, and it’ll make sure you’re even happier with your look and may even be able to recreate it at home.
10) Makeup brushes are filthy
This isn’t so much about working with makeup artists as it is a great tip to take from makeup artists.
As makeup artists we use our brushes on multiple people a day and are constantly cleaning and sanitising them. But most people never clean their brushes.
And it means they’re a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause breakouts, skin irritation and even skin diseases. So it’s always a good idea to clean your brushes to avoid blemishes.
So there you go. If you follow these 10 secrets makeup artists wish you knew, you’re sure to get amazing results from your makeup artist and a look you’ll fall in love with!