How to pick your Wedding Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist

Overwhelmed on who to choose for your Wedding Makeup Artist and/or Hair Stylist?!

Yeah, I feel you! 

With more Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists emerging than ever before, and with Instagram leading the way in displaying thousands of different looks and styles every single day, it is easy to understand if you have no idea where to start…

Are they qualified? Does it matter if they are qualified?

How long have they been doing Makeup/Hair?

How many Weddings have they done?

How do I know if I will like their work?

How can I avoid having Trials with multiple people potentially wasting my money?

How do I know they won’t back out at the last minute?

How do I know they won’t just take my deposit and run?

How do I know what to pay for a good, high-quality Artist? What IS the average cost?

What if they don’t prioritise my booking?

…Should I even continue?! 

Yes, the list of questions is never ending and even though I personally have never been married, I have definitely heard it all from my Brides in the last 8 years of working in the industry. You are already bombarded with a million documents and crucial decisions leading up to your Wedding Day never mind choosing your Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist, so, I have done the hard work for you in the hope that this will make the decision process a little quicker, and a whole lot easier…


  1. Have you heard of them before? Word-of-mouth referrals and recommendations are the best way to gage whether your Makeup Artist or Hair Stylist is going to be good. 9 times out of 10, if a friend, family member or previous Bride recommends someone, they are going to be someone who delivers right through from enquiry to result, and this means security for you and looking your absolute best. So if someone has been recommended to you, I would jump online and google; this will be a good starting point for you. Check their website, portfolio, Wedding history and Reviews from previous Brides…
  2. Does their work demonstrate what you are looking for? Have a list or a clear idea of how you envisage your hair and makeup to look on your big day. Do you prefer full-coverage foundation or like your skin to still be seen? Do you like heavy eyeliner, false lashes and statement lips or do you prefer natural, soft tones and colours with minimal eyeliner? Having some idea of what you’re looking for beforehand will make the process so much easier and will avoid you getting caught up in a million different websites not knowing which style would look good on you.

3 Will they be reliable and committed to my Wedding? Will they respond promptly? Will they call you? Will they assure you of regular communication? Liking someone’s work and getting a first response is one thing…but having a flow of communication and feeling organised AND prioritised is another… You can ask questions when you email/call them like “How often should I expect to hear from you if I book with you?”, “Will I receive a confirmation text/email before having a Trial and before the Wedding Day?” “Shall I contact you or will you contact me after the Trial to see if I am happy and want to proceed?” …Professionalism and clear contact from your Artist/Stylist is crucial and a big indicator into how experienced and organised they will be. If you don’t hear from them for weeks on end or find that they are a little blasé, then it might be worth considering someone else.

4 Make a Top 5. So you have found a couple of people who could potentially become your Makeup Artist / Hair Stylist so where to next? Instead of emailing your ‘favourite’ and waiting for their reply before you email anyone else, I would suggest making a Top 5 List and emailing the same template more or less to each of them. This way, if only 3 reply out of 5, you can now go from there seeing their pricing, availability etc..

In the first email I would be asking about their…

  • Availability
  • Experience
  • Travel Do they travel to you as a mobile Artist/Stylist or do they require you to go to them? (I 100% recommend having your Artist/Stylist come to you)
  • Pricing and the varying costs of Bridal Party pricing compared to Mums, Guests, Flower Girls, Travel Fees, Trials etc
  • Do they have a Service Agreement Form for you to fill out and read or something similar that outlines the legalities and financial agreement between yourself and the Artist/Stylist? This kind of form provides peace of mind for yourself as well as the ability to read through things such as Pricing, Payment, Deposits, Cancelation Policies, Liabilities etc and is also a chance to let the Artist know of any specific requests or makeup allergies/sensitivities anyone might have… With everything being on paper (and signed by both the Artist and yourself) it prevents any potential upsets or issues going forward…
  • Do they have an Assistant – if you have a large Bridal Party or want to get ready in as little time as possible, an Assistant is necessary – asking this first will help you to determine whether you will need to look for an additional Artist or not. If you have yourself, 6 bridesmaids, 2 Mums and a Flower girl, this would take on estimate, 7-8 hours to complete…just for Makeup! So if you’re Ceremony is at 1.00pm and you need to be ready by 12.00pm, that means a 5am start at the latest and if you ask me, that’s a long day! I have a little un-written rule where if possible, I make sure no one is getting up before 6am and so if this was a booking I was taking on, I would have my Assistant on board to cut the Service time essentially in half or close enough to.

The same applies if your Stylist does both Makeup and Hair – that’s fantastic but how much time will they need for each? And again, do they have an Assistant so that you and your Bridal Party aren’t just sitting around doing nothing for hours and hours while only 1 thing gets done at a time by the Stylist. – just something to think about :)

  • The Products they use – Brands I like to see in a Makeup Artistskit include: MAC, Laura Mercier, NARS, Makeup Studio, Inglot, Bobbi Brown, Tom Ford, Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Marc Jacobs, Huda Beauty, Tarte, Stila, Too Faced…There are many other high-quality brands out there also but look for ‘high-definition’ and ‘photographic’ makeup as much as possible…
  • Do they require a Deposit? Not having to pay a deposit to an Artist/ Stylist may sound good initially but just remember, that might be a red flag. Are they going to back out of your booking last minute if you haven’t paid a deposit? Will they change the pricing if you haven’t locked anything in? Will they treat your Wedding as a priority if you haven’t paid something to secure the date? Deposits are a good indication that your Artist/Stylist is legit, committed, and organised. Everyone has different Termsand Conditions with their payment structure however, I would say a Deposit around 20-40% is about right, with the deposit being non-refundable if you choose to cancel within say 3 months. BE AWARE for the sake of your own pocket: If a deposit is required BEFORE you have had a Trial with them and the deposit is NON-REFUNDABLE straight out of the gate, then you may potentially lose some pennies if you decide that you no longer want to use that Artist/Stylist. My suggestion is to pay a deposit either before the Trial with it being re-fundable insid e of a certain time-frame, OR have the Trial first, and once happy, THEN pay the deposit! …

Information to provide to the Artist:

  • The ceremony time if you can to make sure the Makeup Artist / Hair Stylist can allow enough time for everyone
  • What location you will be getting ready at to determine the cost and travel time
  • If you require an Assistant – as explained above
  • What time the Photographer is looking to arrive and what time he/she would like everybody finished by – more or less

…Essentially, you wan’t to feel organised and prepared before you even think about looking up potential Makeup Artists and/or Hair or sending them an email. Knowing what you are looking for and what may be a potential warning sign, will help in making the whole process smoother and help to ensure that you have the best Artist/Stylist for you on the day.

Your Wedding Day is one of the most, if not THE most significant day of your life, and you should be made to feel that way from every vendor and company you book.

If you would like more tips on what to look for and how to go about booking a Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist, click here to download my custom-made PDF, or feel free to send me an email at

And good luck with finding the perfect Artist for you!

Chloé Ellouise

* Photographs from the Wedding of Colette and Sam, 13th April 2017, Hair and Makeup by Chloé Ellouise and Assistant, Photographed by Israel Baldago Photography

Copyright ©Chloé Ellouise 2020