Washington, DC Premier Makeup Artist & Nail Artist
DC Wedding Makeup Artist

Dope Chic Artist

Beauty thoughts, tips & musings about all things bridal. beauty, skincare and nails.

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What to Look for in YOUR Bridal Makeup Artists & Questions to Ask

We know hiring a professional makeup artist is essential and strongly recommended for your weddings day or any other major life event, but how do you select the right one? Just as you mull over who your event planner or photographer should be so should you with y our makeup artist. Selecting the right artist is based on fit and asking the right questions. So what are questions the right questions you? Don’t worry! We have compiled a (very) short list of questions to ask when researching artists.


1.      What’s your bridal style?

Most artists have their signature bridal style or look that they love and work well with. If you’re a soft, natural and classic makeup bride it’s okie to go with an artist who loves soft and natural. Same if you’re a vintage or glam bride look for that artist whose style meshes with yours.

 2.      What makeup brands do you use?

Frequently asked but not really my favourite question but still important.  Why? Because not all products are created equally. Look for high quality & professional brands, not necessarily the most expensive or the best known.

 3.      Do you have experience working with various ethnicities?

Though artist should be comfortable and have experience working on every ethnicity it never hurts to ask especially if their portfolio only shows one or two different ethnic backgrounds.  A well-educated artist will know how to work with all skin colour and type and will also have the correct products to accommodate. 

 4.      Will the makeup read the same on camera as it will in person?

Your makeup should read the same in personal and on camera. It should read beautifully and natural as well as a clean finish. Remember when we said not all products are created equally? Well that comes into play here. Not every product is made for camera and not every product is made for in person. A great artist will know what’s what and will keep you looking great for your guest and camera.

 5.      Do you provide on-site service?

Many artists tend to be mobile but there are also artists who work in salons or have their own makeup studio. With this being the case it’s a good idea to ask if the artist provides on-site service. With some the price is already built in and for others, usually with studios, it may be an additional fee. Another point to remember is that some artist will only provide onsite service with a required minimum of service.

 6.      When should I book my services?

Dates book fast and at a first paid first booked way. The earlier you book the better.

 7.      How should I book?

Booking preferences varies from artist to artist. After initial contact ask for customised quote along with booking policies. For most artists services are booked and confirmed once a retainer and signed contract are received.

 8.      What is a Preview and what happens during a session?

I find that many brides to be have heard about a preview but aren’t 100% on what it is or what goes on. In simplest terms: a preview is a meeting of the artist and bride to discuss and test looks for the wedding day. During a preview session is your time bring inspiration, test out different looks and see how you work with the artist. Your wedding day should not be the time for this.

 9.      Will I have the same artist for my preview and other bridal events?

When booking beauty services especially from bigger makeup companies make sure you ask will you have one consistent artist from your preview, bridal shower, engagement photos, and other events to wedding day? Get dates and schedules out in the open upfront to ensure consistent availability is met.

 10.  What kind of beauty prep do I need before my preview and before my wedding?

The wedding presents a time constraint sometimes which is why brides and other guests should prep prior to appointments. I like to send out prep notices for my brides after they confirm their dates. Prep could be anything from proper brow grooming, skin & lip exfoliating, when to tan, have or stop a certain facial, moisturizing and so forth. Be sure to find out what kinds of preparations are needed prior to your appointments.

 11.  How many weddings will you have that day?

It’s always important to respect each other’s time and schedules. Yes it’s your wedding day and time should be dedicated to you but some artists take 2 or more brides in one day. This means it’s important that everyone is aware and respectful. The bridal party should arrive on time and the bride should arrive on time.

 12.  Do you offer touch up services?

I always recommend to all my brides to invest in touch up services. It may seem quite expensive but it is well worth it. All my brides receive mini touch up kits but sometimes that just doesn’t cut it. opting for the touch up service and not having to worry about touching up your makeup, hair or clothing is another stress relief.

 13.  How much time do you need for each person getting makeup?

This my dears is a very important aspect and also more a question for the bride vs. the artist. Many of my brides seem to underestimate the amount of time needed per attendant. The amount of allotted time and number of face greatly affects the schedule for the day. If you hire a single artist for hair and makeup you will need more time than you would normally need. If you have a bridal party of 10 but only a 3 hour prep window the artist will need to bring support.

 14.  Say life happens, like is usually does, do you have a backup plan for emergencies?

In the worst of worst your artist gets sick or has another emergency, you want to know beforehand what the alternative plans are. Many artists outline this in their contracts so review this thoroughly before signing. Or have the artist reassure and state in the contract that they will do whatever it takes to fulfill their professional obligations if they are unable to do so personally.

 15.  Are there any additional fees or day-of charges?

Don’t be afraid to ask upfront about additional charges. If your artist is coming to you to provide onsite service for your big day you make be responsible for covering tolls and parking. If you have an early or late appointment time, anything before 6am and anything after 9pm usually, there may be an early or late call fee. If you’re planning a holiday wedding such as New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Christmas etc. there may be additional fee. If you’re running late and failed to notify your artist there may be a fee. And if you need additional last minute services such bruise or tattoo cover-up or last minute attendants there will be a charge. Have your artist outline every possible fee that can be incurred.  

16.  Bonus Tip: Cleanliness.

Not much of a direct question but more of a watch and see. During your preview it is imperative to observe how calm, clean and organized your artist is. Did your artist fold under pressure because you asked a million questions? Are they properly sanitizing brushes and implements before and after use? Is their kit junkie and dirty or neat and organized?


I hope this helps in searching for the best makeup artist for you. Remember, these are just a few questions and there are many many more. There is no need to limit yourself when it comes to questions for your artist…they are there to help you. Your wedding planning leading to the day can be stressful, why not eliminate some of the stress by selecting professional, experienced, reliable and loyal vendors? My best advice: if you like an artist and still aren’t sure make sure you get your preview! See their work first hand and how you vibe together, after that your visions will always almost fall in line.


Like this post but still don’t see the answer to any of your questions, feel free to write and we’ll respond! Always here to help.


-A Dope Chic Artist