Luckily, this isn't the norm but I have lost out on booking weddings because a "family friend who likes makeup" is going to render the services for the bridal party. But I want to issue a word of caution against using the family friend instead of a professional makeup artist or hairstylist.
Photo Credit: Abigail Miles Photography
There's a reason we're professionals and Aunt Brenda isn't. Here's my top 5...
1. The biggest and most important reason is - we have INSURANCE and CONTRACTS. Insurance is for everybody's protection. The contract is also for everybody's protection but most importantly, yours. The contract bars me from just not showing up the day of your wedding because I would rather sleep in. It also outlines the terms and expectations for both of us for how the wedding day is going to go. Lastly, it confirms pricing. I won't come out of the woodwork a week before your wedding saying "You know, I'd rather charge $200/person now instead of $100."
2. We won't back out unless absolutely necessary. I've had clients come to me in a panic because their cousin decided it's too much pressure to do makeup for 8 people on the wedding day by herself. You run the risk of ending up with no makeup artist on your big day if your original "artist" backs out. The worst I've ever heard is the person just deciding to not show up and ghost the bride on the day of. Nobody needs that kind of stress added to one of the most important days of their life!
3. We have fully stocked kits. Chances are, your family friend doesn't have a kit stocked full of foundations for every skin tone. You may think going this route is cheaper, and it might be, but you will likely need to supply all of your own makeup and let me tell you, a full face of makeup is quite expensive when you break it all down! Not to mention, our kits should be stocked with professional products that we've tested and know how to work with.
4. We understand makeup. A reputable, professional makeup artist will be someone who invests in education to stay up to date with trend, product, etc. Aunt Brenda has probably been doing her makeup the same way since 1987 and we all remember how makeup looked in the 80s... We also understand how to work with different undertones, eye colors, eye shapes, skin types, etc.
5. We are sanitary. If your artist doesn't have a bottle of alcohol (not Fireball!), disposables, hand sanitizer, stainless steel palette and spatula in their kit, then they're not a true professional. The artists I surround myself with take sanitation very seriously, especially now that COVID-19 is on everyone's radar. It's not only for your safety, but for ours as well and the safety of our kit. There are so many opportunities to transfer germs between clients but a professional makeup artist will nip that in the bud and keep you safe and take pride in doing so.
I also want to put out a word of caution against using a salon that offers cheap makeup services. Hairstylists are good at something I could never do; I stay in my lane, girl! They're masters of the three dimensional art of putting together the perfect wedding day -do! However, most of them are not invested as makeup artists and they only provide the service because the salon offers it and it means more money even if they're only charging $35/face. Salons can also be guilty of using expired makeup as it's not the forefront of their business so the makeup sits on a shelf for god knows how long. Now, I'm not saying all salons are guilty of these sins but it's something to be aware of, especially if the price is too good to be true. You typically get what you pay for and what you deserve is a high quality, luxury experience and a professional bridal makeup artist!