Have you come to search for a local make-up artist close to where you live, and when you go on the internet it comes up with hundreds and hundreds of different suggestions?
You are not alone. When I speak to clients, unless they have used their chosen artist before, or a friend recommends somebody, who do they choose? More importantly, what questions should they ask.
Today’s guest to the blog is a dear friend of mine, who I have known for over 11 years, I had the pleasure of working with Lizzie at some of the weddings I have photographed, she also did my wife’s hair and make-up, and I also had the pleasure of photographing her own wedding.
I asked Lizzie if she would be willing to answer some key questions regarding her business, and hopefully Lizzie’s insight into her profession will give any brides-to-be some guidance when choosing their make-up artist.
Q – Hi Lizzie, how far in advance of the wedding day do you normally get enquiries from potential clients?
A – I would say on average I get enquiries about 6 months to a year in advance.
Q – How key are testimonials/referrals to your business?
A – Testimonials and referrals are incredibly important; the main source of my business is now through word of mouth.
Q – Do you find that clients will come along to the consultation with their own ideas, or in many cases, you must advise on a style that suits them?
A – Sometimes the client will have a selection of pictures, showing styles and ideas that they like, sometimes they’ll have little or no fixed idea. Either way it’s always the case that the trial enables me to work alongside the client and create various looks to suit them personally, and so that process is crucial for all my clients. I am always happy to demonstrate ideas and show them a variety of options and my number one rule is to ensure they feel comfortable and confident in whatever looks we achieve.
Q – If they have come to you with ideas, do you know where they research their ideas?
A – No, I’m just shown photos they’ve saved and that can come from a variety of sources. These could be from the internet, social media sites, or magazines.
Q – How far in advance do you carry out the trial with the client?
A – As a guide I usually recommend a Bridal Make-Up Only Trial to be done 1-2 months in advance of the wedding date, and a Bridal Hair and Make-Up Trial 2-3 months in advance of the wedding date.
Q – How does the trial work?
A – I’m a mobile service, therefore I would go to the client’s location for the trial. We would then talk through their requirements and ideas and then move on to me doing their make-up and/or hair. I always take photographs in natural and flash light for the make-up – as I like to get the balance of them looking great in the flesh as well as on camera, and photos from the front, back and sides are taken of any hairstyles they like. If they have any hair accessories at the trial (tiaras, veils etc) I would photograph them alongside the hairstyles too.
Q – What should the client wear to the trial?
A – I’d suggest just casual comfortable clothing which wouldn’t matter if any make-up or hair products accidentally fell upon it. I also colour match the foundation around the chest area so ideally, they’d wear something not too high or restricted in the neck.
Q – Do you take photos of the different looks you do, and are these passed onto the client for reference?
A – Yes, I take photos of all make-up and hairstyles which the client is happy with, then I email them onto the client within about a week of the trial.
Q – How should the client prepare their skin leading up to the big day?
A – I suggest they follow their usual skin regime and any facials be done far enough in advance so to prevent any break outs coinciding with the wedding day, although that said if there are spots and blemishes it doesn’t matter – that’s why we have make-up and clever photographers!
Q – On the Wedding Day, what is your typical schedule from start to finish?
A – I’m a one-man band as such, so I run a little production line on the wedding morning, where I do make-up and/or hair for each of the required bridal party members finishing with the bride, or sometimes the bride is done penultimately depending on timings restrictions. I always do final checks and never leave until everyone is happy and dressed. I also fit the veil on the bride and have been known to help with getting them into their dress if required as I can do corset backs.
Q – Do you offer a contract, or how does this work once you have taken a client on?
A – I don’t do contracts, I just reserve a client’s wedding date once they’ve confirmed they wish to book me, then all I ask is if they change their mind or wish to cancel then to let me know so I can free up the date again. My payment structure also supports this simple approach – I take payment for the trial on the trial date, and then the remaining balance is then due on/before the wedding date.
Q – If you had one piece of advice to give to a client what would it be?
A – Make sure you enjoy every moment of your wedding day – (it’s true what they say how fast it goes!) and remember it’s ultimately always about the two of you and nobody else.
Hopefully the information that Lizzie has shared will give you some sound advice on what to expect from your make-up artist.
I have published Lizzie’s business details below, should you wish to contact her. I have also put together a short video on my YouTube channel showcasing some of her work. Please click here to watch the video.
Liz Parkins Make-Up
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