Your wedding day is one of the most special days of your life and hopefully one that you will treasure forever. A big day that takes up so much planning and organisation, and deals a large hit to your bank account in the process. Most brides essentials are her dress, the venue, her makeup and her photographs, but why is it that bridal makeup costs more than say, makeup for a big night out with the girls? The question the most brides silently ask is ‘why is my wedding makeup more expensive?’ Allow me to explain…
1. Time and products
Every single one of my clients are extremely important to me – without my lovely clients, I wouldn’t be able to have my own business and it’s up to me to make sure that each and every lady that has their makeup done with me not only looks amazing, but feels amazing at the end of it too. Bridal bookings, however, are a whole new kettle of fish. This is a massive day for any bride and bridal party and everything must be absolutely perfect and exactly to the brides liking. This is why I like to spend more time with my bridal clients than I would with a client who comes to me for special occasion makeup. Why? Because we have one shot on the day to knock the socks off everybody attending that wedding with an absolutely stunning bridal look that not only looks fabulous, but stays fabulous all day. Trials are so, so important to any wedding day and I wouldn’t take the stress or worry of booking in any bride without a trial beforehand for the sake of both myself and the bride. We both need peace of mind to know that the makeup on the day will be exactly what the bride has envisioned. In my trials, contracts are signed between myself and the bride, I spend time talking to my bride about their special day and discussing their requirements in detail to make sure I perfect the look for them.
Usually trials take up more products than a normal makeover as we have to perfect the look. If the bride doesn’t like her base or if she wants to try another pair of lashes, we need to take it from the top once again, and lashes can’t be used again on another client once they’ve been applied to one clients eyes. Perhaps my bride’s foundation doesn’t last as long as she’d like it to – in this case, I’d go out and find one suitable just for her skin and give her a sample to try, and try different setting techniques too. If it works, great! If not, I’ll go out and find another until I source the perfect, flawless base. And what about when the bride walks away after her trial and goes home? That’s when my work continues; writing up the products, making an accurate recording of what I’ve used, where I applied it on the brides’ face and also making notes of any special requirements. Photographs are watermarked and sent along to the bride so that she can take a look at the makeup in detail. A file is made ready for the big day full of photographs and a rundown of the makeup and any skin allergies/concerns. On the actual morning of the wedding, my bridal clients arrive to a glass of bubbles and sweet treats to enjoy with their bridal party.
Weddings are an absolutely massive responsibility for a makeup artist. Not only are we a makeup artist on the day, but we are also a friend, a confidant and sometimes even a therapist. Who gets the brunt of the bride’s stress, tears or anguish? The makeup artist! It’s not only my job on the day to apply the makeup – I take it upon myself to reassure my brides, talk them through their fear of walking down the aisle with all eyes on them, help wipe their tears away and patch the makeup up again, and join in on their excitement and joy. If they’re not happy with their look, I’ll stay and adjust their makeup until they are. Unhappy with their hair that’s now dropping out of it’s style and the hairdresser has gone? I’ll pin it back in. Loose threads on the dress or bridesmaids not sure how to lace the bride into her corset? I’m there! It’s important to realise that your makeup artist, in my case anyway, becomes your rock to lean on over your wedding morning and is there to make you look and feel absolutely beautiful. I keep in touch with my bridal clients from the moment they book with me to ensure that they know I’m here, I care and that I’m as excited about their special day as they are and will do everything I can to make it perfect for them. Professional makeup artists won’t ditch you before the day of your wedding or ‘forget’ to turn up on the day. I can’t tell you how many brides have come to me in tears after losing money to makeup artists locally (yes, I mean in Barnsley) due to trials not being up to standard or makeup artists simply ‘vanishing’ once booking fees are paid. I won’t name and shame because that would be unprofessional and breach my client confidentiality, but a few would no doubts surprise you.
3. Experience and professionalism
As with any business, sometimes you pay extra for a special service. A bridal makeover is an extra special service. Having had training specifically in contemporary bridal makeup and vintage bridal makeup, this is one area of my expertise and one area that I have worked hard in perfecting. I still constantly pour money into training in to make sure that I’m up to date and moving with the times. I am a member of an insurance body, I am named as Highly Commended with the prestigious Bridebook.co.uk Wedding Awards as the Best Wedding Beauty Supplier of the Year 2017 out of over 70,000 other suppliers. I have been trained by the likes of makeup marvels Val Garland and Luis Casco, as well as the key artists over at Illamasqua to hone my skills. I take pride and care in my work, and I am recognised for the work that I do not only locally, but globally, after slowly building my reputation over six years of hard work. Having an experienced makeup artist there on your wedding morning as opposed to a newly qualified artist who doesn’t really know the routine yet can make or break your wedding day. Just like any normal person, your makeup artist can crumble under the pressure and stress of the day, so choose your bridal artist wisely and you’ll reap the rewards with beautiful makeup that lasts the day and maybe even a new friend at the end of it.
4. Travel and luxury
Having your makeup artist come out to your home or venue on the day of your wedding is a luxury. A lot of makeup artists are not mobile and will not budge on their policy of travel even for bridal makeup. Working in a busy room full of girls getting ready, excitable children running around and a heck of a lot of distractions is not easy. Add to that the bad lighting that might be in the room, the lack of space to set out our tools and the tiny stool we’re having to kneel in front of to complete your makeup and you can understand how much of a hard task it can be for us to get it just right. But we won’t complain – this is your day and we’re here to help make it perfect so we’ll do all we can to ensure that happens as smoothly as possible.
Sometimes I might have a bride and bridal party who need to be ready for 11am and live miles away from where I’m based. This can mean me getting up at 4am to get ready, pack the car and travel down to arrive at the bride’s house in good time to apply hers and her bridal parties makeup ready for the wedding ceremony. Sometimes I can be working 5-6 hours straight with no time in between to grab a quick drink or catch my breath.
Wedding makeup is full on, takes time and effort, concentration and precision. Brides put so much effort into their big day, so why shouldn’t I? It’s my job to uphold my part of the bargain and have my brides and bridal parties looking cover-girl stunning whatever the cost.
On the other hand, if I’m primarily studio based – which I tend to be these days, I cater to my bridal clients once they arrive and don’t stop until long after they’ve left. The preparation starts the week or several days before to buy in fresh food and drinks ready for their arrival, the evening before, the studio is set up ready and cleaned once again to make sure everything is pristine. On the day, clients are greeted with bubbles, sweet treats and freshly ground coffee, tea and juice. They receive a beautiful wedding card congratulating them on their big day. They are treated like my best friends or family would be in a beautiful, private and safe studio setting. Remember that studios have overheads to take care of too – heating, electricity…even the food and drink provided on the morning. And once the bridal party have left, the washing up, tidying and brush cleaning continues.
I’ve mentioned it before but I’ll mention it again. Choosing a makeup artist who is properly insured can save you a lot of heartache should anything go wrong at the last minute. It is always better to be safe than to be sorry and any makeup artist who is conscientious and serious about their craft will have their back and their client’s backs covered. They also won’t be offended if you ask for proof of their insurance. Trust me, ask. It could save you a lot of upset.
I hope that this article has helped to explain why bridal makeup artistry is more expensive than regular special occasion makeup. It’s so important that bridal makeup is carried out properly and that every single bride you make over feels 100% happy, confident and absolutely gorgeous in their wedding day makeup. As makeup artists, it’s a privilege to be asked to be a part of somebody’s special day, and we should never, ever forget that.
© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2014.