After a recent client experience where I was called in a panic because a bride's makeup artist had no showed on her wedding day (which thankfully I was able to go help with), I knew this blog post needed to be written. I hear too many horror stories of clients getting burned by unprofessional makeup artists and wanted to warn people of a few red flags to look out for when you're hiring a makeup artist to ensure you're going to have the best possible experience.
Red Flag #1: No experience or no reviews
Look out for artists who can't prove that they have a track record of successful weddings. Now, I'm not saying to not give newer artists a chance but even newer artists should have ways to prove to you that they are reliable, like experience working under or for another artist or personal recommendations from friends. Look out for reviews on independent review sites like WeddingWire, The Knot, Yelp, or Google. If you see anything concerning, take that into consideration. If you like the artist otherwise, maybe bring it up with them. They could have an explanation for the reviews. None of these are hard and fast rules, as there can always be someone who has it out for an artist for no reason, but it's good to take these things into consideration before hiring an artist.
Red Flag #2: No contracts or retainers
Look out for an artist that doesn't ask you to sign a contract or pay a retainer. These things are there to protect you just as much as they protect the artist. A contract gives you a legal footing to stand on in case something were to happen, you have the ability to show the agreement in court to prove that the artist did not fulfill your obligation. An artist having a thorough contract gives you the peace of mind to know that they are not going to flake out on you or if an emergency arises they will do their best to help you find a replacement artist. The same goes for a retainer. Looking for these signs of a legitimate business can help to ensure you're not hiring someone who will flake out on you.
Red Flag #3: Poor communication
If you're constantly having trouble getting to talk to your artist or routinely waiting days or weeks to hear back from them via phone or email, this is a big red flag. Your artist should be willing to communicate with you and answer any questions you have. They should be on top of scheduling and you shouldn't have to be constantly asking them about the same things over and over. This should be something you can tell from the beginning of communication with an artist and should be able to avoid someone who isn't committed to you.
Red Flag #4: Too much of a bargain
I get it, we all like a deal. But if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Someone who charges incredibly low prices probably is not running a legitimate business, and this should make you nervous when booking them. If they're not serious about their business, they potentially will be flaky, won't be carrying liability insurance, or just won't show up at all. Your wedding is not a place you should want to take chances on a bargain, you should ensure you hire a professional who knows what they're doing and will be reliable.
Red Flag #5: Asking you to bring your own makeup
This is another indication of someone who is not running a real business. If you are a makeup artist, you should have a kit full of makeup for every skin type, shade, and anything your clients may request. The only time a legitimate artist would ask you to bring your own makeup is if you have severe allergies and they don't have the time to patch test their products on you, but otherwise your makeup artist should be providing everything for you.
Red Flag #6: Poor sanitation
This may not be a red flag for someone who won't show for you, but this should be a BIG red flag for you. If an artist is using dirty tools or their kit looks nasty, RUN far away. Many people don't realize how dangerous a makeup application can potentially be, but makeup artists who don't practice proper sanitation can spread eye infections, herpes simplex, and many other undesirable illnesses. You definitely don't want to take chances with your health or your eyesight, so make sure the artist you hire for your wedding practices proper sanitation.