Home Artist's Lounge Notes on Becoming A Bridal Makeup Artist

Notes on Becoming A Bridal Makeup Artist

by Beatrice


In the world of makeup artistry, there are more than a few industries where you can apply your makeup skills and expertise. Some of the big fields are TV, film, theater, fashion, beauty, and one of them is bridal makeup. All those are entirely separate industries, and you need to focus on one. Because each industry has different groups of people and different forms of working as well as various ways of training, you can’t expect to excel in several areas, especially in the beginning. Being a bridal makeup artist is a beautiful career path. The wedding day may be one of the most photographed in a bride’s life. The importance of making them look their best on that day carries a lot of responsibility. You will need to master beauty makeup skills and learn the intricacies of working on wedding days. If you are interested in specializing in wedding makeup as well as special occasions, read on.

Being a bridal makeup artist brings a specific dynamic, and it is not just about knowing how to make someone beautiful. If you want to go in the business of bridal makeup and to deliver your best and leave no room for surprises (inevitably, they are going to be some), it is best to not rush into it. Educate yourself first and be well-prepared. Weddings can provide a steady and high income for makeup artists as brides and bridal parties can be excellent clients. But know that you MUST be business savvy to maintain wedding freelance business.


Destination Weddings - Notes on Becoming A Bridal Makeup Artist

How to become a bridal makeup artist?


  1. Consider going to a specialized wedding makeup course.
  2. Be an assistant makeup artist at weddings.
  3. Prepare your wedding makeup kit.
  4. Establish an excellent online presence.
  5. Develop your business knowledge, self-marketing, and networking
  6. Network with other professionals in the industry, such as wedding planners, photographers, and dressmakers.  This opens greater job opportunities.

#1 Consider going to a specialized wedding makeup course.

Courses in makeup artistry provide students with training in the techniques and tools used to apply cosmetics for special occasions. Students discover how to create both glamorous and natural looks for brides. Also, they learn how their makeup looks translate on video and images. Some training programs can be completed in only a few months and lead to a diploma.

Makeup artistry programs also might include business training for students planning to operate their own businesses. Courses in business can teach the aspiring bridal makeup artist about marketing and portfolio building techniques.

valerie elash bI8Yv7AH6b0 unsplash 683x1024 - Notes on Becoming A Bridal Makeup Artist

Be an assistant makeup artist at weddings.

Learn by watching what more experienced colleagues do. Connect with wedding makeup artists, and ask them if they are looking for someone on their team to assist. Makeup artists often need assistants, especially at weddings, as to how you spend your time is vital when it comes to big bridal parties. As a makeup assistant, you would be responsible for sanitizing makeup brushes and tools, ​retrieving whatever equipment MUA needs to work on a client, applying makeup on clients when asked, and handling whatever small tasks arise during the day.

Depositphotos 34013433 l 2015 682x1024 - Notes on Becoming A Bridal Makeup Artist

Prepare your wedding makeup kit.

Achieving a flawless bridal beauty look starts with what kind of makeup you use. Besides makeup products, you will need to buy skincare products to prepare the skin and achieve that healthy-looking glow all brides desire. Prepping the skin and using high-quality makeup products in your kit will ensure that the makeup application will last the whole day.

Jobs Mua - Notes on Becoming A Bridal Makeup Artist

Many professional wedding makeup artists offer bridal hair, and makeup touch-up kit as a part of their services. On the day of the wedding. It serves brides to maintain the makeup you did and make sure it looks great throughout the day. It usually contains a small package of kleenex, tiny sponges, oil blotting sheets, hair spray, bobby pins, etc. You can put all the items in a small bag on which you can print your logo. It is a small gesture that looks so professional and will make the bride feel that she is in safe hands. And working as a bridal makeup artist, you will soon realize that it is important as making her look beautiful.

Depositphotos 34000341 l 2015 1024x682 - Notes on Becoming A Bridal Makeup Artist

Establish an excellent online presence.

Social media are, obviously, the leading source where people seek for services they need. Potential clients will go to Facebook, Instagram, looking for a wedding makeup artist. So make sure your work is accessible online, and that you maintain an active and thoughtful presence on social media.

If you want to focus on marketing just for bridal makeup, make sure that your online profile indicates this.  The visual aspect is essential criteria online. If you haven’t worked on brides before and you don’t have bridal images, you will have to stage a shoot for your portfolio.  Connect with wedding photographers, wedding dress designers, florists, event planners, and organize a photoshoot.  Don’t put online every work you’ve done, only the best. Read on how to edit the makeup portfolio. Choose good, clean images, where your makeup can be seen well. For bridal looks, choose the natural makeup look over dramatic ones.

rsz 56619905 293584871535318 9063133704403932678 n 1 - Notes on Becoming A Bridal Makeup Artist
Check out @fiorebeauty for the wedding-themed Instagram inspiration

Network with other professionals in the industry, such as wedding planners, photographers, and dressmakers. 

Connect with wedding photographers and wedding planners. Make friends with them or at least make sure you hand them your business card. If they already are not working with another makeup artist, they will recommend you to their clients. They can generate a lot of business for you, so it’s smart to nurture those relationships.

Another good tip to connect with industry colleagues is to participate on wedding trade shows. Chances are, there is probably at least one wedding trade show in your area where you can market your services. Take your marketing materials and be ready to mingle and connect with people in the industry.

Related: Talks with Destination Wedding Makeup Artists

Depositphotos 53854267 l 2015 1024x755 - Notes on Becoming A Bridal Makeup Artist

Word of mouth

Recommendations will bring you the most clients without the doubt. Tell your friends and family what kind of makeup you want to do, to spread the word. Your inner circle will most likely get you your first clients. Word of mouth recommendations goes a long way in terms of getting bookings. If you did not only great makeup, but you were punctual, friendly and above professional, your clients will recommend you to their friends, and so the circle of clients will get bigger and bigger. Being a bridal makeup artist is extremely customer service focused.  It is a great idea to follow up with them after the wedding to see if everything went well. Congratulate them, send them one-year anniversary cards, be happy about them and be proud of your work. If they are satisfied, ask them to leave you a review or testimonial on your social media, or your website.

What can you expect working as a Bridal Makeup Artist?

Fierce competition

Opportunity to make a fair amount of money, make this field really competitive.

Many bridal makeup artists do makeup and hair; from artists that are doing this full-time, to the artists that are doing bridal makeup occasionally as an additional source of income.
Keep that in mind if you want to do weddings because you have to be on point with your services and there is a lot of stuff you need to go through before starting out. You would need to focus a lot of your time on the business side of the job. It would be beneficial to market yourself and your services in a way that helps you stand out.

A lot of traveling

Traveling is a big part of the job. From the clients living in suburbs to destination weddings, you are going to travel a lot. Not all of your clients are going to live on the public transit routes, they are going to live all over the place.

If you don’t have one, you might want to get a car.  If you are going to take this more seriously, to be more accessible and take more jobs, the car is your best investment. Making sure you can get to places easily and on time and in a costly manner is going to be very important when you are running your own business.

*If you are going to fly to a destination, learning to pack your kit to be easy to travel around with, is a lifesaver. If such an occasion arises, consider getting insurance for your kit.

Working on weekends and holidays

There are more busy months in the year but expect to work all year round.  You will be working mostly on weekends, and holidays. People get married on Saturday, Sunday, New Year’s Eve, Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving, and many other holidays.

If the location is distant, or there are big bridal parties involved, you need to get going quite early in order to accommodate it.

Your responsibility and accountability are going to be crucial when working as a bridal makeup artist.

Depositphotos 167525492 l 2015 1024x684 - Notes on Becoming A Bridal Makeup Artist

Working in teams

If you want to be a one-stop-shop for your clients, learn to do both hair and makeup. If you can do both, you are going to make a lot more money.

To provide a full range of services, you want to make sure that you have a vast network of people who also do bridal hair and makeup – people you can trust and can call on when you have a big bridal party.

If you are not doing the hair, the clients will often ask you for a recommendation for a hairstylist. And your client will really appreciate it if you can recommend them a few hairstylists that you know are good. You are going to refer a lot of people, so make sure you know they are going to do great work and not make you look bad.

If you are not 100% confident in your skills and efficiency or you don’t want to deal with the business side of the job, you can seek out makeup artists who are already established in the industry. You can contact them and ask them if they need an assistant. You have to follow the direction that the artist has already established so that everything looks cohesive.

Even if it is a lower rate than you’ll be working for (and you don’t need that in terms of practice), you can still consider assisting. You only need to show up and do the makeup, so it is really a lot less of working hours involved.

If you are the one who is turning away jobs or needs help with the big bridal parties, build your own bridal team.

Working under pressure

You need to be calm and patient — no matter what. Everyone is going to be excited and nervous. There will be situations when you are not going to have enough room for your makeup. Your assistant may not show up or you need to work quickly because someone else is late.  Whatever the reason that is testing your nerves, you are the one who needs to show confidence. You will need to have patience and hide your improv game anytime. Being calm and professional will be remembered as well as your makeup.

Trials and working hours beyond the Big Day

There are more hours that go into working for a client than just what happens on the day of the wedding.

Many will pay you for a trial to make sure that they can get the exact makeup look they want.  Here, communication is the key.  Brides often do not know exactly what they want, and that is okay. It is your job to ask the right questions and to make suggestions.

During the trial, you are going to talk about your contract and what is expected of you on the day of the wedding. Moreover, you’re going to be corresponding with your clients via email, chatting over coffee, or on the phone. Discussing the logistics of the day, the schedule, the price, and of course, the makeup.

If they don’t want a trial, make sure to make more time on the wedding day for makeup. As clients are most likely going to change their minds.

This is all something you should consider when setting your rates.

So, be nice and professional, and always on time.

Depositphotos 164674648 l 2015 1024x684 - Notes on Becoming A Bridal Makeup Artist


Are you a bridal makeup artist? Do you want to become one? Follow us on Instagram and let us know in the comments. You are welcome to share your work! <3

Download Free eBook "The Ultimate Makeup Artist Career Guide"

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More