Choosing the Right On-Location Bridal Makeup Artist

Your wedding day is one of the most important days you will ever have. It is the special day when you get to feel like a celebrity or a princess. Many brides are opting to get the full royal treatment by hiring on-location hair and makeup experts. With all the chaos a wedding day can bring, brides do shouldn’t have to drive to the salon and get made up; instead they are having the salon come to them.

On-location bridal makeup is becoming hugely popular, and not just for celebrities. Everyday brides are discovering that they too can get the celebrity treatment. Choosing the right bridal makeup artists is very important. Here are some things to ask and keep in mind when hiring an on-location makeup artist.


Makeup Artist wedding rates are typically between $100-$500 for the bride depending upon the artist and what is included.  Rates should include the travel fee (within a 50 mile radius), kit fee, time, application, and a trial run through. When booking your bridal makeup artist find out if the makeup artist will include the mother of the bride or mother in law. Many packages will include them at no additional cost.

Generally with these rates bridesmaids are not included unless it is a package. If bridesmaids are not included they are usually around $25-$75 per bridesmaid. This price can vary depending upon the artist, number of bridesmaids, and what the bridesmaid(s) will be having done (i.e. hair, makeup, airbrushing, false lashes, etc.).

One of the best ways for a bride to save money on beauty expenses is by booking a hair and makeup package. Brides can typically save upwards of $200.  Many makeup artists often do hair or have a hairstylist that they book with. Talk with your makeup artist to find out if they can do hair and offer a package.


When booking a makeup artist it is of the utmost importance to review and see the artist’s portfolio. The portfolio should have a range of looks and styles varying from natural and dramatic. A portfolio with a range demonstrates the artist’s ability to work with many different face and eye shapes as well as skin tones. Think of an artist’s portfolio as their initial interview. The portfolio will also help to determine the style of makeup artist they are. If a person specializes in special FX makeup and occasionally does a bride, that makeup artist may not be the best makeup artist for you, unless you are having a Nightmare on Elm Street themed wedding.  Your wedding day is special so make sure you choose an artist who is creative, dynamic, and diverse.


When choosing an artist, inquire as to what type of foundation products they use. There are many different formulas (matte, full coverage, dewy, etc.) and brands of foundation. When paying for a makeup artist you will want to have an artist who has high quality foundations. The foundation used is what will make your skin look radiant in pictures and while talking to guests. Low quality foundation or foundations can rub off or even become blotchy, especially when having an outdoor wedding. So ask questions and tell your artist your skin type so they can match the right formula for you. When searching for a bridal makeup artist, Pacific Artistry recommends the following foundation brands: Christian Dior, Chanel, Graftobian Airbrush, Luminess Airbrush, RCMA, FACE atelier, Smashbox, YSL, Armani, and Cinema Secrets. These all provide long lasting coverage, and look fantastic on film and in person.

Your makeup artist should come equipped with products to fight against mishaps such as zit zapper, tattoo cover, and bases to fight oily skin. If you have problem skin or issues make sure to communicate this with your artist. Makeup artists are very inventive so if they know ahead of time they can prepare for it.

If you have sensitive skin or allergies let your artist know. They can recommend special base products that won’t irritate your skin. Christian Dior foundations tend to be gentle and work on most skin types even those who are allergy prone, while still providing a beautiful finish. If you only use mineral makeup you can supply your own mineral foundation for the artist to use. Some artists carry mineral foundation, but many do not. There are a select few who specialize in mineral makeup, so if this is a must for you, just ask. If the artist does not have mineral makeup, chances are they will get it just for you.


One of the most important things to ask and to watch is your makeup artist’s sanitation habits. The makeup artist’s brushes should be clean and soft. The makeup artist should wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer prior to working on your face. The makeup artist should sharpen and sanitize their lip and eye pencils prior to using them on you. Disposable mascara wands should also be used when applying mascara. If an artist uses the wand that came from the tube of mascara be wary. Mascara wands can transmit bacteria that can cause pink eye or sties, so make sure that the makeup artist uses disposable wands and does not double dip, or you can even provide your own mascara.

During a wedding event makeup artists are generally working on several people, so it is important that the makeup artist use brush cleaner or rubbing alcohol on their brushes after each girl in order to not cross-contaminate.

Trial Run

The trial is your opportunity to run through and discuss makeup looks and customize the look you want for your wedding day. The trial run should be included in the price of your booking. Think of the trial as your second interview with the artist.

Make sure to prepare for the trial run through by printing out pictures or tearing out magazine images of makeup looks and styles that you are interested in. On the day of the trial make sure your skin is clean and hydrated. Remember your face is the makeup artist’s canvas so it needs to be clean for them to create.

If you are not having your hair done by the artist make sure to have pictures of the hairstyles you are considering so the looks can match. Make sure to listen to your makeup artist’s advice as they will be able to tell you how a look will wear on your skin type. For example if you are a bride who cries at the drop of the dime, and you tear up just thinking about your wedding day, you may want to opt for a more subtle eye style instead of a heavy smoky eye. Your artist is a professional so trust that they will provide sound advice.

After you have completed your trial run through and are happy with the look you have both created, make sure your artist takes a picture or you take a picture and make sure the products get written down so it can be replicated on the big day.

Day Of

On the day of the wedding you and your bridesmaids should have clean hydrated faces ready for application. Make sure to schedule the timing accordingly. Generally a bride will take about 1 hour to complete, and each bridesmaid will take 30 minutes. Keep this in mind when blocking out your timing. If you are having your hair and makeup done by the artist make sure to add 25 minutes to each person, if your artist is bringing a separate hairstylist, they can work on multiple people at once and the timing will remain the same.

Find out if your artist will remain until after the ceremony to provide lip and eye touchups. After a ceremony of tears and kisses brides typically like to have a quick touchup. Some artists may charge extra to stay on site so make sure to inquire as to what the artist’s policy is regarding this.


After the big day make sure to send your artist a copy of some of your wedding photos. Artists love to keep their portfolios up to date and always appreciate brides sending photos.

Choosing the right makeup artist for your special day is important. It can mean the difference between looking like a raccoon and looking like a glowing beautiful bride. Choose wisely, ask questions, and do your research. For more information or to ask questions post a comment or contact info@pacificartistry.com

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Hello world!

Pacific Artistry is so excited to enter the blogosphere. We have really been gearing up for the busy bridal makeup season and have been recruiting talented makeup artists and hair stylists. We are so happy to have brought on some of the Northwest’s most talented makeup professionals. We want to welcome Shyn from Freakishly Beautiful, Nika from Nika’s Mobile Makeup, Kate Dixon FX specialist, and Barbie our new Beauty Specialist. Each of these women brings a solid talent and passion for the makeup and beauty industry. We are happy to have them join the Pacific Artistry team and look forward to building a network of relationships.  

Pacific Artistry has also been busy with promotional events including a Mommy and Me makeover event. The event was held at Promesse Boutique in Kirkland, and was held to launch the new baby line. Pacific Artistry makeup artist Shanelle Allen was on-site providing quick tips and tricks to moms on the go. The event was a huge success and each woman left feeling beautiful!  

Pacific Artistry was also at Laugh’s Comedy Club in Kirkland, WA promoting their ladies night event. We were showing woman how to take their looks from day to night! It was a lot of fun and the comedians were incredibly funny. We can’t wait to do another event! 

Makeup Artist Shanelle Allen working on a mommy


Makeup Artist Shanelle Allen working on a mommy


All of the Ladies who participated in the Baby Launch Event, from left: Model Oksana, Owner Francine, Model Holly, Stylist Tannya, Makeup Artist Shanelle, Hair Stylist Deanne