Follow these tips and you should have an easy ride in engaging the services of just the right person for you.
I'm marrying in France is there a directory of English speaking suppliers I can use?
There are a number of online directories that you can access, not all being equal though. Some of them will offer suppliers but not necessarily ones who speak enough or any English. A relatively new bridal resource, and one that I would highly recommend and one that is continually growing, is Brides in France (www.bridesinfrance.com). This company was founded by a Bridal hair specialist following conversations with brides who had found it incredibly difficult to locate suitable, highly experienced, professional, English speaking suppliers in France.
How can I be sure that my MUA is experienced and qualified?
Ask your MUA for testimonials from previous brides, ask them to send photos of their work or to be directed to their website to view the work they have done and, if need be, check their qualifications. Most MUA's have social media pages so go detective and check out their professional pages. Busy MUAs will be posting their work online and blogging about what's going on in their working world.
Will I need to pay a deposit?
It is highly likely that you will be required to secure your booking with a deposit as good MUA's get booked up well in advance. Some, including myself, have bookings up to two years in advance. This deposit will ensure that this date is kept for you unless you change your mind. Deposits are generally non refundable unless your MUA is unable to honour the booking for any reason whereupon they should reimburse you the deposit.
Do I need a make up trial?
A trial is a great way to finalise your wedding look especially if you can co-ordinate it with your hair stylist and have both done on the same day, or even better, at the same time. However, an experienced and talented MUA will be more than able to assess what you are looking for in the run up to the wedding and also on the day. With the ability these days to video call, send photos and link to each other's Pinterest and Instagram accounts it is easier than ever to exchange ideas and plan ahead.
What will I have to pay for?
Your MUA will provide all that you need to create your make up look. Most MUAs have bulging make up kits with products to cover all skin issues and a huge array of colour pallettes for lips, eyes and cheeks. As a general rule of thumb your expenses will cover make up for you, the bride and your bridesmaids. Some brides like to pay for the two mothers to have their make up done as a special treat too. In general, guests will pay for their own make up and hair styling, having booked in with the stylist and MUA through the bride in advance of the wedding. Be prepared to send photos of everyone who will require your MUA's services as these pics really do help.
Are there any other expenses to take into consideration?
Travel expenses are often added to your quote from your MUA as many of us travel long distances to attend to our brides. These expenses will cover the cost of petrol, flights and occasionally accommodation, if needed.
Can my MUA advise on skin care in the run up to my wedding?
Not all MUAs are created the same although there are those who are specifically trained in skin care. As a skin care specialist myself I take the time to advise my brides on the appropriate skin care to optimise their skin in readiness for their bridal make up. It may mean changing your current routine or adding a new product. This is advice can be invaluable and worth the financial investment. Your MUA will offer this advice for free. If you aren't going to be using a professional MUA it is advisable to make an appointment with a reputable salon or spa for a skin consultation and book monthly facials with them in the run up to your marriage.
My MUA has a deposit but I can't get hold of her, what can I do?
Sadly, this does happen but, thankfully, rarely. If you have tried several times to make contact with your MUA but are just not managing to connect with them then my advice is to accept that possibly your deposit is lost and make contact with another MUA following all the above tips in finding the right one. Before looking at other MUAs send an email noting your concern and emphasising the fact that you will need to look elsewhere for assistance should you not hear back from them making sure that you give a deadline for a response. If this doesn't work then leave feedback on the missing MUA's social media site to alert other would be brides of the situation. Communication is key when working with those overseas and trust all important.
Can I do my own make up?
The answer is, of course, yes! However, a MUA local to your wedding destination will understand the weather conditions and the appropriate make up needed that will not only look flawless in your photographs but will last throughout the entire day. Your usual products may not be up to the heat and humidity of your overseas wedding. If you decide to go it alone then do your research. The internet is an amazing tool.
What do I avoid?
You may be thinking about shaking it up for your wedding day and trying a whole new look. My advice? Don't do it! There are another 364 days in the year to experiment, your wedding day is NOT one of these. It's so important that you feel comfortable in front of the camera and if you are trying out a new look and you are not 100% about it, your discomfort will show in your photographs. Keep the experimentation for a girls' night out.
Which make up products should I invest in?
Without doubt primers should be number one on your list. I favour Urban Decay primers for face and eyes as they never fail.
Foundation should be long wear and contain an SPF and which dries to a matte finish to minimise glare in photos. Guerlain Tenue de Perfection, Dior's Diorskin or Estee Lauder Double Wear all give great buildable coverage with an SPF to protect.
If redness due to roseacea, broken capillaries or a natural high colour is an issue and you want to hide/minimise it I can't recommend Avene's Anti Redness cream enough. Apply under foundation.
There will be tears shed for sure as you say 'I do' to the man of your dreams so waterproof mascara is the way to go. L'Oreal's Telescopic mascara is wonderful at extending lashes without clumping and is easy on the purse. If however, your budget can stretch to it, I love Armani's Eyes to Kill waterproof mascara and it is a staple of my professional kit.
Lip balm is always your friend to keep lips in tip top condition (Bobbi Brown is my fave). It can be smeared onto dry, flaky lips and massaged with a toothbrush to slough away irritating dried skin to help create the perfect pout. If there is one thing to carry with you throughout the day its blotting sheets to minimise oily shine, Sephora sell a handbag sized book of sheets for around 5€. I advise all my brides to put together an emergency kit for the day. This kit should contain a lip balm, blotting sheets, a lipstick and/or gloss, for touch ups throughout the day, and tissues for those Kleenex moments.
Booking a Make up Artist need not be as difficult or as complicated as you might think. Choose wisely, take up references and check out testimonials and photos of previous work. If your MUA has a Pinterest board start pinning and join their network so ideas can be exchanged. Remember that research is everything whether booking a professional or if you decide to fly solo. Finally, take a deep breath, relax and smile because ... guess what? ... you are getting married. Congratulations!