Sacramento Bridal Hair and Makeup | How To Choose a Bridal Beauty Expert

Sacramento, California

Congratulations! You are engaged! Now...what do you do?And when?
Yikes. There is so much to do  in so little time it seems, and then there is that ever looming budget of yours...Picking the venue, hiring the photographer, checking out florists, choosing the caterer, and of course, shopping for the gown.

Okay wait..HALT..STOP right there!! That gown...the dream gown you have always envisioned yourself in... the way you see yourself on your wedding day, the hair, the makeup, the jewelry, the shoes, that perfect gown...(I know you thought of that before the venue, and caterer! wink wink) do you get that vision to become a reality? And what does it take to get there?

Add "Professional Bridal Beauty artist" to that short list of priorities. 

And DON'T wait until the last minute, or even 3 months before your big day like the recycled information of wedding magazines and bridal blogs will recommend. Your professional bridal beauty artist should be booked at the same time as your most important vendors-and it IS important!!

I will tell you why...


Note the emphasis on the word PROFESSIONAL.
What exactly does this mean? What makes a professional a Professional? And how do you find one?

Many things:

1. A professional bridal beauty artist is someone whose profession and primary source of income is exclusively their bridal hair and/or makeup artistry business.  This means he or she invests time, education, experience, and a lot of work to perfect and hone the craft of not only beautiful hair and makeup, but also of working with brides, their wedding vendors, and the varying needs and challenged of a wedding day. This is her job-hair and makeup are not just something she is really great at, or a hobby.

2. She has touched hundreds, even thousands of faces and learned many mistakes and lessons, and dealt with many people in real-life scenarios before comfortably offering her services for a rate. A professional bridal beauty artist knows that true artistry is more than just a pretty face. She understands a bit about skin physiology, elements of light and nature, photography and color theory. She has a lot of diverse product knowledge, knows about proper hygiene, and a lot about customer service. She's punctual, consistent, reliable, and has walked the walk. People are her first love. Art is her way. She is excellent at doing makeup and hair on others-not just herself. 

So how do you choose a professional? 
In my opinion, choosing a professional makeup artist means considering several things :

-Their Rate
Just like anything else in the world, you truly do get what you pay for. Found a website of an artist whose' work you love? Are her reviews super stellar? Is her resume impressive? She is in high demand and chances are, her available dates book very quickly-There is only one September 26th 2015, and one of her! You are going to pay more for that than the artists in her area that are offering to do your makeup for half the price and don't have all the qualifications, and don't operate with contracts or date retainers. Be very wary of the ones whose' pricing is considerably lower than this amazing artists' prices are. Guess what? There's a reason.  

Their experience and education.
Check out the artist's website. Fully.
Read their Bio, and their resume of work, and their education and accomplishments. The level of experience of an artist will also determine her rate and the level of service she will offer her brides.

-Their Work.
  Is the work you see in the artist's portfolio in line with your esthetic, and the style you like? Is there enough diversity tin her portfolio make you feel confident that she will know how to address your unique needs? While most artists (including me) show many styles in their portfolio, their bridal work should show a nice array of different styles, scenarios, skin tones, and levels of intensity. Some will also clearly show their personal esthetic or style. Decide if it is right for you.

-Their Communication/Responsiveness
A Professional Makeup artist should get back to you within 24-48 hours of your inquiry or less. Her reply to you should be in specific response to your questions, with confident answers and solutions to what you are requesting. Rates sheets, contract information, booking process...If he or she doesn't have clear cut strategies and prepared answers for these, it is likely that their artistry is not their full time business, nor their full time focus or priority. A true Professional not only wants your business; she needs it! She should get back to you as soon as she can with her availability, and some trusted recommendations if she is not. She should continue this level of consistent communication from the day you book her to the big day itself.

-Their reviews
How do you go about finding a Professional Makeup Artist? Easy; Ask around! It's the best way. While sites like Yelp! and Wedding Wire are excellent resources for clients to research my clout as a professional bridal beauty expert, I would say that 75% of my business comes from recommendations and referrals alone. Ask your recently married girlfriends and co-workers what their experience was, and what they wish they had done differently, or an artist they've met that they loved. You can also do an internet search in your area and see who crops up on the first page, but I still recommend doing a little research!

#2. Think of your bridal beauty as more of an experience-not just a splurge.

Of course, having your hair and makeup done is really fun, and to some it may even feel like an extravagance or an unnecessary splurge. You may feel almost silly saying that you are having a professional artist come to your location to do hair and makeup for your ladies, and are willing to pay a pretty penny to do it.  What I want every bride to know, is that when working with a true professional as explained above, your morning of bridal beauty, and the several months leading up to it, are so much more than  pretty hair and makeup!

A professional bridal beauty artist is trained and experienced in all the areas of artistry and business I outlined before, but she specializes in brides. Her bride's vision, her needs, and her worries and concerns. What kind of  hairstyle will work with her veil and gown. What her makeup will potentially look like after being worn for six hours based on the weather, her emotions and skin tone, and what it will take to protect it.

Your professional bridal beauty artist will have patience, never feel stressed out, and she will be a great communicator. She will know for you when and where to be concerned, and what areas to be firm or flexible. She's GOT this!  She's done this a few times!

And... she knows a LOT about weddings. She is well versed on the varying needs and challenges of a wedding day-the planner's timeline, your photographer's schedule, even the lighting accommodations of your venue because she has worked there dozens of times. She will be planning your morning of beauty according to all of these important factors.Then there's a lot that goes into that morning of getting ready that only a seasoned professional knows how to handle. The diverse of needs of your group. The commons concerns of your bridesmaids. That intense energy and sense of urgency at the very end before you are putting your dress on when everything is coming together. There is almost nothing your professional bridal beauty artist hasn't handled before, and isn't prepared to tackle for you. Let Cousin Carrie who works at Sephora have her mimosa and be part of the fun, and hire a pro.

#3-YES You SHOULD have a trial run makeup session.

The most amazing artist in the world can not read your mind, and no matter how amazing we are, we do not inherently know what will work best on your for your big day without trying it first. Your hair length and texture, skin type, your comfort level and current beauty routines...these are all very important factors that must be discussed in order to create your perfect bridal beauty look.

What is a 'natural makeup' to you may not be a 'natural makeup' to your makeup artist. Or vice versa. Make sure that you arrive to your trial run session prepared with your ideas, with pictures of yourself at your very best, and tear sheets and images of how you would like to look on your wedding day. Let your artist know if you have any particular dislikes, hair concerns, or skin sensitivities. While it is up to your artist to then interpret these ideas into a look that is realistic and tailored to you, it is also very important that you participate in the process to achieve the best results.

Also-I wouldn't recommend rolling your Engagement Makeup session in with your bridal makeup trial run. They are two totally different scenarios, and have different requirements.

#4-Don't get too hung up on what is or isn't in your artist's kit-But beware of a bad one. 

 I proudly stock my professional kit with only the very best professional brands. While I use many consumer friendly and recognized high end brands, (I am a confessed product junkie, and I have a ton of great stuff in my kit my clients may easily recognize; NARS,. MAC, Chanel, YSL, Stila, Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown, to name a few...)I also use a lot of professional products my clients may have never even heard of. I don't choose my products on brand names. I choose my kit items very carefully based on the their long wear, performance, and results.  I know that in recent years the whole 'mineral makeup' buzz is abound, and many are now concerned about parabens, gluten etc. I am sensitive to these concerns, however I do my best to educate my clients on ingredients, and share the history of the results the tried and true products in my kit have produced over the years.

Beware of a bad kit. Your artist's kit of products and brushes should be a thing of pride in her life that is clean, organized, easily navigated and sanitary. If your artist's kit has seen better days, and is full of unsightly products that make you think twice-DON'T think twice-run!

Your artist should also use disposables, and sanitize her products before each use. Don't be afraid to speak up if you have concerns! But if you hire a pro, you probably won't have any.

#5-Have realistic expectations

Professional makeup, no matter the hand it is applied with, or the eye and expertise, is still makeup. And hair is hair. There are so many factors to consider for a wedding day that are not present in those awesome photo inspirations you find online. Your wedding day, compared to a styled photo shoot,  is considered an uncontrolled environment for beauty-things like time, temperature, weather, and wear all will play a part of how your hair and makeup will perform. A professional artist will provide the tools, expertise and artistry to create a look for you you with the very best results in mind, but within a scope of reality!

For example-If your hair is all one length, it may not curl the way it does in the Pinterest photo without getting layers cut. Your artist may recommend a trim, or another hair look that suits you better.

On your wedding day, no matter the makeup, you will need to touch up if you tend to get a little shiny. And your eyes may need tending to after your emotional vows. You may need a pressed powder for touch ups, or a little eye makeup freshening depending on your look. Ask your artist for a recommendation, or hire her to stay wit you until after the ceremony for touch ups.

In closing, I admit that of course my advice may seem a bit (okay, a lot) biased coming from a place of being an experienced bridal beauty expert myself. However, I am super passionate about steering all brides in the direction of choosing the very best beauty artistry options available for the most important day of their lives-even if it isn't me they choose. 

Take from my advice what you like, and leave the rest behind. It is all just that- advice from what I have experienced in my many years of working with and creating a stellar beauty experience for hundreds of satisfied brides in my career that still talk about all the little things that made such a big difference!



Christi Reynolds has waterproofed and bustled hundreds of brides over her decade (plus!) long career.

To read her bio, reviews, or book her for a session, visit

Stay connected at


  1. Christi, This is an awesome post. I personally love when my brides get professional makeup. It makes post processing go sooo much faster. In fact I offer a discount to my brides when they book a professional MUA because I know it's making my job easier. ~ Brendyn Gunn, owner of Gunnii Sack Photographer


Post a Comment

Popular Posts