The last thing you want on your wedding day is someone in your face—well, unless that person is making you look gorgeous, glowing, and glam. Your makeup artist will be inches from you on one of the biggest days of your life, so you want to be sure the two of you get along. Toward this end, it's important that you do your part. We chatted with the pros to ask them what drives them absolutely bonkers about working with brides. The upshot? They love you, they really do. But if you think you can gab on your cell and get a perfectly painted lip, you need this refresher badly. Here are the major ways you (yes, you) can drive a makeup artist insane, plus a few where you show her some love.
DON'T give conflicting direction.
Jill Schnapp, a makeup artist and educator, has met one too many brides who say, "I want to look natural—but can you add a smoky cat-eye, and contour me like Kim Kardashian?"
DO decide what you want—and exactly what you want—at your trial.
All of the artists we spoke to appreciate it when a client brings in plenty of images and ideas to the initial meeting.
This is going to be an emotional day, but try not to let the waterworks start before your foundation is finished. "Sometimes, while getting them ready the day of their wedding, a bride reads a letter the groom has just sent her—after I've completely done her makeup! Tears galore," says Amy Klewitz of Amy Klewitz Beauty. "Although funny and usually a wonderfully sensitive moment, I end up redoing everything I just did— and now on a time limit. Read anything emotional before you sit in the makeup chair."
DON'T be a diva.
Jill Glaser of Make Up First goes a little bonkers when brides tell her a billion things at once. Also, some brides are on the phone yapping about flowers when she's trying to slick on the gloss.
DO stop running the show, briefly.
While a makeup artist is working on her, a bride "needs to delegate duties—even for forty-five minutes—to their moms or designated bridal party member," Glaser said.
DON'T rush the process.
Sit back, relax, and let your makeup magician do the work. Then, look in the mirror. The artists we spoke to rolled their eyes about brides who want to stare in the mirror throughout the process of makeup application. "Then there is the bride who feels the need to ask her nine bridesmaids, mother, and mother-in-law for their opinion of your work before you even finish," says Steven B. Anderson, of My FairyGodfathers. "This is a no-no!"
DON'T be a cheapskate.
It drives freelance makeup artist Alison Wall crazy when brides—and their parties—try to slip one by her. "For example, they'll ask, 'Can you just do my eyes for half price?' No. Anyone who values their work will charge you for it—and, trust us, you want an artist who's got the goods and knows it!"
DO discuss time frame and compensation well in advance.
Make a contract, and stick to it. No artist—or bride—wants surprises on the wedding day.
DON'T reach for the onion bagel.
Carl Ray, a Washington-based artist who's worked with Michelle Obama and Natalie Portman, loves his brides to have breakfast before he starts dusting on the powders. "Applying makeup to a bride-to-be or day-of bride while she is eating is a pet peeve of mine," he says. "Imagine all the facial movements, crumbs, wiping mouth and makeup off. The chomping and chewing delays the entire application process." But, if you really must grab a nibble, at least do your artist this favor: "No onions, please," says Ray.
DO: Have a drink—but just one.
Enjoy yourself! This is a special day. But please, save the tequila shots for the dance party. "Don't overdrink: it flushes the skin and bleeds through makeup," says Anderson.
DON'T be afraid to speak up.
It is, after all, your day. (No, really, speak your mind!) "I can handle the truth," says Julie Swenson of Julie Swenson Beauty. "I encourage my brides and bridal party to speak up if there's something they are not feeling comfortable with. It's easy to adjust a hairstyle or change a lipstick shade. There are no do-overs with a wedding, and it's my job to get it right the first time. Help me help you!"