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How do I Become a Bridal Makeup Artist?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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You can become a bridal makeup artist by learning to apply makeup properly either through formal schooling or on a self-educated approach. Next, you will need to obtain clients by showing them your skills and eventually through referrals. There are various ways to go about doing this, but the main idea is to show potential clients that you are good at what you do. You may also need to purchase makeup and other necessities to offer to your clients.

If you intend to gain a formal education to become a bridal makeup artist, you can look into a local cosmetology school. They may offer classes specifically for makeup artists, although you may choose to learn about hair styling as well. You can also teach yourself to do makeup properly by reading books on the subject and by looking through various magazines.

Once you feel you have the elementary skills of your craft learned, you should find friends and family members who will let you practice by doing their makeup. By seeing how certain colors look against particular skin tones and by noticing which hues go well together, you will be able to perfect your craft by practicing. Ask your test subjects for their honest opinions on your work, and compare the work you’ve done with pictures of the look you were going.

After you have practiced on several live people, including yourself, you should begin displaying your talents to potential clients. There are numerous ways you can do this. For example, you may consider doing the makeup of your test subjects again and taking pictures of your work to display in a portfolio, on a website, or both. To get the most clients once you become a bridal makeup artist, you should have a site designed to draw in more customers.

Another idea is to leave your business cards at bridal shops and hair salons who do not offer your services. Attend bridal shows and meet potential clients face to face. You should also call local wedding planners and offer your services to their clients, and then direct them to your website to see examples of your work. Offer each bride and bridesmaid a free demonstration before the wedding. This will allow you to do each woman’s makeup to show them what they can expect from you on the big day.

Remember to purchase quality makeup and disposable applicators for eye shadow, mascara, foundation, and lipstick. This will keep your supplies neater and more presentable, as well as keep all applications sanitary and hygienic. To further your business once you've become a bridal makeup artist, don’t be afraid to require pictures of your clients on the day of the wedding, as well as referrals if they are happy with your work.

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Discussion Comments
By Fa5t3r — On Dec 04, 2013

@pastanaga - Actually in my admittedly limited experience with weddings the makeup is usually done by the local salon rather than by a particular artist. You'd really have to live in a big city and be very popular if you wanted to have a makeup artist career from bridal makeup alone.

If you work at a salon and do other things like applying eyelashes and manicures and things like that (which are all part of the makeup experience anyway) then you'll have steady work and won't have to rely on people having weddings (which, apart from everything else, tend to be seasonal).

And your clients will just come to you when they need their wedding makeup done as well. Or you can add a bridal makeup section to your website so people will be aware that it's something you offer.

By pastanaga — On Dec 03, 2013

@bythewell - I think most wedding makeup artists start out by doing freebies for friends and family so that they can get experience and build up a portfolio. Unless you're a professional makeup artist who is just moving into a different sector, this is going to be the only way you'll be able to get a lot of practice on the job.

By bythewell — On Dec 02, 2013

If it's at all possible, try to get professional photographs of your work when you're starting out. The best thing about being a bridal makeup artist is that you will often be able to get professional photos from every job you do, but when you're just starting out you need to make sure that you display your best work, even if that means hiring a photographer yourself.

If you're really clever and good at networking you might be able to make friends with the photographer and refer each other to clients if you have a chance. They might even give you a discount if you put their name on all your own advertising.

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