Think I'll share generally my research based on my own requirements and preference. All the references to bridal makeup in this post includes hairdo too.
Makeup artist (MUA) ranges from the freelance, established, attached to bridal shops and students. Depending on your requirement, then only look around or google search for ideas and reviews to get a feel of what to ask. Reading up in wedding forums does help to give you contacts to get quotations and also reviews of other bride's own personal experiences.
Steps to be taken:
1. Total event/ makeup needed
- Determine if you need day makeup for the actual day i.e. for the typical Chinese "picking up" the bride or for a morning church wedding. Each "event" will cost differently. These days, some do not even opt to follow this tradition and jump straight to a simply dinner.
- Determine if you need makeup for only your dinner or you need them to stay back to touch up or even additional makeup/hairdo for a change of gown. Additional charges range from RM150-300 is added for staying back for the second gown.
- Determine if you need MUA for your mother, sisters, relatives, bridesmaid, etc. Sometimes, you need to engage an additional MUA to cover these additional makeup.
- As mentioned earlier, the price ranges depending on the skill of makeup artist, popularity and their own self-value. No rule of thumb as generally no bargaining but perhaps they will give you the option of 50% - 100% refund of trial makeup fees after confirmation of servics.
- Makeup trial: Obviously you need to have a makeup trial to make sure the MUA knows your preference and mainly, can make you prettier. ;) Some MUA charge extra for hairdo trial too. Generally, my one and only experience for a trial at a discounted rate, they ask what preference you like and colour of gown you will wear. (Quotation I've obtained range from RM100-200 plus). I decided not to go and try one by one... so I stuck with one and pray for the best!
- I've obtained quotation for RM300 - RM600 per session to date. I think I've gotten higher quotation but I disregard them totally because my budget for 2 sessions is below RM1,000.
- A thing to note, after I've engaged my makeup artist, sometimes is cheaper because they do not include accessories. My friend engaged a makeup artist for RM1,000 who included loan of accessories e.g. veil, necklaces, earrings, hair accessories. Some might request you pay a deposit to ensure you return their items. Ironically, I saved a few hundred which I ended up spending in buying the accessories.
- Don't forget to budget for the deposit payment. Usually you can pay the remaining on the day itself.
3. Type of Makeup and Hairdo
- For this, you have to find what you like yourself. I literally went through a few MUA's profile and galleries to get some ideas on what I would like. Many have also opted to sharing their sample work in Facebook.
- Makeup style: For day time, most people would opt for something more natural and neutral and then night time, you can go a bit more extreme if you dare. ;)
- Think carefully what is your concerns too e.g. mine is on my pores. So I did tell my MUA to pay extra effort to conceal this.
- Hairdos: I looked through from exaggerated with colour spray to demure bun. In the end, I opted for a tied-up hairdo with a veil and hopefully small tiara for my day hairdo. Night, I'm hoping for a side or back long hairdo without those fancy large "flower" hair accessories on my head - looks very peacock-ish to me even though it does look nice on many other brides.
4. Location of MUA
My friend chose a MUA that is in the same town she is in. Most Klang Valley based MUA provides quotation without transportation or included. But if it is further where they are located, MUA will charge RM50-RM100 for transportation charges. Do consider that when you select one.
5. Location of event
For example, I'm having my wedding dinner in a restaurant. My MUA asked me the following:
a) Location of wedding dinner
b) Any room provided for the makeup/changing
c) Large mirror and sufficient lighting to makeup
d) Time the venue is open to determine the duration of makeup/hairdo
Ideal makeup room
I know those smaller restaurants might only have a store room for you to makeup.. but do note bad lighting is not your MUA fault. So if you're hoping to look like a beautiful princess on your BIG day, do remember to ask this.
6. Sex of MUA
I know some might wonder why I wrote this specifically but there are good male MUA around too which I almost considered. But, what stopped me? I'm told MUA will also help you change into your gown. If you're shy like me, you would prefer a female MUA to help you out instead.
That is all roughly that I thought through and learned during my search for my bridal makeup artist.. while searching images for this post, I found another MUA with a decent package/pricing... *cries*... Oh well, no regrets. Push on and prepare to tick of the next to-do-item in the wedding preparation list. Wish me luck! :)