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When and How to Find a Professional Makeup Artist

Updated: Mar 11, 2023

Most of us who wear makeup do our own makeup every single day, and while some of us continue to struggle, some have it perfected to an absolute art. So how do you know when to call in the pros? And once you’ve decided you need a professional, how do you go about finding a great one? I’ve put together the following post in an attempt to answer some of those questions for you!


When You Should Invest In a Professional Makeup Artist:

Any time your face will be featured on film or in print.

This is just a fancy way of saying that anytime you’re going to be in photos or on video, you might want to consider hiring a professional artist! Especially if said photos will be viewed regularly for years to come. Weddings are definitely the first event that comes to mind for this but graduations, corporate events, and photo sessions are all great examples of when you should hire a professional. Think about the time and money that went into planning your particular event or photo session and the comparative cost of hiring a makeup artist. In the end you’ll be more than happy that you invested in a professional to make the final product as good as it could possibly be.

Any time you don’t feel 100% comfortable achieving your desired look

Sometimes you need a look that is out of the scope of your regular skill set. This is an awesome time to call an artist. Do you have a heavy hand but need a natural look for your head shots? Call an artist. Do you need an immaculate winged liner and classic look for your corporate event? Call an artist. The pros are trained to flawlessly execute these looks and many more.

Why You Should Invest In a Professional Makeup Artist:

It’s their job to know what makes you look your best

Pro artists take your age, facial structure, eye color, skin tone and texture, hair color and style, outfit, and dozens of other things into account when choosing a look and products for you.

They know what’s trending

A good makeup artist knows what looks are current and trending as well as what looks are classic. Don’t be afraid to tell your artist what kind of impression you’re trying to make!

Full kit

It’s our job to have a full kit with a myriad of quality products available. We have access to products that might be impractical for you to buy for a one time use.

They know what works and when

For example, knowing that certain pressed powders can cause shiny white spots under flash photography or knowing which colors will expertly conceal your under eye circles. We have gone through plenty of trial and error so we know exactly what primer to use when you need your makeup to last all day and which products are best for sensitive skin, etc.

Product knowledge

A good artist spends times researching and experimenting with all of the latest products so you don’t have to. We're always on the lookout for products that will outshine our tried and true classics and we know which products are worth the splurge.

Knowledge of proper sanitation procedures and skincare techniques

A good artist will take your health VERY seriously and will practice industry standard sanitation techniques. Cleanliness is the last thing you should have to worry about in a professional artist and is a good way to tell the pros apart from the hobbyists.

What to Look For in a Professional Makeup Artist:

An Awesome Portfolio

If you want a full contoured face and the artist has nothing like that in their portfolio, you probably want to hire someone different. A good professional artist will have diversity in their portfolio both in their breadth of stylistic ability and in their use of models. Look for a range of skin tones and face shapes, can they do a natural makeup as well as a glam makeup? These are the best artists to work with!


This is such a huge thing! A professional makeup artist will use a spatula to dole out cream and gel products onto a palette for use, they will never work straight out of the jar. They will use disposable mascara and lip wands, and will always use clean brushes. Hand sanitizer should be used frequently as should both 99% and 70% alcohol to clean and sanitize tools and pressed powders.


You really do get what you pay for. Depending on the area and individual artist, a full face can run you anywhere from $75-$100+ (expect much higher for bridal makeup). Cheap artists generally aren’t good and good artists aren’t usually cheap. A quality makeup artist is always worth the investment!

Professional Policies

Many pro makeup artists will require a deposit to hold the date of service as well as a signed contract. This isn’t unusual at all and is a sign that you’ve found a professional who takes both their art and business seriously and won’t flake on you!

How to Look For a Professional Makeup Artist:




The Knot


Local Facebook groups


Some salons offer makeup services by appointment - just ask!

The Mall

Department stores like Nordstrom and beauty stores like Sephora often have makeup styling services available.

Word of Mouth

Do your friends or family have a trusted artist that they might recommend? Don't be afraid to ask around!


Have you ever hired a professional makeup artist? Tell me about your experience in the comments below!

Thanks for Reading!


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