Hi! I’m Sabrina, the owner of Sabrina Deemer Makeup based in Denver, Colorado.
I’m a licensed esthetician and professional makeup artist for just about everything – weddings, headshots, production, and boudoir. During the summer and fall, you can usually find me in the mountains or in the front range somewhere at a wedding! 2021 will be my 4th wedding season and my average is about 50 weddings a year so I’ve definitely learned a thing or two about doing bridal makeup.
I’ve known Danielle for almost 2 years now and I’ve had the opportunity to work with her at several styled shoots, weddings, boudoir shoots, and I hire her for my personal photos so I was so excited when she asked me to answer some questions about bridal makeup for all of her lovely clients! Let’s get started!
What should Brides expect to spend on wedding day makeup and a trial in the Denver area?
Pricing for makeup artists definitely varies, but I will tell you this, just like anything else, you get what you pay for. $80-$100 for a bridal trial and anywhere from $100-$200 for wedding day makeup is the norm from what I’ve seen, depending on the artist. Makeup for bridal parties ranges from about $75-$100 per face. You can expect to pay a travel fee if your wedding is outside of the Denver area and hotel accommodations for long-distance or winter weddings in the mountains (you wouldn’t want your glam team to get stuck on i70 because of a winter storm and miss your wedding).
What’s the etiquette for paying for bridesmaids makeup?
I’ve seen this done many ways so there’s not really a right or wrong answer. If the bride is wanting all of the bridesmaids to have their makeup done and will not give them the option, the bride is usually paying for everyone. If the bride does give them the option to have their makeup done or not, usually the bridesmaids pay for their own makeup. I’ve also seen brides split the cost of makeup with their bridesmaids or if the bride is having both hair and makeup done, the bride will pay for one service and the bridesmaids will pay for the other.
Side note: I always encourage all of the bridesmaids to get their makeup done. I’ve seen so many wedding photos where you can clearly tell who got their makeup professionally done and who did their own makeup because it doesn’t look cohesive in the photos. Makeup for photos is also very different than regular makeup, which we will go into later.
What should I do to help my makeup artist bring my vision to life?
I love this question! Communication. is. key.
Come to your trial with inspiration photos and make sure you know what exactly you like about each photo (or even what you don’t like)! That will help your artist get a feel for what you’re going for in terms of makeup looks. I always ask my clients what they wear for makeup on a daily basis, what kind of colors or tones they want to stick to for eyeshadows, if they like more natural or dramatic lashes, etc.
The point of the trial is to create a makeup look that YOU love for YOUR wedding day. When your artist finishes your makeup, be honest and open with them! Don’t just tell us you love your makeup and then leave in a panic because you don’t actually love it. Tell us if there’s anything you don’t like or something that you want to change and try instead. If you hate everything, we’ll wipe it off and start over until we get it right (that’s why you’re doing a trial!). Your artist wants you to feel beautiful and confident on your wedding day. I promise, you won’t hurt our feelings if you want to make changes because it’s not about us. It’s about you.
How long does makeup take on the day of the wedding and how many artists needed for a big bridal party?
From what I’ve seen, a good artist will take 30-45 minutes for a makeup application. I like to schedule 15 minutes before the start time to set up, 30 minutes per bridesmaids, 45 minutes for the bride, and 15 extra minutes at the end as buffer time, time for touchups, lips, etc.
How many artists you need for a large bridal party is dependent on how much time you have to get ready. If you only have a couple of hours to get your whole bridal party ready, you’re going to need several artists (which usually includes extra artist fees). Some artists will also require a second artist after a certain number of makeup services while other artists prefer to work alone and do the whole bridal party themselves if time allows.
Why do I need professional makeup?
I think having your makeup (and hair) done definitely takes away some of the stress on your wedding day because it’s one less thing you have to worry about! Just think, how many times in your life have you been doing your makeup and your eyeshadow isn’t cooperating, or you can’t get your liner or brows even, and then you get stressed out because your makeup isn’t turning out the way you want it to? This won’t happen if you hire a makeup artist that you trust for your wedding. You’ll be able to just relax, get pampered (it’s not every day that you get to have your hair and makeup done for you), and enjoy the final moments with your friends and family before your ceremony. As a professional, they will also know what products to use so your makeup lasts all day, looks good in photos, and what will best compliment your facial features.
Is there a difference in photos if I get my makeup professionally done vs. doing it myself?
Yes, yes, 1000% yes. There is a big difference between your normal day to day makeup and makeup for photos. The makeup will not be as visible in photos as it is in real life, and as professionals we know what will read well on camera, trust me on this one. Sometimes my more natural brides get a little nervous because they feel like they have too much makeup on looking at themselves with a handheld mirror, but then I will take out my iPhone, take a photo from a foot or two away from them and they instantly can see the difference. We have to find a good balance of still feeling like yourself in the makeup and also still being able to see the makeup on camera.
Is a makeup trial necessary?
You definitely do not have to do a makeup trial, but I always strongly encourage it! I have a lot of out-of-state brides who come into town a couple days or even the day before their wedding or elopement, so in those cases, sometimes it’s not possible to do a trial. But, doing a trial run allows you and your artist to plan out and create the perfect makeup look for your big day. You will also be able to wear it throughout the day and make sure there’s nothing you need to tweak on the wedding day.
What should I look for when trying to find a makeup artist?
I think one of the most important things when trying to find a makeup artist is finding one that reflects the style of makeup that you’re going for. You can do this by looking at social media pages and websites to see what kind of work they generally do and what you can expect from them as an artist.
Definitely read reviews when considering makeup artists.
Make sure they are licensed. In the State of Colorado, you legally have to be a licensed esthetician or cosmetologist to provide makeup services.
Pay attention to their kit during the trial. If it’s not clean and they aren’t being sanitary (example: their brushes are dirty, they are using the mascara wand from the tube instead of disposable wands or using felt tip liquid liner pens), run.
You should expect professionalism which means they should have a website and they should not be communicating with you via Facebook/instagram messages or text (my opinion), you should not have to wait weeks for them to respond to you, and they should have a contract in place for you to sign for your wedding.
When should I book my hair and makeup artist?
I get this question all the time and my answer is: As soon as possible.
If there is a makeup artist that you know you want for your wedding (or any other wedding vendor for that matter) book them now or as soon as you have a wedding date. I know vendors are always posting on social media saying, “Book your wedding vendors now because we’re booking up fast!” and posting about “The Wedding Boom” due to Covid. From an outsider, I could see how people might think we’re all just saying that to get us bookings but we actually aren’t lying at all. I’ve been booking late 2022 weddings and it’s only the beginning of 2021, if that tells you anything. So, if you love a vendor, book them.
What’s the difference between traditional foundation and airbrush?
Airbrush is just a different technique to apply foundation. Instead of using a brush or sponge to apply it, the airbrush uses air to spray the foundation on your face. Airbrush is beautiful but I don’t believe that it’s for everyone. I also don’t believe that one lasts longer than the other either. I think it honestly just depends on the skin type.
I personally offer airbrush makeup and I used to strictly only do airbrush but as of lately, I have completely switched to tradition foundation and that’s what I prefer at the moment! It doesn’t make a difference to me.