So you’ve set the date, picked your dress, and decided on a venue but what about your make-up? How does one go about picking a make-up artist for what is arguably the biggest day of your life? Choosing the perfect make-up artist to beautify your natural features on your wedding day can be super overwhelming – just a quick Google search will show you that there are a million and one bridal make-up artists in Joburg alone! But don’t stress, finding your rose among the thorns doesn’t have to be a nightmare, as long as you know what to look for. To make life a little less stressful for all the brides to be, we spoke to local eyebrow and makeup specialists, Just Browzing about what to look for when choosing a make-up artist for your wedding day.

So much planning goes into getting everything perfect for your special day. You’ll have the photos and memories forever, and you want to be able to look back and not see smudged eye makeup, a shiny forehead, wrongly shaped eyebrows or any of the many other beauty mistakes that could happen on your wedding day. Here are some tips on what to look for in a make-up artist for your wedding:

Hop online:

Ladies, when planning a wedding, the internet is your friend! Do your research by visiting some of the top wedding websites and blogs in South Africa before making your big decision. These sites will often go a long way in helping you find the perfect make-up artist for your special day. Bridal websites often feature brides that have recently tied the knot and will share photos of the bride’s big day, including her make-up, of course! These posts can be a treasure trove of information – not only will you get a good look at various make-up artists’ work but each featured bride post will also include a list of almost all the vendors that the bride used while planning her wedding.

Decide on the look you want:

As you discover various local make-up artists visit their websites to learn more about their services and make-up styles. Then decide what style of make-up you want on your wedding day. Important questions to ask yourself before deciding on a make-up artist include:

 – What look am I after? A natural look that gives you a flawless and beautiful finish without making you look like someone else? A glam look, but still natural looking? A glam look but with all the extras (lashes, contours, complete cover etc)?

bridal make-up

Images: Left & middle Willem De Lange | right: Shireen Arbuthnot. Make-up & Eyebrows: Mich De Lima, Just Browzing.

TIP: Once you decide on the look you want, make sure you take a good photo (or a few) of the look you have in mind along with you to your make-up consultation. What is natural to you might not be natural to someone else and this will sort out any confusion from the start and help you get the look you want. But, do keep in mind that even though you have a photo of the look and feel you like, that person is not you. Your features are not the same and some elements of that look might not suit you but allow the make-up artist to create the look that suits and compliments you the best, using elements of the image you’ve shown. Take the advice of the artist to heart during your trial session, as they won’t give you something that will not compliment you, after all, it’s their work that’s on display!

Read the reviews:

Once you’ve done some research, identify at least three local bridal make-up artists whose work you like that created a similar feel that you are after. Make sure you visit their website to check out more from their portfolio and previous work. Once you’ve done that it’s time to check in with their previous clients. Read reviews from previous brides who have used the make-up artists before – whether it’s testimonials on their website or comments on posts on other wedding forums and websites.

Ask questions!

When you meet with the make-up artists or make first-contact via email or telephone, make sure you ask lots of questions! One big question to ask is what products they use on their clients. It is important that the artist use good-quality products (preferably professional make-up) as this will give you a more polished and long-lasting look on your wedding day. Ask if the products are hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic (specially formulated so as not to cause blocked pores), designed to be photographed (so you don’t look like a ghost on your photos), and whether or not they will give you a flawless cover.

Other questions to consider include:

Do they travel? Take into consideration their ability to travel to the bridal party on your wedding day as some artists don’t travel and others do.

What is the cost? “Weddings are expensive and costs can quickly add up especially when you’re a bridesmaid. says Michelle from Just Browzing. “Give your bridesmaids the option of getting their hair, make-up or both done on the day and try to keep costs as reasonable as possible for them as well.”

Don’t forget about your brows!

As you know, Just Browzing is in the brow business and they do believe that getting your brows into shape is just as important as finding the right make-up artist. Not every make-up artist or beautician knows how to shape a brow correctly. So, make sure you do your homework on your make-up artist as well finding the brow specialist that can shape your brows perfectly to compliment your overall look for your wedding day. At Just Browzing they specialise in both eyebrow shaping and make-up applications so they’re a great choice for your wedding day if you’re in Joburg!

Just Browzing Bride

Image: Willem De Lange | Make-up & Eyebrows: Mich De Lima from Just Browzing.

Ask another bride’s point-of-view:

Just Browzing asked one of their clients who got married recently to give us some feedback regarding her experience when booking her make-up artist and this is what Tammy (Wilson) Thijs had to say:

I got married a few months ago and when I think back to that wonderful day I get butterflies, even when I look through the photos. From the date we got engaged I only had 10 months to go until the big day so I knew I had to get going and book my make-up artist as soon as possible!

I am a musician so I’m used to having a very heavy make-up look. I love my smokey eyes and red lips, my eyelashes need at least five coats of mascara on them, my eyeliner must be bold and I like full coverage when applying my base. I have had many make-up artists doing my make up for all sorts of productions, TV shows, photo shoots and even the general pub gig but I have also been a bridesmaid a few times where my make-up has been applied very naturally, which I LOVED!

Just Browzing bridal make-up

Tammy before and after Just Browzing did her make-up.

I decided to go for a very “off-beat” bride theme where I wanted to mix the rock chick (I have tattoos and a very short, cheeky fringe) with the soft princess look. I didn’t quite know how I was going to do that and used up most of my monthly data surfing Pinterest. My thoughts rolled back to when my make-up was done more naturally by a wonderful make-up artist by the name of Michelle de Lima (from Just Browzing). I knew that if I book her I could totally relax because she knows what she is doing. I totally trust her.

Not only is Mich the Brow Queen, she is the make-up Guru! No one has ever done my make-up as perfectly as Mich. She captured exactly what I wanted and was flexible in giving me what I wanted yet keeping the softer look. She shaped my bushy eyebrows so perfectly, they looked so full and framed my eyes so beautifully and made them pop. She allowed me to apply my desired amount of mascara (which was a fair amount) but she was adamant to keep my eyeliner at a minimum and just applied a thin layer of brown eyeshadow underneath my eyes.

In the end, I was blown away at the result! Best of all, I don’t cringe every time I see a pic of myself on my wedding day. Every bride deserves to feel and look her best on her wedding day and I can’t be happier with my genius of an artist, Michelle de Lima.

For more information on Just Browsing’s wedding make-up packages click here to visit their website now. (Pssst, their new fancy-pants website is coming soon as well so make sure you pop back again in a few weeks to check it out).