No one wants to walk down the aisle looking anything less than beautiful on her special occasion, so I’ve outlined a checklist for picking the right makeup artist to accentuate your look.

A professional portfolio is a must. It’s going to be a day of a gazillion photos and you want your makeup to last from dusk till dawn (if the party is that crazy!). When reviewing a makeup artist’s work, look for variety. Does he or she have photos for different hours of the day? Does the artist have work in nature and/or in formal settings? Answering these questions will give you an indication of the range of experience.

After you’ve determined that his or her work is up to par, the next step is reviewing their reputation. What good is an awesome makeup artist if he or she has no people skills? This individual needs to be able to help you feel comfortable on one of the most nerve-racking days of your life. Request references from previous customers. If he or she can’t provide any references, that’s a warning sign—either they don’t possess experience or they don’t have clients who they feel comfortable supplying to you. In other words, they have previously provided unsatisfactory work. 

Reviews and references can give you an indication of a makeup artist’s professionalism, but a phone conversation will give you a sense of the person behind the credentials. Is he or she prompt with returning phone calls? Does he or she answer your questions thoroughly? Does he or she anticipate your concerns? All of these should be checked off before moving the individual onto the next stage—the trial makeup session.

A dry run is absolutely necessary. You want to see how you two will mesh in person because chemistry is essential. You also want to see his or her work on YOUR face. Can this individual really accommodate your skin tone and facial features, and how well does he or she do it? Also extremely important, DO THEY SHOW UP ON TIME? A late artist is a no-no. Think of his or her tardiness on your wedding day!

Brides to be…go forth and prosper!