elopement couple nuzzling after wedding ceremony

Vendor Spotlight – Wedding Makeup Artist Jessica Tan Jessica is an amazing makeup artist serving the DC area, and she’s here today to share her top 5 tips for booking a makeup artist. She has done the makeup for several clients, and I am always blown away at how natural her style is! She is […]

5 Tips Before Booking a Makeup Artist for Any Occasion


Vendor Spotlight – Wedding Makeup Artist Jessica Tan

jessica tan DC makeup artist holding makeup bruhses

Jessica is an amazing makeup artist serving the DC area, and she’s here today to share her top 5 tips for booking a makeup artist. She has done the makeup for several clients, and I am always blown away at how natural her style is! She is SO good at showcasing each person’s features and emphasizing natural beauty! My clients feel confident and beautiful for their photos- which goes a long way toward creating images that feel true-to-you. 

1. For Professional Photos Book a Professional Hair and Makeup Artist 

Getting your hair and makeup done professionally for headshots, wedding photos, engagement photos, etc. makes a big difference. I truly believe when someone looks good they feel good. Therefore, getting yourself all glamoured up will make you feel more confident and comfortable during your photoshoot. Makeup artists are trained to apply makeup that appears better for professional photography.

A pro-tip is to plan your trial runs with your hairstylist and makeup artist on the same day as your engagement session! 

2. Makeup Appears Differently in Photography Versus in Real Life

Trust your makeup artist when they say that your makeup will not appear the same in professional photography as it does in real life. This is something I disclose to my clients all the time especially during their trial run. Many clients like really natural makeup, but don’t have experience with doing their own makeup or getting their makeup professionally done.

When they show me inspiration pictures it tends to be of professionally photographed models or brides. I tell them that in order for us to achieve this look, it’s going to be a heavier makeup application than what you’re used to.

Professional cameras tend to strip about 25 – 50% of the makeup saturation. Therefore, I always encourage my clients to add a little more color on their eyes and cheeks, as those are the parts that tend not to be as prominent in photos. Ultimately, I let my client choose what level of makeup they’re comfortable with because I want them to feel confident and beautiful in their own skin. 

3. Book your Makeup Artist Early 

Hair and makeup aren’t usually the vendors that couples choose to book as soon as they start their wedding planning. However, if you’re looking to book your dream glam squad, book as early as you can.

Each year in business, I am even busier! I essentially plan my schedule a whole year in advance. More often than not, I have to turn down clients who try to book me last minute (2 – 3 months from their wedding date). The months that get filled the fastest for me are April, May, June, September, and October.

4. Make Sure There is a Contract to Sign 

A contract protects both the client and the artist. One of my clients had booked a makeup artist without a contract for her elopement. On the day of her elopement, her makeup artist was a NO SHOW. Luckily, I was available very last minute and turned her nightmare into a dream come true.

On my contract, I’m held accountable for showing up or finding a replacement artist if I suddenly become unavailable. I’m also held accountable for proper sanitization, punctuality, a certain number of services, etc. Contracts are essential with any wedding vendor so it’s always important to read them carefully and make sure you’re protected. 

5. Makeup Takes Time

One of the biggest misconceptions is that makeup can be applied within 20 – 30 minutes. I can vouch that this is how long it takes me to do my own makeup, but if I’m doing it on someone else, it takes more time. Clients like to talk, drink, look down at their phones, get up, etc. which makes the makeup application take a lot longer. We also have to study your complexion, experiment, check-in with you to ensure we are bringing your makeup vision to fruition. Sometimes, I take just 10 minutes to ask questions and probe my client to ensure I’m fully understanding and listening to what they want. Quality service should not be rushed.


Interested in booking a makeup artist? Jessica would love to hear from you!

Follow her on Instagram @jtanartistry and learn more about her and services here

Also check out these sessions where Jessica glammed up my clients:

Morven Park Engagement Session | Alyssa, Catherine & Their Dogs

Sweet Elopement at Carlyle House in Old Town, Alexandria

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