India has always been known for huge lavish multi day weddings and the economic boom of the 90s only propelled it to stratospheric heights. And with the advent of social media boom, the needs and desire to look absolutely stunning especially on this important day has meant that wedding makeup of not just the bride but the entire extended family is a key element of the wedding. And that means big budgets, celebrity makeup artists and more. So how can you break into this market and establish yourself a Professional Bridal Makeup Artist?
A great and successful career that can be built just in the bridal makeup business and reputation established, it needs focus on details, effort to establish the brand, social media presence and provide not just a fantastic look and outcome for your customers but the entire experience needs to be managed for a very positive feeling so that word of mouth and your reputation spreads. Remember, a wedding is where even more match making happens and you want to be in the middle of the 3 new matches made in that event
So here are some tips, guidance and factors to keep in mind and use while you go about seeking your customers and providing them the service.
#1.Ask the right questions
First and foremost make sure you are asking all the right questions and listening through the process. In India you have to just deal with the bride but their family as well and everyone has an opinion which matters. Make sure you understand the basics no of events, date, location, theme, clothes and colors the couple would be wearing etc. But also check if there are others who would need makeup and who would be doing that makeup. Any known allergies is a critical information to know as well.
#2. Listen to your clients
Be diligent in taking notes, check the kind of look they would like, ask for reference photos if needed and ensure that you send them a note after the meeting to confirm your understanding of the event and desired service so it ensures everyone is on the right page. This also is a good way for you to connect back post the meeting and see if anything was missed out.
#3. Be Clear
Be clear in money matters, time, products and brands that you will use, who will do the actual makeup etc. A key part of ensuring there is a positive experience is there is absolute clarity in money matters. India is a price sensitive market and even when dealing with financially well off families, money can lead to misunderstanding and lead to displeasure. So be clear of your charges, what it covers and when any payment is due. Be clear if your charges are per person, per hour etc. Part of this is also to be clear on what products & brands you will use. Many well known makeup artists use their brand but may have assistants who do all or most of the work, ensuring that information is clearly communicated helps. Especially if you are a budding artist then you can use this as a great marketing tool to say that you will personally do the entire makeup and ensure the bride looks her best on the special day.
#4. Have a makeup trial & Hair styling
The trial or preview session is a very important aspect that ensures the actual day is everything that the bride really wanted to look like on her day. Dont skip it or skimp on the steps, products and brands you use on that day. Get it as close and fully featured to the D-Day. The trial also gives he opportunity to communicate the type of makeup look that was discussed. The customer will get to see firsthand how you work and have an estimate of how long the look will take—an important factor for scheduling of the wedding day.
#5: Test out on camera
Ideally ask for the wedding photographer to also be at the trial so you can test the look on camera. If not then take a camera with you to take some trial photo shots and preserve the look. But remember to tell your bride that these digital cameras have a flash that is different technology from the synchronized flash of the photographer's camera. So the pictures you take with these kinds of cameras won't do justice to the makeup. Turn on all the available lights in the room and use only ambient lighting – no flash – to take pictures of the makeup. While taking the photos, do remember wedding day pictures of the bride will be further away, so shoot the photos by standing at least 4 feet away and use the zoom, instead of coming up close to your face with the camera in order to get photos that are reasonable to judge from.
#6. Wear comfortable professional clothes
You don't have to look glamorous on your job but you do need to look well groomed and professional while on your job. You will likely have to carry your equipment and kit and it will likely be a long days work for you. So make sure you are wearing comfortable & professional clothes that you can work in for the entire day.
#7: Vary the products with climate
India has wide climactic conditions and local weather patterns in different times of the year can effect the makeup and how long it lasts. Choose the products wisely based on the seasons and conditions.
Cold dry weather: Hydration is the key, use sheet mask, deep hydrating toners, hyaluronic acid serum, collagen based humectant moisturizers, hydrating primers and HD concealers and foundation for that healthy glow.
Rainy, tropical humid weather: Pore minimizing toners, water based moisturizer, silica based primers, water resistant concealers and foundation.
Blotting powders. In all cases use waterproof mascara and kohl, so your bride can withstand the bollywood melodrama of the Great Indian Bollywood wedding :)
#8: Use Waterproof products
If you were to believe bollywood, tears and weddings are made for each other. While I be to differ, its not uncommon either besides power cuts and equipment failure could also happen leading to heavy sweating. So use products that can withstand some tears and sweating for the makeup to outlast the pressures and emotions of the big day.
#9: Be on time
While the Indian stretchable time is undeniable, you as a makeup artist cannot be responsible for the bride being late for her own wedding and need to be prepared to take the chaos and delays of a wedding in your stride. But be on time and ensure that you set to be able to start your work on time for a pressure & stress free session with your bride. So that you are not rushed and are able to talk casually and connect with the client, her family and friends and establish yourself firmly as the go to person for all their weddings and special days.
#10: Setup your workstation
Its important that you are well organized and have all the products you need handy for an easy and fast session. But lighting should be the top priority, make sure both your workstation and the face of the client is well lit, if possible with natural light. Then ensure that the work desk, the space around the client's seat is all easily accessible. Next up organize your workspace and supplies for easy reach of the right products when you need them. The right mirrors at the correct angles when you need them will be a plus.
Lastly connect with your clients and have fun while working, not only is it great for business, its the only way we should all be both at work and home.