how to find a makeup artist

I have a pretty simple goal for my wedding day makeup: I want to be the prettiest person -- who has ever existed or will exist -- in the entire universe. It's a succinct philosophy.

Wedding day hair and makeup -- for me, at least -- is one of those things that you daydreamed about the same way you fantasized about what you'll wear to the Oscars (note my use of the future tense and not conditional). It will happen eventually, but it's so far off in the distance that you don't give it much thought beyond the fact that you will be Helen of Troy incarnate. No daughter of Zeus is a match for my sultry smokey eye!

But now that I'm tasked with actually finding a makeup artist, the reality of the situation has finally dawned on me. I need to find a real, live, flesh-and-blood human and not a demi-god to turn me into the unspeakable beauty of which I have always dreamed. My first thought was a foray into black magic, but being somewhat unschooled in these ancient ways, I figure the risk of being turned into a Persian cat is maybe not worth one day of makeup perfection. Although! I love naps and seal points, so perhaps not the worst thing.

Backup plan? The ever trusty New York Magazine bridal makeup section. There are a ton of options here, which is great, but where to start? Obviously the problem with any vendor guide to makeup artists is that you have no idea how their skills will look on you. Sure, the model they use is gorgeous, but that model is also named Gisele. This leaves you with a bit of a conundrum: do you hire someone essentially sight-unseen to save money or go through makeup trials with conceivably a few different artists to make sure you know what you'll really look like on that most important of days?

Being as thorough as I am in this great trek we call wedding planning, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I'm going with the latter option. Yes, it's not ideal that you have to pay for someone (or multiple someones) to do your trial, but I want the chance to a) get to know my makeup artist beforehand and b) hopefully try a few different looks to find the one that's going to be ultimately going to make everyone's jaw drop. But mostly Mike's.


So! This weekend marks my first (and hopefully my last!) makeup trial with the lovely and accommodating Meredith Hayman. After combing through NYMag and getting quotes from various NYC-based artists, I was starting to get discouraged with their limited availability as well as some of their astronomical pricing. But then, I remembered something that no bride-to-be should ever forget: your friends are your best resources. As great as any article on The Knot can be, your other fiancee friends have already been through the rigamarole and, most important, they know your tastes.

Off I went into full court press mode with all my lady pals and soon found Meredith through my friend Alison, who used her at her wedding last summer. Please look through all those photos because not only does Alison look DROP-DEAD gorgeous, but they had an epic wedding overall.

Gorgeous, right?

I'm very excited to finally meet Meredith in person and bombard her with my wedding Pinterest page. We've been emailing back and forth for months and it'll be great to put a face to a name, as well as get to see her work her magic on me. That is, if she's not horrified by the first few paragraphs of this post...

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