How to Hire a Winning Pageant Makeup Artist
Now that you’ve entered your pageant you’ve probably started to think about your competition wardrobe. You’ll need a killer outfit for your personal interview and an evening gown that makes you feel like a princess. And you may decide to book a pageant makeup artist so that your hair and makeup are as beautiful as your competition wardrobe. Not sure how to hire a makeup artist? No worries. Here’s How to Hire a Winning Pageant Makeup Artist:
1. Identify the Pageant’s Visual Brand
Every pageant has a preferred look that is part of their visual brand. Their preferred look includes competition wardrobe style, type of headshot, and hair/makeup style. Your pageant’s visual brand might be “All American Girl,” “Hollywood Red Carpet,” or “High Glamour.” To determine the pageant’s visual brand, evaluate the visual brand of the Top 5 contestants for the last 3 years and determine what they have in common. Once you’ve determined the pageant’s visual brand, you’re ready for the next step.
2. Identify Experienced Makeup Artists
Every pageant has a group of makeup artists that typically work that pageant. Ask the pageant office if they have a list of recommended makeup artists. Also, check last year’s program book to see if any of the top contestants thanked or identified their makeup artist on their ad page. Facebook groups can be another source for a list of qualified makeup artists. You could even check to see if a contestant/titleholder has listed their makeup artist in a post about their most recent competition.
Resist the temptation to hire someone who has never done hair/makeup for a pageant. Ideally, you’re looking for a makeup artist whose contestants often make the Top 10 or Top 5 in that pageant or a pageant with a similar visual brand.
If there isn’t a qualified pageant make-up artist in your area, you could consider a bridal makeup artist. Ask them to provide photos from their portfolio of a “glamorous day wedding” (personal interview) and “glamorous evening wedding” (onstage competition.)
A word of caution: don’t hire your neighbor’s sister’s best friend who’s going to charge you much less than an experienced makeup artist. This is never a good idea.
3. Evaluate Their Portfolio
Once you’ve identified a couple of makeup artists, it’s time to evaluate their portfolio. Most makeup artists have a portfolio on their website, on Facebook, or Instagram. If they don’t have a portfolio online, ask them to send you photos of contestants they’ve done who competed in your pageant or a similar pageant.
When you’re looking at their portfolio check to see if the looks they’ve created are consistent with the pageant’s visual brand. If all their photos are All American Girl and you’re competing in a Hollywood Red Carpet pageant, they may not be the right choice for you.
It’s essential that your makeup artist has successfully created the look you’re going for on someone at some time. Don’t assume that if they can do a High Glamour look that they can also create an All American Look. You wouldn’t assume that a fitness wear designer could design an evening gown, would you? Well, don’t make any assumptions about makeup artists either.
4. First Contact
It’s a good idea to contact the makeup artist as soon as you’ve decided to compete in your pageant. Most pageant makeup artists also do bridal makeup and can be booked with pageants and weddings 6 months to a year in advance. Provide them with the name, date, and location of your pageant and ask if they’re available. Once you’ve identified one or two makeup artists, it’s time to ask some questions.
5. Ask Questions
Once you’ve found a makeup artist who’s available for your pageant there are a few questions you should ask:
- How much is your fee for the pageant?
- What services does that include? (Competition only? Rehearsal days and competition? Do they do both hair and makeup?)
- Will they be doing you personally or are they bringing an assistant?
- Are there additional costs for travel, hotel, or food?
- Are they booking other contestants for this pageant? If so, how many?
- What type of deposit is required?
- How is payment made? (Bankcard, check, money order or cash? If it’s money order or cash make sure you get a receipt.)
- When is the final payment due?
6. Get a Contract
Once you’ve decided that you’ve found the perfect makeup artist, ask them to send you a contract. Read the contract thoroughly. You don’t want to miss anything. If everything looks okay, fill out the contract with your information and send it to the makeup artist. Make sure to include your deposit with your contact. The makeup artist will not hold your spot if you do not make a deposit.
Booking a great makeup artist is just as important as finding the perfect evening gown. You can’t win in a beautiful dress if your hair and makeup are a hot mess. Take the extra time to really evaluate the skills and qualifications of your makeup artist. They could mean the difference between placing and winning.
And I think you’re a winner!