Your makeup artist ...
Clients are willing to pay top dollar for a makeup artist in exchange for their expertise, skills, training, experience, reliability and professionalism. Being a makeup artist is a skilled job and should offer the following things:
1) The most important - HYGIENE
Firstly in my humble opinion the most important thing a makeup artist should offer you is GREAT HYGIENE practices. I have worked backstage on catwalk models and with celebrities and I have seen first had bad hygiene practices, this is unacceptable. A good makeup artist will make sure all their brushes are sanitised and disinfected after each client to protect from passing on transmittable bacteria. The same should be done to all makeup which has been double dipped, where a brush has touched a clients face and then placed back onto the makeup. Mascara will be applied using disposable mascara wands. Good hygiene also includes good personal hygiene including clean clothes and thoroughly washed hands which are sanitised with gel. If a makeup artist needs to sneeze or cough (its natural its going to happen!) for example they should wash their hands if clean water and soap is available or wipe with sanitising wipes and reapply sanitising gel. They should also take into account any allergies a client has and if a client has any contraindications.
and the rest ....
A good makeup artist should be able apply makeup on a personal individual basis. Clients are not all the same, therefore makeup and products should be applied depending on that individual's needs. There's no point contouring someone's nose if its already very narrow or applying glowy foundation with oily skin - it's going to cause extra problems once the makeup artist leaves!
3) The Kit
A makeup artist would not necessary stick to one brand. They will do a lot of research and testing of products from different brands to make sure they have got the perfect product - and this is regardless of price! They will, like myself, have a couple of drugstore items which are holy grails however their whole kit needs to be high quality and these aren't always found in the drugstore. These products have to live up to high standards! Take a look at makeup artists that have given their clients the dreaded flashback. Angelina Jolie and Nicole Kidman are famous examples of this unfortunate mistake.
Another big issue which I have come across is a makeup artists shade range. A makeup artist should be able to do makeup on anyone regardless of skin tone.
4) Ability to listen and professionalism
I cannot tell you the amount of times a client has come to me after going to a makeup artist that just would not listen to what they wanted! I once had a client that had 4 bridal makeup trials before they had one with me and booked my services. She said that every makeup artist just caked on the makeup and it was just not what she wanted. A good makeup artist will listen to your requirements and give their professional opinion then you can make an informed decision yourself. They will be reliable, friendly and have a calming presence.
Also on a more important note make sure they have public liability insurance.
A makeup artist should be able to understand the colour wheel and see which colours are going to compliment you and your outfit and offer you advice. If you choose not to take that advice that's absolutely fine! They should also understand how colours look through the camera. Makeup has a tendency to disappear through the camera so it needs define the features but not look too harsh in reality. It’s a fine line which is easy to get wrong!