Memphis Makeup Artists Q&A | Memphis, TN Wedding Photographer

As a Memphis Wedding Photographer I get to work with a lot of amazing Makeup Artists throughout the year. I decided that there’s no better way than to start off 2017 with a little Q&A spotlight blog with two of my favorite Makeup Artists! Let’s get the dirt on what brides really need to know when it comes to booking, questions, and how to prepare time wise for their wedding day.

The Artists

I met TeAnna Shantese almost 2 years ago while shooting a wedding in Horn Lake, MS. You may remember my post about Brittany and Justus’s Wedding where I raved about the hair and makeup girls from that day! It was such a fun, laid back day and one of my favorite weddings to date. I still keep in touch with TeAnna and she is actually on my preferred vendor list for brides.

Ashley Parsons is actually the sister to one of my best friends! I knew her sister Heather for a bit before I found out that her sister did makeup. I started to follow her on Instagram before I met her and was blown away by her talent. I hired her to do my makeup for my family photos this past fall and I actually used her as a model for one of my styled shoots that will be internationally published this week!

Photographers are usually one of the first vendors booked by brides and relied upon for referrals to other great vendors in the wedding industry. These two are on my vendor list and I’m always telling my brides to book them before they get snatched up! I caught up with these ladies to ask some simple beauty questions and what to look for in an artist. Always remember that just like photographers MUA have their own specialties and styles, and while some do bridal makeup others do not.


Question: What types of qualities are good to look for in a professional make up artist?

TeAnna: I would recommend hiring an artist that is experienced in the bridal industry. There are many great artists in the makeup industry but not everyone specializes in bridal work. Someone that has experience will be more comfortable working with different face shapes, skin types, tones and texture. It is important that you can trust your artist to not only apply makeup beautifully but be reliable, professional, deliver great customer service, and have impeccable sanitation practices.

Ashley: The MUA personal appearance, you want someone with good taste in how they do their own makeup and present themselves. Also look at their reviews. They should have multiple reviews on their professional pages (The Knot,, Facebook, their own webpages, etc) Also be sure to ask how many weddings they tend to book for one day, you want to make sure the MUA is dedicated to you and values quality vs. quantity.

Question: How do you go about finding a MUA?

Ashley: I recently was told that a bride found me through Instagram searching the hashtag “memphisMUA” so there’s a start. Word of mouth or referral is great, ask around! Any of your wedding vendors should be able to name a few.

TeAnna: Do your research, or ask for recommendations from friends, family, boutiques, or photographers. Social media has helped many brides seek out artists because the work is readily available to view.

Question: What types of questions should the ask you, if any, before booking?

TeAnna: Before booking the Bride should ask the following: Is a trial required or optional? What are the rates? If the artist will travel? What is the max number of people they can service alone? If they are available on your desired date? (the popular artists are booked up pretty fast) It would be wise to go over the contract with them prior to booking.If you have a preference of the type of makeup used, you may want to ask the artist about their products. Be sure to check out pictures of their work.

Ashley: How many weddings do you book for one day? Have you ever been late or put a bride behind her timeline for photos? How long have you been doing professional/bridal makeup? What type of specific makeup should I need on my wedding day? Are false lashes included?

Question: Is it good to bring sample photos with them for their consultation or should they let you decide on the colors that would flatter their skin tones?

Ashley: Photos are always helpful for your consultation, especially closed eye photos so that we can see the details and eyes open so we can see the lower lash line. If you never wear makeup and want a full-on smokey eye just to see what it look like or see if you would like it your wedding day may not be the best time to try it. We want you to look like yourself, but beautifully enhanced and slammed up a notch. Trust your artist!

TeAnna: A great artist can look at the client’s skin tone/face shape/eye color and create a look that will flatter them. This is why it is important to see their work before booking the artist. It is a great idea to have a trial, therefore the Bride can bring pictures and the artist can understand the inspiration behind the brides desired look.

Question: Are all skin tones and textures created equal? Will something that works for their best friend work for them?

TeAnna:All skin types are not created equal! You would use different products on someone who may have oily skin, then someone who may be a bit dry. Some people require more coverage than others etc.

Ashley: No, definitely not! Something that works for your friend may not work for you. What I use for someone with oily skin I wouldn’t use for someone with dry skin. Also, skin texture can be an issue for some, so there are tricks to combat that as well.

Question: Why are fake lashes important?

Ashley: They are so important! The more the merrier! If you want your eyes to pop and stand out in photos lashes are a must. I provide these to my clients. Mink lashes, although pricey ($20-35) are a great investment for very full natural looking lashes. Your MUA should know of a few websites and styles to best suit your eyes and to purchase Mink or Foe-Mink lashes.

TeAnna: False lashes enhance the eye shape and add glamour to the overall look. Think about it, when you take a picture without false lashes, you can barely see your lashes on the picture. I encourage all brides to wear false lashes on her special day, however it is totally her decision.

Question: On average how much time in advance should they book a professional make up artist before their event?

TeAnna:Booking an artist anywhere from 6 months to a year is ideal. If you have less time to plan your wedding, your glam team should be booked right after your photographer.

Ashley: I’ve had some book as far as a year in advance and some a month in advance. Honestly, it’s the luck of the draw, but 8-9 months would be ideal.

Question: What are the benefits for doing a trial run/consultation?

Ashley: A bridal trial allows me to discuss and customize the look you are wanting and for you to see it firsthand. Most importantly, it allows me to see your skin firsthand, no filters, fancy lights, etc. and to determine what products would be best suited for your skin type.

TeAnna: The trial run is extremely important because it gives the bride the opportunity to preview her look before her big day. The bride will then be able to tweak the look to her liking and she can have several trials with different artists to see which would be a best fit for her and her bridal party. Brides that choose to skip the trial run the risk of not being satisfied with their look especially if it is their first time working with the artist they hired. In most cases there isn’t enough time to change the look. The day of the wedding is already hectic enough, the least you can do is have a trial so you can be at ease during your glam session.

Question:  Should they tell you if they’ve had any lip fillers, Botox, injections, etc?

TeAnna: It would be wise to disclose this information so the artist can use products that will work best for their client.

Ashely: They can but it shouldn’t alter the application.

Question:  How much time should they set aside for the make up artist on their wedding day? Should they book more than one artist if there are a ton of bridesmaids who all want makeup done for the wedding? Should the bridesmaids have consultations prior to the event as well?

Ashely: Honestly, it depends on the MUA. 1 hour is sufficient for the bride, but better to have too much time in case of any unexpected hiccups. 35-40 minutes per bridesmaid is standard. I would discuss the need for more than one MUA for the bridesmaids. They more than likely have another MUA they work with in these cases. It is not necessary for the bridesmaids to have a consultation prior to the event but optional if they have any concerns such as allergies or skin problems they would like addressed.

TeAnna: The average experienced makeup artist can complete a look for a bridesmaid in about 30 min per face. Some artists have a maximum amount of bridesmaids they will be willing to service alone. You may want to ask your artist if he/she has someone they would recommend to work with if they cannot complete your party alone. Bridesmaids don’t typically get trials however, the bride can explain the look for her party after her trial is complete.

Question:  Should they let their bridesmaids choose how they want their makeup done or should they choose the colors and look for their girls themselves? Why is this important?

TeAnna: Makeup artists LOVE when the bride takes charge of their bridal party because this creates structure and allows everything to run smoothly. When the bride allows her party to choose their own look they run the risk of not having a look that is complimentary to the colors or theme in the Wedding. She may also run the risk of getting off schedule as some looks take more time than others.

Ashley: To an extent it’s best to let the bridesmaids or MUA determined what would look best. The bridesmaids are individuals and you want them to look individualized but still custom to the bride’s makeup.

Question: Why is it important to budget time for a makeup artist and what happens if a bridesmaid or bride is running seriously late?

Ashley: Timing is key. I cannot stress this enough. You should have a timeline and if you are unsure, you should consult with your photographer about getting one from him/her. This is not only your day, but our time dedicated to your bridal party. If you or your bridesmaid is running seriously late then you or her are forfeiting the opportunity for professional makeup and will more than likely still be expected to pay for our time, despite the fact that you may or may not have received your makeup due to negligence and poor time management. We allow a generous timeframe in order to complete the number of ladies discussed previous to your wedding day and don’t block off a whole day for people to stop and get their makeup done at their convenience. We do have other clients, schedules, and a personal life outside of your specific wedding day.

TeAnna: You should allow ample time for your glam team to get you ready for your day. Your guests will never forget the way you looked on your wedding day. Speak with your artist to see how much time will be needed and make sure you get a clear understanding of their late policy. It is common that after 15 mins late, the bridesmaid may be denied service.

Question: Do you stay after the ceremony to do touch ups before the formal photos?

TeAnna:  Staying for touch- ups is available for an additional fee however, should she opt out the bride will receive a touch up kit.

Ashely: Not usually. If you do request this just know the fees for your makeup will be higher.

Question: How much do your services start at?

Ashely: My services generally consist of an entire bridal party and for me to travel to the bride’s specific location. The bridal party consists of the bride and 3 other bridesmaids. My prices start at a minimum of $400 to stay local in the Memphis area and more to travel outside of the Memphis area.

TeAnna: Bridal trials start at $100. The day of Wedding makeup vary depending on how early I will have to start and how far I have to travel.

Question: Should a bride consider getting a dermaplane treatment prior to getting her makeup done?

TeAnna: Totally up to the bride, not a must have.

Ashley: This is optional. However, speaking from personal experience, it does help your makeup lay more evenly and look more flawless. Especially if you have a lot of facial hair or have darker hair.

Question: How many days in advance should she wax her brows, lips, etc?

Ashley: 7 days minimum,  if your skin is sensitive and/or reactions I would do 1-14 days.

TeAnna: Definitely not the day of, I would allow at least 2-3 days prior.

Question: Should a woman with terrible acne get discouraged when it comes to makeup application, or embarrassed about booking a MUA to help her?

TeAnna: Someone that has problematic skin should definitely work with a professional that can assist her by recommending products to help combat acne before the day of Wedding. This is another reason why it pays to have a pro help you because they know how to select products for all skin types.

Ashely: No but she should consult with a dermatologist or OBGYN about getting the acne under control prior to the wedding. Acne is often hormonal, so birth control might be a way to combat the problem. Although, one size does not fit all and make take some trial and error in order to find on birth control that helps your acne problem.

Question: What is your advice for summer brides who will sweat while wearing the makeup and do you have anything special to combat that?

Ashley: Blot, don’t wipe. Invest in a hand-held battery operated fan. Blotting paper and compact powder is also a necessity.

TeAnna:  There are a few products that can assist however, in this case I would highly recommend that you ask your artist to stay for touch ups until pictures are over. (Especially outdoor weddings)

Question: Is there really a difference between cheap makeup and expensive makeup?

TeAnna: Not all inexpensive products are created equal. I prefer using products that are higher quality however, there a few inexpensive brands that get the job done.

Ashley: Yes! Less expensive makeup may have fewer color ranges which can make it harder to find an exact color match. Also, pigment/color payoff is often altered in order to achieve a less expensive product. Certain name brand products that I would invest in are: primer, foundation, concealer, eyeshadow. Drugstore products to skimp on: Eye liner, mascara, lipstick, lip gloss, and false lashes.

Question: What are some of your go to products that you can’t live without?

Ashley: Good quality skin care products specifically moisturizer. My current night-time favorite is Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream and current daytime lotion Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Lotion. I love Bobbi Brown’s Hydrating Eye cream! My current favorite exfoliating skin wash that I use a few nights a week is Murad’s AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser. Make sure you intake less caffeine and more water, drink plenty of water! Believe it or not your skin is traction of not only how you take care of it, but your nutrition and items you intake on a daily basis.

TeAnna: Beauty Blender, Hourglass mineral veil, anastasia brow wiz, hourglass ambient lighting powders.

Question: If you/your bride had to use only 5 products on a bride for their big day what would they be and why?

TeAnna: Brow pencil, foundation, blush, gloss, and lashes. This is the basic full face application. Highlight/ Contour, are not needed for every face shape, etc.

Ashley: Favorite lipstick- she will need touch ups after kissing, eating, etc. Blotting paper or better yet Beauty Blender’s “Blotterazzi” sold online or at Sephora (Washable, reusable, and keeps your makeup in tact) Pressed powder to combat shine, mints/gum, lump phone case. (This is how celebrities showcase the best selfies!)

Question: If a bride isn’t happy with her makeup should she tell you and ask you to change it or should she just stay quiet and deal?

Ashley: Yes, she should voice a concern. This is why I allow more time for my brides, because you can run into hiccups or issues that need changing. However, you shouldn’t have unreal expectations and expect a whole new look.

TeAnna: She should always speak up, getting a trial can avoid this issue.

Question: If there’s one thing you could tell a potential client about her big day what would it be?

TeAnna: This is YOUR day, which means you should choose the look for your bridal party because these are pictures you will have forever. I would also tell her to try to relax and embrace every moment of her day.

Ashley: Timing in key! You don’t have to be a stickler, but you should be punctual to hair and makeup in order to keep with the timeline your photographer has created for you. Take a deep breath and try to enjoy the time with your family and friends as much as possible because it will go by in the blink of an eye.

Question: Should brides dare to be bold on their big day or should they keep it natural?

Ashley: Like I said previously, I want you to look like you, just taken up a notch. I often review my clients photos on FB or Instagram to get an idea of what she normally looks like, her face shape, skin tone, etc. One thing I would encourage is more pigmented lip color in order for it to show up well in photos. This doesn’t always mean it has to be a bold red, hot pink, or burgundy.

TeAnna: This is totally up to the bride and her personality/style.

Question: Are there any makeup trends that should die and be buried?

TeAnna: Using black eyeliner on eyebrows or lipliner, using anything other than your brushes/sponges to apply makeup. Using concealer on top of the eyebrow area, are a few that need to end immediately.

Ashley: Winged liner. This is nice for an occasional fun night out, but unless it’s a staple in your every day look I would discourage any bride from wearing it. Overly contoured and highlighted faces! I’m guilty of doing this on myself a few years back! Thankfully the trend is slowly moving away from this, but you can still highlight and contour in a much more tasteful way with no harsh lines, no super dar bronzers/powders, and no very white/light under the eyes. Also, cake face. Your husband to be doesn’t want to see your makeup, he wants to see your natural beauty that is enhanced and taken to a new level.

And lastly is there anything else that you think a bride should or would want to know about your profession and why it is so important to hire a pro for their big day?

Ashley: Your friend can do her makeup well, but that doesn’t mean she can do your makeup great and it will photograph well for one of themes documented days of your life. Some hair stylists are well qualified and skilled and often do bridal makeup on a regular basis. If you are considering using your hair stylist for your makeup I’d ask him/her for any photos of their work, references, and reviews. However, using your hair stylist who specializes in hair to do your makeup because she has a cosmetology license doesn’t mean she/he has all the right skills, products, brushes, and techniques to get the job done and most importantly make sure it lasts all day.

TeAnna: Everyday makeup and bridal makeup require different skill-set and different products. Not all makeup photographs well or last all day. You get what you pay for, so hire the best. If you cannot afford a professional, remember that less is more. Get color matched for your foundation and powder. Get a nice lip and blush color, get your brows threaded or waxed and a great mascara. Be sure to practice a few times before the day of.


TeAnna Shantese Memphis Makeup Artist

Ashley Parsons Memphis Makeup Artist

There you have it guys! SO much useful information about what to look for in your artist, why a consultation is important, and how you can make your wedding day flow seamless and fun! Thank you to TeAnna and Ashley for the great advice and answers!

Andrea King Photography | Wedding Photographer Memphis | Engagement Photographer Memphis| Available for Travel

TeAnna Shantese: TeAnna’s Facebook Page or 901-304-4090

Ashley Parsons: Ashley’s Facebook Page or (901) 734-9845

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