shannon jordan

Makeup Artist

Santa Barbara Makeup Artist specializing in weddings and events.


 You’ve scoured the web looking for the perfect makeup artistspoken to friends that recently got married or perhaps thought about just having someone at your favorite makeup counter do your makeup. Regardless of where you go or who you choose, here are a few very important things to consider and questions to ask both yourself AND your artist. 

Questions for you 


Scenario- you’ve looked at Instagram 1000 times, pinned about 200 different looks, pondered the benefits of contour and highlighting, lashes or extensions...the list goes on.  

First things first- consider your dress and the overall feel of the day you are trying to create. Is it specific? Are you going for a Boho beach chic look or are you more of a Vintage Hollywood glam kinda gal? Think about your dress and the way you plan to wear your hair. Pulling a whole look together for your wedding day is not unlike that of an Oscar nominee on the day of the awards. Consider all things, including accessories or your bouquet.  


Now don’t get me wrong, just because you are wearing a silk sheath 1930s inspired gownDOES NOT mean that you need to go all Jean Harlow. That’s really up to you. Perhaps consider a more modern and softer version that suits your own style rather than going full period. Think about the overall look and feel and what you feel comfortable in. This is not the day to go WAY outside your comfort zone if you are not normally an adventurous style seeker. Then again it is also your wedding day and a somewhat if not totally formal event. So definitely step it up a notch, just maybe not 10 notches. 

Once you have thought about the feel you are going for, consider bridal magazines and wedding blogs over say...Instagram. Most of the popular Instagram makeup accounts are filled with heavily contoured, highlighted ( "Strobed"...don't get me started), and lets not forget...FILTERED images that rarely convey anything close to natural or fresh. All well and good, but maybe not for the day that will be reflected upon through numerous photos and videos for the next 20 to 40 years. Look for women who look like you. I don’t mean your long lost twin,  I mean look for someone who has similar features and coloring. If you look like Gwyneth Paltrow, but bring in a picture of do I say this...YOU MAY BE DISAPPOINTED! Complexion and hair color alone..but also the shape of your face, the size and set of your eyes. Lips... all of it.  

Now this doesn’t mean you can't get that luscious exotic glam look of Beyonce, it just means you have to remember to think of it as an inspiration and not an exact replication. Nor if you want the opposite...a sleek sophisticated girl next door kinda vibe. Just remember to love your face, embrace the amazing unique beauty that is you, and what that man....or woman, fell in love with in the first place. Be inspired by photos. Work with your artist to translate those inspirations in a beautiful look that is flattering for you!  



Basically, is your skin dry or oily 

Now this may seem like a no brainer, but you would be surprised at how many people will look at their artist like they just have been asked the meaning of life.  

So here is a basic way to tell, does your skin get shiny and feel like you need to blot a bit across your forehead, nose and sometimes cheek area by about noon? You are most likely oily 

Do you tend to be like me, drier than the Sahara and even if you put oil directly on your face, in five minutes it would have been sucked into your pores and back to the desertYou have dry skin  

If you don’t notice either, you are more than likely normal or combination. 

Another note, are you sensitive to any skincare or ingredient? Let your artist know. A good artist will usually ask. 

Also, what kind of coverage do you like in foundation? Again, this seems to be one of those easy questions, yet it often seems to leave people with a look of complete befuddlement when asked. So to make it easy 

Sheer /Natural- liken it to a nylon stocking or pantyhose. You remember those...your Grams possibly  still wears them. Basically, you can see a thin veil of color over top of the skin, but still see your skin beneath. Freckles and all. 

Medium coverage- Think of this more like tights. Not transparent yet not completely opaque either.  

Full coverage- SOCK. There is not a hint of skin showing beneath 


Matte-this is powdery and flat. No hint of shine.  

Dewy- It's that skin that glows. It has a sheen to it. NOT shiny or oily, but fresh and moist looking skin.   

Demi Matte- In between the two. 

YOU ARE READY...To meet your artist 

So, you have an appointment for a practice run, and when you get there you are not sure how to communicate all the things you have seen, read or thought about etc..  

Bring pics. That helps to communicate the vision in your head to your artist in a way that doesn’t get confused by the wrong verbiage 

I once had a client who told me she was very natural, she didn’t like a lot of makeup. In fact she didn’t wear it, unless it was a special occasion. Oddly enough, by the end of the consultation which had her in fire engine red lips and cat liner that would've rivaled Amy Winehouse, I learned what she REALLY meant. She didn't wear liquid foundation. 

This was a defining moment for me. I realized  I needed to probe further when asking questions, because what I think of as natural, wasn't the same for her as it was for me . Problem is, sometimes people take that somehow as the artist not acting as the expert. However what we are trying to do is make sure that we are giving the bride  EXACTLY, or as close to, what they want with minimum trial and error.

You have tried on dresses and been picking china, tasting cakes... ( tell me THAT wasn’t fun, I'll know you are lying!) and have spent plenty of money already. I want to make you feel heard, beautiful and do it in a one painless and hopefully relaxing 60 minutes or so. 



  •  What is their cosmetic experience? 

  • What kind of makeup they use and is it oil free, fragrance free etc? 

  • Will you need to provide your own skincare? (Most of us have at least basic moisturizer and eye cream, but if you have sensitive skin, you may want your own) 

  • Are lashes included, and if not what is the additional fee, or will you need to supply your own? Also, what kind? Does the artist have both strip and individuals?  

  • How long should you expect it to last? Do they use primers and setting products or waterproof mascara? 

  • Will they supply touch up items, such as blot powder or papers and lip touch up? Most do not, so be sure to get a list of the items you will need to pick up, and from where. That way you have them when your artist leaves on the day of your event. 

  • You can also ask if they can be hired to stay for touch ups after makeup is complete and what the additional charge would be. 

Let them know what you want. The more specific you are, the easier. Don’t be afraid. It’s a very important day and you are paying for a professional skilled service. As long as you do it in a kind respectful manner, a true professional will be patient and try to accommodate you to the best of their ability. If you get someone who is not open to questions or your thoughts than perhaps shop around a bit more.  

Make sure to wear that makeup after the practice throughout the day. Look at it in different light and see how it wears. Make note of anything that doesn’t quite work or that you decide you want a bit different. As long as you have the basic idea and feel you have found the magician you believe can perform the task, small changes can be made the day of. Let your artist know and they can adjust on the wedding day. 



Till next we meet.... Shannon