Picture: iStockphoto

It doesn't matter if it's a special event or just a night out with your partner - getting your make-up done by a professional can make you feel extra pretty.

It's not just about looking glam on that one night though. An artist can give a fresh perspective on your regular look and will be up-to-date with the latest trends, techniques and products, says make-up artist Kate Farmer.

"A professional can also offer advice as to which products and colours best work for your features. Bring along your own foundation as it is a great opportunity to get a professional opinion. The make-up artist can check its compatibility with your skin type and colour," she says.

Getting the look you want:
Professional artist Yvette Gray says it is important to communicate exactly what you want because the image you have in your head might be very different to what the artist understands from you.

"For example, a bride will often ask for a natural, fresh look with clean, dewy skin," Ms Gray says.

"Then it is up to the artist to ascertain what exactly the bride means by 'natural', as this can mean anything from natural earthy colours to the 'no make-up' look to quite a strong but very well-blended look.

"The comment I most often get about my work is that it looks 'natural' but in actual fact, it varies greatly in how heavy the application is and the colours chosen."

Let them know if you are used to wearing a little or a lot of make-up, and if you tend to stick to a signature look or like to experiment, Ms Gray says. This will tell the artist how adventurous they can be.

Also take a magazine or other pictures along to demonstrate what you mean and what you like, she advises. It may also be a good idea to show pictures of looks you don't like.

Or pick key elements in several different pictures, Carol Mackie, MAC WA trainer recommends.

"Quite often you may not find you like everything about an image. You might like the eyes in one look, and the skin, lips and brows in another.

"By giving the make-up artist a few images, it gives them an understanding of the strength and trend of make-up you are looking for.

"Your artist can then create a look for you based around this inspiration."

What to avoid:
Be realistic about the look you are after, says Ms Mackie.

"If you have pale creamy complexion and fair hair, asking for Jennifer Lopez make-up may not be achievable."

And although it is tempting to say "Do whatever" to a make-up guru, this can prove to be a mistake, she says.

"Even a professional artist cannot read your mind.

"They may feel dark dramatic eyes would look amazing on you.

"However if you have never worn this type of make-up before, it could feel too strong and dramatic for you."

Definitely avoid doing it the night of a special occasion, Ms Gray advises.

If you do want something completely different to your signature look, then book in for a trial run beforehand.

Cost:
Special occasion and bridal make-up can vary wildly.

""A special occasion make-up should cost anywhere from $80 to $150 per person and may or may not include lashes in the price - make sure you ask if this includes lashes," Ms Gray says.

"If the artist is required to travel to you, then you can also expect to pay a call-out fee for time and travel to your location.

"This, of course, will vary depending on time and distance and can be anywhere from $60 in the inner CBD to $500 for travel down south."

It costs $95 to book with a MAC artist, but this is redeemable for products purchased on the day.

The West Australian

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