1. Check out their portfolio.
When looking at a makeup artists work online be sure to read up on their reviews and look for an artist that can execute your style! Their work should showcase a variety of looks from bare to bold and not just offer one look for everyone. It may be a beautiful look, but diversity is important to show that a makeup artist can work with different skin tones, eye shapes, and customize the look to execute their clients wishes.
Some makeup artists only have one speed, whether it is light and natural or dramatic, so be sure to get a good sense of their abilities and specialties when checking out their portfolio. A good makeup artist knows how to perform a proper consultation to get a sense of what you want and be able to put together a look that is specific to your personal beauty.
2. Ask questions!
Contact the makeup artist and ask them some questions! If you have any concerns about the products they use because you have sensitive skin, the artist should be able to address those issues and most artists will offer a quick consult to test for any allergic reactions before you commit to them.
Finding out what a makeup artist charges will also give you an idea of the quality of their services. If a makeup artist is charging way less than the other artists you've scouted, well... you get what you pay for! If the makeup artist you want is out of your budget then ask them to refer another artist with a similar style. Most professional makeup artists have an assistant or two that they work with, and maybe even trained themselves, that they can connect you with.
3. Peek in their makeup kit.
Two words: Clean & Organized. Enough said! A makeup artists kit shouldn't look like our personal disorganized makeup bag, and definitely nothing should be coated in that sparkly eyeshadow that broke and got all over everything (it happens to the best of us) that was never cleaned up. Also look out for these important things: Disposables (like q-tips and mascara wands) should be packaged and not touching anything that could contaminate them. Especially mascara wands since they are then dipped into a tube and could contaminate the whole tube, which is then used on other people!
This brings me to my next point- your makeup artist should be using a spatula and palette to work from, not directly out of the containers. Makeup artists shouldn't be dipping their brushes into any "wet" cosmetics because the entire container will be contaminated. It is okay for a makeup artist to use their brushes directly on eyeshadows and powders because these cosmetics don't contain any water for bacteria to grow. Used brushes should always be kept separate from clean brushes, so the artist should use a cup to place their used brushes into instead of putting them back into their brush belt. Also, if your makeup artist drops a brush onto the floor and tries to use it on you without cleaning it first, RUN!
4. Do they listen to you?
Everyone has a preference for how their makeup should look. Sometimes after a makeup application you will notice something that you would like to be changed, like a different lip color, more contour, or stronger brows, and you should feel comfortable enough to ask the artist for these changes. If the artist brushes off your concerns just because they think they know better that is a huge red flag!
The artist should be willing to make those changes (as long as they are within reason) or may discuss these concerns with you and tell you why they chose that color/contour/brow for reasons you hadn't considered. For example, some people wear minimal makeup so it feels like to much for them when they inspect it up close, but it will be perfect for photos and yet not too strong in person. Either way your artist should be willing to work with you to make sure that you are comfortable and feel your best!