For most women, the day they get married will be the most-photographed day of their lives. Since brides usually take center stage for this event, many don’t feel confident doing their own makeup, even those who are skilled at applying their cosmetics on a day-to-day basis. After all, wedding pictures are forever, so it’s important to look your best! This is why many women choose to hire a professional to handle the details of creating the perfect look for their big day.

Hiring a makeup artist might seem like a simple task compared to the other big decisions that need to be made for your wedding, but it’s important to hire a professional who will take your wants and needs into account and create a finished product that you’re happy with. But where should you begin?

Take a look at the tips below to find the perfect makeup artist for your wedding.

  1.  Get a Few Referrals

As you know, one of the best ways to find a good contractor, doctor, or plumber is through a referral. The same methodology applies to finding a good makeup artist. Ask acquaintances who have recently gotten married who they hired to do their makeup, and if she would recommend the artist. Take down a few names of possible contenders, and also be sure to note the names of those that people you trust expressed unhappiness with. It’s just as important to know which local makeup artists to steer clear of as it is to know which ones to consider employing.

If you can’t get referrals from anyone you know, doing a quick Internet search for ‘professional makeup artist’ should turn up several local results. Many artists even have online portfolios of their work for you to browse through.

Whether you’re using referrals of Internet search results, narrow your list of potential artists down to three or four before moving on to the next step.

  1.  Next, Make Appointments for a Few Trial Runs

After you’ve identified a few possible artists, schedule appointments with each of them for a bridal trial. At the trial, you’ll describe to makeup artist what you have in mind, she’ll give her feedback and suggestions, and then she’ll do a practice application of the look you discussed. This is also a good time for you to ask her some important questions, including:

  • How much experience do you have with doing bridal makeup?
  • How were you trained?
  • Do you have a portfolio I could see?
  • Do you have any references I could call?
  • How much do your services cost?
  • Do you require a deposit?

In addition, a good makeup artist should be asking you some questions, too, such as:

  • What kind of makeup do you typically wear?
  • Do you have any pictures you’d like me to look to for inspiration?
  • How are you planning to style your hair?
  • How would you describe your skin type?
  • Will you be wearing a veil?
  • Is your dress true white, or is it off-white or ivory?
  • Are there any colors or textures you’d like me to avoid?

Once you’ve done trials with all of your candidates, it’s time to move on to the last step: making your final decision.

  1. Finally, Take All Factors Into Consideration 

Choosing between the artists you did your trials with might be tricky, so it’s important to take all factors into consideration. To do so, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which artist did I feel most comfortable with?
  • Did the artists all behave professionally?
  • Which artist listened best to my wishes?
  • Did any of the artists seem unreliable?
  • Which of the artists seemed most willing to make necessary adjustments to my makeup based on my feedback?
  • How much am I willing to spend?

If it’s a really close call between two or more of the makeup artists, you might want to write out a pro/con chart for each to make your final decision, or call in someone you trust to talk over the information about each artist with. Sometimes an outsider can provide a clearer, more objective perspective that will help you narrow your decision down.

Hiring a makeup artist for your wedding is an important task for many women, so be sure to plan ahead so that you’re not making the decision in a rush. Keep the information above in mind to choose an artist that will provide you with a flawless, stress-free day!

Angie Picardo is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance site dedicated to helping newlyweds and others master the art of money management, from using discount websites effectively to developing a sound investment strategy.