Hi there! And hello to all my new followers on my Social Media platforms!
Within the wedding industry, January and February are always the busiest booking times therefore vendors generally see a boost in their following. I know if I were newly engaged and researching my Bridal Make-up Artist, I would love to know a little more about the person behind the business!
This blog post is a recent interview by the lovely Paula from Hello, Sugar Photography. It was like the Spanish inquisition, but I think she was able to get most of my life story and how I’ve managed to get to where I am now! I hope you enjoy!
Many people would love to have a little thriving business like yours – how did it all start for you?
Some people laugh when I tell them I was a social worker for over 12 years! I worked in Children’s services within residential childcare which I loved however by the end I was burnt out with the long hours and craved to be at home more with my family. I have always loved makeup and would be one of the girls stalking the beauty counters in the department stores buying the latest foundation or palette. I loved watching a client’s face being transformed and the confidence.
Whilst pregnant with my third child in 2014, I signed up for my makeup diploma with Oonagh Boman School of Makeup. I remember climbing 3 flights of stairs on the final week (I was booked for c-section 2 days later) to sit my exam and literally not being able to breathe. I don’t think Oonagh will ever forget that either! From then I literally took the bull by the horns and began to get my name and brand out there. I did ALOT of free work, I assisted other artists to weddings and I continually hustled. Looking back, I started out at a good time but knowing now what I done to get there, I’m not sure I would have gone all the way. My business is not just about the application of makeup. It entails a lot of behind the scenes work including admin, blogging, bridal fayres, photoshoots, SEO for my website and a serious amount of time marketing for social media. My Social work salary was ultimately aiding me to invest in my kit which really helped, plus I had an incredibly supportive husband who freed me up at the weekend to work. The hard work began paying off when I began to get booked for weddings and I was able to fully resign from my Social work Post in Jan 2019. I have since went on to win Northern Irelands Wedding Journal Reader Awards 2018 in the Bridal Make-up Specialist of the year and Bridal Makeup Artist of the year 2019 at the Northern Ireland Makeup and Beauty Awards. These accolades have certainly held me in good stead over the past few years ensuring I’m kept busy from April-December. I count myself very lucky to be surrounded by some amazing people within the industry who I regularly collaborate with on photoshoots and events.
Like many businesses who have had to cease work due to Covid19, I cannot wait to get back doing what I love. I have really missed my work over the last 3 months, and I am so excited to get back to my first Bride on 12th August. Still to this day, there is no better feeling when a Bride looks in the mirror, and tells me she loves her makeup.
How would you describe your typical booking process from enquiry to wedding day?
Its quite true what they say about buying from a small business – I literally do a happy dance with my children as every booking is so important to me and my business. I think the time during Covid 19 has really made me reflect on what it is like to be self employed with no financial support. I value every single booking in my diary, whether it is for a wedding, occasion makeup or spray tan.
Generally, a booking will be made 18-24 months in advance of the big day. Over recent years, I am finding that bookings are friends/family members of past Brides which is so pleasing as I know that I’ve done a good job! A wedding date is secured with a £50 booking fee and completed booking form. Bridal trials are included in packages however these are not scheduled until 6-8 weeks prior to the wedding day. By this time Brides will have purchased Bridesmaids dresses and had a consultation with their florist meaning colours and theme are all confirmed. During the Bridal trial, I will have a consultation with my Bride to discuss her preferred look, also ensuring that certain lip colours/looks won’t clash with flowers and dress colours.
Your pretty involved in the morning of a wedding day, do you have any tips on how to have a relaxed start to the big day? Is there anything special a Bride needs to do the day before?
I absolutely love the buzz of a wedding morning! It is such a happy occasion however it can also be a roller coaster of emotions, especially when it comes to the Brides ‘first look’. This gets me emotional every time!
I firmly believe the key to being relaxed and enjoying your wedding morning is to be organised. Always ask what time your makeup artist and hairdresser are arriving at. I, myself will have a schedule to stick to and I always like to have my Bridal parties ready 1 hour before they are due to leave their home or hotel. Your photographer will also have a schedule therefore it is always a good idea to have dresses, shoes, perfume, jewellery, or anything symbolic you would like photographed. A big one is to have all labels from dresses and shoes removed. I have been known to run after Bridesmaids cutting off labels just before they get into the wedding cars!
Order Breakfast in! I’ve been witness to poor mummy’s up early to cook breakfast, stressed and the last to get ready. There are so many great businesses out there who specialise in wedding day breakfasts and its also a great way of ensuring everyone eats well without the smell of bacon and sausage throughout the house when putting on those beautiful dresses.
Don’t drink too much. Definitely go easy on the alcohol that morning. Not only is it dehydrating which has an impact on your make-up but you want to keep a clear head and enjoy your wedding morning.
Sit back and relax! Delegate to your Bridesmaids if you need to. Your wedding morning will arrive and go in a flash! Just remember to be present and keep to the timed schedule of your vendors when possible. You are paying them for their professional services which also includes having you ready and getting you to the Church on time.
What is your best advice for Brides when booking their bridal make-up artist? Maybe they do not know what will suit them and where to start?
Research, Research and Research. Any reputable Make-up artist will have an extensive portfolio of work available on their social media platforms. Facebook and Instagram will have their most up to date work to view so make sure to have a look at their style of makeup and their reviews by past Brides. If they have a website, this is even better as you know that they are investing in their brand, business and their clients.
Email your artist and ask to schedule a call. I always love to chat with a potential Bride which is a more personal approach. Ultimately you may have this personal applying your wedding day makeup therefore it is important that you feel comfortable with them.
Book in for a pre-trial if you have never had your make-up professionally applied before. I always recommend my Brides to stay true to themselves and to ultimately look like themselves only at their best. Their groom/bride will want to see ‘them’ coming up the aisle and not looking completely different.
Due to the recent outbreak of Covid19, it is essential that your makeup artist has a high standard of hygiene. This includes the sanitisation of tools, brushes and products in between each client. Disposable mascara/lip wands should also be used to avoid cross contamination.
How would you describe your style of bridal makeup?
I would say that I am highly regarded for a radiant, flawless and classic Bridal look. I am renowned for creating unique and specific looks tailored to every individual need. I passionately believe that on your wedding day you should look like yourself at your most beautiful. I only use the highest quality products which are developed to look equally impressive in real life and in photographs.
Do you recommend every bride has a trial before the wedding?
I always recommend my Brides to have a trial as it is a great way of meeting each other prior to the big day. The consultation stage enables me to get as much information including vendors and any ideas my Bride may have regarding their wedding day look. I do have a large number of Brides who live abroad so I understand at times trials can be difficult to fit in, however I aim to accommodate everyone as best I can. It is also a good opportunity for a mother of the bride/bridesmaid to have a trial if they are feeling anxious about having their makeup professionally done. It is lovely to see clients leave after a trial knowing they are happy with their final look for a wedding day.
With the impact of Covid19 I do understand that Bridal trials may have to take a back seat for the short term to help minimise risk however I am happy to accommodate anyone where necessary.
Do you have any tips for pro-longing the life of your makeup on the wedding day? How to make sure I wont look like a panda after crying during the ceremony.
When you are having your make-up professionally applied, it should ultimately last the whole day except your lipstick. The issue with Bridal Makeup is that so many family/friends will kiss/hug the Bride throughout the day causing transference around the cheek and mouth area. Where possible I can provide my brides with a ‘Bridal Touch up kit’ which will ensure their makeup stays in place the whole day including evening photographs.
It is always lovely to get feedback/photos from my previous Brides thanking me for how well their makeup stayed in place throughout their wedding day including any tears that may have been shed.
When should I secure my wedding date with my Bridal Makeup artist?
I would recommend getting in touch with your Bridal Makeup Artist at least 12-18 months in advance of your wedding date. Key dates include Friday/Saturdays throughout the Summer months including Bank holiday weekends. Other dates include those such as 6/6, 7/7/ 8/8 as some couple’s love getting a date that is easy to remember or significant to them!
Remember the earlier you book, the better package price you will get. Rates increase on a yearly basis and most reputable artists will be booked well in advance so don’t leave it too late.