The other night I was having dinner with a few friends at one of my favorite restaurants and an older gentleman asked me what I do for a living. I always get super excited when someone inquires about my profession because you never know what kind of reaction you will get, especially from a man. “I am a Makeup and Hair Stylist”…pause….searching his face…waiting….and… nothing. His eyes glazed over as if it weren’t even a real occupation I had described. It dawned on me that he, along with many others, have no idea what it is that Makeup and Hair people do. When I arrived home late that night, I checked a few emails and 2 out of 4 of them were from Brides asking for discounts on their services. Sirens in my head started to go off….Like the older gentleman in the restaurant, even some women don’t understand the work behind Makeup and Hair artistry. Let me break it down for you…
Imagine this: The doors open. The music begins. Everyone is standing. Your father takes the first step forward leading you down the isle. All 250 heads in the room turn to look at YOU! It’s not just the dress they are looking at, it’s your eyes, your smile, the way your skin is glowing like it never has before, it’s your hair and how perfect it looks. As you are walking towards your beloved you notice a confidence you haven’t felt in years or perhaps ever. It’s a total trust that everything leading up to this very moment was worth it! Even if the moment is quick it is the moment you have always waited for. As he lifts the veil over your head, the anticipation of seeing you starts to fade and is replaced by the admiration and amazement in how beautiful you look. He can hardly believe that you, the most beautiful woman in his world, has chosen him, and he can’t wait to start a life with you by his side.
OK, now that we have gotten all that pitter patter stuff outta the way, let’s get real here.
The year leading up to the wedding is stressful. Let’s face it planning a huge party for 200 plus people is really tough. It starts to become more than just a unification of your love. It becomes a production. Needless to say it is like directing your own movie in which you are the star! You have your work cut out for you. When you are stressed out, little unwanted guests start to appear on your face. It’s up to me to hide these intruders from crashing the party. Sometimes not an easy task. Along with the unplanned things that arise, it is your emotional well being that everyone tends to forget about. What about the bride?
Your mother is breathing down your neck about why you sat so and so next to your great Aunt Gertrude, your vendors aren’t listening to your wants, the dress isn’t even ready yet after the 5th fitting, and you have just about had enough of being pulled in all directions. Maybe things didn’t go as planned. Maybe the flowers turned out to be a complete disaster and not to mention how stressful it is all becoming because it’s costing you way over what you had budgeted. These are things that although I can not remedy, I do take into consideration and do my best to offer a sense of space and calm. When you hire me, you are not just hiring someone to make you look pretty….
I had a lovely morning of meditation and yoga. I had you in my thoughts sending you positive vibrations. When I walk into your hotel room, I recognize the nervous energy and immediately place my hands on your shoulders and give you a solid squeeze. I’m here. You can let go now. Close your eyes and surrender to the moment of being cared for. I bring you some tea and ask all your bridesmaids, your mother, mother of the groom, photographers, videographer, etc. if I can just have a few minutes alone with the most important person of the day. I know you are nervous. I am very deliberate in how I take care of you. I remind you to breathe and stay present with me. For me, it’s not just getting the job done and getting out of there. I am totally and completely immersed in you. I am there to serve you one hundred percent. I know this day is important to you…and the only thing I have in my mind is your happiness and well being.
It becomes my mission and my goal to ensure that you are lead in that direction. If you need to vent I can listen. If you need to cry I will be right by your side with the kleenex, I am there to hold the space for you because a lot of emotions you weren’t planning on surfacing can tend to come up.
A lot of the times when working with people I can feel their nervousness. I have been doing this for 10 years and once in a while my hand will shake when I am not locking in my own energy. In other words, I have to have complete and total concentration on what I am doing at that moment, which becomes a meditation in itself. It is my understanding that when you are offering your undivided attention to something, it leaves very little room for error.
Understand that it is so much more than an art form. Sometimes when leaving a wedding artists tend to feel drained or sometimes even dizzy. Being that close to someone in an intense situation can really take a lot out of us. It is literally the act of pouring energy into you. If we are not mentally and physically prepared it can affect our performance. I have a healthy practice of yoga and meditation so that I can develop the focus and mental strength to become adaptable to the potential adversity that can arise on your day.
Ask any artist and they will let you know in a second how much they love their kit. The Makeup Kit is not just an ordinary Makeup box with product in it. It is like our child. We have watched it grow for years investing so much of our own personalities into it. Each artist’s kit is different. The products and tools we choose for our kit is what allows the magic to transpire.
My kit has products in it from my travels all over Europe. I have customized it to be at it’s best. I am always cleaning it and restocking it. I love my kit. Some of the brushes are custom hand made from Japan and each brush is around $100. Why would I need a brush that costs that much? Well, the hand made Hakuhodo brushes are like velvet on the skin. They have the ability to pick up just the right amount of product and dispense it with precision, where as synthetic brushes are cut through a machine and do not have the same blending power. My kit holds top of the line brands that I have tested on myself and have studied thoroughly. I don’t just throw any old drugstore product in my kit. I went through the distributor, asked for a sample, tried it on me, read blogs about it and studied the ingredients before I purchased it and added it to my kit for you. My products are not cheap. They are high quality and they cater to a variety of different skin types, shades and ethnicity’s. I must always take into consideration that each person’s needs are different. My kit will always will be stocked to accommodate a variety of clients.
I know you have been preparing for this day for over a year, which is why I have taken a lot of care in preparing for your day for over a decade. It is not just showing up on the day of the wedding. There is so much more that goes into it. Being a sole proprietor, I am responsible for all of my own homework. With new trends and the rise of technology in the beauty industry, I need to always be current on the latest products and techniques. In addition to my previous education in Esthetics, Makeup, Hair and various workshops, I am constantly attending lectures and classes to further my knowledge and growth as an artist.
As your makeup artist, it is my pleasure to answer any questions you may have at any given time. Which means I don’t have a set schedule. Emails and phone calls can tend to come in at all hours of the day and night. I do my best to get back to my clients as soon as I can and always respond with as much care and detail as possible. In addition to this I am writing contracts, preparing information and price packets, updating my website, making business cards, uploading photos, invoicing, blogging, Facebook statuses, twitter, and all other social media that are needed just to keep my business alive. I am constantly needing to be my own advertising agent as well as my own boss which means I have to have discipline to kick my own ass when I just don’t feel like doing anything. Might I remind you that I do not get a pay check every two weeks like most people do. This is not always easy…especially when the “slow months” arrive. It can be hard wondering if you will be able to make next months car payment, which also needs to be kept up and in tune so that I can travel to each location!
There were times when I wondered if it would be easier to work at a desk and have “security” of a paycheck, health insurance, vacation time. As Makeup Artists we understand that we are giving up the things that conventional jobs might offer. In return I feel completely and totally blessed to be doing what I do. I offer thanks everyday to the divine for the opportunity to serve you. I enjoy listening to your stories. I love hearing about how you met him and what goals you have set for yourselves in the future. I get to meet you and learn all about you, even if it is for just a few hours. I get to meet your families and friends. I get to be apart of a timeless experience that will color the memories for your life. Know that what I do takes a lot of work and energy however I am confident in the method behind my services because it is brought forth from a place of genuine love….an essential ingredient of success in any aspect of life.
So now you have a better understanding of what I am offering you on your very special day. My hope is for you to feel a little more assured in knowing you are receiving a luxury service and what that entails. My goal is to ensure that you look the best you have ever looked….and my intention is to help accentuate that from the inside out. =)