Sep 3, 2017


beautiful bride Esen, she did not get stood up on her wedding day
Photo by Olivella Photography

Ugh, you guys, I can’t even! I keep seeing posts about Makeup Artists NO SHOWING on the big day! It really breaks my heart. Just know we’re not all like this!

Personally, this has been one of my most CHALLENGING times in business due to my pregnancy and our recent move. We've had constant renovations in which I’ve had to stay at my parents and be away from my computer and routine which has been tough. I’ve had migraines that have put me out for days and I’ve been sleeping on the living room floor for weeks as the bedroom is under construction.

 I had to cancel my first client EVER a few weeks ago for the first time in five years.  I lost the client and I get it, it comes with the territory. Once you plant that seed people worry.  However, things do happen and I can't dwell. There are times when health and family come first.

However, I would have to be dead or hospitalized to pull a "no show" on someone’s wedding day and you better believe I would be finding a replacement.  Again, things do happen that validate a no show but the stories better be airtight.

Lastly, I want to offer some insight.  Generally speaking there are two types of makeup artists, pros and fauxs Here’s what you will find from a pro.  A website with a professional portfolio of REAL brides and what they look like on their wedding day.  They may not be the cheapest in town but they are experienced,  reliable and invested in their business.  A pro will have the knowledge and experience to get you to look flawless without using 10 Instagram filters. A pro realizes they work in the SERVICE industry and though it may seem glamorous it’s hard work and essentially a “client centered” business. A pro will respond to your emails via a professional email address and not a social media site. A pro will also be connected to other pros and is heavily invested in the wedding community. I can proudly say I have a relationship with 98% of the MUA’s in Rochester and will sing their praises all day long! 

A pro is open to criticism, a pro is open to change.  A faux will usually just call you a hater and then block you on facebook... 

Here’s what you will find from a faux, I phone pics that are edited to death to garner likes and follows, no website, no professional portfolio. The least investment for the greatest return.  While edited photos may be fun, just know it’s not a reflection of how you will ACTUALLY LOOK on your wedding day, it’s simply a filter and will not follow you around… They’re generally cheaper due to lack of knowledge on the costs of running a business, lack of experience, or lack of professional products.You will find that the business model is based around them and NOT the client. The “portfolio” will likely be littered with selfies. Selfies are fine for social media but don't belong in a professional portfolio... They’re in the business for the GLAMOUR,  they want to be the star of the show. Communication is usually spotty and not done through a professional email but social media such as facebook. When they realize how tough it is they literally disappear and leave you high and dry on your wedding day...Sometimes they even take your money in the process.  They tend to shy away from relationships with other artists and may even be downright nasty to them

It’s not the brides fault that these things happen, I recommend researching all your vendors! Social media has changed the game and MUA’s are popping up everywhere. It’s hard for clients to tell who's a pro and who's a faux. This is not directed at any specific individual as I’ve seen this happen every year in every city and not for nothing I can generally see it coming from a mile away.  Just my 2 cents.

Read more about Pros here:

Jan 24, 2017

Skin Smoothing Apps: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Photo by Arian David Photography

Today I want to talk about skin smoothing apps, primarily facetune and Perfect365. They're everywhere and if you're on social media you've undoubtedly seen them in action.  Ever see someone post a selfie and the face looks blurry and pore-less?  Don't be fooled, they don't have perfect skin and no,  it's not their new foundation. This my friend is the work of a skin smoothing app and I must admit I've used them too! It's easy to fall into the trap of using a skin smoothing app, just take a look around, you'll see them being used everywhere, hell I've even used them on my own face! Unfortunately this sets a bad standard for our industry and will eventually backfire on the very artists that use them. What do you think happens when clients with less than perfect skin are drawn to work that's heavily edited only to experience different results in reality? A whole lotta disappointment...

The Good: Use them on yourself all you want, the only person you have to answer to is you! Remove a pimple, sure, whiten the teeth, why not?  Apps like facetune are great for a quick fix not a complete overhaul. There is a fine line between what looks believable and what does not.  Same goes for clients. I've never upset a client because I removed a blemish but it never sat right with me to blur their face beyond recognition.  Did I do it? Yes. Did I regret it? Yes! Did I feel slightly stupid afterward? Double YES! I had to learn the art of restraint, when to post work and when not to. If it needs to be edited beyond recognition it is probably not worth posting.  In my humble opinion, a certain level of skin smoothing equals false adverting and is no longer representative of an artists skill level.  Don't get me wrong, I'm all for professional retouching by professional photographers to enhance an image but again this is an art form and only looks good when it's  done in a believable way.

The Bad: It's not real, repeat after me IT'S NOT REAL! Furthermore it can actually drive business away. I've actually had clients bring this topic up... Never underestimate your clients intelligence, overly edited photos scream "I'm hiding something!". I also personally cannot recommend another artists for a job if I can't properly "see" any of their work.

The Ugly: It sets an impossible standard for women, especially women who have skin issues. Artists themselves are setting their clients up for disappointment by advertising a look that they can't deliver without the use of a skin smoother.  As a result of the wide spread use of these apps, other artists feel pressured to not have ANY "flaws" in their work and therefore jump on the bandwagon. I personally loooove the look of skin that still looks real with makeup on. I am a complete complexion junkie!

Below is an unedited iphone pic of a lovely bride. She has beautiful skin but lets pretend she didn't and I wanted to smooth away her imperfections

So I ran her through facetune...

Does this look familiar?  Every time I see it I cringe. They're usually paired as before & afters to have an even more jarring effect.  I personally do not do before and afters but to each their own. I've had to retrain my eye to what I consider beautiful and this is not it! I'm constantly learning, growing and making mistakes along the way! These days I try to keep my editing to adjusting the lighting in a photo. Remember, a skin smoother should never be the most powerful tool in your kit or the most dominant feature of your makeup application.  Not using one just makes you feel better at the end of the day, ya know?

Until next time,

-Your friendly neighborhood Makeup Artist keeping it real

Dec 7, 2016

Where Makeup Artists Really Shop

photo by Arian David Photography

Many of my clients take an interest in my makeup and often ask me where I shop.  When I do on location weddings people often exclaim "Look at all that makeup, what brand do you use?", "do you have the Kylie lip kits?", "what's your favorite foundation?" or "I bet you love Sephora!" and while I do love Sephora, I don't shop there! This often shocks and surprises people and I feel like such a let down! Here's my client all excited to bond over makeup and here's me about to embark on a rant. I want to relate to my clients in an enthusiastic way, but as a full time working artist I have a different perspective. Let's address the above questions and shed some light on the mind of a professional working artist.

photo by Roc Focus 

Q.  " Look at all that makeup! What brand do you use?".

A.  Most of the brands I use are pro artistry brands that provide exceptional performance and a professional discount. I could never rely on just one brand when there's so many great ones out there! My favorite artistry brands are Viseart, RCMA, Graftobian, Senna, Skindinavia, La Femme & Kett. My full kit took years to build and was built upon trial and error. When I first started out I thought I needed every product under the sun, but as I began to work and found my niche in bridal I realized that I didn't need that neon eyeliner.  I also learned that established pros spend years fine tuning their kits to be compact, functional and ready for any situation, not brimming with overly hyped products they barely use.

Photo by Brian Storey Photography

Q. Do you have the Kylie lip kits?

A. In a world of excess and haul culture people relate to whats being advertised on social media platforms. I realize it's completely normal to think I might be dying over these lip kits but truth be told they are nowhere on my radar and are simply the newest IG craze. I exclusively shop with pro artistry brands that provide a professional discount, excellent customer service, and fast shipping.  Kylie's brand is marketed to fans and enthusiasts, not working artists. If you have them and love them that's great, no judgement here! If you really want me to get excited ask me about Viseart, the highest quality eyeshadow on the market, hand pressed in Paris, swoon!

Brian Storey Photography

Q. Where do you shop?

A. Camera Ready Cosmetics is by far the best place to shop if you are a working artists that wants to purchase most of what you need in one place. They house a mixture of artistry and consumer brands all in one place. They offer an excellent professional discount, stellar customer service and fast and inexpensive shipping.  For lashes my favorite site to use is Madame Madeline, they tote the best prices on a variety of brands (Red Cherry is my fav) and always have great promo codes. For disposables I use Qosmedix, otherwise I would  be spending a small fortune on mascara wands! I absolutely adore their silicone mascara wands and the variety of disposables they carry.  Other great places for makeup artists to shop include Frends Beauty, Namies Beauty Center, and Nigels. It would be a painstaking task to build a kit without these pro discounts.

 Photo by Arian David Photography

Q. "whats your favorite foundation?"

A. Pictured above is my RCMA foundation palette.from Camera Ready Cosmetics. It was Invented in 1963 by renowned makeup artist Vincent Kehoe and until recently has been a well kept industry secret. It has a unique wax base and is 50% pigment, the highest pigment on the market! Most foundations are only 18% - 23% pigment. With these palettes on hand I'm prepared to work on global skin tones, and provide sheer to full coverage that looks like a second skin. RCMA is made in strictly controlled conditions and is hand poured. It's one of the best foundations on the market! I love having this for all my clients even though they don't know what the heck it is! 

While you wont catch at Sephora you will see that that my kit is full of high quality brands. Some you will recognize and some you wont! But that's the magic of being a makeup artist, were supposed to have some industry secrets. Until next time - xoxo