I enjoy talking about weddings with other vendors and I love getting the inside scoop from photographers. I am always fascinated by how photographers play with light and how they work with the bride. I worked with Willi Wong for Marni’s wedding (see below photo) just last week when I posed for a portraiture session with him. We had a ton of fun and I can’t wait to show some of the great photos. Willi is a storyteller and ultimately a great story is what we all want to hear or see. I highly recommend reading Willi’s blog which is full of thoughtful insight as well as see great photography. I always come away with a positive outlook after I read his blog.
Willi was kind enough to let me interview him:
What questions should a couple ask the photographer during their consultation?
I did a post on Jen’s video a few weeks ago, and here is the “Get the Look” that I promised. Jen’s look is actually quite simple and classic and I didn’t even use false lashes because her natural lashes are so long. I have included a close up photo of Jen that I took during the trial so you can see how it would look if you were looking at yourself in a mirror. I feel that this perspective is so important since most photos are in brighter light and the makeup is very diffused. Jen looks as if she doesn’t have on much makeup except for lip color, but in reality she has a strong eyeliner, foundation, concealer, filled in brows, and tons of mascara. I have a detailed product list on my Get The Look page. How adorable/pretty/cute is she?? I just love her.
I am asked by my clients to disguise their flaws daily and it has inspired me to add a new category to my blog called “Flaw Mentors”. Women constantly pick apart their photographs and obsess about a flaw even though most people have slight facial abnormalities. A photograph is not a true representation of how one looks. It is a frozen two dimensional image of a face that is three dimensional and fluid. Some people are very photogenic and others are not. I am not that photogenic as my right eye is lower than my right, and when I face the camera straight on this is obvious. This used to bother me until I noticed that many celebrities - Shannon Daugherty for one - have the same flaw and they still look great. From that point on whenever I disliked something about my face, hair or body shape I would search for a celebrity who had the same issue and they would become my Flaw Mentor. I encourage all of you to try this out. It is surprising how many gorgeous women have “flaws”. Heidi Klum admittedly has a lazy eye, and I think that she is doing okay with her face.
Angie sent me an email about her perceived flaws.
Jen came to see me and my hair diva, Jennie B for a trial and the three of us had so much fun it hardly seemed like work. Jen is a cutie patootie and I think she looks like the love child of Isla Fisher and Lindsay Lohan. We rocked out her look with a stained red lip, false eyelashes, and a catted out black eyeliner. I will have a follow up post this week with her photos and a break down of all of the products that I used to “get the look”. Jennie B did an amazing job on the hair for Jen and her sister and videographer, Michael DiChiaro put together this cool highlights reel. Also, check out this hilarious save-the-date. I looove Jen and Brian’s sense of humor!
The sexy and sassy stylist (I just love alliteration) and fellow PRO blogger, Amy Salinger asked me to be a guest for her Fab in Five video. Amy has a slew of great videos on youtube and her website/blog is amazing. Click here to subscribe to Amy’s videos. Check it out for stylish yet practical tips. I had a blast doing this video and am planning on doing more how-to videos this month.
NARS Multiple Creme Duo ($45) or Nars Blush/Bronzer Shadow Duo ($37) - A must have in my makeup kit.
Avon’s Mark Cosmetics has some great blush and bronzers at a great price ($6) I use After Glo everyday for a great peachy blush and Bronze Glo and Golden Glo work well as a bronzer.
Technique: Apply bronzer in a big “c” around your eyes brushing on and under your cheekbone and lightly over your eyes on the temples. Add blush on the apples of your cheeks for a healthy glow.
Don’t forget to tap off excess powder on brush before applying and use the brush to blend once the powder has been dispersed on cheek. When in doubt, blend and check your makeup in natural light.
I have had Sherien’s photos in my gallery for many months now, and I am happy to show the beautiful video which my good friends Rob and Leyda at Rockmelon shot. They captured the Egyptian and Dominican infused celebration which I had the pleasure of attending.
One of the great things about being a makeup artist in NYC is that I get to work with many different cultures. Sherien got ready at her parents’ home which was choc-a-bloc full of family and friends. Many of Sherien’s relatives live on the same block and they kept popping in to see how the “beautifying” was going. The joy and love was palpable in the home I was glad to be a part of it. I did the makeup on Sherien’s aunt who had flown in all the way from Cairo for the event. I get nervous when doing makeup on someone from a different culture especially when there is a language barrier. I am never quite sure if their aesthetic will match mine. I kept chatting away a mile a minute, and she just kept smiling and looking at me with the kindest of eyes. I hope she was pleased with the results, but I have a feeling that no matter what I did she was going to look radiant and happy.
I would like to take more credit for Sherien’s look, but I didn’t have to do much but highlight her already defined features. I used Classified Cosmetics foundation lightly across her face with a rose blush to pop out her cheekbones. I enhanced her eyes with a rosey gold eyeshadow a tight black gel liner on her top lash line. Sherien’s lips are brought out by Bobbi Brown’s Rose Gold gloss on her lips. My hair diva, Jennie Brent did a bang up job with a messy chignon.
I work with many brides who are having out of town or destination weddings. They feel more comfortable doing their own makeup than leaving it to chance with a local artist, so they come to me for a lesson. I always try to convince the bride to take me with them (especially to island destinations), but unfortunately the air and hotel costs for me isn’t in their budget - darn economy!
A lesson is always fun and even if the bride is going to use a local artist, I will often design the look for a bride and she can use that as a guideline for anyone who does her makeup. I don’t want to disparage non-NYC makeup artists, as there are great artists everywhere. The trouble is finding someone with the same aesthetic. And because makeup styles differ regionally and culturally, it can be difficult to explain your preferences to a foreign artist. A good makeup artist will understand this and should be happy to have as many details as possible and not consider it an insult.
Alisa came to see me for a makeup lesson last April, and we worked together to find a great look for her upstate NY wedding. Alisa was kind enough to share her experience with me.
I would like to wear a natural-looking, sheer nail polish on my fingers and toes for my wedding. However, I have a hard time finding a color that doesn’t look too white, pink, or yellowish when applied.
Do you have any suggestions for a good basic shade? I have pretty fair skin with pink undertones, and medium-dark brown hair.
Great question and no one has asked it before. I recommend Essie and Opi polishes as they have a gazillion colors in sheer white/pink and are in most salons. I like Ballet Slippers and Delicacy for fair to medium skin. They are sheer but still give a hint of color and make your nails look “special”. You can play around with doing one or two layers for the perfect opacity. Some people even layer with different colors, but I try to keep it as simple as possible. My basic rule for lip color, nail color, cheek color is that regardless of the color family it should make your skin look better. Avoid colors which look flat or lifeless on you and or have heavy shimmer or frost. If you aren’t sure bring a friend with good taste and ask her/him.
Keep in mind that you can do a bolder color on your toes. Many of my brides do a neutral color on their hands go with a red or even blue (closed toe shoes) on their toes. Only do two different colors if one of them is a sheer nude polish. We don’t want coral and the hands and fuchsia on the toes!
I hope this helps you.
When I meet with a bride for the trial run, I take photos, a video and keep detailed notes so I can remember as much as possible about her look and personality. It is amazing how a few simple words can bring a client’s unique personality back to me regardless of the time passed. The words on my notes for Sarah read "really nice person". This is a commonly used phrase, but when I write it as a note to myself - I know exactly how special that phrase is. I have a rare job that requires me to stare at a face and eyes, to focus on a person from inches away with the intent of understanding them and trying to enhance their beauty. In my day-to-day life, I skim over things and multi-task, but when I am applying makeup on a face I am truly in the moment and that enables me to see people in a more intimate way. It is difficult to hide from your makeup artist!
Jacob Pritchard’s photography captured Sarah’s beauty as well as her calm and kind persona. I enhanced Sarah’s eyes by using an opal color shadow all over the lid and using rosy browns along the lash line and crease. I topped the soft eye with a very tight black gel liner to "pop" her eyes in photos. I used my new favorite lip combo - Bobbi Brown’s Blue Raspberry Creamy Lip Color topped with Pink Brightening Gloss.
I love the idea of taking a double-decker bus with your guests to the ceremony. What a fun way to travel and see the city. Tara of Exquisite Affairs , was the fantastic day-of coordinator. The couple wed at Central Park’s Conservatory Garden with the reception taking place at Astra .
I met Aisyah for her makeup trial a few months ago and was so excited to be a part of her wedding because of her fun-loving personality. As a makeup artist, I am a little obsessed with skin tones and bone structure. And, while I love my fair skin, I was a tad envious of her butterscotch exterior and high cheekbones. I believe the secret to taking great photos is to be in the moment, be yourself, and interact with your friends and family. Aisyah has a cheeky attitude, and I love that it shows in her photographs. She knows how to interact with the camera playfully and authentically, yet “pretends” it isn’t there for some nice beauty shots. To get her look check out a previous post I did using Aisyah’s trial photos as an example of how to do a basic eye.
Aisyah personalized her look with butterflies and a ridiculous pair of 5 inch Christian Louboutins with pink feathers (love!) and her dress converted to a mini. I have no idea how she walked in those shoes - but I love this girl!
Photographer Christopher Lane did an amazing job of capturing the day in DUMBO, Brooklyn at the uber cool Smackmellon. I once again collaborated with fabulous Stacy Pitt, who did the Hollywood glam hair. Enjoy!