What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
My work is high-end in look but my pricing is very reasonable for the mid-Atlantic area. I try to keep my fees reasonable so the average bride can afford a seasoned pro to make her look gorgeous on her special day. I am also able to take credit cards on location for my clients' convenience.
Pricing for weddings and events is determined by the number of people and the distance to be traveled, as well as any special extras desired (see price list for events in photos section). Pricing for professional production work (for TV, video, film, fashion & editorial print work) is priced by the full or half day. Headshots and photo sessions for model/actor/news media is priced by the number of looks desired.
PLEASE NOTE that I DO NOT do hair for weddings -- only for production work for photo and video shoots. Wedding hairstyling is a specialty in itself, and too much for one person to do on a bridal party along with makeup.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
I like to have a phone conversation with the bride initially to learn what she is interested in, and find out about any special issues such as sensitivities or skin problems. Then we schedule a consultation and trial run appointment at my studio where we can spend time working out the exact look she has in mind. I record all the colors and details of her makeup look, and make notes of any new products or colors I need to obtain for her. The bride is welcome to bring her mother, sister, maid of honor or a friend to the trial run session to lend another opinion and share the fun!
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I began as an artist, drawing and painting since childhood. In college, I studied graphic design and illustration at CCBC and MICA in Baltimore. I worked in advertising and marketing for a number of years, and then got my training in makeup artistry with the Von Lee School of Aesthetics. Since then, I have taken numerous additional training classes in all types of specific makeup techniques, such as: highlighting and contouring, glamour, bridal beauty, complexion work, corrective work, period looks and color theory.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
After working in the advertising business for several years, I realized it was not as fulfilling as I'd hoped. I began looking for something else to do and met a photographer who worked with portraits and model portfolios. We became friends and one day he asked for my help when his regular makeup artist called in sick on a day filled with portfolio shootings. I was nervous, but all the photos for every model turned out beautifully! It was so much fun, I signed up to take makeup classes and continued to do it professionally ever since. That was 35 years ago!
What types of customers have you worked with?
Because I live and work in the Baltimore-Washington area, I am lucky enough to be exposed to every skin tone, ethnic group and face shape in my professional line of work. I pride myself on looking at each person as a unique individual with their own special beauty and story. I am accomplished and experienced with men and women of every background: African American, Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Indian/Nepali, etc. When you see everyone as beautiful and interesting, it is easy to give them their own best look and make them look fabulous. I also do gay weddings and events for men and women, and tailor their looks to what makes them most comfortable.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
I believe it is essential to have a personal trial run appointment with your stylist before the big day, so you can discuss your needs and desires fully with them. There are many talented and dedicated makeup artists in this area, but only a few will be the right fit for you! Don't be afraid to invest the time and a little bit of money in the beginning for that important consultation. Make sure you feel like they understand you and what you want, as well as any worries, concerns and issues you may be facing for that special day. A great makeup artist can save you a fortune in photoshop fees with your photographer, and can make you look better than you have ever looked in your life, but still like YOU. It's important that your makeup artist knows how to effective highlight and contour your facial features, and can apply your makeup so it looks beautiful up close as well as across the room. And one important consideration is hygiene - make sure the artist you choose understands proper hygiene for their kit products, their tools and their application process. Also, don't be afraid of a contract - it protects you as well as the artist, and spells out everything so both of you feel totally at ease with what is expected.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
Bring photos with you (torn from magazines or on your phone) to show the artist a selection of makeup looks you love. Just one won't be enough for them to translate that look into your face and style. Have an idea of your budget, and figure out how many attendants and relatives in your party will be interested in having makeup done for the event day. Bring a photo of your dress and be able to describe how you plan to have your hair and accessories styled. The more info you can give your artist, the better they can serve you. Also, be up front about skin problems, tattoos, special coverage needs, eye problems, hygiene fears, nervous mothers, etc. Let them know if you wear contact lenses and if you will be wearing them that day.