BEHIND THE BRUSH

The morning of a bride’s wedding is an excitable one, not only for the bride herself, but for all the wedding vendors involved in it. As a Hair and Makeup Artist (HMUA), my “day of”, usually starts in the early hours of the morning….up with the birds to get ready!

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I beautify myself, and make last minute checks on my kit (which has been restocked and cleaned the night before). After packing the car with kit bags (one for hair and one for makeup), my chair, and giving a quick kiss goodbye to my husband and dog……I am off. First things first, I head to grab a coffee….this is always factored in to travel time! Once on the road, I am mentally preparing for the day ahead, although, this has most likely started the night before, as I am trying to fall asleep. A bit like a sportsperson visualising their game, I too envision my day ahead.

Upon arrival to the bride’s location, I introduce myself to everyone, and greet the bride with
excitement! I allow approximately 20-30 minutes, to set up before my start time. Someone has
usually offered me a tea or coffee by this stage, which I kindly decline…..I never get a chance to drink it, before it gets cold. I usually opt for water instead. Once all set up, I’m ready to go. All products are laid out, and easily accessible….everything has its place

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Having given a rough timeline to the bride, the first scheduled person jumps in my chair. On an early morning start, no one ever wants to be the first, as it means they have to be up and showered for my arrival…..but who can sleep in on a wedding day, right? On days I am doing hair and makeup, I will start with everyone’s hair first, then, get everyone back in my chair for makeup. If working alongside another stylist, we work in unison, almost “tag-teaming” our way through the party. Speak to most artists, and they will tell you “we like to keep going until we have finished the job at hand, and then collapse once we get home”. We function on coffee, adrenaline, and the occasional snack.

 Image by Marque Brand Studios

Image by Marque Brand Studios

 Image by Marque Brand Studios

Image by Marque Brand Studios

On average, hair and makeup takes 1.5 hours per person (or 45 minutes for either/or)….spending a little more care and attention on the bride. After all, it is her special day! I like to check in with her whilst she is in my chair, just to make sure she is ok and not too overwhelmed. Sometimes the only time a bride can “switch off”, is whilst she is getting her makeup done. I try to keep the number of interruptions to the bride, whilst in my chair, to a minimum. After the bridal party has been “dolled up”, it’s time for everyone to finish eating, brush teeth, and get changed. I utilise this time to depot lipstick, finalise touch up kits, and start pack down of my kit. Time for lipstick, final checks, and touch ups! I personally like to stay until the bridal party are ready to head off to the ceremony, so I can be there to “perfect” anything that needs it…….besides, I love being witness to the bride in all her glory, and seeing her so excited (yet a little anxious) for the day ahead.

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After wishing the bride all the best for her big day, I pack up the car, jump in, and head off home. Of course my journey home is accompanied by another coffee and something more substantial to eat! Realising this is the first chance I have had to sit down all day, I start to reflect on how it all went? What I can potentially do, if anything, to make it better? I am always trying to improve, and learn from every job that comes my way! Arriving home, I am greeted by my husband (and dog), eagerly waiting to hear how my day went……well, the husband, not the dog really…..she just wants her belly tickled! As the hubby helps me lug in my kit, I debrief him with all the days’ happenings. Collapsing onto the sofa, it’s time to switch off….although, not for long….the kit needs cleaning and restocking for the next client.

[ Written by Cherie B Hair and Makeup Artist ]