How long have you been in business?
I have been a freelance Hair and Makeup artist for 25 years now. I started up my wedding hair and makeup business 15 years ago.
Which area did you start with – wedding or commercial makeup and hair?
When I started out I did commercial hair and makeup for Fashion, advertising and Television commercials.
Image by David Fowler Photography
How did you get a foot into the industry, and how did you progress from being unknown, to doing makeup for Dancing with the Stars and celebrities?
I started off as a model from 16 to 21. When I found myself watching the hair and makeup artists working behind the scenes, and thinking I want to do that.
I then worked under people as an assistant for many years, a lot of the time for free. To learn the skills needed, basically an apprenticeship. Back then there were no schools it was a very new trade, and (there were) only a handful of talented people in the industry.
What do you love about wedding day hair and makeup?
The personal touch, I get involved and meet my brides family and friends, it’s a happy day and a beautiful job, (and) I feel honored to take part in such a special day. Commercial work is about products and how to sell them through advertising. It’s not as rewarding, (but) I love working with people.
Image by Erin & Tara
How far out from the wedding do you suggest doing a makeup trial?
A trial should be done at least 2 months before, unless a bride is coming from interstate or overseas, then we do a lot of pre prep over email.
Quite often once we do a style, it doesn’t always suit a bride’s face shape, or hair cut, so we need to make changes. If this involves hair colour or a hair cut to make a style work, this takes time. No bride wants to worry or be rushed. With the trial done early it allows for any changes that might need to be done for the day.
Including waxing or a facial or spray tan. We discuss all the options and work together (to plan) what will look the best for the day and style of the wedding.
What sort of information should a bride come armed with?
I ask my brides to look at pinterest for inspiration on hairstyles and makeup styles that they like, and to bring their veil or headpiece with them if possible, if they are wearing one. I also like to know flower colours and bridesmaid’s dress colours.
Do you like to know the style of the wedding and the dress before you plan the wedding day makeup and hair?
Yes this information is very important; a lot of brides have themes. For example a boho wedding , or pagan [Game of Thrones is popular right now]. If the wedding is a country wedding , the style will be very different from a city sophisticated wedding. So the hair and makeup will change dramatically.
Do you make suggestions for hair and makeup for the bridal party prior, or are you able to see what suits a bridesmaid (on the day) to create a cohesive look with the bride and other girls?
During the bridal trial, I will spend 2 to 3 hours with my bride, during this time we also discuss the wedding party. Quite often my bride will follow up with an email of the dresses chosen and hair length or special needs of bridesmaids. Sometimes a wedding party member might have sensitive skin , or needs hair extensions for the day. Everything needs to be worked out before hand so there are no surprises on the day. I like my weddings to run smoothly.
Are you able to offer us suggestions to make sure our skin is wedding ready?
Drink plenty of water, and don’t suddenly change products, this can cause breakouts.
What about for our Mums – any special advice on their skin care routine and makeup for the wedding?
A lot of mums are very nervous about makeup, I try and ease their minds, they usually worry that we will put too much makeup on them.
I always consult my clients; I want them to feel very comfortable and happy with how they look. I do what I call natural glamour , unless I am asked to go heavy, I am very light handed with makeup.
Do you have a favourite wedding makeup ‘look’ for brides?
I think a bride should never look over done, I love my brides to look beautiful but recognizable as themselves.
Is makeup for weddings trend based, or is it more based on what suits the bride you are working on?
A bit of both, I prefer to do what suits a person, but I understand that film and fashion can influence a bride.
Image by Erin & Tara
What is in your makeup kit?
So much where – do I start, I love so many brands, I buy colours that I love and know that work. All the brands I use are popular name brands.
At the moment I am leaning towards certified organic and not tested on animals, the chemicals in a lot of makeup are awful, and I am very aware of how many people have allergies.
What are your dreams for your business?
I am just expanding my business to teach real women and girls the life skills needed to apply their own makeup. I know that for special events it’s great to have someone like me do it for them. But so many of my clients, have expressed the desire to learn how to do beautiful makeup on their own face for everyday wear.
I would give the gift of …..women feeling beautiful and happy without feeling the need to look like someone else.
My favourite hobby is… painting – I love art.
Thank you Vivian for sharing your story. To find out more about Vivian Ashworth (Hair and Makeup) visit the website.