Sitting with your best friends on your wedding morning being pampered and having your hair and makeup done is a special time to share together. Amidst all the lotions and potions there is the bonding experience of excitement, nerves and anticipation of the event to come. Rita of Rita Abi Khalil Makeup Artist & Skin Specialist brings to your day, her experience, talent and wealth of knowledge of all things beauty, makeup and skincare. With her passion for skin and body health, Rita also shares some great tips for before the wedding preparation as well as eyebrows, and shares what’s in her makeup kit. Let’s take a peek into Rita’s world as a makeup artist!
What do you love about your chosen profession?
What I love the most about being a makeup artist and skin specialist is I get to be part of the beauty journey for the bride either on the wedding day looking after her makeup look or leading up to the wedding looking after her skin with specialised facials and treatments to ensure she looks her absolute gorgeous self and also making those brows beautiful.
Why have you chosen to specialize in bridal makeup, brows and skin treatments?
I am a fully qualified beauty therapist and makeup artist with over 11 years experience in the industry as a beauty therapist, makeup artist and beauty instructor and I love everything beauty. I have chosen these 3 beauty elements because they are my area of expertise and love. I can confidently say that I can fix a client’s skin, or brow concerns with a few sessions and continued home care.
Image by Caterina Fizzano
Do you have a beauty and health philosophy that is a fundamental of your business?
I believe in skin health and through skin health you will have the best canvas for makeup application. I believe in the power of active ingredients like Vitamins A,C,E, and AHAs to make a change and deliver results in the skin with real foods, plant based food, and reduced sugar to maintain skin health. Lots of water, herbal tea and some coffee to keep the body balanced.
A lot of us are self critical. How do you empower women to feel good about their natural beauty?
It is very hard for us ladies as we constantly get bombarded with unrealistic social media images of what we should be or look like. On a daily basis as a beauty therapist I am called upon not only to fix eyebrows or skin but sometimes to act as a counsellor, close confidante for secrets and a confidence booster. I have to say I do like to be there to help my clients in any way possible. So my ultimate tip to empower my clients while they are in my makeup chair is to smile and be grateful for what they have in life and be blessed for the natural beauty they are born with. We are all beautiful in our own way and we should never take that for granted. I read a great quote once that said “Admire someone else’s beauty without questioning your own”.
Starting with skin health, what are some of your key tips to firstly have healthy skin and then maintain it (inside and out)?
Skin health is a topic I am really passionate about and we can talk about it for days and weeks and when I give a facial to a client. I try to give them as much info as possible without overwhelming them and to help them understand that healthy skin is always achieved from the inside first. When you address digestive and inflammation issues in the body and in conjunction with a fantastic skin care routine suitable for your skin concern and type you will achieve healthy skin.
Image by Richard Taouk
What are some treatments you can recommend to ensure we have perfect skin for the wedding day?
Firstly I know I will sound like a nagging mum but please ladies, drink at least 1-2 liters of water. Water is so vital for the health of our skin which is our biggest organ. Also do not pick your skin or blemishes.
I am great advocate of skin peels Lactic, Vitamin A, Salicylic peels, microdermabrasion to even out skin tone and texture due to breakouts and congestion. Vit C infused facials will brighten up your skin and are really great to do 3-4 days before your wedding day. Lots of brides get scared of breaking out after a facial but if you see a skin therapist in the 3-6 months leading up to your wedding you will avoid any issues and that is why I say 3-4 days before the wedding day go for a brightening Vit C facial for that glow factor.
With the stress of the wedding we can suffer from breakouts. What is the best emergency treatment for these?
Firstly please do not pick those breakouts as you can cause inflammation and then that breakout might take forever to go away. I highly recommend to have in your skincare routine a spot treatment for breakouts that has salicylic, Vit A, Niacinamide to help clear that spot straight away without leaving a mark.
How important are brows to your overall look?
So very important, I cannot stress enough how important they are to the overall look on your wedding day and just for everyday beauty. They are what frames the windows to your soul. Having great brows, defined brows and well maintained brows is powerful. As a makeup artist and beauty therapist I am constantly asking my clients to grow them out so we can rehab the mistakes.
Image by Love is Sweet Photography
What tips can you give us for perfect brows?
The best tip that I can give you is put the tweezers away, let your brows grow for 4-6 weeks and give me a call to make a mobile brow appointment. I am so confident in my specialised techniques that your eyebrows will be transformed for ever. In the mean time while they grow you can go to any professional to get a brow tint as that will tint the hair and a little bit of the skin to give the illusion of hair. Also you can pick up any brow kit that will help you fill in your brows and make them more groomed.
If our brows and lashes are sparse how can we help them to look fuller?
Eyebrow and eye lash tinting is great to give that illusion of fullness especially for eyebrows that are growing out. Also one of my tips is castor oil and coconut oil mixed together for a lash and brow serum to help with growth and renewal for the hairs.
How can you ensure that false eyelashes look natural when applied?
I use only individual style lashes on my brides and I build them up to create a glamorous and natural look. I prefer to use premium 100% human lashes to give a natural look. My favourite lashes for the bridal party is demi whispies or half lashes depending on the look that the bride would like.
Image by Caterina Fizzano
What do you aim to achieve with wedding day makeup?
My biggest aim with wedding day makeup is for my bride to love her makeup look, to last all day and for my bride to look her absolute gorgeous self so that in 10 years time when she looks at the pictures she will still love her makeup.
Is wedding makeup a specific skill, or are you able to bring a little of today’s trends into the makeup style?
Applying makeup in general is a skill and it must be practised all the time. I like to keep growing my art by arranging test shoots with photographers in Melbourne for fashion and editorial shoots. It’s my time to test different beauty and creative looks. As for bridal, the more I look at magazines and celebrity looks, the more I get creative when I am applying bridal makeup for my clients.
Do you offer makeup trials? Is this a crucial step in deciding on the bride’s makeup?
Yes of course! I offer makeup trials that go from 1.5 to 2 hours as they are our time together to map out the ultimate look for the wedding day that is suitable for the bride’s wedding theme, features and to find out what she loves in makeup. Also if my bride is happy and decides to book me $20 dollars from her trial is used towards her bridal party payment.
What are some products/tools in your tool kit that you use time and again?
I have a fully stocked kit and the brands I use are MAC, KRYOLAN, INGLOT, YVES SAINT LAURENT, LAURA MERCIER, ATELIER PARIS, MAKEUP FOR EVER.
I can’t live without my MAC and Inglot eye shadows, Makeup For Ever HD foundation – it gives the most amazing flawless finish, Individual lash pack by Ardell, Kryolan concealer wheel, Laura Mercier brightening setting powder, Beauty blender, Heated eyelash curler, Embrolisse lait creme and Bioderma crealine micellar water.
Image by Richard Taouk
My favourite book about makeup is…… FaceForward by Kevin Aucoin, the most amazing and inspiring makeup artist. Reading his books made me want to be a makeup artist while studying a Bachelor in Business. It was the first makeup book that one of my close family friends gifted me for my birthday.
My favourite leisure activity is…. Bellydancing classes, yoga classes and shopping for tea – you can never have enough tea or coffee in the house.
Thank you Rita for sharing your story. There’s nothing like a beautifully made up face to give you that extra glow on your wedding day! To find out more about Rita Abi Khalil Makeup & Skin Specialist visit the website.