You’ve got to love a hair and makeup artist whose passion is for natural glamour. Vivian Ashworth of Vivian Ashworth Hair and Makeup has over 30 years experience in her industry, so you know when you’re booking her you’ve scored yourself a total pro. Vivian uses bridal trials to get to know her clients so she can best understand their wishes and needs, and ultimately what looks will suit them best for their special day. Below, we chat to Vivian about the styles she loves and is best known for, her top tips for keeping calm on the wedding day, and her most memorable wedding to date.
How long have you been doing wedding hair and makeup?
30 years now. I started out doing fashion and advertising shoots. I started up my bridal business 20 years ago, when my children where young. The wedding industry is more family-friendly, so I could juggle both my career and family.
What do you love about it?
Working with families, it’s one of the happiest days of people’s lives.
Is there a particular style you are known for?
Natural glamour, beautiful and light wearing. Never thick, but good coverage for photography, enhancing the eyes, and using cruelty-free products.
Images: Tess Follett
How has your business changed since you first started?
It’s now accepted that 95% of brides will book a hair and makeup artist. And styles have become more relaxed instead of heavily sprayed hard hairstyles.
When you’re in high demand during wedding season do you have a team to help you out?
Yes I do, but I don’t like to give work to any artist that I haven’t worked with, for over two years, to keep up the standard of hair and makeup. I work on 95% of my bookings with the help of my girls on the day. The other 5% when I am booked I offer to industry friends, if they are available, then it is up to my client if they would like to book one of these artists directly.
Can brides still specifically request you?
Always. I keep my business small so that I can work on 95% of my bookings.
Images: Tess Follett
You’re Melbourne based, but do you travel?
Yes. I travel up to one to two hours for weddings all over Victoria. When I have early starts and long distances to travel, brides will cover an Air BnB or motel for the night.
What’s the process of booking you in?
My brides will email me from my booking page on my website, asking location/date and time/numbers and availability and price. I will email back and follow up with a phone call a few days later; I always try to respond within 24 hours. If the bride is happy we will arrange a trial.
Tell us about your trials…
Usually a bride will organise a trial first then book. But as I book out fast more and more brides are booking up to a year in advance, so will pay the deposit and do their trial closer to the wedding date. Approx. three months before the wedding.
What’s a wedding day like? How early do you start and how long does everything take?
Hair and makeup can take up to two hours per person, so typically a wedding party could have four to seven people. So with two artists (all my girls can do both hair and makeup), it can take four to seven hours, so sometimes we need to start by 5/6am. Depending on the time of the wedding.
Images: Megan Aldridge Photography
What’s harder – working with a bride with very specific ideas or one who leaves everything up to you?
Most of my brides bring suggestions only and are happy for me to work with them to create the best possible look for them, as close to their visual ideas as possible, but knowing that sometimes a look needs altering slightly to suit face shape, skin type and hair length.
What are your top tips for keeping calm pre-ceremony?
Calming music, food for snacks/lunch so no one is edgy. Not too much alcohol.
What trends are you noticing in hair and makeup in 2019?
More hair down or half up half down, with soft waves not curls. Golden tones in makeup shades, soft lipsticks colours.
What’s your favourite bridal hairstyle of all time?
A classic messy bun.
The secret to incredible wedding makeup is…
A soft touch, no harsh lines, nothing heavy, and definition on the eyes.
Image: Kane Jarrod Photography
Most memorable wedding you’ve worked on?
A rustic barn wedding in the country side where the bridal party had helped the bride with some of the decorations and had made a beautiful cake decorated with flowers. Such a loving family and friendship group.
Biggest career highlight?
Every weekend is a new wedding and a new highlight. Weddings are a calling not a job.
On a day off, what’s your personal go-to hair and makeup look?
Tinted sunscreen and red lipstick.
Thank you Vivian for sharing your story with us today. Bridal parties are obviously in great hands when they choose you for their big day. To find out more about Vivian and her services, head to the Vivian Ashworth Hair and Makeup website, or check this brilliant business out on the Polka Dot Directory.