Beauty & Makeup

The Rise of Professional Stylists for Weddings

Continued (page 2 of 3)

Some brides, on the other hand, will entrust wedding-day hair to no one but the stylist who's been trimming her tresses since her single days—no matter where the wedding. For some lucky pros, that means packing their brushes and their passports, travel expenses paid. "I've done weddings in the Caribbean, Italy, Mexico, New York," says Jessica Tingley, a senior stylist at Frederic Fekkai in Beverly Hills, who says she's also frequently been flown to Napa Valley, a popular destination for Los Angeles brides. Known around the tony Rodeo Drive salon for her range of elegant styles, Tingley may be just as sought-after for her people skills, which go a long way toward easing wedding-day jitters. "I'm usually a good person to calm the bride, especially when she's far from home, because I'm sort of the neutral party there," says Tingley.

The Ever-Crucial Run-Through

Brides are consulting makeup artists too, earlier and in more detail. Between three and six months ahead is wise, though some brides schedule a makeup run-through even before they book the reception site. "I've had brides come in for a trial the day they've scheduled an engagement portrait," says Camille Clark, a makeup artist with the Cloutier Agency in Los Angeles.

These run-throughs are strongly encouraged by makeup pros. "I won't even do a wedding unless we do a trial first, because I don't think it's fair to either one of us if we're surprised that day," says Carlo Geraci, makeup artist at Barneys New York, who has done big-day looks for some of Manhattan's most sophisticated brides, including Samantha Boardman, and has been flown to work at weddings in Rome and California. After a trial, he says, "The bride is relaxed and happy to see me coming through the door on her wedding day, because she's already confident about what I'll be doing."

Savvy brides tend to already have an idea of what they want, and need some help fine-tuning their vision, says Lisa Trunda, a makeup artist who splits her time between Chicago and Miami and got her start doing makeup on The Oprah Winfrey Show (and has since been doing makeup for magazines, including Vanity Fair). "Usually a woman who comes to me is very detail-oriented, and so we'll do a run-through first," says Trunda. "Plus, she needs to feel good about the people working with her that day. The makeup artist and the hairdresser are going to be working very close to her, so she needs to feel comfortable with them."

Well before she pulls out her makeup brushes, though, Trunda begins by simply having a conversation with the bride. "I want a feeling for how she looks normally, to get a sense of her lifestyle and who she is, how makeup fits into her life." From there, a look evolves, says Trunda.

Trunda (whose day rate is typically $1,500; for that fee she'll do makeup for as many members of the bridal party as time allows) says more brides are viewing their makeup selections as crucial to the look of the event. "When somebody is getting married at the Four Seasons and spending $50,000 for her gown, it's a comparatively small amount of time and expense to make sure you have a makeup artist or hairdresser who's taking good care of you," she notes. While Trunda usually sticks around to do touch-ups for photos, it's not uncommon for her to be invited to stay for the reception.

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