I first met Northwest Indiana Make Up Artist Melissa Marshall at a bridal show. She walked up to my booth during morning set up and introduced herself and expressed her excitement for the upcoming wedding season and to be meeting so many wonderful brides that day. I knew right then I'd be seeing her at many weddings because genuine enthusiasm like hers is exactly what you want from your wedding vendors on your big day. Sure enough, we've worked together many times. Here is my recent interview with Melissa:
How did you get your start as a make up artist?
I have had an interest in makeup since a very young age. I grew up in ballet and theatrical stage makeup was very exciting to me. I had my first "real job" in makeup at Merle Norman in Crown Point when I was a senior in high school. It was then that I learned that I could make a living doing makeup, and I never looked back. This September will be 15 years since I got my start.
You obviously enjoy doing make up for weddings. Can you tell me what makes it a fulfilling job?
I think it takes the right kind of person to work in the wedding industry. Sometimes my Saturdays start as early as 3am when I have to travel out of state. It can be somewhat stressful knowing the way someone looks on their wedding day falls into your hands, but I truly feel like I have the greatest job in the world. I do not mind the early mornings, long drives, or working every Saturday, because I am head over heels in love with my job. I get to spend every weekend with brides on the happiest day of their lives. I befriend many of my clients and I just love watching their families grow. I love the wedding industry and all the love and positive energy that comes along with it.
How far in advance should a wedding couple book their make up artist?
I always tell my clients to book your makeup artists as soon as your date is secured with your venue. Typically, by March, I will have 90% of my Saturdays booked for the year. Booking a full 12-18 months in advance is not too early. Luckily, there is a lot of a talent in Northwest Indiana and the makeup artists have a pretty tight knit community so we are always more than willing to help you find someone who is available. However, if you have your heart set on working with a specific artist, book as soon as you can!
Tell me about trials and what they involve?
I like to book a bride's makeup trial in the month before her wedding. By this time, almost all of the details for the day have been confirmed so we can really just review our timeline and details for the big day. I ask my brides to bring inspiration photos of makeup that they love so I can have an idea of what they are looking to do with their makeup. A trial will usually take about 60-90 minutes and I will do a complete makeup look on them, checking in with them as I go to make sure we are creating a look they love. We will also discuss any other concerns or questions they may have regarding facials, spray tans, tattoo coverage, anything that makeup would play a role in.
What can you do for the person who doesn’t know what they want?
I like to direct them to my portfolio at my website. Sometimes seeing different looks helps to learn more about what they like and don't like for themselves. This is why a trial is key. You may think you want to wear a red lip on your wedding day until you get it on and it just doesn't feel like you at all. It is so important to take your wedding day makeup for a test drive.
Should a bride go first, last, or in the middle on wedding day?
I like when a bride is scheduled between the middle and the end. Never the last appointment of the day. A bride should feel very laid back and relaxed, and not at all rushed while she's getting made up. Second or third to last is usually where I like to schedule my brides.
What are some of the things that can be done to stay fresh all the way to the first dance?
Make sure you discuss your skin type with your makeup artist. If you tend to be oily or dry, there are steps that can be done and products that can be used to help keep your makeup looking fresh. It's always a good idea to keep some oil blotting sheets with you as well as your lip color to freshen up throughout the day. I pretty much exclusively use airbrush formula on my brides and bridal parties. I have seen this formula hold up for 12+ hours and I know it will stand the test of time, sweat, and tears.
In my photography, I like to use lighting to bring out the eyes in my clients. What do you do as a make up artist to achieve the same thing?
I love drawing attention to the eyes. I think there are several way this can be done with makeup. Having a good sense of color theory and using colors that will play up a bride's eye color is one way to enhance the eyes. I am also a firm believer in false lashes on the wedding day. Even just a few individuals can really make the eyes pop.
What can men do for their skin to look their best on wedding day?
Moisturize! Get into a good skincare routine (cleaning and moisturizing 2x a day) before the wedding so that their skin can look it's best. It's okay for guys to treat themselves to facials too. Not only are they super relaxing, but they also can help give your skin the boost it will need to look its best. For outdoor weddings, it's a smart idea to wear sunscreen so you don't burn and sport pink skin the rest of the day.
What are your top tips for adding make up and general prep on wedding day?
Assign your maid of honor to bridal touch up kit duties. Check a mirror before pictures, the ceremony, and the reception. Just make sure the eye area looks fresh, oil is blotted in the t-zone, and the lip color looks fresh. Other than that, you shouldn't think too much about the makeup. Hiring a makeup artist that will apply makeup to last all day, should take away most of the stress from reapplying throughout the day. You should feel beautiful and comfortable in your wedding day makeup and not stress about the prep, that's our job!