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We interview local hair and make-up artist, Gemma Howard-Masters.
Q – How did you become a hair and make-up artist?
I have always been very creative and leaned towards the arts during my education, I did a degree in illustration, but fine art is what I really loved. When I was at university, I started working for Estee Lauder and began to realise that make-up would let me fulfil my creative needs. I have always believed to be the best I need to train with the best. so I decided I was going to be a make-up artist. I studied at Greasepaint International School of Television, Film and Theatre Make-up in London under Julia Crutchedeon and Shauna Harrison. They were both very well respected make-up artists working in the TV, film and theatre industry. With the guidance and training in all areas they helped me to flourish and instil the values I still work to today. I freelanced working in London in various areas of the make-up industry to gain a good knowledge and experience, and the bridal industry was an area I started to work with and found a real passion to bring the best to the people I met. I then relocated back to Birmingham and acquired a hair salon and combined it into a make-up studio this has given me my main base to work from to grow my make-up business and has done so for almost 20 years.
Q – What packages do you offer couples?
I offer clients my full hair and make-up expertise and knowledge and airbrushing if they require that make-up finish. I also offer lash extensions, hair and make-up trials, and offer package prices dependent upon numbers. I also provide hair colouring and cutting available at my salon.
Q – What should couples expect when booking your services?
I offer a very relaxed and professional atmosphere - on booking I like to speak with my clients on the phone as its nice to engage firstly, and when the booking is secure we arrange a suitable date and time for the trial date at my studio at Salon-G (I do home visits if preferred but it's easier at my studio).
I usually advise my clients to come with someone they trust for an opinion - on arrival I offer a nice drink wine, tea or coffee, and then we sit and talk through the desired look – from there I work my magic and create the style.
After a successful trial, I document everything, and we keep in touch before the big day. Then on the day, I will arrive at the venue or desired place to get you and your party-ready. All you need to do is wake up and leave everything to me to sort!
Q – What's your favourite wedding you have worked on and why?
This is a very difficult question as all weddings are special and unique in their own way and I have been fortunate to work with so many wonderful brides and amazing venues. I would say the one wedding that stands out the most would be Eleanor and Richard's wedding that I was contracted to do at Claridges in London. Eleanor had nine bridesmaids for just make-up, and I did her hair and make-up. It was a black-tie wedding very glamorous, and the venue was just stunning. There was even a butler on hand. This was a wedding I will never forget.
Q – How long before the wedding should couples book?
I recommend to book at least 12 months before. If you're want the best service, don’t delay on securing your artist, photographer or venue everything else can slot into place. To avoid any disappointment, just get everything secured.
Q – What’s your favourite part of the job?
My favourite part of the job is the very last part of my service, preparing and making my client feel the best she has ever felt in her life. I love having some laughs with the bridal party on the morning before leaving I check all the finishing touches are in place knowing that the woman that was in my chair will be the most confident and beautiful bride-to-be. That is my best work and the most rewarding part of it.
Q – Do you have any any top tips for couples looking for a hair and make-up artist?
Go with how you feel about an artist not just they're portfolio. A good artist builds a relationship with their clients. Ask the products they use and skincare recommendations. Ask for all hair advice and work together to create the perfect look
To find out more about Gemma, visit www.make-upandhairbygemma.co.uk