We recently had the chance to chit chat with Celebrity Makeup Artist, Jessica Smalls. We got to talk about the ins and outs of the crazy celebrity world while being able to touch on fabulous tips for bridal makeup. Jessica is one of the most sought after makeup artists in the country and our brides are constantly trying to book her if they can. Lucky for us she’s been down with the KGE family for quite a while. Here’s a glimpse of our interview:
How long have you been a makeup artist?
12 AMAZING years
What was your inspiration to become a makeup artist?
I was diagnosed with an incurable skin cancer at age 18. It was then that I started to develop skin problems. I used to think makeup was for the fake and phony girls until I realized I needed it. I would read the magazines and that’s how I learned to apply it. I fell in love with it. Then when I was a student at Morris Brown everyone was always asking me to do their makeup for them so I built my technique. I was the designated makeup artist.
What was your first big break?
I was working as an office manager at a charter school when one of the mom’s complemented my makeup. She loved my energy and asked me to join her to do makeup. She just so happened to be Alicia Keys’ makeup artist and that got me in the door. The first gig she brought me on was New York Fashion Week. The rest is history.
What is it like to be a celebrity makeup artist?
Hectic. You always have to be available. It is a very fast and tiring world and it causes you to miss out on many personal things...but I LOVE it! I love when a client trusts my talent.
What do you think is most important about bridal makeup?
Stay in a classic look. Don’t go with trends. Have that look that never gets old.
What questions should a bride ask before booking her makeup artist?
-Do they do a trial run for the wedding day?
-Is it the price for the makeup application or the duration of the stay?
-Does it cost extra to stay?
-If you have skin issues, know what skin issues and ask about ingredients (nuts, oils, metals) in the makeup products used?
When scheduling, how much time should a bride allow for her makeup to be done? Bridesmaids?
For the bride about an 1 to 1.5 hours
For the bridesmaids about 45 minutes
What are reasonable price expectations for a makeup artist of your caliber?
Bridal Application - $250-$350
Bridesmaids Application - $100-$200
Think about $50-$100 per hour to stay for the day
What are must have products for all day wear?
It is important to speak with your makeup artist about having a touch up kit. Especially if they are not staying for the day. You should expect to pay the cost of the products. The touch-up kit should include:
What other tips can GorJess impart on brides?
You read it here...the best tips to having perfect wedding day makeup. Thanks to Jessica for taking time out of her extremely busy schedule to talk to us and impart her vast knowledge for our brides. If you don’t already, make sure to follow Jessica at @Gorjessmakeup. You can keep up with all her adventures around the world as a celebrity makeup artist.
Have you been daydreaming about walking down the aisle in [insert location of your dreams] since you "said yes" ? Are you worried your people won't be interested in travelling? They will, everyone loves a vacation!
As destination brides ourselves we are huge fans of the destination wedding. We wanted to give you 3 quick things to consider as you being planning.
Thing 1: Budget
A destination wedding might be lighter on your pocket (in most cases) but for your guests there are different factors. While it's not required, it is customary to consider your guests travel budget in selecting a location. Consider is the key word, you will not be able to accommodate every guest. However, if you do desire guests to attend your event we suggest that you take this into consideration. You and your spouse-to-be will be the best gage of what this should be. Think about offering your guests a pay over time option. That is something we handle regularly.
Thing 2: Guest list
Please keep in mind that the guest list of a destination wedding tends to be significantly smaller than your traditional wedding. Traveling overnight may not work for everyone. This is a fact you will need to understand and be comfortable with to have a successful event.
The trend currently for destination weddings is to use virtual invitations that perhaps link to a customized couple Web page. It is not uncommon however for paper invitations to be sent. Think about your guests, are the all tech savvy? If Aunt Barbara can never remember her email password you should probably send her an invitation (if you really want her to come that is).
Thing 3: What Matters Most
The intent of the wedding celebration is to celebrate your union with those people closest to you. Whatever venue or destination you choose will be loved by those nearest and dearest to you. If this is not the case, how ever did they make the list to share in this special moment with you?
Wishing you all the best,
The Kelly & The Greene
Life happens. Sometimes your favorite people can't make your special day. Here are some ways to honor those special people that can't be there:
1) Remember everyone that can't make it isn't dead - We recently did a wedding that one of the groom's best friends couldn't make it. He was simply in another country. To the groom's surprise, the bride had gotten not 1 but 2 life sized cutouts of the absent friend. It was awesome. She had one for down the aisle (that we handed to a bridesmaid as she made her way down) and one for party time (shot included). He was totally part of the party.
2) Skype 'em - Hello...this is the age of technology. Vegas chapels have been doing it for years but now everyone is getting hip to it. This is most popular with destination weddings. Set up your laptop or smart phone in a chair or ask a guest to hold it. Just as the ceremony is starting, begin your video chat and allow your missing guests to still be a part. It's just like they're there minus the cheers-ing of that 5th tequila shot, lol!
3) Bottoms Up - Many people are including a signature cocktail or a few at their weddings. Why not name one after your favorite person missing in action? What concoction comes to mind when you think of them? Have them suggest one. It is a delicious way to include them. Afterall, good drinks give that liquid courage to get the party started. Trust us, we'd consider that an honor. Especially if you served our signature cocktail the KGE OG!
4) Dance, baby - Tell your DJ or band leader that at a special time in the night to play your loved one's favorite song. Get out there and do your best cabbage patch or running man in their honor. Make sure to record it and send it to them.
5) In Memorium - Unfortunately, you can't always time the passing of those loved ones that mean the most. There are so many ways to honor them. One of our favorites that has been done time and time again is to leave a reserved chair empty for that person. Often times you will have people that will put a picture of their loved one in that chair. Another, way is to light a candle for that person/s at your altar.
When The Greene got married many moons ago she acknowledged her lost loved ones with a reading about them being there in spirit and subsequent bell ringing in their honor. Do what you feel will best represent them. Keep in mind this is still a celebration and not a memorial. Think symbolism.
The reality is you don't do this for EVERY missing guest. Just the besties or dearly departed. Not only will it help them know how much they mean to you but it gives you a chance to feel their presence. It's a win, win if you ask us. It is so simple, inexpensive and most of all thoughtful to acknowledge those closest to you.
Photo above by Kelly Kollar Photography
So often we get questions from folks who are confused about what an event planner ACTUALLY DOES? Today there are tons of shows on television that portray so many glamorous events under the general title of event planning. The truth is there are three main categories in the event "planning" realm, so we get the confusion! Event "planning" can be just planning like Day of Coordination or Event Design like Preston Bailey or Event Decor like a Candy Bar. Some companies specialize in all three categories (like us) and some do one or two categories. It is important to understand the difference so that you know what best meets your needs:
Event Planning is done by an event planner (a person whose profession is the planning of social events, such as parties, weddings and fundraisers). What this means is an event planner will manage the event in real time. They are involved in the creation and development of your event. They help with the logistics and coordination. This can include budgeting, scheduling, venue selection, vendor selection, invitation wording, etiquette, RSVPs, etc... Event planners are the ones that allow you to enjoy rather than work your event. The "headache handlers", if you will...
Event Design is done by an event designer (someone who will design and execute an overall look for an event). The event designer will literally draw out and create the design visually for your event. They will oversee and direct all aspects of your scenic decor, production and design. It is not unusual for your event planner to bring in an event designer as a vendor to create a custom look for your event. It is best when an event designer is around for the entire life cycle of the event design process which includes; conception, proposal creation, budgeting and execution.
Event Decor is done by an event decorator. This is exactly as it sounds - someone who has the sole responsibility of decorating the event venue. They bring your design to "life". Typically this will be your florist or event planner's staff.
All in all we work together to make the client happy. We, personally started as strictly event planners but over the last few years we fully educated ourselves and began to implement all aspects of the planning process. We often find that clients prefer a one stop shop as long as the quality is excellent. Everyone wants a fabulous looking event. That's a given because Image Matters. People don't fully realize all that goes into planning and forget that they (as well as their friends and family) are allowed to enjoy their own event.
An event planner is not free BUT a seamless event is PRICELESS!
Please Note (Insider Tip): A venue will always tell you that they offer a planner. Please do not confuse this person as your personal planner. They know their site, their kitchen and how their venue works but not the inner details of your day. We are your people and work hand in hand with their people to make it all come together.
Photo by: Kelly Kollar Photography
Venue: Greenpoint Loft - Brooklyn, NY
Theme: Shabby Chic Wedding
Event Planning/Decor: Kelly Greene Events