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Hair & Make-Up Artists – FAQ and Interview with Sharon M Harris of Adornare

Are you looking for a hair and make-up artist for your wedding in Kent, London, or the South-East?  Don’t know where to start or even what to consider?  We managed to get an interview with Sharon M Harris, principle and head make-up artist at Adornare Hair & Beauty based in Maidstone.  We asked the kinds of questions our clients often ask, as well as stealing a few insider tips and tricks when hiring a Kent Make-Up Artist.

All you need to know when booking your Kent Wedding Hair & Make-Up Artist

We asked a few questions of one of our favourite hair and make-up artists in Kent, and are happy to share her insider tips and tricks with you. Please see below for full interview transcript.

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The Interview:

  1. How soon before a wedding should someone book their MUA?

As with venues and photographers, the popular hair stylists and make-up artists are booking weddings for 18 months to 2 years down the line. As soon as you know your wedding date and have booked the main services I would start to look at reserving your hair and make-up artists for your special day.

  1. How many MUAs or hair and make-up stylists will I need?

The number of stylists will depend on a number of factors:

  • Are you looking for hair, make-up or both?
  • What styles are you looking for?
  • How many people require the service?
  • How early are you willing to start on the wedding day?
  • What time is the wedding?
  • Are you getting ready at the venue or do you need to leave earlier to get to the venue?
  • Is your wedding dress a corset back? This requires more time to get into than a regular zip up

Usually as a general rule on the wedding day I would estimate an hour per person per service. All the timings and arrangements for the day are discussed at the trial, once the hair styles and make-up choices are confirmed a more accurate timescale or plan for the wedding day can be arranged. For larger wedding bookings I will always source the assistance of additional stylists, at no extra cost to the bride.

  1. What should I be looking for in an MUA?

The most important thing to remember is you need to be able to connect with your hair stylist/mua, you need to feel comfortable and at ease with her as she will be spending the morning of your wedding with you, so you need someone you can trust. You need someone who is organised, professional and most importantly qualified. Check out reviews on their website, Google or social media. Your make-up artist should be someone who listens to you, takes on board your concerns and preferences and creates the look you have dreamed of, while suggesting ways to enhance your natural beauty and leaving you feeling confident and beautiful.

  1. What are trials and why are they useful?

Basically a trial is a practice run for your wedding day. A chance to discuss the look you desire and to make sure the dress, hair and make-up complement each other. To give you an idea of how you will look on your wedding day as you walk down the aisle, feel confident that you will be looking fabulous. It’s a chance to meet your stylist and get to know her before your special day, you don’t want to feel uncomfortable on the morning of your wedding day in the company of a complete stranger. Keep an open mind, sometimes a style you like may not be possible with your hair/skin etc but your stylist will be able to recommend alternatives. Like choosing your wedding dress your trial is another excuse to get together with your friends and have a little girly time

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  1. What tips and tricks would you recommend?

Always have visual aids of looks you like to show your stylist. Remember you will be looking at your wedding photos for many years to come, your make-up should be timeless, not fashionable, otherwise in 20 years time you will be looking back thinking ‘what on earth was I thinking?’. Be flexible, styles you like may not necessarily work for everyone, but your make-up artist will know exactly how to enhance your natural beauty.

For me the main focus of your make-up has to be the eyes, they need to draw attention and be mesmerising, after all, that is where your husband to be will be looking when he vows to spend the rest of his life loving you. (this is what I always tell my brides Mykey…half the time they end up crying…this is always a line I use before applying any make-up lol)

  1. Where should I look for a good MUA?

These days with the help of the internet you can’t throw a lipstick across the room without hitting a make-up artist or two! In my opinion first and foremost the best way to find a make-up artist is by word of mouth. Ask your friends and family if they have used a mua and whether they would recommend them. Alternatively ask wedding suppliers you have booked, venues, photographer, videographer as they will have worked with mua’s and will be able to point you in the right direction. Google make-up artists and have a look on their websites, read reviews from previous brides. For me though the best place to meet a make-up artist is through a wedding event such as a wedding fair or an open day at a venue. There you get to meet the stylist, have a look through their work and talk about your special day, that way you know whether or not you have a connection with them. In my eyes if a professional is exhibiting at such an event they have paid to be there, they are genuine, reliable and take pride in their work, otherwise they wouldn’t be there (and as most wedding fairs are on a Sunday its takes commitment and dedicatio to get up at the crack of dawn when everyone else in the house is sleeping and looking forward to a lazy day)

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  1. What should I expect to pay for a good MUA?

Most people when they think of a make-up artist or hair stylist all they see is a pretty make-over and when they see the prices charged some will try and knock the prices down as ‘its only applying a bit of make-up’ or ‘its only a few clips and some hair spray’. Make-up artist and hair stylists will vary in price and at the end of the day you go with what your budget can afford. Don’t get me wrong, I am not the cheapest by far, but I am not the most expensive either. There is no ‘set amount’ for a make-up artist to charge, and the prices differ up and down the country due to area and demand for members of that profession. When I bought my first house I remember getting quotes for some roof repairs and my step-dad told me to always get 3 or more quotes, never go for the cheapest, never go for the most expensive, choose the middle man! I think this applies to most things in life

Just keep in mind that a hair stylist or make-up artists has to factor in many costs to their prices to cover overheads and still be able to pay themselves a liveable wage, these will include paying for insurances, travel (fuel, time and wear and tear on their vehicle, top quality make-up, products and tools, the experience and years of training, researching to keep up to date with current trens, phone and internet bills, advertising so you could find the artist in the first place, time replying to emails and phone calls etc. Behind the scenes your stylist will be working her hardest to ensure your wedding morning runs smoothly and stress free.

  1. What are the tell-tale signs of a cowboy/rookie?

There are many qualified hair stylist and make-up artists out there to choose from, but there are also a number of ‘self-trained stylist that have watched a few tutorials on You Tube and feel they can charge for a ‘pretty make-over’. Social media sites, such as Facebook, make it a lot easier for non-legitimate stylist to promote their ‘services’. Don’t get me wrong, I am lucky enough to receive a vast amount of work through Facebook, but at the same time I also deal with a lot of ladies needing a make-up artist at the last minute as they have either been let down at the last minute or the stylist they have booked with has disappeared off the face of the earth! So how do you tell the difference??

  • Website, not a page on social media, if a stylist has a website they have taken the time, patience and money to build a platform where they can showcase their work and provide all the information you need, not just uploaded a few pictures from their phone
  • Deposits, if they don’t take a deposit from you to hold your date I would be very cautious! A professional will want to take a deposit so they know that they will be receiving income for that day as at the end of the day they have bills to pay, it’s their career, not a hobby. If a stylist doesn’t take a deposit there is nothing stopping them from taking a larger booking for your wedding day and letting you down, or not even turning up at all for your appointment. If no money has exchanged hands you don’t have a leg to stand on!
  • Terms and Conditions, a true professional will have a set of terms and conditions that will protect all parties involved in the agreement.
  • Photographs, pictures by professional photographers of the stylist in question, completing looks on clients. This shows that they have not just pulled images off the internet and showcased as their own

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  1. How did you get into the industry?

For as long as I can remember hair and make-up has always been a passion of mine. However at the age of 16 my parents couldn’t afford for me to attend college so I started working in the insurance industry. After having two children I decided I a 9-5 office based job was keeping me away from my children too much so in 2004 I put myself through two years of college to achieve my Level 2 and Level 3 NVQ in Beauty and Holistic Therapy. From there I started my own mobile business which worked around my mummy duties. Over the years I have attended many enrichment courses and after having my third child I returned to college and in 2012 I achieved my level 2 NVQ in Hair Design. But that still wasn’t enough, hair and make-up was my passion and that was the dream I needed to follow, that’s when Adornare was born, my forth baby! Weddings are such an important event, being asked to spend a morning with a bride and her bridal party, keeping them calm while making them feel beautiful is such an honour. I am very proud of how my business has grown over the years and take great pride in my work. With Brides booking their wedding day with me, sometimes over two years in advance, I know I have chosen the perfect career for me.

  1. What is your funniest story from weddings you have done so far?

People see my profession as a very glamorous job, but the photographers never catch the moments that would tell you otherwise, for example holding back a brides hair as she has her head over the toilet suffering from a bout of morning sickness for the third time while your trying to create her simple up do! Or when the bride realises she forgot to put on her hold ups so as the helpful person I am (and being the only one in the room who hadn’t had their hair done) I climb under the dress to complete the task as the bride gasps and says ‘I thought I should mention, I am not wearing any underwear’!

  1. What do you look for in a client?

I don’t have any criteria that I look for in a client, as long as we have good communication and the bride feels comfortable with me that’s all I ask. At the end of the day my main concern is that the bride is calm, relaxed and enjoying the build up to that special moment. I am honoured to be a part of a brides special day and I have been lucky enough to build friendships along the way with many of my ladies.

Sharon M Harris – Kent Make-Up Artist

Sharon is one of our favourite personalities to work with in the wedding industry – and we thoroughly recommend you get in touch to speak to Sharon about your wedding day and pre-wedding engagement photography needs.  Sharon is head Make-up artist at Adornare Hair & Make-Up studios. Her website is: www.adornare.co.uk

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Kent & International Wedding Photographer Mykey Day

Your Wedding Day will never be as important to anyone else as it is to you, but trust us when we say – your wedding will be crucially important to us as well! Please browse our website for examples of our work, and we look forward to making your wedding photographs special too.

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