It’s About More Than the Makeup and Hair

At roughly ninety percent of the weddings we do, the question is always asked “why do you guys do makeup?”  More often than not, the question comes after a mother of the bride finds out what Meghan and I do for our full time jobs.  You can just see the thought process.  It’s like that cartoon bubble appears above their head…your parents, all the schooling, doctorate degrees, and you do this.  I really can’t tell you how we answer every time. It probably depends on how far into wedding season we are and how long we’ve been doing makeup that day when the question is asked.  I think it generally goes something like “we love doing makeup and being creative” or “we love being part of women’s special day” or “we love making women feel beautiful.”  All of these things are true.  However, yesterday I gained a better understanding of exactly why we do this.

Rewind almost a year.   I was laying on the beach in Outer Banks enjoying the perks of doing a destination wedding, when I got a Facebook notification that I had been tagged.  A woman who I knew from CrossFit had tagged me in a post regarding a young lady needing wedding makeup that fall.   A quick glance at the young woman’s picture and I realized she was not only beautiful, but that she also did CrossFit.  I love a good CrossFit Bride (they do call us a cult), so I immediately reached out to her.   Turns out we had recently done a charity CrossFit competition together and that her mother was one of the amazing group of women from Annapolis, who I not-so-secretly idolized, that were preparing to bike across the United States.  I so wanted to do this wedding with these awesome women!  I had another wedding that day on the Eastern Shore in St. Michaels.  But the stars aligned so that I could make it Kent Island in time to do her and her mother’s makeup.

So I set up a trial for my CrossFit bride.  We tried a couple different looks at the trial, and thought we found a winner.  I suggested that she take some pictures at her bridal shower that day and see how she felt about her makeup in photographs and after wearing it for a while.  I’d love to say it was love at first sight, but it wasn’t.   She wasn’t in love with the look.  What I have found from being in this business for a bit of time is that every bride has her “thing.”  What I mean by that is that us women are generally picky about at least one makeup item.  For me it’s eye base…and maybe eyeliner too.  For Meghan it’s concealer.  For many women it is a certain application of eye liner.  When applying makeup, if you don’t get that one item just right, we will not be comfortable in the makeup.  Well in this case, it was mascara and it just wasn’t perfect.  My CrossFit bride also wasn’t so sure about how she wanted to wear her liner.

I would never allow our bride to feel unsure going into her wedding day.  So we set up a second trial.  This time we were able to try a bunch of different looks, get the mascara perfect, and figure out what she was going to love.  This is also when I learned the amazing love story that was the backdrop of her wedding.   At 18 years old, she decided to bike 4300 miles across the United States to raise funds for young adults with cancer.  A young man who was battling brain cancer at 23 was the ride director.  He had temporarily lost his ability to drive as a result of his surgery and taken to riding his bike to cope.  They began training together, riding their bikes 60 to 120 miles together a day and grew closer.  On a training ride to Ocean City, they shared their first kiss and the rest is history.  They road their bikes across the US together and fell deeper in love.  It did not take long for them to get engaged and now they were excited to get married and start the next chapter of their lives together.

As a makeup artist, I am get choked up when I hear stories like this.  In fact, I am again choked up writing this blog about it.  I am beyond honored that I get to be play a small part of such an amazing love story.  This story is obviously incredible and unique.  But, every bride we work with has a love story.  Every bride has first kiss, a moment when she knew he was the one, the feeling of him asking her to spend the rest of her life with him.  I love that I get to help each and every bride feel beautiful the day that they memorialize their love story and make their dreams come true.

If you’d like to read more details about this love story go to