Makeover: a natural glam for Katherine

Katherine is not only extremely photogenic and beautiful, she’s also born lucky because aging doesn’t really seem to apply to her … Well, at least not at the speed that most of us experience… People say that Asians tend to age a little better and a lot of time, my Asian clients do show up looking younger than their age but still in my “expected range”… However, with Katherine here, I was completely blown away.

When Katherine arrived that morning, I told her she looks so young (thinking she’s a bride-to-be who has a such baby face) … And then she came back with: “No, Aimee, we’re doing our 15-year renewal vow wedding …” I completely stopped what I was doing, and looked at her & I was thinking “What, 15yrs, so …  No way!” And before I was done with that thought, Kathy added, “And I have 3 kids already, my oldest is 14 and the youngest is 6,” smiled Katherine. Wow! Can you believe that? I think she looks 21.

Katherine said she had a church wedding back then in the Philippines, but they had it very simple, so she and her husband (who looks 10 yrs younger than his age too) had been saving up for a real wedding, or we can call it a re-vow. So, finally, this was it, a beautiful and more than perfect fifteen years renewal vow! Her oldest daughter is her maid of honor, isn’t that amazing?

And below are some photos I took with my iphone on her actual day. With my suggestion, Kathy had purchased an 18″ hair extension box for me to curl and added in for her, which helps making this hair style looks much fuller and nicer than the trial.

And some beautiful preview images from her photographer Brian MacStay

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pretty mom-to-be _ makeup for maternity shoot

Every woman knows that there’s a connection between looking good and feeling good. Doesn’t matter how old you are or what kind of work you do, married or single, pregnant or not, we women feel good when we look good. Aren’t we?  :)  And when we look good, we can’t hide that sparkle in the eyes and it just makes the world a much happier place.  And who’s to say that a pregnant woman doesn’t need to look good?

Sophia, who’s in her 32nd weeks of pregnancy, booked me for a Maternity shoot’s hair & makeup about a month before her date with photographer Leo Patrone. She wanted to look good and camera-ready for her Maternity session. Prior to the session, Sophia did send me 3 photos of her: 1 photo without makeup, 1 photo with her own makeup, and 1 smokey eyes makeup someone else had done for her (see photo below) which she liked. She told me she loves smoky eyes.

So, on the day of, she arrived at the studio and instantly I was thinking, “what a pretty mom-to-be!” I asked her what she wanted for her hair, she said “just some loose curls and all down”. So, we got started right away to not waste any time. I had to curl her hair a little tighter than I wanted, because since her shoot will be outdoor in Santa Cruz, I was worry that her fine hair will go flat in no time.

Sophia has good skin to begin with and a small face. I love how with just a little tiny bit of shaping, her face takes on definition and looking so good for the camera. She has a face that can take makeup really well. Great canvas! I love her bone structure.

Here are some very quick before/after snapshots I took of her … I have to confess that after I took these photos, I added more blush on her cheeks, because though the blush was very pretty & visible in person, it didn’t really show up in pictures. So, we did perfected the look a little bit after these few shots…

Thanks Sophia for letting me showcase your photos! I truly appreciate it!


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Makeover: a moderate glam up smoky eyes for Trish

Trish has a very cool, easy-going personality and it’s just simply fun to be around her. Love this girl!  She’s a nurse working in LA (though she was originally from the Bay Area) so she tried to squeeze in her appointments with vendors each trip back to the Bay. This time, she scheduled a trial with me plus planning an E-session after with Tyler Vu, a pretty known photographer in the area.

Trish doesn’t wear a lot of makeup daily, but she told her she wouldn’t mind wearing more for her wedding. A moderate glam-up look would be something she’s after. So, for makeup, I gave her brown smoky eyes, face contouring, thicken her brows a little to match with the rest of her features, and natural lip color for her very cute full lips. Good contouring work is key here and so for the hair.

I gave her wavy curls with lots of volume (a lot of teasing!) to frame her face. I had to do her hair a little bit more curly at the beginning because I know her fine hair wouldn’t hold curls very well and San Francisco winds will knock all those curls off in 30m. Because this was a trial so I just tried my best to work with what I have, but I told Trish we’d need hair extensions on her day-of -which she’ll provide me. With hair extensions, I will make this look many times better. She’ll rock a volumous wavy curls and all down hair style with 2 sides pin back like this to frame her face… Can’t wait until I see her again this August!

I forgot my memory card so I couldn’t use my Canon DSLR camera for Trish. Photos below were taken using my 4S iPhone:

And here are some shots Tyler took for Trish and Phoenix that day (

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Lucy & Wilmot Wedding _ Allied Arts Guild, Menlo Park

Romantic, beautiful and Intimate! This wedding was my first wedding of the year, and I’m thankful I got to work with this amazingly kind, genuine and loving couple, Lucy & Wilmot.

Lucy saw me for a trial run only a week before her wedding (click here to see our trial), and she had Wilmot came with her to my studio, and that was how I got to know them both. They are made for each other!!!

I’m so in love with her photos because Carlie Statsky, her photographer, did such a phenomenal job, telling her wedding story in such a beautiful and romantic way, and action-packed too!


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A natural youthful glow for Katerina

I can’t describe how happy I am every time I receive heartfelt thank-you note from my past brides. More than anything, I wish I did not only make my clients look good but also feel good and enjoyed their happy day to the fullest.

Katerina wrote:

“…. I loved my make up and hair and felt like a princess the whole evening! Thank you for doing such a wonderful job, Aimee! I am really happy I chose you! You worked with me despite the distance and even without a trial or a phone call and I appreciate it! You were so gentle and sweet during the sessions and made me feel so comfortable and relaxed… I really enjoyed having you as my make up artist and also for my girls and my moms! They all looked beautiful and felt amazing! Also, many thanks to Fiona for her work!:) 

As for posting my photos, please feel free to do so… You are more than welcome!”

Katerina flew in just 2 days before her wedding. Our communication was totally via email. But, she was a dream to work with, so sweet and easy-going. On the day of, she didn’t even ask for a mirror to check up on her makeup the whole time I was working on her. I think I had to force a mirror on her at one point & asked if she liked the individual lashes that I did.

Prior to the day of, Katerina sent me a picture of herself and a few hair styles that she liked, and her request for makeup was: a light airbrush tan to give the skin a little bit of color, a flawless foundation finish and an innocent/natural makeup overall. I understood her beauty reference right away. She wanted to look like herself but a sweet and enhanced version with a healthy glow. I totally agree she chose the right approach based on her features and personality.

With her big and beautiful blue eyes, I think us makeup artists would have the urge to put more on (so much room to play!)… but I didn’t. I worked with her wish in mind. I could’ve curl those lashes up higher, put a fuller/longer pair of lashes on to create a big “wow” … but I chose the brown-colored individual lashes instead, for them to blend in well with her real lashes, so in person others couldn’t even tell she had fake lashes on.

I can do glam to moderate glam to natural … and definitely I know too well that the first two styles (glam versions) will show up on pictures better and will benefit me as a makeup artist to later showcase my work. But my job wasn’t to do that. My job was to give my client the look that makes her feel beautiful and comfortable throughout the day in front of all her guests. There’s no use looking pretty in the photos after, but in person you feel like you have a mask on.

Thank you Katerina for trusting me 100% with your beauty and for allowing me to use your photos!


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