Featured Trial: A blushing fresh look for Sharon

I love working with Sharon! Her personality is just as kind and sweet as her smile. And I couldn’t resist admiring her baby-soft beautiful skin. Right when I saw her at the door smiling and saying “hello”, I instantly knew it would be great to work with this beautiful bride. And honestly, she’s more beautiful in person … these photos don’t do her beauty justice…

Most of the time, I know that it’s not very helpful when I ask for makeup ideas prior to trial day because realistically how can my client find photo of someone with the same facial features as herself wearing a makeup look that she loves. And it’s also very easy  for us women to get carried away with celebrities or famous singers/actresses’ makeup looks and those photos we admired were actually taken in a studio environment where the makeup doesn’t have to last all day and hours are spent in post-processing to make them look perfect. Knowing that, however I’d still ask for makeup ideas from my brides just so it would give me a general feeling about her and what she’s drawn to. But, I can easily (or easier) do without!

Below is what Sharon sent me as far as makeup & hair ideas is concerned. And she also gave me a picture of herself without makeup on.

When I saw her in person and after discussing about makeup with her, I knew the makeup look has to be softer than the photos she sent, especially not the very first photo (too dramatic). My goal, as discussed with her, was to bring out her given natural beauty, enhancing and high-lighting at the right places without altering her look. It was quite a “challenge” in a different sense for me  :)  because with Sharon’s delicate and beautiful features at hand, I knew I had to be gentle & careful with the use of colors and each brush stroke. I spent time making sure her skin is well prepped, simple with the brows, and I kept the eye makeup semi-natural, but gave her cheeks a little extra pop. That porcelain beautiful skin deserves attention and admiration! A natural rosy cheeks complete the look perfectly.

As for her hair, I gave her an updo style that was very much like how she wanted it. I normally would gear towards a more loose or softer style, but because I saw her wedding gown, I agree that a more moderately classic and structure updo like this would work best. However, I suggested Sharon to have her hair cut &  layered nicely, a few inches off will be perfect for the updo. A lot of time brides think they need to grow their hair out as long as possible for wedding day updos, but in reality, you only need your hair to be about  3-4 inches past shoulder line. If your hair is too long and thick, the updo will end up looking heavy and also takes longer to work on.

Anyhow, we got the look just the way she wanted it. Sharon was very happy  and I can’t wait to work with her again for her wedding this September!

Here are some more pretty photos from our session:


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Marian & Marco Wedding – Casa Real Winery

A unique smile! That’s the one thing that first comes to mind every time I think of Marian and I’m telling you that happy smile is contagious:)She’s so lucky to be able to smile all-the-way or even laughing hard and still look so cute … Some of us have a nice smile, but we can hardly look good when smile so big or laughing with our teeth shown (mmm… definitely not me!), but Marian does!

I’ve learned from our trial that her face actually wouldn’t fit carrying much makeup and it also wasn’t her intention either. She was opted for something natural. Some of us have a face that the more makeup you put on, the more “wow” the effect (as models, for examples)… and some of us have a face that’s of the opposite – less is more. A makeup artist’s job is to recognize that limitation and to enhance only where it’s needed. So, how to highlight Marian’s unique smile? A flawless foundation finish with just enough glow (not too shimmery and not too matte), a soft all-over lavender eyeshadow, thin liner with natural lashes and the best part was to let the hair frame her face. She looks gorgeous with that hairstyle and the two flowers completed the look with a perfect softness and elegance.

The best part about working with Marian was that she took care of me!:)She emailed me after the wedding and made sure her photographer would send some photos for my portfolio. And her photographer, Lili Durkin was amazing too. She wasn’t just giving me some photos, she gave me all the best shots from Marian’s wedding day and even created a Hair & Makeup folder separately for me.  Thank you Lili for your generosity!



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Classic elegant bride VS. Modern Blushing bride

It was a beautiful day. Leo and I had a blast with this shoot. I wanted to give Ellie, the model, 2 looks: one as an elegant bride and one a blushing sweet bride.

This shot was taken by me after makeup … hair still undone


First look: The Classic & Elegant Bride

All hair accessories and jewelries by Bonnie Harper, owner of One-World-Designs, which located in downtown Campbel. She has so many beautiful pieces. Come check her store out!

Photo by Leo Pham, a new talent in town:)


Second look: The Sweet and Blushing Bride

Ellie looks absolutely stunning in this hair & makeup and the beautiful hair accessory from One World Designs added extra sweetness and beauty to the hairstyle. Love love this look on her!

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Bridal Trial: A gorgeous natural glow for Carol

I’m so glad I will be the wedding makeup artist/hair stylist for this gorgeous bride Carol Le, who’s a software engineer by day, and a photographer by night/weekend. Carol seems to have it all: brain, beauty, creativity… and a stunning smile to boost.

Prior to the trial, Carol was very very good at telling me what she would want:

“For makeup, I don’t wear a whole lot of makeup on a daily basis, but I’m not the type that is scared to put a good amount of makeup on for special occasions. If I had to pick between a “natural” look or a “dramatic” look for my wedding, I prefer to be on the more natural side — however, I also don’t want it to be so natural that you can’t really tell I’m wearing any makeup. Overall, … I’d prefer a generally natural/glowing look with nudes or pink-ish hues, with just a touch of smoky-ness…”

For hair, because Carol will wear the traditional Vietnamese head-piece/hat for her “Ao dai”, therefore, the hairstyle has to be an updo that’s not too high or too low.  Here are her ideas, either clean or pin-curl style:

On the trial day, I noticed that though Carol has really nice skin (no blemishes nor big pores) however, it’s not the easiest type skin to work with. Reason is her skin is beautiful by the look, but when you feel it, it’s actually very dry, especially around the eye area. Dry skin doesn’t like to have too much foundation or concealer covering it up, and if you force it, the foundation or concealer will start to crack or sets into fine lines and exaggerating those lines 10x more later. Less is more and it’s all about hydration for her skin.  And of course, more often than not, my clients with dry skin will ask for a glow-y, dew-y look (almost always)! And vice versa, those with oily skin loves a more matte or sheer finish. We love to have what we naturally don’t  :)

So, with the mission of giving Carol a “natural/glowing look … with just a touch of smoky-ness” on the eyes, below is what we came up with. I purposely asked her to wear this dress and we did plan for a 30-40m shoot together after the hair & makeup application. Why not, right? I already knew she wouldn’t be camera shy since she’s a photographer herself  :)  And Carol helped me fixing some settings in my camera for the best result too. These gorgeous photos wouldn’t be possible without her. Thanks Carol!

I spent a good amount of time on her skin including moisturizing to airbrushing for a flawless dewy finish. I kept her brows real simple (as it’ll help making her overall look softer and more natural), I then enhanced the eyes only at the right places and stayed away from strong colors… And lastly, I finished up the look with a coral peachy pink lip color and it looks so beautiful on her. Also, I did a very quick job for this hairstyle because we actually already had a hair trial before. But to envision the whole look better and for picture purpose, we had to put the hair up again.

And here’s Carol’s photography website if you’re curious about the work behind this beautiful face: www.clickedbycarol.com

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Another love note … from Lucy L

Can’t tell you how happy I was to received such heart-warming thank-you email like this …


Lucy wrote:

Dear Aimee, 

Thank you so much for being my hair and makeup stylist for my wedding and making me look gorgeous! I got so many compliments on how great I looked. Both the hair and makeup held up well the entire day, the eye makeup didn’t even smear when I cried during the reception! You were absolutely right to bring out the eyes more. It really made a difference in the pictures. I only have a few preliminary pictures, but I’ll definitely email you the link when Carlie is ready.   
I just wanted to thank you for being so wonderful and kind. I was having so much fun that I forgot to be stressed out. I know that my bridesmaids also had a blast. They don’t usually wear makeup or get their hair done, so it was a new experience for all of them. Getting ready with my closest friends and family turned out to be one of the most cherished memories I have of my wedding day.   
I absolutely loved your work, and loved working with you. I hope we’ll get a chance to meet again, maybe not for a wedding, but other special occasions. Thank you for making my wedding day such a wonderful and memorable experience. 
Lucy got married last month, March 2013 and I was lucky to be chosen as her makeup/hair artist.  She was my first bride of this year and working with her was just so easy and so much fun. She has this happy aura about her and a calm demeanor that makes others including me, feel so at ease & comfortable around her. I told myself that Lucy does sets a lucky start for my year. Thank you Lucy! You were just amazing!!!
Lucy booked me before trial, and she had her trial only a week before the wedding due to her traveling schedule. Prior to the trial, Lucy sent me the visual clues that I needed.
Her self-applied makeup before and after (Isn’t she cute?) She actually did a before/after just for me:)
Other details: hair styles she is considering, the girls’ dress style, color theme (lavender & gray) and her & Wilmot
And here are the wedding photos she sent me so far (will update when I receive more later):
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