Considering the only makeup trick I've ever mastered is a basic cat eye, makeup artists are my version of magicians. I'm all ears when it comes to their tips and insight and today I feel extra lucky; we have Danielle West, owner of All Dolled Up Makeup & Hair Studio sharing her favorite forms of inspiration and advice for finding the artist that'll be the best fit for your wedding day. So Danielle, spill those secrets!
1. How did you get into makeup artistry?
I was always interested in art and makeup design from an early age. I would dig into my Mom's makeup bag and experiment with different products. I looked pretty ridiculous most of the time, but it was obvious I had a love of creating. In University I loved helping friends get ready on Halloween and I was always known for creating dramatic eye makeup on nights out. When I graduated, everyone encouraged me to go to makeup school instead of pursuing teaching, so I did, and 13 years later I’m doing what I’m most passionate about.
2. What's your personal motto, or a phrase that inspires you creatively?
Marc Jacobs was quoted in saying “I always find beauty in the things that are odd and imperfect - they are much more interesting.” This has always resonated with me because I have always approached makeup artistry this way. My clients are all different and unique in their own right, why would I apply the exact same makeup and style for everyone when I can customize each client’s look based on what features make them unique.
3. Can you describe your aesthetic in three words?
Ethereal, romantic, flawless
4. What are three things you can't live without?
I feel like there are definitely more than three things that I can’t live without, but related to my industry, I’d have to say...my Anastasia Brow Pencil. I have been filling in and changing the style/shape of my brows since I was at least 12. I’m completely obsessed with brows and would never part with my brow pencil. Next: my Beauty Blender. This little pink egg-shaped sponge changed the way I applied foundation on my clients and helps to create that perfect dewy bridal glow that I am known for. And lastly, my Moroccan Oil Hairspray. This is another product that all my clients comment on because not only does it have the most amazing smell, but it creates the most perfect touchable hold that doesn’t weigh my curls down or feel hard or sticky to touch. I pride myself on creating soft, textured romantic updo’s and this hairspray holds my updo’s perfectly in place without taking away from the softness of the style.
5. Where do you find inspiration?
I can find inspiration everywhere: magazines, runway, fashion, film… at the moment I find most of my inspiration from other makeup artists in the industry though. We are so lucky to live in a world where we can easily share our skills via the internet. I love watching other artists create different looks that I wouldn’t have thought to try. It inspires me to constantly improve and challenge myself and gets me excited to try new looks.
6. What's your favorite social media platform?
Instagram is the most perfect platform for makeup artists. It’s the fastest and easiest way for me to show my most recent bridal work to such a wide audience that would likely never see my work otherwise.
7. What is a beauty detail that often gets overlooked, that you wish got more attention in the planning process?
Skin definitely gets overlooked the most. When I have a consultation with a bride-to-be it’s the first question I ask, “What is your skincare regime?” Most clients don’t have one and it’s shocking because your skin is your canvas. A flawless base completes the look and complements the rest of the makeup. I always send my clients a full wedding day preparation guide to start them on a good skincare routine at least six months before their wedding day.
8. What do you think is the most important question a client can ask, when deciding who to hire for their wedding's makeup artist?
I think it’s important to understand a makeup artist’s style. We have a more naturally glamorous bridal style. Our clients have been quoted saying they felt like a more perfected version of themselves, we don’t overly contour or change a person’s appearance drastically, but some clients want that, and there are definitely other artists that can create that look for you; it’s important to find someone that truly understands the style and look you are hoping for.
9. What's been your proudest professional accomplishment as a makeup artist?
One of my proudest moments in my career happened recently. I had a bride that had severe Alopecia, a condition that causes all the hair on your body to fall out. She was consumed with stress about not having enough hair to create the style she had always dreamed of, and just wanted to feel comfortable walking down the aisle. She had also lost all the hair on her brows and her eyelashes. We worked together to find the perfect extensions to attach to her remaining hair. This gave her the fullness and length she needed while still maintaining a natural appearance. Very fine strokes with a pencil created realistic looking brows and 100% Mink Lashes gave her a naturally glamorous look that had her in tears when she saw herself.
Makeup doesn’t always have to be superficial. It can be uplifting and empowering and seeing that realization in my client definitely reminded me why I love doing what I do.
10. When you're not working, what do you like to do for fun?
Right now fun to me is a lot different than what it was a year ago. I recently had a baby girl who is about to turn one. Nothing is more fun than playing with her and just being silly together. I can’t wait for the day that she can play around with makeup with me. Even now she sits on the counter watching me apply makeup and do hair. She loves playing with all the products and thinks it hilarious when I fluff my powder brush onto her little nose. That to me is fun right now.