Wedding Hair and Makeup 101 for Brides: Interview with XO Beauty Co


guys I'm Kevin Elizabeth wedding

photographer based in San Diego and

today I have an exciting guest here

named Alexis who is a fantastic hair and

makeup artist here in San Diego hi I'm

Alexis I have XO Beauty company and

we're located in Diego we specialize an

event hair and makeup and Bridal hair

and makeup and we just any event really

yeah so I've worked with Alexis a lot on

some really fun projects and I thought

it would be really fun to have her come

here today to answer some questions I

have all about hair and makeup so if you

brides are wondering about the ins and

outs of the beauty process Alexis is

going to share her wonderful advice so

the first question I have is when should

a bride book you like what's your ideal

point and when is it sort of like

getting too late and they need to hurry

up yeah I think that sometimes we get

really forgotten then in the event

industry and we're kind of a really

important vendor yeah pinion because

it's the way you look and we are

actually the first person that starts

from day off so like in that those kind

of things were really a big deal yeah so

I would say six months is ideal and you

would want to do your trial probably a

month or two before the event okay yeah

perfect so like what's gonna happen if a

bride comes to you a month out like

you're probably not gonna be booked but

if you you know weren't booked like how

much more stressful is that gonna be for

them having done it so last-minute yeah

I just think that you risk not having

somebody available that's good and if

you're if you're decent you're gonna be

booked you're gonna be booking six to a

year yeah but oh okay gotcha so they're

just gonna be taken up completely so dad

way too long make sure you guys are

doing this

I booked mine really early in the

process because it is such an important

saying you know it's the way you look in

pictures so I would say like don't skimp

yeah I would spend more to make sure

that I looked as good as I wanted to

look because if you don't like the way

you look in your pictures you're never

gonna want to look at them and the

photos are all you have after the

wedding day and don't you think like

photography makeup is so different than

just everyday makeup

absolutely I always tell my brides you

need to have a little bit more on you

need to do things a little bit

differently to get it to show up on

camera and lasts all day a lot of my

brides are like oh my god like it's so

much more than I would normally wear I'm

like it's fine it'll look normal on

camera so like in person it might be a

little intense but they've done it in a

way so that it won't get lost in your

pictures exactly and I think also just

feeling like the balance between it

looks good to you in person natural and

effortless yeah but also it's we know

it's gonna show up and if other exactly

so it's kind of like your everyday

version but just amplified yes I would

say is the way to go about yeah I agree

yeah and like I'm not afraid of a lot of

the makeup at all so I'm not one of

those Brides he's like I look like me

I'm like I just felt really amazing like

you can make me look ten times better

than normal but a lot of brides want

more closer to their everyday just more

alone event style yes and we do say come

to your trials with your everyday makeup

on that's one of the tricks that we tell

people so that we can get a really good

gauge of what is the natural feel for

you and then we will build off of that

but still keeping in mind what's gonna

look at in a photo yeah that's awesome

and so when it comes to the booking

process I encourage my brides to choose

a team that does hair and makeup instead

of splitting it up is that your

preference and what is it like if

somebody books you for only makeup and

then there's some other company for hair

how does that play out well we've gotten

to the point for a number of reasons

that we just kind of have an exclusivity

clause okay where we don't in rare

occasions we don't like to have a

different team on yeah and that's up for

number one timing the timings huge if we

are depending on other people to

coordinate timing we can't guarantee it

with our timing we have it down to a

science and we can literally say this is

the start time this is the end time and

we can guarantee it and that's me

anything that's as you know as a

photographer you want like you want a

really great artist who's gonna make you

look right but also keeps in mind that

the timelines huge and if we'd start the

day off late the whole day is set off

late and God the amount of times that I

work mostly in

experience teams or separate teams who

clearly did not communicate and have

made the day start 3040 minutes late we

lose out on pictures from that you know

and sometimes the hair makeup artist

doesn't care because it doesn't affect

them but the bride is the one who loses

she loses maybe the first look portraits

and you have two seconds to get it done

and then it's your ceremony and maybe we

can't make up that time so I think

that's a great point that you know your

timing can be a lot more set in stone

and a lot predictable when you're

working with the same team that you're

familiar with yeah and then to jump off

of that it's also just like quality

control mm-hmm I do feel like there's so

many different techniques in so many

different ways that people can do hair

makeup and you want to try to find

somebody who has the same kind of style

with with their hair yeah yeah that's so

true I love that you like when brides

kind of come to the trial with a little

bit of makeup already and maybe their

everyday look do you like when they also

come in with inspiration images like

what what would be great for them to

show you for sure I think that doing

your homework prior to the trial is

gonna do so many things for you what is

it's gonna make your child the most

effective and you're not going to be

sitting there scrolling through up at

the trial trying to figure out your look

I do tell my brides to look at things

like for makeup what color palette do

you like what kind of style shadow do

you like do you like it to be do you

like a smoky eye so I actually send out

a questionnaire from all my brides to

kind of pinpoint some questions they can

think about okay um you know do you like

liner do you like your eyebrows done how

much and so that they can start to think

about those little things that make such

a difference yeah same with hair like do

you like more of a romantic style and I

asked every single time the first thing

I asked was let's do the dress because I

think a lot of times especially for

someone who's never been married before

we'd see Brides all the time yeah but

for them they could think they're having

a really romantic dress but they're

really actually in a contemporary dress

right so the style is gonna really reef

reflected on the dress yeah and so you

don't want like a really bohemian

braided look and you have a really lacy

classic dress yeah so that's kind of

what we him

at the trial and we send the question at

prayer to the event so that you can kind

of think about those things yeah I think

that's good because I've kind of also

seen where you know the bride was like

oh I'm gonna wear my hair up but then I

see her dress and I'm like she should

really wear it down or vice versa like

wear it up because it's got this

intricate back yeah I'm gonna cover so

these are the kinds of things that yeah

great hair and makeup artists today oh I

think with this dress it would look

better to do this yeah and I think that

education is really important it's huge

you know they might not realize that and

then they're like oh you're so right

it's so much better well and if you pick

a really good vendor who's you know this

is what we do every day right so we I

mean I I didn't really think about that

when I was a bride like my you're a

first-time bride so everything's new to

you but when you're in the industry and

you see it all the time

rely on your your vendors to really

guide you because we're there to help

exactly yeah I just did a video about

this that I'll link above about like

don't micromanage and make sure that you

trust your vendors because they know

what they're doing because they've done

it you know maybe even hundred plus

times yeah and the way it has done it

like you know probably no time so it's

nice to hire people that you trust in

the first place and then listen to their

advice and their suggestions yeah I

think that's such a key component and so

this next one is something that I am

super passionate about and I want to get

your opinion I prefer when Brides don't

have spray tans because I think natural

skin tones photograph the best but I

wanted to see your opinion on how spray

tans affect the makeup application or

how it wears or if it has any impact

whatsoever it can I mean I don't think

it's like detrimental at times I think

that prepping for your spray tan and

when you get your spray tan makes the

biggest difference okay um you know if

you do it like two days before so you've

had time for it to set in and maybe just

kind of wear off a little bit and not so

bright and if you have dry your skin

you've got to take into consideration

things to prep before your spray tan so

that your it doesn't show up in like

trusty way that would be mean you've got

very dry skin until you and

I think don't try anything new hmm

right before you wedding you want to you

want to try it out months in advance and

see how your skin does and find the

perfect solution for your skin for your

body for your everything yeah I think

that's so true I say that all the time

don't do anything crazy that you've

never done right before your wedding

this don't get some new kind of facial

three days out thinking you'll be okay

and then all of a sudden you're broken

out all right

something kind of so yeah testing it is

really good spray tan helps a glow

though for the makeup okay it does it

does look great if it's done correctly

right I know yeah I think this is ready

part two is I have seen a couple of

spray tans in my life that actually

looked really natural and weren't bad

and a key component of that was that

they did not go too dark yes I think

going too dark no matter whether the

tone of the spray tan is good or bad is

never a good idea because your groom

looks like a dead person next to you

when you were and you're not normally

like that yeah and so that's something

that's keep in mind I have seen a few

good spray tans they're usually almost

always on the more mild side yeah so

it's just a touch and it's not you know

the glowing exactly yeah versus a tan

yeah it's not you haven't been like

painted completely love that okay so we

kind of talked about not doing new

things right before the wedding but what

are some major like no nose do not do

this like at all to your hair or your

face leading up to the wedding well yeah

so I would say like going on to what

we're just saying don't try anything new

subways do you want to really vet each

service each thing so like lash

extensions I recommend those a month out

okay and you really want to see if

you're allergic if your eyes are

sensitive to them and then it gives you

an opportunity like two weeks out to

just gonna fill and have a couple of

times where you've done it yeah yeah

don't do any major facials that you've

never done and I think facials should

probably start like six months out don't

really give yourself time to like

correct anything that you want to

correct I think another one is just to

make sure you are drinking a lot of

water yes

first skin I think what's crazy is if

you just drink the right amount of water

per day the way that your skin looks and

that doesn't cost any money right that's

right when you're getting down to

wedding planning it's like anything that

matters yeah that's the biggest thing

you could do so more than anything just

stay away from really salty foods don't

do anything brand new that you've never

done your skin or hair and hair you want

to like highlight maybe two weeks out

you don't want to be like I think it's

almost better to have a little bit

LibDem yeah and no heavy conditioners

right before the wedding interesting

yeah and on the note of lash extensions

it's something that I've always been

intrigued by but I'm the kind of person

where I hate like repeat appointments

just rest of my life so I haven't done

them for that reason but would use like

just for my own curiosity if somebody

has lash extensions are you going to add

in any extra lashes on the wedding day

and then can it stand on its own it can

stand on its own honestly those are like

I think for a makeup application that's

one of the best things you can do okay

and first a couple reasons one is if you

cry at all you don't have the risk of it

ever lash falling off which is huge

another reason is it gives you a really

big density at your lash line which I

sometimes for people who want to go more

natural it you know would almost get

away with no liner and it makes you kind

of already have that like enhanced sure

but then for the people who really want

to get glam you could add a few more on

top of that and then also a dramatic

liner and okay you have even more of a

WOW factor so it kind of for my brides I

will I tell them all the time like I

don't do them but yeah I can refer you

out and I honestly think that's the best

thing you can do um and if you're going

on a honeymoon the nice thing is even if

you don't keep it up you'll have them

for your honeymoon for two weeks so yes

it's just like a nice you know when you

get to do this besides your wedding day

treat yeah you know I I have not done

them for the wedding day itself I feel

like I've thought about this a thousand

times but I thought it would be kind of

nice to have them for the honeymoon yeah

so I don't have to worry about mascara

and we're having portraits taken then I

don't have to worry about like trying to

put on lashes and take the air

I will say I'm scared of for four years

and they do your lashes grow back I mean

I will be the first to say I don't have

them on right now but I just don't I'm a

mom now so that's probably why but I

just think that they're they get really

addicting because you wake up and you

just already I felt like I wore less

makeup honestly with it because you look

enhanced naturally yeah so that's cool I

love that maybe I'll have to give it a

try this next question is one I see

people ask all the time and usually

they're kind of complaining about it or

they're just like why do i why why is it

that a bride's makeup is going to cost

more than like a bridesmaid or why does

wedding makeup cost more than like yeah

whatever else makeup definitely I think

that and this is a question I get all

the time and for number one reason is

the bride we spend a lot more time and

no longer detail and a lot more steps

okay so you're gonna get with the

bride's I mean you're not gonna get


I would say like Cersei it's just you're

not going to get the entire like kitten

caboodle you get way more time spent and

detail so I think those are the two

things that make it unmark sense of

service you bent here in makeup it's not

Bridal hair makeup Bridal and is it's

also an emotional day yeah and you have

to think about that you're prepping for

all these different factors they're

gonna have your makeup look the best the

most natural and last the longest right

so you're the detail that we spend is

what gives you that price right and so

what are some of like the little steps

for makeup itself that you might do for

a bride that you wouldn't do to somebody

just you know going out to a fancy event

for like three hours a night yeah maybe

you would do a little bit more highlight

contour I'm gonna do a little bit more

of the baking which is like a studying

process you would do a little bit more

like lip preparation knowing they're

gonna kiss the bride mark yeah kiss the

bride oh my god

kiss your significant other and and then

the last shop location is usually

included in that price too okay

fantastic and yeah I would think too

with a bride you're working with under

so much longer your sin

out that question area you're taking the

time to read that questionnaire look

through their inspiration whereas

somebody like a bridesmaid you're not

doing that like it's kind of a holiday

like here's what I'm thinking whatever I

think that does that's the day of what

we were talking about but yeah the

behind the scenes is another part of the

factor of the price to begin we are yeah

kind of for six months if you booked at

the right time we are walking through

that process with you time lined phone

calls emails and there's a vent hair and

makeup you're gonna show up yeah you're

gonna get oh I have a black dress and

shirt OPI and that's it you know yeah in

a communication for six months and

somebody exactly yeah so it's you know

not just extra makeup things it's also

your time and our time is valuable so if

we're spending several extra hours on a

client compensated and I think the same

way for if I'm doing event photography

that's not a wedding it's so much more

simple there's way less going on you

know there's so fewer components that I

have to worry about getting and I'm not

spending 40 plus hours with them total

and maybe spending like 10 plus hours

with them total so the pricing is going

to be different for that total so it's a

lot of time base you know and I think

that that's a luxury service you know if

you want to be the bride who just like

shows up on the day of and is like

here's a picture do it like you know

that's probably gonna be a completely

different outlook and outcome than the

bride who wants that service yeah it's

to really prepare and look her best in

her photos and I would say like even

with a trial I have had people be like

that on the day I'm like I don't really

care this is but I've almost tied back

and forth for a while whether or not

like it should be guarantee you have to

do a trial because yeah it's such an

important day and something you just

don't want to be fussing with because

ultimately you want to enjoy yourself on

that day yeah and it's about having fun

and you know girlfriends and were the

first people to be with you and your

wedding day to set the tone yeah and you

really just wanna like sip mimosas and

yeah or whatever and enjoy yourself and

not worry about like oh do I like my

eyebrows or yeah exactly that kind of

thing I feel the same way about

engagement sessions

that's our trial make sure I tell them

you know you have a rehearsal for your


the trial is for your makeup that's like

its rehearsal the engagement session is

like rehearsing for the you know wedding

day only when I have a couple who did

not do an engagement session with me it

is different

I still do great work but there is a

different dynamic they aren't as

immediately comfortable with me I don't

know them as well so I don't know that

the groom does this funny thing with his

foot when he poses and right you know

I'm there's all these only work out the

kinks exactly yeah so that's kind of

like your trial run and it's where we

learn about them you learn about how

their skin performs and all these things

and so you know on the wedding day you

might have to adjust because of this

person's X Y & Z yeah they get a chance

to wear it and go live their life and

then they can come report back and say

hey you know I worked for three hours

and I noticed that my skin kind of was a

little bit oily or what vented then we

can adjust it and you don't have to

worry on the day of exactly that's

definitely really nice so my last

question for you is what are some of

your top tips you know we've talked

about drinking a lot of water not doing

anything new what are some of the top

tips that you would say brides should be

doing maybe the week before the wedding

or even the day before to ensure that

they get the best product well it's just

so funny because it's really about like

it's simple yeah water

beauty beauty rest yeah there is

something about that yeah and not too

salty of foods because that really will

make you a little more she's yelling and


bloated and I think those three things

if you just did that it's huge right

yeah also sometimes we have people who

break out and I think is one of the

things that Brides trying to do is I'm

gonna correct this and they they start

to go extra on their skin or trying to

pump this or yeah that and I think that

sometimes less is more because if it's

really attacked in the way that's like

not good that you're left like having to

cover up more of a scar or like you know

and even if your skin breaks out just

maybe a mask or like like something like

that one of the weirdest kind of

solutions I say is just take toothpastes

you give is it put a toothpaste on it

like it's weird I don't know how it

works yeah it does so just kind of take

it easy even if your skin has a wing

freaks out okay

so say like the morning of the wedding

because this is something I was thinking

about and a bride has a blemish that's

like raised and investable would you

rather her just leave it alone and you

kind of cover up the coloring there's a

little bit of a bump but the color is

gone or would you rather her squeeze it

and it's flattened but you might have

irritation what I think leave it because

if you have an opened pore that can you

know I hate to say Oh or yeah we're get

then you know that doesn't tend a

cover-up is easy right yeah bum yes it's

a bump but you're having a month either

away cuz in a day it's probably not

gonna go away and in that case it's

better to have it not having other

issues the more you mess with it there

are things that you're gonna have to

start to deal with yeah less of them are

true I know it can be so tempting but

it's definitely gonna be so much better

if you just leave it alone

yes let your makeup artist work with it

and then I know at least for me if I

have a close-up photo of my couple and I

see a blemish

I'll retouch that up technically it's

not in my contract but of those tight

photos I want them to like that yeah so

I am gonna retouch that if somebody has

really heavy acne that's another story

but if you just have a little breakout

or two you know that's not a really hard

thing to fix I'm gonna fix that for my

couples on those tight shots and just

kind of help them out so between your

hair and makeup artist and your

photographer you should be good to go

you think you have some little mishaps

yeah and I mean I'm sure if they called

you and said hey this is something that

really bugs me yeah you can yeah why

don't you do exactly it's nice to know

these things I think if that's all the

questions that I have thank you so much

for coming on today I hope that all of

you out there found this helpful

I will link all of Alexis's social media

and website down below see you guys next

time I