What else is a MUST-KNOW before an artist wins your vote? Below are the top questions brides ask Colette and her expert answers.
How long in advance should I book wedding makeup services?
Many artists will tell you 6-9 months but there are always exceptions. I also do commercial and other personal client work which does sometimes change scheduling last minute, freeing up my time for a weekend. If you have a last minute emergency, even the night before your wedding, please reach out to me. I’ve rescued many brides whose artists cancelled on them even the day before. I’ve been lucky to have generous clients who were willing to reschedule their private makeup lessons. But I also have to tell you that I do book many weddings a year in advance.
Do you travel to my home or venue?
Yes, I go to homes, hotels, businesses, events…anywhere you need me to be your personal artist. My standard driving area is Toronto and GTA. For travel fees beyond, you can email me for a calculation based on a formula I’ve standardized for all clients. But I’ve driven as far as London, the Niagara area and north to Muskoka. These are my travel areas.
How long have you been doing makeup?
15 years now….that means I’ve come across every makeup situation and challenge you can throw at anyone; I don’t get rattled. I always know how to conquer it.
Is this your full-time job?
Yes. The clients who get emails from me at 3:00 am will back me up on that! Knowing this isn’t a part-time job or hobby, tells you that I devote a lot of time to staying on top of product knowledge and makeup trends, as well as website maintenance for your most up-to-date information. And it’s been a full-time profession since I started 15 years ago.
Is the trial fee part of the wedding day makeup fee?
My trials are a special pampering session that go far beyond a standard makeup appointment in time, but they cost the same as a makeup application. So they are a separate fee from your wedding day. I spend 2.5 hours with each trial, and more if needed. We review your makeup wishes, your wedding details, your concerns, have some giggles and get to the main business of beauty! You get a lengthy and perfected makeup application with all the time you need to review and change anything. I create a detailed written chart of your makeup, and take many photos to email and send you in both color and black and white. Though you’ll take a million selfies after our session, my lighting and controlled setting will match up with what your photographer will shoot. So you’ll get the best idea of exactly how you’ll look for the wedding when you get those pics in email.
Where did you get your makeup training?
I graduated from Complections International Toronto– a school that draws clients from around the world and famous for training artists who’ve worked on Oscar winning movies and styled faces in the pages of top fashion magazines around the world, including Vogue.
How do I book your services?
To set up a trial, simply email or call. You won’t have to go through any other people. You will reach me directly to set up a date or answer any questions. The phone call will last as long as you need it to. And you can email as many times are you want to get any answers you need before choosing a trial date.
To officially book my services for the wedding day, you simply email details of your name, address, phone number, location of wedding prep and number of faces and I’ll prepare a letter of agreement for you to sign and return with a deposit by regular mail or email transfer. Or you can sign the document and give the deposit on the day of your trial.
If I have to cancel, can I get my deposit back?
I”m sorry to say that I don’t return the fee. As soon as you deposit, I begin turning away other requests for that date, but I don’t want a bride to feel like she has signed her life away when she gives a deposit. So I don’t ask for 50% of the wedding day fee or even 25% for a deposit. I have a flat booking fee of $75. That is a low token amount so I know you are committed. But you won’t feel desperate if something big brings a change of plans and you need to cancel. It’s my way of giving you some peace of mind and taking all the risk myself.
My skin is sensitive. Can I use my own makeup?
As far as I know, most people have sensitive skin when it’s attacked with products that have perfumes, too many plant materials, too many preservatives and all the stuff that makes our faces misbehave. So I’ve got a great mix of products that have stood the test of time on the most finicky and delicate of all faces. I’ve never had a problem in 15 years. So best to stick with my products that I know photograph well. Many moisturizers have too many silicones which actually make airbrush foundation peel! Wouldn’t want the makeup disasters we all see online when celebs get some pretty photo-unfriendly makeovers.
How much time does makeup take on the wedding day?
1 hour for the bride, 45 minutes for every other face. That is the standard I set aside. But sometimes things happen to cause delays. I’m flexible with my schedules and don’t charge extra for delays. But it’s good to build in extra buffer for beauty in case of unexpected events.
Can you cover acne?
Even clear skinned beauties break out before weddings because of stress…top artists know how to do it all!
What kind of makeup do you use and will it be safe if I have allergies?
All my products are tested in the most extreme conditions and on the most sensitive faces who need to wear them for 12 to 16 hours…maybe for film or TV. I have dozens of brands in my kit..some you’ll know and some you’ve never heard of. To read more about what I stock in my kit, see this link.
Will you come back for touch ups?
I would come back for touch-ups if I thought you’d need them! But after I give you the only product you’ll need for touch up (lipstick), I’d rather save you money! My makeup is bulletproof. Brides have told me they’ve slept in it and worn it day 2 for their brunch! But certainly email me to talk about it if you’d like to price it out for a little different look or freshening anyway.
Do you do ethnic brides?
Ethnic makeup is a specialty for me. I’ve been a color-correcting master for the darkest skin, with it’s varying shades around the hairline, and jaw. And I’m the go-to artist for golden skin-toned beauties who are still in search of the perfect skin-matching foundation that has enough yellows…expert custom blending has been the only way to meet these special beauty needs. See article below published in Montreal beauty magazine.
My under-eye circles are really bad. Can you cover them?
I’m known for concealing with natural results. I carry specialty corrective colors to cancel common discolorations before I conceal and results are spectacular.
Can I book even if I don't know number of faces or timings yet?
Absolutely. Just book the minimum of 2 faces and you can add faces if you want later, and we can be juggling timings even up to the night before. I work with your schedule.
Do you travel for destination weddings?
Aren’t heat, humidity, and mosquitos overated? But seriously, I don’t travel outside of the province or any place that requires air-flight. I do travel to cottages, Niagara on the Lake and many places throughout Ontario. I’d love to chat with you on the phone to guide you on finding a great artist from a distance if you are going out of the country.
How many faces can you handle?
It depends on how much time you have to get ready. Brides who have hair at the same location as makeup, will have more time. Often they have time for only 4 faces, but I do, 5 or 6 myself. I can always organize another artist to meet the largest party you have.
Can you start really early? Can you do weddings on Sundays and any day of the week?
I’ve had faces in my chair as early as 4:00 am and I work all days of the week. I’ve worked Christmas Eve, New Years Eve, New Years Day…all long weekends & holidays. Whenever you need me, I’ll be there. And I don’t charge extra for early starts or holidays as many artists do.
Where are trials done?
I can come to your location in Toronto or GTA, or you can come to me at my home studio in Newmarket. If you come to me, you save $25 on a trial or makeup application. This is my home studio.
Do I have to do a trial?
No. And you can read more detail about that on my trials page at this link…
Why does a trial cost so much?
My $250 trials are the same fee as my standard makeup application fee. But at the trial you get at least another hour than other client appointments. That same fee is also the fee I charge men for makeup for photoshoots; and their makeup takes only 15 minutes. It’s my minimum booking fee for all makeup. So although it seems like a lot, your value for the time you get is better than any other client appointment. My trial page also will explain all that we do at a trial that adds value.
Do you offer any off-season discounts?
For a makeup artist who works with all different clients including commercial, and photoshoots for products, book covers, cd covers, offers private makeup lessons and more, the schedule is always busy. There really is no off- season. So all weddings are priced the same no matter what time of year they are held.
Is there minimum numbers of faces for a wedding booking?
Yes but you only have to book for 2 faces.
If I cancel some faces on the wedding day, do I still owe the amount on the contract?
Though many makeup artists do insist you pay all of the amount you signed up for, I am more than happy to adjust the contract on the spot and reduce the final payment if numbers change on the wedding day…you are only obligated to the minimum 2 face booking. So much is out of your control on wedding days that you don’t need me placing one more restriction on you. I’m there to lighten your beauty load.
Would the makeup cost less if I only want a natural look?
Many clients ask this. The short answer is no. A natural look calls for a lot of extra blending and muting of shades. It’s actually not a look that even trained makeup artists do well. Women who have had makeup done elsewhere and ask for glamour makeup don’t complain of the outcome as often as they complain of what happens when they ask for a natural look. It’s a true art that takes a lot of practice to master for a subtle and beautiful look.
Is there an extra fee for airbrush and lashes?
I don’t charge more for lashes, airbrush or a lipstick touchup kit. Many artists do though.
What do you need for set up on the wedding day?
I don’t need you to provide anything for my arrival. I bring all my own tables, extension cords, chair and lighting. I don’t even need to be put near natural lighting (window) I’m a total mobile studio.
How should I prepare for makeup on the wedding day
The night before, scrub face with loose oatmeal to scrape off any flakes. Avoid Alpha Hydroxy Acid creams the night before as they promote oil. If your lips are chapped, massage them with an old toothbrush and vaseline. On the wedding day have clean skin with no moisturizer (mine have no silicone). Though some bridesmaids will want to show up with makeup because they may be running errands before, they need to know that removing makeup when they arrive means a left over layer of makeup remover before their makeup goes on and it may not last as long. Wear clothing that is button up or zipper to easily change after you get makeup applied.
Do I have to book hair with you too?
I don’t style hair for weddings and I don’t subcontract hairstylists because I’m very fussy about steering brides to great stylists. The most talented ones usually work independently and are a separate hire. If a bride wants her own hair person, she can choose whoever she likes (salon or freelance) or go with my suggestion.
Why are your services not listed in The Knot?
The Knot and many other makeup artist directories such as Canadian Bride, charge a fee for their listings. They often introduce the list as the top artists in the business when, in fact, the list is simply those artists paying to be there. It’s not a budget-wise choice for me to purchase advertising to promote a service that is overbooked every season. I generally turn away about 75 brides per season because I can’t meet the demand.
While you were reading this page, other brides were already talking to Colette. Don’t miss out! Make the call now to find out if she is open for your big day!