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Bridal Beauty During Covid

Tips From Tara Dowburd, owner of Make-Up Therapy, and Make-up Artist, Tami Bernard.
Julianna Gaytan

We recently had a chat with two of CWD's favorite hair and makeup artists to see how they are helping brides adapt to changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Tara Dowburd, owner of Make-Up Therapy, and Make-up Artist, Tami Bernard, shared what brides can expect going into their appointments so that they can look fabulous on their big day, while also staying safe and following guidelines.

What questions are the brides continually asking you that's different due to Covid?

TB: "I am already ahead of the game, when I get an inquiry, book a client or for my current brides, I send them my “Covid-19” Safety Guidelines and Procedures, so they know I am 100% prepared for their big day or trial."

TD: "Our brides are SO incredibly thoughtful! When talking about the set up for the day of wedding, we are always asking where will they be most comfortable, and since working during Covid, they are now asking us where WE would be most comfortable. In addition, they are asking in our initial conversation about our cancellation policies, our sanitizing practices and we are spending much more time on the phone with them, to help ease their concerns and any anxiety they are feeling about all aspects regarding their wedding day. "

Has your industry been impacted? Are things starting to pick back up?

TB: "I have noticed things starting to pick up for next year, it is starting to book quickly, but we will have to make up for almost a year’s worth of no work.  Our season finished last November, so we were all anticipating an epic 2020 year starting in March, so many of us are now going on almost a year without a normal size wedding."

What surprises are happening right now that would be helpful for brides to be aware of? 

TB: "I would say to really do your homework before hiring your makeup artist, make sure they are doing everything possible to help reduce the spread.  You need to make sure they go above and beyond what they typically do, that be with sanitation or how they are changing their kit, wearing their mask. Also, you need to question deposits, returns, fees for date changes, etc.  Really read contracts and ask questions if needed.  If you have to change your date and your artist is already booked that day, ask if you can get your deposit back or at least a portion of it. Have a Plan B for that day if your main artist gets sick; find who will be your backup.  These are all important questions and conversations you need to be having with your artist.  I would honestly say, pick up the phone, speak to your artist if you haven’t had a trial or met them before. You can really tell someone’s personality over the phone. You need to know that you are hiring someone who is responsible in not only safety, but will show up and be professional on your big day."

What suggestions and direction are you giving your brides? 

TB: "To just enjoy and live in the moment. At the end of the day the outcome will be the same, they are marrying the love of their life, and of course I ALWAYS tell them even before Covid, TRUST your vendors that you have hired.  You hired them for a reason, let them do their job and truly be in the moment on their wedding day and enjoy!"

How or what are you able to do for consultations for hair/makeup right now? 

TB: "The majority of my clients are all from out of the area, so it’s pretty typical we have a phone consultation.  Trials, I am now just waiting until the week of their wedding."

TD: "We are definitely doing fewer Make-up and/or Hair Trials, the brides choice and when we are doing them, 1/2 of them are being done virtually over zoom or FaceTime. Our business is word of mouth and usually when a bride books a Trial with us, they already know that they want to book us for their wedding day, they are just doing the Trial to "figure out the look" for the wedding day ahead of time. That said, we always look at Trials as a collaborative experience and now more than ever we are having our brides send us images of beauty inspo that they love, as well as a picture of their dress. We suggest this, so we can be proactive and get excited, having a good idea of the look that we will be doing on the wedding day."

What do brides need to know that they might not think to ask, or that they might not know? 

TB: "I think the one thing to keep in mind would be space when planning services for wedding day. We are only as strong as our immune system allows us to be and we have a full season ahead of us.  We want to stay healthy for all of our brides.  I am asking all brides for a separate space or distance from the wedding party so I/we can stay distances as well as my kit.  It is a MUST that we have air conditioning, or some sort of air circulation."

TD: "Because our brides and anyone we are doing make-up for are putting masks on and off throughout the day during this time, we suggest with regards to the lips that it helps if they use a long wearing formula or stain, so that if the color fades, they will still look and feel beautiful and they won’t have to worry about the lipcolor transferring on to the mask or anywhere. Some of our favorite brands that aren’t super drying are by: Smashbox, Chanel, STILA, Revlon and Fenty Beauty."

If they are having several bridesmaids/mothers, how are you managing these sessions?

TB: "I want them to know I will handle everything.  I will provide my own tables, makeup chairs, lighting, electrical cords, makeup, UV Light Sanitizers, etc.  The only thing I need for them to do prior if to make sure I have a space in front of a window, away from the wedding party and good air circulation.  My team and I always only work on one client at a time, once I am finished and sanitized I will come out and get the next client."

TD: "We are now booking an extra 15 minutes, in-between each appointment time so that we have extra time padded in for our sanitizing/disinfecting and if we need to step away for a moment to take our mask off and wash hands before starting with each person. Also, if the client prefers, we are booking each of our Make-up Artists and Hairstylists to take care of more people on a booking- up to 6 people, so it allows for less bodies to have to be in the room. It lends for an earlier start time, but we are happy to accommodate, if it gives our client peace of mind."

How are you creating a safe enviornment? Is hair/makeup happening outdoors, with doors/windows open, only 1 person in a room, etc? 

TB: "I just want to start off by saying I am doing a lot more prep behind the scenes.  Prior to an event or appointment, I prepackage all of their own brushes, I prepackage all of their own disposables, eyelash curler, pencil sharpener, etc.  After each client all their brushes are put in a “dirty brush bag”, almost everything is removed from the table.  What is left on the table is sanitized, including the chair.  One person at a time, must have air conditioning/air circulation."

TD: "We haven’t been doing our beauty services outside. For each booking we have put it out there as an option, however with the heat it’s not as comfortable for the client, i.e. if they are sweating while having their make-up done, the make-up won’t adhere and blend as well on the skin and the hair can get wet from sweat or get extra frizzy, before the hairstylist finish/set the hairstyle to stay. We have also been working in rooms with doors and windows open. If the room allows at least 7-8 feet of separation for each work station, we have been working in one room, otherwise, we have been setting up in separate rooms. We have been booking make-up and hair services to be done separately and not them doing make-up and hair simultaneously on one client."

Do you need more time so should brides be planning hair/makeup taking longer?

TB: "Absolutely!  I provide all of my brides with a timeline for both hair and makeup, I add in an additional 15 minutes after every client that sits in my (or my teams chair).  Everything takes just a little bit longer and its much easier to give a little buffer time the so the wedding party is ready by the time the photographer arrives. Plan for the unexpected!"

Are there specific safety recommendations you have? 

TB: "Yes, I actually think the bride/groom should be protecting themselves. For the safety of their guests, family, wedding party, vendors, etc., I think they should have their wedding party get a Covid test a few days prior to the wedding. If any of their wedding party is traveling in on a plane, they should be tested prior to arrival and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to temperature check before rehearsal dinner. I think bottom line for me is that I just want my brides to know that I will bend over backwards for her and her bridal party. I will do my very best to keep everyone safe on my end, and that it is still going to be an amazing experience.  We might look a little different, but the service is still there."

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