About James and FAQ’S

Thank you for taking the time out to view my website and considering me for your booking.  I designed this section in order to give you a little more insight into me and to answer some commonly asked questions.

Maybe you have never had your makeup professionally done before, perhaps you’re wondering if hiring a makeup artist is worth it.

In this section of my website I will aim to answer the questions I get asked most often but of course if you wish to know anything not covered here or to make a booking, please use my contact form and I will be happy to help.

How long have you been a makeup artist for? –

I have been a makeup artist for approaching 12 years now.  I started my career working for Versace cosmetics in Harvey Nichols Birmingham and since then I have worked for brands such as Space NK, Bobbi Brown, Ilamasqua and for the most part Estee Lauder who I worked with for almost 6 years beginning my time with them working on counter as a retail artist then progressing into a regional training and events role.

In addition to this, I have worked as the international makeup artist and Brand ambassador for a luxury makeup brand and also still maintain my position as one of the Midlands premier Bridal makeup artists. Through my network of models and photographers I still love working on editorial and commercial assignments both nationally and internationally.

Where did you train? – 

I have been self taught for the majority of my career (which is the best way to learn!) although I did receive training from the international makeup artists of the brands I have worked for.  I completed a course in theatrical, media, and special effects makeup in 2012 and am constantly researching the newest and best products and techniques to use on my clients.

What is your style of Makeup? –

I love makeup in all its forms and its powers of transformation.  To be able to make someone look and feel their most beautiful is nothing short of magical.  I think the style of makeup I am best known for and indeed enjoy doing the most is sexy and ultra feminine beauty and wedding makeup.  I feel one of my strongest skills is being able to look at a woman and knowing exactly how to enhance her to be the best version of herself.

Do you do hair as well? – 

Unfortunately not.  I am qualified up to NVQ level 3 in hairdressing however I never enjoyed doing bridal or editorial hair so did not pursue it.  I am a relentless perfectionist with my work and I know some excellent Bridal and session stylists so would much prefer to be strong at makeup and work alongside a team with a different skill set to me.  From a time point of view doing wedding hair as well as makeup isnt viable when you have a large party to get ready.

What Products do you use? – 

After trialing and testing (and spending lots of money) on products over the years, my kit consists of what I consider to be the best products on the market.  I am the first to admit I am a bit of a makeup elitist so the majority of my kit consists of Charlotte Tilbury, MAC, Bobbi Brown, and Tarte.

What areas do you cover? – 

I am based in Birmingham and cover the surrounding midlands areas including Solihull, Sutton Coldfield, Coventry, Dudley and Wolverhampton.  I am happy to travel wherever I am needed although this may incur an additional travel charge if its outside of the West Midlands.

How soon should I book in advance? –

As soon as possible ideally.  During peak wedding season April-September I often take bookings up to a year in advance for weddings especially for weekend dates.  I can sometimes fit 2 brides in on the same day depending on size of the bridal party and what time the party needs to be ready for so it is always worth enquiring but I would urge you to do so as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment.

For evening events and special occasions my weekends are usually very busy so once again, book as far in advance as possible if you have an important function coming up.

Why should I book a makeup artist?  Is it worth it? –

The answer is almost always a huge YES!

For Brides, this is going to be one of the biggest days of your life and there is little point in spending as much as you have on the venue, the dress, the photographer,  the catering and the reception if your face isnt flawless.

Believe it or not, your guests will usually forget about everything else, but they will never forget how beautiful you looked on the day.  I will make you look and feel the ultimate, most beautiful version of yourself and as you will have those photos for a long time..specifically lots of portrait ones of you and your new husband, your face needs to look not only amazing, gorgeous and sexy in the flesh but also in the images.  This is why going with a makeup artist skilled in both Bridal makeup AND photographic makeup is essential.

For special occasions, as above.  I have many regular clients who use me for all of their social engagements.  But for those clients who wish to look and feel their best for an important birthday, family gathering or work event, having me do your makeup will give you the edge to looking your most fabulous.

For Photographers.  A strong makeup artist will enhance and take your images to the next level. I will listen to your brief, research the look required, relax the model and assist with getting them into character.  A talented makeup artist will save you time in retouching your images and bring your concept to life so while some photographers may feel a makeup artist is an unnecessary expense, they are the difference between a strong image and an excellent one.

Can I use a cheaper makeup artist for the bridesmaids to keep the costs down? –

Of course!  At your own risk.

I have worked on several weddings where I have done the brides makeup as she wanted the best however the bridesmaids have sourced their own makeup artist with less experience and at lower cost.  I have to be honest this situation never ends well.

Although there are some talented less experienced makeup artists out there, in my experience the bridesmaids have been unhappy with their makeup in this situation which creates a negative atmosphere for the day and have had to correct it themselves.

From my point of view it would be unprofessional for me to correct the work of another artist as any issues with the makeup should be dealt with by them.  Also I would not be prepared to make corrections for another artist for them to be credited on social media or use the images in their portfolio.  It would amount to false  representation of their work.

I fully understand weddings are expensive and I always suggest to my bridal clients if they are not covering the full cost of the bridesmaids makeup to suggest either splitting the cost between them or asking the bridesmaids to pay for their own.  I also offer discounts for larger bridal parties on request.

The old saying of “you get what you pay for” is usually true.

Do I need a makeup trial for my wedding? –

Absolutely.  The wedding trial is for us to meet and build a relationship, I am always honoured to be part of your big day and as part of that it is important you are with a Bridal Makeup artist who understands you, makes you feel fabulous and will give you the exact look you want.

I usually do my bridal  makeup trials and special occasion bookings at House of Hair Hostess in Solihull however for group bookings I am able to come to another venue depending on your requirements.

The trial is there to establish what we are going to be doing on the day, perhaps you will be going for a stronger look or wearing colours you have never worn before.  I am there to advise and help you and to listen to what you want.  Going in blind for either of us is almost never a good idea as I may do a beautiful flawless makeup on you but if it is not what you had in mind it is not a situation we would want to be in on the day itself.

I usually suggest you have your trial when you have an event or night out to go to so you can see for yourself its staying power, the beautiful photographic effect and also that the products I use are suitable for your skin.  I have never had a client have an allergic reaction to any of the products I have used in all my years of doing makeup and after making up the faces of thousands of women but I would ideally never take the risk on the day itself.

On some very rare occasions, due to distance restrictions or for last minute brides, a trial is not always possible.  In these cases the bride has usually been referred to me on recommendation by a friend or a previous client however I would urge the bride to view my portfolio and ensure she is happy with my style of makeup and previous work and I would conduct an in depth consultation over the phone before the big day to establish the above.