Artistry by Alexa // Victoria & Vancouver Island Makeup Artist
Victoria, BC and Vancouver Island Makeup Artists, serving Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands
Mobile Makeup Artistry, in studio by appointment
We met Alexa’s team at one of our Victoria, BC weddings a couple of years ago and have been in admiration of the work of this wonderful team ever since. We caught up with Alexa to chat about her work, her company’s contribution to the wedding industry on Vancouver Island and to get some expert tips to pass along to our fantastic clients in preparation for their own weddings in Victoria and beyond.
How long have you been doing makeup and what is your specialty?
I have personally been doing makeup in various capacities since 2008, so coming up on 10 years. Our team of artists range in career length of between 8 and 15+ years.
How many weddings have you worked on approximately?
I would estimate our team has been a part of roughly 650+ weddings.
What is the biggest thing your bride’s tell you once they see their final makeup?
“Wow – I still look like myself!”. Having your makeup done can be intimidating and many of our clients come to us with horror stories from their proms, previous involvement in other weddings or makeup counter applications gone wrong. I think there is a common misconception that because we are makeup artists our intention is to produce a result that is overdone. Our goal with every application is to find the balance between each clients individual comfort zone, their desire to look beautiful and polished, and the importance of being photo-ready on their wedding day. We don’t ever want our application to be someones cautionary tale. After all, the appointment is about the client, not the artist.
What is your approach to the day?
I often joke that doing wedding makeup is a very small portion of our actual duties. Of course, we are there are your makeup artists / hair stylists – but more often than not, we are also there as your confidant, your wedding morning coordinator, your advocate, your calming influence, your early morning wake up call, your wardrobe consultant, your mood lightener, and the list goes on. Our number one priority when arriving on location is to ensure the wedding morning unfolds on schedule, so getting bums in our chairs when required is a must. But once that is done, our job is to be a helpful hand to our clients and that comes in a variety of duties. Recently, our artist Amy has pulled out a sewing kit on two weddings to help brides with last minute dress malfunctions – in addition to offering her white sweater to a bride who suffered a broken zipper at the back of her dress! Most importantly, we are there to listen, to be open and honest, to offer advice when asked and to facilitate proper communication with our clients to ensure their ideal outcome is achieved.
Who would you say you attract as your most regular clientele?
We say that our favorite clients are our educated clients. I always know when a client sits down with me and sheepishly pulls out a list of pre-prepared questions regarding beauty services, that we are going to get along great. Our services and the experience we provide our clients are based on educating and preparing them. When our clients come to us, they have usually had very few experiences having their makeup done. The clients who are open with us, inquisitive and honest about what they are thinking and how they are feeling are always our favorite clients to work with. There is immense value in proper preparation and it’s one of the ways we ensure an outcome that exceeds expectation. Our ideal clients are the ones who use the resources we provide and engage themselves in the process. Also, clients who are interested in an application that brings out their favorite features, and aren’t looking to change themselves into someone else using makeup.
What are 3 beauty tips for preparing for an engagement session or wedding?
The best advice I can give anyone preparing for an engagement or wedding is to never try anything you have never done before, the week prior to the wedding. Ensure you give everything – waxes, facials, eyelash extensions, peels, a test run a few months prior to the wedding to ensure a reaction doesn’t present itself.
Secondly, lip moisturizer! Bite Beauty makes an amazing lip mask which is a great product to use leading up to the wedding day. Chapped lips are a hard concern to address on the wedding day but easily fixed with a bit of preparation.
Last but not least, consult your makeup artist regarding your skincare regime if necessary. Usually a few small changes to your routine can assist in the execution of a successful makeup look. Don’t forget the eye cream and sun screen! Questions about unfortunate tan lines are the most common “panicked” email we receive from our clients.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
I love everything about what I do! Even the challenging moments I view as an opportunity to learn and grow. There is a certain “buzz” when you’re with a group of friends and family getting ready for a wedding. The energy is immense and exciting! In the midst of a wedding morning I am often asked “do you like this job?”, I usually look around and say “There is truly nothing I would rather be doing! Look around – I get to do this multiple times a week, spend time with lovely people on an incredibly special day of their lives”. We feel proud to be a part of some of the most memorable moments in our clients lives and thank them sincerely for those opportunities.
What is something about you that would surprise your clients/or what do you like to do in your spare time that might be unique or interesting?
The biggest “wow” moment from my clients is when they find out that I did not attend a makeup school. I usually go on to tell them that 4 of our 5 team members did not go to school for makeup either. Of course, we have all fully dedicated ourselves to learning and improving our artistic abilities throughout the years and continue to grow our abilities daily, but the technical skill is only half of the necessary requirements to be successful in the wedding industry. Just like painting, practicing is important, but the ability to look at a clients features and envision their makeup is either a part of you or it isn’t. The artists on our team were specifically chosen not only because of their technical skills, but largely because of their people skills. The ladies are all open, kind, wonderful communicators without a personal agenda towards their applications and who are never easily offended. As I often say to our clients “all that matters to us is that you’re happy”.
A few additional facts about Artistry by Alexa:
Their team has won “Best Wedding Makeup” from the Vancouver Island Wedding Awards for 2014, 2015 and 2016.
As they are a large team, their specialty is work with bridal parties and families. Their average wedding booking size is 6 to 8 people for both hair and makeup services.
They offer airbrush foundation, a longer lasting, lighter feeling, more photo friendly alternative to liquid foundation
(all images courtesy of Artistry by Alexa)