Meet Claire from Bella Make-Up
Claire Shehu didn’t become a professional make-up artist until her late 20’s, however she has always applied makeup for friends and family over the years. When she first ventured into the business she had no qualifications and taught herself through YouTube videos and practicing on friends. She brought herself a professional kit and built up a portfolio of pictures. “Looking back, I’ve come a long way since then, I now have an NVQ and relevant qualifications, but I do believe that the most important things are to be artistic naturally and to have experience.”
Obsessed with everything about make-up, Claire loves her profession. “I love everything from browsing through gorgeous products to testing and trying out new looks, with bridal make-up I get to do all these things and be part of the wedding morning.” Her favourite make-up style for a bride-to-be is a soft and romantic style focusing on the eyes. She loves the full and natural looking brows, fine liner, lots of lashes, dewy skin and a flush of colour to the cheeks and rose pink lips.
“Being part of the bridal group and getting ready for a wedding is always so much fun.” Claire adores the atmosphere in the morning and loves how personal it is. “By this time, you feel like you know the bride and play a part in the morning by ensuring it runs smoothly.” She feels that having a make-up artist on your big day can make a huge difference because their experienced in the make-up application, making it last, what is best for photography and timings for the group to ensure everyone is ready in time for the wedding. “It really helps the wedding morning run smoothly leaving the bridal party more time to enjoy it as part of their day.”
In 2016, Claire reflects on some of the most popular bride-to-be makeup trends being fuller brows, natural lips, gel liner and contouring. She remembers a lot of brides being influenced from Instagram which she says can be a good and bad thing. “It’s good as there are lots of lovely looks to choose from but also bad because some images have heavily applied make-up, might be photoshopped or filtered and therefore impossible to replicate without being too full on.”
For 2017, Claire believes its headed towards a more natural make-up bridal trend and playing up the best features. No more block brows, keeping contouring and highlighting light on the application and instead using light reflective products on the contours of the skin. “Less is definitely more but still worth having done professionally as it is actually harder to achieve.” Claire refers to Lisa Eldridge, a professional make-up artist that works with the stars, who advises a great tip for skin coverage – that is if you have any areas of concern you don’t need heavy coverage all over. You can use the light coverage foundations and just layer in the areas needed or apply a heavy coverage product just where needed. “Having blemished skin myself I’ve tried this and it works a treat.”
She advises new brides-to-be to ensure they have a good base for a make-up artist to work with on the big day as it can make or break a look. “This starts with a good diet and plenty of water. Exfoliate at least once a week and always wash make-up off before bed.” From her experience, blemishes are not such a problem contrary to belief, but she says that dull and lifeless skin shows.
[Interviewed and written by Maise Hunns as part of her Journalism Work Experience with Summer Love Photography]