Sydney-based Make-up and Hair Artist Mariane Shao specialises in natural, elegant and timeless bridal make-up and hair. Being a small business owner myself who appreciate the importance of client experience and customised service, I am drawn to Mariane’s collaborative and thoughtful approach to client care.
I spoke with Mariane about her process in helping brides achieve their wedding day visions, advice for brides, and her passion in skin care.
Hi everyone, my name is Mariane and I was born in Hong Kong.
I am a makeup artist and hairstylist specialising in wedding, event & special occasion.
Mariane Makeup & Hair is a brand that provides quality service and would love to attract those who has the same beauty vision as me; To me, quality > quantity. Some makeup artist will do a 3-people bridal group just by herself in order to reduce the cost of hiring another make-up and hair artist (MUA). But for me, I will have my other makeup artist on site so that I can focus on my bride only and ensure that we don’t rush and wont get stressed out.
To me, doing makeup and hair is like painting on a canvas which is really enjoyable so I always have some relaxing music prepared for the mood. It not only soothes the bride’s nerve down, but it also create a cozy & calm environment for the bridal group. (Of course if the bridal group is more hyper, I also have a song list with more up-beat music).
Makeup isn’t just about LOOKING good — it’s also about FEELING good. We strongly believe that brides should look radiant, elegant, classy and most importantly – timeless. Also, the more comfortable the brides feel with their appearance, the more confident and stunning they will look on their wedding day. Rather than piling up layers of makeup, we aim to create looks that are natural yet elegant, so you won’t have to worry about any cakey foundation or smudging your heavy winged eyeliner. We are the makeup artist who creates ethereal and effortlessly chic looks: from natural-looking style to full-glam designs.
If you are passionate about something or having a business idea in your mind, Just do it! Don’t hesitate. I am a perfectionist but I didn’t hesitate and just start without any experience in business. It’s the passion that brings me to how I am today. Trust the process and go with your gut.
I spend 7-8 hours a day on social media about wedding, makeup and hair so I can be up-to-date with the current trend and bring the best to my client. You definitely will have hard times and struggle but you learn from these experience which you can never encounter if you work for someone.
In the past, I was working as a full time paralegal and part time makeup artist during the weekends. People might think that I worked really hard but actually I did enjoy both jobs because I loved what I was doing. In the end, I chose to stay in the wedding industry because creativity in beauty is endless. Over all these years, I have joined a lot of masterclasses from celebrities’ makeup artist; I have also travelled to Hong Kong and Taiwan to learn from other makeup and hair master. To keep learning and to stay humble are essential to me.
I am so grateful to be doing what I love and to meet a lot of friendly and lovely client. Not only you can glam up and brighten someone’s day by just doing art on their face and hair, but I also feel the joy when they looked at their transformation, refer you to their friends and families and give you wonderful feedback. The trust and confidence my client give me is the best thing ever. They believe in my instinct in beauty and let me do whatever suit them.
A bit of laugh for you:
I am a sentimental person and easily feel touched by my couples when they say their own vows and stories in the ceremony. It’s hard for me to control my happy tears so I have to look away and think of something else to distract myself.
I normally will ask them for a few things:
a) Before/ after makeup photo.
This helps me to have a better understanding of what her style is. Does she prefer natural/ heavier makeup?
b) Her wedding gown/ flower colour theme.
This can give me a better idea of what personality she has. For example, if she likes lace and peonies, she is more likely to be a feminine and romantic girl. Then I will pick some softer tone with a hint of dusty rose colour to bring out her personality.
c) Makeup & hair inspiration photo.
This helps me to determine if the look that the bride is after will suit her features or not.
I can then consult and discuss with her the best look that can bring out and enhance her features.
1. Beauty vision
Gather any makeup and hair photos that you like as an inspiration. This will give you an idea what sorts of style you are after.
2. Makeup artist research
Get some referrals from your friends and family; Look at the artist’s portfolio and see if her style is what you are looking for. Have a few MUA on hands and browse through their reviews online. Don’t only rely on the photos that the makeup artists take, most of them are edited photos and may be intensely photoshopped. (You should be able to see pores and fine lines as these are human features). Instead, look for real life photos taken by the wedding photographer.
There are many affordable makeup artists that are beyond talented (me! me ! XD). Makeup artists, Photographers and Florists are the 3 main vendors that you shouldn’t save money on. Quality is what you are after.
If you really like a certain makeup artist and he/ she is not available, keep looking and search for a similar style. Don’t randomly book a makeup artist who is available but has a different style, and then ask for a look that MUA is not good at. Every makeup artist has their key strengths. Once you have the trial and if you want something different, talk to your makeup artist instead of keeping it yourself. We are here to help and that’s what a trial is for.
Wedding is a Once in a lifetime event. Make the day memorable with all your favourite vendors and book them as soon as possible to avoid disappointment!
Yes absolutely! Trial is not only a test run to see how you look on your BIG DAY, but also to discuss and adjust to the look that you feel comfortable and happy in reality and in photos.
It will be a good time to discuss your options and to try different looks that will work for you.
You also want to be stress free on your wedding day and ensure yjay the look that you want is exactly what you are dreaming of.
I have a team of experienced makeup artists. I also provide training for them so we are on the same page on makeup and hair as the trend changes quickly. They all worked for luxury makeup brands such as Shu Uemura & Giorgio Armani for more than 5 years.
Skincare is really important because it determines how the next step of makeup application is.
If you have a good skincare as the base, makeup can be minimal to achieve the best result.
A lot of my brides don’t look after their skin well or even use the wrong products for their type of skin.
I would really love to help them out and pick the right product to achieve the best result.
During the pandemic, I took a skin specialist and facial course that is certified by ITEC, which is an internationally recognised qualification. I hope to provide skin consultation during the trial with the brides and facial service in the near future.
A lot of people missed out on exfoliating their skin. Exfoliation is crucial to remove the dead skin cells so that your skin care product can be fully absorbed into the skin. However, some people don’t need exfoliation at all (this really depends on person). I can’t explain in full here because it is a long topic about it.
So I would love to give you another great tip, this would be: EAT CLEAN!
What you eat = What you are. Try to eat clean and drink more water, avoid junk food and you will notice the difference.
Overseas weddings are my favourite! I love travelling. My latest adventure was a pre-wedding photoshoot in New Zealand. The couple flew me there and it was a wonderful experience. I have written about it in my blog, please feel free to visit my website and have a read 🙂
If you are interested in getting in touch with Mariane Shao, here are her details:
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