Vendor Spotlight | Sara Lovell | Rochester NY Hairstylist & Makeup Artist

I’ve been feeling really guilty about slacking on the blog over the winter, but it’s been so fantastic to be able to spend time with family and friends. We’ve been keeping busy with shooting chilly engagement sessions, killer band shows, meeting with our 2011 & 2012 wedding clients, designing one-of-a-kind albums for our fabulous 2010 couples, taking relaxing winter camping trips, and so much more. No worries, there are plenty of beautiful weddings and fun engagement sessions to feature this Spring, Summer and Fall – we can’t wait!

In light of updating the blog more often we are bringing back the ‘Vendor Spotlight’. We plan to highlight some of the talented wedding professionals that we are lucky to work with in hopes of helping out anyone that is planning their wedding. By the way, let me know if there are other vendor categories that you’d like us to feature. We only interview people/companies that we know and trust.

Our interview today is with Sara Lovell, a hairstylist and makeup artist based in Rochester, NY. We love working with professional makeup artists, especially for weddings and even for our engagement and portrait sessions. Simply put, Sara is the best! She is insanely talented, extremely friendly and easy going. I know it can feel like your wedding budget is spiraling out of control but believe me, having professional make-up on your wedding day is worth every single penny. You’ll look, and most importantly, feel beautiful 🙂

Here are some Q&As from our interview:

Melissa :: Tell us a little bit about yourself & how you got started as a MUA/hairstylist.

Sara Lovell :: I had my mind made up early as a kid; I wanted to be a hairstylist and makeup artist, a sculptor, or a singer/songwriter/guitarist. My parents convinced me to pursue to most lucrative and practical option, so once I graduated from high school, I visited a local beauty school, hoping to sign up for a special effects makeup artist course, which I thought would be a perfect fit for my interests and artistic skills. The registrar explained to me that there isn’t much of a demand for special effects makeup artists locally and that even a full-time beauty makeup artist job is hard to come by. She suggested that I enroll in the Cosmetology course, which included hairdressing and makeup artistry among other subjects. That way I could be fully licensed to do both, start off as a full time hairdresser and do makeup artistry on the side. I did just that… and now I am almost equally as busy doing makeup as I am doing hair, which I am very happy about.

M :: Where do you find your inspiration & stay current?

SL :: Many people notice the obvious things that inspire me: Horror movies, 50’s pinup, old Hollywood glamour, and “out-there” music stars like Lady Gaga, Bjork , Marilyn Manson and David Bowie. I will find inspiration in some of the most random things that most people would find mundane, like textures and colors of food, veins and colors of leaves, the way flowers wilt or how water flows. I’m always starting at things, studying them… it can be very distracting. What keeps me focused is being around other artists, of any art form. I can always learn from another artist and I never feel like I can learn enough. I love watching other artists, attending classes… I pretty much follow anything they do. It keeps me on my toes and helps me work cohesively when I collaborate with others, which is a huge part of this career.

M :: What’s one product that you can’t live without?

SL :: Tough decision, but I’d have to say Makeup Primer! I try to make it part of my daily skin care routine. Even if you don’t wear foundation, it smoothes your skin texture, fill in pores and wrinkles, and makes it look velvety. I have oily skin and totally notice a difference on days when I run out or skip it. It’s a must for any skin type if you wear makeup, it creates an even canvas, give makeup something to anchor to, and helps it last longer.

M :: Why is professional hair and makeup so important for weddings?

SL :: Most people think that the most important thing about your makeup is that it matches your skin tone and you can’t see any flaws. Sure, that’s important, but most people don’t realize how much a professional and skilled makeup application makes a difference for a special event, especially a wedding. You don’t want to look washed out and two dimensional. I know plenty of women who do a great job on their everyday makeup, but chances are it won’t be enough for your big day. Think about it: being on display usually up higher and distanced from your guests, changing into your dress, all of the different types of lighting in all of the areas you will be in, the weather and humidity, multiple flashes of harsh light from groups of guests snapping pictures at the same time, hugs and kisses from your guests… There’s a lot that your hair and makeup has to hold up to, and an experienced hair and makeup artist will anticipate how to deal with all of it. These are also things that a highly skilled photographer will know how to handle so that you look amazing in all of your shots.

M :: Do you offer consultations and how will that help?

SL :: Absolutely! I think consultations are the most important step to finding the right hair and makeup artist for your wedding, that’s why I offer them for free. It should be like you are holding an audition or job interview. Your ideal artist should be empathic, experienced, professional, versatile, reliable, and accommodating… and I am prepared to show you that. Expect to have your needs heard and explored, see current licenses, a contract, an expansive portfolio and multiple options for pricing, services, and availability. A good consultation will make you feel at ease and taken care of. Only after a thorough consultation will I offer to do trial hair and makeup applications, if the client wishes to do so.

M :: What are the most common mistakes woman make with their makeup? What is the worst thing a woman can do to her skin?

SL :: Picking the wrong shades for her skin tone. I see women all the time who are technically great at applying their makeup, but they could be working with more complimentary colors. Once I saw a woman with a beautiful olive-tone skin tone touching up her makeup with a orange-based bronzer a bright red lipstick and all I want to do is go through her makeup bag and tell her what to toss and what to keep, and what she should get instead! I offer “Makeup Bag Analysis” for just that, as well as “Hair Product collection Analysis” that you can add onto a makeup application or haircut appointment.

I think that the worst thing anyone can do to their skin is sun over-exposure, but smoking comes in at a close second for me. Both can give you pre-mature wrinkles and cancer. I don’t smoke, and I am especially concerned with sun exposure, being very fair-toned and having had more than 2 severe sun burns… now I don’t wear anything less than SPF 15 on cloudy days! With too much sun exposure, at best you will get away with a sunburn, which can still be painful and dangerous. At worst, you can get several types of skin cancer and Melanoma, I have even read studies that say it can cause immune system suppression from UV radiation! I don’t care if you tan easily, it will still do a huge amount of damage to your skin. Don’t believe me? Get a skin analysis done by an esthetician. They will put you under a special light that shows all of your skin’s flaws and sun damage. I have seen it done when I attended school and it was a big wake up call for me. While not all sun damage can be reversible, you can prevent more by using facial moisturizers , lotions and lip balms with sun protection built right in, just look for the SPF factor on the label. My favorites are Aveeno Active Naturals Ultra-calming Daily moisturizer SPF 30, Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Crème lotion SPF 50 and Blistex Raspberry Lemonade Blast lip protectant SPF 15.

M :: Any other tips?

SL :: Get professional recommendations! We all know what happens when we are left to our own devices… we end up with a bunch of products and cosmetics that go unused under the sink because we didn’t like it. Ask your hairdresser to let you try out a product on you before you decide to buy it. Skin problems? One of the best things I ever did was get a spa facial! I had a great esthetician who analyzed my skin and told me what I’m doing right, what to stop doing, and advised me what skin care products to use. I love to share what I learn with my friends and clients, and often post tips on my facebook fan page.
Become a fan to stay updated and share your own tips!

You can learn more about me and my work on my website: HAIRANDMAKEUPBYSARA.COM

Contact me via email:
Or by phone: (585) 752-2782

  1. […] and her hair & makeup work is always flawless. We’ve also picked her brain before in this interview, check it out. So, when we got to work with her recently on this stylized session with Chris and Lauren, we knew […]

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