An interview with | Rochelle O’Brien Make-Up
On McDonalds’ breakfasts, a Groom in boxer shorts and Kate Middleton
Rochelle has done the make-up for quite a few of my Brides and I’ve always been impressed with her work. Not least because she takes great care getting the base and foundation right. We often have to cheat things in photoshop to get skin looking flawless and radiant but Rochelle will make you look good in real life as well as in your photos! She’s super lovely too, calm and relaxed, and will fit right in. Just what you need on a hectic wedding morning!
How did you become a wedding make-up artist?
Completely by accident really. I was on maternity leave and knew I wasn’t going back to my job with a London law firm. Out for dinner with a friend one evening, she suggested I look into becoming a makeup artist as I was good at doing my own makeup. Three months later I had a website, a kit and my first client.
What’s a typical wedding day like for you?
A very early start, McDonalds’ breakfast, lots of driving, a busy morning with the bride and wedding party, more driving, more junk food and then relax with the family.
How does the ‘design’ process work?
I’m pretty easy going with the design process and tend to let the bride guide me as to the look she wants. I will suggest things I think will bring out her best features and the right products to use which will be camera friendly. I take pictures in different lighting to make sure it will look good in different situations during the day. I keep a record of what I used to create the look so that it’s easy to refer back to.
What do you love most about doing wedding make-up?
I always say that the best thing about this job is the people. While it’s great to play around with makeup, every wedding brings new people to meet and everyone has a story to tell.
What’s the hardest thing about being a wedding make-up artist?
Remaining calm in stressful situations when all around you is chaos. Also, learning not to take things personally when it comes to what your client does and doesn’t like. I think I’ve just about got it down now after ten years!
What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you on a wedding day?
Two things spring to mind. The first was when I arrived at the bride’s house on her wedding morning to do her makeup and the groom answered the door in his boxers. She had forgotten to tell me that she was now getting ready at her mum’s house on the other side of London, an hour’s drive away!
The second thing is the time I arrived at a wedding to find I had forgotten to bring my brushes. I will point out that this was when I first started out (I keep a backup set in my car now) and thankfully, a couple of those disposable shadow applicators and my fingers saved the day!
Is there a wedding you’ve worked on that really sticks out in your mind?
Yes, the first wedding I ever did. The bride’s father had terminal cancer and while I was getting the bride ready, you could hear her father on the phone to his doctor saying that he didn’t want any further treatment. I will never forget the look on his face when he helped his daughter into the wedding car.
Whose wedding make-up would you like to do, past or present
That would be Kate Middleton. She always wears her makeup the same and it would be so nice to see her wearing something different. She could rock a red lip!
What do you usually do when you get home from a wedding?
I always like to upload a photo of that day’s bride to my Facebook page. Then I’ll check emails and messages, clean my brushes and make sure the kit is packed for the next day and then relax.
If you could give a bride one piece of advice for her wedding, what would it be?
Can I have two things please?!
Don’t get too worked up about the small things. No-one will remember what favours were on the tables or what the flowers looked like, but they will remember that you looked amazing and they had a good time.
Also, go for the best makeup and hairstylists you can afford. While it might seem like a larger outlay than you thought at first, it is worth it to get the best people. Photographers often tell me that they can always tell which brides have done their own makeup. It really does make a difference.