Business flourishes for wedding makeup artist

Ann DeNicolo is busy these days, preparing June brides for their big day. As owner of Flirt Makeup, she estimates that she does about 45 weddings a year. Although DeNicolo only launched her business last year, she’s already been voted into the “ A List” category for “Makeup” in 2010.
Once a wedding is booked, DeNicolo schedules a trial appointment anywhere from four to 10 months in advance in order to do test out makeup procedures and iron out all of the details.
“I take notes to review early the wedding day,” she said.
DeNicolo said that there are no rules when it comes to how you want your makeup to look on your wedding day.
“Every dress has its own look and feel, and the right makeup can pull together all the elements,” she said. “Another fun option, if you plan to wear additional dresses after the ceremony, is wearing a second look. So maybe the wedding dress is the more natural makeup look and the cocktail dress is a smokey-eyed, sultry look.”
Wedding planner Liz Beck, of Liz Beck Events, said that 90 percent of her clients book Ann because she makes them feel comfortable.
“Rather than making them over, she enhances their natural beauty. When someone wears a lot of makeup, she brings it up a level. When someone doesn’t wear makeup, she adds a little bit of a glow. No one wants to look like someone else on her wedding day,” Beck said.
DeNicolo said she prefers to use an airbrush gun because it offers versatility. Whether airbrush or traditional, all makeup is waterproof, allowing it to hold up to hot weather and wedding tears.
When booking weddings, DeNicolo allows about an hour for the bride and 45 minutes for each member of the wedding party, which sometimes includes men.
“Occasionally, I will have a groom who needs something covered or corrected like a rash a mole or even a cold sore,” she said. “I’ve even had the father-of-the-bride ask me to put bronzer on (him).”
Additionally, DeNicolo does makeup for proms, portraits (including boudoir), commercial photo shoots and special projects. She also gives individual and group lessons.
She offers these tips to The Coast News readers: Good skin is what makes good makeup. Drink lots of water to keep your skin plumped up. Also, exfoliate — take your vitamins and don’t eat fast food.
DeNicolo cautions against using bar soap which can leave a residue. Instead, she recommends a high-quality cleanser, preferably from natural product lines such as Shiki, Alba and Avalon.
Quality is also important in choosing cosmetics. DeNicolo said that cheaper products contain additives, which function as fillers. Often the color isn’t as deep because the powder disperses into the air.
You can achieve better results with makeup by settling on a few, high-quality products, she added.
“Most of us have too much makeup anyway,” she said. “People should settle on four products that are good.”
While DeNicolo uses the higher-end makeup intended for professionals, she said that there are many great, moderately-priced lines that can be purchased at stores such as Ulta and Sephora.
“NARS is a good, all-around line,” she said. “I love their eye shadow primer. Make-up Forever is a very good waterproof product; Urban Decay has awesome eye shadows, and M.A.C. has an amazing selection of lip gloss and lip color.”
She said a frequent mistake is limiting yourself to one look or product line.
“There is so much out there,” she said. “It’s all about how much you apply, and how you apply it.”
DeNicolo comes by her talent honestly.
“I loved makeup since I was a kid,” she said. “My mother is a gifted artist. For me, makeup was another art media.”
DeNicolo started out as an art major at Palomar College before earning a bachelor’s degree in interior design from San Diego State University. When the recession impacted interior designers, she was able to fall back on her training as an aesthetician and launch a successful business doing what she loves.
“My friends used to ask me to do their makeup during junior high and high school,” she said. “I was always frilly and a girly girl.”
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