Rebecca Frances, Bridal Makeup Artist
Rebecca is an award winning makeup artist specialising in beauty and bridal makeup. Her clients include the cast of The Only Way is Essex, Hollyoaks, and Made in Chelsea. Rebecca’s wonderful work has featured in both Conde Nast Brides and Professional Beauty magazines.
What does a typical ‘day at work’ involve for you?
One of the things I love most about my job is the fact that no two days are the same! If If I’m working on location at a wedding, it will typically involve a very early alarm. A 6am arrival at a venue is the norm, working right through bridesmaid after bridesmaid for up to 6 hours straight. Where I can, I’ll stay right up until a bride is ready to walk out the door to her ceremony for touch ups, I love seeing everything come together. In between weddings I’m on call 7 days a week for my clients, helping answer any questions they may have, constantly meeting new clients for their pre wedding trials, answering hundreds of emails, updating social media, washing brushes (soooo many brushes), prepping for each wedding adding my personal touch, stocking up on kit essentials (one of my favourite jobs!) and when I have the time, planning and executing styled shoots with other industry experts. This job certainly keeps me on my toes, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
How did it feel to win Professional Beauty’s National Young Makeup Artist of the Year in 2009, just two years into your career?
I was encouraged to enter the awards by my makeup educator, the legendary David Horne. Being up against some incredibly talented artists with more experience than myself meant I had little confidence that I would even get through to the finals of the competition, so winning the award gave me the determination to pursue the career I’ve wanted since I was a little girl.
With a number of accolades to your name (including National Makeup Specialist of the Year 2011, and being named as a finalist in the Best Makeup Artist category at the Wedding Industry Awards 2015), what is your proudest professional achievement to date?
Taking the risk to work completely self employed, and carving out a successful business with an excellent reputation has to be my proudest moment to date. That and working on Cara Delevingne’s iconic eyebrows.
You’ve worked backstage at London Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, Miss Universe, Austria’s Next Top Model and L’Oreal Colour Trophy: what’s it really like behind the scenes?
Crazy! The calm and collected vibe on the catwalk is the polar opposite of what’s happening backstage. Fashion is full of the unexpected, but a few things are always guaranteed: A sneak peak at incredible haute couture pieces. 6ft models that require a step ladder to reach. 3 makeup artists, 2 hair stylists, and a manicurist working on one model at the same time to get a model ready for the catwalk, sometimes with seconds to spare. Lots of swearing. And coconut water. So much coconut water.
We’d consider the wedding industry a dream gig for any creative professional, but how did you make the transition from your international backstage work to bridal beauty?
Through word of mouth, client recommendations meant my bridal business was able to grow at a rate I could only dream of! Working in the bridal industry offered a stability and job satisfaction that working in fashion alone couldn’t fulfil. My desire to please and provide an unrivalled level of client experience meant the progression felt very natural, I’m in my element!
We love a bit of fantasy and theatre when it comes to wedding style; have you ever worked on a wedding that was completely outrageous?
I was once booked to work on a ‘Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’, except I didn’t know until I turned up on the wedding morning! I’m obsessed with the over the top decadence that’s associated with traveller weddings, so it was exciting to be involved in such a huge celebration. The makeup requested was as fabulously glamorous as you’d expect, my only regret was not bringing enough glitter!
What advice would you give to any aspiring makeup artists out there?
The makeup industry is so fully of variety, find out what area you want to work in and do your research. Assist experienced artists in your chosen sector. Network, the saying “It’s not what you know but who you know” is very prevalent in the competitive world of makeup. Practice. Never stop learning. Value yourself and your work. Be patient, it wont happen overnight. And remember, it’s nice to be nice!
And finally…what are your top tips for achieving that perfect wedding day look?
Flawless skin is always on trend, so invest wisely in the products you use to cleanse and enhance your skin. I’m a real perfectionist, I aim to achieve a perfect looking base with as minimal product as possible to ensure a makeup looks and feels natural. I’m a big fan of using concealer to achieve this, one of my faves is NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. Waterproof products where necessary will be your best friend on such an emotional day, and finally, remember to stay true to your personal style!
If you would like to find out more about the incredible talent that is Rebecca Frances, pop along to her website.