Searching for picture perfect bridal hair & makeup for your big day?
Today Sunshine Weddings Spain is chatting all things hair & makeup with the lovely Lena Tanevska, bridal hair and makeup specialist based in Marbella.
Hello Lena, welcome and thank you for being today’s feature guest. Tell us a little bit more about yourself, have you always had an interest in hairstyling and makeup, and what sparked that passion?
I’m originally from Ukraine but moved out to Spain about 16 years ago as my mother used to live here, but when she decided to move back to the Ukraine, I chose to remain and moved to Marbella about nine years ago.
I first started in makeup, working as a model makeup artist, specifically for photo shoots. Makeup has been a tool of creative expression for me since I was very young, but I had never really thought about doing bridal makeup until one day a Russian client of mine asked me to do makeup for a wedding. Despite not having experience in bridal makeup I agreed and the bride was very happy with the end result. That wedding, which was about five years ago, then led to other weddings and I haven’t looked back since.
After offering my services as a makeup artist for brides, I was often asked if I could do the hair too. The idea of doing bridal hair had been on my mind for a while, as it meant that then I could offer the whole wedding hair and makeup package, and so the requests prompted me to start studying. I went on to complete specific hairstyling courses and workshops all over Spain, in Malaga, Madrid, Valencia… In fact, I still do courses and study to keep up with trends and new techniques.
Being an all-rounder makeup and hair artist is quite an accomplishment, but do you have a preference? Hairstyling or makeovers?
I would have to say makeup, in my opinion it’s more artistic, additionally the transformative power of makeup offers brides the needed confidence to guarantee a picture-perfect face in wedding photos and that her skin will remain looking fresh and radiant throughout the day.
I also prefer natural, glowing makeup for the bride and find that this is a look that most brides absolutely love.
How do you respond to a wedding lead for a destination wedding bride, do you ask the bride to send photos of her hair, describe her skin type so you can get an idea of what you are working with, or do you do a video call and discuss style?
I normally work with email or whatsapp, I ask the bride to send me pictures that inspire her, to see her style. I’ll also ask to see photos of herself, so I can see the skin tone and type. The same goes with the hair.
I’m always at hand to discuss any issues the bride might have with allergies or sensitive skin, though I’m always prepared for everything and work with a huge range of different products for every possible scenario.
But, for me, the most important aspect is knowing the prefered style of the bride, for that I always recommend a wedding hair and makeup trial. A trial is fundamental to get to know the bride and for the bride, it’s a chance to test out her vision and gain confidence in her wedding day look.
What do you do if a bride, arriving for her destination wedding in Spain, can’t make it early enough for a trial?
Though I always recommend a trial, it isn’t always possible. In these cases, I allocate more time for the makeup or hair styling session, which effectively replaces a trial session, permitting time to make adjustments if needed.
In these cases, I also go through the whole process step-by-step, permitting the bride to be more participative of the final result. For example I’ll ask if she wants a more matte or dewy look.
Working as a model makeup artist has given me a lot of experience in doing makeovers on people without a previous trial, which in turn has given me the confidence to know I’m capable of enhancing a bride’s natural beauty even if I haven’t met her before.
How many people can you style in one wedding morning? And how much time do you allocate to the bride?
Three to four people plus the bride, but only one thing, either hair or makeup as I dedicate between 45 minutes and an hour per person/ style.
I’ll only do both the hair and makeup on the bride, and for her I’ll allocate about two-and-a-half hours. I don’t want anyone to feel rushed or stressed, and especially not the bride.
What about pre-wedding pampering, what are your tips to get a bridal beauty routine in order?
It’s always good to follow a daily skincare routine regardless if you are getting married in the near future or not, and for those brides and grooms-to-be, I also recommend applying a hydrating face mask about one to two weeks before the wedding day, this will also help achieve a fresh, glowing look for the day and if possible a soft peeling or deep cleansing facial a month before the wedding.
What is the most challenging thing about being a wedding hair & makeup artist?
The importance of making the bride look their best on their wedding day carries a lot of responsibility, it’s also fundamental that you give the bride good vibes and provide the confidence and charisma that the bride really needs on that day. However I don’t see these things as challenges, it’s something I really enjoy.
As a bridal hair and makeup artist, you also have to be prepared to help the bride with her dress, help her organise her time, again I enjoy this part of the job and seeing a bride looking radiant and confident gives me great satisfaction.
And finally, any particular wedding that stands out, for a special or humorous moment that occurred whilst you were doing the hair and makeup?
Every bride is beautiful and all wedding makeup is special, but for a humorous account, I remember in one particular case, I had just completed the finishing touches on the bride when she was called to do a quick photo shoot before the ceremony. The photographer asked her to throw into the air above her a whole load of multicoloured glitter, which went everywhere… hair, face, dress… everywhere!
In a panic the bride rushed back into the bridal suite and the moment I saw her I knew that the only solution was to re-do everything, so I quickly set to work to re-apply her makeup and style her hair again, luckily we had the time to do it without rushing and the incident turned out to be one of the funniest highlights of the day.
On behalf of Sunshine Weddings Spain, a huge thank you for sharing your insight of what goes on behind the scenes on a wedding morning and also for the stunning bridal photos, we hope to see you very soon styling future brides.