OMG Interviews Make Up Artist and Lash Technician Sophie Stafford

OMG. I have a new best friend. She doesn’t know it yet, but I am absolutely in LOVE with the fabulous Make Up Artist and Last Technician (what a cool job!) Sophie Stafford. I really cannot say enough great things about this girl!

I met Sophie at the Stylist Networking Event a few months back and ended up featuring her A-mazing Claridges wedding which you can of course see here. (Hello beautiful Monique Lhuillier dress!!) We have kept in touch ever since and I have been dying to ask her a few questions about how she got into doing bridal make up and of course my favourite part of her job – eyelash extensions! Sophie not only works for brides, but also does the lash extensions for this year’s XFactor contestants (OMG!!) as well as many well known actresses in the UK. I also feel the need to mention that she is an actress herself, and she has taken trapeze classes – I swear this girl does everything. She is fab.

I was extremely lucky to be able to go and try out Sophie’s lash extensions first hand at her home studio in Highbury & Islington. She took me through the steps of the extensions – how they work, how long they last for (4 weeks!) and how much coverage she thought was best for me. She also showed me her extensive bridal look book for potential clients to see what sort of look they might go for – you can see how I was easily distracted by all things wedding!

I decided to go for 90% coverage (I like the drama) and so I laid back, enjoyed the subtle smell of scented candles, feet propped up on pillows and listened to Sex in the City on the TV while gossiping about Twilight. 2 hours – which felt more like 10 minutes – later I was done! I’m afraid I will never be happy with just my lashes again. I don’t want to toot my own horn or anything, but my lashes feel amazing! I don’t even think I need to wear mascara! They are by no means over the top or crazy in your face lashes, but I am going to be honest and say I am feeling fab. With that, I will leave you with the interview I had with Sophie before the ‘procedure’ so you can get to know her a bit better. She does bridal make up as well as extensions for bridesmaids, MOB’s and more.

You should also hop on over to her website to find out more about her work – I highly recommend her! I’ve also included a few photos of Sophie’s super cozy and comfy studio where she works with all her clients, however also note she can come to your home as well.

How did you get into bridal make up and what is your experience / background?
I have always loved makeup and skin care in general so when I moved to London I trained with Jemma Kidd and started working from there on. My first job was an artist for Stila and then I went on to work for Laura Mercier and YSL. After doing the makeup for a friend on her wedding day I was hooked and decided to set up my own business in Bridal Makeup.

Why did you decide to change from fashion to bridal?
I still dabble in fashion as it keeps me up to date and I love the occasional rush from working on shows but my passion lies in weddings. Since my sister got married 10 years ago I have been in love with the industry in general and I find that nothing beats the gratification of a beautiful bride and her mother (and bridesmaids) on the wedding day.

What is the best advice you can give a bride regarding make up for her big day?
Stay true to your personality but remember that you have to wear a little bit more than you normally would during the day or else it won’t show up in photos. Now that doesn’t mean that your makeup artist should plaster it on like paint, it just means that you should wear your blush a little stronger and maybe go for a soft smokey eye so that in photos they just pop beautifully! I had a friend that wouldn’t budge on this idea and in her photos she agreed she looked pasty. If you don’t wear any eye makeup normally then go for Lash Extensions, they look stunning in photos! Also collect pictures of makeup you love from your bridal magazines and don’t be afraid to try new things.

How should a bride take care of her skin before the big day?
If you have a good skin care regime then stick to it, don’t try anything new in the lead up as it could cause break outs. I would suggest having a facial once (or twice if you can afford it) a month. I went to the Organic Pharmacy for their Rose Crystal Lymphatic Facial (http://www.theorganicpharmacy.com/about_us/treatments/facials/). I was suffering from break outs in the lead up to my big day and my skin was crystal clear!!

What was one of the best weddings / fashion shoots you’ve worked on and why?
The best wedding had to be for my best friend! I know you probably expect me to say a celebrity but I really love what I do so doing it for my dearest friend was such a treat! For Fashion, I recently went to Paris for a show so that was Magnifique 😉

OMG you do eyelash extensions, that is so exciting!
Tell me more. – What are they made of, how long do they last, do they really make a difference? Do they hurt?
I had them for my wedding and never looked back! I hardly needed any eye makeup on the day because they made my eyes look so big and fluttery and just stunning in the photos. They also lasted all throughout my honeymoon which was very handy 🙂
You can get different types but I use the best quality ones out there, which are called Mink Lashes and are 100% silk! Most of my clients come back to me every 4 weeks for top ups! And no they don’t hurt at all!

Do you do bridesmaids and wedding parties? How many people can you do in one wedding, and do you have assistants if you have larger groups?
I do whoever wants doing on the day! If it’s a huge group then I would take someone along to help but if the party is 5-6 people I can do that on my own.

OMG you had one of the most beautiful weddings EVER featured on OMG – any advice for brides in general? Did you do your own makeup?
Thank you! It was such a beautiful day I still look through my photos and smile. I actually didn’t do my own makeup! lol I had a very dear friend do mine and my mothers makeup and another dear friend do my bridesmaids. When it comes to taking care of myself I’m rubbish in stressy situations. however I seem to be great under pressure for anyone other than myself! My mum has this great story of me getting ready for my graduation ball at school! We needed to leave and my mum found me in my bathroom surrounded with all my makeup, in tears saying “my eyelash curlers, I can’t find my eyelash curlers” hahahaha! So we decided that on the morning of my wedding I wouldn’t have any responsibilities.

Anything else you’d like to tell the OMG readers?
If you’re not sure about having your makeup done by a professional, have a trial and see how you feel! I guarantee that once you’ve had your makeup done professionally you won’t look back, it makes such a difference. Also think about your photos as these are what you will have after the big day to remember all those amazing memories. A close up of you beaming while swishing back down the Isle in your stunning gown on the arm of your new husband wont look as lovely if you have a patchy red face or shiny forehead.

Any absolute “no – no’s” for brides re: make up? Do you have any horror stories for us?
Don’t decide to try something you’ve never done before on the morning of the big day. Think about your photos too, red lipstick for example comes out black in black and white photos. I don’t really have any horror stories because if I’m doing the makeup the bride is always happy! I did have one bride tell me to please not make her bridesmaids too pretty after I had finished her sister!! She even asked if i could make them a bit plain haha!

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