The Importance of Professional Hair & Makeup


This isn’t what you think.

When I first set out to do a post about the importance of getting hair and makeup done professionally for a photo session I had intended to make a clever list with a catchy title that highlighted differences in how we apply our own makeup & compare it to how a professional applies makeup to us, juxtaposed with images of each in order to demonstrate the benefits of a skilled hand. While I am not saying that you won’t see a post like this on my blog in the near future (hint, hint) after my experience in the chair of Bri, I realised that there is a much more powerful message I must convey first. 

It is more than just makeup. It is about how you feel.

Let me preface this by saying that I have had my makeup done in the past. I also would consider myself advanced when it comes to applying my own makeup as well. I have studied it since I was 14 & even freelanced through my 20’s. I would consider myself obsessed with makeup trends & I am very proud of my extensive collection. I can count on my hands the number of times I left the house without applying at least some form of war paint to my face & I am not ashamed to admit it. I have grown attached to the way I do my makeup & interestingly enough I have NEVER had a positive experience getting my makeup done professionally. I have worked with on set makeup artists, freelancers, full-time makeup artists, cosmetic counter specialists (Like MAC or Hudson’s Bay Company) & even a 30 year veteran from Chanel. Every time I think back on these experiences, I shudder. I think back to the moment that after I was handed a mirror to look at my reflection… I was horrified. I had never had a positive experience getting my makeup applied professionally & from there I became driven to become more skilled in doing my own makeup.

Did I just have bad luck with artists? Is my face just weird?

When I went full time with my wedding photography business I learned that for a wedding day, despite my own personal experiences, professional makeup can make a world of a difference in photos. Not to mention, professional makeup can outlast the sweat, hugs & happy tears that are all part of your beautiful wedding memories. Outside of a wedding day, I was never really one to push or convince my clients that they actually needed to hire a pro for a portrait or engagement session. It turns out, I was basing things on my own past negative experiences & now realise that I was missing out on something that everyone needs to experience.

An experience can change everything.

On Valentine’s day, I walked into Bri Stein’s studio. She is a makeup artist servicing the Okanagan & when I saw her Instagram, something about her work just called to me. I stalked her on social media for a while, which is how I saw that she was offering a sweet deal for Valentine’s day & a part of me decided to take a chance, I loved seeing her work, yet I had no expectation one way or another of how my face was going to turn out. I had heard SO many great things about her from other wedding vendors & brides who loved her dearly.. I just needed to experience it for myself & hope for the best.

I was a little early for my appointment but I was greeted warmly by Bri as she put the final touches on her workspace. There were Valentine’s balloons on a plate filled with red & pink treats next to her chair (which I have to add, is the most comfortable makeup chair I have ever sat in) She has these cool lights that she brings with her to ensure she has great light no matter where she is working (bonus points, from the photographer in me) & once I was settled in she offered me a glass of yummy rosé garnished with organic raspberries from her grandma’s garden. Swoon. The conversation flowed easily while she working her magic on my face. I was already so smitten from the bubbly & chatting that I was feeling super relaxed.. actually enjoying being pampered. I had no idea how things were progressing, I was not in front of a mirror, however, I felt great about it. I had never experienced the techniques Bri was using, I was dazzled and mesmerised as I watched her use several colours for just my cheeks! This was my first time ever getting airbrush makeup as well. Bri worked quickly & expertly despite my constant talking and laughing, I remember her not missing a beat whilst I felt her applying winged eyeliner & lashes…. I was blown away by her expertise & skill.

Then.. the big reveal.

It seemed like no time had passed before she gave me a smile and directed me towards the mirror. I first noted that my face still felt light & the makeup actually felt comfortable.  When I looked in the mirror, I felt like a movie star or a celebrity about to hit the red carpet. I felt more beautiful than I had ever had before. Not only because of the makeup…but because of the way Bri made me feel while in her chair. Unlike my past experiences, which during the process, they made me feel like I had things on my face that needed to be fixed. During every moment with Bri, I felt like she focused on enhancing my natural features & just made things pop. I strongly feel that her biggest strength is her expertise in actually you & knowing exactly what to do in order to best highlight your features and make them look their best. Never in my life have I ever had nice looking brows that balanced my face. My skin looked flawless but not cakey. My eyes have never, ever, looked so blue & the lip colour she picked I felt like was something I had been missing for my whole life. She is truly an expert in her craft.

When you feel good about yourself, it translates in photos

I prefer spending time behind the camera, so I completely understand all the feelings that arise when I ask you to spend time in front of mine. This experience has taught me something monumental about the importance of self-love, self-worth & confidence. A portrait is an important piece of your personal history. You are absolutely worthy of being photographed while feeling & looking your best. I promise that if you treat yourself to a blowout, having your makeup done by an artist & enjoying a nice meal afterwards that every time you look through those images from that day you will be filled with fond memories of self-love & happiness. You deserve nothing less.



getting professional hair and makeup for a photo shoot getting professional hair and makeup for a photo shoot getting professional hair and makeup for a photo shoot




Bri is now my magical makeup unicorn & you can bet I will be working with her EVERY chance I get. Stay tuned for more posts featuring her magical makeup wizardry!



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Instagram : @bristeinartistry


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