1. Introduction: What's your story?
We are Ashley Nusrala and Shynna Valencia - Co-Founders of Ashes & Shine Beauty Co.! We met and started our friendship back in cosmetology school at Paul Mitchell, where we realized we not only had a lot in common, but loved working together and shared the same work ethic and drive. After one bridal gig of Shynna's that she invited Ashley along to, we quickly realized our dynamic and that this could be way bigger. Thus, Ashes and Shine Beauty Co. was born, and we've been pedal to the metal ever since!
Shynna is our lead make-up artist and has experience with some of the top cosmetic brands, such as M.A.C. Cosmetics and NARS, for over 10 years. Shynna has previous experience working coast-to-coast, residing in some of the U.S.'s biggest and most competitive cities, including New York City and Los Angeles. When it comes to what she loves most about makeup application, Shynna will tell you that her passion lies with bridal/weddings, event makeup, proms, time period looks, high fashion aesthetics, and on-set work. Quick fun fact about Shynna - she was a Laker Girl for the 2018-2019 season, and she is known for being an extremely gifted dancer.
Ashley is our lead hair stylist, and also has experience in texture/styling, hair extensions, and salon work for over 10 years, as well. Ashley's love of these industry aspects finally pushed her to go outside of her box and officially pursue hair school at Paul Mitchell. When in the salon, Ashley specializes in 6 types of hair extensions through some of the top industry brands, such as Bellami Hair and The Hair Shop. She also recently achieved a new certification - a Redken Shades EQ Specialist. In terms of bridal and events, Ashley simply loves making the bride feel special on her Big Day, and achieves this through hair artistry. Quick fun fact about Ashley - she is actually a Certified Financial Planner® turned stylist, which she believes gives her a great business edge in this industry.
2. What's your experience as a bridal hair & makeup artist? How many brides are in there in your portfolio?
Ashley and Shynna each have over 10+ years of experience in their respective aspects of the business. However, Shynna is more of the "jack of all trades," as she does both hair and makeup. Long before attending cosmetology school and meeting, Ashley and Shynna each perfected their craft within their own past involvement in the industry. Although Ashes and Shine Beauty Co. was only officially born in 2020, our clients are always rest assured of the decade+ of skill and training under our belts.
In terms of brides in our portfolio, 2020 and 2021 have been interesting years for weddings, including a lot of shifting plans with what's going on in the world around us. However, collectively, our portfolio includes 20+ brides, and we have tons more coming down the pipe for 2022! Additionally, this portfolio of brides is exclusive of our regular client base in our salons and makeup studio, where Ashley and Shynna each have upward of 50 regularly returning clients.
3. What are the different packages that you offer and which one is your most popular package?
Instead of offering set or tiered packages, Ashes & Shine Beauty Co. takes pride in tailoring each wedding to the bride's needs, ultimately making their experience as unique as the bride and her day itself. Our most common services include bridal wedding day hair and makeup. We also invite bridesmaids, the wedding party, and the family to all be included in getting beautified for the Big Day. After all, we want our brides to look back on their pictures and know that everyone looked and felt beautiful that day, and we know that starts with us.
As far as trial appointments, we like to offer and encourage our brides to do a trial. We even offer trial services to anyone else mentioned above that would like to feel comfortable going into the day knowing we can accomplish their desired look.
In terms of services that set us apart, we offer 7 different hair extension application methods, as well as an extensive menu of salon services, to the bride and her party in advance of her actual wedding date. We believe that our brides understanding that we offer more than just day-of services for them really distinguishes our business.
4. Do you have a team of assistants or will you be the only artist that day? What will happen if you're sick or have an emergency on the wedding day?
Ashes and Shine Beauty Co. does have a team of assistants for both hair and makeup that are not only called upon for the event day services, but also in the event of emergencies. The last thing we would ever want is to leave our brides high and dry on arguably the most important day of their lives. Therefore, we take a lot of care in assuring we always have you covered.
As of now, there are 3 additional makeup artists and 3 additional hair stylists on our team. Each of these artists/stylists have many years of experience and education on their own, and were hand-selected by Ashley and Shynna after working with us for a trial period. In addition to their own experience, Ashley and Shynna have taken a lot of satisfaction in and are proud of "training" these teammates in the techniques and values that Ashes & Shine Beauty Co. intends to display and uphold. Given the current environment, this includes State Board level sanitation procedures and disinfection, as well as masking, Covid testing, and many other preventative measures, as our client's safety always comes first. No exceptions here!
5. Do you charge a travel fee? For what distance? What does that cover?
At Ashes & Shine, we do charge (what we believe to be) a reasonable travel fee. This fee is $50 for a 50-mile or less round trip from our home base in West Hollywood, and $100 for over a 50-mile round trip from the home base. It's important that our clients understand that this isn't just some add-on fee we charge because we know it's "industry standard." Rather, components that are factored into our travel fee include gas mileage, lugging our extensive and professional full kits to the client so they have a copious amount of choices in professional-grade products, and full kit disinfection and sanitation after our job is complete.
In terms of destination weddings - we love them!! In lieu of our standard fee, if we are hopping on a plane or traveling outside of the greater LA / local SoCal Area, we do charge all travel-related expenses to the client. We understand this can add up quickly, so we are always open to talking through various options with our brides if it means getting us to you!!
6. Can the bride book a wedding makeup trial appointment and will you also do a trial before the wedding?
Not only *can* a bride book a wedding hair and/or makeup trial appointment before her Big Day, but we actually strongly encourage it! Also ahead of the trial (and in general, should the bride choose not to do one), we love to request inspiration pictures from the bride of her ideal hair and makeup looks. One thing that we feel really sets our bridal experience apart from others is the consultation and inspo pic breakdown, sitting side-by-side with our client. We break down specifically what it is about the photos that the bride loves, and advise what we can achieve to make her look as close to that inspiration as possible. We take the time to really go through each client's personal situation including color coordination, hair and skin types, and what is doable versus what may be a stretch. The beauty of having a trial is that a bride can "try out" her hair and makeup look and see how it wears and lasts throughout the day. Additionally, she can be rest-assured that we have an agreed-upon look, we've documented the final result, and we can recreate the look with ease and familiarity on her Big Day. A final added benefit - if the hair or makeup didn't hold up after the trial, we offer a complimentary redo so we can get it right for you!!
7. What beauty products do you use and would you be open to the bride using her own make-up?
As CA state licensed cosmetologists, we pride ourselves on providing our brides with the most reputable and safe brands in professional-grade hair and makeup products. For hair, Ashley prefers to use Paul Mitchell (obviously, because of schooling), Monat, Kristin Ess, Pureology, Redken, and Bumble & Bumble. Her favorite products are texturizing spray and, what she calls, "industrial strength" tight hold hair spray by Paul Mitchell - because we all know we have to lock that final look in place that has to last all day and night! For makeup, Shynna is always stocked on her personal industry faves, including all shades of RCMA foundations, Anastasia Beverly Hills, M.A.C. Cosmetics, and so much more! Her favorite item to use is the Anastasia Lip Kit because she is able to customize every single lip color, so no two brides ever have the same look!
In terms of a bride or any service guest wanting to use their own makeup, our mantra is simple - whatever makes you feel the most beautiful and special is what we'll do! Regardless of bringing her own makeup, we still offer and provide all sanitized application products, as well as single-use products. This way, even if the bride chooses to use her own makeup, she can still be assured that the application is always clean and sanitary.
8. How can you make the bride's wedding makeup last and look good in photos?
Since Shynna and our teammates that work alongside of her are not only certified makeup artists, but also have years of training under their belts, they have many tricks up their sleeves to ensure makeup that lasts all day, including for the bride's priceless photo ops. To start, we go back our theory on the importance of a bridal trial. Having a trial prior to the actual event date ensures that Shynna really understands the skin types of her guests, as well as the final desired look. The goal in mind is not only to play around with the final look, but to see how the makeup wears throughout the day. This will be the ultimate test of whether the prep and products used work well for the guest. Although we don't often have issues or re-do requests, should the makeup not wear throughout the day or look good in pictures, we have time to reevaluate the situation so that doesn't happen on the bride's Big Day. Additionally, with or without a trial, it's the decade of experience Shynna carries that allows her to bring the industry’s top secret tricks to the table, such as layering setting sprays, customizing the order of application, and specialty skin prep well in advance of the wedding day.
9. How long will makeup take on the day and how long will you be staying for on the day?
Whether it's hair or makeup, Shynna and Ashley always like to say, "We could have the service done in 1 hour, but let's allot 1.5 hours for the bride." As for the bridal party members or family, we usually take 45 minutes per person, but allot an hour. With the many weddings we have done in the past, the time slot allotted isn't necessarily all used for our services. For the bride, we want to allot 30 minutes extra because we like to take our time, checking in with the bride along the way that she's satisfied and never feels rushed or pressured. There's already a lot going on the morning of the Big Day; the last thing we would want is to be a part of the chaos. We love to be the people who calm the bride down and allow her to relax and take a break for her well-deserved pampering time! For the rest of the party, the hour is allotted for cleaning and sanitizing in between guests, and allowing for the inevitable interruptions, schedule changes, late arrivers, etc that tend to happen on the wedding day. Rather than scrambling, we build this extra time into each guest's session so, once again, we are not the cause of the chaos, but rather, assist in helping things run as smoothly as possible for the bride.
As for the length of time we stay on for the day, we like to be walking in the door no later than 20 minutes prior to the desired start time. This allows us to get our stations set up, including all of our sanitation products and other equipment. We never want to cut into our guest's start time, so we come prepared and ready to work. As for the end of our services, we like to save the bride for last, and even if time has exceeded the contracted end time due to unforeseen circumstances, we will never leave our guests until everyone is satisfied and ready to head out. Additionally, an extra offer within our contract is to keep us onsite for touch-ups or look changes throughout the night. This requires an additional fee, but we are always happy to do it!
10. What is your cancellation and/or refund policy?
Ashley and Shynna try to be as fair and understanding as possible when it comes to their cancellation and/or refund policy. We realize that things come up, plans change, and also there have been many unforeseen and unexpected changes out of the bride's control due to the pandemic. Prior to officially securing the couple's date on our calendar, we do require a deposit to be made equal to 30% of the total balance. Should there be a need to adjust or cancel your services, we are happy to refund you 100% of the deposit if there is 6 weeks notice, 50% of your deposit with a 4 week notice, and 25% of your deposit with a 2 week notice. No refund of deposit is available for less than a 2 week notice. The no refund portion of the policy is in place due to the date being so close and us holding the date for the bride, thus not being able to book anyone else by that time. We hope all of our brides believe this is fair and understand why we have our policies in place.