10 Questions with Tarah & Madison Brinkerhoff

WeddingRule Interviewed one of the most talented and highly sought-after wedding hair & makeup artists in California, blushedbybrink. Servicing Orange County and the San Diego area, Tarah & Madison are the founders and owners of blushedbybrink.


Hair & Makeup Artist - Tarah & Madison Brinkerhoff

10 Questions with Tarah & Madison Brinkerhoff
  • Business: blushedbybrink
  • Location: Orange County and San Diego area, California CA
  • Experience: 5 Years
  • Website: www.blushedbybrink.com

1. Introduction: What's your story?

Hi! I'm Tarah Brinkerhoff and my sister, Madison Brinkerhoff, and I started blushedbybrink officially in early 2018, but have been doing hair and makeup before that for several years. The choice to work predominately in the wedding industry was an easy decision for us as we love celebrating love and being a part of such a monumental and exciting time in people's lives. We even worked together as teenagers at a wedding venue where we grew up. So this industry and glamming people up has been a longtime passion for each of us.

Before we started our hair and makeup business, I thought my whole career was going to be working up the corporate later in marketing. My sister was and continues to progress in her career as a corporate recruiter, but still, we both felt like something was missing. You hear about the "side-hustles" of our generation, and it's all so true. Either because of financial reasons, burnout, or the desire for more fulfillment, we were definitely part of those needing more than what we were told should be enough career-wise.

My sister started to get more into makeup and wanted to earn some extra money on the weekends doing something she enjoyed. Between my experience doing hair for dances and events and my sister's newfound love of makeup artistry, she suggested we join forces and start doing weddings together as a sister hair and makeup duo. I also loved makeup though, spending the little money I had even when I was younger at the beauty counter in Nordstrom and MAC. So as soon as she told me about her great idea, I thought it'd be even better for each of us to be solid in doing both hair and makeup so more opportunities would be open to us depending on the needs of each bride. And as it turns out, we each love and get booked for more weddings because of our expertise in both!

So the work began in 2017 to attend makeup school on the weekends to become certified, start creating a logo, a website and begin promoting the business to get us officially working as a team. Thankfully, this is where my marketing degree, graphic communications minor, and years working in advertising came in handy big time!

Now that the business was up and running, we were surprisingly starting to get more opportunities than we had time for and finding ourselves exhausted from our weekday full-time jobs that even though we lived for and loved our weekend gig, something had to give. At the end of 2019, I was at a place in my life and career that I accomplished what I set out to do by then and with the encouragement of my husband and sister, decided to quit my full-time job as a digital marketing manager to run blushedbybrink full-time. Madison still is my other lead artist and will forever be to me the other half of blushedbybrink, but I'm thankful that between my years of working in marketing and my love for hair and makeup, that they have merged to be something that is truly more fulfilling than anything I've done this far in my career.

2. What's your experience as a bridal hair & makeup artist? How many brides are in there in your portfolio?

My sister, Madison, and I have been working separately for years doing hair and makeup before we came together to create blushedbybrink. In high school, I (Tarah) was getting asked left and right to do my friend's hair for one dance or another and turning people down even at times. So the love of hairstyling has been in me for a while. Makeup too, as both my sister and I can recall times where the little money we earned from chores was spent on makeup so we could play on ourselves and others. My sister, after going to makeup school, began assisting and then working for an incredible artist, Stacey Triplow, in San Diego too while I prepared to go to school myself.

Although blushedbybrink has only been around since early 2018, we've successfully worked hundreds of weddings, events, and photoshoots and even amidst a pandemic sweeping our planet, have managed to stay afloat and work the beautiful celebrations of love that are still happening in 2020 and as we begin 2021. The goal is to grow and continue providing the best service and experience possible to all our brides, bridesmaids, and clients alike. This includes being able to grow the team over the years including 4+ additional makeup and hair artists that also help us work larger parties.

3. What are the different packages that you offer and which one is your most popular package?

We know that many other wedding vendors offer packages, but we find that it's both detrimental to our brides and our business to do so. With packages and as a bride myself years ago, I never wanted our brides to feel like they had to have "ideal" numbers of bridesmaids to get into each package level or all be forced into the same services to make it work.

Our way allows for brides to truly customize their own wedding beauty needs. We will always have our pricing listed publically for everyone to see - no need to request a quote and wait for a response!

The most commonly booked wedding hair and makeup prices are:

- Bridal Makeup $150
- Bridal Makeup Preview $90*
- Bridesmaid, Mother of Bride, and Mother of Groom Makeup $90
- Junior Bridesmaid (under 15) $60
- Flower Girl (under 10) $30
* Add Airbrush (included for bride) $10

- Bridal Hair $150
- Bridal Hair Preview $90*
- Bridesmaid, Mother of Bride, and Mother of Groom Hair $90
- Junior Bridesmaid (under 15) $60
- Flower Girl (under 10) $30
* Add Clip-in Hair Extension Application (included for bride) $10

Additional Costs if Applicable:
- Travel outside of our included Orange County or San Diego radiuses
- Hiring on additional artists (1 or 2 standardly included depending on service number total)
- Early start time on or before 7 am
- Minimum Service Total of $650 for day rate/booking
- Parking Fees
* These things all affect and help to cover the additional time and expense each wedding might have on our end and make sure we provide a luxurious experience to all our clients.

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?

Myself, Tarah, or my sister, Madison, will always be the lead on a wedding unless otherwise specified and approved by the bride ahead of time. I have personally vetted all the additional artists that help us with larger parties or if there are multiple weddings on a single day, so that at least myself or my sister will always be a lead for each bride and her beauty needs. The business number and email are always reachable and in some instances, our personal cell phone numbers will be provided when it's necessary for timely communication. We also always ask for the bride's phone number as well so there is an additional way to reach and inform of any last-minute occurrences - God forbid!

If something were to happen that would make it impossible for the original artist(s) to perform the booked services, I do my absolute best to find other artists on my team to help cover. If worst came to worst, there is a clause in our contract that allows for cancellations on the part of the business in emergency situations and deposits would be returned in these cases to the bride if no one was able to cover the wedding.

We are all human and although we do our absolute best to always be at least on-time if not early and healthy for every single wedding, life happens and so we would never hold onto anyone's deposit if services could not be performed as booked on our end. Communication is key for me in any situation, so every bride can be sure they will know as soon as and whatever is happening that could potentially affect their big day on our end. We hope for the same from our brides so we can always be sure any changes are met with flexibility and security in knowing the best service and experience will be provided.

5. Do you charge a travel fee? For what distance? What does that cover?

We do charge a travel fee and are completely open to travel outside of California and even the United States! For travel within Southern California, we offer complimentary travel within 15 miles (one way) of Orange County ZIP 92653 or San Diego ZIP 92111. Travel outside of the included 15 miles for each city is an additional $1 per mile per artist round trip.

For anything outside of Southern California, it's basically about covering the travel expenses and any overnight stay requirements. If you are at all curious what your destination wedding would cost with us, then we would be so excited to let you know how we can help to make it work. Travel is our other main passion!

6. Can the bride book a wedding makeup trial appointment and will you also do a trial before the wedding?

We offer makeup and/or hair trials as well as bridal previews. A true trial is when a bride decides whether or not to book us afterward and therefore, costs what it would be the day of said wedding/event. We offer discounts to brides who book us prior to their "trial" hence calling it a bridal preview - a preview then of what her big day look will be like after securing her date with us.

It's also not a requirement that a bride do a bridal preview with us to have us booked for her big day, but it is something we recommend as it's both an opportunity to test out the desired look as well as meet and get to know each other! It always makes for a more enjoyable and seamless experience when a bride does a trial or a preview beforehand.

7. What beauty products do you use and would you be open to the bride using her own make-up?

We use so many different brands and products for hair and makeup because everyone is different and there are countless exceptional options to choose from! Some of our favorite beauty brands and therefore ones we have in our kit are Anastasia Beverly Hills, Charlotte Tilbury, Tom Ford, Makeup ForEver, Hourglass, Beauty Bakery, Laura Mercier, Tarte, Fenty, YSL, M.A.C., Stila, Face Atelier, Temptu and Marc Jacobs to name a few! For hairstyling, we are big fans of Kenra Professionals, Oribe, Bumble and Bumble, Kristin Ess, Living Proof, Sexy Hair, Redken and any others we find are excellent additions to our professional kits as we try new styles and brands.

It's very important that brides and all clients alike communicate any allergies or skin and hair concerns with their artists prior to services so we can make sure that nothing is used that will irritate or cause an allergic reaction. We are open to brides or client's wanting to bring their own makeup to be used, but usually, we find part of the experience is being pampered and getting the best professional, highest-rated, and quality products used on them since it's usually, too much of an expense to have each of these products in a single person's standard makeup kit. There are preferences for things at the end of the day though, so if what a bride wants is for us to use her own makeup, we can absolutely make that work with still providing an upscale and enjoyable experience.

8. How can you make the bride's wedding makeup last and look good in photos?

Our years of experience, master tricks, and quality professional products! We use only the best we can find in the beauty industry to make sure the tears, sweat, eating, and drinking don't destroy the beautiful work we've created on our stunning brides.

Something that has been around in the industry for a while, but more so talked about in the last 10 years is the combo of primers and setting spray and boy are we fans! We also provide brides with a lip touch-up kit included in their makeup service as usually, the first thing to go is lips from all those champagne toasts and kisses. With the kit, you will have the custom lip color we used on you available throughout the whole evening. We also will let you in on a couple of tips once we've done your makeup so you can be sure to not mess up anything after those tears fall from joy and laughter!

9. How long will makeup take on the day and how long will you be staying for on the day?

We schedule time with each wedding to make sure we can safely and properly set up before services begin (about 15 mins), have touch-up time after everyone is done (30 - 45 mins), and clean up at the very end (15-20 mins). If brides want to have an artist(s) stay for touch-ups after the getting ready time has ended, we do have an hourly rate.

Each party member service whether for hair or makeup will take 45 minutes each. Brides are given longer for their service time depending on the style so anywhere between 1 hour to 90 minutes.

10. What is your cancellation and/or refund policy?

Our standard cancellation policy is each client may cancel their contract at any time up to 60 days before the date of service and only lose the deposit already given (deposit is 50% of grand total of day of services). After that, the client will owe 100% of the contracted service’s total as the date was reserved for them and the loss of income cannot be easily or guaranteed to be recouped with such short notice.



WeddingRule Editor’s Choice 2020