1. Introduction: What's your story?
Hi friends! My name is Samantha Michaels, I'm the owner and lead hairstylist & makeup artist for Southern Bridal Styles. I started my hair and makeup journey back in 2013 when I enrolled at Paul Mitchell the school, here in Louisville Kentucky. When I started my cosmetology education I knew I wanted to become a makeup artist. I didn't realize I was going to fall in love with doing hair too! After my graduation & apprenticeship I began working for myself, building my clientele in the salon. That's when I decided to start a bridal hair & makeup business. Six years later, and I've never stopped doing weddings for longer then a few weeks. I love being part of such a special day and making brides feel like the most beautiful version of themselves.
I'm still continuing my advance education to become the best I can possibly be. It's so important for me to get outside my comfort zone and learn new techniques as much as possible. Keeping up with the beauty industry is a job in itself, but I like seeing the bridal trends evolve throughout the years. It keeps me on my toes, and challenges me to create unique styles that no-one has seen before.
Making new goals for myself has been a fun process too! Looking back and seeing how far I've come is truly amazing. Setting new goals constantly keeps me motived to come to work, expand my business, and love what I do. I am so lucky to have a job that inspires me.
I plan on being in the bridal industry for the rest of my hair and makeup career. It's exciting to think about all the amazing clients I'll meet along the way. This journey will take me far in life, and I hope my talent & hard work can truly make a difference, or impact someones life. Giving people the confidence they deserve by doing their hair and makeup is the best feeling in the world. Everyone deserves to love themselves and be unapologetically confident. I'm here to help make that happen!
2. What's your experience as a bridal hair & makeup artist? How many brides are in there in your portfolio?
I started my bridal hair & makeup business six years ago. I do at least 50 weddings per year and it keeps me super busy! I have been a part of so many different kinds of weddings, and there are some that are truly unforgettable. I have experience working with clients of all genders, ages, ethnicities, as well as, handicapped & special needs. Working with such a wide variety of clients has been a learning experience over the years & it's made me a better hairstylist and makeup artist. I've done wedding hair & makeup for different cultures, like Indian and Hispanic too. Those have been some of my favorite weddings I've ever done! The colors and styles I created were bright and over the top, perfect to match the bridal parties traditional outfits. The brides you see in my portfolio all have different styles, and little details that are unique. I like showcasing the individuality of each bride. I'm proud to say, with 6 years of experience under my belt, I'm confident I can help ANY type of wedding, whether it's traditional or non traditional.
3. What are the different packages that you offer and which one is your most popular package?
All my brides customize their own hair and makeup packages depending on the services their bridal party needs. I offer a wide variety of hair & makeup services so I can fit almost every budget. My most popular services are full airbrush makeup applications and updos. I have added a few other great services within the past year, such as mens grooming & blowouts. It's great knowing I can accommodate almost everyone in the bridal party.
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?
I have a small (but amazing) team for Southern Bridal Styles. I'm the lead hair stylist & makeup artist. I create each and every brides customized look on their big day. Currently, I have two trained professionals that I can always count on to help with hair and makeup, even in cases of emergency. One of my team members specializes in advanced hair styling, and the other in airbrush makeup.The size of your bridal party & the services you need will determine which stylists will come help. For bigger bridal parties you'll see me working right next to my girls. I do love doing smaller, more intimate weddings too. In those instances I might be the only stylist you need that day.
Continued education is an important part of having a successful business, so I'm constantly learning new things and teaching my team. We have weekly training sessions together so we can advance our skills, get more creative, and most importantly, be prepared for anything. It's helpful being able to have two-three sets of hands glamming up your bridal party all at the same time. Convenience is key to having a stress free morning when you're getting ready!
5. Do you charge a travel fee? For what distance? What does that cover?
My hair & makeup studio is located inside Sensations Salon & Spa here in The Highlands, Louisville. Brides with smaller parties are welcome to get ready at my studio rather than inside their homes, at the venue, or hotel. It's in a great location, only a few minutes from downtown & a few blocks away from Cherokee Park. I have a ton of "out of town" brides that I work with every year, so I'm frequently traveling all around Kentucky and Indiana for weddings. When I travel outside of Louisville I charge reasonable travel fees (based on the milage) & anywhere in Louisville is complimentary, as long as you meet my service minimum.
Besides hair and makeup, traveling is one of my biggest passions! I absolutely love exploring other cities and meeting new people. If it's possible for me to travel around the world, and do hair & makeup, I would be living my dream! It's an honor every time a bride hires me, but it's flattering to know they couldn't imagine hiring or trusting anyone else to create their look, even if they're getting married across the country. Traveling is in the near future for Southern Bridal Styles & I can't wait to create some inspiring new bridal looks.
6. Can the bride book a wedding makeup trial appointment and will you also do a trial before the wedding?
Every bride has a trial with me 4-8 weeks before their big day. This is when I really try to connect with my brides, figure out their individual style, and create their perfect look. I ask tons of questions throughout the appointment so I can make sure I'm connecting with their vision. By the time you leave your trial appointment we will know the exact styles we are going to recreate on your wedding day. This is such a sense of relief for my brides. Knowing you're going to look amazing before the wedding gives you so much confidence! You can book a consultation & trial with me if you visit my website, southernbridalstyles.com and shoot me a message.
7. What beauty products do you use and would you be open to the bride using her own make-up?
I use the Temptu airbrush system. It's the best professional makeup I've ever used. I can trust the product to look amazing in HD photography, and it lasts 16+ hours. Being a makeup artist requires me to try tons of different makeup. There are companies that make great products and I'm always willing to use a clients personal makeup if thats their preference. I always recommend using the professional makeup that I provide because I can guarantee that it'll photograph great and last through tears & sweat on a hot summer day. If you're weary about trying other makeup, for any reason at all, give it a try at your trial appointment. You have nothing to loose and you might end up loving a new product.
8. How can you make the bride's wedding makeup last and look good in photos?
I highly recommend going to see a professional for regular facials a couple months before your wedding day. Esthetician's can make your skin super smooth and hydrated, which will help the makeup sit on your skin better and feel amazing. Using the proper skincare regimen on a daily basis will also work wonders. It can prevent you from having any sudden breakouts right before the wedding. Having my studio in a neighborhood salon & spa gives my brides easy access to a wonderful esthetician who I've worked with for years now. The trick is to have the best possible skin, then your makeup application will be flawless!
On your big day you'll want make sure you drink lots of water to keep your skin and lips hydrated. The airbrush makeup lasts 16+ hours, so you'll have no problem staying perfect for photos all day long. Lips can be a bit trickier. Most the time brides are drinking and eating throughout the day, sometimes it starts to fade. This is why I provide a touch up kit that has the lip color included (enough for 1-2 touch ups). I also add Bobbi pins, a sponge, and a mini can of hairspray to the kit, just incase. I do provide full size lip products for brides to purchase so they can have their tube to touchup with and have after the wedding day.
9. How long will makeup take on the day and how long will you be staying for on the day?
Each makeup service lasts about 30 minutes. Sometimes I take a bit longer on the bride, depending on the look we are creating. When I plan a brides timeline I start by tallying up the number of services needed for the bridal party, then I figure out how long it'll take. Once we've established the timeline, I add an extra 30 minutes to an hour of wiggle room. The extra time ensures us that no one feels rushed when they are getting ready. Creating a relaxed and fun environment for bridal parties is really important to me. I normally like to use the wiggle room at the end of your time frame to professionally place any hair pieces or veils, and give the girls a touch up with makeup setting spray and hair spray. I do offer an hourly rate if any bride wants a second look for their reception.
10. What is your cancellation and/or refund policy?
Your deposit is 100% refundable up to 30 days prior to your wedding.