10 Questions with Coreene Collins

WeddingRule Interviewed one of the most talented and highly sought-after wedding hair & makeup artists in Oregon, Coreene Collins Hair & Make Up. Portland based Coreene is the founder and owner of Coreene Collins Hair & Make Up.

Coreene Collins Hair & Make Up

Hair & Makeup Artist - Coreene Collins

10 Questions with Coreene Collins
  • Business: Coreene Collins Hair & Make Up
  • Location: Portland, Oregon OR
  • Experience: 11 Years
  • Website: www.coreenecollins.com

1. Introduction: What's your story?

Hi I'm Coreene Collins, Owner and lead hair/makeup artist at Coreene Collins Hair & Makeup. My love for makeup started when I was 5 years old with a cheap makeup palette from a local grocery store. Once I dipped my fingers in the electric blue eyeshadow, bright pink blush and red lipstick, I was in love. I smeared it all over my face and never looked back. Makeup became a passion and I was constantly using my friends as models. You see, this was before Youtube and social media. I was the girl always late to the high school dances because I was too busy getting my friends ready. I was often "fashionably" late. I had good grades and was awarded a large scholarship at a private university. A month before I was leaving for college, I decided to check out the local beauty school. Once the tour was over, I broke the news to my parents that college wasn't for me and I wanted to attend beauty school. Thankfully, they loved the idea!

In beauty school I was training to become a hair color specialist. I did NOT like doing special occasion hair or wedding hair. I thought I was going to travel and teach hair color to other hairstylists. The year I graduated beauty school was the year many of my family and friends were getting married. Guess who they hired to do their hair? You guessed it! Me, the girl who hated updos, but something started to shift. After I got married and moved to Portland, I discovered there were not many hair/makeup artists who specialized in Bridal. As I worked with more brides, I noticed that I really really liked it. I decided that it would become my specialty!

Fast forward 11 years and here I am today. Though I still do haircut and color clients throughout the year. I still really really like....ok.... I LOVE working with brides!

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

After 11 years as a bridal hair and makeup artist, I feel I have had every experience imaginable! Good and bad but mostly good! Ok, come on now, be honest, you aren't here to ask me about my experience, you want to know....Are BRIDEZILLA's real? The answer is YES! They are real and they walk among us. I have had 3 in my career. But those stories are for another day.

I started my bridal career in 2009 with very few brides to now having over 25 brides in a season (May-September). I estimate I have worked with over 300 brides in my career and I can't wait to work with more! I love to learn and am constantly taking advanced education in business and beauty to better prepare for the needs of my brides. I aim to offer a personal yet easy experience for all of my brides. I create an environment where they not only feel beautiful but feel listened to.

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

What I love about weddings nowadays, is that each one of them is unique! No two weddings are exactly the same. This has helped me keep my bridal hair and makeup services a la carte. Brides can add on bridesmaids/family member hair and makeup services without worrying about disrupting a package deal. I have a small team of very talented hair/makeup artists and we are able to service a party up to 14 people.

My bridal services include: Hairstyle of their choice, custom airbrush makeup application, custom false lashes, kiss proof lipstick and a touch up kit for later.
Bridesmaids/Family services include: Hairstyle to match bridal theme, airbrush makeup application and false lashes.

I offer other separate services such as: haircuts, hair color, tape in extensions, waxing and bridal trials.

In 2020, due to the pandemic, my business took a shift. I was working on more elopement brides than brides with large wedding parties. Though wedding season wasn't what I originally thought it would be, it was still fun! Brides were focusing on what matters most. Love.

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?

If a bride has a small wedding party of 3 people then I will be the only artist onsite. If the party is 4 or more then I will bring another hair/makeup stylist. I am the lead artist that solely works on the bride while my assistant will work on the wedding party. I am so happy to say we have not had to cancel on a wedding yet! But it's good to have a plan right?

In case of emergency, let's say I get really sick or death in my immediate family, I will assign my assistant to take my place. If we have exhausted all of our options and we are not able to help the bride and her party then the bride is refunded 100%.

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

There are so many beautiful venues all around Oregon and Southwest Washington. Travel fees start at $40. We will drive up to three hours (one way) for a wedding. We do require a minimum of four people receiving hair and makeup services in order to travel that far. We do not charge a travel fee to local Portland hotels or venues. Parking fees will be charged to the bride's room/account.

Though we don't usually receive offers to fly out of country, I have flown to Norway for a bride. With any out of state or out of country travel, our flight and lodging must be compensated by the bride.

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

Yes! I ALWAYS encourage a bride to do a bridal trial before her wedding day. It is like a dress fitting but for your hair and makeup. Would you buy your wedding dress without getting it fitted? Most likely not. A bridal trial is an "in salon" service where I start with a 15 minute consult then perform full hairstyling and makeup application as if the bride was getting married that day. I communicate with the bride, take notes, pictures and videos to ensure I recreate the same look (or better) on the wedding day.

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

Due to covid , we are not able to use the bride's own makeup. I cannot guarantee the performance or sanitation of a bride's personal makeup product. The only reason I would have a bride supply her own product is if she has a legit allergy to a particular ingredient. I had a bride who had a serious allergy to most mascara brands, so I had her supply her own mascara for her wedding.

I love trying new products and constantly improve my kit with new makeup items and technology. Here are the brands that I use the most:

Hair styling products: Aquage, Amika, Sexyhair, Kenra and Fabhair
Makeup products: Temptu, Viseart, Tom Ford, Ardell, Smashbox and MAC.

99% of our products are gluten free! We follow very strict Covid/Safety/Sanitation guidelines sent to us by the State of Oregon. Every two years I take an exam to be sure I am updated on all the latest safety/sanitation laws for my industry.

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

Magic!

No, but seriously, I have tried many products and techniques (and some potions) over the years to find what works to help keep the bride's makeup flawless all day long. What helps is to understand the bride's skin type first. Once I know what her skin is like and how she takes care of it, then I will know what makeup products will work best on her. Makeup looks best when skin is at it's best. Primers and setting sprays play a big role in keeping the makeup on all day.

I LOVE airbrush makeup! It is waterproof, sweat resistant, long lasting, flawless coverage, covers acne/scars and...wait for it, it's light weight on the skin. It feels good and looks fabulous. Photographers love it when they hear their bride is wearing airbrush makeup. I encourage all of my brides to try airbrush makeup at their bridal trial.

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

The duration of a bride's makeup application depends on the look she wants. If her look is more simple and elegant then her makeup will take less time compared to a bride who wants an ultra-glam makeup look. Most bridal makeup application takes 45mins to an hour start to finish. This includes false lash application. To help the bride/bridal party stay on time, I create a timeline for everyone to follow the morning of the wedding. My assistant and I stay until the bride and her party are ready for photos or the ceremony. We can stay after the ceremony for touch ups for an extra hourly fee. Our bride's rarely need us to stay for touch ups. The hair and makeup is long lasting and I give the bride a touch up kit before I leave the venue.

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

To reserve the wedding day/services we require a nonrefundable retainer of 50% of the total of services requested upfront. This retainer is only refundable if I cancel the wedding. If the bride cancel's her wedding, the retainer is nonrefundable.

If the bride needs to postpone her wedding date into the following year, and we are available, then there is a small transfer fee and paperwork needed to transfer her date. If we are not available then her retainer is refunded to her.

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Awards

WeddingRule Editor’s Choice 2020