10 Questions with Jennifer Trotter

WeddingRule Interviewed one of the most experienced and highly sought-after wedding hair & makeup artists in Texas, Jennifer Trotter of Lip Service Makeup. Grapevine based Jennifer Trotter is the founder and owner of Lip Service Makeup.

Lip Service Makeup

Hair & Makeup Artist - Jennifer Trotter

10 Questions with Jennifer Trotter

1. Introduction: What's your story?

Hello! I'm Jen Trotter, owner and Principal Artist behind one of DFW's most popular bridal beauty teams, Lip Service Makeup. After a short stint as a model, presenter and TV host, I became a pro artist 31 years ago. After spending a few years doing makeup for national commercials (Wingstop, Tostitos, Wyndham hotels, Girl Scouts of America and more), I formed Lip
Service Makeup and began working with brides. I absolutely love the personal connection and customer service involved in bridal artistry! For several years I worked full-time as a Program Director for the Make A Wish Foundation and as a PR executive while doing weddings every weekend....when we got to a certain point, I decided to focus full time on Lip Service and grow my team.

My team and I absolutely love being able to provide flawless looks for our brides and clients! We're known for timeless "soft glam" looks that look fabulous in photographs and in person, as well as for having a lot of experience with all skin tones, hair types, ages and ethnicities.

Lip Service was built on more than just makeup and hair....we're known for warm and personable service, consistency and dependability, all crucial elements to ensure a smooth delivery of services on the wedding day.

The venues, planners and photographers who refer us know that we treat our brides like gold and it's always going to be an amazing experience. As a result, Lip Service has grown into a top, award-winning bridal beauty team that works with 150+ beautiful brides each year, in addition to our media and commercial clients.
I'm very involved in the wedding industry, serving as the Director of Professional Development for the Professional Wedding Guild for the last 8 years. I belong to NACE, SWP, and WIPA as well, and have served as a featured speaker at the national wedding conference Wedding MBA, teaching other bridal beauty team owners and wedding professionals strategies on how to run their businesses better.

We are incredibly proud to have been voted Favorite Hair and Makeup team in DFW for the last three years, and were voted "Most Worthy" Hair and Makeup team in DFW by PWG Fort Worth. Such an honor, especially considering how many incredible teams are currently working in our market!

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

I've been a bridal beauty artist for the last 25 years, I absolutely love working with brides! At this point, I've worked with just over 2000 brides over the span of my career, and between bridal parties, headshots, media clients, etc, I average about 800 faces in any given year. Last year 's numbers were lower due to the shutdown, but in the last several years, we average 150+ weddings annually.

My focus is makeup, but I also do hairstyling as well. I do all the hair and makeup for published features and editorials, engagement sessions and media clients. Most weeks, I do makeup every single day, and I love it!

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

Our most popular packages include bride plus bridesmaids and moms, plus a trial run and either an engagement session, bridal session...or all three. Each package is customized to fit exactly what each bride needs, and large groups are our specialty!

Our largest wedding to date was a Bride plus 18 bridal party that included a trial run session, a bridal portrait session, wedding day hair and makeup for Bride plus 18. SO....MUCH....FUN! Pre-wedding services to add on include bridal session hair/makeup, engagement session hair/makeup, boudoir session hair/makeup, pre-wedding party hair/makeup, and more.....we've had brides book us for wedding day and every thing else under the sun. Airbrush makeup is available at no charge by request, and lashes are included at no charge with any adult makeup application. We also offer hair services and age-appropriate makeup for flower-girls.

Logistics and planning are an important part of the process....we plan on no more than 5 hours get ready time and 7-8 services per artist to ensure a smooth delivery of services with the last services completed looking just as stunning as the first.

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?

For Lip Service Makeup, brides know up front if they will be booking with me personally, or with members of my team on days when we have multiple events. I have a full team of vetted, experienced artists to assist me on larger bookings, and team leads who can handle bookings on their own.

Each of our artists has a minimum of 5 years experience with hair and makeup, with some having as many as 10, 15, or more under their belt. (My lead hairstylist and myself have been doing hair and makeup respectively for 30+ years!) Our seasoned artists benefit brides in so many ways, not the least of which is the ability to do flawless looks on absolutely any skin tone or hair type, but also to work with any age group...no cookie cutter services here!

Each booking has a designated lead makeup artist and hairstylist, and all pre-wedding services are done with the same team to ensure continuity. As the owner, I am the main contact point for all bookings, and make myself available to all LSM brides via email or phone at all times.

In case of extreme emergency, I have a network of artists within my team to jump in (it's very, very rare to have to do this), and in addition, we are friends with all of our top competitors. If we're full or can't fill a need within the LSM team, we are able to reach out to other teams and locate and similarly experienced artist or stylist to ensure services are delivered. We get emergency calls to fill services for other teams as well, and our communication process within the industry makes this possible in every situation.

On wedding day, we arrive 15 minutes early to load in and set up, start at the designated time, and finish right on schedule. As I referred to previously, the logistics and planning that go in ahead of time allow this to happen every....single....time! I work with the bride and her mother and planner to ensure all questions are answered and everyone knows what to expect, including hair prep, room set up, makeup prep, etc. That way on wedding day, it's all about having fun and creating a relaxing and stress-free environment! We send our bride down the aisle in a fantastic mood, ready to marry the love of her life.

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

Since we live in one of the largest wedding markets in the country (hooray!) we don't HAVE to travel often, and typically do weddings within a 2 hour radius on our home base (Grapevine, TX) every weekend. We are centrally located in the metroplex, so our travel fees are usually minimal for destinations within 60 miles, rates are quoted based on distance and time. We are available to travel to destinations within Texas and beyond! Each destination wedding is quoted with those specifics in mind, and include regular services, plus day rates to cover travel days, flight/accommodations, etc.

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

Most brides book to secure their date, and then we schedule the trial run session within 60 days of the wedding. This is the most efficient process to follow, as once the bride has actually booked, I can assign staff and know who to schedule the trial session with, plus we can cover all prep notes and day of questions or concerns in those weeks prior to the big day.

Occasionally brides opt to book a stand alone trial run session, and that's totally fine! Most book and secure their date at the trial run session. We schedule all pre-wedding services Monday-Thursday between 9am-6pm , and keep weekends free for weddings.

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

Professional artists typically will not allow a bride to provide her own makeup.....there are liability and performance issues at hand. As an insured artist and company, we are covered using our products and tools that we know are safe and sanitized and in a good state of repair. Each artist and stylist arrives with a fully stocked kit including everything needed to create makeup or hairstyles for absolutely anyone. We custom blend formulas and colors to ensure a perfect match, and our products and tools are sanitized after every use, plus we use disposables and other techniques to ensure no cross contamination. Our kits have a mix of premium and industry brand products designed to blend and wear beautifully under wedding conditions. A few of my favorite brands include Charlotte Tilbury, Tarte, Urban Decay, Laura Mercier, Armani, It Cosmetics, Benefit and more.

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

There are so, so many answers to this question....it's a multi-step process. Obviously education, experience and technique go into a flawless application, but well chosen, high-quality products are key as well. Thin layers of product applied methodically, step-by-step ensure that everything lasts from the first kiss to the last dance!

We are known for a soft glam, "like you, but better" look that brides crave.....it honestly looks like a filter, but it's real life! Everything looks smooth and perfect, subtly enhanced....the most gorgeous version of yourself. Knowing what colors, products and techniques to use for each person in your chair takes years to learn, and then is refined by doing it, a lot....weddings every single weekend. Experience is so key to great results and a customized look that's perfect...for YOU.

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

We plan on approximately 40 minutes per service on wedding day, and bring enough artists and stylists to manage that pace, plus a little extra. We leave when services are complete, generally right before photos start. We have an hourly rate to stay and do touch ups, but it's honestly not necessary....the makeup and hair is built to last!

We are also available at an hourly rate for look changes and such, we can customize any package to include this extra time.

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

We accept a 50% retainer that is non-refundable, with the final balance is due 30 days out from wedding day.

During Covid, we had many unusual circumstances, including our very first ever rescheduled weddings! Weddings scheduled to take place during quarantine were rescheduled at no charge and all of those brides plugged into future wedding dates (no one cancelled). Now that everything is open, venues are open and services were possible, reschedules are possible with a rescheduling fee and final balance due to secure a second date.

You can always add services to a contract, but you cannot remove them; we do allow a transfer of services. (Example, your bridesmaid is sick and can't attend....a house party member can take her place). We have a clearly worded and easy to understand contract that is designed to protect us, and the bride.

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Awards

WeddingRule Editor’s Choice 2020