On those most special occasions--an important date night, wedding, or black-tie event--it pays to know a beauty professional who makes house calls. But what if you don't know one? Booking services, which are steadily gaining steam in big cities, offer a great alternative to seeking out an individual makeup artist or hair stylist on your own.
I had the pleasure of testing out two New York City makeup booking services, TheStylisted.com and BookYourLookNYC.com. Rates at both companies vary, but you can book an hour-long session for about $100.
Founded by two MBA students who were up to their ears in wedding invitations, TheStylisted offers easy online booking for clients in NYC and Chicago. Simply choose a time slot and select from a list of available artists at different price points.
My makeup artist, Adriana Duque, and I had a nice chat about what I wanted to do to my face. She also dished on her reality TV clients (ahem, "Housewives"). In under 25 minutes she gave me a full and very detailed look that would have taken me 45 minutes, at least.
I told her to go highlighter and bronzer crazy on me. I wanted the full red carpet treatment. I certainly felt like a star with my go-to bold brows and red lip enhanced by an artful cat eye and some killer cheekbone action.
What was in her kit? On me, she used Arbonne Facial Toner (great for refreshing makeup and cooling off), MAC Mineralize powder (which I am now going to buy), Laura Mercier Radiance Primer, NARS Orgasm Blush, and Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, among other things. I love seeing products that people use every day in a pro artist's kit--it totally validates all of my makeup purchases.
Fully radical and worth her rate, Adriana was professional, punctual, and fast. If you have a small crew that needs to be beautified for, say, a high school reunion or bachelorette party, I could see her busting out makeup for three to four ladies in two hours.
Book Your Look
My next makeup adventure was with Book Your Look's Christopher Marcum. BYL was founded by working editorial and media makeup and hair talent. The online booking process is straight forward: pick your date/time, choose a service, and select a professional. You can filter by location, price, and specialty (film and television, weddings, editorial, etc.). BYL is strictly NYC.
Christopher has a passion for bringing forward a client's natural beauty, which I loved hearing, especially since he comes from an editorial background where even the most beautiful faces get Photoshopped.
He made my makeup look soft and beautiful, and I really enjoyed peeking inside his kit. All of my favorite pro products were on hand: Embryolisse Lait Creme, Lucas' Papaw Ointment, and MUFE HD Microfinish Powder.
He used Tarte's Amazonian Butter Chubby Stick in a slight pink on my lips and MAC rose gold eye shadow on my lids for a sultry, lingerie model glow. I felt like I could go to bat with Doutzen Kroes--if only I could keep my squinty eye under control.
I'd wear Christopher's final look to a wedding (I actually have one coming up), or if I wanted to get sexy-fied for some boudoir photos. His work is also great for professional photos or work-related engagements.
This experience was lovely, and both artists made me feel gorgeous, like I could blend right in on the Met Gala red carpet. I highly recommend both of these beauty booking services if you're having your photo taken in a professional or HD-type setting. Things like camera flashback, makeup creasing, and highlighting in the wrong places are all potential pitfalls if going it on your own. No one wants to end up an internet meme, right?
P.S. This happened.
Have you used a beauty booking service in your area? What's the last good product you discovered by peeking into a professional artist's kit?
Photos by Darnell Scott