A couple of weeks ago, I had the absolute pleasure of chatting skincare and sustainability with the brilliant Chrys Chapman, MUA. Chrys is based in Harrogate, just up the road from me, and really knows her stuff when it comes to skin science. You can check out our chat in the video below, or there’s a transcript further down the page.
You can see more of Chrys on her website, or any of her social links below.
Katherine: Hi there, I’m Katherine from Giftast Wedding and Event Stationery based in Batley, and I’m here today with the brilliant Chrys Chapman, a make up artist based just up the road from me in Harrogate, in North Yorkshire. Hi Chrys!
Chrys: Hello, hello!
K: Thank you for coming, lovely to see you. Please will you tell me all about yourself!
C: Yes, so as you said, I’m Chrys, I’m a hair and make up artist and stylist based in Harrogate. I’m clearly not native to Yorkshire, I moved over here from the States, from California, gosh, about 14 years ago, and yeah. Sort of balancing life with two getting very grown up children and lots of makeup and hair fun basically. So that’s what I do.
K: So, I have a couple of questions about preparing for your big day with your makeup in particular. Do you have any pre-wedding skin care tips to get you looking your best ahead of the big day?
C: Yes – so basically when I do I trial with one of my brides, I always recommend that we build in some extra time to go through a skin care routine, even if we haven’t built in extra time, it comes up anyway, because I’m quite a skincare obsessive – probably because I’m quite a science nerd, actually, so
I tend to think that if the skin isn’t right, the make up can be beautiful but it probably won’t stick as well as it could.
So yeah, there’s lots of skin tips, but they’re all very skin type and condition specific, so getting a makeup artist who does have a background in skin. I think that’s the first step, because we can then really speak to what products are best for you, what’s gonna sit really nicely on the day. So yeah, but the rule of thumb for me, you definitely need a really good cleanser, and commit to taking your makeup off every day.
K: We’ve all done that!
C: People are like, “do I really have to?”, and I’m like “yeah, you really do !” So that one, and a really good moisturiser, something with an SPF. That’s it, that’s kind of the capsule, really important stuff.
K: So, does that help with making your makeup last longer on the day, and
are there any other tips you have to help your makeup last longer?
C: Absolutely. So yeah,
the more prepped your skin is, the less makeup you’ll need.
The less makeup we use, the longer it will last. So all if these things really work together and equally, you know. Where we start at the very beginning, with a makeup consultation is trying to figure out if a bride wants her skin to look matt or dewy. I mean, that’s the very basic choice that we have to get to, and we can achieve those things mostly through our skin care, actually.
So the more we can prep the skin for giving the overall effect, the less heavy lifting we have to do with make up products. Then skin tends to look more like skin, which we like, and it always photographs nicer when there are fewer products on, so yeah, that’s kind of the long and short of that, and in terms of making your makeup last longer. I mean, I could probably do a whole 20-30 minutes talking just about primer, because I’m that passionate about it. *Laughs* I won’t, but I will say,
get yourself a good primer, without any silicone in it.
There is one exception to that rule, but that’s the rule.
K: Alright, brilliant. For your wedding make up, I guess you’ll need less time if you’ve got your skin care routine down, but
how long would you suggest people leave to have their makeup done on the day?
C: Yeah, so I do get this one a lot, so rule of thumb is 45 minutes is the industry standard that we would allow for a wedding make up. For a bridal make up, I would definitely allow a little bit more time, because we are going to probably be using more skin care products as well. I always prep a bride’s skin – I wouldn’t necessarily say differently to a bridesmaid, because if a bridesmaid needed more skin care to make the make up stick correctly, I would do it, but a bride I would absolutely be putting that time in to an application.
So yeah, that’s not to say that we can’t do a make up faster than 45 minutes, but to allow for everything to run really smoothly, and I want to be calm, because that’s a really important element, actually.
That when you’re choosing your make up artist, you want the chemistry to be right, because that getting ready time, that’s a massive part of your special day.
You don’t want that to be messed around because we’re frantically trying to get curls put in, and curls are falling, or we haven’t had enough time to set your makeup properly, so, yes, always give a little bit of extra time.
K: Ah, brilliant. So, another question I had is, I’m vegan, so one thing that, when I was looking for – considering a makeup artist for our wedding, something that put me off was not necessarily knowing about whether they’d be using the right products for me, so is that something you can cater for?
C: Yes, absolutely. And I think more and more we are seeing in the industry the brands are getting savvy to this, that consumers – it’s something that’s really really important to them, so while I can’t say that my entire kit is vegan-friendly yet, that is the direction that I’m moving in, and I have got to a stage now where I’m only adding new products that fit that particular bill, because my clients want it, so it’s no good me having, sort of, a non vegan and a vegan kit, like –
I aim to find things that are only cruelty friendly and vegan friendly.
A lot of products, even looking towards like, gluten free, so it is a lot to do with sort of knowing your brands, and knowing your customer, so actually the flip side of that argument, is that I’ve got a couple of customers with very sensitive skin, and we’ve had to work really closely to figure out which ingredients it is that they can’t use, and sometimes those aren’t necessarily vegan friendly.
So we have to find a balance, but you know, as well, if you do have specific concerns like that, you can get the makeup artist to use your own – say, your own foundation, or your own specific products that you feel really strongly like that this is the one that I use, and I have to have it. They’ll advise you if it’s one that’ll photograph well or not, but you can definitely insist upon that. So yeah.
K: Oh that’s so – I had no idea about gluten free in makeup at all, no idea whatsoever. That’s really interesting.
C: Yeah, but it all ties in with a question that I have for you, actually, so I’m gonna take reins. So, in terms of your business, because obviously we’re all very eco sort of centric at the moment, making sure that we’re doing good things for the environment. Obviously, you work with paper, so
what are we doing that’s good for the environment?
K: OK, well it’s a couple of things, because I love paper, I love the feel of it, like I love books, I love holding them in my hand, and I think there is something about wedding stationery – like, we always give out sample packs, because holding it in your hand is just so different from seeing it online, so I am very pro-paper. However, also pro environment, so we do that in a couple of ways.
So in house, we recycle everything we possibly can.
One of the reasons we don’t do a lot of foiling, and we certainly don’t have foil samples, although it is something we can get for you, is just because it’s not so environmentally friendly. It’s more difficult to dispose of, things like that. So it’s not something we like to keep and hold. We also – we do offer recycled papers, although it isn’t our standard, just because of print quality, so that is an issue that the industry as a whole has, but we do make sure we always use vegetable inks, we use a printer that has a really good recycling policy, they plant trees, they recycle 100% of their waste, so it’s just doing what we can within the limited sphere of what we have to the best, really.
So there are always ways we can get better, like we are cutting back on paper we do with a gloss finish, just because that’s more difficult to recycle, and it’s a bit plastic-y. So just to try and trim where we can, just to make it as eco as possible, but we can always do better and that’s something we’re always looking at.
C: Cool. Very good.
And from a design point of view, do you ever coordinate with other wedding suppliers?
So, I don’t know, are there things that, like, you can – cake, say. Could you have the same design on your cake as you did on your stationery.
K: That isn’t something we’ve done, but I would absolutely love to do that. That would be so nice. Because I design everything, all bespoke stuff from scratch, so it’s never going to be elements you’ll find anywhere else, on any other websites or anything like that, so it would be wonderful to carry it through to your cake – that would be amazing, yeah, definitely. Maybe your makeup, can we do some sort of exciting face painting would be incredible.
C: Flowers, and things like that. But even things like, you do see a lot of brides opting for gifting their bridesmaids, like dressing gowns.
K: Oh yes.
C: For the morning of- something like the pattern on your dressing gown, so it all ties in together, and then it’s in your photos, that kind of thing.
K: Oh, lovely, yeah, definitely. I’ve got loads of ideas to take forward, thank you so much, Chrys! And really lovely to talk to you! Thank you so much for your time.