You have had an incredible career in make-up artistry. Tell me how this transcended into weddings and what compelled you to write a book on helping brides on their wedding day.
I started doing make-up for fashion shoots and shows, celebrities etc. One day I was making up a beautiful young woman. She said to me, "gee I wish I could look like this on my wedding day. Do you do weddings?"
I didn't know anything about the wedding business at the time but she hired me to do her make-up for her wedding so it all started there. After that, I also met a wedding photographer who wanted to do a photo shoot test with me. She told me she did a lot of weddings and then she introduced me to a wedding planner. The wedding planner started hiring me to do her brides.
After a few weddings, I said to myself: "What's my purpose here?"
When going to these weddings, I realized that the brides didn't have that team of people to help them. So I started to talk to them ahead of time during my consultation. I would give them advice about getting ready for their wedding; like having a facial a week, not a day before the wedding. I would give advice about relaxing using meditation and yoga, keeping hydrated and detoxifying.
Many of these brides were clueless. Weddings are very frenetic and I would see a lot of crazy things happening at weddings between the fiancé, family and guests. Stress levels are high. So, I started writing down these funny stories.
I began writing this book of tips on how to be prepared for your wedding in order to minimize stress. Originally I would just make copies of it and give it to my brides. It was a work in progress of wedding info broken down into four parts.
Tips included things such as; what kind of fabric to look at if you're buying a dress and how to find a hair and make-up artist. Also, I cover how to interview them, as well as what to look for in a wedding planner. I wrote the book with brides in mind that absolutely couldn't afford any of those things. So first came some practical advice on how to hire someone to do things for you. Then came tips on how to do your own hair and make-up if they couldn't afford it.
The fourth section was where you could buy all the products that I mentioned. Whenever I would have a consultation, I would give one to the bride and one to the mom. The bride and groom would read it. When I got to the wedding, I would be totally surprised.
They followed my guidelines and were more prepared.
My brides would say to me, "Rochelle, I read your book." Then they would start pointing out to me the tips that they had followed, for instance, having sandwiches available for your bridal party so that everyone would have enough energy. They were totally prepared and so grateful. Being prepared for your wedding truly cuts down on the suffering and the tension of the day.
Eventually the book was finished and I worked with a great editor and we published it. The inspiration for the book came out of simply seeing how much help these brides and grooms and families needed, as opposed to working with models for a fashion shoot. I have a background in meditation and offered that to them it really helped them.
What was missing though was a chapter for the men. Shortly after my editor pointed that out, I got an email from one of the grooms and I wrote down everything I could think of for the grooms and grooms men. The chapter flowed naturally and it took me like five minutes to write. I am just glad that I had something to offer them. I would sit at these ceremonies and had to see the sacredness of the marriage and the world that we live in and realize how important these ceremonies are. To be able to contribute toward that really makes me feel wonderful.
What one tip would you say is essential for a new bride, no matter what kind of budget she is dealing with?
I would have to say that to remember the essence and the purity of the sacred reason why you're getting married. It's not about the dress, the hair, the make-up or the venue, it's about you and your groom. It's about the families uniting and the sacredness of making vows to each other living a life together as two friends.
If most people could remember that, it wouldn't even matter if you go to city hall and get married. The worst mistake is to go out of their way and be broke spending all this money and then they feel anxious about the perfect this and that. They lose sight of what it really is.
One of the nicest weddings I ever went to, I did her hair and make-up for the bride. She and her husband were on a really tight budget. She cooked the food and froze it ahead of time and served a buffet. Every morsel was something that she and her husband made. I remember tasting every single thing on that table. I wanted it to be a loving gesture. It was small and beautiful. Women feel like they can go broke, but it's unnecessary.
I never say not to any bride. One wedding I did was very different. It was a gay wedding. I have been doing gay marriages for years. She calls me up and asked how much I charge. I asked her budget and when the wedding was. She needed to get ready at nine in the morning and I had a huge wedding in the afternoon. I had to be there at ten. I told her I would come to her in Brooklyn if she sent a car for me.
So the morning of, I get there. It was a tiny little apartment. I go into her kitchen. I did her hair and make-up she hands me an envelope. She was so thrilled! She was so happy and that made me happy! I open the envelope there was so much money in there, much more than we had discussed. She had given me this huge tip and told me that I was the best. She was one of my most satisfied customers my happiest brides.
What is your favorite secret little insider make-up trick that women can do or practice for themselves?
A lot of women don't like to wear foundation. I would recommend by Lancome called Effacernes. If you just spot with your little finger, you can cover any imperfection. Its waterproof and no powdering is needed. If you put it on your lids before eyeshadow, the makeup will stay on for like twenty four hours.
I would also have recommend this amazing and natural skin cream called Skin of Gold that keeps your skin beautiful. This is a fantastic moisturizing cream and is great on any face, skin tone or type and helps to correct acne and discoloration. I love it and use it for myself and on my clients. It's a great product.
Where can we find your book and where can we follow your work going forward?
They can visit my website for the book an order online or email me directly at email@example.com I appreciate when people purchase my book. It's providing great information to help people and sending out emanations of myself.