Western Australian brides – you are indeed lucky! Melissa of Birdsnest Bridal (based in WA) is one multi-talented person. Not only does she do wedding makeup and hair, she also designs and makes beaded hairpieces to compliment your bridal gown. Subtle makeup is her forte, but if you want something bolder, she can do that too. And she has some great tips to tells us about, to help us look our best on the wedding day. Here is Melissa’s story…..

How did you get into the bridal hair and makeup profession?

I’ve been a hairdresser for the past 17 years. I’d worked for myself since 21, I meet and married my handsome farmer and moved to the country, I was looking for a new direction but still loved hair and saw a niche in the market.

Which came first – hair or makeup, and was one a natural progression from the other?

Hair was first then makeup artistry.

Image by Sarah Tonkin Photography

What do you enjoy about bridal hair and makeup?

I love the creativity with bridal work. I’m still hairdressing and have a very regular clientele so it’s lovely as I get out to meet new people and work with hair in a different way.

How do you keep up with the changes in hair and makeup styles and trends?

Last year I headed east for training with Sharon Blain, but I always look to events like the Oscars and Cannes Film Festival, I love how elegant the women look, yet there is a softness and grace. I love looks usually worn by Cate Blanchett, Naomi Watts, Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson.

What do you love about current trends?

That anything goes and people are being true to themselves.

Image by Bird On The Wall Photography

How would you characterize your style? (Are you known for a certain ‘look’?)

My brides tell me when booking that they love that my styling is soft, not stiff and too hair sprayed. I often get picked to do vintage styles too.

Do you prefer to do the whole look (makeup and hair) for the bride on her wedding day?

I do prefer to do the whole look for smaller wedding parties. But I don’t favour one over the other.

Are you able to advise on a look for the bridal party? And what influences the look for the day?

I do tend to listen to what the bride has envisaged, she has been thinking about this day for along time.

However I’m happy to advise and I usually base it on what the bride has chosen for herself and create a toned down variation of the style to suit the bridesmaids.

Image by Bird On The Wall Photography, hairpiece by Birdsnest Bridal

How do you determine the colours you use?

I tend to stick with colours that complement the client’s skin, hair and eye colouring. And not to clash it with the tones of the wedding party.

How should a bride and her maids prepare their skin for the wedding day?

Good sleep and limit alcohol in the lead up and the night before (seen too many blotchy puffy faces) makeup can only do so much. Start with your insides drink plenty of water and eat good clean foods, start exfoliating once a week to remove dry patches and moisturise.

What tips can you give us to prepare our hair for the wedding day?

In the lead up trim your ends at least every 6 to 8 weeks, don’t start playing with colours a month or two out. If you regularly colour your hair take note of when you like it best, the week you do it or 3 weeks after when foils may have softened and grown out a bit. Book you last salon visit at that time before the wedding.

Not all hair stylists are the same but I find I like a dry texture to the hair and not too slippery. I recommend to wash the day before, condition only the ends and don’t style it other than a blow-dry with no product. (I hate working on the myth of “dirty hair”).

Do you have any tips for keeping their makeup looking fresh during the day?

A lot of Aussie brides are getting married on hot over 30 degree days. Have a light layer of foundation so you don’t feel like you are melting, if you need to re powder make sure to remove the excess oil first, if you don’t if will start to look caked. But try and stay cool.

Image by Angela Higgins

What should a bride pack in a kit to take with her on the wedding day?

Lipstick, gloss, blotting paper, pressed powder and brush to apply, blush if you want to add a bit more colour for the evening, small hairspray, babywipes (great to wipe over your body if it’s a hot sticky day).

Your favourite hair and makeup products?

Hair  – I love the White Sands range, for makeup I favour Nars, MAC and elementwo for my airbrushing.

How do you make sure your career fits in with family life?

I have a very supportive husband and wouldn’t be able to do half as much without him. And learning it’s OK to say no.

Image by 27Creative Steve Wise

What can we find you doing on your days off?

I love being at home, cooking and gardening, you’ll find me shopping, eating, opshopping or photographing.

Thank you for Melissa for sharing your story. To find out more about Melissa at Birdsnest Bridal visit the website.

All Hair and Makeup in these images by Melissa at Birdsnest Bridal.

Headshot by 27Creative Steve Wise