Our latest Supplier Showcase is from the talented Makeup By Harper. We met Harper at our very first styled shoot back in 2019 and we were blown away by not only her finesse with a blusher brush but how much fun she was to work with on the day. Read on to find out more about this talented makeup artist.
Who are you and how did you come to be a makeup artist?
I’m Harper, 38, a solid Libra, laid back and a confident introvert with an obsession for animals. Born and raised in Birmingham I currently reside in the city centre with my two cats, but my goal is to eventually move to the countryside and grow my own veg with some rescue animals and chickens!
In 2014, I was working as a recruitment consultant, incredibly unhappy, void of creativity, my anxiety was through the roof and I had the Sunday night fears absolutely dreading the thought of going into work. I knew something had to change. With nothing feeding my creativity I decided to enrol on an accredited makeup artistry course with no expectations other than to do something I had always wanted to do and take myself out of this rut I had got myself into. I was desperate for a change and this is exactly what I needed. I had no idea what would transpire but the minute I walked into that room I felt clarity for the first time, something changed, and I immediately knew as cheesy as it sounds, I knew that I had found my “thing”.
I have always wanted to be my own boss and my mission was always to make that happen. As soon as I started the Makeup course, I made a rather challenging plan to find a way to come out of recruitment and be a working makeup artist within 12 months. I wanted to start from scratch, to learn the artistry, figure out what my place was in the industry and find my own style to create something credible and discover my niche. Being in my 30’s and fundamentally starting again was overwhelming financially and mentally to say the least but being a natural risk taker and someone who loves a challenge and a change, they were obstacles I wouldn’t allow myself to feel and the fear is what weirdly drove me.
I honestly believe that starting a new career in my 30’s is the reason why I have been able to create this business in the way it was meant to be. I had a clear vision and I wanted to reach out and appeal to women from all backgrounds who don’t usually wear really heavy makeup, or want to feel plastered in foundation, but do want to feel like the best versions of themselves on their wedding day with a more contemporary and natural feel. “Makeup by Harper” is the business I have always wanted and my love, passion and drive for this job has taken me on an amazing journey so far with so many amazing opportunities, but I feel like the best is yet to come.
What makes you different to other makeup artists in the area?
There are some amazing makeup artists in the West Midlands, and I champion any male or female in the industry who create and run their own business staying true to themselves. Although everyone works differently, I think the main points of difference are two things, my personal approach, and my ethical stance.
For me, building a trusting relationship with my clients is essential. As someone who has in the past suffered from severe acne, I totally understand how vulnerable you can feel, especially in the presence of people you don’t know let alone a makeup artist touching your face! I am in this incredible position of trust which I think is a privilege and I want my clients to feel as comfortable and considered as possible and that also goes through to their bridal party too. People underestimate just how personal makeup is and how it can make someone feel, for this reason It is a pre-requisite that I speak to all my potential brides over the phone so they can freely ask me as many questions as they want and get to know me before they consider progressing. I also feel this helps to ensure that I will always have their best interest at heart and will go out of my way to make the start of their day as memorable as I possibly can.
Secondly, and the one that is most important and apparent from my social media and website is that I am 100% cruelty free, vegan friendly and ethical makeup artist. I have heavily researched and chosen the best and premium brands that do not test their products on animals, and in most cases are vegan friendly meaning that they don’t have any animal derived ingredients which can commonly trigger or cause rosacea, acne and other skin conditions. For me, I have always felt the importance of aligning my personal beliefs with my professional career. I am a huge animal lover, volunteering at a Horse Sanctuary once a week, speaking out about injustice of animal abuse and testing and positively promoting incredible brands that are ethical and kind to the planet. I also have reusable organic cotton pads and bamboo cotton pads in my kit and try my hardest to buy makeup In glass containers and 100% recyclable plastic. Although I have my personal beliefs, I am void of judgement and fully respectful of everyone who works with me. Quite often, my clients will come back and ask me what I used as they were so impressed with the products but just to give a peace of mind, all my brands are widely recognised and immensely popular and premium.
What services do you offer?
As a business I solely focus on weddings as it is the area and industry, I enjoy the most. I can put all my energy and focus in to creating the best service for my clients. I am totally transparent with my packages and pricing and try and keep the process as straight forward as possible so you will no doubt find lots of useful information already laid out on my website which I update regularly with new testimonials and blog features. I offer trials for bridesmaids and for mums too and tailor the experience depending on how comfortable my clients are with makeup or not.
Tell us some of your favourite memories to date.
There are so many amazing memories to date it is hard to choose! I have been incredibly lucky enough to work at hundreds of weddings, travelled all over the UK, met some amazing brides, teamed up with some talented wedding suppliers and beautiful venues like Hanbury Wedding Barns where the team is exceptional and really work hard to give you the best wedding day possible! I have also been fortunate to have been published and featured on some highly reputable wedding blogs and magazine publications and even selected to work at London Fashion Week in my early days of being a makeup artist. Despite all of that I would say my favourite memory has to be travelling to Greece and working on two beautiful weddings back in 2019 which is the moment I realised that my job has no limits and felt incredibly thankful and fortunate to do what I do and simply living my dream!
What are your top 3 tips for a successful wedding day?
As I speak to every bride initially, I get to hear about all their wedding plans from the positives through to the challenging experiences and quite often relay these three simple points in one way or another as advice which seems to really help put things into perspective:
- Choose your suppliers based on your gut feeling.
Usually, if something feels “off” when you communicate with a supplier, it may mean they aren’t the right supplier for you. Following you Intuition is so important as I believe it never fails you! Social media is a great place to get a feel for someone’s style, but it is equally important that you get on with and have the same vision as the person curating their own feed. One of the best pieces of feedback I receive from my clients who have booked Hanbury Wedding Barns is just how incredibly personable the team are and always without fail mention how much Adrian genuinely cares about giving his clients an unforgettable experience and is passionate about his venue which is a true testament and one of the reasons I love being a supplier for them! It’s not just about the service they provide, it’s about how they make you feel.
I always recommend working with people who have a similar mindset, and you feel comfortable talking to so I advise speaking to them if possible and ask as many questions as you can. Testimonials also don’t lie; these are real couples who have been through the exact same process, so I definitely think that’s a great place to gain information. If they are the right supplier, they will go out of their way to help you through good communication and provide you unlimited amount of advice, support, and recommendations. No question will seem daft to them and the beauty of reaching out to suppliers for help is that they have worked at hundreds of weddings and only have your best interest at heart so lean on them when you need to.
2. Stay true to yourself.
Through the entire wedding planning process and especially when it comes to wedding makeup. Don’t let anyone let you think you need loads of makeup for the photography as this is simply untrue and is quite often why people who don’t usually wear a lot of makeup feel overwhelmed. Your wedding pictures will reflect your confidence and that does not have to mean piles of makeup. I have so many tried and tested methods of creating your perfect bridal makeup which still looks like you, but at your absolute best so regardless to how comfortable you feel wearing makeup, there isn’t anyone who can’t enjoy the experience and feel amazing which is the ultimate end goal for me.
3. Have fun with it and do things your way.
Most are hell bent on planning their wedding their way – and quite rightly so, however I speak to so many brides who start feel the pressure to organise their wedding around their friends and family. Who to invite? Who not to invite? Weddings are expensive so It’s important to not listen to too many voices as you really can’t please everyone so plan it on the way you want to ensure you will have a day that’s designed for you and your partner as that’s what’s the most important.
For the brides, keep checking in with yourself and feel if you are happy with the plans and do things at a pace that’s comfortable with you avoiding to too many opinions about what you should or should have not arranged already by a certain point!
There are plenty of great blogs and websites that help you decide the main parts that are important to you so go with your gut feeling and if in doubt, reach out to your suppliers for help, their impartial but experienced advice is totally free so take complete advantage of their knowledge. Most importantly, surround yourself with positive people and have fun.