I was delighted to meet Claire from Claire Hayes Makeup recently at a wedding fayre organised by Little Star Events. I got on really well with Claire and as a wedding photographer in Hampshire knew Claire would definitely become one of my supplier friends who I could recommend to my brides.
Claire and I were both exhibiting at a subsequent wedding fayre at Alton House Hotel and both took part in the styled photo shoot arranged by Little Star Events. Claire stepped in at the last minute to do the makeup for a couple of the models and with very little equipment with her on the day, she did an amazing job. So good, we’ve even got a front cover image on the Dorset and Hampshire Bride Magazine.
Claire has been freelance full time on her business since July last year but has been doing hair and makeup for over 4 years now. She kind of fell onto makeup … after A’levels she wanted to be an accountant.. working in an office environment during her apprenticeship, it really didn’t feel right for Claire so she took a year out and then the following year went on to do a two year course in hair at Guildford college. She didn’t feel that this course allowed her to reach her full potential in creativity so then went onto do a full time course in makeup. It’s great to see a makeup artist who is really serious about her education, skills and knowledge.
Her business starting by getting a lot of requests to do makeup freelance but because she worked for MAC full time she kept having to turn work down and so decided after having a few conversation to take a big leap of faith and go for it, it took a lot of encouragement from friends and family to give her the confidence to do it because her and her husband were buying a house at the same time!
Claire’s clients booked her as she has an amazing personality; chatty and really easy to get on with. When she does makeup she tries to get to know the personality and signature look of each person. She really does make a special effort to understand what her clients are looking for and is totally honest on what will work best for the client.
I asked Claire what makes her brides feel so special. “I think when your doing bridal makeup it really is about specialising it to each individual. I always say to people don’t just do a ‘bridal look’ because that’s what you think you should look like on your wedding day.. think about your personality, how you normally wear your makeup, what is your (or your husband to be) favourite feature, whose makeup do you love at the moment and then it’s listening to all of that and coming up with a look together .. I treat my brides like a friend, have a chat, a giggle but when it comes down to it give an honest opinion”
Claire clearly adores doing bridal makeup and believes it’s a privilege being asked to spend that special morning with someone. Having the confidence that she will make her brides feel beautiful for such a big day is really important to Claire.
Claire thinks it’s really really important that she can work with suppliers that she can recommend to brides; it makes the biggest difference to the feel of the day, if you have people who know each other or have worked together before it’s just so much more relaxed and fun.
Also it’s about trust, for instance if Claire work with a hairstylist who she has recommended or has worked with before she feel like they must work in unison, there’s no awkwardness.
I ask Claire how she sees the future of her business… “ooo, hard question! Haha! I think long term wise I would love to do like masterclass sessions and perhaps have a mobile studio, like in a cool vehicle and travel to wedding venues and do the makeup in it and have the option to stay and have glam sessions for guests or something like that, but in the grand scheme of things just to be successful and have more people recommending me and have more brides each year who are lovely enough to book me.