Makeup by Monica is a professional makeup service based out of Branchburg, NJ run by Monica Clarke, one of the sweetest women I know! She knows her stuff about skincare, and makes you feel so comfortable in her makeup chair. I know because I've been in it myself during my makeup trial for my upcoming wedding! An added bonus... she'll also style your hair to complete the look! I've had the chance to work with Monica on Jordan's wedding day in 2015, and I look forward to working with her again with more of my upcoming brides.
A Little Bit About Makeup By Monica...
How long have you been working in the makeup industry?
I have been working in the industry for over 15 years. As of last year, I have officially registered as an LLC business. I keep myself up to date with the latest makeup trends and styles by continuing education with pro makeup classes instructed by high-end makeup lines and the best makeup artists in the industry.
Do you provide on-location makeup services for your clients? And if you do, are there extra fees involved for any required travel?
Yes, all my services are on-location. I travel to all of my clients. If travel exceeds 20 miles outside of Branchburg, NJ there are travel fees involved. All information is on my contract and my brides are fully aware of all fees prior to signing their contract.
What makeup brands and products do you use, and why?
I only use the finest high definition, premium quality products that are made to last a considerable amount of time, and I make sure to use products that will not have any adverse reactions to my client's skin. Products I use on my clients are trusted on film sets, red carpets, and professional editorial photoshoots.
Do you offer traditional foundation, airbrush, or both?
Currently I only offer traditional style makeup. I feel I have more control and my end results end up flawless both in person and in photography.
For a wedding party, what is the maximum number of girls you can provide your services for?
I can do as many as 8 girls. However, the entire day is planned and scheduled according to the time that the wedding party has to be ready by. If there is a larger wedding party or the ladies need to be ready early, then I will bring an assistant with me. She will only prep skin for me and I will apply the makeup.
How much time do you account for doing makeup for each bride or bridesmaid?
I allot one hour per person although it often takes less time. This is to cover for any unforeseen interruptions and make sure that the day runs smoothly.
What should a bride bring to her makeup trial with you?
Any head piece she will be wearing the day of her wedding. If she doesn't have one yet, I have several head pieces and a veil brides can use. In addition, it helps to bring along photos of the kind of hairstyle and makeup she likes, along with photos of her wedding theme inspiration and her bridesmaids' dresses. During a trial, I like to do a quick hairstyle so we can take pictures with her hair accessories or veil, this way she gets a more realistic look at the whole picture.
What kind of prep do you recommend a bride do before a trial and the morning of the wedding?
For trials I like my clients to just have a clean face. For both the trial and on the wedding day I like to do the skin prep. After I have determined what kind of skin they have I like to do a "mini facial" that may involve exfoliating, facial serums, and moisturizers. To me, this has always been the key to a flawless makeup application.
What is your policy should you become ill or unable to make it on the day of the wedding due to an emergency?
I treat every one of my weddings like it was going to be my own. I'm very punctual and always make sure I have a back-up makeup artist whose style of makeup is like mine. I document every single one of my jobs with pictures, contracts and notes so if I ever end up not being able to make a wedding due to some Act of God or an emergency, I will make sure to have my back-up prepared to replace me ONLY if the bride is willing to accept. The bride decides whether she hires another artist or accepts the artist I send in as my replacement. The 50% deposit will be refunded back to bride in the event she hires someone else, and she will be responsible for paying the new artist in full.
What is your best advice given to brides when it comes to planning their wedding day makeup style?
Less is more! I love creating looks that bring out the most beautiful version of herself.
What is your booking procedure and how soon should a bride book for their wedding day?
On my website I have a questionnaire that will start the process. I am able to give a quote and respond to any questions being asked. I will only hold a date with a 50% deposit. The faster we set up a trial and the bride decides to sign a contract and pay the deposit, the quicker she can secure me for her date. I'm currently booking into 2017 and 2018!
IS THERE ANY OTHER INFORMATION YOU'D LIKE TO PROVIDE ABOUT YOUR SERVICES?
I have invested several thousands in my kit and I take pride in how impeccable I maintain it at all times. No same brush will ever be used on different clients and beside my actual makeup and brushes, everything else used to apply makeup is all disposable.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU ARE AWAY FROM WORK?
I love having quality time with my family, enjoy making creative meals, and going out dancing!