Posted in: Weddings

What to expect during a Consultation Appointment & How to Prepare

Liz working on bride J. Photo Credit Chard Photo

We’re winding down 2017 season, and we are really grateful for all the wonderful clients we’ve had this year so far. As 2018 is about to roll around, I’m realizing the last time I wrote a blog was February. My husband gave me such a hard time about it all throughout Spring/Summer/Fall (you know, the busiest times for us) and here I am finally here to write about an urgent topic that may be beneficial for anyone who may come across it, even if you don’t plan to hire us (although we hope you would consider us!), I hope you would still find this blog helpful in your wedding planning process!  I’ve gathered a few FAQs about the consultation appointment.

Why is it called a Consultation?
Other vendors may refer to it as a trial run or preview, but I personally don’t feel it accurately describes what happens and the nature of the appointment. Firstly, nobody is on trial! Secondly, it’s not a preview because changes will inevitably be made, and we’re not doing a part of the service (like watching the movie preview), we’re going over the entire enchilada. Most importantly, it’s a collaborative process, and while you are coming to a professional – essentially consulting us for our expertise in makeup & hair – the output depends on your input. What we create and construct depends heavily on your feedback. In other words, without both parties collaborating at the fullest, exchanging maximum amount of information and ideas, both visual and verbal, it may be more challenging process than expected. Communication is key for a successful consultation appointment.  The consultation is truly a collaboration and team effort between artist & client and so receiving visual and verbal direction from you is essential. The appointment is also about building trust and rapport (more on this below!). I want to emphasize that each artist and client has their own way of processing and analyzing information. I know that sounds like common sense, but I found this to be crucial for all parties to think about and take into account when approaching this appointment. For example, I will tell my clients immediately if I’m noticing steps I can do differently for better results. It not only helps me remember, but confirms with my client what we are seeing now and what we want to see are the same and that we are on the same page. I know some artist will sit down and think about it later, and write it all down in their notes as soon as the client leaves their studio.  Similarly, some clients will tell us immediately something they would like to change, while others need some time to think about it, and would write/call us with notes and feedback. Either way, just know that we as artists are always happy to make changes to make sure to best execute your vision! We have our own aesthetic and our own vision of what may look great on you, but this is not our wedding day, it’s yours! It’s your face and image, and we’re here for you.

Bridal party getting touched up by artist Jerilyn. Photo Edyta Szyszlo

What happens during the Consultation?
The first 15 minutes we discuss details about your event, go over the questionnaire, and discuss any concerns you may have. Then we look at your inspiration hair & makeup photos and get started on the look. We make as many edits and tweaks as time permits, and during this process, we take the opportunity to get to know you and your fiancé a little bit!  It’s usually just the artist and the bride; here at Skyla Arts we welcome 1 guest of your choice. It’s often the Best Friend/Maid of Honor, Sister of the Bride, or Mother of the Bride. This is so that we maintain an intimate experience. While the guest may participate, our main focus is getting information and direction from the bride directly. At the end, we take a few photos to help document the process, and we collect feedback, either in person, or afterwards via phone or email.

Artists Victoria, Treja and Angela getting bridal party ready. Photo by Jerry Yoon Photographers

How can I best prepare for the appointment?
The Logistics: I recommend seeing the artist 3-6 months before your event, after you’ve selected the main decor details for your wedding, as well as your dress. Sometimes brides have not selected their accessories and wanted to discuss that with us, and so having that time cushion also helps finalize last minute purchases. Ideally, you may want to schedule it on a day you are free the rest of your day so you can sit with the look, see how it wears, and process what you’ve done together at the appointment.  It’s also nice if you can go to your engagement photos or save the date photos after, so you can be photographed and then look at the results together with your makeup/hair artist.  We have a questionnaire we ask clients to fill out to find out about any allergies and sensitivities, and any concerns they may have about their skin/hair. But the more important piece of logistics is figuring out what you like and don’t like and bring it to your artist – ideally emailed before your appointment. Pinterest and blogs made the visual research process easier than 10 years ago. A tip I would give folks when they are looking around is to look for inspiration photos with people that has similar hair & skin color, and even bone structure. It is really challenging to have a session without any visual communication/research!  Then, consider your venue and the time of year the event is happening and the weather conditions. Discuss with your artist how that may impact your hair & makeup choices. I also advice thinking about your habits. For example, if you never worn red lipstick and don’t have experience maintaining it throughout the day, then unless you can hire us to follow you the whole day or have one of your bridal party members can help you out, it may be a challenge to wear red lips. Or if you know that hair near your face gets on your nerves throughout the day, most likely it’s a good idea to pin it back. They sound like little things, but they can impact the look you may be going for. Then, I suggest preparing a few questions you may want to ask your artist about your skin care regimen, any treatments you were considering, or about your makeup/hair like hair cut schedule, hair color, hair extensions etc. that may be relevant to helping you achieve the look you want.

The Practical: We request that our clients arrive with a fresh face (with no traces of makeup), and clean & completely dry hair (not wet nor damp!) for their appointment.  We would love a photo of your dress, and if you like to send us a candid photo of yourself to help us get a sense of your style, we’d love to see it!  I recommend wearing a solid color top (preferable), and a shirt with the neckline that mimics the cut of your gown to give you a better idea of how the hair & makeup will work with your dress. Well-groomed brows are definitely recommended! At home exfoliation the night before is always appreciated/recommended. Please bring any accessories you may plan to wear as well that you wish to try on (veil, headpiece, jewelry etc).  If you will be changing into another outfit afterwards, a button-down shirt will be ideal as it prevents hair from messing up during changing.

The Mental: This part is about setting the stage and ambiance, and about your expectations for the session. We try to create a space where clients can feel comfortable telling us what they think and how they feel about what we are working on. It’s an -ing, a process, and subject to being changed and perfected. Some artists and clients would expect that they walk out looking perfect and exactly how they expect. Sometimes that happens (Hurrah!) but for most people, there are decisions that need to be made, and details that need to be improved or edited out.  I recommend everyone coming into the session with an open mind, and make sure to ask your artists any concerns you may have about the appointment before coming in. I wouldn’t be worried about hurting your artists’ feelings if you don’t like something, or being worried about sounding too particular.  Here’s the secret – everybody is particular!  Everybody. Even the person who never wears makeup, or previously thought that their makeup and hair for their wedding day is not a huge priority.  If you ask us what we think, we can tell you what we like, but that doesn’t mean that’s the vision you should go with. We are going with your vision!  The other thing about managing expectations is also being flexible and open to your artists expertise when they describe the limits of what makeup/hair styling can do for the look, and being open to collaborating in finding the best solution. A straight forward example I have is if you have an inspiration photo where the person has voluminous hair (either naturally or achieved through 2 sets of hair extensions), in order to achieve that we would need hair extensions. If the thought of wearing (fake) hair extensions would not sit well with yourself or your fiance, we have to go with a different hair style and solution. The final part about the mental preparation is knowing yourself.  Are you set on one particular look? Perhaps you are super indecisive and always have a hard time narrowing things down and that’s stressful. Some clients need more time to process the session before voicing their thoughts, some clients need to know exactly how it will turn out and want to see the edit precisely how it is, some clients need a separate session to try out three  more hair styles to confirm their choice.  Anticipating how you may respond can prevent a lot of stress. Being self-aware also allows you to communicate what your needs are to your artist and will definitely contribute to a productive session, and then you got one more thing checked off your list! Yaaass!

Artist Camille styling K on her wedding day. Photo by Birds of a Feather

What happens if I don’t like the results?
It takes two to tango, and the initial reaction on both parties is naturally disappointment. As artists and the service providers, we put a lot of ourselves and energy into that appointment, and we become invested in doing a great job, trying to make the client happy and meeting all their expectations. As the client, your expectations may be different than the results, despite both parties best efforts, and that can be frustrating as it was a time and financial investment. Maybe it’s chemistry, or maybe different communication styles. I would suggest to consider the following: Do you think the artist understands what you are going for, or was there a miscommunication or misunderstanding that happened along the way that can be cahnged? Can you give the artist specific feedback to remedy this? Is the artist open to making edits, and can you trust the artist to execute the changes? If the answer is yes, there’s nothing to worry about. We can work it out! If the answer is no, it’s unfortunate, but it happens and it’s for the best.  Unless you are an actress/musician/reality TV star and have years of experiences working with professional makeup/hair artists, it’s hard to select one unless you go through the consultation process and it is necessary to go through. The bottom line: Do you feel you have a rapport and trust with your artist? We’re this close to your face and eyes, we are touching your hair working with hot tools millimeters away fromyour scalp that could burn you but more often than not a huge risk of burning us. Trust is definitely involved there! We are IN your bubble. We are sharing the space with your most loved ones on this most special occasion. We are there laughing and crying (from happiness that is!) with you. Recently the mother of the bride told me (paraphrased here): “I think you make people beautiful also because you give them a moment they can just sit and relax.” The person in our chair is still, oftentimes eyes closed, and it’s a moment to be still and present, to prepare for the busy and exciting day ahead. It is a very intimate moment, a privilege for us artists to be invited into that intimate space. If you don’t feel we are the right fit, absolutely no hard feelings. If you need another session to work things out, we are happy to schedule one and follow-up with the notes we exchanged and make the edits. I have gotten phone calls from brides who have gone to 2-3 other artists and were disappointed with the results and wanted to come in. I usually try to find out which areas they are more concerned about, and then I ask them if there was one of them that they felt more comfortable with, and encourage them to communicate with the artist and return to them because I feel it may have been a communication breakdown if that makes sense. Ultimately, follow your gut feelings. Most of the time, it works out for the best!

Liz finishing up R’s makeup. Photo by Abi Q Photography

In Conclusion
We occupy a special place in your wedding day timeline, and join you in your personal space and we respect that. In return we hope our clients who chooses us can trust and respect our expertise, our creative process and our techniques. Mutual trust and respect enables us and empowers us to best service our special clients. There are many other ways, perhaps easier ways, we could make a living, but this is what we choose because when our clients tell us they are happy with the results and we can see how they light up, we also light up and feel joy. This is our vocation of choice, and we are so happy to be doing this for a living, even though it’s not an easy job. I hope this was helpful / informative / thought-provoking (maybe? maybe?) :) We look forward to meeting our clients for 2018 :) :) :) 

Camille making final touches on M. Photo by Sandra Fazzino

Makeup & Hair by Liz of Skyla Arts, Photography by Chung Li

Indivisible: The Wedding Give-Back Project Benefitting the ACLU

Happy 2017 – I know I’ve been lagging on my blogging game, but today I am excited to share this blog post, to promote this project.  :) In a divided climate, we would like to do something that bring people together. These words I used when sharing on Facebook earlier this morning came from a conversation I had with my bridal client last year. I said I feel that we are all doing our best in our spheres of influence to make the world a better place, and we do what we can! Please share for anyone who may be interested in this beautiful elopement package where the proceeds go to ACLU. With all these passionate and talented vendors, there’s no doubt it’ll be a beautiful event celebrating two people in love  As individuals, it’s harder to make a difference, but when we come together, we can create something beautiful and raise money in order to support civil and equal rights.

Here at Skyla Arts, we had our first annual team retreat and we shared our personal/professional goals and values, and also did workshops to always improve on our skills and customer service. One of our group goals was to consume less, share more, and support each other in doing so – it matches our personal values of not wasting and protecting the environment. There are lots of cosmetic brands and hair products we can use and buy, but we are hoping to be more resourceful and thoughtful.  While we do have a lot of products we have to buy and invest in for our jobs, but at the same time, we try to do our best to reduce our carbon footprints. At the end of the day, we are in the service industry for a reason – we want to use beauty to lift others up on their special occasion. And to that, we look forward to continue servicing our wonderful clients in 2017 + onwards :)

P.S. Last year I had the privilege to work on 2 City Hall elopements and here is the lovely Tracy & Evan shot by Chung li!

Please please share & pass it on :) Below is the info and the full list of vendors participating in this project!

We invite you to be married, celebrate your union, and support civil and equal rights in the process. This is a completely not for profit offering. Read on for details!

Hannah Suh Photography

As individuals, creatives and business owners in the wedding industry, we believe in celebrating love in ALL its many forms. We know that everyone has their own unique love story that speaks to their personal journey and there are many who may have had to face adversity along the way. Love is the common thread that binds us all together. Love sees beyond our differences.

We have been inspired to help tell those diverse and perhaps less represented love stories. We want to share and celebrate YOUR unique story and also give back in the process. We’ve teamed up with an amazing group of top wedding industry professionals to offer a luxury Elopement Wedding Experience valued at over $15,000 at an exclusive discounted rate of $6,000, with  100% of the proceeds  to be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Enter by submitting your unique and diverse love story to with the subject line, “Indivisible Elopement Submission”

Showcase collaboration of Kaella Lynn Events, Amanda Vidmar Designs, La Tavola Linen, Frances Lane


City Hall wedding captured by Hannah Suh Photography

The luxury elopement package will include:

A morning ceremony at
San Francisco city hall, followed by a beautifully curated celebration with up to 8 guests at a nearby location.
Hair and Makeup by Skyla Arts Beauty
Personal flowers for the couple along with flowers for the table setting by Amanda Vidmar Design
A Champagne toast
Cake by Pretty Please Bakeshop
Light bites provided by Culinary Eye Catering
Signage and wedding announcements by Aerialist Press
Linens by La Tavola Linen
Furniture by One True Love Vintage
Tabletop rentals by Frances Lane
Designed and coordinated by Kaella Lynn Events
Photographed by Hannah Suh Photography (3 hours of coverage, high resolution digital files, online gallery and a $200 print credit)
Normally valued at over $15,000 we will be offering this exclusive package to one lucky couple for $6,000 with all proceeds going to the ACLU.

Rules and Guidelines: Wedding must take place on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday before May 2017. Payment is due by the day of your event. The event is limited to 10 total guests. The City Hall ceremony must take place in the morning with the reception immediately following. The couple’s story will be used as inspiration for the design. Kaella Lynn Events has control over design direction for all decor details, including table design, cake, paper goods and flowers for the event. The vendors listed must be used for the event. Package includes two meetings. One initial planning meeting and one final meeting closer to event date.

Enter by submitting your unique and diverse love story to with the subject line, “Indivisible Elopement Submission”

Submissions are due by March 11th and the selected couple will be announced the following week.



(c) Alicia Swedenborg

Photo: Alicia Swedenborg | Hair & Makeup: Liz

This year flew by so quickly…I have a hard time believing it’s Dec 30th today.  Chances are you will not read this whole thing…!!  And that’s okay!  I have A LOT to say because I have not blogged in a very very long time.  If you are reading, thanks for reading!  I’m sort of cheating because the image above of my work was from a wedding in Sonoma in 2014! I was obsessed with the side-pony textured up-do that I did for my bride Litsa above! Litsa & Jonas – what a gorgeous wedding :)  Why I picked this image, and how I would describe my style…Loose & Romantic! Are you surprised?  This is not to say we as stylists only like to do one style and don’t like other styles!  It would be like saying Chocolate or Ice Cream or Cookies and you can only have one category for the rest of your life!  But for me, if I were to pick one of these categories that describes my aesthetic, then it is that classic/timeless look for the makeup, and for the hair, I like it organic, whimsical, soft and touchable!  My criteria for picking images for this “2015 in review” post is that it’s a ‘fresh’ image I haven’t blogged before :) To all my beautiful brides from 2013-2015: If I haven’t posted your photos before, it’s not because I don’t love your photos or had a bride-gasm (my word for going to “Bridal Heaven” from feeling the sheer bliss and happiness your client is exuding in their photos) when I looked through the gallery!  Opening a dropbox or zip file, or any viewing gallery sent by the photographer feels like Christmas Morning.  It seriously does – when I have a challenging day – you know, the days when you feel like you are moving mountains, (believe me, all freelancers/small business owners have those days…) I go through the galleries and remember why I chose my profession, and I read the love notes that were sent to me by our clients and I’m instantly rejuvenated.  When I request the photos from the client/the photographer, I have every intention of blogging / posting / using it in a gallery / social media etc, but the reality is that I had to make decisions prioritizing what is I value the most as the business owner / creative director of Skyla Arts:

  1. Customer Service – Responding to client’s questions and concerns, coordinating with fellow vendors, making sure the bridal party feels prepared comes first.  The administrative things, I honestly do it to the best of my ability.  All Artists – no matter what kind, will enjoy doing the Art the most, versus the Business.  No contest there I think :)  But without proper admin/backend realities of running a business, it would just be chaos!  Chaos!  And here at Skyla Arts that’s not what we do here…we like to be organized, for clients and stylists alike to know what to expect, and do our best in each client situation – which, as you know, is unique!  No two weddings are alike nor identical – it is not a one-size-fits-all clientele!
  2. The Artistry – Everyone who has ever worked with me in any context will know that I have High Standards with the quality of the work.  I joke with my stylists “That’s why it’s ‘The Standard'” – hand gestures and all! :P It’s really hard to be me sometimes (Oh boohoo Liz..boohoo , I joke, I joke!) because having such high standards means having to work so much harder in order to maintain it or strive for it, and making sure everyone on the team, whether they are the core team or the auxiliary team, are on the same page.  Sometimes during a consultation, I’ll be explaining to my client how I’ll be making adjustments on their wedding day.  It’s not out of insecurity or fear that if I don’t explain it that I fear the client will not hire me. I am secure enough to say these thoughts out loud because on the client’s wedding day or special occasion, my priority is my client’s best interest. It’s not about me, my ego, or my artistry – it’s all about whether the artistry helps the client look and feel their best.  This translates into … if I have a free morning, I will be scheduling a #SkillsLab where my stylist come in and we work on specific skills in order to do it better.  We gotta bring it every time, every job.

Speaking of my Dream Team… I never had the pleasure of officially introducing them on my blog!  Click the link and head over there if you haven’t checked out their Bios and specialties!  Jerilyn’s gallery will be coming up soon, but, this year I’ve added the Artist Portfolio Tab in the gallery so you can search their portfolios highlights.  This means that on any given Saturday, we could handle 4 weddings at the same time.  I started growing my team in 2012 officially, but dream teams are not built in a day.  It takes trial & error, and then discovering what works for me and other people and what simply doesn’t work.  When I discuss with my makeup & hair colleagues in Seattle, Bay Area and LA, the general consensus is that they tell me I pay my associates a lot – and I respond with: “But I expect a lot.”  I expect you to quote me on this haha…in my opinion, Standards can be bought, but Loyality cannot be bought!  Which ties into my priorities above #1 and #2!  I can be flexible on other things, as long as it doesn’t affect Customer Service & The Quality of Artistry.  That is what Skyla Arts is all about! :)

If I had any ‘pearls of wisdom’ about being a small business owner is that as your business grows, changes and evolves, it’s inevitable that one must accept and embrace these changes.  For example…I used to celebrate/share wedding or stylized shoots publications on the blog, and really enjoy writing about it, but now I do my best to post the links on our Facebook Page and our Instagram and try my best to tag all the vendors.  I just learnt how to use Periscope today.  I don’t have time to catch-up on maximizing traffic from Pinterest.  And one thing I really enjoyed in the past is the blogging and sharing of my client’s photos of their special day.  If there’s one thing I wish I could trade, it would be that.  The other part that I had less opportunities to do is regularly meet and connect with fellow wedding vendors and other makeup & hair colleagues.  Or attend networking events.  I used to attempt a couple events a year, but honestly, this year I’ve managed 2 events.  I feel most terrible about the personal invitations to private gatherings – or simply staying in touch. Sorry :( If I missed saying Happy Birthday or didn’t RSVP to such a gathering…:( I really didn’t mean to!!!!

Now on to a few highlights from my stylists in 2015!  The order is based on when they joined my team :)

(c) Katch Silva

Photo: Katch Silva | Hair & Makeup: Camille

If I classified Camille’s bridal style, it would be the Classic & Elegant, with a touch of Loose & Romantic.   This was Camille’s last wedding of the 2015 season!  Sarah & Chris, and it was featured on Grey Likes Weddings, and I chose this as the highlight because of it is so much Camille’s style. What I/Skyla Arts work really hard on is making sure the makeup & hair artist and the client is a great match.  That is important to me – because – the client’s best interest is our priority, and, as a Bridal Makeup & Hair Agency, I want my team to love and be inspired by the clients they service as well.  In my humble opinion, the nature of our service is not like going in for an eyebrow wax, or a routine hair coloring.  Sure – that match in relationship is also very important, but the difference is we get our hair colored and eyebrow waxed periodically…! This is your wedding day, or you come see us for your special occasion – to celebrate your new born, your anniversary, your family for the holidays – it would be a special treat, and not as routine as an eyebrow wax!  When the match is great, it really is our pleasure and our honor to be a part of your special day, to be a part of celebrating the bride as a woman – that sounds cheesy, but so many times I feel, and I hear my stylists tell me: “What an inspiring person she [the bride] is – Wow.”  and it makes me feel warm and fuzzy.


Photo: The Weaver House | Hair & Makeup: Treja

There’s no question – Treja’s style is a blend of Classic & Elegant and Glamorous & Modern.  I was torn about which photo to select from this wedding, Ellie & Mark that was featured on Once Wed!  The inspiration was a slight nod to the Old Hollywood glamorous hair, but updated – a very classy and classic style – and when I shared with Treja Ellie’s inspiration, Treja was like: “Right on!” There were photos from this wedding that showcased the hair & makeup better {You can find more on Once Wed and also on The Weaver House’s blog!} but I loved the ones where the wind was blowing all crazy.  You see – what I feel is so charming about weddings and wedding photos is that it’s a snapshot – and it has that California / Marin / Coastal vibe that we love!  The reality is it’s windy – it can potentially mess up your hair – but – it’s A Moment!!!  And I am a sucker for these kinds of moments. Backlit, windblown, romance!  :) It was also a special memory because I had broken my toe earlier that week, and on the same day, I was servicing another lovely bride, and the bridal party I was at mentioned that Ellie is also getting married today – It turns out they all went to high school together – what a small world!  That’s certainly a first!


Photo: Pat Furey | Hair & Makeup: Angela

I would describe Angela‘s style as Glamorous & Modern.  Angela has been on most Skyla Arts events the last 2 years, and have been taking on Special Occasion clients as lead; starting 2016 season, Angela will be taking on her own weddings! Woohoo! :)  This one is from a stylized shoot shot by Pat Furey from Pennsylvania, and it was featured on Green Wedding Shoes!  You may recognize Jill & Alex from a previous “engagement inspiration” shoot, or other workshops – they are Stars Models, a real couple, and a joy to work with!  This shoot was in SF/Marin area – I wanted to showcase a bit of Angela’s style, which has a hint of glamour!  Angela also has a specialty with African American hair – just as an FYI!!!  What I appreciate about my team is that we have different strengths and interests.  Unity in Diversity – so to speak!  You can call it my anthem – pretty much.

jillian gorman

Photo: Jillian Gorman | Makeup-only: Jerilyn

A very interesting coincidence that Jerilyn has been doing makeup-only for the stylized editorial shoots! The teams had already found a hair stylist, but Jerilyn is actually pretty amazing at hair as well :) This was a shoot that happened in very recently, and I picked it to showcase how I feel Jerilyn’s style is in between Glamorous & Modern, and Classic & Elegant.  Jerilyn is the newest member of Team Skyla Arts (Her gallery is to come shortly!!) and will also begin taking leads in 2016!   Hurray!  To see more from this GORGEOUS unconventional bridal shoot, please head to Jillian Gorman’s Blog!

So that time I broke my toe in April 2015?  Yeah…that was a freak accident and it was probably the worst time for me to break a toe.  Thankfully, I had my dream team and was able to lean on both Jerilyn & Angela.  For that wedding, I was already booked for Friday, the rehearsal dinner makeup & hair, and then Saturday I had the bride’s makeup & hair, and another lovely bride on Sunday.  The thing I couldn’t have known about breaking a toe is my whole balance is off, and it was hard to stand on my feet for prolonged periods of time, and I would get joyful leg cramps (haha not joyful!), especially hard to balance if I’m pulling and using both hands for a blow-out. The broken toe happened the previous Saturday…I was like Oh Man.  What to do.  After working in LA, I assessed the situation and luckily I had my team available cover for me.  I chose not to tell my brides that weekend that I broke my toe because I didn’t want them to worry/panic; I was 100% confident that I could count on my team to step-up and step-in.  Jerilyn filled in and did 2 amazing blow-outs for the bride on my behalf while I did the bride’s makeup.  It was that weekend that I became certain that Angela & Jerilyn will both grow into great leads.

Stella & Dot Holiday Loobook

Manicures by Rosy | Makeup & Hair for left and center by Liz for Stella & Dot

Don’t think I forgot about Rosy (the nail artist)!  While we did not have any gigs via Skyla Arts as having on-location nail services has not *yet* been high in demand (hey! Just wanted to share with you that is a great unique service we also provide!), I had introduced her to my commercial/print agency and she was with me on set for Stella & Dot, and later she’s gone on to do nails for Old Navy.  She has also been on my editorial sets doing nails.  Rosy would often would share with me her days when she worked as a nail technician and esthetician at a very high-end salon/spa in Seattle.  The pearls of wisdom that was crucial to help me get to this dream team is that with our industry (The Beauty Industry), some people have it in them…and others just don’t – according to Rosy’s first manager.  At the time when Rosy was fresh out of Nail Tech school, she didn’t know what her manager saw in her.  It turns out that in the beauty industry, there’s an instinct to know what to do – and it’s not something that can be easily taught.  I used to think anyone can be successful in this industry if they put their heart to it, but experience proved me wrong.  The passion for being of service to others and to want to go above and beyond, and the desire to strive for excellence might just be, as Rosy’s manager said, Innate.  It’s already not about the makeup, or hair, or nails.

To wrap up, I am most humbled by the fact that I’m surrounded by these amazing, strong women on Team Skyla Arts.  I’m doing things differently as now we have each other to lean onto – together we are more!  My goal for Skyla Arts in 2016?  We don’t have goals as to how many weddings we should do, how many weddings we ought to do – we are happy to be there if you would like us to be there!  I know my team would agree that we’d like to continue giving our clients our absolute best service & artistry – and keeping our Standards up there!

We would like to send a BIG thank you to all of our clients and vendors…! And wish everyone an amazing 2016!!!

Berman_Meyer_This_Love_of_Yours_Photography_ThisLoveofYoursSloaneandRobWedding077I am thrilled to share that Sloan & Rob’s wedding at the Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena was published on The Knot Northern California Real Weddings yesterday!  Click through to see the full feature!  I have so much to say about this beautiful couple and wedding – which is why this blog post is just a ‘teaser’ at this point!  I’ve done my best to tag all of the vendors on instagram and facebook, but for now I’m tagging a few vendors in the post that are related to the 4 teaser images I’m posting here that I am really loving!

I selected the photos to continue our discussion about the FAQ that I get about makeup for wedding day is “Will it show up on photos?” – from my previous blog post with the red carpet makeup & hair for Carice van Houten.  During the consultation with Sloan, we did a natural look, but later on Sloan’s feedback for me was she would like it more natural with less eyeshadow and blush. I fully supported it, because I knew that it will go well with the overall look of the wedding, and I had full confidence that it will still show up in the photos!  Even in the really soft/rainy light, you can still see the blush, eyeshadow and contour.  If you want a really natural and subtle look, it’s important to consider the weather factor and the photographer’s shooting style.  It will look very subtle in certain lighting situations, but I have to say that I am a huge supporter that brides and bridal party members should go with the look that makes you look and feel most comfortable!   Contrasting with a red carpet event and the lighting used, this event is outdoors and shot in Natural Light. With flash/strobes, this subtle makeup may make the client appear more ‘flat’ and ‘washed out.’  Lighting/style is something we need to keep in mind, but at the same time, going natural vs. more smokey/glamorous  is ultimately a personal preference, and we as artist can help you adjust it for the lighting on our end, but ultimately we’re all for it if you love it!!!

It was the first time in a LONG time California experienced any rain, and while it was a Plan B for the event, Sloan kept positive and said: “Hey, we’ll be the couple that broke the drought in California” :) And I was telling her in Chinese culture, we have a saying “遇水則發” meaning if it rains on your big event, it means you will be extra lucky/wealthy/good fortune will shine on you!  Major props to Erika & Michael of This Love of Yours for working with the rain and documenting this beautiful event!  I also loved working with Sharon from Napa Valley Custom Events and I’m in love with the florals from Fleurs de France!

To end this quick teaser post, I did want to mention that starting tomorrow April 19th-April 27th, I will be out of office working in Los Angeles + then returning for wedding events Friday-Sunday!   All emails, inquiries and phone calls will be returned during the week of April 28th.  We’re very excited – Team Skyla Arts have 5 events this coming weekend, and we can’t wait to work with our brides!

Usually if I’m working on set or weddings I don’t put up the out-of-office responders as I still try to get back to everyone as soon as possible and squeeze in some office time during the evenings, but since I’ll be commuting/out-of-town, it is harder to respond via mobile devices!  Last announcement…! I have been getting phone inquiries about Prom & special events anywhere from 12-48 hours before the event and I have to share here that it’s almost mission impossible! Not only because the dates frequently coincide with weddings that are pre-booked 6 months+, but most importantly, I would have to return your phone call during regular hours (ie: When I return home from set at 6:00-7:00pm, I don’t feel it’s an appropriate time to phone back and would have to wait to the next day if I am not working).  Furthermore, if I were to try to send you a referral to a trusted colleague or connect you with one of my associate stylists, I would still need time to arrange that: find out if they are available, send a referral or arrange my stylist to service you, handle payment and invoicing.  It would be difficult to do that with 12-48 hour notice!  I’m sorry I cannot help you this time, but we hope you can keep us in mind for the future with a little advanced notice! Have a great week ahead and until next time!!!


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Happy Labor Day Weekend everyone!

There is nothing quite like the THRILL of seeing your work in print.  Let me tell you!  Something about the glossy pages, the smell of a magazine, and holding it in your hand…!  Knowing that it is YOUR work on the page!  Usually after an event, I come home and I can privately share the joy of being a part of a couple’s important day, and I would wait until their wedding photos come out to experience the rest of the day vicariously through the lens and camera of the photographer & videographer.  Maybe it’s the digitalization of almost everything – but when a magazine comes out, along with the photos and video, it helps to reify the event.  This beautiful 6-page spread is featured in C Weddings Fall 2014 came out end of July (if I recall correctly!)!

Anyway….Back to the main feature, Christina & Evan!  September is my favorite time of the year, and as we’re rolling into the Fall 2014 season, I thought it’d be a great time to share this beautiful fall wedding!  A brief introduction to this talented & creative couple: Evan is the co-founder of Pinterest, and is the company’s Chief Creative Office, and Christina is the head of digital global business marketing at Facebook.  You can read more by clicking through the magazine spread!   Of course, while writing this I had to re-watch their wedding video by Ed from Belvedere Stories, and the part where the vow comes around always makes me teary.  It’s super touching!  :) I loved the way they had edited the video – and how nice to include the dress fitting at Amy Kuschel’s + their trip to Pescadero in the scenes!

Christina’s PERFECT double french twist was done by her regular stylist at Revamp Salon!  Christina brought me a few makeup inspiration photos, and requested a natural look but with a ‘graphic eye’ and so our focus was the winged liner.  Don’t laugh at my squinty face below!!  I was making sure to get that perfect symmetry! I always squint 1 eye and measure.  :P  I loved having my teammate Treja with me!  When we arrived to the city, it was pouring!  The rain had delayed the bridal party, but miraculously, Treja & I caught up on the time and completed all the services right on schedule!   I loved the hair Treja did for the sister of the bride, a half-up with a french-twist to kind of complement Christina’s hair-do.  I then followed Christina to the Swedenborgian Church for touch-ups & was delighted to discover that the clouds have parted!  I love it when that happens!  Smiles all around!

Enjoy the beautiful wedding film by Belvedere Stories!  There’s about 2 seconds where you see me apply Christina’s blush :) with my favorite Hakuhodo brush :P :P :P Enjoy the photos by Ben Blood!  The images shared here were published in C Magazine online, and Refiner29 with permission from the couple.  The publications have more of the lovely decor reflecting their taste, but the photos I selected below were chosen as it showcases the makeup and beauty aspect :)

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Photographer :  Ben Blood Photography
Videographer :  Belvedere Stories
Bridal Makeup & Bridal Party Makeup & Hair :  Liz & Treja of Skyla Arts
Bridal Hair :  Revamp Salon
Wedding Dress :  Amy Kuschel
Stationary :  Jessica Hische
Floral Design :  Cherries
Guestbook Photographer :  Steve Maller
Publication (print & web) :  C Weddings Fall 2014
Publication (web) :  Refinery29

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Check out their wedding video by ZoMei Film Stories

Must I wait for all of my client’s one-year anniversary to finally blog about their beautiful wedding?  I figured I’m so close to it, I may as well post it and wish them HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!  I think this wedding is a perfect way to round-up the summer wedding season of 2014!  I am so ready for Fall myself – I love summer weddings! The colors, the energy!  But – it can be HOT!  OK – now I sound like your typical spoiled California-dweller.  I am admittedly spoiled by the temperate climes of Costa Rica & Guatemala of my youth, and prefer a nice 75-85F , or 25C :) :) :) This is why I live in NorCal!

This gorgeous wedding was featured on Weddingchicks earlier this spring! Meet Molly & Patrick from Chicago!  They decided to have a destination wedding in Beltane Ranch, and did most of their wedding planning remotely.  I did not get to meet them until the day before the wedding when we did our consultation appointment!  Molly & Patrick were an absolute pleasure to work with – Molly is a beauty, inside & out!  I also enjoyed meeting Molly’s family + styling her sister & cousin’s hair for the big day!  We also had some great stimulating conversations and I thoroughly enjoyed my time!  With Kaella from  Kaella Lynn Events designing/planning & Keana from onelove photography as the photographer, I had no doubt we would get some stunning images!  I think it’s appropriate to say, pretty as a peach! :D

Molly went for a classic look with a little glam around the eyes!  It was conversations with Molly that inspired my hair extension tutorial :) (Thank you Molly!!) All brides are allowed to have 2 secrets in the hair & makeup department: hair extensions & faux lashes.  Shhh! No one else has to know!  Depending on the style, sometimes I opt to not put all of the tracks in for the natural look.  It always depends!  I used to be hesitant about recommending hair extensions because it’s an extra cost (I direct the client to find the right hair extension retailers), but also, I never want to make clients feel bad about their own hair or worried about not having enough hair or worst, that they have ‘challenging hair.’ Probably the latter concerned me the most, as that goes against my personal philosophy about beauty!  I had to shift my perspective, and embrace that in this modern day & age, we live in the Pinterest and social media world.  With all these beautiful inspiration photos, celebrity-dos, and DIY videos, most people understand that hair extensions are fairly commonly used to achieve those looks!  I choose to approach it in a practical way – if that is a look you really want, it can be easily achieved with the assistance of hair extensions.  Fortunately majority of the time, my clients already know they want more volume and more hair, and take the initiative to ask me where to get the extensions! :)

All righty – I will be wishing everyone a fabulous conclusion to an awesome summer!  I hope you enjoy these images, and don’t forget to check out more photos on Weddingchicks!  Now that summer is wrapping up, I’m feeling pretty excited about Fall and Fall weddings!  Bring it on September!

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Wedding Planner & Designer :  Kaella Lynn Events
Venue :  Beltane Ranch
Makeup & Hair :  Liz of Skyla Arts
Wedding Gown :  Rosa Clará
Bridesmaids Dresses :  Ann Taylor
Shoes :  Prada
Floral Design :  Daisy Rose Floral Design
Stationary :  Lucky Penny Paperie
Videography :  Zomei Film Stories
Prop & Furniture Rentals :  One True Love Vintage Rentals
Linens :  La Tavola

style me pretty
What what! Another blog post just a week apart?!  I am trying to push through – I tell myself: “One blog at a time!!!” I’m skipping around the order…last September, Natalie & David’s feature and Meg & Michael’s on Style Me Pretty were 8 days apart, so after posting Natalie & David’s photos, the logical choice was to share Meg & Michaels’ elegant fall wedding in Napa Valley!  :) This beautiful couple lives in Texas, and I did not get to meet her until the day before her wedding!  We did her consultation right before her rehearsal dinner, and the next day, I also got to also glam up her family/bridal party.  They were such a joy to work with!  I love the style…  Simple, elegant, and an understated glamour element.  Meg wanted to keep the hair very loose, and what got me pretty excited is because it’s rare for me when the bride comes to me and says: “I want to try a red lip” and I go: “YES!!!” (inside, quietly of course!)

Red is a more high maintenance color, but if it works with your skin & hair coloring, the style of your dress and your styling choices for your wedding – that subtle pop can make all the difference!  When you go with one element (red lip) that is strong, it’s great to keep the hair simple.  I mixed a matte red lip color with another with more moisture to create a custom blend blue-red for Meg.  This dress seemed like it was made for Meg!  Not a thing out of place!

I forgot who I was having this conversation with – (Sorry!! My memory is just not as it used to be!!!) and we were discussing how – if you are noticing the hair & makeup in a photograph upon first glance, that may not be the best thing, because the goal is for the viewer to like everything about the photograph, and everything working together synergistically ! Nothing stands out, but everything is working together!  Go team! :) :) And props to Keana and the onelove photography  for capturing a beautiful event!

















Photography :  onelove photography
Floral Design :  Fleurs de France
Catering & Cake :  Oak Avenue Catering
Makeup & Hair :  Skyla Arts {Liz}

Natalie Hui & David Ma
When it’s been a while (since blogging, that is!) I feel like I need to ease into it with a gorgeous post-wedding photo shoot!  Natalie & David’s gorgeous wedding was featured on Style Me Pretty last September {Click through for more photos there!} and I featured the photos from the ceremony in my post in January before I left for a my Japan trip! I’m going to try something different today – I’m going to keep my text short and sweet!  (Is that even possible?! haha)

This gorgeous post-wedding photo shoot was done the day after their big day, and they drove up the coast from Half-Moon Bay for these enchanting images with the redwoods!  I love Natalie’s energy in all of these photos! The hair-swooshing – I mean, what a dream! :) My sister saw these photos and told me that Natalie must be an expert at posing because in every photo she looks stunning, really workin’ her dress, the hair I did, and the makeup Kamen did!  The big day is complete, the pressure is off! What better way to celebrate than frolic in the redwoods (like sleeping beauty!) and dance & laugh on the beach?  Seeing these photos, I feel really grateful to call Northern California my home. It seems to be filled with an infinite amount of beautiful nooks and crannies.  Just a few minutes away where I live is where I scouted the scenes to do the last editorial I shot (cough cough…almost 3 years ago)! I digress…! Weddings & other jobs always help me learn about new places and if I don’t always get to go, I can see the beauty vicariously through my client’s gorgeous photos!

Until next time…! Enjoy!

Natalie Hui & David Ma





Natalie Hui & David Ma

Natalie Hui & David Ma

Venue :  Muir Woods
Hair for the Bride :  Elizabeth Chang, Skyla Arts
Makeup for the Bride :  Kamen Leung (Hong Kong)

Natalie Hui & David Ma
Honestly, I didn’t think I would be able to go on another trip so soon!  Tokyo/Japan trip sprung up on me…!  It will be my first time there, and I’ve wanted to go because it is MAKEUP MECCA.  I honestly don’t feel there’s a contest about the quality of cosmetics and cosmeceutical technology!   I already know of a few brands here that borrows the research & formulas based on Japanese products!  Not to mention, the generations of hand-made makeup brushes.  The quality is second to none.  All in all, I have no plans to buy anything else other than makeup and brushes, and do a lot of eating!  Lucky for me my husband works for a Japanese company, and throughout his years of business trips from California to Japan, finally we accumulated a free ticket! :D yay!!!! Although – I worked throughout Christmas & New Years this year, so I feel like it’s really nice to take some time to myself…only my 3rd real vacation in 5 years! Not complaining of course!!! Every opportunity to travel to my bucket list I am jumping for joy and smiling in immense gratitude!!! :) :) :)

I will be out of office from 1/22-1/30, and upon my return, I am fully booked for photo shoots & bridal consultations! During this time slot, I will not have phone access. I scheduled a half-day in Japan to respond to emails, but I may or may not get back to all of the emails.  I’m going to thank you for your patience in advanced, and I’ll be sure to get back to all emails & inquiries by 02/04!  Thank you for your understanding in advanced!

No blog post is complete without some pretty photos, right? :)  David & Natalie’s fairytale wedding was featured on Style Me Pretty this past September and I was beyond thrilled because I can now publish the images! yay!!   Natalie & David live in Hong Kong, but being the cosmopolitan couple that they are, they chose Half-Moon Bay are their destination wedding location!  All-star vendors from Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles, and of course, SF/NorCal, I am proud to be the artist chosen to style Natalie’s hair!  On her wedding day, we did 3 hair looks, and we also did a post-wedding couture shoot!  It was a great pleasure to work with Natalie, and I also had a blast getting to know Kamen Leung, Natalie’s makeup artist that she flown in from Hong Kong!  Kamen works full-time in Hong Kong, and is very successful, working with mostly celebrities and doing beauty ads. During the breaks we had, we were chatting about makeup, hair, and comparing notes about our markets!  :) Needless to say, I enjoyed looking at her kit, and comparing notes about products.

One of my favorite, favorite shots is the black and white photo of Natalie at the alter, with her bridesmaids helping her with her stunning couture gown designed by TanYoong, with the light shining through the dress, and her cathedral veil pouring over!  I swooned when I saw it!!!!

The reason why I shared these as teasers is mainly because my trip to Japan made me think about Kamen – I saw that she used Lunasol in her kit, and I was very excited!  I love that brand!   Here in America, after Shu Uemura pulled out of the market, so did a few other brands, making it very pricey to collect these items.  My friends & mentors who work in the industry in Asia enjoy going to Japan with their friends to hand pick their products for their kit!  I’ve dreamt of doing something like this since I began following Japanese beauty – 17 years ago!  Ha! I feel old! ;) Well,  I started paying attention to makeup and beauty when I was 10, after my art teacher suggested that I could consider using the face as a canvass and keep that as an option.  Being a curious kid, of course I took it very seriously and poured over Japanese beauty and fashion magazines, and religiously borrowed my friends to paint on their faces! :P

More photos to come from this beautiful wedding!  Thank you again to Michael Falco for capturing these breath-taking images, and also Mallory the Art Director from Christian Oth Studios for sending me the images!!!

Natalie Hui & David Ma Natalie Hui & David Ma Natalie Hui & David Ma Natalie Hui & David Ma Natalie Hui & David Ma dn1

Wedding Planner :  Lyndsey Hamilton Events
Florals :  Lily Lodge
Hair for the Bride :  Elizabeth Chang, Skyla Arts
Makeup for the Bride :  Kamen Leung (Hong Kong)
Makeup & Hair for the Bridal Party :  Artists by Sherrie Long
Lighting :  rEvolve
Cocktail & Dinner Music :  Sheila Fords Harlem Review
Ceremony Music :  Golden Gate Strings
Videography :  One Shot (Hong Kong)
Photobooth :  Snap Yourself
Stationary :  A little love story
Ceremony Dress :  TanYoong


Argentina + Brazil was a dream trip indeed…! I can’t wait to tell you more about it – but right now I am eager to share with you this Cover + Cover story of Magnolia Rouge, Issue 4!!!  Yay!!!! So excited!!!!  We worked on this in the Spring time, so it was a long wait for its release, but I cannot be more thrilled!!!!! (exclamation points x 1000!)  While I have no experience or desire to explore the effects of drugs, I can only imagine that there is no other HIGH you can feel that compares to how I feel when I see my work in Print! It’s exhilarating – you are excited, you are proud, you are humbled by it, you are happy!

We had 2 hair looks that we discussed, but after setting Fallon’s hair, and taking out my Japanese hot rollers, I just thought it looked so pretty down!  Fallon, who is our beautiful model, also is the floral designer, was giving me a Lana Del Rey vibe!  I am in love with the garden images as well; the second to last one in the spread where she is sitting kind of in the greenery; the touch of warmth from her lips to her tattoo, I just love it.  The other thing I absolutely love is their piercings and Fallon’s tattoos.  And I want to give Jen props for the amazing styling choices – from the rentals, to the wardrobe, to the location scouting – I really loved Jen’s vision for the shoot, and when I arrived, I felt very comfortable going for it and executing and sharing my portion of this equation with the hair + makeup!  I really love Plums for the fall – not only for the lips, but on the eyes as well.  Purple can be a great neutral color that goes with many colors in a wedding – it could be Warm or Cool, and it’s a great subtle accent.  I especially love it in the Fall, because it tends to complement the foliage and provide contrast!

I really love the layout that Magnolia Rouge put together here!  I have a few more faves from the set that I want to share when I finally put it in a gallery actually!  I have lots of photos to share – but I am taking things one day at a time, trying to do everything/run a business, and lead a balanced lifestyle.  I’ve been putting off a lot of things – like going to the optometrist (making an appointment ASAP!), starting a 401K account (meeting with the reps tomorrow finally to discuss a plan that works), and joining a gym with my husband (my husband and I are signing up for it TONIGHT!)!  These seemingly mundane and uncomplicated things somehow become like…teeth pulling or something!   I’m trying to check those things off one at a time, and be more like a ‘normal’ person and not a workaholic. My friend/colleague from College (Yes! they are colleagues if you work together on a paid job! I would argue that those are ‘real’ jobs and not just a college job!!) told me that back in the day, I was so adamant about dividing WORK life and PERSONAL life – so much that I make sure to become a hermit during those hours, even if I wanted to connect with other people, because that will magically turn into work sometimes!  She asked me how I am handling having little to no clear boundaries as to when is work, and when is personal time!  The truth is – I am still learning to set boundaries for myself as a business owner.  While in Argentina/Brazil, I was proud to only write 3 emails!  :) The limited Wi-Fi access definitely helped, but it was a big step for me, to let go for almost 2 weeks and not be glued to my phone/email/social media the whole time.  My friend Rona, who was traveling with me, told me that I need to learn to respect my own time off – if I don’t respect my own time off, I am teaching other people not to respect my time!

All in all, since this issue is the Romance issue, and actually, watching this couple interact, pose, and cuddle, I was thinking about Romance while on set, and thinking how my husband and I can incorporate more time together, more romance together!  The conclusion for that is To Be Determined (I can update you on that…!) – but the truth is my husband and I almost live parallel lives, and we can go days without seeing each other, and neither of us are on a business trip!

For now, I hope you can find some inspiration + romance from these beautiful images by Jen Huang! If the kissing in the air, and swept up pose by a beautiful, private beach, during sunset – doesn’t inspire the ‘romantic’ in you, I would love to know what does! ;) All star vendor list listed as usual, on the bottom of the blog! <3  Until next time!! (Hopefully sooner rather than later!)

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Photography :  Jen Huang
Floral Design :  Fleurs de Fallon
Tabletop Rentals :  Borrowed Blu
Makeup & Hair :  Skyla Arts {Liz}
Invitations :  Paloma's Nest
Calligraphy :  Jen Huang
Film Processing :  Richard Photo Lab