Behind the Scenes of a Wedding Makeup Artist, featuring Ruth Chew
[Edition #3] Behind every radiant and beautiful bride on her wedding day is her makeup artist and hairstylist. The person who’s in charge of making the bride look her best self when walking down the aisle. Being a makeup artist and hairstylist is not an easy job, especially with the hectic and packed schedule of weddings. Having to arrive in the wee hours of the morning before sunrise, hold makeup brushes and hairstyling tools for as long as 2-3 hours straight, rushing through touch ups – yet at the same time creating perfection in all of this, can be quite the challenge. It is like painting your best art on a live canvas, with a time clock. Ruth, founder of Ruth Chew Makeup, shares with us that despite all this, it is fun and rewarding journey that she has embarked on, since moving on from her previous career of investment banking. “You get to do what you love, and make people happy on the most important day of their lives. What could be more perfect than that?” she says. Read on to find out more…
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Hi Ruth! Can you share with us a little more about yourself?
Ruth: I enjoy customizing looks for brides. I take pride in paying attention to the details, and in fulfilling the desired look that the bride has for her wedding day.
What was life before becoming a makeup artist and hairstylist? What or who inspired you to take on the challenge?
Ruth: “My ‘past life’ as an investment banker was a hectic and fast paced one — and despite changing industries since, that has not changed much. I thrive in such environments as it keeps me driven and going. As a makeup artist, I get to see beauty in all shapes & sizes, and it inspires me to bring out the best in a woman. Photo Credits: Said & Meant
What is your usual day like?
Ruth: “I usually start my day with a short meditation to keep my mind well focused. As actual day wedding makeup and hair styling typically involves an early start, I have to ensure ensure that I pace myself well for the next 12 hours or so.”
Apart from bridal, your portfolio includes fashion and editorial makeup looks. How are the two different from each other?
Ruth: “Brides usually prefer a more natural look to simply enhance their features, so I’ll more often employ the use of neutral colours. On the contrary, for a fashion & editorial feature, it may suggest bright and bold colours or different era makeup , say from the ‘50s, or ‘70s.”
Photo Credits: Ruth Chew Makeup
We’ve looked at your stash and we were blown away by the variety of well-known brands! What are your favourite makeup brands to use?
Ruth: “Shu Uemura, Armani, Bobbi Brown, Benefit and MAC.”
We heard that you’ve been based in Hong Kong for a couple of years. How exciting! Are there any differences in the bridal scene as compared to Singapore?
Ruth: “I have had the privilege of working with brides from diverse backgrounds in Hong Kong. Wedding themes tend to be more varied there as couples crave for something that is unique.”
Where do you get your inspirations for makeup and hairstyles for brides?
Ruth: “From a range of Bridal magazines, as well as, Pinterest.”
What’s your favourite bridal look?
Ruth: “A look that is elegant and timeless.”
Can you share with us your most interesting experience with a bride/couple?
Ruth: “A very relaxed bride having to deal with her very anxious groom.”
What are your must-have makeup tools?
Ruth: “My set of Zoeva & Sigma makeup brushes.”
What is a makeup trial for? Is it important to do one?
Ruth: “A makeup trial provides an opportunity for one to experiment with a couple of looks before deciding on what would be more suitable. It is not a must, however, it helps a bride to get better acquainted with her makeup artist, facilitating open communication regarding expectations for the big day.”
Do different skin types and face shapes influence the way you do your makeup for them?
Ruth: “Yes, most definitely. For instance, I would not recommend a glowy look for a person that has skin that shines naturally from excess sebum. Achieving the most flattering look for a person requires studying their face shape and skin type.”
How long does makeup usually last? Are touch ups required?
Ruth: “With a good primer, makeup can last 4-5 hours. It depends on whether the bride is mostly indoors or outdoors, factors such as humidity will dictate the frequency or the need for touchups.”
What is the hottest makeup and hairstyle trend this season?
Ruth: “A natural & radiant look, updos with braids are increasingly popular.”
Any challenges you’ve faced?
Ruth: “Receiving multiple booking requests for auspicious dates.”
Any beauty tips for brides-to-be for their skin and hair prior to their big day?
Ruth: “Eat well and sleep well—7 hours— is ideal, a week prior to the big day. Your skin will certainly appreciate it! It is also easier staying calm and composed with adequate rest. If you’re planning for a trim or a perm, do it at least 2 weeks prior so that your hair has time to ‘grow out’ and look natural.”
Born in Singapore, Ruth has immersed herself in many cultures with her frequent travels. With an eye for beauty, she did her professional training in London and since then has been based in several places like Hong Kong. Continuously inspired by several fashion icons and brands, Ruth’s passion is to achieve natural transformation for brides with the magic touch of makeup and hairstyling, for them to look their most beautiful self on their biggest day. Because “Looking and feeling good should be nothing short of a luxurious affair.”