[Advertorial] Wedding beauty is made up of a few ingredients – the dress, the shoes, accessories… But no doubt the key to unlocking your natural beauty is your wedding hair and makeup. Having someone talented and professional do your wedding makeup and hair can truly make the difference to how you look, especially when it comes to accentuating your features to highlight your beauty. Furthermore, it has a big impact to your photos. Beauty is in the details. And when it comes to finding perfection in the details for your wedding makeup and hair, Erika is your best person for the job. Based in Cebu, Philippines, Erika Diaz is one of the finest hair and makeup artists (HMUA) you’ll get to meet. Honestly, me heading all the way out to Cebu in Philippines for a pre-wedding shoot, I was bound to be nervous. It turns out I had nothing to worry about. Meeting Erika for the first time, it was hard to not get blown away by her charming and vibrant personality – one that you are bound to love!
Artistic Versatility with a Touch of Glamour
With over 6 years of experience in the industry, apart from bridal makeup and hairstyling, Erika has done shoots, fashion editorials, magazines and more. With a great eye for style, she carries versatility into the many looks that she creates for her brides. Her expertise lies in her creativity and spontaneity to create unified looks that are suitable for the bride’s features (face shape, skin colour, personality), yet are well-fitted to the other elements involved (your shoot theme, gown, accessories and location).
I had two shoot sessions in Cebu – one at Crimson Resort & Spa and another at Movenpick Hotel, both situated in Mactan Island. My gowns were from The Louvre Bridal back from Singapore, and Erika did up two stunning looks for me that complemented both my gown and location beautifully.
First Session at Crimson Resort & Spa – Natural Radiance
For my first photoshoot at Crimson Resort, Erika did up a natural radiant look for me. One with a hint of brown around my eyes to make them look more “deep-set” and stand out in the soft greenery of the resort. Yet somehow, at the same time, it matched the various brown elements of the resort so well. The softer look that she paired with my delicate laced gown felt so complete. Photo Credits: Shutterfairy And my hair, oh! My hair has never looked this good down. Brushed to the side and pinned up by white roses, the soft curls Erika did up for me was a perfect pairing with the delicate flowy laced train my gown had. I somehow wished this hairdo could be my everyday look. If only. Photo Credits: Shutterfairy As the entire look came together after 2 hours or so, I was blown away when it occurred to me that this very well could be my wedding day!
Second Session at Movenpick Hotel – Glamourous Elegance
For my second shoot, Movenpick Hotel presented a modern and elegant whitewashed setting. The gown I picked out was a ballgown with edged ruffles on its waistline. From there, like magic, Erika worked up my second look – A glamorous look that made me sparkle with radiance, it was incredible how she made my eyes and cheeks glow! With a light pink tint on my lips, it accentuated the classy look without drawing away attention from my eyes. Feeling like Barbie, this is hands down my favourite make up look! Photo Credits: Shutterfairy For my hair, Erika worked up an up-do topped up with a crystal hairband from my selection of accessories from The Louvre Bridal. Personally, I always felt “prettier” with my hair down or to the side, but Erika’s up-do for me made me feel something new.
Photo Credits: Shutterfairy I had a casual shoot done at Movenpick as well. I retained the same makeup look as we were rushing like crazy to catch the last glimpses of the sunset. But in less than 15 minutes, Rhey, Erika’s assistant took my hairdo apart and worked up a beautiful ponytail for me! I later learned that she has over 10 years of experience, wow. Photo Credits: Shutterfairy
My Favourites by Erika
I absolutely loved how Erika drew my eyebrows. I’m not used getting my eyebrows drawn, so initially I worried in having them drawn up too dark, but Erika assured me that she would draw them out in a way that it would look more defined in the photos, and that I didn’t have to worry about them looking too dark. Turns out she was right! They made my photos look so good.
A Firm yet Gentle Touch
When doing my makeup, Erika had a firm yet gentle touch to her art. That fine balance, in my opinion, is pretty tough to achieve, and signals experience in the trade. An artist has to have a firm grip on his/her brushes so that the makeup strokes are confident and well defined – also as the bride, you feel like you are in safe hands. At the same time, a gentle touch is essential for the bride to feel comfortable and relaxed. She also gives very clear instructions for me to follow — when to look up and to look down, when to raise my gaze and lower my chin. All I needed to do was let her take the lead, and in less than 2-3 hours she had me looking picture perfect and absolutely gorgeous.
The Set Up
“Only the hollywood stars would get this kind of treatment,” I thought. Imagine a mirror with light bulbs, those that you see in dressing rooms, a wide selection of skincare and makeup products and brushes, hairstyling tools and more. Not to mention, she brought a “director’s” high chair for me to sit on comfortably. It was nothing short of a diva experience.
Unlimited Touch ups
Not only did Erika did my makeup and hairstyling look for me, she and her assistant stuck around the entire photoshoot to help me touch up my makeup and hair, to ensure that it didn’t go haywire in the outdoors. How professional is that! I did not expect that at all, and I was really touched by them as they helped me to wipe off sweat from the sun, pull together stray hairs from the wind, ensure my powder coverage was flawless, and that I always had luscious lip colour. Doing a shoot isn’t easy, but they surely made me feel like a princess.
The Entire Process
On average, a makeup and hairstyling session takes about 1.5 – 3 hours, depending on how extensive your look is. For my first session at Crimson, I took about 3 hours – of which most of the time was spent chatting away enjoyably. Erika’s just so nice to talk to. I learned that she started her makeup and hairstyling journey out of interest, and she self-taught her way into the trade. It was very inspiring to hear her story. For my second session at Movenpick, as I was in a rush to catch the sunset for my shoot, Erika did my hair and makeup simultaneously and the entire look was finished in less than 2 hours. Not to mention, the transformation for my casual shoot was in less than 15 minutes.
A Worry-Free Experience
Being a makeup artist and hairstylist is really challenging. Most shoots start really early in the morning to catch the soft lighting, and Erika came down to Crimson at 5am to prep. Due to traveling time and traffic, she had to wake at 3am in the morning for my shoot! Despite very little sleep, she had so much energy to chat with us, and she worked up an amazing look for me – all of which I’m really grateful to her for. Considering the tough hours and the fast pace of it all, you got to be really passionate for it. I could tell the entire time Erika really loves her job. Additionally, what impressed me a lot was how Erika worked up both looks on the spot for me. Her professional spontaneity was comforting as I initially had no idea what look I should be going for. All I knew was that I wanted a more natural and light look, rather than a heavy smoky finish – which was my only input. Not only did she adhere both looks to that palette, but at the same time she differentiated both looks according to the other elements involved. The worry-free experience was truly relaxing, and a great start to the shoot. They say that good makeup artists come with two gifts. First, the vision to create something compatible yet unique, and the second, having precision to translate their ideas into reality. Rest assured that Erika and her team, armed with makeup tools can create all sort of wonders for your wedding day or photoshoot. If you are planning for your wedding or your pre-nuptial photoshoot in Cebu, Philippines, be sure to give Erika a call. View her portfolio here and here.
Photoshoot by Shutterfairy