Want to know the secret to perfect skin on your wedding day?

We interviewed the talented Simona Janek to find out her tips for having perfect skin on your wedding day.

It’s rare to find someone so well rounded in their expertise as Simona Janek. Her business card says Makeup Artist, Hair Stylist, Photographer but in her time, Simona has worked commercially and in advertising; her artistry has appeared in Modern Wedding Magazine countless times; she’s even spent time in front of a camera as a model before making the natural progression to the other side of it. It’s little wonder that Simona is so highly sought after in the wedding industry. We caught up with her to get some pointers to help our brides make the most of their wedding hair and makeup.

FOR THY SWEET LOVE: Simona, where are you based?

SIMONA JANEK: I’ve got a studio in Sydney’s Inner West where I do trial hair and makeup sessions as well as my Boudoir Photography but I travel all over the state for weddings – The Hunter Valley, Bowral, Southern Highlands, Wollongong, Orange, I’ve even gone as far as Hamilton Island.

FTSL: Do you have a signature style that you’re famous for?

SJ: No, not at all – every bride is different so I haven’t done the same makeup or hairstyle twice. Depending on the requirements of the bridal party, I’ll often work with a team who bring a diversity of skills and experience. I love working with different clients and using the different techniques required for different ethnicities and occasions. Over the years, my team and I have done every kind of wedding including several Asian weddings that often include a tea ceremony where the bride wears a cheongsam (usually red) before changing into a white gown for a western-style wedding. We’ve also done a few Indian weddings that can go over 3-days or over a couple of weeks and also involves a dramatic changes from strong, bold colours with significant headwear into a subtle white gown with a delicate veil. Obviously these different outfits require different hair and makeup and I love working with brides to transition them from one style to the other. Even with traditional weddings, brides often want a different look for the ceremony and reception so we’re able to work with them to make that change as smooth as possible.

FTSL: What are your top tips for perfect wedding day skin?

SL: Be organised on your wedding day! You’ll know from your trial how long you need to set aside for hair and makeup – it can be up to 4-5 hours depending on the size of your bridal party – but that can quickly blow out if you’re trying to deal with a hundred and one other things at the same time. If you’re not already working with a Wedding Planner, consider an on-the-day coordinator so you can relax and enjoy the day.

In terms of getting your skin and hair to look its best on the day, well that starts long before the day itself. I can’t stress enough how important good sun care is - there’s nothing as ageing as sun damage so be sure to protect your face, neck, decolletage and hands especially.

If you don’t already have a good skincare routine it’ll be too late to start the week before your wedding - start now! Double-cleanse at night to remove makeup; exfoliate at least once a week, either manually or chemically; apply a hydrating or cleansing mask once a week; and moisturise! Speak to a beautician about your specific skin care needs and follow the routine. Facials won’t save you at the last minute though I personally think microdermabrasion a few days before your wedding can really help to smooth the texture of your skin without having any harsh side effects.

Don’t do anything too harsh or extreme to your skin a week before the wedding - no heavy duty facials, no waxing, no eyelash perming. Nothing that can take time to recover from. It’s much easier to tweeze a few stray hairs than cover up a potential blister or burn from too-hot wax. And it can be impossible to apply false eyelashes to lashes that are still curling back on themselves - if you or anyone in your party is worried about straight or short lashes, ask your makeup artist what the plan is for the day. If you’re going to have falsies applied, it’s better to leave your lashes natural.

As for pimples and cold sores which can tend to crop up at stressful times - Treat the area immediately, keep it clean and most importantly - don’t pick! It’ll be far easier to cover them up if they’re not scabby.

Talk to your hairstylist about a plan for your hair in terms of colour. If you’re touching up an existing colour, a week before your wedding is good. If you’re getting a new colour completely, give it a couple of weeks to settle in. If you have foils, consider if you’ll be wearing your hair up or down - you’ll need to make sure they’re properly blended underneath so the contrast isn’t too stark if you’re wearing your hair up. For hair extensions, I always send my bride’s to an expert in colour matching. I then like to do any cutting that’s needed to fit the style. If you’re transitioning to a new colour, I’ll send the extensions along to the final colour appointment to make sure they stay matched.

Pay particular attention to the parts that are going to be photographed. A good manicure and pedicure will make the difference in close up photos of wedding rings or shoes being slipped on. Of course, you want to make sure you’ve been moisturising your hands and feet well in advance of your big day too.

And finally, trust your hair and makeup artist! If you’re not someone who wears a lot of makeup usually, chances are that you’ll be wearing a lot more on your wedding day - after all, you don’t usually wear a wedding gown either. Even natural looking hair and makeup is an elevated concept when it’s rising to the occasion. You want your hair and makeup to last the entire day and photograph well. As a photographer, I understand what that requires. Of course it’s essential that you still look and feel like you, albeit a more stylised version. Luckily cosmetics have come a long way in terms of tone and wear-ability so it’s possible to be made up without feeling self-conscious. I want all my brides to feel like the best possible version of themselves.

FTSL: What makes for a successful hair and makeup trial?

SJ: Pictures – lots of pictures – what you like, what you hate, what you’ve always dreamed of. One picture can be interpreted in many ways but a style emerges from a collection. I can then take that inspiration and make it work for the bride. By the time brides are coming for their trial makeup, they’ve usually made a lot of decisions about their wedding already – venue, photographer, dress – and I want to know about all of it because it tells me about the bride’s style. I ask a lot of questions so I can really understand what the expectation is and be well prepared to meet it.

My brides-to-be leave their trial with a full hair and makeup plan so they understand exactly what’s needed in the lead up to their wedding day and on the day itself – when to colour, when to wash, what lipstick in case they want to buy their own and so on. We’ll usually have played around with a few styles and also considered any contingencies for windy or wet weather.

Of course, these days we also go over any COVID19 safety planning that needs to be considered. I’ve always worked to a strict level of hygiene with my tools but now I ensure that we have enough complete brush sets - hair and makeup - so that we don’t use the same tools on different people without a full alcohol sterilization in between. At the end of each job, my makeup brushes get a full wet wash and my combs and brushes are cleaned with hospital-grade disinfectant. And of course, we all mask up while we work and do our best to socially distance everyone in the space provided.

FTSL: Speaking of photography, tell us about your Boudoir Photography

SJ: I think of it as ‘Portrait Couture’. It’s an intimate photo shoot celebrating your femininity to create a sexy, sophisticated and unexpected gift for your partner in the form of a book or photo box of provocative, yet playful images for his eyes only.

Most women haven’t done anything like this before so tend to feel awkward and nervous to begin with, even though they’re usually in the best shape of their lives in the lead up to their wedding. As a model myself, I lead my ladies through poses in a fun and comfortable way. For me, it’s all about feeling confident and bringing your own style and beauty forward.

I recommend people do their Boudoir Photography session 2-3 months ahead of their wedding so there’s plenty of time to bring it together as a wedding gift from the bride to her groom. Alternatively, some people like to wait until their first wedding anniversary where paper gifts are traditionally exchanged.

It always ends up being a fun day with a great result – I haven’t had a woman yet who wasn’t thrilled to have done it. I actually think it ends up being more of a gift for the bride-to-be in terms of the confidence and sense of empowerment that comes from it.

FTSL: Do you have any deals for our brides-to-be?

SJ: Absolutely. I’d like to offer your brides an exclusive $1,500 VIP package (valued at $1,750) that includes:

· 2-3 hour Boudoir photo shoot with hair and makeup

· 4-5 outfit changes

· Champagne viewing and album design session

· A leather 6”x8” album with images over 18 sides

· Presented in a black gift box ready for an unexpected surprise for the groom

To see more of Simona Janek’s work, visit her website: www.simonajanek.com.au or find her on Instagram and Facebook @simonajanek

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