Summer Elliott, the lead makeup artist and the face (and name) behind Make Me Up Summer is here with us today to give us some insights into her career and studio. Having started her company back in 2012 after graduating from Makeup Designory, she loves making women feel confident, empowered and beautiful. Luckily, we managed to schedule an appointment with her, and here she is telling us more about her career and her fascination for her work!
Q: How did you start your career as a Makeup artist?
A: After many years in the “corporate” world, I decided I wanted to do something I was truly passionate about and looked forward to everyday. I have always loved makeup and hair but it wasn’t until I had my second set of twins that I decided I was going to go back to school and pursue my dream of owning my own company, so that’s what I did. I was in my mid-thirties, surrounded by young, hip, artsy, people and at first I felt like a fish out of water. It was very intimidating but I knew what the end goal was and I was not going to allow my age or if I looked the part stand in the way.
After I graduated, I poured myself into bridal makeup and forming my brand. I wanted to show my daughters that anything is possible with a lot of hard work and commitment. Having a business background has certainly helped me but it is so much more than that. It is passion, dedication and a love for this art. I am incredibly grateful that I am able to build my own little empire while still being at all my daughter’s dance recitals, swim
meets and art shows. I truly love what I do, I just wish I had started sooner.
Q: What fascinates you about this line of work?
A: I would have to say the confidence I see in women when they feel and look their best. I absolutely love that have the ability to help a bride (or anyone for that matter) be the best version of themselves. We live in a world that is exceptionally hard on women, especially the way we look, so to be able to create beauty and see beauty in people and things is by far the best and most rewarding part of what I do. It’s why I fell in love with makeup artistry to begin with. It is not about makeup really, it is about making someone feel beautiful, sexy, powerful and confident.
Q: How do you make sure a bride does not look cakey during their wedding day?
Can you show us a picture?
A: Great makeup starts with great skin so when I do a trial prior to the wedding, the one part never skip is skincare. In fact, that’s what I start with. Skincare is very important, and it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, but it is necessary to ensure your makeup looks natural, flawless and lasts throughout the day. On the day of the wedding, I always start with prepping my bride’s skin so she has a healthy youthful glow before I even apply makeup. I have found there are two reasons for “cakey” looking makeup; first and foremost is the product, and secondly, the amount of product used. I believe less is more, the more you have on, the more it looks like you have on. I’m always encouraging brides to expose their own skin instead of covering it up with a veil of makeup.
I have found that airbrush makeup tends to be the best for brides. It is long-lasting, waterproof and gives that stunning HD effect which looks amazing for photography. The enhancing not covering. When I don’t use airbrush makeup, I always use a full coverage creme foundation. For those who need a little extra coverage, I use a concealer or corrector but only where it is needed. Thin layers of each product are key to avoiding the “cakey” look. Less is more so I only use setting powders when needed and I prefer a beautiful cream blush over powder blushes. Actually, I prefer anything in a cream or liquid form over powder. Powder tends to be heavy and cakey and takes away the natural glow of the skin.
Q: What is the easiest/quickest way to turn a day/work look into something that works for a night out? Could you show us an image?
A: As a mom with 4 kids, I am a pro at this one. Let’s be honest we are all busy women and most of us don’t have the extra time to stop and re-do our makeup before a night out with the girls, or “date night” with the hubby. These are my favorite tips to go from a day to night look quick:
● Change your lip color. Turn that nude or light-pink glossy lip color into something bold or bright. You would be surprised how big of a difference that makes.
● Add false lashes. Nothing changes your look faster than lashes. My personal favorites are the “Ardell Demi Wispies-120’s.” If you struggle with putting on strip lashes, try the lash trios. Even if you only put a few on the ends of your lashes, it will give more volume and create the illusion of a fuller deeper lash.
● Darken your shadow on the outer corner and add a pop of shimmer on the inner corners. This will instantly add intensity to your look and if you like a little more “drama” add extra liner on the upper lash line and the water line, then blend it out for a smokey look. Finish with a fresh coat of mascara on your top and bottom lashes.
● Don’t forget to freshen up your face. Touch up your foundation and powder the areas that are shiny. I always like to lightly contour my cheekbones and add more blush and highlight.
Q: Tell me what is the one product you can’t work without?
A: Mascara. It’s like “ coffee for your eyes.” It wakes them up even if you’re not wearing any other makeup. You can go the whole day with only mascara on and look wide awake.
Q: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to others just getting started in your field?
A: Put yourself out there. Get your hands on as many faces as you can. Network, meet other artists and professionals in the industry. Assist working artists who have the same style as you do and learn from them. Those meetings can turn into amazing job opportunities. I cannot tell you how much my career has benefited from working on different projects with different personalities and different styles. Being a makeup artist
who specializes in bridal, it is so important that I can handle a variety of people, stress levels, environments and temperaments, (sometimes all at once) and so much of what I have learned came from those early days in my career. No matter what type of artist you want to be, you have to start somewhere, so get out there and work as much as you can. Your career will thank you later.
Thanks again Summer for that insightful Q and A session. Make Me Up Summer brings the beauty to you by offering on-location Airbrush Makeup, Traditional Makeup and Hair Artistry. After all, their top priority is to make your Wedding Day even more special by letting you enjoy every moment leading up to the aisle while they powder, pamper, gloss and blush you away!