Vendor Conversations: Pearls and a Black Dress

I first met Kellie at a meeting and first saw her work when she did the makeup for my friend Kasey’s headshots – lovely on both accounts!

Business Name: Pearls and a Black Dress
Name: Kellie
Phone Number: 888-303-5452
Email Address: info {@} pearlsandablackdress {dot} com
Website Address:
Blog Address:

How did you get started doing makeup professionally?
I have been obssessed with makeup my whole life. I have all brothers so I got started creating bruises on them for fun. (ok, really I was trying to get one of my other brothers in trouble and it worked sometimes so I guess I was pretty good at it). I also started collecting makeup when I was in 5th grade. My mother would give me her gift with purchase items and I loved it. I created a book about that time with swatches of all the makeup I owned (I still have it!).

Later in life I wrote cosmetic reviews for a website and would apply makeup on any friend that would let me. Pretty soon those friends were referring me to their friends for weddings so that is how I got started. A total love of makeup, what it can do for women and the awesome feeling of being a part of a bride’s big day!

What is your favorite aspect of your job?
As much as I LOVE makeup (and really, I love it…the sparkles, the colors the textures) I am very much a people person. It doesn’t matter how many years I have been doing this, what “big” jobs I book outside of weddings or how many weddings I do I am always deeply touched and feel honored that bride’s want to include me on such a special day and trust their face to me. I have had brides break down in tears over how happy they are with the way they look and there is no greater feeling then to feel you have helped in making someone’s day a little more special.

Makeup is such a personal thing and to help in giving someone more confidence or just to feel pampered is an honor that I don’t take lightly. I love getting to know my brides and being there for them.

What is your specialty?
Listening to the bride, making her feel comfortable and creating HER look. This is especially true for my brides that don’t wear a lot of makeup in their day-to-day lives. We don’t believe that “one look fits all” so we spend a lot of time creating an individual look for our brides that represents her style and she is comfortable in.

I have a lot of brides that come to me concerned that the makeup will be heavy or that they won’t look like themselves. That isn’t the case with us! While a lot of our before and after pictures are fun transformations the majority of what we do is very subtle. Playing up features and creating beautiful, flawless “no makeup, makeup looks”.

I want my brides to love their makeup and feel good in it!

What is the starting price point for makeup for a wedding and what is included (trial, travel fees, etc.)?
We do everything by package so the trial run, travel, false eyelashes (yes, you need those! They don’t have to look crazy or fake…just fabulous!) is included. Our first package includes from 1-3 people and it is $375.

Anything else we should know about your company?
We offer airbrush makeup! It is waterproof, lightweight and it lasts all day! Most of my brides comment that they don’t even feel like they are wearing any makeup!

Childhood ambition?
To own a unicorn…needless to say it hasn’t happened.

Favorite beauty tool?
Beauty Blender sponges. They rock!

Dream vacation?
Las Vegas! Between the food, the shopping and the entertainment (Can’t beat Cirque du Soleil) I can have a lot of fun!

Something in your beauty toolbox that might surprise us?
I have this great mini eyelash curler that everyone always comments on. Vincent Longo makes it and it is flat and small so it gets the outer corner of the eyelashes brilliantly!

Last time you laughed until it hurt?
Hmmm, I do love a good laugh and the last time it hurt was probably over a MadTv sketch.

Personal lipstick shade?
I am a total makeup junkie so coming up with just one shade is hard. I reach for MAC Hue a lot!

Last thing you bought?
These killer Jessica Simpson shoes. They are going to look really cute this spring!

Hidden talent?
I cook some mean french desserts. Creme Brulee is a personal fav!

Can’t live without?
My family

Favorite quote?
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” – Gandalf – The Lord of the Rings

Best compliment ever received?
Whenever my son says something sweet to me it tends to top the best compliment chart.

If you weren’t a makeup artist, what would you be?
I would be in IT. It is what I did before I became a makeup artist.

Finally, tell us your absolute favorite makeup/beauty tip…
Keep your face bright and open. For example I love a good smokey eye but even when doing a smokey eye make sure that your makeup is clean and fresh. It is the subtle things like well placed under eye concealer, well shaped brows and slight hints of “light” that make the difference in an “ok” look and a “WOW!” look. This includes blending, blending and blending some more!

For a more direct tip here is one for kissable lips: put a thick layer of lip balm or vaseline on your lips, let it sit for a few minutes then take either a baby tooth brush or a moist wash cloth and gently exfoliate your lips. When you are done reapply some lip balm. Your lips will be smooth, plumped and kissable!

Please share a few of your favorite before and after pictures of brides…

Pearls and a Black Dress

Pearls and a Black Dress

Thank you Kellie for answering my questions!

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