Interview with Melissa Wilson of M.A.W. Beauty Hair & Makeup Studio

Makeup and hair are an incredibly important factor on your wedding day. I skipped the professional services for my own wedding (due to budgeting), and its something I regret whenever I look at my photos. I didn’t look bad; I just looked a little less special than I deserved.

I had the opportunity to speak with the talented Melissa Wilson, Owner of M.A.W.Beauty Hair & Makeup Studio today, and she was gracious enough to take the time to answer some of our questions. Thanks Melissa!!!

CB: You’re a relatively new business. Tell us how you got into the field?
MAW: I started doing hair professionally in 2005 after graduating from Arthur Angelo School of Cosmetology. I worked as a stylist and gained experience with any and every type of hair you can imagine, then in 2007, I relocated to New Jersey and worked as a Makeup Artist for Clinique in Macy’s Herald Square. Eventually, after moving back to Rhode Island, I began to think about what I could do to incorporate my passion for both hair and makeup artistry, and working with brides is something that just made sense. I opened my business in November 2011, and in our first year, we serviced 29 weddings, and won both Best of Weddings 2013 from The Knot and Brides Choice Awards 2013 from WeddingWire!

CB: How many people do you have on staff?
MAW: Currently, I have a team of 8 hair and makeup artists, including myself. Everyone that I bring on to my team, The Beauty Angels, is professionally licensed in either aesthetics for makeup, or cosmetology for both hair and makeup. Aside from our professional training, each artist is trained in-house by me, and we also are constantly seeking out and attending seminars, classes, and workshops.

CB: Could you explain the Blowdry/Makeup Bar concept that you are taking on for our readers?
MAW: Blowdry Bars are popping up all over the country, but honestly, I’ve been building my clientele off of basic blowout and roller set services since I started doing hair. I would keep a set of rollers, a hooded dryer, my blowdryer and round brushes in my trunk because I was constantly going to friends’ homes to do their hair. So, in-studio (I don’t refer to M.A.W.Beauty as a “salon”, I call it a “Beauty Studio”), we focus on basic services. We consider ourselves to be the one-stop shop for express services. Our focus is on amazing blowouts, special event hair styling, makeup artistry, and we also offer manicures. That’s it. We don’t really focus on color or other chemicals, although we do still provide color and chemicals by consultation and appointment only. We love the basics, and we are the best at the basics. My mentality on the concept is that I love having my hair blown out, but I have so much hair that I hate doing it myself. So if I’m able to have someone do it for me instead, and be done within an hour to an hour and a half, I’m willing to indulge in that luxury on a pretty regular basis! Same thing with makeup. Many women don’t wear makeup on a regular basis, and if they do, they don’t know how to apply it professionally. Other than makeup counters and beauty stores like Ulta or Sephora, there really is no place to get your makeup done, and especially nowhere that will offer a personalized experience along with it. So that is what M.A.W.Beauty Hair & Makeup Studio is all about. We are your go-to girls for amazing blowouts, special event hair styling, and makeup application!

CB: What beauty trends are you predicting for the 2013 wedding season?
MAW: I’m expecting to see more and more brides opting for a “no makeup” look. I think brides really just want to look as natural as possible. Well groomed eyebrows are also very big this season. As far as hair trends, pretty accessories like crystal headbands, and styles like top buns, chignons, and styles with braids will be very popular for the 2013 wedding season!

CB: How many visits should a bride expect with you before her big day?
MAW: I would generally recommend 2 or more visits with me prior to her big day. First, we should have our initial consultation. This is when we sit down and work out details about her wedding day needs. We will talk about the needs of her bridal party as well. Next, I would suggest that the bride, and any member of her bridal party that feels like she needs or wants one, set up a trial to go through the actual style that she will wear on the day of the wedding. Lastly, I would suggest the bride to set up an appointment with us if she needs anything done prior to her wedding like her roots touched up, or a good trim, or even for her engagement or boudoir photos.

CB: When you look at a perspective client, what features or aspects of her appearance are you focusing on?
MAW: I don’t think that I necessarily focus on a specific feature or aspect of her appearance. I generally like to work with each client to play up the features that she loves and down play the features that she doesn’t love so much. If I meet a bride with great eyes, I love to make them stand out, or if she has amazing cheekbones, I try to play those up too. Each client is different, so I like work with each client to bring out the features they love.

CB: Do you have any specialties or favorite looks that you personally love to do?
MAW: My specialty is enhancing what you already have. Most brides want to look like themselves, but better. So that is the type of look that I enjoy creating. A naturally made-up look. I also enjoy creating glamorous looks… red lipstick, smoky eyes… I love it!

CB: Any Beauty advice for brides when they are choosing a makeup/hair artist?
MAW: My advice to brides for when they are choosing a hair/makeup artist is to do your research. Look at reviews, ask to see photos of your perspective artist’s work, schedule a consultation to talk to the artist and make sure that your vision and theirs are in line with each other, and lastly, schedule a trial for sure! Never skip your trial!

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