An afternoon with Professional Makeup Artist Carmina Cristina

post by nat

Matt & I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with Carmina Cristina. We love working with her and wanted to get to know her better and pick her brain on how and why she got into the makeup business. She’s one of our preferred vendors and we’ve decided to interview some of them so you have a chance to meet them.

She was a lovely host! We enjoyed catching up, her wonderful hospitality, witnessing her in action as well as meet her other half. It was quite the afternoon and we’re excited to share with you why we love Carmina so much and introduce you to her.


We started the afternoon with coffee & cake :)


From there we got right to talking about her passion:

What is your favorite part of your business?

I’m able to travel to places I wouldn’t discover normally. This business gets me in contact with a lot of wonderful people, vendors and clients!

(A look into her home studio)


Why did you choose to start a business?

I have been working in makeup for 10 years. I started in Europe with fashion and movies, which is not such a big scene in PA. So, when I moved here in 2005 I realized there is a  huge market for commercial work and in the wedding world. Every bride that gets married, that day is their red carpet moment. Photography and video capture memories that will last a lifetime, so they want to look their best!

(Carmina holds seminars at home and in her new storefront where women can learn different makeup styles and skin care regiments)


What do you like most about weddings?

The fun, excitement, and happiness that comes from each person that sits in my chair on that day. The joy that just exudes from each person, whether it’s the bride, the mother of the bride or the bridesmaids. I love surrounding myself with happy people, rather than doing something that is quite boring.


What is the most challenging part about your business?

With the happiness and joy also comes the anxiousness. Even people who are normally very calm, on the wedding day they might have a moment when they don’t feel as comfortable. This is where my role comes in. Yes I’m their makeup artist, but I’m also the closest person to them that day. That’s why you have to pick someone that you are very comfortable with for your day. When you sit in my chair we are so close, you come with your naked face and my job is to keep things under control and to make you feel relaxed and comfortable and truly beautiful.

(While we were there Carmina sat me in her chair and took me through a wedding day treatment!)


What’s one piece of advice you can give couples planning for their wedding?

Keep calm, don’t stress, don’t’ forget that your wedding day is about you!


What’s your favorite part of the wedding day?

The moment when it’s just you and your husband with the priest or person who marries you and you say ‘I Do’. I think that’s the most emotional and touching part of the wedding. That is the whole reason you are there that day!


What is one question you feel is important when you are looking for a makeup artist for your wedding?

Ask the person that you think is right how long they have been doing makeup and what is their expertise? Did they go to school to be a makeup artist. I think it’s important to find out if this person has the right qualifications to do your makeup. Also ask what kind of lighting they will be doing your makeup in, it is very important that makeup is done in natural light as much as possible! That is the true light.


What is your background in makeup?

I attended 3 makeup schools specifically for makeup. One in Europe for just makeup and a little on skin care. After that I went to Toronto, Canada and attended probably the best makeup school in North America (comparable with Hollywood schools). There I learned everything from fashion photographic makeup, to special effects makeup, to prosthetics, to makeup for wedding days and movies. I think it’s great for a makeup artist to have versatility and understand all of these facets, that way they will understand how makeup will look in photographs and on film. The last school I attended was in PA, so I am a licensed esthetician in Pennsylvania. To be able to work here as a makeup artist you must have either an Esthetic License or a Cosmetology License.


What do you enjoy about working with bridal parties?

I love the fact that I can actually help them discover the beauty in them. I think everyone is beautiful, it comes down to discovering the beauty in you! It doesn’t matter if you are the bride, the mother of the bride or part of the bridal party. The makeup with help you love your pictures and yourself when you look in the mirror.


Do you provide on location service?

Yes! I travel all the time. I will go to you on your wedding day, where you will be getting ready. I think on your wedding day on location makeup service is something that brides are looking for. It’s much more relaxing.

(Carmina had a pre wedding trial that afternoon as well. Isn’t the bride stunning?! Carmina matched her wedding day makeup perfectly to her sari, just gorgeous!)


How long before the ceremony should I book my appointment?

This all depends on your wedding day schedule. Everything is scheduled well in advance and I would always recommend having a cushion between the time your makeup is supposed to end and when the next event is happening eg. pictures, the ceremony, First Look. You definitely need to leave at least 1/2 an hour between those events, just so you have time to relax and breathe. As far as booking a makeup artist, my recommendation would be to book as soon as you have your date and the venue. I say this because a lot of makeup artists usually work on their own and once they are booked, they are booked.


Why should I hire a professional to do my makeup on my wedding day, rather than doing it myself or getting a friend to do it for me?

Because on that day you want to look as good as you can. Also, you want to make sure you will be stress free. You want someone who has the expertise and has the plan for the day. You will be looking back at pictures and videos for years to come and you will notice a big difference if you have a professional do your makeup. A makeup artist will actually enhance your beauty as opposed to just applying makeup. The makeup artist will also have all of the tools & products you need to have the makeup last all day!


What is your makeup style?

Bringing your natural beauty to life. I can bring your beauty to life through different makeup techniques.


What are the most popular looks with brides these days?

A lot want to look naturally beautiful, that is one look. Other brides want to be more glamourous. The smoky eye is always a go to for a more glamourous look. Few brides go with a lot of color, the trend over the past years has been very neutral in makeup. Sometimes they will add color in the lips or with blush, but very few use color on the eyes.

(I asked for a bold color look ;) I am normally quite reserved with makeup, but I knew I was in good hands with Carmina and wanted to try something fun!)


Let’s talk about airbrushing:

Airbrushing is a technique that allows you to apply a very small amount of foundation on your face, very evenly through compressed air. The product that I use for my bridal application is actually a silicon base opposed to a water base and that is the reason why I think this is the perfect fit for bridal makeup because it lasts between 14 and 18 hours. A water product in combination with sweat and humidity will start to run.


You have your own makeup line, let’s talk about that:

I wanted to create a makeup collection for quite a while, but everything really started with my clients. When I would ask my clients questions about their skin care they didn’t know what to pick, they didn’t know what was good for them. As a professional I have a lot of knowledge and I wanted to educate them on what products would be good for them. When I was thinking about the line, I was thinking about how confusing it can be to have a gazillion products out there and not know what to pick for yourself. I have to have a makeup collection that is extremely simple, that will give you answers to your questions in what products will actually make a difference. I wanted something that you will apply once, look great and last for a very long time. My collection is different because it’s created by a makeup artist with the client in mind and I’m here to educate those clients on what to pick, what’s best for them.


What makes your products so good for photography?

The fact that I designed these products for excellent results in pictures, and that they are true to color and long lasting.


What do I do if I need a touch up during the wedding day?

I provide my brides with a touch up kit. Their lip color, some blotting papers and if they want to change their look for the evening they can get a black eyeliner to use. I will show them how to dramatically change their look for the reception.

(My final look…..I think Matt liked it because he took a lot of pics)


On a side note I personally love this wave print she has on her wall, maybe it was the inspiration for my makeup that day ;)



The fabulous Carmina in her home studio.

Carmina-Cristina-Professional-Makeup-Artist-22 Carmina-Cristina-Professional-Makeup-Artist-23


Thank you so much Carmina! We can’t recommend you enough. And we look forward to working with you again soon :)

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