Eek! I’m so excited to share this interview with you. I met the very lovely Zara last year on a shoot together and I just fell in love with her approach and way of styling hair. She is the loveliest lady, so easy going and down to earth – someone you feel at ease with instantly. I think this is so important for brides looking to feel comfortable on their wedding day when they’ll already be feeling excitement and nerves. But Zara has an extra something, a ‘je ne sais quois’, I’d say she’s a visionary when it comes to her modern way of styling hair. It’s effortlessly cool and hip. I’m so delighted that she’s taken part in my interview series so that you can learn more about her.
So Zara, have you always loved weddings? And what made you decide to become a wedding hair stylist?
Weddings were always something we loved the idea of, it was a combination of making someone feel the very best they can, alongside the social aspect of meeting really lovely people and creating those bonds and magical moments that really drew us in.
What did you do before you became a hair stylist?
I have been a hairstylist for as long as I can remember. I grew up in among a family of hairstylists, my dad owned a number of salons and I was working on Saturdays by age 13. Having said that, I decided hairdressing wasn’t for me age 18, and I went on to study for my degree in BA in Make-Up for the Performing Arts at London College of Fashion. I realised once I was on the course that my real talent lay in dressing wigs and hairstyling and so I focussed on this aspect of the course as opposed to prosthetics, which I wasn’t very good at!!
I know you run your business with Nadia, who’s the Head Make Up Artist, how did you guys meet and why did you decide to go into business together?
Nadia and I initially met through a mutual best friend of ours, we hit it off and when we realised that we were both in the hair and make-up industry, we instantly started working together. Our first collaboration was with an avant-garde fashion focused designer that pushed our creative boundaries to the next level, to this day those images still bowl us over. We had great chemistry when working together which is so important, and our first ever wedding was a bridal party of 10 people! We realised right away that this path was for us and got very excited about our vision for “Portraits”, we even started making plans that very day to expand our team as we knew it was going to be a success!
How would you describe your style? And do you have a signature look?
Myself, Nadia and the team absolutely love to make our brides feel like the absolute best version of themselves. We never push a particular style on them, we listen to their ideas and insecurities and then we focus on achieving that goal! Our approach is very simple, we don’t like any thing too overdone but also like hair to feel polished to a certain degree, spending time on good hair prep so that it looks healthy is very important. Our make-up team also spend a great deal of time on our clients skin prep, as this is the foundation fo gorgeous, glowing skin.
What makes you and Portraits Bridal unique?
At the forefront of our business is skill, the artists we work with are all hugely talented with a broad spectrum of work behind them. We have a number of years experience in the industry, where we have all trained extensively and become experts in our fields. We are so lucky to have such talent on board and all of our artists are carefully hand selected based on their ability to bring something fresh to the team. The Portraits experience is always very personal and we invest a lot of time in all of our clients, the service is never rushed and we plan the morning meticulously to ensure smooth running on the day.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere from fashion to celebrities and movies, we definitely have a wide variety of sources that inspire us.
What do you love most about your job?
We love that we get to meet such a wide variety of people, each with their own unique story and ideas. Its very satisfying when we see our clients just before they walk out the door looking and feeling their best, its very rewarding.
Do you have a favourite place in the world and why?
This is such a tough one, I absolutely adore travelling, among my favourite places are Agonda in Goa, India, as I went there on my honeymoon, its a very special place. I also have so much love for parts of Australia as I travelled there after uni and I have a lot of friends out there, so I do love to visit. Last year I travelled to Croatia and I must say the island of Hvar had one of the most amazing secluded beaches I have ever seen.
What’s your favourite cake flavour?! And what’s your favourite tipple?
I’m quite fussy with cakes as I really don’t have a sweet tooth, however, I did love your chocolate brownies to the max so I’m converted! I guess a chocolate flavour or fruit cake work for me as long as they are not too sweet. My nan’s maiden name is actually “Tipple”,which always makes me laugh. It’s probably an Aperol Spritz or Peach Bellini.
Do you have any advice for a bride-to-be who’s looking to find a hair and make up artist?
It’s really important to feel comfortable and I would recommend having a chat with them on the phone before you commit to get a vibe and see if you connect. It’s also important that you love their portfolio of work, you should find that when you come across an artist you like, their work really jumps out at you.
What tips can you share with a bride-to-be in the lead up to her wedding? Is there anything she can do to help her skin look more radiant / improve the condition of her hair?
Nadia and I discovered an incredible skincare brand early last year, QMS, who are based in Liberty, London. The science behind the brand mean that you will get amazing results. We highly recommend it from personal experience, skincare is such a journey. Professional facials will also help and ensure that you give yourself plenty of time to work out any problem areas. For hair, regular trims and hair treatments are always the way forward, simple but effective.
How can couples find you to book you for their wedding?
Please head over to the contact form on our website with all of the fabulous details and we will get in touch www.portraitsbridalhairandmakeup.com