We've worked with some great make up artists over the last few years and Jo Bilham has a gentle and friendly approach when it comes to bridal make-up.
Today on Married in Leeds we're sharing this urban-themed engagement shoot by Leeds wedding photographer John Hope.
Images and words by
Here at Married in Leeds, we're always fans of alternative wedding venues. Steeped in history with original beams and fabulous real ales,
So that our readers can discover a little more about Natalie, we caught up with her to find out more about what she does and why she loves makeup and weddings so much! Not only that but we soon found out that Natalie tied the knot in New York recently! Lets get started...
Why did you start your business?
It’s simple, I love makeup and weddings are a close runner up.
What’s the best thing about doing the job you do? I get to meet some really fantastic people and I love hearing their stories – how they met, the proposal. It’s also fab to see a brides’ confidence in her looks increase from trial to the big day itself. But most of all it’s a privilege to be part of a brides very special day.
What does your business do that is better than anyone else?
I build a special relationship with my clients and I’m quite intuitive. When I’m with them, they are the most important people to me. I listen to their needs and desires and then work with them to create the bridal look they have always dreamed of.
Choosing your bridal hair and makeup is almost as important and personal as choosing your wedding dress. As a makeup artist you are part counselor, part confidant. Brides will share their biggest insecurities about their looks and rely on you to work your magic.
I ask a lot of questions about personal style so that I may advise and guide brides to ensure they choose the right look for their personality ensuring that their most beautiful features are enhanced and those they are less happy about are concealed.
I’m very friendly and because I love weddings so much I can get as excited as they are about their big day. Quite a number of my brides are now friends, which I think says a lot about the bond I develop with clients.
What makes your business unique?
Being a trusted expert and skilled at interpreting my brides’ requirements. Whether that’s helping them to articulate what they want, listening to feedback or simply holding their hand when it all gets a bit much. Nothing is too much trouble from making tea, helping brides into dresses, or picking labels off the bottom of shoes! Everything is about giving each bride their own special moment and an experience they will remember for the rest of their lives. This is their day to shine and be treated like a princess regardless of age or whether it’s their first wedding or their third!
I’m also very flexible and can create long lasting classic looks or something more individual.
How many years in business?
3 years and its been the best 3 years of my career!
What kind of training have you had?
I trained at the Cheshire Makeup Academy specializing in bridal hair and makeup as well as fashion and media so if you fancy something more adventurous, I can get the colours and sparkle out!
Being taught by industry professionals ensures you learn many tricks that may not be taught on traditional health and beauty courses, plus your work experience brings you into contact with celebrities and magazine editors from huge publications. I was encouraged to assist makeup artists who already had very successful careers before working on my own, meaning that I could deal with anything that was thrown at me.
Vogue Italia online and Hello magazine have published some of my work.
What do you think the future of the wedding industry holds for your business?
Hopefully, more success within the wedding world. It is very important to me to create an experience for each bride that is as individual as they are. I only work one wedding per day, so I arrive as early as I need to and don’t leave until the bride is on her way to the ceremony. I work with other makeup artists who I am confident have the appropriate skills and can deliver a standard and quality of work similar to my own, as they are an extension of my brand.
I want to create a brand within the wedding industry, were I am known for creating a special experience for the bride and bridal party, where a trusted ‘friend’ comes to create your wedding look, not just a supplier.
What do you enjoy when you’re not doing weddings?
Shopping for makeup – I’m addicted! I love spending time with my husband (we got married in October 2012 in New York), I love to travel, and eating out.
There’s not a day that goes by where I am researching different hair and makeup looks. I often miss the plot line in films and tv as I’m too busy looking at hair and makeup.
What do you predict the next wedding trend will be?
Trends are constantly evolving and I think we can look to the catwalk and red carpet for lots of inspiration. Vintage or old Hollywood glamour is a trend that has longevity and as we move into spring we will start to see a lot of pastels and bright colours influencing both makeup and dresses. I think hairstyles will be soft, girly and romantic with lots of loose waves.
If you were getting married, what would be the one product of your own that you would choose?
I got married in New York in October 2012 and debated for a long time about having my makeup & hair done by an artist. I understand the difference having your hair and makeup created professionally can make to your emotional state of mind but also your photographs. However, as I didn’t have time to establish a relationship with an artist in New York and I had a very definite idea of the look I wanted to create, I decided to forego the pampering and do it all myself. It was actually one of my favourite parts of our wedding day.
I chose to create a 1950’s look with a twist. The black eyeliner flick was essential and I kept it fresh, pretty, modern and very me with a bright pink lipstick. My Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner and Chanel Perfection Lumiere foundation were key to creating this look and for lasting all day, especially as its had been raining and we did a lot of running around the city on the subway, in taxis, walking down the street, and even took a flight in a helicopter! (This is Natalie>>>>>>>)
What’s the number one piece of advice that you would give to couples planning their wedding?
Remember that it is your day and what’s important is how you feel and the memories you and your husband take away with you. So when it feels like its all getting too stressful, take a deep breath and think will we remember this in 2 years time?
Married in Leeds readers can get in touch with Natalie for their wedding via