Crystal Cobert-Gibbens did brides’ make-up for years, but when it came time for her own wedding in September, she tossed the blush brush aside.
A makeup artist and a hairstylist showed up at her front door on the big day and beautified her and her entire bridal party.
“Everybody had a glass of wine and everybody was done on time. No stress, no tears,” the Slingerlands resident said. “It was just so relaxing and fun to have somebody come do it for me.”
Instead of parading the whole group to a salon, many brides are saving time — and sometimes even money — by having traveling stylists come to them.
Make Me Fabulous in Ballston Spa did about 300 off-site wedding jobs last year.
Owner Alayne Curtiss and her 17 stylists commute not only to homes but to hotels as well, and they’ve traveled to brides as far away as Long Island, Lake Placid and Plattsburgh.
Curtiss totes five suitcases packed with the tools of her trade to every mobile job. Once set up, it takes about an hour and a half to do the bride’s hair and 45 minutes to complete her makeup. For the attendants, the makeup takes the same amount of time, while the hair takes about an hour.
Although lugging equipment around and setting up kitchen-table work stations is something stylists don’t need to do when working at their salon, Curtiss said she enjoys taking her show on the road.
“We get to meet the families and we eat with them and we drink champagne with them. ... You really become a part of their day,” she said.
Jennifer McCarthy Norton, owner of True Grace Makeup in Albany, provides mobile hair and makeup services and along with them a sense of comfort.
“People want to get ready in comfort. They want to be around their friends and family. Salons can be comfortable, but people are more comfortable in their home or a gathering space of their own choosing,” she said.
McCarthy Norton, who is a makeup artist, totes hundreds of lipstick and eye shadow shades to ensure she’s prepared for any complexion and preference.
Because her business is strictly a mobile one, she doesn’t shoulder the overhead that comes with running a salon, so clients pay less for her services, she said. She didn’t reveal her prices, but she commented, “I’ve always run my business on being fair and I want people to enjoy the luxury of the service without being blasted with a ginormous fee.”
McCarthy Norton has beautified bridal parties as far away as New York City, Vermont and Lake Placid. She’s willing to travel just about anywhere, she noted.
Make Me Fabulous makes house calls to do a bride’s hair and makeup that typically cost a little more than $200. Attendants are usually charged between $165 and $185. Sixty miles of travel are included in the fee. If the commute’s longer than that, a mileage charge is added.
Hiring a professional do your hair and makeup for a wedding is worth the expense, McCarthy Norton ensured.
“The only thing that’s left at the end of the day are the pictures,” she said. “I feel like it’s a really key piece that sometimes people don’t think they need and they really do.”