Chicago Makeup Artist

Should I book a bridal trial and when?

One of the most common questions asked by a bride-to-be is, “should I book a bridal trial?” The answer is YES! Let me be very transparent for a moment. I have booked brides who I have never met, arrived on the day to do their makeup, and everything turned out fine. Could the experience and makeup possibly have turned out better? Yes! The brides were delighted, but I did not feel the sense of preparedness or connection that I share with brides I have gotten to know over six months to a year. Looking back, I am thankful that everything turned out alright, but some issues can arise from not meeting a bride beforehand. 

 1. Lack of connection 

 On the biggest day of your life, it is important to work with a person who understands your personality, pain points, likes, and discomforts. Unfortunately, on the day of your wedding, there isn’t enough time to sort out these issues, especially if the makeup artist has scheduled other clients on your big day.

2. Skin Issues

 If you are getting your makeup done for the first time on your big day, your makeup artist doesn’t know much about your skin and how your skin reacts to certain products. The bridal trial day is the perfect time to wear makeup all day and note any skin reactions. 

 3. Sensitivities 

 I have encountered brides who react to products being put on their eyes. Imagine the surprise of not knowing how to handle these issues on the day of someone’s wedding. 


 Natural and dramatic are two words that are interpreted differently by most people. A bride and makeup artist can define natural and dramatic in very different ways. Most likely, the artist won’t have time to redo your entire makeup look if there is a misunderstanding. 

 The only time I think it’s okay to skip a bridal trial is when you know your makeup artist personally, and she has done your makeup before, and you were pleased.

 Finally, when choosing a bridal makeup artist, please select artists whose work you love. A good time to book a bridal trial is 3-6 months before your wedding date or when you have selected your dress, hairstyle, and accessories. 

 Until next time!!!!  

Danielle Rochon 

Sir John’s Chicago Masterclass

Two days ago, I attended Sir John’s masterclass here in Chicago. I’ve attended quite a few masterclasses, but this was the most extraordinary and worthwhile class of all. If you don’t know who Sir John is all I’m going to say is he has created some of Queen B Beyonce’s most iconic looks. Follow SirJohnOfficial on Instagram and google his credentials. I promise you; you’ll love him. 

 First of all, this man is GORGEOUS!!! He’s like a real-life Casanova. He’s kind, he’s beautiful, he’s super-talented, he’s creative, and he’s ALLURING!!! Okay, enough of that. The most striking quality about him as an artist is that he seems to be 100% himself and comfortable with who he is. When he first came into the room, he spoke to us like he was a new friend genuinely interested in who we were and where we traveled from to go to his class. He didn’t behave with a sense of superiority, given his incredible career and talent. He made us feel like he was one of us, a person putting one foot in front of the other every day and trying to do his absolute best with what blessings he’s been given. He created two makeup looks for us. One was a very clean makeup look that did not transform his model into a completely different person but enhanced her a bit. The second look on the second model was an editorial look with glitter and beautiful skin. He is all about beautiful skin and enhancing what a woman is working with. In the age of Instagram makeup, it is so refreshing to see someone who can see the person in front of him and not try to recreate the person into someone completely different. I was drawn to his artistry because I love an artist who can do beautiful, radiant skin and because Beyonce never looks overdone. After the makeup demonstrations, we had lunch at a salon next door. After lunch, the attendees recreated his looks on each other. Sir John and his staff, along with Erica Carr, assisted us in recreating the looks. Goodies were given out if someone did skin well or eyes. After we recreated the looks, it was time to pack our kits and prepare for cocktail hour. We had champagne and more food, and we mingled and bonded as a community of makeup artists. I can’t go into more detail about this class because I am a believer in respecting the teacher who has paved the way and respecting the attendees who spent their hard earned money on investing in masterclasses. 

 I will leave you with a few takeaways from this class. 

 1. I appreciated the tone Erica Carr set at the beginning of the class when she said we are all on the same level in the class. No matter how long we had been doing makeup, it didn’t matter. We were all there to learn. Erica also pointed out things to consider when setting your makeup rate. She said cost plus time plus reputation equal value! Consider all 3 of these things when setting your makeup rate.

 2. Stop discounting your rate. Do it free or don’t do it at all! Ask yourself if the opportunity is going to move the needle in your career? If not, why do it? 

 3. Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid are a great one-two punch for antiaging. If you want to know more, YOU MUST ATTEND HIS CLASS!!! 

 Someone asked me on Instagram if Sir John’s class was worth the money. My answer is ABSOLUTELY! I learned less is truly more, and you don’t have to overpaint someone to create gorgeous makeup looks. Lead with kindness and be yourself! You can only be successful if you are 100 percent yourself and create your content! 

Enjoy your Friday loves! 


Danielle Rochon 


Clients, as well as fellow makeup artists, often ask me if luxury beauty products are worth the financial investment. The answer is it depends on why you’re buying them, and if there are comparable substitutes on the market. If you are a consumer who loves pulling an amazing black sleek Chanel compact out of your bag to touch-up your YSL lipstick, then, of course, you’re going to find luxury products worth the hype. You are a brand-conscious buyer, and there is nothing wrong with a luxurious treat if you can afford it. If you are wondering if the hefty price tag means you are getting better ingredients, longer wearability, better packaging, and better performance, then the answer is yes and no. One brand cannot cure all of our makeup needs. I can find amazing products from almost every brand on the market today, but there are only a few brands who can continuously knock the ball out of the park with every collection. 

 I choose to buy luxury products because I grew up obsessed with reading beauty and fashion magazines. There was nothing more satisfying than reading about products in Allure magazine. When I was old enough to afford these luxury products, I went straight to the makeup counters to purchase them. Years ago, I could only buy lipstick, mascara, and eyeliner from some of the higher end brands like Chanel and YSL. Their complexion section left a lot to be desired if you were a woman of color. I found MAC, Nars, and Bobbi Brown to be way more inclusive when it came to complexion products. Brands are much better now in terms of the color ranges they serve. Hey money talks and despite the fallacy out there about women of color not buying luxury makeup products, statistics say we make up a large amount of the billions spent every year on beauty products. 

 So, are today’s higher-end products worth the hype? For me, yes! YSL made one of my favorite powders called Souffle D’Eclat Loose powder. This powder had a luminescent glow to it because of the mother of pearl finely pressed into the product. YSL has discontinued a few shades, and so many of us are crushed about this. Chanel’s Poudre Universelle Libre is a great substitute. When it comes to lipsticks, Chanel has my heart! The textures are incredible, and I have found the nude color range is fantastic! Will I buy foundations for women of color from Chanel or YSL? Probably not! They still leave a lot to be desired when it comes to extending the shade range. I do carry Dior foundations in my kit! When it was revealed that the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle wore Dior’s Backstage Face & Body for her wedding and the shade range included 40 shades ranging from very light to very deep and including olive, peach, and neutral tones, I was sold! Face & Body is a very basic foundation. You must use excellent skin prep to create expensive looking skin. 

The most natural group in my clientele, the Vanillas, love this lightweight formula. They want to see skin, and skin is what you will get! Nars carries two of my favorite foundation formulas, Natural Radiant Longwear foundation, and Sheer Glow. Both formulas have a radiant look, but the Natural Radiant is a heavier coverage. You can use your fingers to apply the Natural Radiant formula if you want a skin-like effect. One of my wonderful teachers Kai informed me that Nars Sheer glow is not a sheer foundation. The “glow” is sheer, not the formula. The formula is more of a medium coverage. In the high-end foundation arena, I love other brands such as Koh Gen Do, Mac’s Face & Body, and Bobbi Brown’s foundations stick to name a few. I buy these products because I have found nothing comparable to them when I am looking for something that looks natural, feels amazing on the skin, and doesn’t have a dense texture. I also choose luxury products because I want my clients to have the best! This is not a comprehensive list, but only a few examples of products I love. 

Please share some of your favorite products!!!! I’m always looking to try new things!!! If you’re not following me on social media, please like my page @daniellerochonmakeup on Instagram and Facebook!  

3 of My Favorite Products for Bridal Makeup

Happy Wedding Wednesday beauties!

Today I want to share three products that are must-haves for my bridal kit. I selected three products I can use no matter what skin type or complexion I’m servicing. 

 1. I have bought brow products from every high-end brand on the market from Mac to Dior. Some brow products that used to be staples in my kit, like Mac’s brow pencil in Spiked, have failed me after a while. My favorite brow pencil began to break every time I pressed it into a client’s skin, so I searched high and low to find a substitute for my beloved Mac brow pencil. One day while shopping at Ulta, I stumbled upon Benefit’s Precisely, My Brow and my brow game changed!!! This brow pencil works for me because my clients and I are into more of a natural hair-like brow where you can see hair and not pencil lines and strokes. Eyebrows on fleek may be in fashion for some people, but a natural fluffy brow is classic!! Precisely, My Brow comes in 6 colors. Give it a try, ladies! 

 2. Tatcha The Water Cream!!!! I use at least 3-5 different moisturizers in my kit for different skin types, but I can use Tatcha Water Cream on ANYONE!!! This water-based moisturizer adds a burst of hydration to Normal, Oily, Combination, and Sensitive Skin. If someone has dehydrated skin, I can still use this, but I would mix it with an emollient moisturizer. The Water Cream is excellent at smoothing pores and creating a flat surface for foundation to lay on top of. If you are a person concerned about Sulfates, Parabens, or Formaldehyde in skincare products, I am delighted to tell you that this product is listed under the “Clean” brands at Sephora. The “Clean” brands exclude all the harmful fillers and other junk found in most skincare products. 

 3. Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté Shine Oil-In-Stick Lipstick is AMAZING!!! I consider this formula to be a hybrid between a lipstick and a lipgloss. It feels soft and silky, it smells incredible, and the color payoff is just right! I know a lot of grooms hate kissing their bride with sticky lipsticks and glosses, but he’ll love the smell and feel of this one! Of course, he’ll want to wipe off any color residue so make sure his hanky is close by! This formula comes in 31 colors so you’ll be able to find the perfect color for your big day! 

 Let me know if you try any of the products mentioned above! 

Enjoy this beautiful Wedding Wednesday!! 

 xoxo Danielle Rochon    

How to Describe Your Bridal Makeup Style To Your Makeup Artist

This a hot topic especially among makeup artists because it can be challenging to understand what a client is asking for especially if she’s asking for a “natural look,’ but she’s showing you “Instagram-style” makeup that is full coverage, heavy, and filtered to the max.

 I have dealt with this challenge with my clients. As a makeup artist, I realize it is not the client’s fault if she cannot decipher what she is looking at. Her eyes are not trained the way a makeup artist’s eyes are trained, and she may not be able to identify coverage, gradients of color, or face shapes/eye shapes, etc. 

So what’s the solution to this big issue? The answer is for makeup artists to ask the right questions about a client’s preferences, history with makeup, lifestyle, clothing, accessories, and comfortability with makeup. By investigating and learning more about a client’s tastes and desires, we should be able to determine what she is asking for.

So what can a bride-to-be do to ensure she is communicating what she wants? I’m going to share an exercise I use with my brides. 

First, collect photos of makeup you love. Scrutinize the images to identify what you love about the makeup look. Is it the color choice on the eyes and lips that you love? Is it the way the skin glows? Do you like how natural the makeup looks in photos? 90% of my clients sit in my chair and ask for “natural makeup.” I always ask them to describe what “natural” means to them. A chuckle always follows this! Guess what!?!? Natural means something different to each person. After they describe natural and I look at the photos they brought, I break down what’s natural in the picture and what’s not. The biggest tip I can give a bride-to-be is to understand natural doesn’t mean “neutral” colors on the face. I have used “neutral’ colors on clients who had full coverage foundation and lots of contouring. It may look natural in photos, but it is not “natural makeup.” I just used soft colors and blended them well. 

 Listed below are three tips to help you describe what you want when visiting your makeup artist: 


 1. Determine what colors you want to use on your eyes and lips. For example, you can say, “I want a soft bronzey eyeshadow with a soft peach lip.” Your makeup artist should then talk to you about eye shape and placement suggestions. 

 2. Think about what kind of foundation coverage you want. Take into consideration what condition your skin is in. If you want your skin to show or you don’t want to look like you’re wearing foundation, ask for a sheer coverage foundation. When I used to work for MAC, we described sheer coverage as pantyhose and full coverage like tights. Pantyhose are pretty see-through, and tights are opaque. You may want your foundation to be somewhere in the middle (medium coverage). 

 3. Think about what kind of textures you want on your skin, eyes, and lips. Foundations come in many different textures. Matte foundation is very flat and has no sheen. Dewy foundations give off a healthy glow. If a matte foundation and a dewy foundation made a baby, it would be what you call a modern day “Satin” foundation. Your makeup artist should evaluate your skin to determine which foundation would be the best fit for you. The three pictures above demonstrate three different types of foundation coverage and texture. The first is a medium-to-full coverage foundation with a dewy finish. The second is a medium coverage foundation with a matte finish, and the third is a sheer coverage foundation with a natural finish. Each one of these ladies described “natural” as their makeup style, but only the last one is a true natural makeup. If you examine the photo carefully, her foundation is almost imperceptible, and she wanted very neutral colors on her eyes and nearly no blush. I describe the last bride as my “Meghan Markle bride.” This bride truly wants little enhancement, and she has the skin to carry little to no foundation. A great makeup artist is going to help you understand what you’re looking at in photos, communicate honestly whether or not she can deliver your desired look, and execute your dream look once she has an understanding of what you want.

I hope these tips help you prepare for your bridal trials or makeup appointments. 

Let me know if this post helped by following me on Instagram @daniellerochonmakeup and commenting below my blog post there. 

 Danielle Rochon           

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