My interview series with inspirational wedding professionals continues today with the wonderful Storme of Storme Make-up and Hair. She’s one of the most hard-working, dedicated, and kind people I’ve had the joy of meeting and working with in the wedding industry, and I’m so privileged to be able to call her my friend. We’ve partnered on a number of events and projects to date already, and I’m always looking forward to the next one – I’m so delighted to introduce her to you today, and hope you enjoy this little behind-the-scenes tour of the world of wedding hair and make-up.
Could you tell me a little bit more about you, your background, your brand, your style, and how you unlocked that style?
My name is Storme (with a silent ‘e’) and I’m actually nothing like my name! I’m a quiet, calm, and creative person that absolutely loves the bridal and wedding industry. I’m originally from Cape Town, in South Africa. I’ve been a make-up artist now for the past 10 years, having started my journey learning about all the fields that make-up artistry had to offer. While freelancing, I also threw myself into an incentive hairdressing course and worked in a salon as an apprentice for my qualification. For many years, my proficiency in both make-up and hair allowed me to work with a top agency that I represented as a commercial and editorial artist doing campaigns both for print and television commercials.
I had the opportunity to work in the fashion and TV beauty industry, which I loved! When I moved to London in 2015, inspired by a newfound passion after my own wedding, I decided to start my own business – armed with loads of enthusiasm and hard work! Now, I specialise in natural enhancing bridal makeup and soft romantic wedding hair, and there is nowhere I would rather be!
My style is a combination of my own aesthetic and the way I know a bride likes to feel on their wedding day. I would say that I cater to brides that don’t want to look like someone completely different on their wedding day. I provide soft, elegant and naturally-enhancing makeup applications that are long-lasting, fresh and beautiful. I create soft, flowy, romantic and textured hairstyles that frame the face and last until the end of the night without looking too fixed and hard with hairspray. I resonate with brides who, like me, don’t like the feeling of being heavily made up. I’m inspired by boho chic and I love using the words ‘soft’ and ‘romantic’ when describing my brand visuals.
Can you describe that moment (experience, emotion, and so on) when you knew that hair and make-up was what you wanted to do?
From a young age, I’ve always been fascinated by the transformation of make-up, both visibly in appearance, but also what it can do for self-confidence. I love the way it makes people feel radiant and so much better about themselves. My dad worked at the Cape Town International Airport Duty-Free where he would bring tester products home for me to play with when I was little – which was so lucky for me! Little did I know that I was playing with the best of luxury brands! I was enchanted and my world revolved around playing dress up, owning a salon, and beautifying anyone that would let me. This lasted well into my adult life, when everyone seemed to ‘know’ what they wanted to be when they grew up. I was still slightly unsure myself, but this passion for beauty was deep-rooted. After a short University stunt studying psychology, I found myself drawn back into the beauty industry of hair and makeup, making it my full-time profession now – and I wouldn’t want it any other way!
Can you tell me a little bit more about your processes? How do you help a bride discover her wedding day look?
My process is simple – I listen to what my client wants and needs. I like to hear about their wedding plans, such as getting to know the dress they’ve chosen and the bridal look they love. This then allows me to unlock how we can best blend their hair, complexion and features to create something truly personal and amazing for them. Once my brides have told me about the ‘look/style’ they wish to have, I tailor design a bridal look that naturally enhances their unique features – like making their eyes sparkle or any feature they wish to ‘pop’. My goal is always to create a look that suits them and makes them feel comfortable, gorgeous, and excited for their big day! We always have a bridal consultation in which this look can be tried and tested and reviewed. Any tweaks that may then need to be done can be altered on the wedding day to ensure absolute longevity, perfection and radiance. I think the key is really listening to what my clients want, and creating a bespoke bridal hair and makeup look that complements all the other elements of their wedding celebration.
Do you usually work weddings on your own, or do you have a team?
This will depend on the size of the group of girls looking to have styling services on the wedding day. I would typically do smaller weddings on my own, and then have assisting artists for larger groups. I’m fortunate enough to have grown an amazing team of very talented wedding hair and makeup artists that work closely alongside me, emulating a very similar style to me, while also having the same ethos as myself. My artists are trained to my high standard and have worked with me personally for a long time before becoming key artists within my team. Having the S Pro Team gives me the peace of mind that all my clients will be in the best hands, whether it’s me personally in charge of the day or one of my assistants. As we often work together, we ensure the same quality and a seamless look throughout. Our aim is to deliver excellent service and a cohesive style, while still creating looks that are completely bespoke to each bride.
What does your typical wedding day/week schedule look like?
A typical wedding day would consist of an early morning start, a drive to the preparation venue, and a pampering session with the bride and bridal party. The morning starts with prepping everyone’s skin to hydrate and prime for long-lasting makeup. I also prep the hair in a way that I know will prevent flyaways and hold all through the night on the dance floor! Each girl in the group would then sit in my chair and be looked at with the palette and hairstyle that the bride has briefed me on. Slight tweaks, such as makeup intensity and hair partings, are a personal preference – so of course we take those into consideration as well. The bride is beautified last and whilst everyone is changing I would touch up everyone’s makeup and hair, just before the ceremony. I assist where I am needed, often help brides into their dresses, keep them cheerful and help should they feel at all nervous or emotional.
I prefer to only do one wedding per day so that I can ensure my time and energy are focused on one bride’s celebration, and that she can have my undivided attention on that day. During peak season, I would typically be booked for up to three or four weddings per week, as I take bookings on both weekdays and weekends.
What tips would you give couples looking for their wedding or elopement hair & make-up team?
My suggestion is to definitely invest in a professional wedding hair and makeup artist. Not only does it allow for a stress-free morning but it ensures makeup and hair longevity for the whole day! Having a professional makes the morning run smoothly, with less pressure, no delays, or any risk of anything going wrong.
When getting married in warmer months – you want to have the peace of mind that your hair and make-up will last the festivities and be picture perfect even after you’ve posed for photos, hugged your loved ones, and danced for hours! If you have a large wedding party, it can often get chaotic – so it’s important that you’re working with someone who knows how to manage the time most efficiently, while still creating a smooth, fun and calm environment for you. I think what also goes without saying is that a professional will ensure that your photographs will look amazing!
What questions would you want couples to ask you before booking you, in order to find out if you’re the right fit for one other?
I would want brides to make sure I am the right fit as I have a very natural and soft style. My clients are not heavy makeup wearers and prefer a naturally enhancing look, and it’s really important to me that they tell me honestly whether that’s the right fit for them.
The questions I’m typically asked are: how much wedding / bridal hair and makeup experience do you have? Do you do both hair and makeup? Where are you based and do you do destination weddings? I’m often sent images and asked if I can create similar hair or makeup styles for them. From a practical perspective, it’s also important to discuss the postponement and/or cancellation policy, travel costs, the payment schedule, and so on. If they wish, I can also explain in more detail how long service takes, what equipment I bring with me, how the trial works, and lots more. The more questions, the better! I love getting to know my brides really well, and it’s so important to me that they feel that they can trust me and be open with me about their vision for their wedding look.
What would you like to educate couples (and other suppliers) about when it comes to the behind-the-scenes of your work: your costs, the nature of your work, the time you dedicate to learning and training, challenges you face, things that are misunderstood, etc…
One of the aspects that I think not many people know about is how different the training is between a salon hairdresser and a bridal hairstylist – and how important it is to hire a professional that is trained in creating long-lasting hairstyles. When I trained as a hairdresser on a three-year course, only two days were allocated to learning about wedding hair! I invested a lot of my own time and resources into additional training for perfecting the techniques, styles and trends needed to best serve my wedding clients.
I also think it’s really important to know that people in our industry specialise in, and are extremely knowledgeable in, certain styles. I like to create hairstyles that are flowy and textured, whereas others may specialise in sleek or very tight and fixed styles (which can read as a very glamourous look as well!). I create soft looks whereas someone else may specialize in full coverage heavy makeup. As bridal hair and makeup artists, we’re constantly learning and practicing new techniques, so we can give our brides the very best.
Admin takes up a lot of my time behind the scenes, as we manage many bookings each year. I always want to make sure wedding schedules for morning prep are fine-tuned to perfection allowing everyone to get ready within a suitable timeframe. We also take care of answering each and every email, discussing any client questions, sending out payment schedules and invoices, and so on. We handle all the booking confirmations for all our S Pro Team artists bookings, and we’ll follow up with every client from the initial enquiry right up to the wedding itself – and even afterwards, to make sure we can learn and improve from their feedback. Social media is vitally important to keeping our business running, so we also spend a lot of time behind the scenes making sure we’re connecting with, and adding value to, brides and suppliers online.
What makes you give yourself a mental high five post-wedding?
For me, it’s that moment when I’ve finished the services and hand a mirror to my client, and see them beaming with happiness! I also love the moment when brides slip into their dress, and finally see their full look and their vision come to life. That’s usually when they feel most emotional and most like a bride, which is so special for me. Knowing they’re thrilled with how they look and feel – that’s definitely job satisfaction at its best!
What is your dream wedding location to work in?
I’ve worked in Italy, France and Santorini, which were all wonderful experiences! I would absolutely love more opportunities to work on any Mediterranean Island for a beautiful elopement or destination wedding. That warm weather and gorgeous light are just a dream!
If you could do anyone’s wedding hair and make-up (celebrity or fictional character – past, present, or future), who would be the lucky couple?
I think Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds! I admire them so much, and also love Blakes’ style and know that would have been an incredibly fun wedding to have done. Or maybe I’m still in love with the look that ‘Serena’ wore at the White Party in Gassip Girl…! A bit dated now but I really loved it at the time!
What are your favourite sources of inspiration for your work?
I would definitely say that I’m inspired by each and every person I work with. It’s so important to me to create a hair and makeup look that suits the individual! I use sources like Pinterest and beauty or wedding blogs for inspiration and keeping up with trends. I love holding creative days for myself and my team where we ‘play’ and grow on techniques and perfect looks together. It brings us together, and we grow stronger and more connected – which in turn helps us serve our couples in an even more cohesive and considerate way.
Do you have any projects on the horizon you’d like to tell us about?
I’m lucky to work with so many incredible wedding suppliers, and these collaboration are always such a joy to be a part of! I love doing styled shoots in which we can showcase our work to brides and inspire them. We often do destination locations which allow us to explore, expand our horizons and network with new suppliers. I have a few projects on hold (for safety reasons during COVID-19) that will take me to Cappadocia, Santorini, Ireland and Croatia, and I can’t wait to travel when we can!
For me, the summer wedding season is the most exciting time of year, as I get to see all my stunning brides and make them feel gorgeous! It’s a blessing and a gift that I get invited into such a special morning and certainly don’t take that for granted, even after many years of doing this. Every single wedding is so special to me.
I really hope you enjoyed getting to know the lovely Storme, and learning more about the wonderful and the behind-the-scenes world of hair and make-up. I absolutely adore her dedication to her brides and her team – she is so attentive, and so talented at creating looks that are stunning and effortless at the same time. She blows me away every time, and I couldn’t recommend her more highly!
To get in touch with her about hair and make-up for your wedding or elopement, head over to her contact page – do make sure you follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to keep up to date with her adventures!