The artists at Kate Ford Beauty are not only well rounded, top notch hair and makeup professionals – they’re empathetic members of your wedding day team, ready to execute your vision.
Of all the vendors you’ll choose as a Bride of Long Island, perhaps the most important one is your hair and makeup team. Not only will you need to trust that they’ll have the skills to create your dream boho updo or your perfect soft glam smokey eye, but also that they’ll be able to keep you calm, relaxed, and upbeat on what could be a very stressful morning. No one understands that better than veteran hair and makeup artist Kate Ford, owner of Kate Ford Beauty – a BOLI preferred vendor, and a 2021 BOLI Diamond Award winner.
“If hair and makeup wasn’t a thing, I wouldn’t even know what to do with myself.” – Kate Ford Beauty
For Kate, the calling for hair and makeup artistry formed early. “I always said if hair and makeup wasn’t a thing, I wouldn’t even know what I would do with myself.” Jumping into the beauty world immediately after high school, she found herself in varying roles within the industry. “I was doing makeup retail. I worked at literally every counter you could imagine, but I didn’t really want to do the sales cosmetic makeup. I wanted to do the hands-on makeup,” she remembers. “I’m just really passionate about the artistry of it, especially just making someone happy. Like when I do a bridal trial, and they look at themselves and they’re in tears because they’re so happy with the way they look – it’s so honoring and so nice to make somebody feel like that.”
That desire and passion eventually pushed her away from the corporate world and into starting a business of her own. “I was the account executive for Too Faced Cosmetics. I quit that, and went two feet in and started my bridal company.” Eventually word of Kate’s talent and ambition spread, and she began to expand her company. “I was by myself for the first year, year and a half. Now, I currently have eight people.” she says. Kate credits this team of artists for her rapid growth. “My team has helped me grow. My head artists Jean and Stephanie have helped me. And the artists that I have now, they’re growing with me. I have a very strong team and I’m very lucky to have them.”
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“I just really like being challenged in all aspects of varieties of hair and makeup” – Kate Ford Beauty
Most hair and makeup artists will have a specialty, or a specific style they tend to gravitate towards. For Kate and her team, variety is the spice of life. “I really like doing it all,” she effused. “I really love doing the braids of a boho, something really chic and classic, or something very clean and polished. Or doing really soft glam, something very natural, to doing something really dramatic with a cut crease and contour. I just really like being challenged in all aspects and varieties of hair and makeup.” To keep her extensive skills sharp, Kate often finds herself back in the classroom. “I love learning from different artists. I’m forever taking classes, whether it’s hair or makeup. I’ll take a boho class or I’ll take a glam waves class, just learning from everyone. I feel like it makes me more rounded in every aspect, versus just being good at one particular style.”
Kate and her team can create looks from natural to glam, but even with her vast and varied abilities, she still has some favorite looks. “I love doing a glam wave. It’s been so popular this year, so I feel like every time I do it, I just perfect it more,” she gushed. “I can practically do it in my sleep now.”
“I really want to capture what they’re about.” – Kate Ford Beauty
Booking a hair and makeup trial is an important step in ensuring your wedding day vision becomes a reality. So when booking a trial with Kate Ford Beauty, Kate recommends arriving with your most precious commodity: time. “We’re very thorough,” she explains. “We really connect with [brides] very well, and want to get their vision through knowing who they are, versus just looking at pictures of their inspiration. So we always want brides to have time with us because it’s not just an hour for hair and hour for makeup and that’s it. I really want to capture what they’re about.”
And while you should definitely bring some ideas for your hair and makeup style, know that Kate will want to see what you’re planning for the rest of your day as well. “We make sure that at every trial, yes there’s an in-depth consult for makeup and for hair, but it’s not necessarily just the look that you want to do. It’s your dress, it’s your venue, it’s the colors of the bridesmaids’ dresses, it’s an overall vision.” Kate strives to make your wedding day look a true reflection of who you are. “I really like to get to know my clients,” she said. “It’s more than just the one day.”
“You have to make sure your artist has your back.” – Kate Ford Beauty
Kate has some words of wisdom for brides seeking out their hair and makeup team. “I think it’s important for you and the artist, that you vibe and you mesh very well,” she advises. “At the end of the day, you’re spending your whole morning with them. You have to make sure your artist has your back. There’s going to be crazy things going on, and you’re in a chair, so you can’t always get up.” Kate further stresses the need to have understanding artists at your side. “I feel my client’s vibe, I totally feel their emotion. They don’t even have to say two words to me, I am intuitive to that, so I’m just like – ‘breathe, relax, I’ve got this.’ It’s very important that your artist is not only good artistically, but that they’re going to be there for you that morning. Our job is to make sure that clients are calm, cool, and collected. They’re going to have a great morning because they trust in us.”
It’s also important to select an artist who is candid and straightforward. “I always say to my brides that I’m very honest, and I’m very real,” Kate says. “Make sure your artist is being realistic with your expectations. I’m very thorough. I’m going to tell you, ‘listen, this is what you need to achieve the look. And if you don’t want to do that, then you have to find a different look.’”
“You’re marrying the one that you love. And that’s what truly matters.” – Kate Ford Beauty
When the last curl has been sprayed and the last lash has been glued, Kate wants you to remember why you’re in her chair in the first place. “At the end of the day, it’s not all about the color of the flowers or the details. At the end of the day, it’s about marrying the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with.” As hard as it may be, she recommends taking a moment to spend time with your new spouse as you start your life together. “Everyone’s going to be pulling you in all directions, wanting to talk to you, but realize it’s about you two, not everybody else. So take that time and have that connection periodically throughout the day. You get so wrapped up in the details that you don’t really see it all come together. But at the end of it all, you’re marrying the one you love. And that’s what truly matters.”
All images courtesy of Kate Ford Beauty