A make-up artist is forever. I take inspiration from the fantastic advertisement of De Beers to introduce this lovely interview with one of the stylish wedding makeup artist Tuscany: Silvia Gerzeli. For a wedding photographer, the abilities of the makeup artist are crucial. A lovely dress is not enough if the makeup isn’t well done; this is a must to get fabulous portraits. Photo retouching might cancel some flaws, but definitely will enhance an excellent job! Besides being an excellent professional, Silvia is also accommodating and friendly. That’s why she’s the MUA I use to recommend to all of my brides for my wedding and portrait photography.
How long have you been doing makeup professionally? How did you get started?
I’m officially a makeup professional since 2000. I began after seeing an adv of theatrical makeup class and, without having any prior interest in it, I felt that I had to start. Since the first course, I had decided that this must be my job. From there 18 years have passed, and I was right.
What do you love most about doing make-up?
Being able to transform the face of a woman into a thousand different creatures: from the candid bride to the androgynous and attractive model, to a living picture. Using a thousand various materials and I use to create the missing products by mixing what I find in my suitcase kit.
I have followed many courses during my young career, and I had inspiration from many professionals. I’ve learned to use and mix everyday products that we can all find in our refrigerator, for example, or in DIY stores to create makeups out of the ordinary.
Your portfolio ranges from bridal makeup to beauty and editorial. Which is your favourite, and why?
I love them all. What is essential is to change often. I love being in the photo set, helping the photographer making sure that everything is perfect in the 2D world, starting from a 3D reality.
I don’t use to wear much makeup usually. Do I need a makeup artist for my wedding?
Even if you do not wear makeup in everyday life, it is essential for photographs and the video. For instance, also men must wear a minimum of makeup before appearing in the TV shows. Makeup has the practical function of making us appear photogenic. It is used to even out the skin tone, relieve reddish streaks, dim, emphasise the features and expressiveness, to frame the eyes, trace the eyebrows, outline the shapes of the lips. Makeup was born with the cinema, when films had tremendous grain, primitive lighting, and faces appeared almost entirely invisible without noticeable traits. Then they used to put makeup on the eyebrows to highlight the expressiveness of the actors, the mouth and the base of the skin. Today, 100 years later, the concept is still the same, but of course, technology has evolved.
Which sources do you use for inspiration for the shoots?
I get daily inspiration from nature, arts, colours, a concept, a particular texture or fabric, an object. As it happens to art in general, make-up can get influenced by anything in the world.
Do you carry out a make-up trial or an expert advice?
A makeup trial is vital before the wedding. More than anything, to know the bride and for a first physical contact. Being comfortable with your make-up artist is essential. Brides aren’t professional models or actress and, therefore, they’re not used to get the face touched by a stranger! The two hours before the ceremony should be the time for a spiritual retreat for brides-to-be, and they should enjoy these moments before everything changes. That’s why establishing a relationship of trust in advance is vital.
Will you remain on location for touch-ups or new looks?
Even if I use the best fixers, heat, tears, wind and relatives might ruin a bit the makeup. It is recommended to have the make-up artist close during the photo shoot. Or after the ceremony, at least.
What kinds of make-up do you use? Do you use the airbrush?
I only use professional make-up of many different brands, some Italian and most international. I use the brushes rather than airbrushes, but it’s up to my clients.
Do you apply fake lashes?
Fake lashes are almost indispensable nowadays, especially for a natural result. They give an extra touch but with extreme discretion. Often my brides confessed: “I didn’t expect such a natural result!”.
How do I book you in advance for my event? How far in advance should I book you?
I receive enquiries a year as well as a month in advance. I recommend to have a look at the professionals in your area and get in touch with them ASAP.