There was a project that I really wanted to work on over the fall/winter. It’s a project that I’ve wanted to do for years! For many reasons, I haven’t been able to put together over the years. But this is the year that I’m going to make it happen. So, this is our first feature story in a blog series that will span the next 6-8 months.
Working in the wedding industry as a photographer, we are usually one of the first vendors that a couple secure for their big day. Often I’m asked for referrals of other vendors that I would recommend for all different parts of their wedding day. So this blog series is all about our preferred vendors. While it’s easy to pass along a name or a business card, I want my clients, followers, and everyone else to learn a little more about these fantastic people that I have met over my 10+ years in the industry.
Our first feature blog post is all about one of our favourite Hair and Makeup Artists: Rae Pelat from Makeup by Rae! I met Rae through a friend and fellow photographer when I was seeking a new MUA for a boudoir marathon that I was having. She told me that not only was Rae’s work amazing, but she was a pretty fantastic woman too. She grew up in North Delta (like me) and we know a lot of mutual people.
The first time we met was in the penthouse suite of a Downtown Vancouver hotel for the boudoir photos. I stuck her in a small bathroom with a small window for the day, as it was the only space I had for her that we were not using for the photos. From the moment I met Rae I adored her. She was fun loving, easy going, professional, and made my clients feel at ease, and I could tell all of this before she even picked up a brush. Over the years I have recommended her for many of my brides and I always get such joy when I see her name on list of vendors that I get before the wedding. We have a running joke that I always seem to get a photo of her with her elbow up in the air and her armpit showing to the world. It’s become a staple shot that I always send to her after the wedding.
When I first approached Rae about this blog post, she was totally game. We brought in a few models to get some great before and after photos, and allow her to show some of her finest work. She also asked if she could bring her pup, Sakura, and have a few photos with her. I’m a sucker for dogs so that was no problem!
So, we sat down and talked about some of the important questions that I felt brides, clients, or anyone in need of a Hair and Makeup Artist might want to know!
What made you want to get into the Hair and Makeup industry?
I've always loved art and painting. I feel it challenges me to be creative with each individual face and personality. I studied business and psychology for 6 years, but I always knew I would have to be doing something artsy and with people to feel fulfilled.
What’s your favourite part about doing Hair and Makeup for weddings?
Meeting different people and groups of people on and before a wedding day is the best. Helping a bride relax and feel confident walking down the aisle, helping them fulfill their dreams of that perfect wedding moment. It's the happiest day of one's life; how lucky am I to get to be there!?
What can brides expect from you when they hire you to do their hair and makeup?
OCD attention to detail. I am a perfectionist. I work fast but I have the highest standards for my work. People are trusting me to help them realize a dream and to be a part of creating a very special moment that they will remember for the rest of their life, so I want to honor that no matter what. Personality is huge for me as well. I like getting to know people; their style, vision, what they love, what they don't, everything.
How would you describe your style?
Versatile, clean, natural. It sounds cliché, but I truly do believe in enhancing one’s natural beauty. I like skin to be flawless, but I don't like putting makeup where it isn't necessary. Don't get me wrong though, I still love a good glam look!
What makes you stand out in the HMUA industry?
I think I have a good combo of personality, creativity, experience and skill. I grew up an ultra sporty girl that wanted nothing to do with makeup, and what later started out as curiosity developed into a driving passion. I believe this allows me to connect and relate to most people. I get the best of both worlds now and could not be more grateful and happy for that.
Where can you see hair and makeup trends go over the next few years for weddings
It seems as though trends are very cyclical. Trends come back, but in a different/unique way. While pushing the envelope to be different, I still think that the classic ethereal glow, natural waves, soft braids, nude lip with dramatic eye, and winged liner with a bold lip will forever be timeless.
What’s your favourite part of a wedding day?
I wouldn't say it's a tangible thing that's my favorite. It's definitely the emotion. The excitement and love that surrounds weddings is contagious. Every wedding is as unique as the bride and the people surrounding her.
Other than weddings, what else do you do hair and makeup for?
Lots of photoshoots: engagement, maternity, boudoir, family, headshots. As well as Halloween events, parties, and simply just because. Also, the occasional Sportsnet event, as well as the Canucks for Kids Foundation Telethon.
What's in your makeup bag?
I am pretty addicted to trying new products and trends. Over the years I've tested just about everything and have found some staples that I stick by. A few examples are; the Makeup Forever Ultra HD foundation, NARS blush, pretty much every colour of MAC lipstick, the Smashbox Photofinish Primer, Anastasia contour palette, and Voluminous mascara. I also airbrush using MAC foundations.
What do you like to do on your weekends?
I don't have many weekends free! But any free time I do have is spent on the soccer field. I am the assistant coach of the Douglas College women's soccer team, I coach at Coquitlam Metro Ford Soccer Club, and I play women's premier soccer for Surrey United. Other than that, I love exploring with my dog, Sakura. We go for lots of muddy hikes and swimming at lakes.
Is there anything else that you want people to know about you and your company?
I’m mobile and have no problem coming to you. Whatever is the easiest and most accommodating. I love a good challenge and I'm open to trying new things. Being in the industry since 2010, my passion for beauty and desire to find the best products and solutions for any and all individual needs or requests has only grown. I also do airbrushing, and yup - everything is waterproof! Not only is it important to create a timeless look, but also a lasting one that will survive the happy tears, the cheek kisses, and the dance floor sweat.
Rae was the best! From the trial to the wedding day, she not only was amazing with make up and hair but she was a comforting, reassuring person in times of my own indecisiveness or uncertainty. She really knew how to make me feel beautiful physically, but also on the inside. She was flexible with my needs and had great suggestions when I asked for her thoughts. Rae is reliable and I would trust her again with my hair and make up for future formal festivities. Bottom line, I totally would refer her to my friends and family! - Julia
Rae was recommended to me by my friend, who also happened to be my wedding photographer, Morgan Green. I was so lucky that Rae was available for my wedding! The first time I met Rae, she was able to come out last minute to do my trial, right before my engagement photos at 7am on a Sunday! I knew then that she was the one! She listened to everything that I was looking for and I felt and looked amazing in my photos. The day of my wedding Rae was right on time and fully prepared. She had great time management skills and I couldn't believe that her and her assistant were able to keep my five bridesmaids, my mom and I all on time. She made us feel comfortable and our hair and makeup looked flawless! Rae has such a welcoming personality and is talented beyond words. I would recommend her to anyone in a heart beat! -Lena
Personally, as someone who doesn’t wear any makeup and most days my hair is in a ponytail, Rae has always made me feel amazing after working her magic. She’s done me up for my brother in laws wedding, headshots, and anniversary photos with my hubby. She makes me look and feel like an enhanced version of myself and I still always feel like me. She listens to what I’m looking for and works with me to ensure that I look great but that I feel completely comfortable, even when I request to wear chapstick instead of lipstick!