Did you know France is the most visited country on earth? Last year 23 million travelers took to Paris to set their eyes on the culture and history “the city of love” has to offer. (Holy smokes, that’s a lot of people!) I too was in Paris last July— my visit has earned a few honorable mentions: Bastille Day, 75-80 degree weather, and France winning the Men’s World Cup (!!) I’ll never forget parading the streets of Champs de Ellyse in celebration of France winning. *noted in my book as one of the coolest experiences, ever.
Why was I in Paris?
Aside from my wanderlust heart that leaves me wanting to sell my house and spend the rest of my years traveling; I was there for work (and a little play time too). Photographer and bride, Casey Hendrickson, asked if I would to travel to Paris, France to get her hair and makeup ready for an intimate ceremony / engagement session with her and her then boyfriend Chad. First of all, when you get the opportunity to travel to another country to do hair and makeup.. your response looks a little like this:
France, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Greece.. any of these are a heck yes! If we are really getting into specifics; Hawaii, Jamaica, Bahamas.. sign me up! Anywhere new and/or amazing is an automatic yes in my book. Call me your go-to destination makeup artist and hairstylist, bc who doesn’t love to travel?!
How did Paris even come about? (click to read more)
Casey (the bride) is a local photographer here in Charlotte, NC (Casey H Photos). I’ve had the opportunity to work with her on several occasions for weddings, styled shoots, and photography workshops. So when she asked me to travel with her to Paris I was beyond thrilled and grateful she wanted to work with me. Once we worked out the logistics of travel, lodging, and dates— my husband was not about to let me have all the fun. So he booked the same flight for 6 nights and 7 days out of Atlanta.
[Artist Note]: this is a good example of why it is important to develop relationships with vendors & become an easy resource for clients and vendors to work along side. Customer service— then skillset. It also pays off to volunteer your time for styled shoots & workshops. People will remember how easy or how difficult it is to work with you.
Destination Makeup Artist Tip #1: Bring your hair and makeup kit as a carry-on.
Day 1: when I packed my luggage something told me to keep my hair & makeup kit separate as a carry on. I am super thankful I did because it turns out AirFrance lost my luggage the ENTIRE trip and they were ZERO help. I had to buy all new clothes (darn), shoes, bra, tooth brush, etc. etc. On the flip side I’m glad I had my pink suitcase as a carry-on or I would have been without. Once we were settled we took the first couple days to explore.
Destination Makeup Artist Tip #2: Jet lag is a real thing. If you’re a makeup artist traveling for a destination wedding- give yourself 2 days adjustment (explore time)
Day 2: I am so glad I had two days down time before working. Think of it as ‘downtime before you work time— to deliver your best work!’ Plus exploring will tap into your creative mojo & get those artistic juices supercharged. The first two days consisted of buying all new wardrobe, walking 10 miles/day, and taking in everything Paris has to offer. You will still be tired AF from jet lag but when you’re on a short time frame the body is running on adrenaline. Suck it up and GO!
Destination Makeup Artist Tip #3: International outlet converter with wattage for hair dryer & irons.
Day 3: Casey came to the apartment location early in the morning (5am early!) to get hair and makeup ready for her sunrise engagement session at the Eiffel Tower. [ See more here ] I’m so thankful for my photographer friend, Critsey, she told me about the power converter. Otherwise, I would have arrived in Paris (prancing on cloud nine) and I would not have been able to use my airbrush makeup or curling irons.
Casey and Chad were able to take pictures with the Eiffel Tower as their back drop and then ventured into the surrounding gardens. That’s why they say Paris is the city of love. It’s literally picture perfect every step of the way. (Of course the hubs and I had to chime in on the kissing celebration too! )
Day 4: we traveled to the French countryside where Chad and Casey shared their intimate ceremony pictures at Château de Bouthonvilliers. We rented a car from the airport and drove about 2 hours to get this amazing château. I’m glad I brought my camera bc the hubs was able to catch a couple action shots!
Which leads me to my next venture as a destination wedding makeup artist! This August I am traveling to Ireland for a wedding at Dromoland Castle. We will do bridal portraits at the Cliffs of Moher a couple days before. If you haven’t seen either of these, google it- now. The castle is absolutely breathtaking and it has been written up in the book, 1,000 Places To See Before You Die. I’m pretty sure the Cliffs of Moher is in the book as well. It has to be. Paris will be hard to beat but I’m pretty optimistic Ireland will give it a run for its money! We leave August 4th for Iceland, fly into Ireland August 7th and stay until the 12th. We continue our travels after we leave Ireland and to head to Malta, Italy, and Portugal. Stay tuned for August 2019 adventures on my IG: @jessica_lyness