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Madame Make-Up & Hair

Making Brides Smile

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    Madame Make-Up & Hair

    For Elizabeth Giguere, all the world is a canvas. Or at least, all the world's faces. And for those who are lucky, she applies her gift for making people beautiful.

    "A woman's face is a canvas," said Giguere, said sales manager of Madame Make-Up & Hair, a company that specializes in on-site hair and makeup. "Everyday she paints her face. On her wedding day, she wants to glow. She wants to look her best."

    Like a true artist, Giguere doesn't care how much time it takes her to reach perfection. She's only done, she says, when her client is completely satisfied with the result. "I'll spend three hours. I'll spend however much time to get that girl comfortable with how her face looks," she said. "It's all about what that girl wants. It's her dream and her vision. But it's up to us to make it come alive."

    Finding that perfect result—when a bride loves her makeup and feels she looks her best—can be elusive. To make sure she gets it right every time, Giguere gets to know her clients and their weddings. "I ask them everything from whether it's an inside, outside, morning, evening or afternoon wedding. What kind of skin type do they have? What color is their hair and eyes? What's the color scheme of the wedding? What color are the flowers?"

    She wants to know not only what will look good on each client, but what will make them feel comfortable. So she makes a personal trial visit to each bride. After they've discussed what she'll wear and what she likes, Giguere does a complete skin care routine, then applies makeup. "Then I ask them to critique it," she said. "They're not used to feeling free in telling someone they don't like it. They feel like they're insulting the makeup artists. While I appreciate that, that is the most important thing a girl can tell you."


    After the critique, Giguere removes the makeup and starts again fresh. She repeats the process until the bride feels it's perfect. "You can see it on their face. They look at it and say, that's it: that's what I want. Then we document everything from the eye shadow to the lip color. And we take a picture of them. It gives them the opportunity to change their mind. When we show up on the wedding day, we've got the file right there. We know what they want and need and they know what to expect."

    All this work isn't without rewards. Giguere has a portfolio of happy brides and photographs of women smiling from bridal portraits. "If they decide they want to use our services, we're fully devoted to them. They feel that," she said. "They can tell I work for what we charge. By the time I'm done, they're looking at me like, 'I couldn't have done this without you.' I've never had a girl leave without a hug."

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