Meet Cassandra. Hair and makeup extraodinaire. And an amazing encourager and mentor. I met Cassandra two summers ago when I was putting together a bridal shoot to prep me for my first wedding. She came in and did hair and makeup for my model and from there, we kept in touch! She now does some of my boudoir and portrait session hair and makeup. We decided to get together one afternoon and update her head shots! I was thrilled that I was able to get her in the studio. Here are some BEAUTIFUL images I was able to capture. If you still need a hair and makeup artist for your wedding [or you book a portrait session with me!] check out her work at Cassandra Kennedy Beauty.
Q: How did you decided to go into hair and makeup?
Cassandra: I have always loved makeup. I have very clear memories of my first pink plastic Barbie palette with its three atrocious waxy colors. I have put makeup on almost everyone I've ever known. But it was always just a fun hobby of mine. I never even considered it as a career because I thought it wouldn't be intellectually stimulating enough. I worked in other fields for yeays but I was always putting makeup on people during lunchtime and after work. They kept referring their friends to me. My boss even said she'd hate to see me quit but that I should really follow my passion and talent for makeup. I spent all of my spare time reading about makeup, shopping for makeup, applying makeup and I finally realized what everyone else already known: that this is what I love. My husband and I moved to New York and it was a major turning point for me. My best friend wanted me to meet Joanne, the top makeup artist in New Hampshire and a friend of hers. Joanne had make the switch from working at a credit union to realizing her dream. Joanne introduced me to the world of professional makeup artists and my mind was blown. My people! I got signed to one of the top bridal agencies and they wanted me to learn hair. I did a year-long hairstyling apprenticeship with their lead artist. These three women helped me take the plunge! As it turns out, it takes a lot of know-how to run your own business. Now I know!
Q: How would you describe your style?
Cassandra: At first, I didn't realize I even had a style until I worked in a team setting and my looks were far more subtle and "pretty" style than the other artists'. Some of the artists would encourage me to really pile it on but I just couldn't. The same with hair - I just couldn't spray the hair all over until it didn't move. I noticed my brides were relieved that they weren't forced to wear a ton of makeup on their wedding day. New York brides are quite glamourous, though. They have a certain esthetic and expectation and it is very on-trend and everything is just so. I realized that you can have it both ways. Natural but infused glamour.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
Cassandra: I love the people I meet, the stories we share, the tender moments I get to witness. Sometimes there is a moment when the client looks in the mirror and a look of sheer delight spreads across their face. They look simply thrilled. I will work for hours priming and buffing and shading and trying different things all in hopes of that 3 second moment.
Q: What should a client know before meeting with a potential artist?
Cassandra: The perfect look requires collaboration. The artist is counting on the client to convey their personal style and taste to the artist since they have never met before. The client should bring inspirational photos as well as photos of themselves so that there are visuals [vs. verbal] references to help. Hopefully the client has chosen someone who is licensed [this indicates that the artist knows how to carry out the services in a sanitary manner]. The client also deserves to see photos of their artist's work beforehand.
Q: What do you do when you're not doing what you do?
Cassandra: I am chauffeur, scheduler, and financier for my two sons, ages 5 and 7. I can often be found searching for the best latte in Portland, reading and ranting about the world's social injustices, pouring over my hoards of fashion magazines, and throwing about new foreign language phrases I love to collect.
Thank you Cassandra for spending time with us and letting us that your beautiful photos!