Meet the Artist

Pittsburgh Makeup artist, Julie Marckisotto, helping women find their glow.

Good morning!  Today, I want to share another profile from my Meet the Artist blog series!  I’ve known Julie Marckisotto of Pittsburgh Makeup for many years.  We met behind the scenes on a wedding day, and I knew right away that she was fabulous.  These days, when I walk into the bride’s getting ready space on the morning of a wedding and see Julie quietly at work, I know it’s going to be a great day.  She brings a calm vibe to every situation and her work is absolutely flawless.  When a bride hires Julie for her wedding day make up, I know she will look just as beautiful at 9:00pm as she did when she got out of Julie’s chair first thing that morning.

Julie’s got an outstanding resume that includes big names like NFL Network, Discovery Channel, American Eagle, Aerie, Rue 21, and UPMC, but those bright lights don’t outshine her passion for helping every day women find their glow.

Even though she’s been in the beauty industry for over twenty years, she’s always got something exciting coming up!  Recently, she moved her studio to a new expanded space so that she could better accommodate larger groups for events and offer spa services!  A few weeks ago, I stopped by to chat and check out her new location!  I even got to hang out with Stewie, Pittsburgh Makeup’s unofficial studio pup <3

 Pittsburgh Make Up

Tell me about your company and how you got started?

I started Pittsburgh Makeup in 2009 specifically because I wanted to work with brides on their wedding days. After many years working at cosmetic counters and salons, I saw a need for that personal one on one attention for brides. That is sometimes difficult to get going to a department store {especially on a Saturday!} or sometimes even at a busy salon. I love that the bride can hire hair, hire makeup and we all come to you — making the day as stress-free as possible. Once I started doing makeup for weddings, my business also shifted into a lot of other beauty and commercial work which creates an ideal balance.

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What do you tell clients who aren’t sure they need a make up artist for their wedding day?

I would say that you’re planning out every detail and other aspect from the Photographer to the food and DJ, all to make your wedding day perfect, so don’t skip makeup {or hair}! Your pictures are something that you’re going to look at and cherish forever. Even if you’re already good at your own makeup – professional Makeup Artists know how to make it last all day, make it look good for HD photography, and know how to make it look good for different lighting, etc.   With that being said, just make sure to do your homework. Make sure you hire someone reputable, who has a well written contract, and who has great reviews {Wedding Wire is a good place to start}.  Hire an artist that you LOVE their work/portfolio. And if possible, always do a practice session beforehand to experiment with looks as well!

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What steps do you take to ensure that your clients have an amazing experience when working with Pittsburgh Makeup? What do you think brides worry about the most for their wedding day look and how do you help with that?

I would say brides worry the most about looking like themselves on their wedding day. I hear this so much and I couldn’t agree more…you truly want to look like the best version of YOU, not a made-up version. This is why a practice session can be super helpful. I always start with a thorough consult and really dig into what the bride’s vision is. We look at pictures and Pinterest boards and go from there. I like to start light-handed because you can always add more or bump up the look. It is equally as important to me that they look the most beautiful they have ever felt on this big day!

(Julie’s new studio where she does bridal trials!)

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Who is your favorite type of bride and why? What is one of your best memories from working with a bride?

I love all my brides…but I do love when people say…”you’re the professional” and sort of give me a bit of creative freedom with their makeup. As much as I love to meet everyone’s needs I do feel it’s the reason that you are hiring a professional too, so we can give our input as we do this day in and day out as our profession. It’s all a team effort. Not just with makeup but the hair…the dress…the photographer…it all works together to make one amazing wedding day! If someone trusts me, that’s a great start and everything just sorts of flows from there.

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What is your WHY?

My WHY is…because I love making women feel beautiful and find their glow! I feel that all women are already beautiful, but adding those right touches can make a big difference to not only enhance their outward features, but boost how they feel on the inside as well. Feeling beautiful can be a true confidence builder…I’ve seen this so many times. I love doing bridal makeup as well as makeup lessons for girls and women of all ages. The excitement and joy on my client’s faces when they see themselves in the mirror in a way that maybe they haven’t ever seen themselves before is a feeling for me that will never get old!

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In addition to wedding day makeup on location and commercial work, Julie also offers makeup lessons, spa services, and her own cosmetics line at her expanded studio space in Greensburg, PA.

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Julie with Stewie! <3

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Julie Marckisotto

Pittsburgh Makeup website: http://www.pittsburghmakeup.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PittsburghMakeup/

instagram: @pghmakeup

@pghmakeupstudio

Making Words Beautiful – An Artist Profile of Victoria Fiaretti of Wood & Grace Handlettering Boutique.

 Greetings!  Today I want to introduce something special, a new blog series called Meet the Artist.  In my line of work, I’m fortunate to get to meet and collaborate with a ton of amazing artists, small business owners and creative professionals.  Victoria Fiaretti, of Wood & Grace Handlettering Boutique is all three.  I first heard of Wood & Grace when my sister, Ashley, was gifted a beautiful hand painted wooden sign at her bridal shower with her wedding date.  It was such a unique and special piece that stood out among the common registry items  in her shower gifts.  (*Disclaimer – brides still definitely need and appreciate their registry items!  I know I needed and am still using the silverware, plates, towels, and sheets that I got at my own shower!)

After Ashley’s shower, we had the pleasure of photographing a ton of Victoria’s work popping up at weddings all over the place!  From custom invitations, to signs, place cards, hand written vows, and handmade gifts, her pieces were consistently the most personal, sentimental, and unique wedding details we were shooting.  Last week on a snowy thursday morning, Victoria was kind enough to welcome me to her home studio for a look behind the scenes.  It was such a pleasure to watch her work and hear about what inspired her to start Wood & Grace.  She does everything by hand, no stencils, decals or cookie cutter templates.  Each piece is designed  with love in every brush stroke, and under the watchful inspection of two rambunctious kittens.  Her husband, Donovan, is her “carpenter in residence” and the other half of her labor of love.

I asked Victoria to share her thoughts in her own words.

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wood & grace

What is your inspiration when creating new designs?

I love to seek inspiration through other creatives!  I follow all types of artists’ work, not just artists that do things similar to what I’m doing.  I love romance, earthy tones, nature, things with an organic feel to them.  When I first meet with a new couple, I ask a lot of questions about them and their relationship.  I find out what details are meaningful to them and highlight them in my custom design.

wood & grace handlettering

What are the benefits of hiring someone like you?

Many of the brides I work with compliment me on my ability to streamline and refine the thoughts and choices they got so frustrated with prior to our meeting.  Wedding planning is not an easy process when you go it alone!  By knowing styles and trends, and listening to what is in my brides’ hearts, I’m able to piece together the ideas they haven’t been able to find, and match them to the feeling they want their wedding day to have.

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wood & grace

What steps do you take to ensure that clients have an amazing experience when working with Wood & Grace?

I love communication!  As much as brides are willing to tell me, I want to find out!  I want to get to know the love that they are celebrating.  It’s all in the details.  When I know what’s important to a couple and what makes their relationship special, then I’m able to customize their wedding to showcase THEM.  Your wedding day is once in a lifetime, you shouldn’t have to settle for something generic.

I want to help make planning your wedding as hassle free as possible.  That’s why I believe so passionately in good communication and have easy to use online contracts and secure online payment processing where everything is spelled out so you have nothing to worry about!  Every step of my process is organized according to your needs ensuring that everything will be on time.

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What is your favorite detail you’ve created?  Is there anything that you’d love to create but haven’t been asked to yet?

I was once asked to make a custom sign for a Marine returning from overseas.  His fiance was going to be there to meet him and wanted something special to hold up!  It said “Life takes you places. Love brings you home.”  It wasn’t the most elaborate piece that I’ve ever made, but it meant a lot to me knowing that it was the first thing he was going to see when he was welcomed home.

I have so many ideas for things I want to make in the future!  Right now though, I would love to make hand painted place cards.  I just got some fabulous cotton rag papers in that would be perfect for watercolor.  I’m also always on the look out for a couple with a really powerful story.

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wood and grace boutique

What is your WHY?

Because I know that words can be used to hurt.  And I want to make words BEAUTIFUL.

My business is a labor of love that was birthed from my own wedding experience.  I believe that if you think enough about how to honor your partner in the details, that’s a great sign of how you will honor them in life.  Each couple’s wedding day should be a celebration of THEM.

Taking time to honor the details makes for a more meaningful wedding.  And a more meaningful wedding makes a more memorable occasion.  Those meaningful memories are what will remind you on hard days of the powerful commitment you made.

victoria fiaretti calligraphy

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Victoria Fiaretti

website: http://www.woodandgraceboutique.com/

facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/WoodandGrace

instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/woodandgrace/

I hope you enjoyed meeting Victoria as much as I have!  Whether you’re planning a wedding, celebrating a new baby, or looking for the perfect gift, Wood & Grace can help make your words of love into beautiful art !