Philly’s Featured Makeup Artist: A Q&A with Cheekadee’s Emily Aznavourian

photo courtesy Sweetwater Portraits

Brides, today we are taking it back to the basics. Your friends, family, and future husband make up such an important part of your wedding. Forgetting about the many details (for just a moment!), at its core, your wedding is about love. And having fun with those who mean the most.

Even though love and fun are two of the most basic and important components of your wedding, let’s not forget about a couple of others: your dress, your hair, and your makeup. On your wedding day, you really, really want to look your most beautiful. And you should. In fact, you deserve to.

To stay with the back to the basics theme and to help you reach your goal of looking and feeling great on your wedding day, today is all about makeup. Actually today is all about one Best of Philadelphia 2011 makeup artist (and company!), in particular – Emily Aznavourian, the owner of Cheekadee.

After discovering she could combine her love for art and fashion into one career while attending art school, Emily forged her own path as a makeup artist – for 25 years, no less. In 2008, Emily started Cheekadee, her company catering specifically to brides and weddings held throughout the Philadelphia-area. Since its beginnings, Cheekadee has grown from serving 35 brides to now having five artists on staff and the ability to cater to multiple brides and weddings during a busy weekend. Cheekadee even has a studio in Chestnut Hill where you can go to meet with the team and decide on your wedding day look during a trial run (a plan is always a good thing!).

Are you wondering how to highlight your favorite facial feature or vary your makeup for a formal affair versus a backyard-style fete? What about the important points to keep in mind for your photos and how to look great even after you cry (it will happen!)? Emily, who is Erin Proud’s favorite artist, offers her go-to ways to solve each issue as well as her favorite products. Of course a post wouldn’t be complete without photos, so they’re in there too. Read on!

photo courtesy Jennifer Childress

Going to the Chapel: What facial features should a bride highlight on her wedding day, and how can Cheekadee help her accomplish her look?

Emily Aznavourian: Most brides want to know how to bring out their eyes on their wedding day. It is most certainly the best feature to highlight and something that is our specialty here at Cheekadee. During your trial run we allot a full hour and a half to talk, look through photos of your makeup ideas, your dress, your colors, flowers, etc…  therefore create a look that is specifically designed for you!

photo courtesy Kamila Harris Photography

GTTC: Similar to choosing a wedding dress, a bride should also be mindful of her venue when deciding on her wedding day makeup. How would you differ a bride’s makeup if she were getting married in a backyard versus a formal ballroom?

EA: Lighting is KEY. There is no comparing an outdoor Summer ceremony to a New Years Eve formal in the Winter. These are two completely different looks. I would suggest that the bride who is getting married outdoors in the Summer keep her makeup more natural, glowy and sun-kissed, while the more formal New Years Eve bride pump up the volume with a more dramatic eye and subtle shimmer. That said… there is a different comfort level for each person we meet. What we like to ask our clients upon meeting them is ‘what is your comfort level with makeup?’ What we mean by that is: ‘Are you afraid of makeup or do you LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it?!’ Your answer will determine where we can start. We always talk through the steps that we are doing to make the client feel even more comfortable. And we always end the trial with asking the client for feedback. This way there are no unanswered questions.

photo courtesy Pete Malone & 217 Photography

GTTC: In terms of makeup meets wedding photography, what should brides keep in mind?

EA: Keep in mind that you want to look at these photos in twenty years and say ‘yes, I looked amazing!’ not, damn, I looked trendy. The makeup that you choose will have to stand the test of time and the tears. Everything must be waterproof. It should last all day and all night. It should be a little bit more than you are used to wearing on a daily basis, but it should not make you look unlike yourself.

GTTC: What are your top five favorite wedding day (or everyday!) products and why do you love them?

EA: Everything that we use for weddings must be waterproof, and it has to serve a purpose. It is all about soft layering to keep the look natural and to help extend the wear of the makeup!

  1. Makeup Forever HD Foundation—HD stands for High Definition. So, it makes the skin look super amazing up close and in photos!!
  2. Smashbox Photo Finish Primer—makes the makeup go on smoother, also extends the wear of the foundation.
  3. Nars Orgasm Blush/Laguna Bronzer duo—a must have for every makeup artist!
  4. Ulta Black Waterproof Eyeliners (yes, Ulta!) – Eyeliners and mascaras are items that you can ‘cheap out on’. We have tried them all and there is no difference between these and Chanel’s $32 liners.
  5. MAC Pro Longwear Concealer—a really great smoothing and covering concealer. Not cakey!

photo courtesy Allison Conklin

GTTC: What are your top five ways for brides to keep their makeup looking great throughout the day and into the night?

EA:

  1. Hire a professional makeup artist!
  2. Be sure that everything you use is waterproof! Mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow base, primer, long wear lip color etc.
  3. Bring along a powder and a lip gloss for touch up. These should be the only things that you will need for touchup throughout the day. Then, assign one of your detail- oriented bridesmaids to keep an eye on your makeup and have her tell you if you need a dab of lip gloss or pat of powder.
  4. Do not rub your eyes or face! Just dab (like a little old lady) with a tissue under your eye if you cry.
  5. Relax and don’t forget to smile!!

If you would like to learn more about Emily, her team, and Cheekadee for your wedding day (or your engagement photos!), take a moment to visit her website and send a note. Emily also blogs too, and let’s not forget about Facebook and Twitter. A talented and connected makeup artist – it’s a win-win.

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2 Comments

Filed under Weddings

2 responses to “Philly’s Featured Makeup Artist: A Q&A with Cheekadee’s Emily Aznavourian

  1. LOVE Emily! Her team is amazing and every one of my clients loves them!

  2. Peter

    Another great article. I find all your articles are quite informative and would be a great reference point for anyone that is planning to get married.

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