As part of our Community Series, we’re hoping to connect you with experts on South Asian weddings, fashion and culture. Our goal is to share their inspiring stories and helpful guidance with everyone in the LUKH community. 

Today, we’re interviewing Karishma Mehta, a professional bridal makeup artist based in Chicago, and she’s also a bride-to-be herself! She offers her guidance to brides as they prepare for their big day and also shares how she’s coping with her own wedding planning during COVID.  

 

Please tell us how you got started.

I’ve been passionate about beauty for as long as I can remember! Watching my mom making others beautiful as her career inspired me, and I grew a passion for makeup as a form of art. So, when it came time for me to make a career choice, working in the beauty industry was a clear path for me.

Today, as a professional Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist, I love helping my clients & brides feel beautiful. I specialize in bridal, print, runway, TV and special events. My favorite style of makeup is makeup that enhances my clients’ features while still achieving a natural elegant look. My extensive experience as a beauty artist includes working with reputable wedding industry vendors, freelancing for Giorgio Armani Beauty, Chanel, Lancôme and numerous other brands along with talented designers and photographers as well as being published. The experience I gained throughout the years, led me to the profession to do what I love, and I couldn’t be more blessed.

I love to give my clients who want to look beautiful and feel like themselves on their wedding day. I strive to create a luxury experience where the bride and anyone else who sits in my chair get to truly feel pampered on such a special day. I consider myself so lucky to work with each and every one of my clients and help them feel beautiful in their own skin. As we all know too well how much society likes to tell us that we’re not good enough just the way we are. I love helping people feel like a polished version of themselves.

What's your process in coming up with looks for brides? 

It’s literally a recipe. What are the ingredients you ask? Well each one of my brides are unique in their own special way and so is the recipe, no bride wants to duplicate another bride, am I right? Since every bride has their own vision, personality, and style those are the key components. My technique is to blend all the ingredients together including my creativity in the mix and create a memorable bridal look for my bride.

What inspires you when you work with each bride?

Overall, I get my inspiration from traveling, old Bollywood-Hollywood movies, and from the first conversation that I have with my bride leading to her wedding day. With my brides I love to hear about their concerns, getting to know their personality during their wedding planning process and then finally her outfit which helps in tying all the colors and design. Bringing a bride’s vision to life is truly MAGIC!

How do you pair a look with an outfit?

Staying with the same color palette as the outfit and then picking a single feature to enhance, like eyes or lips. And if my bride is brave, I might choose a second focal point. For example, if her outfit is multicolored, I’d use one color on the lips and another for eyeliner. But as I said I’d stay in the same color palette using variations of the color hue, but go darker or lighter, more sheer or more or less saturated than the original color. 

What should brides keep in mind while prepping for their big day?  

A great bridal glow comes from a great hair and skin care routine which starts months before your big day. Makeup loves healthy skin, so invest in multiple facials and a personalized skin regimen prescribed by your esthetician. 

P.S This is not a good time to try ANYTHING new, definitely not a hairstyle/color or hairdresser. If you are a color client, have your touch ups redone about 2 weeks prior to your first wedding event along with your facial appointments. All waxing appointments should be done 5 days before your wedding day along with brow grooming. 

Brides, one important advice I would like you all to be mindful is your diet! I understand you want to make sure you are in excellent shape for your wedding, but please don’t choose the crash diet route it’s just not healthy. In all honesty a crash diet can make you look exhausted, there’s a chance of you passing out due to so many emotions you’ll be feeling, and let’s remember you’re carrying 10lbs of bridal gear (that’s if you’re a South Asian Bride). So, trust me when I say eat healthy, exercise moderately, and stay super hydrated your skin and body craves it.   

You're also engaged - how does it feel?

I am! Oh gosh it’s a feeling I’ve never felt before. When you’re getting engaged to your love, it feels so serene but also so exciting because you’re finally getting engaged to your best friend (well that’s what I felt). It’s now 5 months since I got engaged and still get all smiley every time I glance at my sparkle while driving or working, hoping this feeling never fades.   

How has wedding planning been during COVID? What have been the biggest challenges? 

Wedding planning has definitely been rough during this unprecedented COVID-19 situation. Not being able to meet with your vendors to make decisions along with the uncertainties is a major struggle. Therefore, wedding planning has slowed down until we receive more information from CDC. But while we are home, we are really thinking about what to value most in our wedding and continue to plan the smaller things in the wake of coronavirus

How are you shopping for your wedding?  What do you wish would be different about the retail experience?

As soon as I started shopping for our wedding outfits the pandemic had struck. So I wasn’t able to do much shopping but what I did get done was a pretty good chunk and that was by supporting small businesses and it was a great experience because the customer service that I received was impeccable. Which is important to me and that is something that needs to increase in retail. Moving forward I think designers should come up with faster turn-around times and more online “off the rack” options. 

Any advice for brides during the time of COVID?

As a bride and a wedding vendor I completely understand what the impact is from both sides during this pandemic. The most important factor right now is taking care of ourselves, our well-being and not putting our loved ones at risk. 

There should be no room for giving up on your wedding dreams. There should only be room for patience, understanding and positivity. Take this as a time to strengthen your bonds and journey together as a couple. You’ll emerge better from this, and when it's safe to celebrate your love it will be an unforgettable explosion of joy!