I will admit it – I am not a make up girl, but after meeting and watching plenty of amazing makeup artists work at bridal photo shoots, I have a big appreciation for the magic they create! Your makeup artist will likely become the person to calm your nerves on the morning of your wedding, the person who helps mop up your tears when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror for the first time and the person who helps bring all your hard work, fashion styling and ideas to life; so choosing someone that you admire, trust and get on with is pretty essential!
Today, I am so pleased to introduce you to Stacey Kilpatrick; wife, mum of two littles and one of the leading makeup artists in the country – not to mention a mean face and body painter as well. Whilst building a brand new home, planning and launching a make up studio and growing two beautiful babies, Stacey has built her business s.a.kDESIGNS over the past four years to be much more than amazing! I caught up with her (her schedule is hectic, good hectic) to chat marriage, makeup and making brides dreams come true…
Have you always wanted to be a makeup artist?
Yes, I always wanted to become a makeup artist. To be honest, it wasn’t seen as a ‘proper’ career choice when I was at school and I was pointed in a slightly different direction studying Beauty Therapy, Fashion Design, Event Management and Marketing. My love for art and being creative led me to set up my first business in 2003 – a face painting company called Crazy Faces. My love for makeup remained and in 2005 I was awarded Most Promising Make up Artist through a talent lab with Cinemagic and in 2010 I graduated from the Oonagh Boman School of Makeup in Belfast with a Diploma in Fashion and Photographic Makeup and also undertook several short courses in London with makeup brand Illamasqua. My love for bridal makeup and my company Crazy Faces weren’t exactly a perfect match – with a name like that, I’m sure I’d freak most brides out, so in 2010 s.a.k.DESIGNS was born! s.a.k.DESIGNS has a few different sides to the business; makeup artistry, face and body painting, face painting training and I also have a fab team of children’s entertainers who specialise in face painting.
What’s your favourite things about working at weddings?
I love weddings and bridal makeup! Weddings are such an exciting time for couples and in my job I get to be involved with that and it’s very special. I love the buzz on the morning of a wedding; the excitement, the nerves, the giggles and sometimes the tears. It’s a lovely feeling to know you are adding to that and helping calm nerves (with my bottle of rescue remedy), ensuring things run smoothly and helping a bridal party feel extra glamorous!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I follow a lot of makeup artists whose work really inspires me such as Lan, Rae Morris, Lisa Eldridge, Alex Box and the ultimate has to be Pat McGrath. But I am also inspired by current trends, new products, the seasons, fabrics and of course my subjects; people!
You’ve been married to the lovely Darryl for over five years now, how was your wedding day?
Darryl and I met through a mutual friend just two weeks into our university courses and eight years later I became Mrs. Kilpatrick! We got married in December 2008, a beautiful crisp winter’s day; with gorgeous lighting and a little frost. It was perfect! We married at Parkanaur Manor House and had our reception in Brownlow House in Lurgan. Then honeymooned in Las Vegas, Hawaii and New York. Five years later we have two beautiful children Riley (almost 3) and Evie (7 months).
I loved every second of our wedding day. However, I know if we did it again (to each other obviously!) there would be a few things I would do differently. The industry has changed massively in five years! It’s a lot more creative and being in the heart of it all I know too many amazingly talented people now. I’d probably want five photographers, three florists, four hair stylists…gosh it would be impossible to choose now!
With the value of years, what does marriage now mean to you now? Has this has changed since you were first married and have you any secret formulas for marriage?
I don’t think our values have changed at all. The only difference is we now have our precious little rascals who take up pretty much all of our time. We do try (although often fail) to arrange date nights but we adore spending time with our kids and helping their fantastic little personalities develop! It’s hard work but incredibly rewarding.
Being super supportive for one another, understanding, compassionate and appreciative will help make your marriage work – you need to believe in marriage and truly love a person to make it work. They say opposites attract but we’re like two peas in a pod and that works for us.
What wedding trends are you loving at the minute?
I am loving pastels at the moment and have been involved in some stunning bridal shoots recently with soft colour palettes. I just love how individual and creative weddings have become and the amazing wealth of talented suppliers out there to help create a bride and groom’s vision. I exhibit at the Quirky Weddings fair and it is a real eye opener for what can be achieved if you want to break away from traditions.
Anything exciting in the pipeline for s.a.k designs?
At the moment wedding season is getting into full swing so there’s little time for making major plans. My brain is always in overdrive though so who knows what might happen! I’ve been extremely lucky in my career so far to have had the opportunities I have. Such as having worked published internationally in Gladys magazine and Professional Beauty / WarPaint magazines, working backstage at MTV EMA after party in Belfast assisting a top London Makeup Artist, meeting my idols Alex Box and Pixiwoo who both judged my work in an international makeup competition, being awarded Irish Makeup Artist of the year and most recently Best Bridal makeup Artist by the readers of Getting Married in NI magazine. I haven’t done a destination wedding yet, that would be lovely, Dubai perhaps?!
Lastly, any makeup secrets we should know about?
Huge thanks to Stacey for sharing her love of makeup with us all!
Stacey applying makeup: Ciara Jones Photography.
Bride against tree: Photographer: Paula O’Hara, Model: Lauren at Distinct Model Management, Styling, florals & props: Frogprince.ie, Dress: Myrtle Ivory, Hair: Grainne Moane, Location: Florence Court Enniskillen.
Bridal party: Real life bride Jennifer, Photographer: Blackbox Photography.
Bride on bed: Real life bride Fionnuala, Photographer: Padraig Donnelly.
Bride against wall: Real life bride Michelle, Photographer: Janine Walker.
Vintage bride with red lips: Photographer: Jonathan Ryder.