Gemma Waugh has more than 20 year’s experience as a celebrity Hair and Make-Up Artist in the international film industry, so if you’re looking for someone to give you the leading lady look on your big day, then look no further.
Gemma’s previous experience not only spans the film industry, but also weddings, red carpet appearances, special events, commercials and photographic work.
Gemma combines the skills and experience from all of the above fields in her wedding work. Calm and professional, Gemma will put you at ease and work with you to ensure that your wedding hair and make-up looks fabulous.
But most importantly, you will still look like you. In Gemma’s words: “People should see your beautiful face, not your beautiful make-up.” We couldn’t agree more with this sentiment, so we’ll pass you over to Gemma now to tell you what you can expect if you choose her for your wedding hair and make-up.
Tell us a little about yourself and your business
My name is Gemma Waugh and I have been a freelance hair and make-up artist for over 20 years now. I was born into a film industry family. My mum used to own a company in central London called Wig Specialities that made the wigs for films. I trained at London college of fashion in 1996, getting a degree in ‘Hair & Make up for the Performing Arts”.
My career started in the film industry when I was 18 years old and I have travelled all over the world with it working on films such as James Bond – “The World is Not Enough” & “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Some of the famous heads I’ve worked on include Demi Moore, Boy George & Tom hardy. I decided to move away from films when I had my kids 5 years ago and now enjoy running my own business doing weddings, events, private clients, private make-up and hair tuition and high quality hair extensions.
What motivated you to start your business?
When my 2 lovely boys came along 5 years ago, I realised that the jet set lifestyle of the film industry no longer worked for me. I wanted to be around more & available for them, so I started to brainstorm career moves that would allow me to continue doing the job I love without sacrificing precious time with my boys. This is why I started “Gemma Waugh Hair & Make-up Design”.
I can use my skills and experience I have gained from 20 years working on films sets by turning brides into the leading ladies at their very own red carpet moment. I’ve got on board a couple of colleagues from the film industry who found themselves in the same position as me with their kids, so I can accommodate larger bridal parties and events. Since going solo I haven’t looked back, and really enjoy the freedom and diversity it brings.
Tell us a little more about the day to day activities of your business
Some of my weeks consist of the admin side of running your own business. I wont bore you with the details! Most weekdays I do wedding trials, private hair and make up tuition, and high quality semi permanent hair extensions.
Weddings are generally at the weekends and I travel all over the country for them. I also spend time prepping for weddings, sourcing extras such as hairpieces and researching trends and new products.
If our readers were to order from you, what can they expect?
I believe strongly that each bride is an individual and each wedding has it’s own script so it is essential to listen and understand fully what the bride wants to achieve. We chat and share images and ideas prior to the trail so I have a good understanding of what she wants before we even meet up.
The trial is there so that the bride can feel confident in me and I can meet her and together we can hatch a plan. I’m more than happy to come up with suggestions too. I don’t set a time limit for the trial, we are finished when everyone is happy. I charge separately for the trial meaning that if the bride is anyway unsatisfied, she is under no obligation to book me, although I’m pleased to say that has never happened!
What are your favourite moments from previous weddings you’ve been involved with?
Every wedding is unique and I’m always humbled to part of such an intimate moment. The highlight so far has to be being flown to Jamaica to cover a wedding. It was a large bridal party so I had to take a college/mate with me. Doing the thing you love on a tropical island in the sun, with your mate.
Doesn’t really get much better than that! I was also recently featured in Tatler magazine in an article recommending luxury wedding suppliers, which made me smile!
The bigger picture – does your business offer goods/services outside of the wedding world? Tell us more
A large part of my business is made up by doing private make-up and hair tuition in peoples homes, either one to one or small groups. The lessons are completely tailor made to suit individual requirements and skill levels. Some of my clients are industry professionals whilst some are private clients wanting to learn the backstage tips and tricks. I also do very high quality hair extensions.
I used to (and still do on occasion) do a lot of them in the film industry, and they seem to be a hit with the public too. I use the highest quality hair available to buy on the global market, from long standing hair merchants that have served the film industry for decades. They do not damage your hair and last up to 4 months. I also do events and character makeup for things like Halloween and fancy dress parties. I still dabble in Films to, it’s hard to stay away!
What have you got planned for the next 12 months?
In the near future I would like to set up my own studio somewhere in London, my hometown. A beautiful space from which I can teach, run short courses and offer hair and make up services, maybe employ a colleague or two. I’m pretty excited about that one.
And finally, what or who inspires you and why?
People & faces manly inspire me. When I’m on the tube or bus I (subtly!) study peoples facial structures, colouring, hair texture etc. and make them up in my head. Of course I have to keep up with the latest fashions and trends, but for me its not really about getting excited about a pot of foundation or the newest shade of lippy, these are just tools, it’s a creative outlet, a bit like 3 dimensional painting or sculpture I guess. I did an art foundation course before my degree.
All images courtesy of Gemma Waugh Hair & Make Up Design