Bridal Makeup for Our Sistas’ … featuring advice and tips from Los Angeles makeup artist, PJ Hudson.

You can take your bridal makeup look in many different directions. If you are unsure about which one to choose, this post is definitely for you. 

I had the opportunity to interview Paija Hudson, a professional makeup artist born and bred in LA, California. She was able to answer a few questions about bridal makeup that can help you find your perfect look. Paija Hudson, also known as PJ, has been a makeup artist for about ten years, starting as a YouTuber.  Surprisingly, she had little to no interest in makeup while growing up. 

Paija wasn’t interested in trying out makeup for a long time. She simply opted for lip gloss and mascara, which she didn’t view as makeup in the past.. Interestingly, she always thought her eyes were alluring, and a little low. Mascara helped open them up, although she didn’t realize it at the time.

“Makeup chose me. I didn’t want to become a makeup artist,” she says. Paija describes how she found makeup as a result of trauma, rather than deliberately seeking it out.

A Brief Look at Paija’s College Career 

Paija Hudson has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business, and she graduated during the worst economic period the country has gone through: 2008 and 09-2012. Jobs were scarce, and this period hit PJ so hard that she barely had $60 to her name. Finally, she got a full-time job, and things began to change. 

Before that, she’d worked part-time gigs, since most companies couldn’t afford a full–time staff or underpaid them. PJ describes the period when her company downsized and let go of her as “hell.”  She had nothing to fall back on after college, and she began to sink into depression.

She explains, “Initially, I had the vision to become a marketer who runs big ads campaigns for big companies, designs, and fashion.” That wasn’t happening, obviously. To make things worse, she was in an abusive relationship at the time. However, Paija still had an interest in learning makeup. She saw how pretty and attractive her friends looked when they wore it, and she wanted to become an expert.

While battling an abusive relationship, going out to practice makeup gave her a refuge and something to be good at.. While dealing with depression, at her lowest moment, she made a big decision. With some encouragement from her brother, she decided to start wearing makeup. At the time, she was in touch with one of his friends, a makeup artist, and she got inspired. Big props to the connection made, helping PJ see the beauty within herself!

Paija Hudson: Favorite Face Washes For POC

As women of color that come in an array of beautiful shades, we have skin that requires care and specific treatments. PJ believes that skin should be approached by type, not color.  This is because every skin color (Indian, Asian, American, African American) is prone to defects, such as eczema. Surprisingly, we all have the same skin conditions.

For example, Whites lack melanin, so they are not as protected from the sun as the people of color. On the other hand, people of color are prone to hyperpigmentation. PJ says we all suffer in similar ways, but we experience different outcomes. 

According to PJ, skin type should determine skin care That’s why her favorite skin care is sunblock: every skin type and color needs it. The most damaging element on earth isn’t drinks, fatty foods, or cigarettes; according to PJ, it’s the sun. So, irrespective of color, you should always wear your sunblock, because the sun can damage your skin. As a fair-skinned shade person, I found this advice very helpful; I have always sought the sun to give me some bronze and glow, and I used to assume black folks don’t need sunblock. However, as I have gotten older, (or maybe it’s the LA sun or global warming), I have surprisingly started to burn a little bit in the last two years, specifically on my shoulders and chest area. In the past, I have hung out in the sun, laid out in the sun, and even endured in tanning beds with no burning, but recently, all that’s changed.

Like every other skincare product, PJ says you should choose your face wash based on your skin type. 

  • Dry skin: Consider a cream-based, non-foaming cleanser. However, you can also use an oil-based cleanser if you prefer.
  • Normal/Dry Combination Skin: A non-foaming cream cleanser will do the trick.
  • Normal/Oily Combination Skin: A gentle foaming cleanser will work.
  • Oily Skin: A good foaming cleanser will grab all the oil out of your face.

For People of Color, sunblock should be considered essential skincare. However, finding the right product is not a one-size-fits-all situation. PJ’s personal favorites are La Roche Posay and Kiehls. 

Kiehls produce high-quality skin care products available in drug stores. If you’re looking for a daily sunblock, La Roche Posay is just perfect. La Roche Posay has soothing moisturizers in their ultra-daily moisturizing set and standalone package. 

It is important to note that sunblock’s protection is given in ranges. Buying an SPF 30 means it can protect you from the regular, everyday sun and light. However, if you are going on vacation somewhere bright, you should consider SPF 60.

Brand Recommendations for Face Wash include La Roche Posay, Kiehls, and Cera Vee

PJ’s favorite skin care products include face wash, sunblock, moisturizer and hydrating toner (regardless of the skin type). “Even for oily skin, you can still use a hydrating cleanser,” she says.

When the skin is oily, it screams for balance, so you should use a foaming cleanser with mattifying toner.

Fun Fact: If you spend a lot of time balancing your skin (with your skincare routine), it will produce just the right amount of oil that it needs. 

Interestingly, oil helps the skin to stretch. This elasticity is where the phrase “Black don’t crack” came from. Remember, skin needs oil; it’s normal to get oily by the end of the day. What is not normal is getting oily all throughout the day.

Paija Hudson: Favorite Makeup Brands for POC 

In our interview with PJ, she clearly affirmed that Nars is her favorite makeup brand. “Nars, for me, has to be the first, and this is because, with Nars, there is no throwaway product for me,” says PJ. They’re fairly inclusive, and everything works. Unfortunately, Nars doesn’t have the highest number of colors. If you desire clean beats, use Nars. They have lovely shades and shimmers.

Another favorite brand is Graftobian; they make products for every skin tone. However, their products are highly specialized rather than serving daily purposes. 

Maybelline is another brand you should consider as a woman of color, because they are designed to help you fit in when you feel you don’t. Also check out Laura Mercier and the Fashion Fair.

All the brands mentioned above offer more than enough makeup products for women of color. However, the good products on the market aren’t limited to these; you can find great alternatives when you search around at different stores and try samples.

Product Hack: Makeup brands owned by makeup artists tend to produce the best products, because artists consider what other people don’t. 

Paija Hudson: The Importance of Finding the Right Product

PJ says that proper skin care is vital. You can’t do good makeup without a minimum of a 20-minute session of skin prep first (especially true for people with damaged skin). Skin prep is what makes the makeup look good. Two different people could wear the same makeup but still look different; the skin prep routine adds a distinguishing effect. Skin prep ensures every other skin product is actively working and protecting the skin. 

However, sampling is the best way to find what works for you. Go into a sampling-friendly store and check out the products. If it looks and feels fine, follow your guts and go with it. If not, don’t cave to pressure!

For example, if a sunscreen leaves a white cast on your face, no matter who recommended it, it isn’t for you, PJ says.

Trust your own experience. If a moisturizer doesn’t make you feel hydrated, that’s not the one for you. Just like perfume, you will know what is suitable for you by touching, feeling, smelling, and experiencing it. 

I am totally a sample girl, says PJ.

Paija Hudson: Dealing with Brides

Source: PJ Hudson

PJ claims that for her, weddings are not stressful. This sounds counterintuitive, but it is true for PJ due to her research and experience. PJ loves to hold detailed pre-planning consultations before the wedding, so she can ensure everything is perfect on the big day. 

Also, Paija recommends that brides hire event planners or one-day coordinators. This takes the pressure off and ensures the bride feels like a princess.. Everyone will have a last-minute opinion, so brides should prepare themselves to politely shut down ideas from bridesmaids. Above all, have a dedicated look, stay firm, and don’t fix what you didn’t put in. 

According to PJ, I don’t have a problem with brides; all I have is a schedule

Bridal makeup is one of PJ’s favorite types, because it’s among the prettiest. PJ loves seeing the brides’ eagerness to look classic and classy for the day, and she gets to be part of the memories that come with it. 

Bridal makeup looks tend to be pretty standard. They usually involve lashes, shimmer, gold champagne and pinky colors, beautiful blush, and lipstick, and none of these are difficult.

“I like bridal makeup because, to me, it is the prettiest form of makeup.”

Paija Hudson: Tips for POC When Choosing a Makeup Artist

First, choose an artist based on their techniques, not on their color.. In her interview, PJ stated that she’s worked with hairstylists of different colors more than with black stylists,because they were good at their jobs. If you’re an artist, whatever you do, never become a niche.

“If you can’t deal with every skin type and tone, you are not a makeup artist.”

When choosing a makeup artist, take time to peruse their portfolio. It should include everybody, from Asian, Black, Indian, American, and many more, and should reflect the artist’s understanding of each color’s peculiarities.. After studying their portfolio, make your decision based on the artist’s abilities, not their Instagram followers. 

Versatility makes an artist, and a real makeup artist can create beautiful looks regardless of their race or color.

Paija Hudson: Final Thoughts and Advice to POC

  1. Drink water.
  2. Protect your skin from the sun.
  3. Hydrate your skin, don’t strip it. Also, remember to keep it balanced. 
  4. Treat hyperpigmentation immediately.
  5. Love yourself–and this is essential.

Source: PJ Hudson


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