Not only is this month’s “vendor of the month” a true powerhouse, but she is also one of the sweetest and most generous women we’ve ever met.
Introducing: Monica from MHG beauty, an extremely talented and super skilled makeup artist and hairstylist, based in Dubai.
Read the interview below to learn all about her entrepreneurial journey, what inspires her when creating a new look, and her advice on how to keep your makeup fresh and long-lasting on your special day…
Let’s start at the beginning: tell us a bit more about you, your work and what role you play in someone’s wedding.
I am originally from Mexico. I come from a family of four, my beautiful parents and my beautiful sister. I have been living outside Mexico for more than 11 years now. My husband and I moved first from Mexico to Colombia, lived there for 4 years and then moved to Dubai and we have been here for approximately 7 years and counting.
I’ve been doing makeup and hair for more than 16 years now. I do makeup and hair for every occasion, from everyday makeup, to photoshoots, video shoots and here in Dubai, I would say my main business is wedding makeup and hair.
My role at a wedding is meeting the bride a few months before the wedding date, we talk about what she likes, I ask for picture references, if she already has her dress, veil, and accessories, I ask if I can see those as well. With all this information together we create and tailor the perfect look for her that will not only bring out her amazing features but make her feel comfortable. I regularly say I love creating a Glam version of themselves. We do a trial and then meet again on the wedding date.
What made you decide to become a make-up artist/hair stylist?
My sister and I used to do Makeup and hair as a hobby at home for our friends and then our friends would bring their friends etc.
My dad was actually the one with the vision, he told us “girls you are running a profitable business and not making any money.” He helped us open our beauty salon which we literally opened in two weeks and that was it.
I was hooked. Started taking every course and masterclass I could, still do, because you never stop learning. Nothing better than doing what you love.
What do you love most about your job and is there anything you’d consider your specialty?
What I love the most about doing makeup and hair is meeting so many interesting people. We are all so different not only in personality but physically as well and seeing beauty in every single person is priceless. I love reflecting their inner beauty thru my art.
I really like doing both makeup and hair, creating a full look and finding the perfect balance and harmony that makes you see the person and not the makeup and hair if that makes sense.
Let’s talk about timelines: can you highlight the most important timings of the day (make-up/hairstyle wise) and is there anything brides should consider in particular?
I regularly ask for three hours prior to her having to get dressed. I would say they might want to consider 30 minutes to get in their dress. This gives us enough time for both makeup and hair without having to rush. If there is a wedding planner involved, I would send her the timeline for approval so we are both o the same page.
I know 3 hours sounds like a lot, but believe me, they fly by so quickly and I always want them to feel relaxed.
Brides should consider leaving time available for photographers to take portrait shots and pictures with their bridesmaids, if they have any as well as getting ready pictures, that I have to confess are my absolute favorite.
Do you have any favorite products (especially long-lasting)?
That is such a difficult question. I have so many products I love and to be honest, it all depends on, not only the look I am creating but the person’s skin type, skin tone, where the event is taking place, etc. If I am creating a dewy or a matte look, so on and so forth.
Waterproof and long-lasting products will always be a good choice especially for hot and humid weather like Dubai’s. I could mention a few but the list is a bit long and I wouldn’t want to leave anything out.
How would you describe your “ideal” bride?
I think every single bride is special. That’s the beauty of what I do. I get to meet so many amazing people, beautiful inside and out and I love those who have a specific look in mind already, as much as those who have no idea what they want. Both things are exciting for me because in the end its inspiration.
I get inspired when I meet them and speak with them, learn what they do for a leaving, what they love. I am here to make their life easier and to make sure they feel comfortable, happy, and gorgeous with their look.
Any piece of advice you’d like to give any bride out there planning her wedding?
Don’t stress. It’s all about choosing the right team for you (wedding planner, photographer, makeup artist, hairstylist, venue, etc.).
Once you’ve done that make sure to speak not only with words but pictures, so that you get your idea thru and then let go and trust. You and your fiancé should feel like VIP guests on the wedding date and not have to worry about anything.
In the end, weddings are a celebration of love, meant to be full of happy, joyous moments and it’s not worth being stressed over. As long as your fiancé and your loved ones are there, that’s all that matters.
Can you run us through a typical wedding day for you?
Yes of course! I arrive at the venue, hotel, home, etc half an hour before I need to start with the bride’s makeup and hair, sometimes the bride plus mother of the bride and bridesmaids.
I set up my station and I regularly like to start with the bridesmaids, if there are any, the mother of the bride and/groom and I do the bride’s makeup and hair last, unless they prefer otherwise.
If it’s a big group, I bring extra makeup artists and hairstylist so that everyone is ready on time for the wedding.
I regularly do the bride’s makeup first and then her hair. When we are almost done, I let the photographers know (if they are hired for getting ready pictures), so they can start shooting. Then I wait for the bride to get dressed so I can place the veil and do final makeup and hair touch-ups before she’s out the door.
When it comes to dancing, tears, photography, etc. what would be your number one tip for every bride to consider in order to stay fresh and flawless until the early morning hours?
They shouldn’t have to worry that much.
When it comes to tears it’s important not to rub the face with a tissue but just tap to remove them so that the makeup is not removed. They will probably only need to touch up their lips and if needed apply a little bit of translucent powder on the T zone.
If they want it to look absolutely perfect for the 10 or 12 hours they can always ask the makeup artist if she/he can stay for touch-ups. It’s obviously an extra cost but depending on where the event is taking place and the timeline, sometimes it’s worth having us around.
What inspires you when creating a look for a bride? What’s the creation process like (do they show you photos, etc.)?
Them. My first inspiration always comes from the bride herself, then I would look at a picture of her dress and I always ask for one or two inspirational pictures of makeup and hair looks they like so I can get an idea of the look they are going for.
Together we create the perfect look and I tailor it with details that make it only hers.
Do you have any favorite UAE wedding venues?
There are so many!!!! If I had to choose probably, The Ritz at JBR, Park Hyatt, Address Montgomery, Jumeirah Al Qasr, and Bvlgari hotel are some of my favorites but there are so many I love.
What would you love to see more within the UAE wedding industry (trends, etc.)?
To be honest I really love the wedding industry in Dubai because it’s made up of so many different cultures it makes it extremely unique.
How can interested brides reach you?
They can find me on Instagram, where I am very active as well as via email.
Reach Monica at MHG Beauty:
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you so much for having me. I love being part of this amazing project and love that you made it so special by including me on your tribute to Mexico. If you travel to my beautiful country make sure to eat tacos for me lol.