Personal beauty consult with LULA Hair + Makeup

24 April 2017

Most of my hair and makeup knowledge is circa 2002, the year of my most devoted readership to Seventeen and Glamour. I kept big binders of product recommendations and blow drying tutorials I’d torn out and saved, but I never seemed to do much with them — my friends and I didn’t really swap tips or play with each other’s hair, and most of the makeup I owned was the stuff I was required to buy for my ballet school’s performances.

Up until last year I was still mostly operating off of that banked knowledge from high school, as well as trial and error over the years and a few tips picked up here and there. It was nothing fancy, but it got the job done! My job requires me to be photographed fairly often, however, and I’ve wished for a long time that I had a better base of knowledge to rely on when left to my own devices for these occasions.

In a stroke of inspiration, I reached out to my sweet friend Sam of LULA Hair + Makeup to see if she might be willing to let me hire her for an hour or two to teach me some of her makeup wisdom. I kind of felt like it was a long shot, as she’s a busy lady and I wasn’t really sure if she did that sort of thing, but she replied right away. Apparently personal consults are one of her favorite things to do!

Photo of Sam by A.J. Dunlap

Sam charges $200 for a two-hour consult. With so much free information on the internet, I can understand why some gals might not be into paying for knowledge they can get elsewhere for free. But that’s just it – there is SO information out there, and the way I want to spend my limited free time is not wading through it to sort out the good from the bad, and the good for me from the good for someone else. After all, time is money!

I also know many makeup counters offer consults, and they are probably great, too! But I have worked with Sam many times over the years, and every time she has done my makeup, I have been thrilled. She knows my style, she knows my lifestyle; I knew we wouldn’t have to waste time getting up to speed. Plus, she’s one of the kindest, most encouraging and peaceful people to be around!

So, what did we do? Sam asked me to bring all of my makeup and skin care items with me to her home studio. We started by walking through my skin care routine, and she asked questions and recommended a few product swaps or additions along the way. For instance, she suggested that for my skin, I should use my Clarisonic just once a week instead of every other day like I’d been doing, and add a weekly moisturizing mask (she suggested two in different price points!). She also said I had beautiful skin, which was practically worth the price of the session in itself, haha!

Then we moved on to makeup, and I again walked her through each step of my routine. For any of my current products I wasn’t happy with, we tried out a few alternatives from her kit, and she offered application tips. I’ve since bought a few of her recommendations; one of my favorites is the Stila Convertible Color Lip and Cheek Cream in Gerbera – so pretty!!

I had specifically requested that she teach me how to do a fancier eye look (a la my 60 Before 30 list!), so we spent a good chunk of time on that. She narrated as she made up one eye, and then I mimicked her on the other.

A few days after my consult, Sam emailed me an extensive sheet of instructions for everything she taught me, complete with dozens of product recommendations that she specifically chose for my skin and lifestyle. I’ve bought one or two every month since and have slowly been incorporating them into my routine!

I adore Sam and can’t recommend her enough, so if you, too, are looking for some grown-up makeup help, shoot her an email! What do y’all think – does this sound like something that would be helpful for you? I’m considering hiring her for another session focused on hair! :)

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April 24, 2017 11:35 pm

I love this! It’s sometimes very hard to part with money for something like this… but when I look back at my annual spending at Sephora, it’s clear that a parallel “skills” investment is sometimes the way to maximize the value of one’s products.

Sadly, I don’t have my own guru friend/colleague, but I did recently score a Groupon for a 90 minute “Makeup 101” tutorial (focused on the type of look of your choice) with Blushington. My bridal makeup team wasn’t available to do my makeup trial the day of my engagement photos and I really wanted to look my “natural” yet elevated best… and Blushington really came through! Even though I consider myself a relative pro (not expert) when it comes to my makeup, I learned plenty of tips and got introduced to a new product or two (okay four)… including a Stila cheek cream. Obsessed! I’m also trying to incorporate weekly masking… can I ask what two products Sam recommended?

As an EFM reader in NYC, I can say that investing in a tutorial experience was fantastic. Great post, Em!

PS – Your eyes look great in these shots. Loving the understated smoke!

April 26, 2017 10:04 pm

What a great idea! I think what I would love most is that you already had a working relationship with Sam- I’ve also considered consultations with makeup counters, but I’ve never done it because I don’t trust that they’ll totally “get” me, if that makes sense! But if I had someone I trusted I would 100% do this in a heartbeat.

April 27, 2017 9:19 am

I want to do this so badly!!

April 27, 2017 6:27 pm

Oh my gosh I need to do something like this! Honestly, my lifestyle calls for make-up-less days 99% of the time, but I wish I was confident on my skin care routine and make up when I do need to wear it. I live on the road full time in a van and I’m a climber, skydiver, etc. but I’m also a wedding photographer! I shoot small, adventurous weddings in National Parks and similar places, so I don’t ever need to look fancy…but I still like to look presentable when meeting with clients!! I need to talk to this girl haha.

May 2, 2017 11:08 pm

Gorgeous! I wish Sam lived closer to me!

Emily F
May 3, 2017 10:55 am

Gorgeous! And sounds like a good tutorial!