Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tania Stephenson-Oliver of TSO Bridal Beauty

As a photographer I am often asked for recommendations for other wedding suppliers, so I thought I'd take that a step further on my blog and start doing some profiles on some of my favourites. To make this more interesting and not just a here's a link to a make up artist etc, I've done a short interview with each supplier to try and give you a feel of the person behind the business and what makes them tick and why I enjoy working with them and recommend them to my clients.

So first up is the wonderful Tania Stephenson-Oliver of TSO Bridal Beauty. I've worked with Tania at lots of weddings now and her skill, approach and results are just beautiful.

Tell us a little bit about TSO Bridal Beauty.
Its a personal make up service for the bride and her bridal party.

Where do you call home?

Carshalton, Surrey

How long have you been doing Bridal Make Up?

Bridal Beauty was launched January 2005.

What inspired you to move into Bridal make up?
After the birth of my 2 gorgeous daughters, working long hours in TV studios and sometimes away on location filming was no longer practical. Working on weddings was a perfect way of still doing a job I love and trained to do and to maintain a balanced family life.

Who's the most famous person you've made up?

I worked on the Big Breakfast(c4) when Zoe Ball and Keith Chegwin presented. So every day famous people would be in the studio. Too many to list....

What's your favourite product?

Any Bobbi Brown product, especially her gel-eyeliners, (brilliant staying power) Lancome's Hypnose waterproof mascara (a must for weddings) Laura mercier foundation primer ( your make up lasts all day).

How many weddings do you average a year?

35 plus

What's been your most memorable wedding and why?
Very difficult question to answer. When you work at weddings, they are all so special, individual and unique. Usually the weddings where the bride has been very organized and researched good professional people it glides through a very happy calm morning.

When you see the bride on the morning of their big day, what you do and say which will help ease any early morning nerves?
It's important for me to have built a rapport with the bride. Pre wedding day, I would have met the bride and spent time familiarising myself with regards to what she would like on her big day. So come the wedding day, she has 100% trust and confidence in me that she is going to look amazing. Once you have gained that rapport with someone you can have a very calming influence on them. Just be there and make sure the bride has every thing she needs.

If you hadn't been a make up artist what would you have wanted to be?

A singer, but I haven't got a very good voice. I enjoy watching X factor and living the dream......

What's the best part about your job?
The transformation of somebody. Not only on their beauty but their confidence....being part of someones special day and receiving heart felt thank you cards and e-mails from the bride. Very rewarding. Ohh and being offered Champagne every time I go to work!

Does the bridezilla exist and how do you deal with her if she does?
No, Bridezilla does not exist. My experience of a bride losing it on the morning is when someone lets her down. Ie a car does not show, people turning up late etc... How disappointing. Weddings have to be perfect.

Through the looking glass where do you see yourself in five years?
Probably running a wedding make up agency. Supplying similar minded and trained make up artists to weddings.

Three words your friends or family would use to describe you?
A Multi-tasker, Friendly, Reliable.

Best piece of advice you've received?
Spend good money on a good haircut and always write thank you notes....

Favourite place to get away from it all?
Balifscourt Hotel and Spa in Climping, Sussex. Pure bliss.

Something that changed your life?

Becoming a mother

Finally, what advice would you give any brides reading this on how to get the perfect bridal make up experience?

You will remember your wedding day for the rest of your life. Find someone you really like, and enjoy having around. Find someone who will really pamper you and make you look and feel amazing using really good professional products. You just don't know how you will feel on your wedding morning. I've seen the most organized brides turn in to bags of nerves. Someone with a calming, organized persona will be priceless on your wedding morning.

If you'd like to contact Tania you can visit her website at
TSO Bridal Beauty or call 0208 395 1462

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