Want to Learn about Hair & Makeup for your Portrait Session?

Everything You Need to Know About: Professional Hair and Makeup

There’s one question that I ask each and every one of my maternity mamas:  Have you thought about hair and makeup? It wouldn’t matter if I was staring at Gisele Bundchen  or a mama who had never owned more than tinted lip gloss in her life, I think every mama deserves to look and feel their best for their portrait session. To help with the know-how and the how-to, I introduce to you (drumroll….) Crystal from C-Style Beauty! Crystal is one of my and my client’s favorite hair and makeup artists. Her work is flawless and her personality will keep you laughing the entire time you’re in her chair.  

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Welcome, Crystal!  Tell us about yourself and C-Style Beauty:

Thanks Ellie – I attended The Academy NYC a Paul Mitchell partner school back in 2011 where I completed my cosmetology program. During school I was able to be a part of New York fashion week styling a plethora of models’ hair. After finishing up the program I worked in a salon for a short time before my venture back to Michigan where my main focus shifted to makeup. For several years I was only offering traditional makeup before airbrush makeup really became popular. Now I offer both traditional and airbrush makeup as well as individual or strip lashes. I am not actively cutting or coloring hair but I absolutely love the styling aspect of hair now. My favorite is beachy waves and big boho braids, but I offer any sort of half-up or full updos as well!

And what should a client who has never had professional hair and makeup expect?

The process of hair and makeup ranges per client. I always start with a consultation to get to know each of my client’s style and skin type before I do anything. If someone does not typically wear a lot of makeup the biggest thing for me is to know how much or how little to apply. Makeup should enhance your natural features; not make you feel like a completely different person, unless that is the look you are trying to achieve. If a client has combination-oily skin I would do their skin prep totally different than someone who has dry skin. Consultation is key and essential to build a style that will last and that your client will love. After the consultation I know how to prep them accordingly with moisturizers and primers for their unique skin type. When I start with makeup I tend to start with the eyes first. Sometimes there is “fall off” with certain eyeshadows and it is better to be able to clean that up with a makeup wipe versus trying to brush it off of foundation. I will then go onto the foundation, concealer, powders, bronzer, blush, highlighter, eyebrows, and will jump back to the eyes to do any last minute touches I feel necessary before applying mascara or false lashes. 
Hair styling is curated to each person’s needs as well. Knowing how to tame those stubborn baby hairs, when to apply a smoothing serum, how much hairspray to use, or how to keep someone’s natural curls intact. I always start with a thermal spray to protect the hair when using a flat iron or curling iron. I then section out the hair to make sure I am not missing any areas and the style is uniform. If someone wants more volume I would use a teasing powder and lightly tease the natural hair in the top sections of the hair. I always finish with some sort of hairspray to make sure the look stays.


Most of my maternity portrait sessions are held in my West Michigan in-home studio, and it’s so helpful that you travel to us! How should maternity clients prepare for their hair and makeup?

The key to long lasting makeup is 100% using moisturizer and some sort of serum day and night. I also highly recommend dermaplaning several days beforehand to achieve the smoothest canvas as possible. Makeup loves to stick to all the wonderful peach fuzz we get on our face and removing it is helpful, although it is not essential if you are not comfortable with it. I always recommend making sure your brows are cleaned up as well several days prior. Sometimes with waxing and threading it will cause redness and we want to make sure we give our skin enough time for the irritation to go away for the most flawless look.
Hair prep looks different for each stylist. Majority will prefer your hair not be washed the day of and will recommend you wash it the day prior. Dirty hair styles better than clean hair (most of the time) and we have dry shampoo to remove any unnecessary oils. Whatever you do, do NOT show up with wet hair unless advised to do so.


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"Crystal did my Hair & Make up for my Maternity shoot and she did an amazing job! She took her time and made sure everything was done to the finest detail. She was so personable and easy to talk to and made me feel so comfortable and beautiful! Her work was truly flawless. I would highly recommend her and will definitely be hiring her again!" -Jayme

This has all been so helpful!  Do you have anything else you’d like to mention?

One big thing I like to stress to all of my clients is honesty is the best policy. We are not mind readers so if there is something you do not like or want changed, we truly love when someone speaks up on that. You are paying for a service and our end goal is for you to love every aspect of it, so please do not hesitate to let your stylist know if you want anything done differently!

Thanks so much, Crystal!  If you’d like to see more from Crystal at C-Style Beauty, you can find her here.

And if you’re ready to book your maternity, newborn or family portraits, drop me a line at ellie@photoellieb.com . We can’t wait to work with you!


Ellie B Photography
Fine Art Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Family Portraits
Grand Rapids | Kalamazoo | West Michigan


I’m Ellie, and I specialize in maternity photography and newborn photography here in the Grand Rapids area.

Whether you’re welcoming a new member of the family, or want to capture the essence of your crew in this very moment, I know how important these photographs are. My goal is to leave you with beautiful, timeless images and an experience you’ll never forget.  From tailoring your session to fit your vision, to delivering stunning, heirloom products, I’ll help guide you every step of the way.