Story and photography by Katie Melynn
“The first wedding that I went to, I knew that I was right where I needed to be. Doing makeup is fun, but I fell in love with the wedding industry as well. Family and friends are coming together for people that they love. You’re getting to do what you love in the best environment ever.”
For Krystal Cutlip and the team at KC Artistry, that includes breathtaking venues with beautiful lighting filled with love and laughter. A specialty bridal glam squad, the team at KC Artistry arrives with everything that the bride needs to feel special on her wedding day. Unrolling and unpacking makeup kits, hair styling tools, specialized lighting to get the best application, and chairs for the bridal party, Cutlip gets to work.
When she started as a makeup artist in 2016, Cutlip was part of a small niche in the wedding industry. Specializing in makeup, she was part of a team and freelanced on her own. She had always been interested in makeup from a young age, but gaining experience in such a specialized industry took time and a lot of work.
“I always knew that I wanted to do makeup, however, back in high school there was no instagram and makeup was not widely known as a career opportunity like it is now,” she said.
From sitting alongside her mother at her vanity getting dolled up to picking out her first custom palette in 8th grade, Cutlip reveled in the chance to learn more and develop as an artist as she learned.
“I was drawn to it from the confidence that it gives p
eople and the creativity that you can have with it.”
After seeing their eyes light up as they prepared to walk down the aisle, Cutlip decided to branch out on her own. She started KC Artistry, LLC in 2019, specializing in long-wearing airbrush makeup. Even though certification courses were only available in New York City and Los Angeles, Cutlip knew that this knowledge would be the best thing for humid Maryland summers.
“Traditional makeup starts to separate as brides are outside taking photos,” she said. “But airbrush lasts 24 hours, is waterproof and is transfer-resistant.”
As demand for her services grew, Cutlip added hair to her offerings and put together an entire glam team, all under the KC Artistry umbrella. This helps brides know that they’re taken care of without having to reach out to countless artists trying to arrange availability and contracts.
“I’ve already done the vetting for the bride,” Cutlip said.
This includes interviewing, training and education, and product checks, all under one contract and with one central booking agent.
“This is really important to brides, not having to hire two or more separate people with different contracts and policies. Plus, they don’t have to worry about a vendor canceling at the last minute because we have a whole team of professionals.”
Connecting with clients is also an important aspect of KC Artistry’s approach. While getting the bridal party ready, Cutlip and her team spend hours with the bride and those closest to her. They often see brides that they worked with in the past at the weddings of family and friends, catching up like old friends. Sharing updates on what children are up to and reminiscing over special memories from their special day are common .
“I like to really get close with our clients and build a professional relationship with them,” said Cutlip. “It can be fun and relaxing and enjoyable.”
Some of the most memorable and rewarding moments come when brides see themselves in a new light.
“When you have a bride cry because they’ve never looked at themselves and felt the way that they feel after you’ve done their makeup, those are the best moments.”
Cutlip recently had a grandmother join the bridal party to get her makeup done. She was used to having a full face of makeup when leaving the house but hadn’t been able to do it on her own.
“She couldn’t see as well and hadn’t been able to do her makeup in six months or so,” said Cutlip. “When she looked at herself, she started crying. She said that she never thought she would look this beautiful again. It’s those scenarios where I think about how much I love what I do.”
For glam inspiration or to book Cutlip and her team for an upcoming event, follow KC Artistry on social media @kcartistry_ or visit the website www.kcartistrymakeupartist.com.