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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Q&A with Fort Thomas Makeup Artist Nancy Dawson

Did you know we had one of the most well-known makeup artist in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky wedding market right here in Fort Thomas? Nancy Dawson is the founder, owner and lead artist of BRIDEface, an onsite bridal artistry and makeup coaching business.

From what I've seen and heard around the community, her approach and airbrushing technique is to die for, so I was excited to learn she was interested in sitting down to share some insights with us! Without further ado...

What are the top five beauty items every woman should own?

1. An eyelash curler
2. A killer mascara
3. Undereye concealer
4. A great shade of lipstick
5. A brow mascara and/or brow pencil 

We just so happen to have our own signature brow line, as I have a passion for eyebrows.

Is there one shade of lipstick every woman can pull off?

The color of the year is RadiantOrchid and I am finding that almost everyone looks amazing in it! Try FACEing gloss in “TWSS” (that’s what she said) or lipstick in “hussy”…or wear together!

What beauty products would we find in your purse?

Laura Mercier powder foundation
Benefit “hervana” blush
FACEing gloss

What's one of the coolest experiences you've had as a makeup artist?

I worked under celebrity makeup artist Laura Mercier, who created iconic looks for Madonna, J-Lo, Celine Dion and Linda Evangelista. This was actually during my very early years as an artist, so I was extremely spoiled by having that level of training at that time. 

What do you love the most about being a makeup artist? 

Well…I often think that lipgloss and lashes are the very least of what I do. I’m therapist, clairvoyant and best girlfriend wrapped into an artist. So many women I meet are in need of more than a pretty face for the evening…they need a self esteem boost and they also want to know how to recreate what I’ve done.

Where are your favorite places to gather inspiration when it comes to beauty looks?

I always scour the New York Fashion Week coverage, and of course The Red Carpet always dictates what we see on The Bridal Aisle!

Tell us about the airbrushing process that you use. What's the advantage of airbrushing over other makeup application techniques?

Airbrush applies to the skin in a pixillated method that is easily “read” by hi definition filming. It also has great breathability, because it is like a mesh over your face as opposed to a mask. This makes for greater longevity and a lighter feel and look. You get the illusion of flawless skin without the cakey feel.

What do you love about being part of the Fort Thomas community? 

My clients adore the charm of the area. We moved here from Covington about a year ago and love the coziness of our studio, the ample parking and the feel of the neighborhood.

TheFACEing class concept is so intriguing. Do you offer group makeup classes in Fort Thomas or do you travel to people's homes?

The majority of our classes are at our studio, but we can come to your home for an additional fee. We work with the products you own as well as recommended products in a variety of price points. Our approach is unique, because we have no agenda to sell you products like the department stores do. We can do one-on-one lessons, duo classes (our most popular) or classes for up to six people.

How far in advance do people need to book their appointments or class?

Weddings typically book about a year to a year in a half in advance for the super popular dates, but Sundays and Fridays and dates during winter months tend to be a closer time frame.We have a team of ten artists, so we are able to accommodate large parties and multiple events over one weekend. Classes are by appointment and we do a lot of Sunday afternoons and weekday evenings.

A very special thanks to Nancy for sitting down to share with us! I am personally looking forward to recruiting a few friends to try her FACEing class with me. 

Read more from Simply Sarah Style: 


  1. Wonderful article! Just want to say that Nancy is THE best - make-up artist, thoughtful person, etc.! And she's cool. Hope you're lucky enough that she/her team can "do" the make-up for your event!

  2. Great article and feature, Sarah! I would love go to a FACEing class with you!

  3. Can we talk about her AWESOME lip bracelet? She seems so neat! Great article Sarah!

  4. Thanks, Laura! It is an awesome bracelet.

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