These are questions are I get asked most frequently. :-)

Q: So what’s the process? How do I reserve a date with you?
A: Many wedding planning guides will suggest that you book a makeup artist 4 to 6 months out from a wedding. I regularly take bookings 6 months to 1 year out. This does not mean that I have no availability at all, but if you have made the decision that you definitely want me as your makeup artist for your wedding, I recommend contacting me ASAP! Once availability has been confirmed, a consultation/trial can be arranged in order to book your date.

Q: Do you do trials?
A: Yes, makeup (and hair, if applicable) trials are required for brides. Trials are usually held at my home in El Cerrito or if it’s convenient for both parties and if time allows, trials can also be held at Polish On Piedmont Day Spa in Oakland. If you’re in the area, we can also come to you. There might be a travel fee if you’re a bit further away. Our Saturdays are often booked for weddings so trials are encouraged on Sundays or midweek, if we are available. We are usually fully booked 6 to 8 weeks out on weekends but do get rescheduled here and there. So check with us for availabilities. I always recommend doing makeup and hair trials on the same day to get the complete look for your wedding. We can do a few looks during the trial for the wedding and do another look for the engagement photo session. For trials, please set aside about 2 hours for makeup and hair.

NOTE: No holds will be put on dates without a Bridal Contract & Retainer Fee. A booked Bridal Trial with us does not guarantee a hold on wedding dates.

Q: Do I REALLY need a trial before the wedding?
YES!… A trial helps us execute what you have in your mind and we all get on the same page. You may not wear much makeup (or none at all) and think it won't take much. Or if you have a photo/image in mind and want to look just like that image. It's not as easy as it sounds. As much as I can "replicate" a look from a website or a magazine, I still need time to assess your skin, match foundation color, find the right concealer for your skin type, find the right shade of lip color, etc. Many brides usually tell me after the trial that they'd like the eyes lighter/darker, lips more nude/pink/red/etc or that they prefer regular foundation over airbrush. It's all really preference and sometimes it's a bit stressful trying to figure this out the day of... And on the big day, I don't want anyone, especially the bride, make any decisions under stress. A trial also helps me understand what you're looking for. Brides sometimes tell me they want a light/natural makeup but sometimes when I'm done, they may say "Can I get more color?" Sometimes that means more pink around the crease or maybe more brown. What you have in your mind gets hashed out and translated into makeup on your face. That's what happens at the trial. :-) With all that said, I do sometimes make exceptions for brides traveling from out of town but even then, I recommend doing trial… Even if it's 2 days before!

Q: Do you travel to client’s site?
A: Yes! For wedding day preparations, we travel to the bride’s location. There are travel fees for on-location appointments and valet parking at hotel is expected. Hotel/valet arking can be billed to your hotel room or added to the final invoice. We travel to Napa, Sonoma, Sausalito, West Marin, Vallejo, Livermore, Pleasanton, Walnut Creek, San Jose, Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, Palo Alto, Woodside, Half Moon Bay, Foster City and every where in between. For locations that is 2 hours + for driving distances, overnight accomodations are required for each artist/stylist. As a matter of fact, we travel anywhere! We accommodate destination weddings all over the world! We customize packages to fit your needs and budget. Please inquire with us!

Q: How much in advance do you recommend doing the trials?
A: I recommend doing the trial anytime, 3 to 4 months before the wedding. So that it’s relatively fresh on your mind. With all that said, I do recommend doing a trial on the day of the engagement photo shoot. That way, you can see how the makeup turns out with professional photography. You’ll be glad you did this!

Q: How long does the makeup trial last?
A: For a makeup trial, please expect around 1.5 hours to 2 hours. For a combined makeup and hair trial, please expect around 2 hours to 2.5 hours. For actual wedding day, since we hashed out all the makeup (and hair) details at the trial, makeup should take about an hour. I usually provide a detailed schedule for makeup (and hair, if applicable).

Q: How long does it take for general/special events makeup application?
A: For a general makeup application, it takes about 45 min to an hour per face.

Q: Is airbrush makeup that much better than traditional makeup?
A: Check out this FAQ on airbrushing.

Q: Do you do faux (false) lashes?
A: Yes, I do. And the lashes are usually included in the price quoted for both the bride and the bridesmaids. I carry a full line of natural and synthetic lashes, strip and individual, for you to choose from. And yes, I always recommend wearing false lashes for the BIG DAY. :-)

Q: Do you cover tattoos, scars or birthmarks?
A: Yes, I do. Airbrush makeup that I use to cover up/conceal tattoos is smudge proof and waterproof. So that you won't need to worry about if the makeup will transfer onto your dress or on others! Pricing will depend upon the size and color of your tattoo, which we will discuss during the consultation. Please allow extra time for this service.

Q: What kind of products do you use?
A: I use a variety of products including Make Up For Ever, MAC, Urban Decay, Stila, Bobbi Brown, Smashbox, Christian Dior, YSL, as well as some you might not recognize that are formulated for HD film and TV (Kett, Kryolan, Graftobian, Inouvi to name a few).

Q: How long will the makeup last?
A: We only use the highest quality makeup products and brushes. And your makeup will be waterproof and will stay on all day and night. I promise! :-)

Q: Do you do hair?
A: No, I don’t. I’ve trained almost exclusively on makeup artistry and am able to provide 100% of my effort and energy to makeup application. With all that said, I do work some really talented hair stylists for weddings (on my team). I can book makeup and hair as a package! Please email me for more details.

*Side Note: My hair stylists prefer to work with clean hair. So please come to the trial with clean and dry hair. :-)

Q: Do you do large wedding parties?
A: Yes! I can accomodate as many you have in your party… Depending on time constraints and adults that need hair and makeup services, I may bringing in additional artists/stylists to expediate applications. There’s no additional fee for bringing additional makeup artists or hair stylists but we may ask you to cover their travel fees, parking and/or toll and if applicable the early start fee. Of course, we will discuss all the details before signing a bridal makeup and hair contract.

Q: Do you provide group discounts?
A: No, I do not... 

Q: Do you offer Day Rates?
A:  Yes, we do! They start from 8 hours and up.

Q: How do you take payments? Do you take credit cards?
A: Payment may be made by cash or personal check (payable to Julianne Chai). Visa and MasterCard also accepted. An additional 3% fee will be charged for credit card swipe option (3.5% if I have to key in the CC #s). No additional fees for a personal check, though!


• Upon booking Julianne Chai’s makeup services, in order to secure and hold your wedding date, a non-refundable retainer of $300 is required.
• The remaining balance must be paid prior to commencing of service.
• Early start services fees per each artist/stylist (starts at $50 at 8am, fees increase as start time gets earlier):
• Major Holiday Weekend: $100 and up (New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day Weekend, Mothers/Fathers Day, Independence Day, Labor Day) For weddings on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – RATES ARE DOUBLED
• Bride is considered the responsible party for the total fee (herself and her party) of the purchased package on the day of the event.
• Payment may be made by cash or personal check (payable to Julianne Chai). Visa and MasterCard also accepted. Credit card option is at the last page of this contract. Additional transaction fee of 3% will be charged for the credit card option. No additional fees for a personal check.
•  All rates are subject to change without notice. No holds will be put on dates without a Signed Contract & Retainer Fee. A booked Bridal Trial does not hold or secure wedding dates.

Hope this answers your questions? If not, please feel free to contact me at