“Behind the Scenes”
A series of interviews with the vendors who bring wedding dreams to life.
Oscar is well known for beautifying brides for their big day.
Learn more about him, his services, and see his work.
How did you get into the South Asian wedding market?
I was already in the makeup industry. I used to work at Mac at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, CA. The owner of Ziba Beauty was a customer there. I did her makeup once and the rest is history. I have been with Ziba ever since. I am based in LA’s “Little India” in Artesia and work all over California.
How many South Asian weddings do you do per year?
About 80-100; sometimes in one weekend I can do 3 brides. I can do all of the events – mehndi, sangeet, wedding and reception. For the reception I offer a whole, brand new look. I recommend brides completely wash their face and take a shower so they’re refreshed – and we start all over again. It costs more but – it’s your wedding day!
Describe your artistic process.
I have to become friends with the bride. For me, it’s about the whole experience for her. I make her laugh. We talk about the husband and probably ex’s too! 🙂 I want her to feel relaxed and happy and forget about all stress.
I like to figure out her personality. And I match looks to her personality – if she’s quiet or very outgoing and I like to know her hobbies, where she likes to go on the weekend. I don’t believe in just bringing a photo of someone who’s nothing like you and say “make me look like this”. It won’t look good – the makeup has to fit her personality. I talk to the aunties and make them laugh too. I’ve learned a lot about Indian culture over the years. I’m Mexican and sometimes, I swear I was born in the wrong country! I know all the bad words in Hindi, Punjabi and Gujarati, hahahaha!
I like to make brides look like an enhanced version of themselves.
Should a bride do a trial?
Yes! Always do a trial. The trial is for the bride to get to know me. What I suggest is use the trial makeup for something like your engagement photos. I’m lucky because a lot of people who come to me already know that they want me to do their makeup so trials are more of a chance for us to get to know each other.
What should a bride keep in mind for her wedding day?
All brides should hire someone to do their makeup. I’m not just saying that because I’m a makeup artist. But at the end of the day, all you have after the wedding is your photos and videos and you want to look good and you want that look to last a lifetime.
I have brides whose weddings I did 10 years ago, tell me that when they look at their photos, they don’t feel like their makeup looks outdated now.
- Hire someone who knows what they’re doing
- What colors are they using?
- They need to understand the colors of the wedding
- They need to know about the decor
- And of course the jewelry you’re going to wear
- Always have a trial
- You have to click with your makeup artist
- The artist should make you feel relaxed and happy
Can you share some of your techniques?
I bring everything and mix all my own colors
I never ask brides to bring their own foundation. I always mix my colors and make the right colors for the brides. No one has just one color on their face. Sections of the skin are darker and lighter all over the face. I take that into consideration when I apply makeup.
I use good products and I don’t put moisturizer on the bride. The reason is, I do a lot of aibrushing and there’s moisture in the air. The foundation comes in contact with that moisture and that’s enough. If we also put moisturizer on the bride’s face, then in 2-3 hours she’ll get shiny. I always use professional powder to finish it.
I have never had a problem with a bride needing a touch up. If anything her nose may get a little shiny and always give a little powder to touch it up. Otherwise the lipstick, eyeshadow – everything stays on really really good. My work is guaranteed for up to 10-15 hours and I’ve never had any complaints.
Testimonial: Ami, Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel
“Oscar did a great job with my makeup. He also knows how to talk to South Asian mothers and he’s very passionate about his job. I definitely recommend doing a make-up trial, preferably combining it with your engagement shoot. This will give you a good feel for what works and doesn’t on your big day.”