We had the pleasure of sitting down with Alexandria Dixon, owner of Ms Painted Lady. She is a makeup artist and hair stylist located in the Dallas area. We worked with Alex many times, she listens to her clients' needs and is able to create a unique twist to every look.
Priya: Hi Alex! It’s so great to talk to you today. Before we get started, how did you get into the beauty industry?
Alex: I started in the beauty industry as a model. I did my own makeup and hair for shoots and runway looks when they were short of makeup artists. I saw how this art form translated on screen and I was hooked. I worked with MAC Cosmetics and got certified in 3 levels. This led to many career advancements. Eventually, MySpace portfolio caught the attention of Pakistani bride! After our trial, she hired me; and the timeless yet edgy look we created is still referred to by my brides to this day.
Priya: What are the best resources for makeup looks and hairstyles?
Alex: Pinterest is an excellent resource for brides. An excellent resource for makeup and hair inspiration is Pinterest, South Asian Bridal Magazine, Maharani Weddings, and on Instagram research #DallasMua #DallasMakeupArtist #IndianBride and of course #MsPaintedLady.
During the consultation process, I tell brides to think about how they want their looks to be remembered. But, they still need to keep in mind about versatility and range, especially with South Asian events.
I think most women get nervous because they are not sure what suits them. I always explain to them to focus what comes through the heart. My job is to worry about the technical aspect. This is where I ask investigative questions and break down what some feel is difficult to translate.
Also, another critical factor is to have all the garments and jewelry available. This gives me an indication of where to take this look. It allows me to bring more decisiveness to the table. And I can then tell the bride her options to help harness her ideas and fuse them into perfection.
Priya: What skin care recommendations do you have for brides-to-be?
Alex: I recommend a half gallon to a gallon of water per day no exceptions! This is the #1 key to perfect skin. I do give assessments of the bride's skin during the trial process so I can guide them in the right direction. If not, I refer them out to an aesthetician who specializes in the field.
My favorite recommendations is a hydrafacial or micro needling for my brides. If any bride is in the Dallas area, I love Vitae Med Spa. They are the best!
Priya: Mehendi is a huge component for any South Asian bride. Any manicure tips that you would like to share?
Alex: I am indeed not the nail expert. I do however enjoy a pretty polished nail with a good mehndi. I recommend Next Gen nail because it's scratch resistant and durable. You can use your natural nail or add a tip. I think a good read or even a blush pink.
Be careful of doing opaque whites as mehndi and pithi stain and turn almost neon yellow in color!
Priya: I can’t forget about the men. What skin routines do you recommend for the groom?
Alex: Groom regimens! Great question! Lots' of water consumption. Regular maintenance routine (cleanse, tone moisturize). Maybe exfoliate and do an occasional sheet mask once a week and he should be okay.
Many grooms do like to get a little touch up the day of. They too should feel they look their best! Harsh stage lights and camera flash can read transparent on their skin next to a flawless bride.
I think for the day off, a little color correcting foundation, press a little concealer on where needed, set with translucent powder, and set with spray!
Priya: Finally, how does a bride choose a makeup artist right for them?
Alex: You know, I have spoken to a lot of women on their biggest regrets going with other artists. Their main one is they hired the artist based on their prices being cost effective to their budget.
Now, this I understand as weddings have taken on a life of their own and can run a fortune. I think when selecting any vendor the most important thing to look for is the feeling they give you. Do they seem to value your business and ideas? Are they considerate in how they speak to you and good with response time?
I say go with a vendor who has integrity. For example, if a makeup artist uses Photoshop on their Instagram images, they should ensure they are forthcoming about that.
Go with vendors who understand what you desire so they can bring those ideas to the forefront without stressing you out about every detail. These are the people who can improvise on your behalf. Someone excited to create that magical concept with you! I always say I would never send my bride down an aisle unless I were proud to wear that look. True story.
There are a few aspects you will get when you hire me as your bridal makeup and hair artist.
1. Professionalism. Integrity. Respect. Priority. Gratitude. Sincerity.
2. Organization, Management, Communication
3. A bodyguard, a friendly reminder to eat and drink water, a friend, a confidant.
I always say I am with you in the calm before the storm. It is essential to ensure the artist you hire feels like she is in your corner alongside you. Not that she is a diva with an ego out to prove something.
I love my work. I feel this is something I created years ago when there was demand but no one to step up. Although scary at the time, I am so happy to have had the courage and faith to take the leap; and am beyond grateful to all my clients who have chosen Ms Painted Lady to make them into a bride.
Priya: I love that. It is so important to feel connected with the vendors you choose. We sometimes get so wrapped around the cost, we forget about how important it is to have a connection. Weddings can be stressful, and it is most important to have good people on your side.
Thank you so much Alex! It was so great to talk to you today. I hope we can do this again soon!
If you have not checked out Alex’s page of Ms Painted Lady, here is the link. I promise it won’t disappoint!