Bridal Makeup

Choosing Where to Get Ready – DIY Wedding Tips from Spokane Wedding Photographer, Zach Nichols

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Shasta Hankins Makeup Studio

Choosing Where to Get Ready – DIY Wedding Tips from Spokane Wedding Photographer, Zach Nichols

Hello! My name is Zach Nichols and I am a Spokane Wedding Photographer. This coming season will be my fourth year in the wedding industry and so far I have had the immense privilege to photograph over 100 weddings to date, 36 of those being last year alone! Today I hope to share some DIY wedding tips on how to choose a great place to get ready for brides who are not doing so in a salon or makeup studio.

It is becoming increasingly rare for brides to get makeup and hair done at salons and makeup studios. I cannot tell you how many getting-ready photos I have taken in homes, hotel rooms, “getting-ready rooms” at venues, and even bathrooms. I’ve certainly seen a bit of it all. Though rooms and locations created specifically for getting hair and makeup done are generally better than those that are not, I want to provide a few helpful tips for the best photos and final product regardless of the location. It really comes down to one key component, light. 

Believe it or not, all light is NOT created equal. The first thing you want to do when picking a room to get ready in is evaluate the lighting. Though make-up artists can, and oftentimes do, come prepared with a light, I would encourage you not to rely on them alone. To better explain what to look for, I want to do something that might seem a bit odd and explain the different types of lighting from best to absolute worst. 

The best type of light is hands down, natural light. There is nothing better than taking photos in a well-lit room where no artificial light is needed. I would always recommend the room that has the most natural light available. I cannot tell you how many times I have walked into a room where a bride is getting her makeup done using overhead incandescent lighting with beautiful window light on the other side of the room or just behind her. When possible, turn off the artificial lighting and go with the beautiful window light! 

So maybe there are not many windows or it is cloudy outside and there is not enough natural light to get your makeup done. I get it, and this is totally fine! At this point, artificial lighting becomes a necessity. The best light in this circumstance is a makeup light or lights that mimic the color of the sun. Makeup lights mimic the color of the sun very closely and are not overly yellow (like incandescents) or blue (like fluorescents or some LEDs). This makes the photos come out more natural and also makes a makeup artist’s job so much easier. It is no wonder then why many of the best makeup artists in Spokane use them when outside of the makeup studio. 

Ok so now onto more difficult situations.. What if neither option is available? At this point you really just have two options: go with the light you have, or go outside. I have been at locations where there were not any great options for lighting. We went with what was there and it turned out just fine. So long as the make-up artist can see and can do their job with the light available, that is all that really matters. Photographers have ways of correcting lighting to look more natural or provide their own light (via flash or other methods). There is no need to worry so long as your photographer knows what they are doing! 

Lastly, I have (though only a few times) come across situations where the light inside where the bride planned on getting ready was in all honesty terrible, and it was the ONLY option. Let’s just say that basements and bunk rooms are not great places for getting ready… If the available lighting is awful and dark, keep in mind that you can go outside to get your makeup done. This of course depends on the weather but it is a great option and one I have employed with makeup artists on a few occasions with brides. 

I hope that this article helps you plan where you might want to get ready on your wedding day. I do want to make it known that not all wedding photographers or makeup artists offer suggestions or bring lighting. However, if you choose to hire a great makeup artist like Shasta for your wedding, she will take great care of you and provide you with not only the most optimal lighting, but also an incredible makeup experience. I have worked with her many many times and she always does a great job in every aspect of her work. On the topic of photos, if you would like to see some of my work, feel free to check out my website. If you have any questions about this article or anything photography related feel free to reach out to me! I hope you have a great day and an incredible wedding experience! 


Zach Nichols, Spokane Wedding Photographer

Fall Makeup and Hair Styling Event

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Shasta Hankins, local Makeup Artist and Rachel Beck, Spokane Glam Hair Stylist, are teaming up together to create a fun evening of Fall beauty tips, hair styling (beachy waves and braids) event on Tuesday, September 10th from 4:00-6:30pm. Learn from the Pros! We want you to feel confident creating the looks on your own at home. Leave with a fabulous Swag Bag to take home and enjoy!

Tickets are $25 per person in advance or at the door. Please RSVP by contacting Shasta at or 208-301-2450. Seating is limited.

Our September Fall Beauty Event is geared towards beauty education and ALL ladies are welcome to attend!

Shasta Hankins named 2017 Best Make Up Artist in Spokane

// Author: Shasta // 0 Comments Top Make Artist 2017 Shasta’s goal is to connect people with the best local experts. We scored makeup artists on more than 25 variables across five categories, and analyzed the results to give you a hand-picked list of the best makeup artists in Spokane, Washington. picked Shasta Hankins for Best Make Up Artist in Spokane for 2017.  Here is their write up:

“Shasta Hankins Makeup is based in Spokane and serves clients in the surrounding area. Hankins comes from a theater makeup background and has been working as a makeup artist for more than a decade. She specializes in both airbrush and traditional makeup, offering services for weddings, commercial photo shoots, and theatrical productions, working extensively with the INB Performing Arts Center in Spokane. She has won a WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Award every year for the past seven years.”

Airbrush Makeup vs. Traditional

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Probably the question I get asked the most is about the differences and benefits of airbrush makeup vs traditional makeup. There is a lot of misinformation about the true advantages of airbrushing.

I have over 15 years in both traditional and airbrush makeup.  I don’t want to start a debate on which is better.  Each styles has it’s place and time.   However, your wedding day is a completely different, unique and special event and so are those high definition wedding photos you will cherish for a lifetime.  Because of this, you want the method that is the best for this special event, long lasting and in my opinion, that is airbrushing.

Yes, airbrushing can cost more; however, on your special day the additional cost of airbrushed makeup is really small in the grand scope of wedding costs.  When you take into account all of the advantages which an experienced, professional airbrush makeup artist can provide you, you will agree that it is the best choice.  Some of these advantages include:  goes on light, even, natural, waterproof, holds much longer in any type of weather especially hot and looks fantastic in your high definition wedding photos.

Check out the articles below which provide excellent explanations and the pros and cons (if any) of airbrushing vs traditional makeup.  If you have any questions about this or want to set up a trial run to experience these benefits yourself, please feel free to contact me.

Airbrush Makeup VS Regular Makeup ALL BRIDES MUST READ!

Airbrush Makeup – Is it worth it?

Photo credit Eugene Michael Photography

Makeup By Shasta




Bridal Elegance Show by Spokane Club

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I warmly invite all brides-to-be to attend the Club’s Bridal Elegance Show, hosted by their amazing Bridal Consultant, Jackie Kiley on February 20, 2015 from 5-8pm. Visit me, Shasta Hankins Airbrush Makeup, and other premier vendors to get great ideas and inspiration for every aspect of your wedding day, while enjoy delicious appetizers and sparkling refreshments.

The setting for the show is the Spokane Club, one of the most beautiful venues in town. Their rooms, and services, are the essence of classic elegance and affordable luxury. And the perfect place for a perfect bridal show!

There is no charge for Club members. The Cost is only $7 for non-members.
Reserve today at 509.459.4237spokaneclubbridalshow