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Ask an Expert: Mamie Hardo

Ask an Expert: Mamie Hardo Image 1

Mamie Hardo has over 30 years of experience, having started her makeup business in 1982. To this very day, she is still considered as one of the most-wanted vendors to book, especially for traditional Javanese brides. Learn about her craft and traditional bridal makeup through the questions we've compiled here.

Q: What kind of cultural services can you do?
Actually, I can do all kinds of makeup, from traditional to modern. For the cultural ceremony itself, I would say that I am an expert on Javanese bridal ceremonies.

Q: How do you choose the most suitable type of paes for a Javanese bride?
There are a few factors that I usually consider. First, I would look at the bride's family roots to see whether she should follow the Solo or Yogyakarta tradition. Then, I ask the bride about her preferences and the kind of look she wants to have. To avoid any mistakes, I then recommend the look that is suitable for her facial features and personality.

Q: What is the meaning behind Javanese bridal makeup?
Every step of a Javanese traditional ceremony contains good meanings. Generally, everything contains prayers and hopes for the couple to have a happy life, filled with the blessing and grace of God. Paes is not merely makeup, it is filled with particular meanings and hopes for the bride and groom. Once married, both husband and wife must always remember their roles, be introspective, and manage their household responsibly.

Q: Do you have any rituals for brides before the wedding?
A bride should be able to control her worldly desires, meaning that she must calm herself and always pray so that her wedding will run smoothly. One way to do this is by fasting one week before the wedding. The most important thing for a bride is to maintain her physical and spiritual health. Brides should stop having beauty treatments at least one month before the wedding day to avoid any rashes and skin sensitivity. A healthy body helps brides glowing and look beautiful from the inside. It's important to pay attention to the products and techniques used during makeup application to make sure that the bridal makeup stays neat and pretty until the end of the wedding.

Q: How do I add a modern touch to my traditional bridal look?
I would recommend sticking to the original traditions, especially if your wedding includes a sacred ceremony. If it doesn't have any ceremonial processions, the look can be more modern, adapted to the bride's requests. Sometimes, brides want to have a classic and simple traditional look. It's possible to choose an attire that follows the latest trends that are popular at the moment, creating a chic mix of classic and modern. Note that the paes itself shouldn't be modified in any terms.

Q: How do I find a good traditional makeup artist?
You should look for a makeup artist who fully understands about the ceremonial wedding traditions of your culture, especially you don't know that much about traditions.

Q: How do I combine two different cultures into one wedding?
The key is to maintain consistency of the overall look, from the makeup to the traditional attire. The best way is to organize a fair division and decide which and when to use these particular traditions, with the agreement of both parties.

Q: Seeing today's modern wedding trends, do you feel worried that people will start to forget about traditional wedding ceremonies?
Absolutely not! I am happy to see that a lot of people are interested in improving beauty. As far I can see, many brides still prefer a traditional look, since it gives them a sacred and elegant impression.

Q: Are there any particular makeup tricks for brides wearing hijab?
Actually, the process is the same. First, I apply makeup, and then focus more on the hijab and attire. To make the makeup last longer, I apply some finishing touches at the end.

Q: Is it hard to clean traditional makeup? What products do you recommend to make it easier?
It depends on the makeup artist's technique and the quality of the beauty products. But you can usually clean your face easier with a good makeup remover and tissue or cotton pads.

Q: When is the best time to book your services?
Some people have been lucky to get a date three months before. But to be safe, I recommend you to book a date one year before the wedding day, as I don't accept double bookings in one day. I limit my services to four weddings per month since brides usually book for the entire day.

Q: Based on your experience, what common beauty mistakes do brides tend to do?
In this age of social media, so many brides become control freaks who try to organize everything on their wedding day. Even during makeup application, they feel anxious and try to monitor every single thing. By preparing before the event and delegating tasks to other people, brides can just concentrate on enjoying the moment.

Q: Besides being a makeup artist, what kind of role do you take during a wedding ceremony?
A traditional makeup artist has many roles, not just to make the bride look pretty. The most important thing is making sure that the traditional ceremony also runs well. She must guide the bride and groom, as well as their family members, in embracing traditions on their special day.

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