Julie Marckisotto Pittsburgh Makeup

Today’s featured Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor is Makeup Artist Julie Marckisotto.

You’ve been in the makeup business a long time (you look way too young for it to really be 20 years!). When did you first know this was what you wanted to do?

Haha thank you! I went to beauty school right out of high school. I always had an interest in it, honestly, as I kid I would give friends makeovers all the time and was always doing something creative and artistic. I went to school for hair, which I do enjoy, but makeup seemed to come so naturally to me. My mom was a big influence on me for this as well, I would always sneak into all of her stuff as a kid.

In addition to weddings, you also do makeup for commercial projects, TV, fashion shows, and more. How is your approach different for weddings, as far as preparation, supplies, and time?

To me doing makeup for weddings vs. commercial work is really night and day. It’s a totally different thing as far as what you bring on location and each job takes a lot of planning ahead and thought prior.  For commercial shoots, I also bring along a hair kit and a ton of other random things that we may need on set.   With weddings, it’s just makeup and I try to streamline my kit as much as possible for this.  A lot of times there can be hardly any space to work out of, so having everything tight and organized is crucial. For commercial work there can be more down-time in between as well, where at weddings there are times I work for up to 4-hours straight doing makeup for girl after girl and it’s constant hustle.  I like them equally but I also like that they are different too if that makes sense!

Is a trial run a must do for brides?

I think if it fits in the bride’s schedule and budget, they should definitely do one. It’s nice to meet ahead, plan the look and just get a feel for everything.  On the wedding day, we can just get to it since we already have a game plan.  I do a lot of weddings without one, but it is definitely my preference to meet ahead if possible!

Do most brides come in with a specific idea of what they want? If they’re unsure, or have no idea, how do you help guide them to determine the right look?

Julie Marckisotto Pittsburgh MakeupEveryone is really so different. Some have pictures and a really clear picture of what they want.  Some just say – you are the expert, do your thing! I always sit with my brides first and chat to see what their vision is for their makeup.  This to me is the most important part of the preview session. If they don’t wear a ton of makeup in real life, last thing I want to do is give them a dramatic smokey eye. I think taking the time to look at pictures and just get a feel for their overall style is important. I send them a preview session sheet prior to their appointment and one thing I mention is going on Pinterest and picking out some makeup looks that they like.  I take into consideration our talk, their eye shape and all of that to come up with something that fits them perfectly!

Can you describe how makeup trends have changed in the past few years?

I’d say less is more with makeup right now.  With so many products that combine benefits [like BB and CC creams] you don’t need as many products to achieve a beautiful look. I love products like the NARS Multiple — you can use on eyes, cheeks and lips.  With people being so busy and on the go, it’s nice when you can do various things with one product.  When I look back to the way I even wore my own makeup, I was younger but wore so much more. Dark lip liner, heavy eye makeup – I think the world has come a long way with makeup for sure, thank God.

What are some of the biggest challenges you face on a wedding day, and what strategies do you have to overcome them? (space, time, light, personalities)

You definitely hit on some challenges for sure. Space – it can be tough.  Especially if hair is being done in same room/area. I always have a folding table in my car for those times where I may only have a small table provided to me at a venue.

Time – I work with my brides and tell them honestly how much time I will need. I sometimes bring an assistant for larger wedding parties and at this point, I know how much time I will need based on the number of people they have signed up ahead of time for makeup.  I always tell my brides, I need no less than ONE HOUR with you! It’s your day and I want to get you done at the beginning and then wrap around to you again at the end for touch-ups. I never ever wait to do the bride last. I want the makeup to have time to set-up and then touch them up before I leave them for the day.

Light – thank God for my Glamcor travel light – I use this thing at so many venues.  Great lighting is ideal, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen, especially at older hotels, so this light saves me!

Personalities – well, it is life. You have different personalities everywhere in life, I am pretty laid back and for the most part I just have experience with every sort of person. For someone who is nervous to have makeup done, I would rather have them have their makeup done after other people, this way they can see I am not going to make them look like a clown (if I only have a nickel for every time I have heard that). Makeup is a creative process, so it is important that the client is at ease and trusts you. This at times isn’t easy, but I like to think I am calming and really try to make each client feel good about getting in my chair.

As a wedding day artist, you are likely to end up in your clients’ wedding photos and videos! What do you wear?

Haha that is great question because I often think about this.  I almost always wear black/grey. As a wedding vendor, I think it always looks professional and it blends well with the videos and pictures. I try not to be too flashy, but my normal day to day wardrobe is quite neutral!

What are some common misconceptions brides have about wedding makeup?

That they need a lot more makeup for pictures. I can get a really pretty natural look without packing it on. As long as you highlight the face well and know how makeup translates to photos, brides can still look and feel like yourself walking down the aisle without going overboard. Also – this is really important but there are so many different eye shapes.  What a smoky eye looks like on Kim K. may not translate exactly the same to your eyes. I always encourage my brides to pick out makeup from people who share the same qualities as them – deep set eyes, coloring, etc. Brides should always do their homework when hiring a Makeup Artist too – make sure you love their work online, they have positive reviews from past clients and do a trial ahead of time if you have any doubts!

If you weren’t a makeup artist, what other career would you like to try?

Julie Marckisotto Pittsburgh Makeup

Either a baker (I’d love to have my own bakery/coffee shop) or really random – something to do with forensics. I find that so fascinating!

What do you see next for yourself?

Even though I’ve been in the industry for a while, I still feel like I am only getting started…there is so much more I want to do! I am excited to be in a new studio space and feel like it is a new beginning for great things to come. I will be incorporating retail which I am so excited about…in the studio and soon, an online boutique. My latest labor of love is having my own makeup brand … {PM} Studio Cosmetics. I do several makeup lessons a month so I just felt having my own line was the next step for me! It will be nice to have products on hand for my brides and makeup lesson appointments to test out. And if they want to buy anything, they won’t have to hunt around at various stores and websites. Plus when it’s time to resupply, they can buy from my online store and save themselves a trip.

Lightning round of randomness!

Do you have a favorite venue?

I have two – the Mansion at Maple Heights and Lingrow Farm. Both so different but really enjoy going to both for different reasons.

Favorite restaurant(s)?

Locally, I love Bravo and Pasqualino’s in Murrysville, close to where I live.

Favorite coffee shop?

It was Peet’s in Southside but they closed! I hate to admit it but probably Starbucks – I wish there was something a little more quaint near me.

Favorite place in Pittsburgh to go for a walk?

There is an amazing trail that my husband and I go for walk and bike on. It’s near my house and breathtaking in the fall.

Favorite vacation spot?

Lake Chautauqua in NY, we go there several times a year.

Thank you, Julie!

Julie Marckisotto
Pittsburgh Makeup
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Christina Montemurro Photography specializes in photographing Pittsburgh weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs. Using a photojournalistic approach, Christina provides extraordinary attention to detail and customer service. Contact Christina now to check availability for your engagement session, wedding, bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah. Christina has been rated among top Pittsburgh wedding photographers. You can read reviews by Christina’s past brides and grooms here and here. Some of Christina’s favorite venues include the Carnegie Museum, Heinz History Center, Edgewood Club, Edgewood Country Club, Hotel Monaco, Omni William Penn Hotel, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Sheraton Pittsburgh Hotel at Station Square, PNC Park and Twelve Oaks Mansion.


Christina is also available to shoot weddings in Bucks County, including Doylestown, Chalfont, New Hope, Yardley, Newtown, Warminster, Warrington, Bedminster and Pipersville.