Meet Vanesa Oliver, owner of Vanesa Oliver Beauty, from Bethlehem, Pa. When it comes to wedding hair and makeup, each bride has a very specific look that she desires for her wedding day. Vanesa specializes in timeless and natural looks that showcase the natural beauty of the bride. We are honored to have her in the Adore family, and are excited to share her insight with you.
How did you get started in this business?
I grew up in the salon in a way since my mom does hair as well. Growing up, I was a real tomboy but I always loved the beauty world. I took cosmetology in my high school. With that I graduated with my diploma and my license at 17 years old and have been doing this ever since. It’s all I know, and it’s all I can see myself doing for the rest of my life.
What are some of your favorite aspects of your business?
I love seeing the reactions when the bride and her bridesmaids look in the mirror once we’re all done with their hair and makeup. When they get teary eyed and say its perfect. The girls on my team and I strive to make sure our clients are happy and love their hair and makeup. We write everything down from the trial that they liked or didn’t like to make sure it’s perfect the day of the wedding. I also love that I have an awesome team of artists that I work with. They are talented and reliable and help bring the positive energy to all the weddings we do.
What is one of your hobbies?
I was a professional salsa dancer at one point in life, but now I just dance socially. That is actually what my first date with my fiance was. We had a nice sushi dinner and then salsa danced the night away.
What is your favorite movie and/or book genre?
I enjoy a good comedy any day. Bridesmaids is hilarious, Old Jim Carrey movies, and of course Stepbrothers. I can also watch Titanic, The Notebook and Selena over and over again and not get bored.
What song/music is in heavy rotation for you right now?
I am a proud Latina and a heavy salsa lover. So, anything from The Legends of The Fania Allstars is amazing. But, I do tend to rap along to Cardi B at times.
What is your favorite season and why?
The fall. I love when the trees change colors and pumpkin flavor becomes a “thing”. Jeans and cool boots and comfy scarves with a cup of delicious coffee in hand to keep you warm. And of course, being a makeup artist, I love halloween. It’s the day where we can step out of our box and create fun looks for the holiday.
What is your favorite part of a wedding?
I love when the bride is all done up and ready to go in her dress. Then when she presents herself to her family or fiance for the first time and everyone sheds tears and gets so excited. It’s fun and romantic and sometimes funny to see everyones’ reactions. It’s also a confidence boost to the bride for her to see everyone loving everything about how she looks before she walks down the aisle.
What is your fondest wedding memory-either from your wedding, if you are married, or from a wedding you attended?
I actually just worked a wedding not too long ago and we were finishing up getting the girls ready when the bride’s mom and aunts came in and surprised her with her grandma’s pearls for her to wear. The grandmother had just passed away so it was a very emotional moment where everyone was in tears. We were wiping tears away too.
What brought you to the Lehigh Valley?
My fiance. I am a Jersey girl that fell in love with a Pennsylvanian and now we live happily in Bethlehem.
What is your favorite restaurant to eat at in the Lehigh Valley? Your favorite dish to order?
We actually eat out a lot! It’s so hard to choose but the Macaroni and Cheese from The Bayou is aammmaazziinnggg.
What is your best advice for a couple planning their wedding?
Start early, take your time, and focus on one thing at a time. There’s a lot that goes into planning a wedding and if you leave everything until the last minute you’ll find yourself scrambling to get things done, wont be able to book the people you wanted, and stress over everything. Also don’t forget that it’s your wedding. People will always have opinions on things but do what makes you and your fiance happy.
What is a common mistake you see couples make while planning a wedding?
Forgetting what it’s all about. Yes, most women dream about the perfect wedding and get all wrapped up to make it happen but then forget what it represents. Two people in love, coming together ready to spend the rest of their lives together.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Spending it with family and close friends. I grew up in a very tight nit family so some of my favorite childhood memories was hanging out in the backyard with all my cousins. Especially now that I moved to PA I try to take advantage of weekends we have free to either go to Jersey to hang out with them or have them come here and show them the cool things we have here in the Lehigh Valley. I also enjoy working out at CrossFit and baking and eating what I baked lol.
What does the perfect day look like to you?
A day I don’t have to clean or cook lol. I love waking up early and getting a good workout in. Early fall weather is my favorite to hang out on our porch with my fiance and a nice glass of wine. Pizza dinners make me happy. A nice hot bath at the end of the day is always great, also accompanied by a nice glass of wine.
Do you have an embarrassing wedding moment? That happened to you/or that you observed?
I once attended a wedding where the DJ never showed up. He had the wrong date written down so we all had dinner in silence and then went home. PLEASE do your research on who you hire and always triple check that all your information on your contracts are correct.
What do you wish couples knew about your part of the wedding industry?
I feel like a lot of times brides don’t think we are as important as their photographer or venue for example. We are usually one of the last vendors that are booked and lately have gotten replaced by the friend who watches a lot of youtube videos and can do it for less. We are professional artists with certifications and licenses behind our names. We’ve dedicated time and money on learning how to make your skin look fabulous on camera and not super cakey and heavy in person and making sure your curls or updo stays perfect all night long. We are just as important as the other vendors and take what we do very seriously.
Is there anything else you would like our couples to know about you/your business?
My focus and my style in what I do is bringing out the natural beauty in my brides. I love glamming up my brides for such an important day but still letting their skin breathe and having them still feel like themselves and feel comfortable and confident in their look while they walk down the aisle. One of my favorite things is when the husband to be compliments our work and thanks us for not hiding their wives beauty but actually enhancing it. We are professional and serious about what we do and we will bring that joy and positivity with us to all our weddings because we truly do love what we do.
What is the best way for a couple to prepare to meet with you?
I would say either a phone call or email. I know we all have hectic schedules and sometimes it’s hard to reach out so even a text message can work in the beginning and then we can set up a meet up time. I’ve even just facetimed brides that don’t live in the area so we can “meet” and they can get to know me more and go over wedding details. I am very flexible on how we can communicate.
Every bride deserves to look and feel absolutely stunning on her wedding day. Vanesa Oliver Beauty will take the time to personalize hair and makeup to look and feel exactly how you want on that day. Head over to her Adore profile to book a trial today!
Images provided to Adore by Vanesa Oliver Beauty, Bethlehem, Pa.