Name: Kathryn Ludens & Whitney Reck
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Company Name: Hera Beauty
Number of Years in Business: 2 years- but over 10 years in the beauty industry!
How did you get started in beauty services for weddings? Whitney and I have been friends for years, and it just so happened that we both ended up in the field of cosmetology- myself in Makeup & Esthetics and Whitney in Hair Design. With Las Vegas being such a popular wedding destination, it only made sense to be able to provide on-location beauty services for both the local and tourist bride.
What did you do prior to this? I started in the beauty industry over 10 years ago as a freelance makeup artist and counter manager for BeneFit Cosmetics and that eventually lead me towards the field of Esthetics. I have been an Esthetician providing a full range of skin care therapy and head-to-toe waxing services since 2003. I operate my own Esthetics business: www.dragonflyesthetics.com. Whitney is a hairstylist at Hot Box Salon and offers the full range of men's and women's services for hair: cuts, color, highlights, and most recently, Keratin hair straightening, which is amazing!
If you didn't do beauty services for weddings for a living what would you be doing instead? I'm not sure... Whitney and I have always wanted to be in the beauty industry and we've been in it for so long now, it's really hard to say what else we'd be doing! I can't imagine we'd be doing anything we'd be as passionate about!
What are some of your hobbies? In a way, makeup is a hobby of mine- which is why my job is so much fun! We've been so fortunate to have really expanded our portfolio since we partnered up with Stacie and Haute Shots Boudoir Photography. With weddings, many brides have a look that they've envisioned for themselves for years, often times it's a subtly beautiful glow that enhances their features and makes them feel like the most beautiful bride in the world. And while it's wonderful to have a bride who loves how we've made her look on her special day, it's very often a more limited color palette/style range. With boudoir photography, we're able to go a little more wild with our colors and stylings, which gets us outside the bridal box for a little while. We help to bring out the sexy- the sensual siren, the pin-up, the goddess, whatever fantasy look our client desires. However, for just plain fun, and I think Whitney would agree, we both love adventure, whether that's a new activity, a new restaurant, or a new yoga class... anything that keeps life fresh!
What is the craziest wedding experience you’ve ever had? I'd have to say that most of our clients have shown a wonderful amount of grace-under-fire, but we have had a few who have had to deal with some outside drama here and there. Luckily, nothing too Bridezilla-style yet!
What is the best wedding experience you’ve ever had? We've really had a lot of bridal parties that were a lot of fun- but we do specialize in vintage/retro style weddings and one of our past weddings was one of the most authentic vintage Vegas weddings ever! The bride, groom, and much of the wedding party are wedding photographers (in Philadelphia) and were here for the wedding and the WPPI convention. Elvis, obviously, was going to be performing the ceremony and the hair and makeup style that we created for the bride was straight from the 60's... like Pricilla Presley on her wedding day. It was perfect- even the bride's dress, shoes, and veil were all vintage! Not only did the entire ensemble come together beautifully, but the pictures the bride sent us for our blog were just awesome and it looked like they had such a fun time!
What is your inspiration? We believe that every woman has an inner goddess... we're just here to help women discover her! Why should celebrities be the only ones to have a beauty team by their side? We think that it's a pampering and fun experience to have your hair and makeup done by professionals- so why not provide that for everyone?
Name an exotic location you’d like to visit soon. Anywhere with a beach and an umbrella drink sounds good!
Why do your clients choose you over some of your competitors? We specialize in retro/vintage/pinup styles for the bride who is looking for a that throwback style (which we absolutely love!). We also are familiar with styling for all ethnicities- we can do hair and makeup for any type of hair and skin tone. Since I am Japanese, we do receive a lot of requests from Asian brides who are looking for someone who is very familiar with Asian facial features and hair. Our entire team consists of hair and makeup artists that hold a current Nevada State Board of Cosmetology license so that our clients can rest assured that their services are being performed by a licensed professional. We only use top of the line products like Paul Mitchell, Tigi, Temptu, and more.
What is the best piece of advice you can offer a bride and groom on their wedding day? Remember to have fun! So many brides get so caught up in the weight of the day that they forget that it's supposed to be a happy, joyous time! If you get too caught up in the little things, you won't see the big picture- you're marrying the person you love surrounded by the people who love you. That tiny pimple that is freaking you out, the slightly smudged manicure, or the crease at the bottom of your wedding dress may seem like a major emergency at the time, but those are not the things that anyone is going to remember. They WILL remember a bride on a rampage and unhappy tears. They will also remember a bridal party that IS the party, having fun and enjoying the day! That's a memory that is much nicer to look upon!
Anything else interesting you'd like to share? Because discovering and uncovering beauty is our profession, we try to provide our clients with information any time that we can. Although we haven't had a chance to lately, we do like to share fun tips, tricks and tutorials on our Twitter, Facebook page, and blog. If you've got a beauty question, send us an email!