“The Beauty Booster” by Boston Magazine

Problem skin, sparse brows, and lackluster lips are no match for Katrina Hess, who helps every bride look positively radiant.


Photography by Trevor Reid

On your wedding day, all eyes (and camera lenses) will be trained on you. It’s sought-after makeup pro Katrina Hess’s job to make sure you look flawless from every angle. “It’s the day a woman shines,” says Hess, who’s been dolling up brides for 20 years. But it doesn’t all happen in one appointment. Hess likes to see clients for two consultations in her Newbury Street studio to advise them on a skin-care regimen and get a sense of their individual style before the walk down the aisle (she’s even Skyped with brides who were abroad). In other words, she’s the person you want in your corner when the flashes start popping.

What happens after a bride books you for her wedding?
I offer two consultations in my wedding package. I do the first pretty quickly, but wait until closer to the wedding day for the second one, to see if there are any skin-care changes, and to incorporate seasonal palettes.

So what do you address in the first consultation?
Most women aren’t using enough skin-care products, or they’re not using the right ones. My clients generally have good skin, but those who have troubled skin need to consult with a dermatologist. The two key elements in a skin-care regimen are a cleanser that’s not dehydrating, and a product with lactic acid that purifies and shrinks the pores, while also moisturizing the skin.

Once you find a regimen that works for you, you have to maintain it—six months to one year from the wedding, depending on the severity of the skin issues. But what’s really important for skin six months out is the sun: Tan lines can last for a year, and in my opinion that’s the most unappealing look. They just don’t do anything for a $20,000 Carolina Herrera gown.

Do brides normally know what look they want before meeting with you?
It’s 50/50. Some women are really specific and know exactly what they want. Others wear makeup, but aren’t sure what would look best on them—they’re more dependent on me. I’ve had a few girls who want a Kardashian look, but they don’t realize how much makeup is actually on. So once I do the consultation they realize it’s too heavy.

How do the seasons affect wedding makeup?
Color is seasonal. Summer weddings often call for a fresh, tan, beachy look; in the fall we’re getting more women who want a big, smoky plum eye. The venue, time of day, and season play a large role. I wouldn’t do a heavy, matte-charcoal, smoky look for a Chatham Bars Inn wedding in the middle of July.

Is it okay to try makeup trends on the big day?
The red-carpet look is great for the rehearsal dinner. That’s the night you step out with a hot pink or deep red lip. That said, you certainly want to add some glamour to the wedding night as well. My approach is to have a more-natural, nude look for the ceremony, which is often outdoors, and then after twilight, switch over to a deeper, brighter, glossier lip. It really changes your look in photographs. You can get freshened up, have a cocktail, and return to the reception, and that’s when you let your hair down and party.

What makeup looks are on the horizon?
The trend for spring is a really romantic look—tiaras and hair accessories are back. My approach is going to be very soft, subtle, and smoky. Red is the color for spring and summer lips—like you just ate a cherry popsicle. It makes the cheeks look whiter and the smile brighter.

Which parts of the face should a bride play up for photos?
Generally, it’s the eyes and lips. In New England, my clients often don’t wear lipstick every day; they just wear ChapStick. I like to get them on a regimen of exfoliating the lips. The lips are one of the most dehydrated areas of the body, and dry, cracked lips are more unappealing than tan lines. So I start them with oils and scrubs. The lip changes the whole look.

As far as eyes go, extended lashes are too damaging to the actual lashes. I’ve been experimenting with velour mink lashes, which are completely organic. They’re lightweight and lush. I fill in lashes with those, whether a bride is going for a nude eye or smoky eye. Mascara can look clumpy in photos.

Do you ever see grooms for consultations?
On rare occasions, I’ve seen men for eyebrow shaping and skin care—maybe a little day-of brow shaping, sometimes a little bronzer. But I always have brides who say, “I wish I could get my fiancé in here.”

What should a bride carry in her clutch for the reception?
Generally, just blotting papers and evening lip color. Only minimal touchups are necessary—maybe a pressed powder depending on humidity.

Thank you to Boston Magazine! To view the full article, click here.


Posted in Boston Magazine, Bridal Makeup, Cosmetics, Eye Makeup, Katrina Hess, Makeup Tagged with:

Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Kevin Aucoin’s The Holiday Look Book, Limited Edition

If you’re struggling for the perfect gift for friends or family, ladies, look no further. Kevin Aucoin’s The Holiday Look Book, Limited Edition is one of my personal favorites and is guaranteed to make a big impression this Christmas and holiday season.


The Holiday Look Book all-in-one kit contains four iconic powder eye shadows, two lip colors, and two powder cheek colors that make creating Kevyn Aucoin’s Iconic Look from the best-selling book “Making Faces” simple. Detailed instructions make it easy to create one of the legendary makeup artist’s famous looks.


I love this kit because it contains nude colors perfect for a natural or glamorous winter look. Hint of Peach, Sugared Peach, Faded Heather, and Iced Plum ensure your eyes will be smoldering at any holiday function. Sport a rosy winter blush day or night with Creamy Glow cheek color in Nuelle and Bloodroses.


Finally, ensure your lips are mistletoe-ready with two of Kevyn Aucoin’s most luxurious,luscious lip colors in Dahliana and Papavier. This versatile palette works on any skin type, and can be worn to work or out on a weekend night. The easy-to-follow instructions make this a suitable gift for everyone from makeup beginners through advanced makeup pros.


The thin design of the look book is perfect for travel, and easily slips into a narrow handbag. But the very best part? Kevyn Aucoin’s amazing all-in-one limited edition Holiday Look Book is available for just $45.00. If I’m seeing you between now and the holidays in my Boston Newbury Street makeup studio, make sure to ask me about this fabulous find!

Posted in Boston Makeup Artist, Boston Makeup Studio, Boston Wedding Makeup Artist, Katrina Hess, Katrina Hess Makeup, Kevyn Aucoin

Wedding @ Hyatt, Boston Harbor | Lara & Joseph

Couple: Lara and Joseph
Date: December 20, 2014
Venue: Hyatt, Boston Harbor
Photographer: Brittany Blando, BKB Photography
Gown: Paloma Blanca

Photos to come!

Posted in Recent Weddings

Wedding @ Chestnut Hill, MA | Christina & Field

Couple: Christina and Field
Date: December 13, 2014
Venue: Chestnut Hill, MA

Photos to come!

Posted in Recent Weddings

Fall Weddings in Boston | Elise & Kevin at the Boston Harbor Hotel

I love weddings in Boston in the fall–and particularly ones held at the elegant Boston Harbor Hotel. Elise and Kevin chose October 18th to get married, and I was delighted to be selected to do the bride and bridal party’s makeup for Elise’s big day. Of course, I wasn’t surprised when Elise told me Person + Killian would be doing her photography; just look at the beautiful photos below.

The wedding began with a full mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Charlestown, MA. After the ceremony, formal photos were taken in the Boston Public Garden, which was the perfect location to show off Elise’s gorgeous dress, makeup, and the fabulous fall weather. The celebration continued with cocktails and dinner and dancing at the Boston Harbor Hotel late into the night.

WeddingFallRecentKatrinaHess 2

Elise and her family did such a great job creating the ivory and yellow centerpieces with vines and candles, and their wedding cake featuring two furry canine friends on top was adorable while still being elegant. Congratulations again, Elise and Kevin!


We’re moving into winter now, so the fall wedding season has come to a close at last. However, there are plenty of stunning wedding looks just perfect for these sparkling winter months. Make sure to ask me about my latest 2014 Winter Pocket Makeup Guide next time you’re in for an appointment at my Katrina Hess Newbury Street Makeup Studio here in Boston.

Posted in Boston Makeup, Boston Makeup Artist, Boston Makeup Studio, Boston Wedding Makeup Artist, Brides, Katrina Hess, Katrina Hess Makeup, Wedding Makeup

The Holiday Season Is Here, and KOBO Candles Make The Perfect Gift

I never thought I’d be in the candle business. But I’ve gotten so many compliments from my clients on the candles that I burn in my studio that I wanted to write a blog about KOBO Candles.

The holidays are almost here, and along with the turkey and stuffing and Christmas trees comes the need for the perfect present. KOBO Candles, available in 50 dazzling scents, are perfect for bridal party gifts or holiday gift-giving. Made in upstate New York, these candles burn for 60 hours and are smoke-free and burn clean, so you don’t have to worry about fire alarms going off in your home.

Kobo Candles Mango

KOBO Candles are made of 100% pure domestically grown, sustainable soybeans. There are nine luxurious collections available featuring candles ranging in price from $28.00 to $45.00, each beautifully wrapped. My favorite is a sexy scent from KOBO’s Woodblock collection called Modena Leather featuring… you guessed it, leather. Vetiver and Shaved Vanilla from the Coterie collection is a close second, with hints of amber and gorgeous black and white packaging.

Kobo Candles

I decided to make the line available in my Boston Katrina Hess Makeup Studio, so next time you’re in, stock up!

EXPERT TIP: Looking for a container to store your makeup? Clean out KOBO candle jars and store your makeup brushes, pencils, and liners inside!

Posted in Katrina Hess, Katrina Hess Makeup

Wedding @ Four Seasons, Boston | Courtney & Kurt

Couple: Courtney and Kurt
Date: November 2, 2014
Venue: Four Seasons, Boston
Photographer: Person + Killian
Hair Stylist: Janet Warner of Mark Harris, Newbury Street
Gown: Amy Kuschel

Photos to come!

Posted in Recent Weddings

Wedding @ Turner Hill, Ipswich | Estefania & Groom

Couple: Estefania and Groom
Date: November 1, 2014
Venue: Mansion on Turner Hill, Ipswich, MA
Photographer: Stephanie Stevens


Posted in Recent Weddings

Katrina’s Classic Contouring Tips

Contouring isn’t a new concept within the world of makeup. In fact, contouring was first used in the silver screen era, when photography first became widespread. Black and whites that exhibited a strong, glamorous movie contour look became incredibly popular, and today’s magazine and runway models still feature contouring as a key component of their look.

I always caution my clients that true film and photography contouring is not wearable on the street, due to its severity. However, by following my tips below, you can create a beautiful contour that can be worn to any special occasion. Ask me to pick out the perfect contouring color for your skin tone next time you’re in my studio!

Step #1: Assemble your brushes

  1. Kevyn Aucoin Fan Brush, $60 – Use to create cheekbone highlights and forehead highlights
  2. KevynAucoinFanBrush

  3. Ambient Lighting Powder Brush, $35 – Use to highlight nose and cheeks
  4. AmbientLightingPowderBrush

  5. Kevyn Aucoin Super Soft Buff Powder Brush, $60 – Use for jawline and all the way to the ear to make neck appear narrower
  6. KevynAucoinPowerBrush

  7. #21 Nars Contour Brush, $42 – angled perfectly for sculpting cheekbones
  8. Nars21ContourBrush

  9. #41 Nars Diffusing Brush, $32 – for contouring the nose and eyelids


Step #2: Identify where to contour
Pull your hair back from your face, stand in front of a well-lit mirror, and angle your head down slightly. You’ll see a slight contour indent in the middle of each cheek. Contouring is for any recessed area of the face, and works wonderfully for eyes, cheeks, and the nose.

Step #3: Apply your contouring color
Don’t go all the way to your hairline when contouring your cheeks. Start just before the hairline, and apply color until you reach a spot on your cheek in line with the middle of your eye. And, when contouring your neck, apply color under the jawline, not ON the jawline. Start behind the hairline for your neckline.

Have fun creating your hot runway look!

Posted in Boston Makeup, Boston Makeup Artist, Boston Makeup Studio, Katrina Hess, Katrina Hess Makeup

Katrina Hess’s Fall 2014 Beauty Basics For The Professional: Brows and Makeup

Creating wedding looks for Boston brides is a large part of my day, but beautiful brows and makeup aren’t just for brides. Finding the right professional look for your workplace is just as important. I’ve put together a collection of brow and makeup tips for the professional woman to ensure you always put your best face forward in the office. If you have any trouble following the tips below, consider a lesson at my Newbury Street studio!


1. BROWS: Start with the basics
Well-groomed brows are an essential part of any professional look. Whether you’re more of a natural girl or prefer a glam look, shapely brows complete any weekday or weekend look. I suggest having a trained professional shape your brows and teach you how to maintain them in between salon visits to ensure you always put your best, sophisticated face forward.

2. MAKEUP: How to create a meeting-ready look in 10 minutes or less
1. Start by hydrating your skin with a very lightweight moisturizer.
2. Apply a tinted moisturizer or lightweight foundation starting at the center of your face, working towards the edges. Blend foundation edges with a large brush to avoid lines.
3. Lightly apply concealer to the inner corners of your eyes to instantly look well-rested.
4. Brush a light-colored brow pencil or clear gel across your brows.
5. Apply a light-colored bronzer to the flat portions of your face to add depth and warmth.
6. Finish your face by applying a warm-colored blush to the apple of each cheek.
7. For work-appropriate eyes, apply a nude eye shadow over the entire lid.
8. Define your eyes with a natural brown or black liner, keeping the color very close to the inner lid.
9. Curl lashes twice and apply two coats of mascara.
10. Dab on your favorite matte lip color, and grab your laptop—you’re meeting ready!


3. AFTER WORK: Quick Cocktail Hour Fixes
1. Transform your workday look into a weekend look by layering on additional eyeliner.
2. Apply a sultry matte or shimmering eye color on your lids to transition smoothly from afternoon to evening.
3. Deepen and shine up your lips with your favorite lipstick or gloss.
4. Erase dark circles instantly by applying an eye brightener to the entire under-eye area.
5. Dust pressed powder across your t-zone to ensure the only thing shining tonight is your smile—not your face.


  • Add color to your face that complements what your wearing in a subtle way. Light pink, peach, silver, and gold make for a great base for your skin. Cover by applying a neutral tone on top.
  • Try using a sheer, light, natural color in the morning, and then switching your look after lunch with a matte medium-tone for your afternoon meetings.
  • To really leave a lasting impression, try adding a pop of color to your lower lash line with a light brown, grey or deep navy liner.
    Q: Should I try out new trends with my work makeup?
    A: Generally, unless you work at a creative or generally young and trendy workplace, it’s better to err on the side of “tried and true” rather than “wild and new” for weekday makeup.

    Q: What’s the most suitable look for the office?
    A: I typically suggest a nude eye shadow with well-defined liner, lightly blushed cheeks, and a matte pink lip gloss for the workplace. You’ll look polished and feminine, but not overly done up.

    Q: I never wear lipstick, but I think I should probably start. What’s the best color for me?
    A: You really can’t go wrong with a variation of pink. Start out sheer if you’re worried about applying properly the first time. Remember, you can always wipe it off if you mess up!

    Q: I find my eye makeup bleeds by the middle of the day. What should I do?
    A: This happens to almost every woman during the course of the workday. Keep disposable makeup wipes in your desk and dab around your eyes post-lunch to quickly and gently wipe away any smears.

    Q: I always break out when I try foundation. Any suggestions?
    A: Try to find a non-comedogenic foundation, which means it won’t clog pores. Easy-to-apply tinted moisturizers and BB creams are becoming commonplace in the workplace as well, meaning you can focus less on touching up during the day and more on your next big project.

    Posted in Boston Makeup, Boston Makeup Artist, Boston Makeup Studio, Cosmetics, Eye Makeup, Katrina Hess, Katrina Hess Makeup