"One of the World's Best Wedding Photographers", Nicholas splits his time between Australia and Paris. His photos have appeared in Harpers Bazaar, the New York Times and

Nicholas is the publisher of the School of Wedding Photography, a popular blog teaching wedding photographers around the world.

Profile: Marion Lee Makeup Artist

Profile: Marion Lee Makeup Artist


About Nicholas

I created this blog to really help Adelaide brides who are planning their wedding. I've been been a professional photographer for 15 years. My work has appeared in the New York Times, Style Me Pretty and In 2015 Style Me Pretty interviewed me,  in 2016 Complete Wedding Magazine called me "One of the World's Best Wedding Photographers".

Profile: Marion Lee Makeup Artis

I'm often surprised when Bride's spend a lot to hire a photographer but decide to do their own makeup. Expertly applied makeup can make a huge difference to the end result of photos, which after all, are your lasting memories of the day.

Here I spoke to one of Adelaide's best hair and makeup artists, Marion Lee.

Can you tell our readers a little about yourself and how long you have been working as a makeup artist?

I am to learning to embrace it, but I sometimes feel I am at the age where I don’t want to admit how long I have been working as a Makeup Artist! 

I started out at Channel 9 in 1990 and began freelancing 1998. Since then I have worked on some amazing shows from Films like Red Dog to TV Series such as McLeod’s Daughters, House Rules, The Dr Blake Murder Mysteries, Upper Middle Bogan and Glitch to name a few. In between these longer contracts I have always worked on smaller jobs such as commercials, events and weddings.

Personally, I am a pretty quiet person who just loves spending time at home with my husband and two adopted greyhounds. We love exploring the world when we can, doing our best to tread lightly on the planet as we do.

What brand of products do you use? Or does the bride supply them? Would you be open to using the brides own make-up?

I stock a wide variety of makeup brands to suit the wide variety of people I work with. These include MAC, Stila, Benefit, Atelier and Elementwo. I use the same products that I work with on my Film and TV jobs. I get to see how they hold up throughout long filming days and can feel confident in their reliability.

There are times when a bride asks me to use her own products and that is absolutely fine. It’s usually when they have specific allergies and sensitivities and it’s just safer to go with what they know works for them. 

How do you charge? By the hour or per person? And what does that include?

Hand Applied Makeup starts at $90/ face. You can add on Airbrush Makeup for and extra $10 and fake lashes for another $10....  So that’s $110.00 for the works.

Hair Styling varies depending on hair length and the style you want. Short hair styling starts and $60 and a Long Hair Up-Style will normally cost $90.00.

For a full price list, terms and conditions go to

Do you travel to brides or do they have to come to you?

I travel to brides on their wedding day and usually they come to my home studio in Rostrevor for trials.

Do you do trials before a wedding?

Almost always - but I understand sometimes there are budget constraints and other times people just are not in the same state or country for a trial!

I am confident in creating the look for a bride on the wedding day without a trial, but I insist that extra time is booked if we haven’t been able to have one. That way there is time to consult and adjust as necessary as we would do in a trial. It’s wise and more time effective to for the Bride to have photos ready or emailed to me beforehand of the looks she likes ready for us to discuss. Any other information such as colour palette for the day, including flowers and bridesmaids dresses will help things run smoothly and efficiently.

Do you have a team of assistants or will you be the only artist that day?

It depends on the size of the job and timing. I can perform up to 6 services myself for a wedding party, but there’s not always the time for me to do that many, especially with early weddings!

So, if it’s a small wedding party I generally will do all the work myself. For larger groups  or early starts I have a staple of other Hair and Makeup Artists that I will call on. I generally prefer to get another experienced Artist on board rather than an assistant if possible. That way I can be confident that the rest of the wedding party is being well looked after without much supervision.

What will happen if you’re sick or have an emergency on the wedding day?

This hasn’t happened to me, so I am very lucky!! But I do have a contingency plan in place!

One of the advantages of working in the industry so long is that I also have a long list of great and experienced Makeup Artists and Hairdressers to call on. 

Does a fake tan affect make-up?

Yes, If you are going to fake tan for your wedding it’s a good idea to have the same tan before your trial, so that I know what I am working with and need to match to. It’s also great for the bride to see the whole look together beforehand. However am flexible enough to adjust on the day if things change.

I advise all my brides to test out tans out well in advance - and any other beauty treatment for that matter! No one wants an unpleasant reaction the week before your wedding. And although this does happen from time to time, I can cover most problems but of course it’s better to avoid them in the first place.

Tan at least 2 days before your event. This way it has had time to settle into your skin and any residue has washed off and won’t rub off on your dress.

Do you also do wedding hair?

Yes! I am also a fully qualified hairdresser and love creating a total look by doing both hair and makeup.

What's your tips on how Adelaide brides can keep their makeup fresh for the whole day? Particularly in our hot summers.

Start with a well applied professional makeup! An experienced and Professional Makeup Artist will have the products and knowledge to help you get the most out of your makeup throughout the day. I have had brides write to me at how impressed they where that their makeup survived such a hot day. But you do have to be realistic - some skin types are better than others for keeping makeup fresh looking. I also encourage and educate my clients on how to keep their makeup looking good throughout the day.

My “hot” tip is... ;-) - Use blotting paper if you are starting to get a bit shiny. Many people make the mistake of continually powdering over their makeup and this tends to create a muddy build up of cakey, very un-fresh looking makeup.

What are the most common questions you get from brides? (and can you answer them as well please)

One of the most common questions I get asked about these days is - Do I do contouring? And yes I do, but only if needed and not so it is obvious!  There are many subtle tricks you can use in makeup application to create changes to the shape of a face as well and contouring that will enhance a person’s face without covering their unique personality and looks and this is my passion when creating bridal makeups.

I often get asked about timing and if I don’t get asked I will make sure the wedding party
have a clear understanding on how much time is needed to complete each service requested. Nothing is worse than being rushed and not enjoying your day as much as you should because of that. It’s not fun for me and the client and I want to be able to create the best look possible without cutting corners which may affect how well a makeup or hairstyle lasts.

As a general rule, I allow 1 hour for an up-style and 45 minutes for a makeup application. There also needs to be allowance in the timing for setting up and packing down equipment, which is important if you need me out of your house quickly so you can get away or need the space for your photographer.

Lastly another fairly common enquiry I get is if I can cover for a variety of things from birthmarks, tattoos, scars and bruises and tan marks! Yes I can cover or at least minimise all these things. If I know what I need to cover ahead of time it helps with timing and having the correct products on board. A large complicated tattoo can take some time and product to cover, so it does come at at cost.

How can our readers find you?

The best way is to through my website

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