Styling in Playa
Brides aren’t always the easiest clients to work with. A wedding is (hopefully) a once-in-a-lifetime experience (and if it isn’t, there’s still plenty of pressure on the day). Yet, Playa resident Sarah Garnier relishes the opportunity to work with women about to go through the ceremony. The hair and make up artist ensures that brides receive exactly what they want, that at least there’s one less thing they have to worry about. If you’re headed down to Playa for your own special occasion, look up Garnier. Even if you’re not getting married, she gives a great makeover. You’ll certainly be ready for your close-up, whether you’re using a wedding photographer or a selfie stick.
What drew you to work in styling and beauty in Playa del Carmen, and what keeps you in the area?
I just fell in love with this place 10 years ago during my holidays…I’ve studied in Paris and worked in the beauty industry in France from TV to runways. Then I visited Mexico, which was my first time far away from Europe, and I loved it!. I fell in love with the Mayan Riviera, the beautiful scenery, the culture and people. I’ve always wanted a different lifestyle, a change from the big city, so I moved to Playa del Carmen seven years ago. I’m very lucky: as a makeup artist and hairdresser I can work almost everywhere. The Riviera Maya is a great place to live, work, and be creative and just being yourself. I love working with people from all corners of the world, being here gives me the opportunity to work with other great professionals local and international, and meet clients with different ideas, nationalities and styles!
You do work for a lot of fashion shoots and weddings. What have been some of your favorite venues and events? Describe what made them so special.
They are all special to me. Every bride is different, but it’s always a fun experience. I’ve work for a wide range of events, from the traditional Catholic to the whimsical Jewish weddings, the mysterious Mayan ceremonies to the super colorful Indian weddings. Let’s not forget the super cold and super fun trash the dress in the cenotes (when a woman swims in a sinkhole wearing her dress during a portrait session)! It’s hard to pick a favorite—they are just so different and special! I have a quite a lot of nice memories. We share so many emotions with every woman we meet: it’s an emotional roller-coaster, excitement, the adrenaline rush to be ready on time, and then pure joy. I have to say, my favorite moment is seeing how happy the bride looks when the ceremony starts, that smile before the: I do!!
What are some beauty trends for 2017 you’re excited about?
Well, when talking about trends we have to keep in mind that the Riviera Maya has a tropical climate—most ceremonies are on the beach and its very humid, so we have to pick the trends that go well with this conditions. This year, I am really excited about a makeup technique called “strobing”. Strobing is the new contouring; is all about getting the perfect glow, using highlighter in a way that catches the light in the right places (cheek bones, nose bridge, etc). It looks fabulous in pictures!
You’re not from Playa del Carmen. Describe how you built your own community and business in the region + any advice you have for people thinking about making the move.
When I first arrived in Mexico, I didn’t know Spanish or English, but I learned both languages by hanging out with the “locals,” just talking and practicing with them. I also started to work in a beauty salon in Playa del Carmen—that’s how I met a lot of people who worked in the wedding industry. I decided to give it a go myself and started my own company in 2011. From working in the Paris fashion industry, I had quite a lot of experience working with different techniques and products to create glamorous hairdos and long-lasting makeup, so I decided to bring all this to the weddings. It worked out well! For me, working a wedding is quite similar to working for a fashion show or a photo shoot. The bride needs to look perfect and we need to achieve exactly what she imagined. It’s all about making her look and feel gorgeous. My advice for anyone looking to move here it would be: follow your dream and trust your project.