Two local girls are finding success in a traveling makeup and hair company called Dual Vanity.
The two girls, Jena Irby and Jessi Adams, met more than five years ago while working for the same salon. Irby was a licensed aesthetician and Adams was a cosmetologist. The girls hit it off right away and remained friends even as Adams moved on to a new salon.
In the past year the girls decided to get together to make their services, hair and makeup, easy and accessible to brides on their wedding day. Their idea was to take their talent right to the location and do hair and makeup for the entire bridal party.
"I think what stands out for us the most is the experience that we create," said Irby, a Desert Vista graduate. "It's fun for the girls to have us be able to come to them. They can drink mimosas and talk and watch each other getting glamorized and just feel really special and beautiful. It's fun for them all to see that among one another, whereas if people go somewhere to get their hair and makeup done they're not really together, they're not getting that experience and bonding. We like to think that we create a really fun atmosphere."
The girls have done six or seven weddings this spring and already they are booked through next spring. So far they've done minimal marketing and are just going off of referrals.
"It's exciting, everyone's in a good mood, everyone ends up loving what we do," Adams said. "We had one bride that had three girls in her wedding party that were all engaged so they were all loving it and saying ‘oh my gosh we have to have you.' We've just gotten a lot of positive feedback."
The duo recommend making an appointment at least six months in advance. From there the bride has her first hair trial with Adams many months before the actual wedding.
"Brides never know what they want the first time they come in," Irby said. Adams shows them their options and discusses what they want. They come in for another trial soon after to finalize their hair and Irby comes along to test makeup. Once they find something they like the girls give them about a week to commit to their date.
"We want people to think about their trial, what they liked and whether or not we connect with that person," Irby said. "To this day everybody that's had a trial with us has hired us."
After the date is set the duo work with the bride to create a schedule for the day of the wedding and keep in constant contact so their clients know they'll show up on that important day.
"They're really accommodating," said Jennifer Leos, a past bride who found Dual Vanity after getting her makeup done by them for another wedding. "They're willing to come at six o'clock in the morning to get ready if that's what time we have to start.
"They're really hard-working, too. For my wedding they were on their feet the entire time with no breaks."
Usually the girls spend about 45 minutes to an hour on each person, with a little extra time on the bride, and they set no limit to the amount of people they do in a day. For Leos, Dual Vanity did hair and makeup for nine girls and were on site from about 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
It may take up most of their Saturdays but for Irby and Adams it's something they enjoy doing.
"It's been really fun for us because we're both in that stage of our life as well," said Adams, who is getting married in October. "We understand how important it is for the bride to look her best.
"We're confident in each other's work so it's easy for us to sell each other. I get my makeup done from Jena and I don't trust anybody else to do my makeup. It's kind of one of those things where we can talk each other up and it makes the bride and bridesmaids feel more confident."
The girls have been doing hair and makeup for about eight years, ever since graduating in 2003. They're both professionally trained and have a passion for the beauty and fashion industry.
"I can go on and on about how amazing they do hair and makeup but I think what's most important is that they're excited about being there," Leos said. "They come to the location, wherever you're at. They're texting and emailing you weeks in advance telling you how excited they are that they can't wait to get everyone ready for the event. The whole day they're just so much fun to be around. It was like they were one of the girls that all of us had known 10, 15 years."
Dual Vanity's pricing can be found online at dualvanityhairandmakeup.com along with photos of their work. They also have a facebook page at facebook.com/dualvanityhairandmakeup where they post current photos and beauty tips.
"We're just looking to expand our business and continue this," Adams said. "This is something that I know that I want to do for a really long time and Jena has expressed to me that she feels the same way. It's fun and exciting to be a part of it. We just want to keep expanding."
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