OTR Makeup Studio BRIDEface Hosts Online Tutorials During COVID-19 Closure

Her social media–based lessons are aimed to lift spirits during stay-at-home mandates.
BRIDEface salon’s former owner, Nancy Dawson (left), with current owner Julie Niesen (right)

Photograph by Mikki Schaffner

About three weeks into ownership of bridal makeup salon BRIDEface, Julie Niesen—author of local dining blog Wine Me, Dine Me—was faced with the decision to temporarily close her new salon due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the studio (formerly owned by longtime local bridal industry figure Nancy Dawson) typically provides in-person bridal makeup services and makeup classes, Niesen saw the closure as an opportunity to turn her full attention to online retail and makeup tutorials in the meantime.

Photograph by Mikki Schaffner

Niesen’s decision to film makeup tutorial videos was borne out of her own experience in isolation. “Even though I’ve always been a makeup enthusiast; in the first week or so of quarantine I didn’t do any makeup,” she says. “When I finally did a collaboration video and I had to do my makeup, I felt like a rockstar.”

Her social media tutorials will be shown on Instagram live and Facebook live to help guide anyone else who just wants to feel pretty, even if they’re just staying home. Ultimately, Niesen says, it’s important to practice self-care while self-isolating and adjusting to these uncertain times. “Do something that makes you feel good about yourself,” she says.

While BRIDEface’s online makeup shop is not new, Niesen has added products to round out the in-house brand’s line, including lip products, blush, and brow tools. She says the makeup line is designed to give people the same products that brides experience in the makeup chair. “The products are for real people,” she says. And these beauty classics also make appearances in her new online tutorials.

Photograph by Mikki Schaffner

Niesen’s tutorials will have a tip jar, with proceeds donated to a rotating list of charities. The first charity she will be supporting is The LEE (Let’s Empower Employment) Initiative, which is working with local restaurant Mita’s to provide food and daily necessities to restaurant workers facing unemployment amid recent restaurant industry closures and layoffs.

Recently, BRIDEface teamed up with Idlewild Woman, The Most Beautiful Thing in the World Is, and Sloane Boutique to cross-promote sales during the temporary closures of their stores. In the future, Niesen hopes to do more collaborations (one with Honour Hook of Brow OTR is currently in the works) to support both her shop and other local businesses.

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