Posts Tagged ‘Vendor Interviews’

Better Know a Vendor: Makeup in the 702

Makeup in the 702 has been on my radar since when I started planning my wedding. Their name kept coming up again and again on Nevada wedding messageboards and in reviews as an excellent choice for wedding day beauty. They are well known to destination brides for their reliable service and beautiful makeup and hair, two things that are important when you are dealing with a company you may not meet until your wedding day!

Megan Payne of Makeup in the 702 sat down for a few questions with me recently, and as our first beauty pro interview, I was really excited to learn more about her and her business. There are some amazing tips in this interview, not just for wedding day beauty, but looking your best everyday, so please read on!

makeup in the 702


Megan (fourth from the left) and her team of makeup and hair artists at Makeup in the 702
Photo credit: The Pinup Bride

For those readers out there who may not know who you are, please introduce yourself and Makeup in the 702.

Good day, my name is Megan Payne and I’m the founder of Makeup in the 702 as well as a Master Artist (20+ years).

Are you originally from Las Vegas?

I’m originally from Chi-Town: Chicago, where I studied Fashion Design and Art History.

How many years have you been in business and how did you get into beauty for weddings?

Makeup in the 702 is entering it’s 10th year in Las Vegas – WOW!!!! 10 years, I can’t believe it. I’m not even sure how many weddings and/or faces we’ve done in the past decade – unbelievable!!!

My background of makeup artistry came when I was pretty young. Like so many artists that get their start, I worked behind the Clinque counter at [the department store] Marshall Field’s. It was there that I learned good skin and good color go hand in hand. And – and this is a very important and – anyone that learns how to apply makeup with a cotton ball and Q-tip can only be a genius behind a good set of brushes. How we started in weddings is to come….

What were you doing before you got into beauty?

The art of fashion design and hair and makeup simply go hand in hand. Of course as a student in sewing class, I was never much into the latest fad or trend. I really preferred rich and luxuries fabrics and of course a timeless look. Think CoCo Chanel and pearls.

Once I started in retail I simply could not be stopped. Except instead of the world of fashion I was in the world of makeup and fragrance. O glorious me!!!!! What a wonderful career as a cosmetic manager. I was not dedicated to one specific brand, but was able to pick and choose and find the best of the best within each label and line. I worked side by side with some of the world’s leading artists, attended school weekly and made a super huge name for myself in the beauty world. It was this name that lead me to Las Vegas. I was able to help re-open Fashion Show Mall to the world renowned mall we all know it as today AND open the Chanel Boutique at Wynn Las Vegas. Awesome!

But, even with this under my belt, I was still looking for something. Something more giving; something more personable. It was then that Makeup in the 702 was born.Taking all the knowledge from previous ventures and creating the top, most sought after and most booked on location, all-inclusive hair and makeup company in Las Vegas.

What is your preferred way to work with clients initially – email, in person, telephone?

Typically I refer clients to the website first. This enables the bride to look at our body of work and understand what it is she should be looking for in a hair and makeup professional. I ask the client upon first inquiry their preference for contact.

Do you deal with a lot of out of town clients who want everything done before they arrive and is that a special kind of pressure?

We do! Las Vegas is a sought after destination for weddings, parties and photo shoots. So many of our clients and repeat clients travel to Las Vegas. But, we never feel “pressure” ever!!!! We understand how vital our role is, especially for weddings. We are the very first vendor the client comes into contact with, and we set the tone for the entire wedding day. But we don’t feel like that’s pressure, just an awesome responsibility.

Do you do more than wedding makeup?

We sure do. Again, Las Vegas always has award shows, concerts, celebrity appearances and there is a billboard every 1/4 mile.

Where do you find your daily inspiration?

Our inspiration really comes from our client. Knowing that they choose us for the history of their wedding day makes each and every client unique with her own story. Never the same place or the same face.

las vegas wedding makeup

A few of the diverse looks Makeup in the 702 has produced.
Photo Credit: The Emerics, Manolo Empire Photography

In a sentence, can you describe your signature makeup look for brides?

One of my very first brides coined a tagline that we still use to this day “It’s me…only me on my most beautiful day”. That line has stuck with all of us through out the years. We prefer and urge brides to stay away from trends when it come to hair and makeup. Save it for the tablescape! We want to deliver wall-worthy photos that are timeless and classic.

What’s the best way a bride can prepare for her trial, or wedding day?

TAKE CARE OF YOUR SKIN!!!! I mentioned earlier that good skin and good color go hand in hand. Look at the wall next to you and its texture. Sure, I can paint that wall any color, blue, black, pink – but that same texture will come though with makeup. Each of our clients receives several how-to emails and how-to prep and prepare for her day. But the single best thing one can do is to take care of skin on a daily basis. PERIOD.

What would you recommend brides NOT do ahead of the wedding day?

Don’t do anything that you don’t normally do. This includes, but is not limited to: botox and injectables, facials, waxing or threading, self tanning or going to the beds, eating and drinking different things.

las vegas wedding makeup

The Makeup in the 702 team works their magic. 
Photo Credit: Josh & Jen Photography

Anything else brides should know about the Makeup in the 702 experience?

Simply stated, we are the ONLY all-inclusive custom blend airbrush company in Las Vegas that offers a 15-hour water and transfer resistance guarantee. That’s correct, we guarantee our work. No one else in town will. And we have 300+ past clients that have given us 5 star reviews.

Have you noticed a change in what brides are asking for in terms of hair and makeup for their weddings?

Sure, in the past decade we’ve seen less up-dos and more long and flowing hair with accessories vs. the traditional veil.

Do you see any big trends popping up for 2013?

Well, the Pantone color of the year is Emerald Green. Again folks, save it for something else in your wedding – not the eyeshadow. We still are seeing lots of romantic pinks and neutral eyes.

What is the one thing you wish couples wedding in Vegas knew?

Watch your water intake. Three things to know:

  • If you are flying to Vegas, one drink equals three drinks in the air
  • For every hour in flight your body loses one cup of water
  • Even if it’s not 100 degrees in the desert, you’re still in the desert
Favorite wedding memory?

Wow – only one??? Ok I will be a bit sappy here. Last spring my bride’s mother was pronounced cancer-free the day before her daughter’s wedding. The mom shared with me that there was a time she thought that wouldn’t see her baby girl walk down the aisle. Needless to say, there was not a dry eye in the house…

What’s your personal “Must Do” beauty routine you do for yourself?

SKIN SKIN SKIN! Can’t say it enough. I never ever never ever ever go to bed with makeup on. No matter how tired I am, the makeup comes off. I know I’m going to be tired in the morning, don’t want to look tired too. I also get a facial every single month and have finally stopped washing my hair every single day.

Where can we see more of your work?

Lots of places:

And of course, a few fun questions:

On a typical Sunday I am working, on location or in the office, but I’d rather be anywhere, with my toes in the sand!

If you weren’t a wedding beauty guru you’d probably be:

An account executive for Chanel!

Thank you again, Megan, for a very revealing – and helpful! – interview. If you’re looking for a team of pros for your wedding, engagement shoot, bachelorette party or other event in Vegas, consider them!

make up in the 702 logoMakeup in the 702
4270 Cameron Street, Suite 6
Las Vegas, Nevada

Better Know a Vendor: Retro Bakery Las Vegas

las vegas wedding vendor interview series

I love Vegas, I love weddings…but I also love BAKING. So that’s why I contacted the Flour Power couple of Kari and Brian Haskell from Retro Bakery to talk a little bit about the Vegas wedding cake scene, what gets them up and infront of the oven day after day and where they see wedding dessert trends going in 2013 and beyond.

Retro is well known in the Vegas valley for not only having some of the most unique cake and cupcake flavors around (think pink lemonade, or an entire line based on Thanksgiving sides like candied yams) but also for having a kick-ass baking team who exhibit amazing ingenuity and artistry on their cakes and cupcakes. They don’t stop there though – they also do cookies, mini cupcakes and cupcake towers, even shipping some of their baking across America.

Queen of Buttercream herself Kari Haskell sat down from her hectic schedule to answer a few questions, and I’m eternally grateful for that. It’s the first interview in the “Better Know a Vegas Vendor” series, and I cannot think of a better person to kick it off with!

kari haskell retro bakery

The Queen Baykah herself. Credit: Orange Soda Photo

For those readers out there who may not know who you are, please introduce yourself and Retro!

My name is Kari Haskell. My husband, Brian, and I own Retro Bakery in the Centennial Hills area (NW) of Las Vegas. We’ve been open 5 years as of next month, and we specialize in unique flavors of cupcakes, cakes, and cookies.

Are you originally from Las Vegas?

No. I’ve lived in Vegas for 10 years, but I was born and raised in McMinnville, Oregon. I met Brian in Encinitas, CA, and we have been married since 1997. Ironically, we were married in Vegas about 5 years before we moved here.

 How many years have you been in business?

Retro is almost 5 years old; however, Brian has been in the restaurant business for over 15 years. We met as servers at Red Robin, and he worked his way up the corporate ladder becoming the youngest GM in the company, while I was a stay-at-home mom with our first child. Our second child was two when we decided to open Retro. She has literally grown up in the bakery.

 I read that you are a home baker who went pro, can you tell us a little bit about that?

I’ve been baking for fun since I was 15. I learned scratch baking from my Food 101 teacher, not “from Grandma.” I continued to bake throughout my adult life, and after we saved and saved, we decided that a cupcake shop in our neighborhood could really be our future.

 The “Retro” part of your name – I see a few designs definitely reflect that retro “Atomic Age” 1950s look, but how else does it come out?

I have always loved the style of the late ’50s and early ’60s.  I like minimalist design with lots of bright colors. I kept telling people I wanted a “RETRO” name for the bakery, and it just hit me that RETRO would be a great name! It’s easy to spell, say, and remember (which is CRUCIAL for a successful business). I also tried to make the flavors of cupcakes “retro” by being very familiar to my customers: Mint Chocolate Chip, Cherry Cheesecake, Coffee and Donuts…flavors from childhood translated into cupcake form.

Kari from Retro Bakery

One of the gorgeous retro designs the bakery has made
Photo Credit: Kari Haskell 

What is your preferred way to work with clients – email, in person, telephone?

I prefer email with reference pictures of cakes they like. It makes it easier to translate my idea for their preferred style. I do NOT like to just copy cakes from other bakeries (especially those in Vegas) so I try to put our spin on every cake. The process is very simple when people have a vision; however, when they really don’t like anything specific, it becomes a challenge. “Oh, I like anything,” may sound great initially, but it usually ends with many many changes in design.

 How do you start designing a cake for someone who has an idea, but no photos? I like to imagine you are like a tattoo artist and draw it out on paper and then…?

Brian is the real artist when it comes to sketching. He will take the customer’s ideas and usually create a couple of different sketches with different options. Then he usually asks me for my input, then email back and forth with changes from the customer. It’s quite a process if they have a distinct vision.

 Where does your inspiration come from, design-wise and flavor-wise?

A lot of our cake designs come from vintage wall paper swatches and kitchen towel designs from the 1950s. I also draw a lot of inspiration from fashion magazines. I subscribe to Vogue and Elle just to watch for color combos and pattern ideas. We’ve used a pattern from Prada’s Fall 2012 collection in a couple of cakes.

Flavors are usually born from our favorite desserts (Pistachio was made because it’s Brian’s favorite ice cream). Ice cream flavors make PERFECT cupcake flavors, since our buttercream is LITERALLY one ingredient away from ice cream.

 Do you do bespoke/custom flavors? How about gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan options?

I don’t offer custom flavor-making for our customers. It’s just too hard to make a little batch of a flavor you’ll never make again. It’s not cost effective for the business. We don’t offer sugar-free or gluten-free options yet. I’m always trying new things, but I will never sell them until they are perfected. I do offer three vegan flavors that are all chocolate cake-based with either PB, Vanilla Bean, or Cookies and Cream “un”buttercream on top.

retro bakery las vegas cakes

Some of the wedding cake designs from Retro Bakery.
Photo Credit: Kari Haskell

Have you noticed a change in what couples are wanting in terms of cakes for their weddings?

Most people are paring down their weddings. Our most common weddings used to be 70 -100 people, but now I’ve noticed they’re becoming more intimate affairs of 35-50.

 Do you see any big trends popping up for 2013?

Hot Pink and Blue accents (in lots of shades) have been asked for more and more this year. I do see lots of embellishments (like diamond banding, polka dots, and pearls) being requested as well.

What is the one thing you wish couples wedding in Vegas knew?

 NEVER say wedding cake when asking for cake pricing….just because other bakeries may up-charge when they hear that word.

I really love your behind the scenes blog, and look forward to your cakes of the week because of the amazing ideas you manage to put into cake form. Some of my favorites are the “we met in McDonalds in Canada” cake and the watermelon cake which was SUPER realistic! But do you have a design through the years that has been a personal favorite… or challenge?

My personal favorite wedding cake was a six-inch cake design for Rick Faungo (who at the time was starring in “Jersey Boys”). He and his fiancée, Joyce, requested a “modern yet vintage” design. I came up with a bulls eye pattern using silver dragées for a touch of sparkle. We’ve used the design many times in many different colors, including for the wedding of my dear friends from Orange Soda Photo who wanted the same pattern, but in orange (of course!).

I also LOVED all the cakes we were lucky enough to do for Betsey Johnson. My favorite was her cake based on the Fall/Winter 2011-2012 Collection where we combined the patterns she used with fondant scrolls we placed on the cake.

betsey and retro

Top: Wonderfully minimal-modern cake made by Retro for Rick Faungo (Jersey Boys)
Bottom: Fashion designer Betsey Johnson meets the Haskells and the cakes they made for her
Photo Credits: Kari Haskell

And some fun questions…

On a typical Sunday I am usually cleaning house, grocery shopping, and laundry but I’d rather be … reading a book.

 If you weren’t a baker, you’d probably be:

My “dream” job for a long time was to be a QVC host, believe it or NOT!

 Zombies are taking over the Earth, life and cupcakes as we know it are about to be changed forever. You have a chance to eat one final cupcake before KitchenAids and ovens across the world are rendered useless, but there are only two flavors left, chocolate and vanilla. WHICH ONE DO YOU PICK?

EASY!! Vanilla all day…I’m just not a chocolate girl.


Thank you, Kari! Who knew there were bakers who drew inspiration from Vogue?!

I’m not sure how exactly she does it, but in addition to a very active Twitter and Facebook life, Kari also runs a super interesting backstage bakery blog called Building a Bakery that is of special interest to those of you into baking or interested in what it’s like to run a small business. She also constantly uploads to a very active cake feed on Flickr full of ideas and inspiration for your next Retro order.

Congratulations on five years of amazing hard work and success, Haskell family. May your future be sweet.

retro bakery las vegas


Retro Bakery

7785 N. Durango Drive, #130
Las Vegas, Nevada



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