Makeup artist Lodoviko Valtuck is a local legend in Fiji, and for good reason. Having amassed an impressive list of celebrity clientele, including the likes of Tim Robard and Anna Heinrich of Bachelor Australia fame, New York Times bestseller Meghan March, Sports Illustrated covergirl Veronica Pome’e and the entire cast of Bachelor in Paradise — he remains passionate, down-to-earth and humble. The talented Valtuck sits down with I Do Fiji to talk about his illustrious career and how to best work with your makeup artist to achieve the look you’re after on your wedding day.
I grew up in a small family of five from the beautiful garden island of Taveuni here in Fiji. Being the youngest, I’d say I was lucky to have had a lot of freedom growing up, so in many different ways I was able to express myself freely and chase after my dreams.
Makeup is a career unlike any other. It has taken me all around the best and most beautiful places here in Fiji and given me experiences that I still find unreal till this day. It is a career that has allowed me to live a dream.
The feel good factor; I love the power Makeup has to change a person’s personal outlook. When people don’t see their own light how can anyone else? A touch of makeup is often all it takes for someone to see their own beauty for the first time all over again. I love being able to show people just how beautiful they are. Confidence is a powerful thing, I believe anyone that believes it can feel a whole lot better about themselves, they would all live kinder lives and the world would be a much better place to live in.
Secondly, the excitement; I have been doing this forever and I still feel a little flutter of excitement every time I start. I want my clients to feel comfortable and secure in my ability. I still make mistakes or change my mind while I’m working, but I am an artist and still a human being. The excitement of seeing someone happy and in tears is a feeling I hope will never go away.
Thirdly, the people. I have been fortunate to meet so many beautiful people. Makeup is a very intimate thing so people tend to open up and share. I have had brides and models tell me the most amazing and sometimes inspiring stories about their lives. I’ve had brides cry on my shoulder. This is really a beautiful career that really allows you to connect with people on a deep level.
In working with so many people and hearing about their insecurities,I have been able to reflect on my own. Taking the time to do this has made me a better and kinder person.
Maintain good communication with your artist well in advance of entering the country. Keep them updated on anything you’d like to add on to your day to make it a little special. Talk hair, talk makeup, be sure on the day you know exactly what look you’re going for. Always recommend a trial with your artist, this gets both of you comfortable with each other so on the day your riding on cloud nine.
The don’ts? Don’t panic, don’t be nervous to let the artists know if there’s anything you want to change — it’s hard but girl it’s all about you on your day Boo Boo. Don’t be rude, a friendly bride is ensured to not only look beautiful but be mesmerizing and unforgettable in everyone’s mind. Don’t be a bridezilla, no one likes a bridezilla, I have tackled so many in my experience and I must say they aren’t all that bad. I can’t remember any that made me hate my job, they just need a little hug and reassurance that it’s totally going to be ok. Sometimes I just give the bridezilla a big old fashioned fat ‘bula hug’ and reassure them that it’s going to be okay. Trust me, giving your client a hug every now and then can be so effective. Never fear giving one to anyone that needs it — it’s free of charge.
Fiji’s humidity can be something most of my clients can be caught off guard with at times. I’m always telling clients ‘what works overseas will not work here in Fiji’. Your hair and skin will definitely be in a totally different condition and you must trust that the local makeup artist you’ve booked knows what they are doing.
For preps, I usually advise my bridal groups to wash their hair the day before, leaving no products on their hair or face until your artists walks in. For those with thick, coarse frizzy hair, best have it blow-waved and ironed smooth the day before so it’s less time consuming, which ensures everyone will get a retouch session just before they all head off to the ceremony.
If you’ve got beautiful curls I’d best advise keeping them as it is, and just get the stylist to style it in a ‘romantic twist’ as I like to call it. Good skin care regime should begin before your wedding to ensure you have glowing skin on the day that is photo-ready. One of my favourite setting sprays to use here in Fiji is the ‘All Nighter Setting spray by Urban Decay’ ,I never leave the house for a job without it and always stock up whenever I can.
The most memorable time always for me on every wedding day is just seeing the bride break down in tears after seeing herself in the mirror on the final look just after she has put on her beautiful dress. It sends chills up my spine and I swear it gets me so emotional every time. Mums cry all the time, but my god when dads cry seeing the unveiling, all hell breaks loose — it just breaks my heart in a very happy way. I think a groom that cries seeing his wife-to-be walking up the aisle too in all her glory is freaking awesome too! I feel the heavens open up every time this happens. ‘If he ain’t crying, you better take three steps back and hope he does’ is what I always tell my brides all the time. Seeing their laughter is honestly what I live for everyday. This has definitely been my trademark for brides to not only look their best but feel their best as well.
Our friendly people, beautiful blue waters, white sandy beaches and rows of islands all spread out magnificently in their own wonders. Fijians are laid-back and every ‘bula’ is real. Every smile will melt your heart and it might catch you by surprise because it’s totally normal for us to give a smile — and if we get one in return it surely makes our day worthwhile and happy. And that’s exactly how the world should be.
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