Toronto native June Leung is the the makeup artist and hair stylist behind Love Notes By June. What started as a few requests to achieve Leung’s own natural look has grown into a diverse hair and makeup team based in Boston to help brides get radiant skin on their wedding day. This year, Love Notes by June was awarded Boston’s Best wedding makeup so we sat down with Leung and talked about growing the business, her favorite products and the brand’s signature look.
What’s been your most memorable experience as Love Notes by June owner/artist? I have two. First, I had a client two years ago who is kind of a celebrity in L.A. The bride called me up and said, ‘I’m having my wedding in Newport at the Rosecliff Mansion. I have a party of 18.’ I said, ‘I’m not sure, you know. If you’re booking me, I can do up to 8 people, but 18 is a lot.’ I said, ‘Why don’t we decide after we meet.’ … She said, ‘You are exactly what I want.’ She wanted to pay me a deposit and then meet with me. I was panicked because it was a party of 18 for both hair and makeup. I had to call people who I knew, even though they weren’t on my team. I had to ask them to work with me. And I had to make sure they were good because this was a very important wedding. We pulled it off. I was very impressed. We were all on time, and things were really good.
The other one is from last year when I was pregnant. There was a wedding that I had signed, but because I was pregnant had to tell them I couldn’t work. But it made me very happy because I have a team now. I can have someone to back me up.
How big is your team? Five to six. I have some teammates who do just makeup, some who do just hair and one of them who can do both.
How did you grow your business? I first started in Toronto and I really didn’t know how to start. I was working with an Asian clientele. … Then I started to work with brides from the States. In general, here, in New England, the style is very glamorous and shimmery. But because I’m not from here, I have a more international vision. So my style is a little bit different. I tried a lot of brides who were from here but had moved to other states. They liked my style so they wanted me. That’s how it started. Along the way, the parties I worked with were getting bigger and bigger, so I recruited more people.
What’s your personal approach to beauty? I’m more of a skin person. I wasn’t really into makeup at the beginning. Then slowly after I finished school when I got work, everybody was just saying like, ‘Oh, your skin is beautiful.’ I started putting on a tiny bit of cheek color. People thought that I did a whole face of makeup and [they] asked me to do the same on them. I’m getting more into makeup now as I’m getting older.
How would you describe your signature look for brides? Radiant skin; airbrushed look; seamless eyelashes. I use airbrushing to cover everything, even acne. It’s very light weight but it still covers. I do like a peachy, coral lip too. I really focus on the skin.
What are some products you like to use to achieve that glow? I like to use the Charlotte Tilbury’s liquid Flawless Filter. I use some Korean products. I like to use shimmery, cream products. But sometimes if you use too much, it will show your lines. So I have to pick what I like. A trial [session] is mandatory for all my clients, so after the trial I know what skin texture you have and then I can recommend different products.
What products would you suggest investing in? I will always use very high-quality products on my clients. I use Bobbi Brown because I’ve worked with them before and I know that their products are good. I have never had anyone have an allergic reaction to Bobbi Brown products. It does depend on the skin type. I also use Estée Lauder, the Double Wear foundation. I do a lot of airbrushing for the foundation. Make Up For Ever and Armani, depending on the skin type.
What types of tools do you use? I use very expensive brushes. I use Hakuhodo products. One time a bride asked me to use a new set of brushes on her. I said, ‘no, this brush is more expensive than my service.’ But of course, I clean it every time, after every single job.
Photo: Holly Rike
Have you ever had any unconventional requests from a bride? I don’t [just work with] Asian brides, but for those with a monolid … they usually want to convert to a double eyelid. This is something I can do that a lot of artists don’t always do.
What look did you wear for your wedding? In the morning, I had my Chinese ceremony gown; the red dress. In the afternoon, I had the white wedding gown for the ceremony where we exchanged vows. And then in the evening, I had an open-back evening gown for the cake cutting. I booked my makeup artist to be with me the whole day. I did different lip colors, not just touchups. I changed everything.
Do you have any favorite lip colors for brides? I like Armani. I remember the number is 500. It’s an orangey pink. Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro.
What’s next for you? I want to start my own product line for the products I’m known for. But I don’t want to say too much! I also want to teach people to do makeup … I’m looking into it. My goal is to have my own store to teach makeup and to sell products I like. I want to cater to clients directly.