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Article: Barbie Arrunategui, “My bridal makeup business started on my wedding day.”

Cinderella Bridal Makeup Artist
New York

Barbie Arrunategui, “My bridal makeup business started on my wedding day.”

Telling the beautiful story of Barbie Arrunategui, the straight As Business School student who embraced her bridal makeup business and career on her wedding day.


Barbie, tell us what made you want to start a bridal makeup business. 

I am an Indian American, born in India and raised here in the USA. I went to college and then business school in NYC and graduated with honors and thought my life was set. Then, I started working the corporate hustle and as glamorous and financially rewarding it was, it was also very time-intensive but somewhat boring.

I got engaged after graduating from business school and I started planning the wedding of my dreams. As I was looking for makeup artists to do my bridal makeup, I figured out it was complicated to find talented artists that could work with my brown skin tones. I went to various trials with a lot of hope and I ended soooo disappointed that I decided to just do my own makeup and hire a hairdresser for the big day. Unfortunately for me, the hairdresser overslept and showed up late and ruined my morning session of pictures. It was a nightmare, but at the same time, I realized that many other brides with ethnic skins like me should be able to find a well-trained and qualified makeup artist to answer their needs on that so important day.

As a part-time side hustle, I started selling skincare products. The brand I worked for offered me to be part of a makeup training program so I jumped on board to improve my skills. After that, the word got out in my community, circle of friends and acquaintances so quickly, that I had no time to think but started my own beauty and bridal makeup business. Cinderella Bridez is now 14 years in the making. We provide services for Luxury weddings and are one of the top US companies known in the South Asian Wedding Industry locally.

bridal makeup by Barbie Arrunategui

Bridal makeup by Barbie Arrunategui

What were some of the struggles along the way?

No road to success is ever smooth, there are always ups and downs. The hardest for me was being able to accommodate a large number of requests for clients and growing a solo bridal makeup business into a real company that today employs over 25 artists from East to West coast.

What sets your bridal makeup business apart from others?

We specialize in Luxury South Asian Bridal Beauty. We are known for being a qualified team that can accommodate large requests for wedding services in the South Asian community. We are proud to be recognized as a leader in customer service, and reliability all while still doing a great job whether big or small.

Barbie Arrunategi working on a bride.

Barbie, from whom do you draw inspiration? And why?

I am a makeup technician with a business mind. Empowered women inspire me a lot such as Barbara Corcoran and Sarah Blakely! They started from nothing and grew their companies into something huge. They are strong independent women who succeeded despite of the adversity.

Could you tell us what BEAUTY means to you?

True beauty comes from the inside. to me, your own beauty is defined by the person you are when no one is looking and by what you put out in the world. A truly beautiful woman radiates regardless of what her features or accessories are like. People are more beautiful because of who they are, not what they look like! 

Can you describe your own skincare routine, and tell us why is it important to you?

My skincare routine is quite simple but strict. I never skip 1 of the 5 steps I consider essential and I repeat them daily every morning and every night: 1. Cleansing, 2. Toning, 3. Eye cream, 4. Serum, 5. Moisturizer.

Skincare helps to defy the environment, our genes, our hormones, our bad habits, it reverses and slows the signs of aging, helping us to look like the best version of ourselves no matter our age. 

Can you share with us your professional skin prep tips/tricks before makeup?

Yes!! I exfoliate if needed, I use a serum and then apply eye cream. After these steps, I put gel pads under the eyes to plump up the look, and of course I finally moisturize.

The more supple the base the better the makeup application (less cakey, dry or heavy looking).

Which Embryolisse products do you use?

I love the cooling effect under the eye of Radiant Eye Stick. The results are even better when you keep the stick in the fridge. Radiant Complexion Serum is also super great, the skin looks so hydrated and dewy after.

What is your favorite memory from childhood?

As far as I remember, I have always been super girly. I love looking back at my childhood, putting on red lipstick in the schoolyard and passing it around to my 11-year-old friends, that’s where my passion for makeup began!

What is your motto, if you have one?

Oh yes, It is a quote from Bill Britt and I repeat it to myself all the time: The true meaning of Success is who is better off because you lived.

Thank you, Barbie for sharing your empowering story with our readers.

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