Longtime hairstylist and Main Street fixture, Christine Andrews is dedicated to helping her clients look their best, even in death.
She recently embarked on a new adventure: hair and makeup for funerals.
While she focused on the hairstyle, she said she’s always “touched and touched” on makeup. Years of hairstyling left her with back pain and looking for something different.
Andrews’ first experience with funeral makeup was for a deceased friend. During the pandemic, she styled more friends and family members who died.
“I’m going in with the attitude that this is the last time you’re going to see the person,” she said. “You don’t want to walk in there and see them look horrible.”
Andrews said she remembers being a child and hearing people lamenting how their loved ones looked in the coffin – an experience she hopes people will protect from.
“I wanted their last image of their loved one to be beautiful, beautiful,” Andrews said. “I go the extra mile. I put false lashes on, give them the best they could have had.
Andrews said she aims to make sure her clients look “the way they’ve always looked”.
“I’ve gotten so many compliments on my work every time it hit me – ‘I don’t mind making kills,'” Andrews said. “It makes me feel good that when they see them, they’re like, ‘Oh, wow. She looks good.'”
One particularly memorable experience was styling a client whose hair she had been cutting for 40 years. This client, she said, loved golden tones and always made sure she looked her best.
Andrews said when she saw the woman’s body she “looked nothing like herself”. Her hair was gray – not the blonde tone she had carefully maintained – and her skin had lost its color.
So the stylist got to work. She added color to the woman’s hair and used the golden makeup the woman liked. She finished the look with a gold lipstick – one of her and the wife’s favourites.
Andrews said she received so many compliments on the service that she thought she should continue the job professionally.
For one woman, who had gone bald late in life, Andrews visited a wig store with the woman’s daughters to buy a wig. She then cut and styled the wig as she had cut and styled the woman’s hair.r when she was a client. No one at the funeral could tell the woman was bald, she said.
Andrews said the first few times she put on makeup for a funeral, she was nervous. She always begins with a prayer, asking God to guide her hands to make the client look like their family remembers them.
“I turned it into gratitude,” she said, adding that she felt privileged to do this work.
Andrews said she’s sparked particular interest from people of color, who often don’t feel comfortable with in-house makeup services at a funeral home. Andrews, herself a woman of color, works with a full range of airbrushed makeup so she can carefully match the color of the person’s skin during her lifetime.
She said she works to follow the person’s traits and improve them.
“I’m not leaving until I’m happy with my job,” Andrews said, noting that she curled one woman’s hair three times until the hairstyle held the way she wanted.
To contact Andrews, call 508-291-1551.