Jennifer Serra owns and is the lead makeup artist for JenniferSerraBeauty Hair & Makeup Team. She lives in Burleson with her husband Frank, a real estate professional, and their children—Lily, 9, Sebastian, 5, Maddox, 4, and Nikolas, the family’s newest arrival. When she’s not at photo shoots or touching up brides, you can find Serra exploring DFW with her crew of six.
3AM I hear 8-week-old Nikolas rustle in his bassinet. I pick him up and nurse him back to sleep. He wants to “talk” instead, so we play peek-a-boo. I change and wrap Nikolas and rock him around the kitchen until he drifts off.
3:58AM After I lay my head on the pillow, one of the kids wakes me up to take him to the bathroom. I lay my head back on the pillow only to wake up to another kid coughing and needing his breathing treatment. This is brutal!
6:20AM My alarm goes off. Somehow two of the four kids managed to climb into bed. “Hi, Mom,” my oldest whispers, and hugs me. She’s anything but a baby anymore and the weight from her big kid hug is a reminder of that.
8AM Time to eat breakfast and pack lunch. I’ve got a wedding styled shoot to get ready for two hours away, too. I load up the diaper bag, my lighting and kit into the trunk. It’s one of those rare days baby gets to go with me.
9AM Dropping my preschooler off. I wave bye to Maddox and, from the classroom window, watch him give his best friend a hug.
9:10AM Nikolas is still asleep in the car seat. I’m exhausted but try to get my mind off of it. Nothing a lot of caffeine can’t fix! I sneak in some time in the car to follow up with my assistant. Time to head home to nurse before we head out!
10:30AM I send off bridal makeup and hair timelines. We’re finally off! Luckily, the baby sleeps the whole two-hour ride there.
12:15PM Country roads, country roads and more country roads. The majority of the wedding venues are what I consider “Middle of Nowhere, Texas.” The scenery is always gorgeous, but I never take my phone off GPS until I get to the destination.
12:20PM We drive into the venue, and the scene is stunning! There are longhorns to the right and sheep to the left. I take photos for my Instagram story. I follow the pebbled road up to meet the owners.
12:30PM The venue is decorated with a modern yet cozy Southern vibe. There’s some construction still being done on patios, but overall I wouldn’t mind staying!
12:45PM I haul the car seat inside as baby sleeps. Set up my kit and my lighting. Nikolas squirms, and I take a moment to nurse him. I scarf down my lunch while he’s eating.
1PM The coordinator of the shoot, Jacilyn from Nothing But Love Weddings & Events, peeks her head inside to say hello. (She manages the styled shoot with such grace, you never would have thought there were so many hiccups in planning!)
1:20PM I babywear Nikolas and survey the premises, chitchatting some more with the owner about how I love the view and her eye for design. I find so much satisfaction in touring venues and learning the stories behind each one. They all have their own little personalities.
1:45PM Nikolas is on a baby blanket while we start hair and makeup on my model. I take the boho theme and run with it. Baby is amused with my ring light but gets fussy. I try to talk. Ugh. Thankfully, the model offers to hold him. He flirts with her while I finish her makeup.
3PM I put down Nikolas for a short nap and post the hillside view on my Instagram story. I scurry to tidy up the hair and makeup setup as my model changes into a vintage boho gown.
3:20PM I bust out the baby carrier again, and we head outside to meet with the crew. My makeup artist eye doesn’t like the lip color against the bouquet and outdoor “backdrop.” I ask the photographer for her thoughts. “Something more mauvy,” she says. Much better!
3:30PM I notice the chemistry between the model bride and groom is a bit off. I attempt to crack jokes to make them more comfortable with each other. Body language is always easy to detect in photos.
4PM Workouts are few and far between lately, so I do some squats with baby outside during the shoot. He stares at me and giggles like I’m the best person in the world. Why don’t they stay like this forever?
4:45PM The shoot moves inside, and I refresh the model bride’s curls. I send her on her way and get packing.
5:15PM I nurse the baby, talk about possible publications and then bid farewell to the whole crew. On the road again! Of course, we hit rush hour traffic.
6:45PM I’m starving and want something sweet as a reward for the last few days. I make it through the Dairy Queen drive-thru, with the line long enough for baby to start crying. I park, nurse him and eat. And we’re off again!
7:15PM It’s starting to drizzle and all I want is to finally be at home with my chaos … aka kids.
8:30PM Home sweet home! My three oldest run and give me hugs. “Mom! I haven’t seen you in forever!”
8:45PM Quick shower and make a bottle for Nikolas so I can actually sleep tonight.
9PM Thankfully, the kids have done their homework with Dad. I ask them if they have any special prayer requests, and we pray. We listen to a podcast to help them wind down.
9:15PM Yes! Whatever Dad did with the kids puts them to sleep without a fuss. Lights out!
What she’s reading The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate by Fran Hauser
What she’s watching Love Is Blind (I’m so embarrassed to admit it …)
Favorite indulgence Tacos, hands down
Beverage of choice Room-temperature water
Favorite scents Lavender and cleaning products
No. 1 item on her bucket list To travel to each continent at least twice
Words she lives by Go hard or go home
Top playlist Workout Twerkout on Spotify
Beauty product she can’t live without Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz pencil
Motherhood in five words So much love and poop
Favorite gift to give friends Surprise random Venmo for coffee
She’s really good at Reading people
She’s really bad at Math
Habit she can’t quit Caffeine (please don’t take it away!)
She’s inspired by Powerhouse women
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Serra.