REPOST // The big questions – No. 4: What exactly happens at a bridal makeup trial?

Today’s big question concerns the bridal makeup trial, and what exactly is involved.  Usually held approximately 6 weeks before your wedding day, the makeup trial is a chance to try out different styles that complement your wedding gown, colour scheme and theme.  They also serve as an opportunity for a makeup artist to analyse the condition of the skin, and advise on ways to make sure it’s in tip top condition before the big day.  But what exactly happens during the makeup trial?  Here is a brief outline of how I like to approach the trial.

1. Firstly, hello!  This is the first time we would have met after corresponding via email, facebook or over the phone.  I like to see how you’re getting on with the planning stage, and if there is any assistance I can provide or any supplier recommendations you need.

2. Ok, let’s get down to business.  For initial inspiration I like to see any images of your wedding gown, flowers or general colour themes.  That way I can start to piece together a look that will complement all of these elements and (most importantly) something that will suit you and your gorgeous features.

3. I will then talk through the general outline of a makeup design I think will work, and if you’re happy with everything I’ve said then we begin!  The makeup trial usually takes around an hour.  As I work I will be getting to know your skin and how it responds to certain products.  It is at this point I can quickly analyse the condition of the skin and provide advise on how to get the most out of your skincare regime.

4. After completing your initial look I will get you to have a look in my portable mirror (which you can then walk around the room with in different lights) to see if there is anything you want to add or change.  It is at this point I fully encourage my bridal clients to really voice their opinions, even if they hate it!  That way we can work together to build the perfect bespoke makeup design.  If there are only minor changes such as more blusher, or a little less foundation then it all goes down in my diary to remember for the big day.  Any major changes we correct together at the trial, so that you’re not worried about anything before the wedding.

Tips for getting those ‘wedding morning’ photographs just perfect…

If your a complete wedding nerd like myself and regularly visit wedding blogs, you’ll often see inspiring photographs of real life wedding examples  – I’m particularly fascinated by the morning preparation ones, that Wedding Photographers seem to capture so beautifully.  Like getting the shoes, flowers and rings to look so stunning and inviting, and of course getting the bride to look relaxed and happy as she prepares to make her entrance.  Often being involved in these photographs, I have learnt a few tricks along the way to make sure your photographs are picture perfect…

Tips for getting those ‘wedding morning’ photographs just perfect

* If you can, make sure the room you are getting ready in is clear of suitcases/clutter and the bed has been made.  If your staying in a hotel, then ask the staff to come in early to prepare the room for you.

* Make sure to eat breakfast, shower, wash hair and brush teeth before wedding suppliers arrive

* If it’s in the budget, buy a new bathrobe/Kimono or pyjamas that will look neat and tidy in the photographs – and ask your bridesmaids if they could also make sure they are presentable

* Lay out your wedding dress, veil or hair piece and shoes for your photographer – they will often ask for these and take them out of the room to be photographed

* Your wedding suppliers will often sit you by the window to get the best natural daylight for hair and makeup – so make sure this area is clear & presentable

Your wedding makeup questions answered!

All this week I am launching a campaign for any bride to send in your wedding makeup questions – whether you are doing your own bridal look just want to know about application and products, or if you just have a general question then get in touch!  I will be answering them all on either my Twitter/Facebook or Blog page so you can have a good look through and get some wedding inspiration.

Your wedding makeup questions answered all this week 20th – 24th April 2015

IMG_5346 IMG_5345IMG_5348

Foundation troubleshooter

Foundation has the ability to even skin tone, texture and provide that silky film of seemingly perfect skin – yet it can be tricky to master with so many shades to choose from and different types of formula, it can be difficult to even know where to begin!  So let’s start with getting the right shade for you, and the best way to do this is to bypass the ‘put a little on your hand and step outside’ malarkey and just go straight for the No.7 counter in boots and get your skin professionally scanned for an exact match.  They will also do a quick analysis of your skin type and recommend what formula would be best for you; liquid, powder or stick.

Foundation Troubleshooter – why does my foundation look cakey and other questions…

*If your foundation looks cakey when you go into daylight it is most likely caused by the health of your skin.  If you have dry, flakey or recently sunburnt skin the foundation will not sit correctly.  The best thing to do is have a couple of days off from makeup and just moisturize to put the skin right.

*If you find your foundation builds up in one particular area too much such as around the nose or hairline, just use a dap of your moisturiser to even out and spread the formula.

*Foundation does not apply well or even at all onto sunburnt skin.  The heat from the skin melts the foundation to either evaporate off or turn cakey straight away.  It’s best just to cut your loses and drink plenty of water and use AfterSun to partly amend the damage before using makeup again.

*If your finding foundation isn’t really working for you try using a facial primer instead that works to even out skin tone and close pores for the appearance of smoother skin – something like Benefit’s Porefressional works amazingly well and quite often this is all I’ll wear if I have no time to do a full coverage.

Bridal makeup and current trends – getting the balance right

Wedding makeup has to do a lot of things.  It needs to compliment your best features, tie in beautifully with your individual style and also last the distance!  Brides also want something that won’t date, yet is on trend – creating a timeless feel to their wedding photographs.  But with current trends being as strong as they are (think big pencilled brows!)  getting the balance just right can make all the difference.  The best place to start when deciding on a bridal look is to study what you normally wear on a daily basis – if this means just a little eyeliner and mascara then start with perhaps drawing a more defined, thicker line and adding a couple of coats of mascara.  Remember, that nervous looking groom needs to recognise his blushing bride when she enters!

A really on trend look at the moment is the ‘naturally fresh/boho look’ – which is actually achieved using quite a few layers!  But is primarily dominated by a soft brown/golden shimmer smoky eye and a peachy/pink toned lip.  Something like this will not date and you will always look like ‘you’.  When looking to the catwalk for new ideas, try to stay true to yourself and take elements of new trends you like into consideration.  For example, a really predominate look on the wedding catwalk last year was a peachy, also blended entirely lip – so adapting this in real terms means just going for a lighter lipstick such as MAC’s Peachstock or Peach Blossom x

IMG_4347 IMG_4348

Creating a vintage or 1950’s bridal/wedding look

When you think of the 1950’s you instantly think vintage cars, pencil skirt wiggles and of course movie scarlets such as Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn.  These women were strong female individuals that drove fashions and beauty trends around the world – famous for their acting as much as their looks, their makeup defined an era.  Making it the age of glamour.  So it’s no wonder many brides are seeking this look to tie in with a vintage theme or just because, like me, they love this particular era and everything it stands for.

The thing to remember with this look is to keep the eyes relatively simple, with just a touch of colour in the crease of the eyes and to line it with a strong black or brown eyeliner.  I also like to add false eyelashes just to up the look by a notch.  Then go to town on the lips by getting the most deepest matt red you can find – I personally love MAC’s Ruby Woo as it’s a perfect 1950’s shade.


Pregnancy skincare, mum-to-be and beyond

Pregnancy is an emotional and physically demanding time.  I remember when giving birth my midwife said that your body will think that you’ve run a marathon, as the same sort of exertion is represented in the body – it felt like I had run 2 marathons!!  Pregnancy is also a time to get really focused on your health, and in turn the health of your developing baby.  A lot of emphasis is held on not what to put in your body food wise, but attention should also be on not what to put on your body in terms of skincare and makeup.  I’ve put together some tips of what worked for me and my lovely pregnant friends, to help you through this challenging period x

During Pregnancy

* Try to avoid wearing anti-ageing creams and formulas, as these contain a high level of vitamin A.  In fact avoid anything with Retinol in it.

* If you feel that you need stretch mark cream (oily skin types tend not to need this) then go with a suitable pregnancy authorised brand such as Bio-Oil, Sanctuary or Cussons

* Keep makeup really light and invest in some waterproof eyeliner & mascara, as you never know when those emotional mood swings kick in – mine was usually when I was watching an upsetting advert!

* Try to have a nice soak in the bath often, as this helps to relief the tension around the body as it has to carry more weight – it’s also a good time to check that baby is moving, as the water quite often simulates movement

After giving birth

* For a couple of weeks after giving birth I lived off of Elizabeth Arden 8hr cream for my dry face and lips – I cannot recommend this product enough

* Drink as much water/squash as you can, this will hydrate you after giving birth

* Try and stay off the hair dye until you have finished breast feeding

Updating mum & nan’s makeup bag

We all tend to find at some point in our lives that we get stuck in a bit of a routine, non so more apparent than in our makeup bags.  We get caught up in using the same brand, the same products and normally all stored in the same bag for years!  A few of my more mature clients tend to hire me because they have no idea what suits them anymore, how to apply it and what’s actually out there for them.  My own mum, like many others, need a little push into new products that are far better for their skin type and that have fresher colours.  So how to update mum & nan’s makeup bag?  I’ve put together a few tips & tricks I use with my own mummy x

* Get their skin properly assessed – they may have had oily skin in their teens, but this can often change into another category making the product they are currently using null and void.  Clinique has the best counters for skin type placement.

* Source a more flattering eyeshadow and lipstick shade – I tend to use eye tints from Becca & creamy eyeshadow formulas from Bobbi Brown, as they last longer & tend not to crease.  I also tend to favour browny/gold shimmers & light mauve’s.

* For lipstick I always use a very moisture intense formula like those from Rimmel and avoid anything too harsh in colour – as this can often bleed into the skin around the lips, ageing a person unnecessarily.

* Purchase a new makeup bag as a little pressie.  Often we forget about the bacteria that can build up in a much loved makeup kit, so regular cleaning is a must.

Menopause makeup tips for a natural day look

The menopause can be a very difficult stage in a woman’s life.  There are many symptoms that are not covered by the text books such as suddenly having dry sore eyes, the loss of eyelashes and finding you have a 5 o’clock shadow – all of which can have a detrimental effect on a woman’s self esteem.  As there doesn’t seem to be a lot written about this somewhat ‘taboo’ issue, I thought I would put together some makeup application tips x

* Try to keep everything as light as possible – this applies to the method of applying (thin layers) and the type of products.  I personally like to use Laura Mercier Foundation Primer and Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation for the base on my clients

* Use a primer on the eyes, I find the best to be Urban Decay anti-ageing primer potion.  Keep the eyes simple with using an eye tint, like those from Becca – just enough colour to create interest, but not too overpowering or heavy.  Lightly line the eyes with a soft brown waterproof eyeliner – I get mine from Rimmel

* Pop on a touch of waterproof mascara, even if you don’t feel you have enough lashes – this will instantly up your look and open up the eyes

* Use a moisture rich lipstick, which can easily be applied throughout the day


Product spotlight – Clinique Redness Solutions makeup SPF 15

Anyone who suffers from rosacea, acne or severe blushing knows how difficult it is to successfully cover this.  It seems as soon as you put on a product, either the oil from the skin or the heat from it destroys all your hard work.  But there is a product on the market that not only covers, but also strengthens the skin’s natural defence barrier.

I simply love all the Clinique Redness Solutions line, especially this little item, the Redness Solutions makeup camouflages the affected area, colour-correcting as it glides on.  I use this on my clients, just in the area they need it most like cheeks, nose and chin – as with this product a little goes a long way.  I also like to stick it in the fridge to keep it nice and fresh.  I find that doing this also helps calm down the blushing, working with me to cover and cool at the same time.

Tips for covering rosacea

* Avoid liquid foundations with a high alcohol content if you have rosacea & also anything too oily

* Always use products with an SPF, as the sun can trigger a lot of the redness

* Use yellow based foundation to even out skin tone and calm down the blush

* Try to avoid using your fingers to blend anything in, as this can aggravate the area

This product has to be a makeup wardrobe staple x