Showing posts with label Wedding Series. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wedding Series. Show all posts

27 May 2011

Wedding Makeup Series - An Update


I have definitely been lacking on the Wedding Series front recently - there is so much I still want to cover but the fact is they do take forever to write! So please bear with me and also forgive this ramble of a post! 

If you don't already know I'm getting married next May at San Francisco's City Hall (which is why I started the Wedding Makeup Series) and up until last week I wasn't that excited about it, as 1. I'm impatient and 2. It seems like forever away! But now I've got over a milestone and it's less than a year away I've let myself do a bit of looking at wedding dresses and thinking more about what I want. 

Surprisingly even though I'm quite girly and love makeup I'm definitely not the bridezilla type - as long as my dress/makeup/hair is nice and I say 'I Do' on the day I will be happy. I'm normally one for details especially when it comes to interiors but with this I've said NO as in my head there is a little voice that says 'It's just one day' and I really believe it... the wedding is just one single day, but marriage is forever. So I see no point in sweating the small stuff.


Wedding Magazines

So I've picked up quite a few Bridal magazines recently and have just been looking at wedding dresses, hair styles and beauty products and I skip over anything with even the mention of favours or table displays! 

Now I actually wanted to talk wedding magazines with all you brides (or anyone that is thinking wishfully).There is no doubt about it they are stupidly over priced, the one above costs £4.99 - which is the price of a book not a magazine! However there is definitely a way of being savvy about it and actually saving money strangely enough! 

Firstly you can't see wedding magazine buying as a monthly thing - I mean it could easily cost you £20 a month when you can get all the same info online for FREE via wedding blogs. But when you are buying one you do need to look at the ones that offer something FREE - for example afew weeks ago when I wasn't even that enthusiastic about planning my wedding I spotted a magazine that offered a free OPI nail polish worth £10.50. I bought the magazine for £4.50 and sent off the coupon with a 1st class stamp (very old school but there wasn't an online option) and I'm now actually finding the magazine pretty helpful.

This week I picked up the May/June issue of You & Your Wedding for this reason...


Free eyebrow threading - worth £13! I wouldn't normally go have it done but the idea of having a consultation and getting my eyebrows the shape I've always wanted for free sounds like a pretty good idea to me. So my advice is to only pick a magazine that includes something free with it that will be beneficial to you. When I last went into WH Smith there was a free Armani mascara with one magazine and a free hair trail in another and of course the offer above - so there is bound to be something that you will use. 

Plus the two bridal magazines I have picked up have been really good - perfect if you are still at the stage of picking a wedding dress as there are so many beautiful styles and it really does make you think about what you want. But even if it's only a month or so to your wedding day - the hair and makeup articles are quite good for inspiration!

My own wedding plans 
So far I have decided I don't want a stupidly expensive dress as like I mentioned before - it is only one day and I will only wear it twice ( I'm having a reception once we get home from San Francisco) but I do want some beautiful designer shoes that will make me feel confident on the day and that I can wear again to remind me of the day. They aren't even going to be anything wedding-y as my dress will hide them... so I'm thinking something nude and fierce that I will be able to wear with skinny jeans and dresses for years to come! 


As for the dress I'm definitely not going to a wedding shop for it, the main reason being is they are expensive and generally heavy - and I don't want heavy as I will have to carry it through the airport with me, plus San Francisco can get quite warm in May. 
So I want something in a more maxi dress style that is long and flowing but that still has diamantes on it - The one above is my favourite so far which by AG London in House of Fraser and is £300 which I personally think is such a good price! I'm also going to have an artificial bouquet from Bloom as I don't want to be faffing around in florists while in San Francisco and really like the idea of keeping them forever, maybe on my bedside table.

So there you have it - my savvy tip for wedding magazines and my own wedding plans so far.

For any brides to be I would more than love to hear all your own plans!  

Fee x

9 May 2011

Wedding Makeup Series Part 4 - Colour Inspiration

combo 2

So I think we have covered how to create a perfect base but now it's onto much more difficult choices - eye makeup and what to put on the cheeks and lips!

Even if you are a pro at creating the perfect eyeliner flick or a hoarder of lip products it can still be very daunting as to what shades to pick and what will look good in your photos. But one thing to not even consider (which all the bridal magazines seem to talk about) is following the current trend, yes follow your theme, just don't consider coral lips just because it's 'in'. I promise you will look back at your wedding photos in 5 years time and cringe.

So without suggesting any products or shades in particular in this post I've created 5 case studies to show how to can match your makeup to the type of wedding you want or even the style you feel most comfortable with. 

Boho Spring (above) 

As you can see the model/bride here is naturally beautiful with flawless looking skin that has a nice warmth to it, so this natural look is perfect. 
This would be perfect for someone that's planning an outdoor wedding that wants things to look abit care-free. So if you want a keep your hair slightly tousled or just hold a simple bunch of freshly cut flowers for your bouquet like above then this may be the type of makeup look to go for. Though I would say you definitely need to define some areas of the face so you don't look washed out in the photos. So lining the upper waterline and slightly smudging it out would be a must and also keeping the brows neat and filled in to frame the face.

 This is quite similar to typical bridal look however if you do want to go for a typical English-rose look I would apply slightly more blush and lighten the lips with a pretty pink toned gloss or lipstick.

Winter Wonderland

A red lip is a daring choice for any bride however alot of winter weddings do call for it, especially when there is snow involved! Plus as you can see the bride above went for a vintage feel with a very vintage inspired hair style (which I'd only do if that was my own personal style) sharp brows and simple gel liner on the eyes. Here the lipstick is a brownish red though I'd be tempted to go slightly brighter for a more modern look as snow does bounce upwards lighting the face up and therefore washing out makeup slightly. The only thing I would of done differently here is made sure the face matched the neck as the face will show the cold making you look slightly whiter than you actually are. 

For winter weddings I'd go for a slightly darker than normal brown smokey eye or like above with statement lips and winged out liner. 

combo 3

Asian Opulence

Traditional Indian bridal makeup is all about defined striking eyes and brows. So this means a strong shimmery smokey eye defined with a thick line of gel/liquid eyeliner and either lashings of mascara or false eyelashes. Also lining the bottom lids is a must to really make the eyes stand out. As for brows they are normally kept full and strong to match the eyes. 
Being bold with eyeshadow is also a possibility here as there is so much going on - so jewel toned shades such as purple, bronze/gold and turquoise will look striking. 

If you are planning an Asian wedding your options are endless so go for the shades you love the most!

Vintage Summer

This like the first set of images is all about being laid back with a nice vintage vibe to it and a theme colour of coral. The bride here has gone for a strong coral blush and a light coral lip to co-ordinate with her shoes and coral rose hair clip. This is a very pretty look however I'd be tempted to say it is abit to much of just one colour and the blush in particular is abit too strong. Though this does show how you can incorporate a colour theme into your wedding makeup with ease. 

Creating a Mood board 

Once you have alot of decisions in place - What flowers you are going to have, the bridesmaids dresses, the location, the colour theme etc it's a good time to create a mood board of swatches and pictures to give you a better idea of how you want your makeup to be on the day. If after creating the mood board you still don't have a clear idea of the types of shades you want then opting for a typical bridal look could be a good option. So a nice soft brown smokey eye, light peachy pink lips and a soft flush of a blusher of your choice. Of course this isn't for everyone and you may not want to go for vanilla/brown eye shadows so have a look at different beauty counters at there eye shadows quads to give you an idea of the type of shades that will complement each other and what you like the most.


I know this may seem like a nothing post with not alot of information, but I really wanted to stress how important it is to have a good idea of the shades you want on your eyes and also to think of how it will fit into the theme of your wedding. 
But most importantly if it suits your normal style and personality as after all you want to look like a better version of yourself on the day!

In the next post I will be looking more at eye shadows shades & textures, application, mascara and of course how different finishes/products photograph.

Would also love to know from any brides-to-be what eye shadows shades they are thinking of wearing! 

29 April 2011

A Perfect Example of Doing Your Own Wedding Makeup


What a beautiful bride and what a beautiful day it has been. 
I have to say I've spent most of the day watching the live coverage of wedding and looking the stunning images online, which I really didn't expect to do. However the whole wedding was such a beautiful affair I couldn't not and definitely something to remember for decades to come! 

However as I'm sure most of you have been doing the same as me, I thought I'd focus on  Kate's stunning wedding makeup which hasn't been spoken about that much compared to that amazingly beautiful wedding dress. 

So after all the rumours and most people thinking it would turn out to be un-true, she did in fact do her own makeup for her own very special Wedding Day that over 2 billion people viewed from all over the world! Which I find just amazing! That someone with access to the best of the best would decide to go it alone and apply her makeup by herself! 

This has definitely made me feel even more positive about doing my own makeup next year.


So what did she go for!

Well as you can see slightly more tanned than afew weeks ago - but in a subtle glowing way. Also it seems that she neatened & darkened her brows slightly which definitely frames the face and gives a more 'put together' finished look. As for the cheeks I'd be tempted to say she was wearing a cream blush by Mac...but who knows! Either way it's a lovely rose pink shade that I personally think suits her alot more than her everyday blusher style. 
On the eyes it looks as if she was wearing a soft grey smokey eye with abit more definition than she would normally go for in the crease. Sadly though the bottom black liner that she normally wears is still there - which I'm tempted to say it slightly too harsh and would of been much softer if blended out slightly. For on the lips a lighter gloss than normal that finishes off the look beautifully. 

On the whole a stunning look for the beautiful Duchess of Cambridge.

However she was not without a prior help from London-based Makeup Artist Arabella Preston who gave Kate Middleton afew one-on-one trails to perfect her look and technique before the big day! 


This definitely came as a nice surprise to me as Arabella Preston did the makeup of Cherry Healey; a wonderful TV presenter and writer that I absolutely love.

But something that impressed me even more - Arabella also writes a blog and even talks about high-street makeup! It's called A Line on Beauty which you can have a read of here. I'm also very tempted to book my own wedding makeup trail with Arabella as I do plan to do my own, next year in San Francisco, plus she is very affordable! 

As for Kate's Manicure...


It was kept very simple with a manicure from Marina Sandoval who created the £36 'signature manicure' on the brides nails - consisting of a luxury soak, exfoliation of the hands, a deep tissue massage and finally a file, buff and polish. The actual polishes used were Bourjois Rose Lounge and Essie Allure to create a perfect light and subtle pink polish

Two shades that a bound to sell out within the week, I'm sure! 


I don't think there is much else to say, except that I do hope it encourages more and more brides to be to do there own makeup and feel confident and proud! 

With that I shall leave you with a tweet from Face atelier early on today! 

From @FACEatelierCosm - Apparently Kate did her own wedding makeup. We certainly hope that this doesn't start a trend!!! ;)

25 April 2011

Wedding Makeup Series Part 3.2 - Purchasing The Perfect Base That Will Photograph Well!

I'm sure I overwhelmed afew of you in my last post especially with how much there is too think about (even though it's just foundation & concealer).

But really if you stick to spending one day for being colour matched and taking home lots of samples. Then a week or so of trying them out in natural daylight and even photographing yourself wearing the different samples then you can't go wrong!

I would actually suggest purchasing your choice of foundation right at the last minutes. Of course have a sample of it, purchase the rest of your makeup (which is the next post) so eye shadows, blush, mascara and then actually go to your dress fitting wearing the makeup you will be wearing on the day. Mainly to see how the foundation looks against the shade of your dress. Especially with white it can actually warm up your complexion even if you are fair skinned, so your foundation may actually look abit on the orange side or just a touch too dark.

liquid-foundation-makeup - Copy

Though if you want to get your makeup out of the way book a wedding makeup trail with a beauty counter that you think best suits you - most counters offer wedding trails for around £20-25  (or sometimes free) which is redeemable against the products you buy. Take along a material swatch of your bridesmaid dresses or a picture of the flowers that will be in your bouquet. But most importantly make sure to wear a top the same shade as your wedding dress.

Really don't just agree with what the sales assistant/ makeup artist picks out for you, really have an input into the shades they try out on you. If you aren't sure and want to see how it lasts and photographs take a camera with you and get the SA to take a picture of you with flash (inside and at least 6 feet away) and then take one yourself outside in natural lighting without flash. Do afew hours of shopping and if you are still happy with how it looks and has lasted go back and purchase the products you loved the most.

Back to the makeup I didn't really touch upon in the last post - blusher and primer! Both
equally as needed in my opinion.



Primer is one of those things that people skip over as it is a bit of a boring product and tends to be on the pricey side. However it will really help smooth over any imperfections in the skin and will make your makeup last so much better. The two I would suggest are the Smashbox Photo finish primer £26.10 (3) and the DHC Velvet Skin coat £14.50 (1) which are both silicone based primers so will really fill in any enlarged or stretched pores. If you are on a budget though I'd go for the 17 Photo Flawless primer £4.99 (4). I've also heard very good things about the L'Oreal Studio Secrets Resurfacing primer £14.29 (2)

Tip: Apply the primer with the foundation brush you are using to apply your foundation with, as it will make for a smoother foundation application.


I'm not really a blusher person (though I do own over 20 and try to wear it daily so I don't look pasty!) but whenever I'm going to be having my photo taken or even if it's going to be sunny then I definitely wear it. Why? Because both photography and sunlight can wash out colour on the face and it can result in the face looking abit flat/lacking definition, so it's important to just add a touch of colour to the cheeks.
Of course it's hard to suggest shades as it's personal choice but if you are going for a natural
soft look then a neutral - nothing too coral, nothing to pink type of shade would be best.
If you do want the cheeks to have a hint of colour without looking powdery then a cream blusher after the primer and under the foundation would be perfect - just to define the cheeks. See blusher recommendations below.


Application for a flawless finish

The first thing I would suggest is buying a standard double-sided mirror (see my bargain £4 mirror here) , especially if you are getting ready at the location of your wedding venue. As alot of the time they will only have a fixed wall mirror in the hotel and a bathroom mirror (with artificial lighting) so having a stand alone mirror means that you can put it next to the window and apply your foundation in natural lighting.

As for how to apply your foundation I'd say a flat foundation brush is best (it doesn't need to be expensive). You want to get the foundation onto the face & neck with one side of the brush then really get to work blending it out so it looks even and almost invisible. You want to look flawless so only apply a small amount of foundation to the centre of the face and work it outwards this will stop the skin looking too matte and just nice and healthy! Stippling foundation brushes are good but they can actually exfoliate the skin while working the product in, especially around the sides of the nose so it you have dry or combination skin this is definitely a brush to avoid! Though I highly recommend the Cosmopolitan Blend Perfection Sponge £5.50 for a light airbrushed finish.

Tip - Remember the tops of the ears as this can be the first thing to go red when nervous or in the sun!


As for concealer I would be tempted to opt for a concealer style pen for under the eyes that you can brush on and then blend well, lightly with the ring finger (Clinique
do a nice one) but again avoid anything that claims to highlight such as the iconic YSL Touche Eclat ( even though I personally love it for everyday use) as it will look oily in photographs and is also on the thin side. For blemishes and redness you will need a very small precise concealer brush (I'd even consider looking at lip liner or precision eyeliner brushes) just something with a small point that will only cover the blemish and not the area around it as well. There is more to talk about with concealing dark circles and even the out corners of the eyes but I will come back to it when talking about eye makeup in the next post.


Talking of application and getting a good overall finish, brushes are differently needed and if you are into makeup then my guess is you have a fair few already! So giving them all a good clean afew days before your wedding day and organizing them would be a good idea. However if you only have the odd few then purchasing a nice brush set of essential brushes would be a good thing to do right at the beginning of purchasing your wedding makeup so that you can get familiar with them and work out how best to use them. 

I find purchasing travel sets or normal sets alot cheaper with most brands (though I've been told the MAC travel brushes are a big no-no as they aren't as good as they core line) E.l.f  brushes have to be the cheapest out there and are very good. Eco Tools also offer quite a few good sets at around £15 from Tesco/Boots and Sigma also offer a very affordable travel set of 8 brushes for around £35 inc. p&p from the US.

Product/Brand Recommendations



High end foundation (no SPF) - Mac Face & Body Foundation 120ml £23.50 (4) in nothing below a NW shade if you have pink undertones and any Clinique foundation £20+ (2) - there's just so many to suit all different skin types.

High street - Bourjois range healthy mix/10hr sleep effect £9.50 (3) and Sleek New Skin Revive £7.30 35ml  (1) With 20 shades in total for fair to black skin (the biggest shade range on the high street in fact !). Sleek also offer foundation tester kits of the Skin Revive range in 4 different shade ranges so you get 5 x 2ml samples for your shade range at only £2.99! Really great!



High end - Clinique Airbrush Concealer £15.00 (3) Concealer pen and Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer kit £23.50 (4).

High street - For blemishes No7 Stay Perfect Blemish Stick £8 (especially oily/combination skin). For more liquid concealers I'd go for either Bourjois Healthy Mix £7.00 (1) or Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection concealer £4.19(2).

I would also suggest a really high coverage concealer to hide bruises, tattoos or even a dreaded red spot on the day with Vichy Dermablend Start Kit  for only £4.50 from Escentual.com.



High end - The Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush £14.50 (3) are amazing just so natural, blend perfectly, last all day and you need the tiniest of amounts. My favourite shades have to be Life and Cherub. There is of course Mac and Nars again amazing and both with such a huge range!

High street - Cream blushers are definitely the most natural option my favourites being the Topshop Cream Blush in Nutmeg £6.00 (1) which actually are a cream to powder formulation so easy to blend but stay in place. Max Factor also do a perfect range of cream blushers called Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush £6.99 (4) in a  nice range of natural/pink tones. If you are wanting a matte powder blusher then opt for Revlon Matte Powder Blush £7.99 (2).



High end -I'm probably not the best person to recommend matte bronzers as I do like abit of shimmer and I also love my Bourjois bronzing powder. Though Soleil Tan De Chanel £28.60 (2) is very popular indeed as is Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder £23.50.

High street - Finding a good matte bronzer on the high street is difficult as really there are very few. However there is Bourjois Delice de Poudre £6.99 (1)


Though out the day you may need to blot the skin especially if you are warm - pick blotting papers that aren't coated in powder instead of pressed or
loose powder as it won't cause any build up of makeup on the skin and remember to blot and not wipe!!
Clean & Clear do some good blue almost stretchy sheets (from Boots) and Paul & Joe refills (can be found for £4 on Ebay) are great for pretty packaging and non-powdered and of course nice and slimline for the clutch bag you or one of your bridesmaids will be carrying.

Next up is talk of actual colour - so what shades suit different seasons, what shades to avoid, what shades to go for and how to incorporate the style of your wedding into your makeup! 

17 April 2011

Wedding Makeup Series Part 3.1 - Purchasing The Perfect Foundation & Concealer That Will Photograph Well!


Getting foundation and concealer right has to be the most important thing when it comes to makeup for your wedding day especially for them all important photos. But truthfully it's the hardest thing to get perfect when you have so many things to consider - the weather, your skin type, how it will photograph, will it last the full day... whilst also looking to achieve flawless looking skin that looks like your own just essentially more beautiful!

Which is why I've wrote two posts of epic proportion on the subject and I even surprised myself on how much there is to actually say about picking the right foundation and base products. 

Whatever your wedding plan's I'd suggest you need to schedule in at least two shopping trips just for makeup alone, though when you do it is totally up to you, as long as it's not the week before!

On the first trip you want to be looking at everything you plan to apply to the face on the day (minus anything for the eyes,lips and cheeks as it could easily become too overwhelming) - so that could be a primer, foundation, concealer, powder and a matte bronzer if you are wanting a touch of warmth to the face without having a fake tan. On the subject of fake tan if you are planning on having a spray tan or having a self tanner applied make sure you go shopping 2 or 3 days after you have a trail tan done so that you can get colour matched whilst tanned!


Shopping for Foundation Samples
Back to shopping, well I say shopping but I wouldn't suggest buying anything on your first trip. The main focus is to get colour matched for both your concealer and foundation at a range of counters and then take home samples to try out near a window in good daylight to see how natural it looks and also how it lasts. Now asking for samples and beauty counters are equally as daunting but even though I love the high street I definitely feel a high-end foundation is needed for the big day as these brands have a huge range of shades and finishes and you will need quite a specific type of foundation (which I've detailed below). So if you are going to splurge on anything let it be your foundation and concealer.

Nearly all beauty counters will colour match you if you ask - likely the sales assistants will colour match you just above your jawbone, proceeding to show you how pretty your closest match looks and then mostly likely expect you to hand over your cash there and then. But you of course don't know if it looks natural with all the artificial department store lighting around or if it will last on your skin! So ask for a sample of the shade you have been colour matched to, though be prepared for the SA to say she hasn't got any samples to hand! Which is when you produce your own little plastic jar (you can buy travel sized pots from Superdrug or Boots) for her to put afew applications of foundation into. If the sales assistant for whatever reasons says she can't do that then WALK AWAY! There is no point in spending £20+ on a foundation that may not look as natural as you thought once you get home. You NEED to apply a full application and see how it feels, lasts and looks.


When foundation shopping for your wedding makeup you need to consider at least 4 key points -
  •  No SPF (the sales assistant may try to sell you one with even a low SPF in especially if it's summer but just don't go for it! It just photographs badly and there are many foundation choices without it. Also avoid anything that promotes to be radiance enhancing, light reflective or dewy as this can appear oily looking on the skin in photos.
  • Try to find a foundation that suits your specific skin type - If you have oily skin avoid anything that has anti-ageing properties or hydrates the skin etc. All common sense really!
  • Look for a sheer to medium/semi-matte or satin to matte coverage - you want your concealer to do all the work hiding blemishes and not the foundation. A full coverage isn't going to look as natural as you want it to.
  •  This is the most important time to find a shade that matches your skin perfectly so don't rush! Never try a foundation at a beauty counter and buy it there and then. Ask politely for a sample to try out at home - explain it's for your wedding day if you hate having to ask for samples. Asked to be colour matched even if you think you know what your shade is - Too dark you risk looking dull, muddy or at best just orange! Too light and you risk looking like a Casper the wedding ghost in photographs. You need to find the perfect shade, so if this means going to 6 different brands... DO it!

If you do have quite pink undertones, flush easily or suffer from redness then you definitely want to opt for a yellow based foundation as photography will only enhance pink tones in the skin so the yellow based foundation will help to counteract this problem.


All the same rules apply for concealer - though I can't stress enough how you don't want to purchase anything that's going to be light reflective under the eyes. So nothing that says 'radiance' 'dewy' 'hightlighting' 'brightening' you just want a simple liquid concealer with no shimmer - the concealer pen's are great but just keep in mind the above. It's even more important to get the right shade of concealer for under the eyes as you don't want that 'racoon' look that you can sometimes get in pictures from picking a concealer that's too light for you. It should of course match your foundation and be of good coverage.
SPF isn't your friend! 
Avoiding sunscreen in cosmetics for your wedding day could be a post all of it's own! But I will try to keep it as short as possible because it is pretty boring if I'm honest. Like I previously mentioned you want to be avoiding any SPF in foundation but this also applies to your primer, concealer, powder and any mineral makeup basically whatever makes up your base you will be applying. Check on ingredients list that it doesn't contain Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide or Zinc Oxide. As these UV ingredients will bounce off flash in photos and create a white powdery cast over the face or lighten the whole face and your features. There are also a few products to especially avoid like the Make Up For Ever HD Powder and Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder that are the worst culprits for looking really white and powdery in photos.

The effects of up close flash photography with HD and brightening powders!

However the result of 'ghost face' in non-celebrity land is basically down to the wrong use of flash photography. So my guess is your own photographer's photos will turn out perfectly. But them snaps Auntie Jean will take with her digital camera (and will also kindly uploaded onto Facebook) at the night reception 2 feet from your face won't really be showing your makeup in it's best light! To solve this... you could ban all cameras or tell people to stand the hell back (only joking)! But really there isn't much you can do except count your lucky stars you have a pro that knows what he or she is doing!

Whatever your skin type if you feel you need an sun protection during the day (especially if it's summer or you are going abroad) then you need to apply it but there's also a chance of you sweating from the heat and moving about so much in probably quite a heavy dress which means your makeup has a chance of sliding/wearing off so applying a cream sunscreen under foundation just isn't going to work. So before applying any makeup to the face, make sure to apply a mineral powder SPF from either Bare Escentuals or Peter Thomas Roth. Making sure you don't miss out the neck - this will also decrease the risk of looking like you have ghostly skin in photos! If your budget won't stretch to such a costly mineral SPF then your next best option is an oil sunscreen as this won't leave a film on the skin. Also don't instantly go for the highest SPF the range does - the lower the better for the day but of course nothing too low that will still let you burn.


You obviously want to go subtle on the bronzing front so opt for a matte powder bronzer that isn't too dark for you. If you have particularly dry skin you may want to consider/try out a foundation 2 or 3 shades darker than your own as a contour, which can be blending in with your foundation brush. For this a sachet or sample pot will be your cheapest option instead of the full-sized product!

Powder highlight can be too harsh in photos or even look too shimmery. You need to be very aware of what you want the camera to pick up, so you really want to just highlight the high points of your face - along the tops of the cheekbones and lightly along the brow bone, again this can all be done under the foundation for a subtle effect. 
Avoid pencil brow highlighters are they will give a harsh edge and even makes your eyes look abit puffy in flash photography and  also dusting a powder highlighter all over the face isn't a good idea. You really want to find a nice liquid skin illuminator that you can sparingly apply to certain areas, this will make the skin look nice and glowy and will be perfect for your wedding photographs. 

To set everything your actually looking for a finely milled powder that is the nearest to your own skin tone with a slight yellow cast to it and not in fact a translucent one liked you'd think (as again it just doesn't photograph well). You will only need the smallest amount on the day but it will really ensure your makeup will last the day whatever your skin type.

Have I missed anything out? More than likely! But I'm sure I'm starting to bore you now! My next post will be the second part in which there will be talk of  brushes & primers, foundation & concealer application, keeping your skin oil-free throughout  your wedding day... and actual brand recommendations for different skin types! 

Hope you are enjoying the series so far!

15 April 2011

Wedding Makeup Series Part 2 - Achieving Clear Skin Before The Big Day!

Bad skin on your wedding day is the least you want! So to ensure you have good skin you need to start working hard and now!
This post is mainly focusing on how to solve problem skin before the big day!

The big question is when to start getting your ass into gear and really focusing on getting clear or clearer skin for the big day and it all really depends on your skin type. If it's temperamental and can go from being quite clear to spotty in a afew days then you need to start a good routine that your skin likes.
So this could be anything from 4 months before or 1-2 months - it really depends
on how bad you feel your skin is!

Whatever your skin type - dry, oily, combination. If it's problematic you need to at least sort out a good routine for it and one you will stick to. There is no need to head to Clinique for there 4 step system nor do you need to buy a new toner, face wash, spot treatment,  moisturizer etc. You just need to have a real good look at your skin near a window in good daylight (even write down it's problems) and then try to get afew products that are designed to sort them problems out but in a more sensitive/natural way. So no harsh scrubs or toners.

My first solution would be to start thoroughly cleansing nightly and yes, that means every single night. This can be more than helpful to both dry and oily skin types for different reasons as I'm sure you will know.


But cleansing and re-newing the skin daily should help whatever your problem or concern may be. So go for a cream cleanser that you can use with a muslin cloth at night to totally remove all makeup and clean the skin properly. I'd recommend trying either Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish or No7 Hot Cloth Cleanse as neither of these seem to react badly and are quite mild yet affective.  
Next is sorting out the problems you have directly - now I love, love skincare and after many years of having rubbish skin I've finally got it under control and now have pretty clear skin. But as skincare is so complex and there truly isn't one right answer per skin type so I sadly can't advise much plus I'm no dermatologist! But what I can say is to keep is simple! If you find a product that helps - use it, stick to it and don't be tempted to try a new (maybe better) product as it's sometimes like taking a few steps back.
If you are totally confused by your skin and can't find the right products for it and just feel like you won't be able to get clear skin in time for the big day, then I highly suggest starting having regular facials. Yes it may end up being costly if you add it all up over the course of two months, so don't add it up! But it will 100% help your skin and it will also relax you - which as we know can also play a major part in how our skin looks!


In the 2 weeks running upto your wedding you definitely want to be 'good' to your skin, which means more water drinking, less alcohol and a good nights sleep every night if possible! Also cleansing the face properly both morning and night and use an eye cream and moisturizer religiously if you need it. Plus I'd say 3-4 good face masks that you know are good for your skin can only help in the run up to the big day!

If your wedding is in summer or you are travelling somewhere hot for it- there is NO getting sun burnt before or on the big day! NONE!
Lobster face and shoulders will just be too hard to hide, but something that can easily happen when you're distracted with all the wedding plans! So everyday before the wedding (if it's even a touch warm) a factor of 30-50 needs to be applied to both the face (remember ears), chest and body!
If your problem is oily/spotty skin then applying a thick SPF cream afew times a day can totally undo your good work. So invest in a high factor mineral translucent powder from either Bare Escentuals or Peter Thomas Roth that will actually help with oil control and can be applied during the day when your face is most at risk from burning! A little on the pricey side but so worth it, also Sun protection oil is good for the body if you have slightly spotty skin there as well.


And that's it really for preparing the skin before the big day! 

Of course on the morning of your wedding you want to softly cleanse the face and apply an oil control toner (just that one time) if you have oily skin or if your going to be out in the sun all day. You may also want to give your face a good splash of really cold water (minding the hair at all times of course!) to plump up the skin and to close any pores.  
As for moisturizing if you have oily skin skip it but make sure you have exfoliated in the lead up to the day and of course if you have dry skin apply it (making sure it doesn't contain an SPF).
Then you want to wait at least 15-20 minutes - maybe eat a light breakfast if you can manage it! Just so the skin has time to adjust back to normal and any redness to go before applying your makeup. 

If you do wake up with a dreaded spot on the morning of your wedding of course do not squeeze it! Cleanse the face as usual and then place an ice cube in a hankie (yes, I said a handkerchief!) for no more than 5 minutes - this will help inflammation and redness. 
But if you do have a feeling you will have the odd red spot or pimple on the day make sure to invest in a good green concealer before your wedding that will counteract any redness. I really love Biotherm Aquasource Biosensitive SOS Concealer £13.28 Boots.

I know this all seems boring and you probably knew all of this already but you want your skin to look beautiful on the day and ofcourse makeup will help alot but you want your natural skin to be as perfect and blemish free as you can possibly get it!

This of course isn't to be taken as gospel as I'm no guru or expert but I just wanted to share what I've learnt and share how I solved my own bad skin! Feel free to ask any questions about your own skin (I just didn't want to go too in-depth about what to do for each skin type or problem).

Next up is applying a perfect base and starting to think about how certain products will be photographed on the day. 

14 April 2011

Wedding Makeup Series Part 1 - Going It Alone!


Firstly don't get worried this isn't a post about the upcoming Royal Wedding - I like to leave that to The Daily Mail especially when it comes to whom ones Corgi's will be groomed by for the Royal occasion.

But this upcoming series of posts was in fact inspired by Kate Middleton's decision to do her own makeup for the official engagement photos (above) and for the actual day! 

Which I think speaks volumes for women that can actually afford the apparent luxury of a makeup artist. While also makes those that can't afford the pleasure or don't want it even more secure! 
 I'm planning my own wedding in San Francisco next May and if I thought about it I could of afforded to have a makeup artist on the day but it simply didn't entered my head. I know my own face and what suits it better than everyone and I know that I couldn't be doing with the added stress of maybe not looking like 'me' on my own very important day. 
That's not to say makeup artists are not needed, far from it in fact for some! If you are totally hopeless with makeup (and feel stressed at the thought of having to apply it on the day) or know that you may not even be able to hold a mascara wand due to nerves then booking a makeup artist may be the best option.

Images are my own
But of course doing your own makeup isn't as simple as waking up on the morning of your wedding and applying it as usual - far from it! There is a world of things to think about and it is abit of a mind field once you start so I'm hoping to guide you through it step - by -step with a series of 5 posts this month. 

The series will range from sorting out problematic skin before the day, to successfully navigating the beauty counters and picking makeup that will most importantly look
flattering, photograph well and also last the day!


I may also do afew additional posts at a later date on bridesmaid's makeup and how to actually pick shades or a style that will match the theme of your wedding.

I'm sadly no expert in weddings, skincare or even makeup but I do have a crazy passion for all three and do know a thing or two about photography! 

I really hope the series will be fun and helpful to anyone planning there own makeup! 

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