“I just want to thank you so much for doing the makeup for me and my bridal party. I really loved how natural and flawless we all looked and it lasted all day and night!”
Bride of the week is the gorgeous Jade, who got married at De Vere Selsdon Estate, a grand Victorian country mansion in South Croydon: https://www.phcompany.com/de-vere/selsdon-estate/
Jade wanted a natural-looking but also very enhanced version of her usual look for her wedding make-up, to compliment her elegant dress by Australian wedding dress designer Sophia Tolli: http://www.sophiatolli.co.uk/
I first applied Clarins Instant Smooth Primer where needed, and then buffed in Jade’s own Clinique Beyond Perfecting foundation, before concealing any dark shadows under her eyes with a Bobbi Brown Corrector in ‘Light Peach’ and Benefit Boi-ing concealer in ’01’.
I used a little Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Powder in ’01’ all over to give her skin a gentle pearly glow, before dusting on a light bronzing powder where needed to warm and subtly contour her face. I then applied MAC powder blusher in ‘Rosy Outlook’, a soft peachy-pink, to give her cheeks a glow.
I enhanced Jade’s pretty green eyes by applying a dark taupe eyeshadow to her lids and Charlotte Tilbury’s Rock N Kohl pencil in ‘Barbarella Brown’ to add further definition, followed by lots of black mascara.
Finally, I applied Bobbi Brown lipstick in ‘Rose Berry’, a deep rose pink with a satin finish, to enhance Jade’s lips.
Images (c) Roma Rose Weddings: http://www.romaroseweddings.co.uk/ (cropped slightly from originals)
Mascara is one of the most important aspects of any make-up look, as it lengthens, defines and volumizes the eyelashes and helps make the eyes look larger, brighter and more sparkly on camera. Although not used on all fashion looks, it is an essential component to a polished bridal make-up.
When choosing a mascara, you first need to think about what your lashes need to make them look their best. For example, are they quite straight and need a mascara formula that provides some extra curl to help open up your eyes? Are your lashes quite thin, and need a mascara designed to boost their volume and thicken them up? Or do your lashes look rather short, and need a mascara that creates extra length to give more drama to your look?
After curling your lashes for about 10 seconds (or longer if you have very straight lashes) with a good eyelash curler, I recommend applying a thin coat of mascara, allowing it to dry a little, and then applying another thin coat. That way you get a more refined and less clumpy effect. I often use a spoolie (a clean mascara wand) to brush through clients’ lashes, to remove any clumps and to ensure that each lash is evenly coated with mascara.
Here are my honest thoughts on some mascaras that I have tried out lately:
‘Ciglione’ by Diego Dalla Palma (£17.50 for 11ml from M&S) – This lash boosting mascara promises 100% more voluminous lashes, 95% longer lashes and 95% thicker lashes – quite a boast, but I found that it really does work and definitely gave me the look of having much fuller lashes! It didn’t flake or cause any irritation to my sensitive yes. I’d never tried anything from this Italian brand before, but I would definitely buy this mascara again. My only criticism is that it stings like hell if you get it in your eyes!
‘Class Act’ by Joan Collins Beauty (£20 for 6ml from M&S and QVC) – Another volumising mascara which definitely adds fullness and definition to lashes. I love the beautiful vintage style ribbed gold case and the large brush wand. I did find that the creamy formula gathered on the brush rather too much, so I would recommend wiping any excess product off the brush first before applying, to avoid clumping. This formula promises to stimulate lash growth if used over a 30 day period, but I haven’t used it long enough yet to comment on this claim!
‘Roller Lash’ by Benefit (£19.50 for 8.5g) – My personal favourite, I’ve got through countless tubes of this mascara and I always keep the mini version in my make-up bag. I hated Benefit’s They’re Real mascara, as I found that it smudged like crazy under my eyes, but this formula and brush to me is perfection. It’s a lengthening rather than a thickening mascara, and it really elongates and defines your lashes, while holding a curl. The almost spiky plastic brush makes clumping virtually impossible, so you get a very refined look. Although its not marketed as a water-proof mascara, I do find it to be a tough formula and it seems to be water-resistant, so it requires a good oil-based eye makeup remover to take it all off at night.
‘2000 Calorie Waterproof Volume’ by Max Factor (£7.99 for 9ml) – I have a love/hate relationship with waterproof mascaras. They’re (obviously) absolutely necessary for bridal make-up, but they always have a waxy formula in order to make them resist tears, and I’ve yet to find a formula that gives me both the volume and the resiliance that I want. I’ve found this classic drugstore mascara from Max Factor to be as good as any more expensive options, but my quest will continue!
Bride of the week is the gorgeous Lucy, who got married at Shoreditch Studios in East London on a sunny day in September.
I created a boho up do constructed from fishtail plaits with Lucy’s very long hair, accessorized with a delicate hair vine by Debbie Carlisle: http://www.debbiecarlisle.com/
Lucy wanted a 1920s inspired make-up look with a dark red lip and soft smoky eye, to compliment her stunning dress by Anna Campbell: http://www.blackburnbridal.co.uk/?portfolio=anna-campbell
To create Lucy’s make-up look, I applied Clarins Instant Smooth Primer where needed and then buffed in Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint in ‘Bare 01’ to even out her skin tone a little. I used a little Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Powder in ’01’ on the high points of her face to give the skin a subtle pearly glow, before dusting on a light bronzing powder to warm her face. I then applied Liz Earle powder blusher in ‘Camellia’, a neutral pale pink, to give her cheeks a subtle glow.
I enhanced Lucy’s eyes by applying a dark taupe to her lids and a little under the eyes, followed by lots of black mascara, and some beige brow powder through her blonde eyebrows to give them a little extra definition.
Finally, I applied Bobbi Brown lipstick in ‘Burnt Red’, mixed with a little ‘Blackberry’, to complete the look.
Image (c) Miki Photography: http://mikiphotography.info/ (cropped slightly from original)
Clean, white teeth will brighten up your whole face and certainly help you look younger, so if your teeth are looking a little discoloured after a year of drinking lots of coffee, tea and/or red wine, this little kit of seven liquid filled swabs from Instant Whites will brighten up your smile just in time for party season!
You simply collapse each swab to release a special liquid, which you then rub in a circular motion over the surface of each tooth you want to whiten for about 20 seconds per tooth. The clear liquid (which I notice contains sodium bicarbonate) seems to foam a little and starts to dissolve plaque and surface stains straight away, and you’ll notice that they look a little whiter within about five minutes. You then simply rinse your mouth out with warm water.
Unlike some of the more harsh home whitening kits out there, Instant Whites promises to cause zero sensitivity. It’s PH balanced and has a pleasantly sweet minty taste, rather than leaving a horrible aftertaste of bleach in your mouth, as I’ve found many peroxide-based kits do. It’s safe to use on caps, crowns and veneers, as well as natural teeth.
Obviously home whitening kits can’t fix discolouration of the teeth caused by ageing, and you’d need to pay hundreds of pounds for laser tooth whitening to remove severe stains, but this little kit is a great and relatively inexpensive way to remove everyday light stains from your teeth if you’re in a hurry and need quick results. Available exclusively from Boots at £29.99.
Many thanks to Sparkle PR for the sample!
Gorgeous Canadian bride Leslie got married at the very grand setting of The Dorchester hotel in London https://www.dorchestercollection.com/en/london/the-dorchester/ wearing a beautiful gown and headband created by Sally Lacock http://sallylacock.com/
Leslie wanted a simple half up do and natural, glowing makeup with more emphasis on her eyes, so that’s exactly what I created for her!
Image (c) Wild Track Photo Company http://wildtrack.co/weddings/
Here’s a really gorgeous and glamorous gift idea for Christmas! This beautiful gold art deco style compact from Joan Collins’ Timeless Beauty range contains two essentials for parties – a ‘Meticulous Pressed Powder’ (6g) with a cute little puff and a ‘Divine Lips’ lipstick, which fits perfectly into the lid of the compact, which also contains a good sized mirror.
I think it would be an ideal Christmas present for a friend or family member who loves old-school glamour, as they can pop this in their handbag and look like a 1940s film star when touching up their make-up!
The powder is very finely milled, gives a little more coverage than a translucent powder, and is perfect for blotting any excess oil on the t-zone. It only comes in one shade and is ideal for fair skin with a yellow undertone, but was slightly too dark for my very pale, porcelain complexion.
The lipstick comes in a gorgeous retro-style ribbed gold case (quite similar to Charlotte Tilbury’s lipsticks). It has a lovely hydrating feel and glides on very easily, with a satin finish. It feels lightweight on the lips, but packs a lot of pigment and lasts well. Shown here is the shade ‘Katrina’, which is a warm chocolate brown, but this compact comes in fifteen other vivid shades from the ‘Divine Lips’ range.
Overall I’m really impressed with this product – it’s the second product I’ve tried from Joan’s range and they were both excellent quality.
Many thanks to Alex Silver PR for the sample!
The full range is available here at http://joancollinsbeauty.com/ and you can also purchase a number of products from the range at QVC and M&S.
On a gorgeous sunny day in early September, I did the make-up for beautiful French bride Celina, whose wedding was held at Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park, which is a pretty venue for London or Surrey brides who want a leafy country house setting just outside the city: http://www.pembroke-lodge.co.uk/weddings
Celina’s wedding was captured by wedding photographer Jasmina Haskovic (image here cropped slightly from the original): http://www.jasminah.co.uk/
She wore the gorgeous beaded ivory ‘Elsa’ gown by wedding dress designer Eliza Jane Howell: http://www.elizajanehowell.com/
To create Celina’s make-up look, I applied Clarins Instant Smooth Primer where needed and then Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint in ‘Bare 01’ to enhance her porcelain skin, before setting it with Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Powder in ’01’ to give her skin a delicate pearly finish. I then applied Liz Earle powder blusher in ‘Camellia’, a neutral pale pink, to give her cheeks a subtle glow.
I enhanced Celina’s brown eyes by applying a dark taupe to her lids, before lining her eyes with Charlotte Tilbury Rock ‘n’ Kohl pencil in ‘Barbarella Brown’ above and below, and then applying Eylure Naturals 31 false lashes.
Finally, I applied Bobbi Brown lipstick in ‘Rose Berry’, which as the name suggests is a warm berry pink, ideal for Autumn weddings.
In late August, I did bridal make-up and hair styling for the delightful Rachel, whose wedding was held at the Asylum Chapel in London: http://maverickprojects.co.uk/. This beautiful, dark old chapel was bombed in World War II and has a faded grandeur that comes to life when it is lit up with candles and adorned with flowers, making it very popular for London brides who want a cool venue with a bohemian vibe and a spiritual atmosphere.
Rachel’s wedding was captured by wedding photographer David NcNeil: http://www.davidmcneil.co.uk (image shown here cropped from the original), and she wore the delicate silk and lace ‘Violet’ gown by wedding dress designer Kate Halfpenny: http://www.halfpennylondon.com/
To create Rachel’s natural make-up look, I applied Clarins Instant Smooth Primer and then Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint in ‘Bare 01’ to enhance her porcelain skin, set with the translucent Vichy Dermablend Setting Powder and Christian Dior Nude Tan powder to give her skin a delicate glow. I then applied Liz Earle powder blusher in ‘Camellia’, as this shade is ideal for giving a neutral pink bloom to very fair skin tones.
I kept her eyes simple by applying neutral shades of ivory and taupe and then lined her eyes with a dark eyeliner for definition – Charlotte Tilbury Rock ‘n’ Kohl pencil in ‘Barbarella Brown’ is one of my all-time favourite eyeliners, as it glides on and then sets to a waterproof finish.
Finally, I applied Bobbi Brown lipstick in ‘Sandwash Pink’ as this creamy neutral pink is ideal for enhancing the bride’s natural lip colour.
Rachel wanted a very natural looking, bohemian style up-do to go with her pretty flower crown, so I curled her hair first, before pinning it up in a natural looking style.
Setting sprays are a must-have item in my kit, especially for weddings and other special occasions, because they extend the wear time of make-up for many hours and reduce the risk of the products melting and smudging. In addition to locking in make-up, many setting sprays these days have a number of skin care benefits, and so can be used as a hydrating spray-on toner to refresh the skin throughout the day.
You can use setting sprays before make-up if you have particularly oily skin, but I think a mattifying primer (such as Becca Ever-Matte) will do a better job for you. In any case, I generally always use setting sprays after I’ve applied the client’s make-up.
The best way to apply them is to shake well (if needed), and then to spray at arm’s length above your head, so that a fine mist falls down upon your face – make sure you keep your eyes and mouth closed until it dries! I usually do this a couple of times, to ensure that the whole face is covered evenly.
I’m a big fan of Urban Decay’s All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray, but lately I’ve been trying out a few other options and these three have impressed me the most:
GERARD COSMETICS ‘SLAY ALL DAY’ SETTING SPRAY (£13.50 for 100ml)
The cruelty free Californian brand offers a very good value option for those with combination to oily skin, as this oil-control mist really does help to lock make-up in place and to reduce shininess on the T-zone. It can also be used under make-up, to help keep skin matte.
These have very strong fragrances which you’ll either love or hate – I have the ‘Peach’ variety which I personally find quite sickly but the scent does evaporate, thankfully! I think I’ll order the ‘Green Tea’ one from Beauty Bay next time, as I’ve heard that it’s a subtler scent. These also contain colour and the second ingredient is alcohol, so I probably wouldn’t recommend these if you have very sensitive skin.
CLARINS FIX MAKE-UP (£24 for 50ml)
A much better option for drier or more sensitive skins, this contains an anti-pollution complex, microspheres to absorb excess oil, and aloe vera extract to hydrate and soothe. It’s particularly refreshing on summer holidays, or if you work in an air-conditioned office environment.
It comes in a beautiful red glass bottle and the fine mist is scented with rose and grapefruit so it is a typically luxurious Clarins experience, which is of course reflected in the high price!
JOAN COLLINS TEN EFFECTS SKIN TREAT AND MAKE-UP FIXER (£20 for 100ml)
Ideal for mature, dry and sensitive skins, this milky mist really helps to lock make-up in place, and can also be used at any time of day as a soothing toner.
The packaging looks classy and elegant, it promises to add a PH balancing layer to the skin, and contains lots of skincare goodies including red algae gel, vitamin E and glycerine and hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin. It also contains organic Damask rose water, which gives it a gorgeous powdery rose scent which I personally like.
This is the first product I’ve ever tried from Joan Collins’ beauty range and I’m impressed! You can buy the full range online at her website (link above) and there is also an edited selection of her products available at M&S Beauty and on QVC’s website.