“Thanks to your wonderful and amazing work that day…the pictures were just perfect!” – Fatma
I’ve just been sent this gorgeous photo of one of my July brides, captured beautifully by Dan Morgan Wedding Photography: https://www.danmorganweddings.com/index
For Fatma’s make-up look, I created a soft but very smoky eye, mainly using Urban Decay eyeshadow in ‘Serious’, with lashings of volumizing mascara and MAC jet black kohl pencil in ‘Feline’ to make her light blue eyes really pop on camera.
For the skin, I used Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint in ‘Beige’ and Clarins Instant Concealer in shade ’01’ under her eyes, set with translucent powder, a light bronzer and a dusting of Laura Mercier Matte Radiance powder all over to give Fatma’s skin a subtle but very pretty glow.
Finally, I used a delicate pink lipstick and blusher, to balance out the strength of the eye make-up.
It was also lovely to get a photo with the bride herself, wearing her beautiful gown from Pronovias: https://www.pronovias.com/gb/
The period in the run-up to getting married is such an exciting time, but all that rushing around and planning can cause a lot of stress, which can in turn wreak havoc with your skin in the form of redness and breakouts.
Of course, a good make-up artist will be able to hide spots and dark circles under your eyes a full coverage concealer, but skin is like a canvas, and the smoother your canvas, the better your make-up will look on your wedding day.
Here are my top five tips to ensure that your skin looks its best by the big day:
1) If you have any dry or flaky patches on your skin, the foundation and concealer will cling to these patches and cause your make-up to look cakey, so get into the habit of exfoliating your skin once every couple of weeks with a gentle face polish such as Clarins Gentle Refiner. Use circular motions and don’t rub too hard, or you may scratch and irritate your skin. If you have any dry or flaky patches on your skin, the foundation and concealer will probably cling to these patches and cause your make-up to look cakey.
2) Every evening, remove any make-up with an oil-and-water product such as Nivea Double Effect Eye Make-up Remover, and then cleanse thoroughly with a cleansing balm or oil, rather than with a foaming cleanser, as the sulphates in foaming washes can really dry out and irritate your skin.
I highly recommend Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel, which is a fragrance-free cleansing balm which you massage into your skin. It melts off any make-up and impurities and then you simply rinse it off with lukewarm water. The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter is a fantastic budget alternative, and I also love Super Facialist by Una Brennan Rose Calming Creamy Cleanser for my own very sensitive skin.
3) Many of my clients seem to have very dehydrated skin. In addition to drinking lots of water, apply a nourishing and gentle moisturizer every day, to plump up your skin and calm any redness, and to prevent your foundation being absorbed by your thirsty skin!
For oily skin, I highly recommend a lightweight hydrating gel-cream such as Neutrogena Hydro Boost. For normal skin, I love Super Facialist by Una Brennan Rose Radiance Day Cream SPF 15 and I use this on most of my clients. For very dry skin, Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream is super-nourishing. And for very sensitive skin, Avene Skin Recovery Cream is unbeatable, even for those who suffer with eczema. Pai also make fantastic soothing, organic skincare.
4) If you find that you still suffer with blemishes, I recommend using a clay or charcoal face mask on the affected areas about once a week – try Origins Clear Improvement which contains active charcoal to clear pores. Then dab on a little spot gel just exactly where needed, to reduce inflammation – I recommend Freederm Fast Track.
If you have larger areas on your face or back that are prone to blemishes, I recommend trying Proactiv Repairing Day Lotion, which contains salicylic acid but in a gentle formula that won’t dry out your skin. Or try a toner such as La Roche-Posay Serozinc, which is a gentle zinc sulfate solution which you simply spray on to blemish-prone areas.
5) The day before your wedding, gently buff your lips with a soft old toothbrush and apply lots of nourishing lip balm – this will ensure that your lipstick goes on smoothly.
If you do all this and try and get plenty of sleep, do regular exercise and eat as healthily as possible in the run-up to your wedding – and TRY not to get too stressed! – your skin should stay clear and glowing for your big day, fingers crossed anyway!
“Catherine immediately got what I wanted and she really contributed to make my wedding day even more special. She is professional and reliable, and great in understanding what is suitable for you. I had so many compliments for me and my mum, who was also styled by Catherine. Thanks again, everything was perfect.” – Claudia Moscone
Bride of the week is the gorgeous Claudia, a delightful Sicilian girl who got married at Marble Hill House, a beautiful white Palladian villa built in the late 1700s near Richmond in Surrey: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/marble-hill-house/
Claudia wanted a soft but classic up-do and an enhanced version of her usual make-up look for her wedding day, to compliment her peachy coloured dress by Maje, so I created a classic bun for her, studded with pretty diamante hair pins from Phase Eight.
I applied Clarins Instant Smooth Primer where needed to smooth out her complexion, and then buffed in Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder foundation in ‘Fair 3’, before brightening the area under her eyes with Clarins Instant 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 Liz Earle powder blusher in ‘Camellia’, a pale peachy-pink, to add a subtle glow to her cheeks.
I enhanced Claudia’s brown eyes by applying Too Faced eyeshadows in ‘Cherry Cordial’ and ‘Triple Fudge’, followed by black gel eyeliner and lots of black mascara to add more definition.
Finally, I applied Bobbi Brown lipstick in ‘Italian Rose’ (what else..!) a deep rose pink with a satin finish, to enhance Claudia’s lips.
Images (c) Love, Candice Photography (cropped slightly from originals): http://www.lovecandice.co.uk/
“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.