May 3rd, 2018 | Rachel Parry
What are the necessary requirements for chilled out girly trip? For us it has to be comforting and stylish surroundings, delicious food, one or two glasses (ok, bottles) of wine and, of course, access to some pampering facilities. We were therefore delighted to be invited for an overnight stay at our fabulous Sponsor venue, the stunning Titanic Hotel Liverpool, last month, which offers all this – and a whole lot more!
Given it’s uber cool location at Stanley Docks, the gorgeous boutique style hotel offers a tranquil haven away from the immediate buzz of Liverpool’s city centre but is just a few minutes’ cab ride away should you want to mix some city, culture and bar hopping into your escape.
Perfect for a pre-wedding getaway, perhaps to shop for the last minute big day bits with your other half, or an indulgent girls-only get away with your mum, sister or bezzie – or get all in tow for a sophisticated hen do – the Titanic houses a contemporary bar, restaurant and accommodation all under one roof, plus its Maya Blue Wellbeing, complete with fitness, pool and treatment areas. Oh, and did we mention they do weddings? But more on that later.
For now, let’s fill you in on our experience of this dreamy hotel. Arriving mid-morning we checked in and took a seat in the impressive Rum Bar lounge, with original exposed brick and large steel pillars mixed in with modern décor and soft furnishings giving a New York loft apartment vibe, which is echoed through all areas of the hotel. As a nod to its rum warehouse heritage and location on the docks, the spirit is the tipple of choice at the Titanic, though at 11am we felt it a little too early to start on the alcohol, and so settled in with a large latte as we took in the surroundings before being given a full tour and rundown of the hotel’s facilities.
In the midst of a hectic but truly epic wedding fair season (don’t forget it’s our annual WEDSTOCK’18 Wedding Show in Harrogate this Sunday, 6th May) we decided to make our trip one of relaxation, enjoying some much-needed magazine time and a visit to the Maya Blue Wellbeing. As mentioned, those visiting could easily venture into the city centre during their stay, where there are shops, museums, tourist attractions, bars, cafes and restaurants galore.
We broke up our day with lunch in the bar area before checking out our spectacular accommodation. Boasting 153 rooms in total, the options range from classic double rooms to superior and presidential suites. All are light, airy and spacious, with rich furnishings and luxurious bathrooms.
May 1st, 2018 | Rachel Parry
When it comes to planning a hen do it can be tricky to think of an ‘activity’ that’s original and will appeal to all ages and personalities within the group. But thanks to our fabulous North-East based Sponsor, freelance makeup artist Alexandra Jane Edgar, we have a winning suggestion for you that’s guaranteed to go down a treat with all your beloved hens – a professional makeover and photo shoot! We said it was fabulous!
Based in the studio of Joe Laws Photography, in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Alexandra has added this hen party experience to her list of services, so girls can get glammed up before hitting the town and take away some stunning professional shots with their leading ladies as a gorgeous souvenir of their pre-wedding celebrations.
Not only that but Alexandra is also offering group and private makeup classes to help ladies get out of a beauty rut and enhance their features while learning top products, tips and tricks along the way. And those further afield than the North East need not miss out of Alexandra’s golden advice as she’s started a series of online makeup tutorials too. Is there no end to this lady’s talents?
Here to tell us more is the expert herself. Over to you Alexandra…
With images by Joe Laws Photography.
You’ve recently introduced a Hen Party Experience to the portfolio of fabulous services that you offer. Can you tell us a little about this?
alexandra says: Our Hen Party Experience is a new, feel good service providing you and your main girls an amazing treat. All hens get a pamper session with eyes, cheeks and lips at £35 each, with the bride-to-be getting a consultation on skincare, full professional makeup application and hair styled for £55. Next, it’s time to hit the studio and enjoy a photoshoot by award-winning wedding and portrait photographer Joe Laws. Each hen will choose a digital photograph and the bride-to-be chooses an additional one of the entire party to take away with them. Any additional images, prints, framing are also available at an additional cost.
How have the hen party sessions been received so far?
The feedback has been amazing with our parties coming from as far as Northern Ireland and Scotland so far. They say it is a great way to spend an afternoon before going into town to party. It’s a professional, fun experience where everyone gets to look and feel their best. Not only will the session encourage brides-to-be to book their wedding makeup trial, it’s also a great opportunity for some practice in front of a professional photographer – and most of all, they all have fun with beautiful images to take away and treasure. It certainly beats a selfie!
You also run a number of makeup classes at the studio. Why did you want to introduce this service and who do the classes appeal to?
I have been asked for a very long time from clients if I offer classes and tutorials. I decided to offer this service and the feedback and enquiries have been fantastic. I had not realised how intimidating us ladies can find makeup, and how difficult some find it to find a makeup artist they can trust. I run monthly events at the studio (details can be found on my Facebook page) which are a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, get some advice on products and learn, as I show you “how to” on my model. I am also available for private classes, which are great for mums and daughters, or a few friends, looking for some new ideas, tips and tricks. This service appeals to all ladies looking for an informative, fun experience learning new skills and gaining confidence with their look. Events are £15 per person, and private/group consultations are £35 each.
What are the main beauty mistakes that ladies tend to make?
I honestly don’t think it’s the ladies who make the mistakes. I genuinely believe they have been served with the wrong products for their needs initially. I have seen this time and time again. The consultants are not asking the right questions, nor are they listening to the answers. The client walks away having spent money, gets home and doesn’t have a clue how to use her new products. I am passionate about skincare and makeup. It is magical and empowering. I am able to guide you on the best, effective, cruelty free, luxury products to use to suit your lifestyle whilst keeping it easy and transparent.
Your latest venture is video makeup tutorials, which sound exciting – can you tell us more please?
My desire to help others enjoy, experiment and feel good with incredible products has catapulted me right out of my comfort zone. I wished to present my brand in a luxurious, fun, easy going, informative way. I want my clients to see real women, the process, the application, the finish. My videos are currently on my Facebook page, however I am in the process of setting up a Youtube Channel – AJ Edgar Make up Artist – where they will all be together. I will keep you posted!
So what type of videos have you done so far and what else do you have planned?
My first two tutorials have been modelled by two incredible dancers, Jessica and Elena. My first look is based on enhancing Jessica’s own beauty, the second is empowering Elena with a catwalk inspired look from Sophia Webster’s dreamy current collection. Next, I will be showcasing a real prom makeup application on Royal Teen Miss UK, Juliette. Through my videos, I will be filming ladies of all ages and ethnicities focussing on different areas, such as eyes, cheeks, lips, skincare, foundation – the whole schbang!
What current makeup trends are you a fan of and can you forecast any looks that will be big in bridal?
I’m delighted that the magical, ethereal, glistening, mystical looks on the spring/summer catwalks at London, Paris and New York Fashion Weeks are here to stay. The skin is luminous and looks so healthy – perfect for a bride. See examples at Antonio Marras, Ralph & Russo, Sophia Webster and Valentino. I feel the sherbet hues will transcend into bridal with lilac, pink, pistachio and lemon taking centre stage. I adore translating the catwalk looks for bridal and every day. All examples can be seen on my Facebook page, shot by Joe Laws Photography.
Beauty-wise, who is your celebrity crush?
Currently it would have to be bride-to-be of the moment, Meghan Markle. She always looks radiant, polished and so happy. She is a strong, confident woman. I adore that she said no to any editing of her portrait for Vogue. Right now, Meghan will be preparing her skin in order to be wedding-ready, focusing on her nutrition and skincare. This is something I am able to assist my brides-to-be with and I only use vegan skincare, makeup, nutrition, bath and body products.
It would be absolutely incredible at some point in my career to do Meghan’s makeup. It would be such a privilege to advise and create looks for such an empowering, beautiful girl.
April 5th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
Waking up to more snow on Easter Monday only drove home how epically long winter has felt with the relentless cold weather affecting not only our heating bills (we dread to think!) but also our skin and energy levels – both of which could do with an almighty boost.
As a newly-engaged bride-to-be I’m also feeling the effects of trying to keep on top of the early wedding planning, while keeping all in the loop – oh and plan my brother’s stag do and assist on my best friend’s hen do as well. So, all in all a lot on, which super exciting but a little depleting on the batteries.
The perfect remedy for a change of season and busy schedule though has to be a spa break, and so when Staffordshire based Moddershall Oaks got in touch with the offer of an overnight stay to switch off from the outside world and restore balance, I took it up quicker than Made in Chelsea’s Jamie Laing can tell a girl he’s falling in love with her.
Situated in a rural location near the market town of Stone, Moddershall Oaks is a country spa retreat and idyllic wedding venue – so it could tick two boxes for those of you still on the venue hunt. Whilst there I did get to view its stunning and flexible spaces for weddings – including a gorgeous oak gazebo surrounded by tranquil woodland for beautiful outdoor ceremonies – and would certainly encourage couples planning to wed in the Staffordshire area to pay this place a visit.
Though not particularly worn out from the wedding planning (though he must be exhausted from all the stag do preparation – a number one priority from grooms it would seem *rolls eyes*), my fiancée Andy was lucky enough to join me on this getaway. We arrived at Moddershall around noon on a Wednesday and was welcomed by a warm atmosphere, friendly staff and a strawberry Bellini (start as you mean to go on, right?)
Having filled in a few quick forms we were given a run through the facilities and our (very relaxed) itinerary for our stay, before being shown to one of the gorgeous ten 5* boutique bedroom suites to drop off our bags. The room was comforting, spacious and beautifully decorated, plus there is access to a shared hot tub, should we want to continue the pampering after visiting the main facilities.
Amazingly, we fell on a gorgeous spring-like day with clear blue skies (I will add that it had snowed either side of our visit) and so we wasted no time in heading to the crème de la crème of Moddershall, its outdoor heated vitality pool. Here we enjoyed bathing in the bubbling hot water in the open air made complete by a countryside views, oh and a couple of glasses of prosecco delivered direct via waiter service – this was our kind of spa!
We were joined in the courtyard area by other couples, as well as a few small groups of women and a couple of (I assume) mothers and daughters, which demonstrated how perfect the spa is for a romantic getaway as well as much-needed girly time.
After drying off in the Kelo sauna, also located in the courtyard, we retired to the relaxing lounge area indoors to recline on big sofas next to a warming fire and filled up on afternoon treats of cake and coffee.
Next it was treatment time – having only just managed to convince Andy of the benefits of moisturising daily, it didn’t surprise me that he passed on this, but the metrosexuals out there will be pleased to hear that Moddershall has blissful treatment options for both males and females.
The options ranged from massage, detox and body therapies, carried out by experienced therapists in the cosy treatment rooms, to a full range of beauty treatments undertaken in The Snug. This gorgeous area is available to hire privately for hen dos, birthdays and the like and, for Moddershall brides, it can also be taken over pre-wedding for big day pampering and preening, complete with nibbles, bubbly and music.
March 26th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
Springtime is the perfect season to update your makeup look, ditching darker, wintery palettes for a fresher, radiant finish that’s all about enhancing your natural beauty with minimal fuss.
Spring beauty needn’t be boring though – there are plenty of ways to get playful with your makeup this season and inject pops of colour into your day-to-day beauty regime. Who said that bright colours – or even a touch of sparkle – were just for going ‘out out’ with the girls? You may even want to borrow some of this season’s most coveted looks for an on-trend stylish twist to your big day.
Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up the top beauty looks we’re currently crushing on here at Brides Up North that you simply must get acquainted with. We’ve even handpicked a selection of go-to products to help you nail these trends, so what exactly are you waiting for?
Outshine other brides this spring season by adding some gorge sparkle to your bridal day makeup look, as seen on the spring runways of Anna Sui, Alberta Ferretti and Stella Jean. We’re talking highly pigmented metallic eyelids or a delicate smudge of shimmery shadow on the inner circles of your eyes, sure to brighten up your complexion in an instant. For a truly sultry sparkle, you can’t go wrong with Violet Voss Super Sparkles – these dinky pots come in a variety of colours, including nude copper and even white champagne gold.
Spring is all about those bloomin’ lovely colour palettes and we simply can’t get enough of dreamy pastel shades for a sweet, barely there natural look. But for something a little more intense on the colour spectrum, we think you’re going to be coveting some rather luscious cherry shades this spring, which contrast perfectly with a fresh, dewy complexion. We love Clinique’s Pop Lip Colour + Primer which, as luck would have it, comes in a Cherry Pop shade and glides on with a velvety finish, moisturising lips for up to 8 hours to boot.
If you’re so over unicorns and pineapples already, then let us introduce you to an all-new trend to obsess over in 2018, spotted on the runways at Fendi and Tadashi Shoji – gals, it’s time to make a splash with mermaid vibes. The mermaid makeup look is all about bright and beautiful eyes, think ocean blue and exotic green tones – from turquoise and coral to aquamarine and every shade in between. One of our favourites is Stila’s Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow in emerald with its cream-to-powder texture and intense wash of colour.
According to top beauty editors, bloggers and A-listers, gold highlighter is a must-have addition to your makeup bag this season. This is an ultra flattering hue that leaves your skin with a glossy complexion. Charlotte Tilbury’s Bar of Gold is something of a cult classic in this department, promising to sculpt your cheekbones to perfection thanks to the highlighter’s light-reflecting ingredients and delicate formula.
March 9th, 2018 | Julia Braime
There’s no one style suits all when it comes to a bride’s big day look – rather than fitting the bridal mould, we love nothing more than to see ladies reflecting their own individual styles, not only through their dress choice, but their hair and makeup too.
Whether vintage pin curls, a Hollywood red lip or winged liner to rival past-icon Amy Winehouse is your thing, you should be able to rock it every day – and that includes your wedding day. That said though, we all know the pressure of trying to perfect your look for an occasion that matters (cue pre-wedding melt-down) and so we highly advise leaving the task to the pros.
Our fabulous Sponsor Lipstick & Curls – “the hair and beauty experts” – have experienced stylists located across the country who can create looks from all across the decades – retro to modern day – and so are certainly well placed to help you brides and your #girlsquad get your glam on.
Today we’re catching up with the director and head stylist of Lipstick & Curls, Amanda Moorhouse, to find out more about their fantastic services, as well as to learn more about the latest bridal hair and makeup looks, and must-have products!
And if you like what you see here ladies, you will be excited to learn that the lovely Lipstick & Curls team is offering our readers 10% off their prices until the end of April 2018 – just mention Brides Up North when enquiring.
Now, let’s get down to beauty business…
Can you give us a brief overview of Lipstick & Curls and the services that you offer?
amanda says: Lipstick & Curls is a unique agency of hair and makeup artists providing services across the UK. All our artists have been hand-picked to represent what we feel is the best in the business! We understand the needs of our customers and work with them closely to create a style that reflects both their image and personal style whilst working with their theme or brief. Bookings include bridal groups, parties and hen parties, cooperate events, fashion shoots and TV, music and media clients.
How many stylist are on the team and what areas do they cover?
We have grown to include more than 100 artists now covering all the main cities in the UK, Scotland, Wales, London, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Liverpool, Oxford, Bristol, Birmingham, Nottingham, Sheffield, Hull, Brighton, Devon … and many more! We will always assign the closest artist to the location and they will make the journey to the client on the day.
Why would you recommend a bride hires in a professional to do their makeup rather than doing it themselves?
Hair and makeup plays an important part in how you look and feel on your wedding day and we want to be part of the process. We know how important your appearance is on this special day. Our artists have years of experience working with brides and their families. They are the experts and the bride can relax on the day knowing that she is in safe hands. Additional services we provide include, eye lash extension, hair extension, airbrushing, manicure.
Can you tell us about your Deluxe Wedding Package and what it includes?
Lipstick & Curls have teamed up with some fabulous partners to offer our customers more than our award winning bridal hair and makeup services. Deluxe Classics provide beautiful classic cars, from the heyday of American motoring that offer the perfect opportunity to travel in style and arrive with an added dash of glamour on your wedding day. Hanson & Jeni of Mid Century Weddings are two of the finest vintage style photographers with 15-year experience and are internationally published, in fashion magazines and several vintage themed books. With their experience and wonderful eye for detail they will capture your beautiful day forever. Together we present a package of timeless style and sophistication to complement your day, adding a little bit of magic from the golden era. There are discounts available for booking two or all three of these services. Please email us at email@example.com to discuss your requirements.
You also offer Hen Party packages, can you tell us what these entail?
Our hen parties are always very popular as ladies always love to be pampered! We provide a wide range of services to suit the group and theme of the event; from the Classic Mini Makeover to a more Deluxe service providing both hair and makeup. Our artists have experience and skills in many areas and can provide vintage hair and makeup from all the decades, character hair and makeup, and pamper services, including hair styling, blow drying, makeovers, manicure, massage, facial and pedicures. We cater for groups of all sizes and have various packages to suit most budgets.
What makeup looks are proving popular with brides at the moment?
I think the bold lip is here to stay for a while! Nothing looks more wonderful than glowing healthy skin, neutral eyes (with lots of lashes of course) and a deep, bold lippy! We have seen some really daring plums and reds and even fuchsias on our brides over the last few months and they look so good with the contrast of the white ivory gown. Brightening up the whole face and even making the teeth and eyes look whiter!
Similarly, what hair styles are proving popular with brides?
I think the most popular style right now is the soft messy bun. We often add extra hair to provide even more texture and shape. This style looks great when curled and then loosely pined. A favorite of my brides is to unpin the hair at the end of the day so they have a different, even softer look for the evening!
February 28th, 2018 | Alexis Forsyth
After what will no doubt have been a thrifty January for most, the arrival of February payday means we can finally start to loosen the purse strings a little and treat ourselves to a few pretty purchases.
Around this time of year, one area we like to invest is the contents of our makeup bag, as we find switching up the beauty regime and trying out new products can transform not only how we look, but also how we feel about ourselves. And for the brides-to-be tying the knot this year (try to contain your excitement ladies!) we know that you’ll be especially eager to experiment with different bridal looks and get your skin and hair in tip-top condition.
And so, to kick-start your all-new 2018 beauty regime, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite products to tackle those pesky skin and hair woes leftover from the winter months and re-invent your look in time for spring – and your big day!
Our skin has a tendency to look lacklustre during the winter thanks to the dreary, cold weather, and hibernating indoors doesn’t do us any favours either. But the good news is that a fresh and radiant complexion is just a face mask away. Lancome’s Energie de Vie Purifying and Refining Clay Mask is one of our favourites, boasting an enriched blend of French Melissa, Cranberry and Ginseng; unclogging pores and removing residue of makeup and day-to-day urban nasties to reveal new-found luminosity. We think a face mask should be a mainstay within your beauty regime all year round though, especially if you’re prepping for that sought-after wedding day glow.
Rose is having something of a moment within the beauty world, with numerous product launches in the past year harnessing the anti-inflammatory, hydrating and antioxidant qualities of this skincare hero. Along with its distinct, beautiful scent, the delicate rose comes in many guises when it comes to skincare formulae, with rose essential oil and rosewater two of the most common. Want to incorporate rose into your beauty regime for 2018? Give the new Pixi Rose Tonic a try, which is a retake on the cult beauty brand’s popular Glow Tonic, promising to balance your skin’s hydration levels and minimise redness to boot.
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