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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
January 30th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
All brides want to look their very best on their wedding day and so prior to the big day they’ll want to pull together their very own #glamsquad who will help them to achieve that goal.
A professional makeup artist tends to part of such a group – someone who knows all the best tips, tricks, trends and products, and who can apply makeup with ultimate staying-power that will look fabulous both in person and on camera!
One lady who has all these super skills and pro knowledge is our wonderful Sponsor, North-East based makeup artist, Jo Leversuch of Make-Up By Jo.
Having made up hundreds of happy brides, worked for top brands and on the models of London, Paris, New York and Milan Fashion Weeks, Jo’s portfolio speaks for itself but for those wanting to find out more about this talented lady, we’ve invited her to the blog this afternoon to tell all about her services and style.
Can you tell us a little about your background and how you came to be in the wedding industry?
jo says: My background began with Lancome around 20 years ago and throughout the years I have worked in the fashion and beauty industry. About ten years ago I met celebrity make-up artist Ariane Poole whom I assisted and was mentored by her over the years. Around seven years ago I came into the wedding industry through meeting photographers, wedding suppliers and wedding venues.
Can you give us an overview of the services that you offer and the area that you cover?
I offer a bespoke service to all my brides with my in-depth knowledge within the industry and experience I have to offer. My services cover makeup for the bride and the bridal party for the wedding day, and if the bride requires my services for the whole day, then this can be arranged too. I also offer private one to one make-up lessons as well, which is perfect for brides who would like to apply their own makeup or that are getting married abroad.
How far in advance would you advise brides to book a makeup artist?
Makeup application is exceptionally popular for wedding days now, so I would highly recommend to book your makeup artist as soon as you have booked your wedding venue and photographer.
Why would you recommend a bride hires in a professional to do their big day makeup rather than doing it themselves?
A professional makeup artist will have the knowledge of how much makeup to apply and also to make sure the makeup stays on all day. A professional will have full knowledge of different brands and an understanding on how this works with the photographer and hairdressers so the bride looks absolutely stunning on her day.
What should a bride look for when hiring a bridal makeup artist?
The bride should look out for recommendations from other brides, wedding venues or wedding suppliers. They should also study the style of the makeup artist and look at their website and social media for examples of work.
What is it that you love about your job and would you say that you have a signature style?
Running my business gives me a huge buzz; from travelling around the world for the catwalk shows, magazines, and also being makeup brand ambassador for Veil Cover Cream. I also truly love weddings as I want to create the prefect makeup for each bride and make them feel exceptionally beautiful. My signature style is all about the perfect skin. I am known as “Queen of Skin” and my style has a real natural aspect with a fashion edge to it.
Where do you take inspiration from? Any celebrity crushes?
I take my inspirations from working backstage on the shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris twice a year. My other inspirations are taken from every day; from the colour of flowers, nature, art, galleries, museums and travelling the world seeing different cultures. My celebrity crushes have to be the striking Helena Christensen and young Elizabeth Taylor.
What makeup looks are proving particularly popular with brides at the moment?
The nude blush lipstick is a definitely popular at the moment and a strong focus on eyebrows and an element of contouring.
Where would you advise brides to seek inspiration for their bridal makeup and what other elements should they take into account when deciding on their bridal look?
I always advise my brides to truly think about them as an individual and to look at how they like to wear their own makeup. For example, if a bride always favours black eyeliner then that’s her trademark, so I would incorporate that concept in the look. I’d say to take inspiration from the season and venue they choose, look at colours of the flowers and Pinterest is the most popular site to look at.
January 15th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
While it can be tempting to have a complete beauty overhaul ahead of your big day, we believe it’s incredibly important to be the very best version of you on that special day, and not to take things too far so that you look like someone else altogether.
With this being our mantra, we’re very much in favour of our talented Sponsor Alexandra Jane Edgar’s approach to bridal beauty: “you wear the makeup, it does not wear you”. For, as Alexandra explains in today’s post, hiring a professional to create your wedding makeup doesn’t mean changing the way you look, but enhancing your features and complementing your big day plans, with luxury brand products that are kind to skin and long-lasting.
As an out and out pro, with experience of working for and training with some of the world’s most luxurious brands and cosmetics houses, we’ve invited Alexandra to the blog today to tell us more about her fabulous makeup services while also sharing a few top tips and tricks along the way…
With images by Joe Laws Photography.
Can you tell us a little about your background and how you came to be in the wedding industry?
alexandra says: Yearning for a creative career I began working in the cosmetics industry 16 years ago. I have represented the world’s most luxurious brands and cosmetics houses and have had extensive training throughout my career from the industry leading names, such as Lisa Eldridge, Francois Nars, Eve Nom and Sylvie Chantecaille. I have been so fortunate to come into the wedding industry purely through client demand for my services on their big day.
Can you give us an overview of the services that you offer and the area that you cover?
I travel throughout the North East to your bridal venue on your big day. I am based full time in an award-winning wedding and portrait photography studio in Newcastle Upon Tyne. This is where you can come for your makeup trial and very excitingly receive a digital photograph. This is a wonderful opportunity to see how you will photograph on your wedding day whilst giving you a confidence boost and a little experience being in front of a camera. We even host hen party experiences, which is fun opportunity to meet us and trial your big day look, with a fabulous photo shoot of you and your bridal party.
How can brides-to-be prepare for a wedding makeup trial?
Start to consider your wedding day look when you have chosen your palette, flowers etc. so we can complement your ideas. It really is important to know you are going to look and feel your best on your wedding day. I can then also advise you on skincare to really get your complexion radiant in plenty of time for your big day. Afterwards, just relax and look forward to your wedding morning.
Why would you recommend a bride hires in a professional makeup artist for their big day?
Brides tell me they could not have achieved the same look themselves and they all enjoy a professional, pampering and relaxing service on their wedding morning.
What should a bride look for when hiring a makeup artist?
It is your day! You need a good relationship with any professional to feel happy and confident. Experience is essential. I use luxury brands of skincare and makeup and I create looks for ladies of all ages every day.
What would you say is the best part of your job and what you excel at?
I love meeting new people and being a part of your most special day is so rewarding and the feedback from my brides and the bridal party is so positive and encouraging. I am told from my clients that they do not feel any makeup on their skin so they can just feel and be themselves. This is definitely my signature style – you wear the makeup, it does not wear you. Making a woman feel transformed, beautiful and her best is extremely empowering.
Where do you look to for inspiration?
I work in such a creative space, as a team we are constantly challenging ourselves with new looks, lighting techniques, photographic editing. We pore over fashion magazines and Instagram for inspiration and bounce lots of ideas around the studio and on location. We never stop creating – #getcreative is our thing. I recently created a stunning Baroque inspired look for a shoot for Kathryn Russell, an incredible couture bridal gown designer who is based in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne.
What bridal makeup looks are in vogue currently?
Brides always tend to require timeless and classic makeup for their wedding day. I’ve recently noticed an increase in brides requiring elements of glitter and sparkle into their looks too.
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