Charlotte Balbier

wedding alphabet. B is for beauty

September 18th, 2014 | Rachel Parry Photography Sara Logan Photography Dress Monique Lhuillier Model & Makeup Greyson Harvey

Image via, photography by Sara Logan Photography

After kicking off our A to Z of weddings by deliberating how brides can top off their wedding attire with fabulous ‘A’ccessories we now move on to the letter B, which is for beauty.

Some may think that a bride doesn’t need to worry about her beauty regime until almost reaching her wedding day – but the preening and primping preparations often start well in advance.

Upon setting the date for the wedding and booking a venue, many brides begin the search for a make-up artist who they can trust to transform them into a gorgeous goddess on the big day. When embarking on the hunt, ladies should look out for glowing testimonials, details of their experience and also find out what brands they use to ensure its high-quality stuff that will stand the test of time in front of the camera. Once decided it’s helpful for a bride to think about the type of look she would like for her big day and collect images that will help their chosen make-up artist achieve what’s desired. When it comes to the trial; try, try and try again until you are happy with your chosen look and your make-up artist is happy they can recreate it.

But of course, make-up is just one small part of a bride’s beauty plan in the run up to their wedding. So let’s take a look at what else is on the mission goddess to do list.

Collage image sources as tagged in gallery.

Via J D

eight to six months to go

Starting at this point gives brides time to make changes to their diet, beauty regime and fitness ritual ahead of the big day, without causing too much added stress to the already demanding task of organising a wedding.

If, like me, you’re guilty of not drinking enough water, now’s the time to up your intake as H2O is the simple solution to clearer, brighter skin. To ensure your skin is glowing and your eyes twinkle, try to drink at least eight glasses a day.

Following a healthy eating plan should also help to boost your skin as well as your hair and nails and will also help you shed any extra pounds you’d like to ditch. Weight-loss is of course aided by exercise so now’s the time to up your efforts in this area too. While high-intensity fat-burning exercise like running, aerobics and spinning will be top of the agenda for brides looking to slim down, those that are happy with their weight might just want to shape-up areas that their dress will highlight, such as toning their upper arms, stomach and/or bum.

Oh and let the pampering commence! If your pre-wedding budget allows treat yourself to a programme of tailored facials up until the week before your wedding to clear up and enhance your skin. Alternatively, if your purse strings are a little tight, you can always treat yourself to facials in the comfort of your own home. Photograpy Melissa Schollaert Photography

Image via, photograpy by Melissa Schollaert Photography

three months to go

You should be starting to see the results of your new beauty, diet and exercise routine but you could always step it up a gear by cutting down on your tea, coffee and alcohol intake which will enhance your appearance further.

If you’re becoming tired of your current exercise regime mix it up a little by trying a new class such as yoga or Pilates which will help improve your posture and core muscles while helping you to de-stress.

If you fancy spoiling yourself a little, start having regular manicures to keep your hands and nails in tip-top condition ready for that wedding ring close-up shot! Photograhy Kimberly Kay Photography

one to two months to go

By now you should have clearer skin, glossier hair and a more slimmed down and/or toned up figure.

You can boost your beauty regime further by body brushing and exfoliating to rid yourself of dry skin cells resulting in a much more radiant look.

If a Hollywood smile is also on your ‘must list’ it’s time to whiten those pearls, whether you opt for a home-kit or book in for a professional procedure with a dentist. Photo by Ciara Richardson

Image via, photography by Ciara Richardson

seven to five days to go

Get a bikini wax and either shave or wax those legs so you’re ready for any wedding night passion and/or the honeymoon that‘s to follow.

Now is also a good time for any final eye-brow shaping and tinting.

If pre-wedding nerves are getting to you an indulgent massage might be just the ticket to relieve tense and aching muscles.

Have your final facial now to allow your skin to settle down ahead of the wedding but you can continue to exfoliate and moisturise to achieve a really flawless complexion.

Oh and did I mention to drink plenty of water?

two days to go

Try not to wear any make-up a day or so before your wedding to allow your skin to breath.

A visit to the beauty salon is in order for those wanting spray tans, manicures and pedicures.

And the final stage in the ‘make me a goddess’ countdown is simply to get plenty of beauty sleep the night before the wedding – just so long as the pre-nerves or excitement aren’t kicking in too much, that is. The result should be one confident, radiant and beautiful bride who is ready for her moment in the nuptial limelight.

Via We Love Weddings


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Bridalplasty: Terrifying Trend Or Pre-Wedding Prep?

March 31st, 2014 | Julia Braime

Recent reports from Hollywood have me more than a little concerned.  What the beejezuz is Kim Kardashian up to now?! Tomorrow’s chip paper or not, with a degree in Communications Studies under my belt I firmly believe in the power of the press to persuade, normalise and control.

Along with the excitement of getting engaged and setting a date often comes a feeling of pressure for brides-to-be as it confirms the time frame in which they have to both plan and achieve their perfect wedding day look.  Obviously this includes finding the dream dress, shoes and accessories, plus an amazing hair stylist and beautician (which is stressful enough), but in certain cases brides are now taking their pre-wedding preparations a step further to ensure they are at their most radiant on their special day. 

My vote lies firmly with keeping things natural, but our regular guest blogger Rachel is back to investigate the latest beauty craze without getting over dramatic about it.  We want our readers to be informed and capable decision makers.  This is serious stuff ladies. 

So, fancy a bit of bridalplasty with your blow dry? Think carefully. 


Image: Grazia 

Rachel says:  It’s easy to understand why brides want to look their very best as they will be centre of attention, taking their vows in front numerous friends and family while photos, and often video footage, are taken that will be passed around and down the family for years to come. It’s therefore often the case that a bride will cut out calories, up her gym membership and indulge in a few facials ahead of her big day, but it appears much more extensive wedding day makeovers are starting to evolve.

Recent studies have revealed there is a fast growing trend for brides-to-be to undergo non-invasive treatments as part of their beauty prep and UK clinics are also reporting an increase in requests for pre-wedding day surgical procedures from brides striving for perfection.

It’s thought there are several reasons for brides deciding to take such measures, the main one simply being to boost their confidence. Others suggest the average age of a bride increasing to early 30s is a factor as at this age it’s assumed women often have more disposable income and therefore can afford such treatments and procedures.

Another contributor is said to be changes in wedding dress designs. Traditionally dresses have been structured on top, with corsets pulling everything into place, while the bottom halves have been made up of meringue-style layers, perfect for hiding women’s common body hang-ups areas such as bum, thighs and hips. Today’s fluid, slinky and sometimes backless designs however can be most unforgiving and rarely allow for any kind of hidden support.

For some brides it may be that they have been considering a certain procedure for some time and their wedding day provides a trigger point while for others it’s simply a lack of time or patience which makes the quick fix treatments appealing.

So, what types of treatments are brides-to-be having?

Huffington Post

Image: Huffington Post


This is one of the most popular non-invasive pre-wedding treatments for brides-to-be. Skin starts to show signs of aging from the age of 25 as our bodies loose collagen at the rate of 1.5 per cent every year. It is this depletion that leads to wrinkles, meaning that even brides in their 20s can feel the need for anti-aging skincare procedures. During the treatment ultra-fine needles are used to target wrinkles on the forehead, around the eyes and mouth, between the eyebrows and on the neck by injecting botulinum toxin into the skin to achieve a smooth, flawless look.


Dermal fillers are popular with brides wanting to achieve a more youthful appearance by plumping up their cheeks, filling their lips or enhancing their cheekbones. Dermal fillers are also used to fill in hollow areas of the face, smooth out wrinkles and remove scarring.

Facial treatments

Laser therapy, microdermabrasion and chemical peels are some of the most popular pre-wedding non-invasive facial treatments. These are used to revitalise the surface of the skin by removing old skin cells giving brides a fresh and more radiant appearance.

Non-surgical liposuction

Chosen by brides who want to target fat on their stomach, buttocks, hips, thighs and backs of the arms, this treatment uses ultrasonic technology to sculpt the body. During the procedure ultrasonic waves burst fat cell membranes, effectively ‘melting’ the fat away.

Double Vision Media

Image: Doublevision Media

Meanwhile those brides choosing to go under the knife are forking out for breast implants, tummy tucks, liposuction and rhinoplatry (nose alterations). And it’s not just brides feeling the pre-wedding pressure – bridesmaids, mothers of the bride or groom and even grooms are also undergoing such procedures, with some clinics even offering special pre-wedding group packages.

As someone who is too scared to switch from eyebrow waxing to threading for fear of the pain, I can’t see myself handing over money to undergo such procedures ahead of my wedding. I’m also of the opinion that we shouldn’t mess with our bodies more than is necessary and above all I’d hate to arrive at the altar and my future husband fail to recognise me.


That said it’s up to each individual to decide what they want to do with their body. What I will say is that the treatments and procedures discussed are not without risks.  Brides who are considering more extreme pre-wedding makeover should allow plenty of time to research and plan any procedures they are interested in having carried out and ensure they leave time for proper healing before the big day. I would also ask them to question if there is an alternative and if the money could be better spent elsewhere – perhaps on a luxurious honeymoon, a top photographer or a pair of designer wedding heels.

So what do you think?  Would you consider plastic surgery before your big day?


Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Image © 2014 Grazia/ Huffington Post/ Doublevision Media/

Rachel Parry is a regular guest blogger for Brides Up North

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Flawless. Supplier Showcase: Claire Hartley Make Up Artist

December 4th, 2013 | Julia Braime

Claire Hartley Make Up Artist

This afternoon we welcome Brides Up North Featured Supplier Claire Hartley Make Up Artist to the blog.  Claire shares my passion for the Northern Revolution and is encouraging all her clients to think local when planning their big day.  Today, we find out how she can help to make your big day beautiful. 

How and when did you become a make up artist?  

I have been in the cosmetics industry for many years working as an Account Manager for top make up and skincare houses Clarins, Clinique and Estee Lauder. I have been trained to the highest standards with all of these brands and achieved Accredited Consultant status with Clinique. Most recently I have been professionally trained by ‘Airbase’ using their High Definition Airbrush Make Up and I am fully appointed in the theory and practical application of Airbase make up. I have also completed a BABTEC and Beauty Guild accredited course in Advanced Make Up Techniques as well as accredited courses in Threading, Facial Therapy, a party Lashes and Spray Tanning. I am committed to continually updating my knowledge and skills to provide an exceptional service to all of my clients.

What service do you offer for brides to be?

I offer a full bridal package that is inclusive of a full consultation, a trial 4 -6 weeks before the big day, skin prep and make up application on the day. Every bride is different and I work closely with them to create the perfect look that is unique to them, reflects their personality and ties in perfectly with the theme of the wedding, the dress, hair and accessories. I build a relationship with the bride that will give her confidence, keep her relaxed and feel comfortable having me there on the morning of the wedding. I can adapt my services to match exactly what the bride would like whether it may be several trials, a make up lesson teaching her skills for future use or even teaching her how to apply her own wedding day make up. I also offer beauty services to my brides and can provide bespoke packages that include monthly facials, spray tanning, threading and more.

Claire Hartley Make Up Artist

Why should a bride have her make up professionally applied?

I think having your wedding make up professionally applied takes away a lot of stress and worry on the day. Bridal preparations are an amazing part of your wedding day and to relax and enjoy them without any pressure makes them even more special.

Professionally applied make up will look flawless, will last all day and enhance your natural beauty. Professionals use their knowledge and skills to create a perfect look that looks amazing on camera as well as in ‘real life’.

Do you do a make up trial? Why would you recommend this?

Yes, I include a make up trial in all my bridal and wedding make up services. This is an opportunity to get to know the bride and her bridal party and to find out about the wedding from the dress and colour theme to flowers and accessories and the timings of the day.

It gives me us the opportunity to create the perfect look, match the perfect colours and to choose the perfect products!

It also gives the opportunity to find out about the clients skin type and ensure the correct products are used for each individual. Any allergies can be taken into account and a make up plan is prepared for use on the day.

Claire Hartley Make Up Artist

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Paintbox. Supplier Showcase: AJ Edgar Make Up Artist

November 25th, 2013 | Julia Braime

AJ Edgar Make Up Artist

Today I’m proud to introduce you to a Brides Up North Featured Supplier who I can personally vouch has creativity and enthusiasm by the bucket load.  I was Art & Design classmates with AJ Edgar Make Up Artist back in the day and let me tell you, you should have see the size and scale (and talent behind) her fine art coursework.  We could barely fit it into the art room.  Getting the girl to double maths was another story…

I have no doubt that Alexandra will put her absolute all into making your wedding day both fun and beautiful.  Sign her up, girls. 

AJ Edgar Make Up Artist

How and when did you become a Make Up Artist?

Having worked in the cosmetics Industry for over a decade, I have spent the last six years based in a prestigious, multi- brand boutique in Newcastle City Centre. I have met and gained extensive training from the industry’s most talented names. I frequently travel to London and Edinburgh to remain avant garde with all the latest products and trends.

I love to paint and consider make up artistry as portraiture!  With my skill base and a love for design, AJ Edgar Make Up Artist  was born. I can now reach all of you brides to be and fulfil your wishes in creating a unique portrait of you, lit from within. I can’t wait to meet you all!

AJ Edgar Make Up Artist

What service do you offer Brides to Be?

My service to you is to create the very finest portrait of you and your bridal party.  You will look and feel extra special and photograph beautifully.

Why should a Bride to Be have her make up professionally applied?

With my experience I am well equipped at dealing with the fun, hustle and bustle of your wedding morning.  I am an artist who understands light and shadow. I create a special, unique, classic and timeless look for your special day.

Your bridal party will compliment you beautifully and the ladies wearing hats will be seen, not cast in shadow.

AJ Edgar Make Up Artist

Do you do a trial? Why would you recommend this?

Contact me to arrange your trial. Reassure yourself that you and your bridal party will look picture perfect. At this stage we can establish any skincare concerns and ensure your skin looks radiant.  A bridal trial costs £30 (£20 for other members of the bridal party).  This is exclusive of travelling costs.

Then relax, leave the rest to me!

AJ Edgar Make Up Artist

AJ Edgar Make Up Artist

What sets your business apart from your competitors?

I remain current with all the most innovative, leading brands.

I insist on using the finest products allowing me to create the most natural, glowing, polished portrait of you.

I endeavour to enhance your natural beauty and that of your bridal party.

I create classic, stunning and timeless make up looks.

I work to your requirements and style. I never want your photographs to date.

I am truly passionate about my artistry and service to you. I just love a wedding morning!

AJ Edgar Make Up Artist

What have been your professional highlights?

A real highlight was flying back to my old home The Bahamas to be bridesmaid for my dear friend Stephanie. She had arranged for a make up artist to fly in from Miami.

Imagine my excitement, what a treat; I was getting my make up professionally applied. As it transpired the other bridesmaids and I were horrified with the results. The thick mask of foundation did none of us any justice at all and was melting rapidly in the humidity.

Fortunately, I was doing Christine, the mother of the bride’s make up. I had a small amount of kit with me, so, after making Christine picture perfect I then turned my attention to us. The highlight was being told I “Saved the Day”, all the while keeping the bride separate from our concerns.

AJ Edgar Make Up Artist

We ended up all comfortable in our own skin and ready to rock the aisle and support Stephanie in her chic “Colonial Bahamian” Wedding Day.

In July this year I received an email from British Vogue. I was invited to feature in the September Issue under ‘Vogue’s Wedding Wishlist’. They said they really liked my website and beautiful wedding make up. I was absolutely honoured as you can imagine. So as of now you will find me recommended by Vogue!

AJ Edgar Make Up Artist

What are your favourite Wedding Make Up Looks?

I personally need all the help I can get to bring my face to life. Thank you make up, I quite love you.  I strongly recommend a classic, timeless and elegant look on your wedding day.  That doesn’t mean no colour. Colour is good, done tastefully is what I’m talking about.

What would be your Top 5 Make Up tips for a Bride to Be?

Less is More. 

Embrace a good cleansing routine. I recommend the Eve Lom Cleanser regarded by Vogue as “ Probably the Best Cleanser in the world”. 

Leave false lash application to me on the day. I would hate for the adhesive to be visible.

Have a professional eyebrow shape. It will open up the eyes and for a more mature lady; it will create a lift to the face.

Relax, have fun, it’s your wedding day! You have put a lot of work into your big day so enjoy every minute of it!

AJ Edgar Make Up Artist

What would be your Top 5 Wedding Make Up No No’s?

Embrace your pallor! Don’t get spray tans or apply fake tan prior to your big day if you’re not accustomed to it.

Don’t do anything drastic under the doctors’ needle.

Do not get sunburnt! I recommend Instituit Esthederm sun care.

Do not use any harsh, abrasive products that could potentially redden the skin or exasperate rsacea or sensitivity.

Don’t go changing too much; you are loved as you are!

AJ Edgar Make Up Artist

Who would be your dream client and why?

Andy Warhol: “If everyone’s not a beauty then no one is”. 

Are there any really memorable weddings you have worked on?

Every wedding morning is beautifully memorable, such a wonderful atmosphere, the time flies and it’s amazing to see my clients picture perfect in their dress. 

A particular stand out memory was when I was asked to cover a huge bruise on the forehead of a bride’s father. He was extremely conscious of the shiner ruining his daughters’ photographs.  As simple as a good mattifying primer and a slither of concealer and the gentleman was good to go. Oh, no one would ever know!

AJ Edgar Make Up Artist

Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

On appointment AJ Edgar Make Up Artist will Invoice you a “Save The Date” deposit of £30. Thereafter I charge £100 for bridal wedding make up and £50 for each member of the bridal party.

Where are you located and will you travel?

You will find me in the City Centre of Newcastle Upon Tyne where we can arrange a trial, alternatively I will travel to you. I will then travel to you on the morning of your wedding day.

AJ Edgar Make Up Artist

AJ Edgar Make Up Artist

Why do you read and like the Brides Up North blog?

I have read the blog for a long time and seen many familiar faces on their wedding day. Julia and I are classmates from our school days and it was lovely to see her artistic skills come to life and create such a beautiful blog. A client of mine described it as “the go to blog for Brides Up North” so I am very excited to be a Featured Supplier.

How can Brides Up North see examples of your work and find out more about you?

You will find photographs and testimonials of my work and can contact me at

Like my my Facebook page or follow AJ Edgar Make Up Artist on Twitter, this will allow you to learn pro tips and tricks and I will keep you updated with all the latest in skincare, hair care and the finest cosmetic innovations and the magical goings on in the art market.

You can contact me through the website or telephone me on 0753 007 5279 or alternatively email me at

I am truly excited to hearing from you and creating the most beautiful Brides Up North. 


Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 as supplied by AJ Edgar Make Up Artist

AJ Edgar Make Up Artist is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Merry Christmas Beautiful! 12 Days Of Bridal Beauty!

December 13th, 2012 | Julia Braime


Are there really are only 12 days left until the big C? Has anyone else not started their shopping yet?  Is it just me? (Can you feel the panic through your screen?) Luckily, my fabulous Featured Supplier and fashion and bridal beauty expert Jo Leversuch of Make Up By Jo is on hand with some Christmas shopping suggestions that will also fit perfectly into your wedding day kit should you, you know, fancy treating yourself while you are at it.


Ladies, I give you Make Up By Jo’s 12 days of Christmas beauty stocking fillers, one for each day left on the calendar.  Just how good have you been this year?!


Jo says:  I wanted to share with you my favourite 12 items of make-up perfect for Christmas presents for friends and family members.  The make-up items i have chosen are all under £20 and vary from brand to brand.  Have a Merry Christmas and a beautiful New Year!



Make Up By Jo 12 Days Of Christmas



1.  Bobby Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner


This award winning gel liner gives you the look of a liquid liner.  It is easy to apply with a brush and is water-resistant.   Black is great for those wonderful "cat flick" eyes perfect for News Year’s Eve. 


2.  Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturising Lip Colour 


These chubby sticks are fun, colourful and you are spoilt for choice which colour to choose.  The lip treatment has a sheer colour that is perfect for dry, cracked lips and provides moisture.


3.  Ariane Poole Conceal and Contour Palette


Voted the best concealer.  This multi-functional products contains three shades of concealer perfect to blend to counteract dark circles under the eyes, redness and thread veins on the cheeks. 


4.  Chanel Nail Polish – Le Vernis Nail Colour


The famous Rouge Noir colour nail polish… the essential pick of all nail polishes to have in your make-up bag, and festive too. 


5.  Tatcha Blotting Papers 


A beauty secret cherished by the Japanese Geisha for centuries, these handmade, gold-infused papers remove excess oil and sweat without disturbing makeup or stealing moisture from the skin, so you can go all day without needing to touch-up.


6.  Steam Cream face, hand and body cream


This amazing natural product represents the latest concept in skincare.  Freshly handmade in the UK and Japan, this wonder product can be used all over the body.   You can choose over 100 funky all limited edition tins… the perfect stocking filler. 


7.  Kate Moss Long Lasting Matt Lipsticks


These gorgeous lipsticks come in a variety of colours and are so easy to apply with a velvet, rich matt texture.  Perfect for the party season.


8.  Eyeko Black Magic Mascara


A squeezy tube mascara that adds drama, volume and curl to the eyelashes.  Key ingredients are keratin and Shea Butter .


9.  Nars Soft Touch Shadow Pencils


The product comes in over 13 shades and are so easy to apply.  These jumbo sized pencils are versatile and can be applied to shade the lid, line or highlight the eye.


10.  Lancôme Ombre Hypnose Mono Eyeshadow


An intense & smoothing eye shadow.  This black eyeshadow has a subtle shimmer in for that intense strong smoky eye look.


11. Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler


The iconic Shu Uemura Eyelash curler is still the best!  Perfect to curl eyelashes to make the eyes appear larger.


12.  Illamasqua Cream Blusher


These rich strong pigmentation cream blushers are perfect for a rosy cheek colour or to highlight cheekbones and add a Winter glow. 


Merry shopping!



  – Images © 2012 as credited

Make Up By Jo is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier and this is a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier



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