Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

blissed out bride: seaham hall

November 24th, 2017 | Julia Braime

seaham-hall

Behind the scenes here at Brides Up North HQ, things are pretty busy! We’re already working a year ahead to bring you almost 40 sensational (and each unique and different!) bespoke bridal shows for 2018 and work has started in earnest on Issue 09 of our gorgeous bi-annual glossy magazine, UNVEILED, out in March. Add an impending site relaunch (yes (!), watch this space), a brand spanking new digital platform for UNVEILED (launching next week people!) and all the juggle that comes with being a mummy of two littles away from the office, and this editor was seriously in need of some R&R.

So, when the lovely people at Seaham Hall in Country Durham waved an overnight spa stay for two my way, I grabbed the husband, set the out of office and used up some babysitting credits. It was time to test out Seaham’s offering to make sure that you lovely Brides Up North stay blissed out in the run up to your big day and beyond.

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Now, this place is incredible and some. Recently awarded the Conde Nast Johansens UK Readers’ Award 2017 (and from the facilities and service you can see why) this coastal gem is full of charm.

Pre-stay, the hotel’s website had boasted that, ‘set within 37 acres of delightful gardens in a stunning cliff top location overlooking the sea and the coast of the Durham Heritage Coastline, Seaham Hall is a beautiful Georgian Mansion ideally located in Durham for a luxurious overnight retreat’. They weren’t wrong.

On the menu for us was a stay in one of Seaham Hall’s beautiful suites, decorated artfully in shades of grey, teal and a zingy yellow – with enough wallpapers, cushions and objets d’art to keep this interiors magpie very happy indeed; a spa day for two (is it a bit cringy to read your own magazine by the pool? Maybe, but I don’t care!) with some delightful treatments thrown in; pre-dinner mojitos delivered to our suite (nice touch!) and a fine dining dinner in Byron’s Restaurant, followed by the best night’s sleep that I’d had in a long, long time.

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Byron’s Restaurant has recently been awarded a 1st in the Taste Durham Awards, recognising the hotel’s hard work towards supporting and championing local producers and suppliers. My husband and I shared the Chateaubriand, and can vouch for its flavour, freshness and presentation. And although we didn’t try it ourselves, the dishes served in the venue’s Pan-Asian Restaurant ‘The Ozone’ located within the Serenity Spa looked absolutely delightful.

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Now onto that spa. As well as a fully equipped gym (which I didn’t try out – my bad!) the sensational Serenity Spa boasts a 20 metre pool with massage stations; hamman with snail showers and jacuzzi, Asian herbal samarium, salt sauna, Indian steam chamber, hydrotherapy pool, ice fountain, plunge pools and my favourite bit – outdoor hot tubs.

The hubby and I spent a glorious few hours trying out the various heat experiences, bubbling in the hot tubs and relaxing poolside, before it was time for our treatments.

The Serenity Spa offers unique and bespoke holistic treatment rituals from Asia that deliver luxurious, indulgent experiences. Their therapists are chosen not only for their ability but their intuition to your individual needs and the treatments tailored specifically to you. Just lovely!

To aid my too-much-screen-time and sugar skin, I chose a Sunari Prescriptive Facial, which promised to reawaken and rejuvenate my skin with a holistic techinque customised for my skin’s specific needs. Naturally active ingredients were custom blended for intensive exfoliation and renewal; and Seaham Hall’s signature MarMassage (pressure point stimulation) completed the experience, for newly radiant skin. I was glowing!

The hubby meanwhile was treated to a Serenity Signature Massage, a full body massage which unlocks tension and induces a sense of relaxation, wellness and inner calm.

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I’d wholeheartedly recommend Seaham Hall for a pre-wedding break to bliss out with the girls or reconnect with your hubby to be amid the planning madness. This would also be the ideal spot for a “just because” romantic break (we are all about those here at Brides Up North HQ!) or a really delightful minimoon.

And if you’ve fallen as much in love as we have here at Brides Up North, why not really commit? Seaham Hall also plays host to a number of luxury weddings a year. Offering exclusive use weddings and ceremonies, a wedding at Seaham Hall would truly be an occasion to remember.

For more information visit www.seaham-hall.co.uk

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lasting beauty: introducing js semi-permanent makeup

November 8th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

JS Semi Permanent Makeup (1)

Ever wonder how much time you would save if didn’t have to do all your makeup from scratch every day? Us too. But a rise in semi-permanent makeup treatments mean you could get some of that precious time back and remain looking tip-top, as our new Sponsor to the blog will tell you in today’s post.

Qualified Leeds-based permanent makeup artist, Jessica Speight of JS Semi-Permanent Makeup, offers a range of effective treatments, including lip, eye and eyebrow makeup, that provides radiant and lasting results.

Ideal for brides-to-be who crave a polished and fresh-faced look for their wedding day, honeymoon and beyond, these pain-free treatments can give ladies that final extra boost of confidence for their moment in the limelight. Intrigued? Well, the lovely Jessica is offering Brides Up North readers a fabulous 10% discount on treatments so now is the time to find out more and book that appointment…

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Can you tell us a little about your background and training?

jess says: I have always been very creative and loved makeup, art and anything that requires a lot of patience and detail. I wanted to train as a permanent makeup artist for years before I decided to take the plunge. I decided I needed a career change two years ago and finally decided it was time to go for it! I was lucky enough to have one-to-one training through LCN elite PMU School in Manchester. I was awarded a distinction qualification for my work and every year continue to up skill through training; which means my qualifications continue to grow.

Can you give us an overview of the services that you offer and the area that you cover?

I specialise in semi-permanent eyebrow, lip and eye makeup. The variety of techniques and finished look of each treatment is determined during the consultation period. I am based in East Leeds, not far from junction 46 off the M1 and A1, therefore I am accessible and easy to find. There are also direct train and bus links from Leeds to my area.

Young woman having permanent makeup on lips in beautician salon

Why would you advise brides to consider semi-permanent makeup?

It’s a great consideration for your wedding day as it means you don’t have to worry about reapplying any makeup throughout the day, you will always ready to go for every photo opportunity. It also gives a flawless finish for your honeymoon, so you will look and feel amazing throughout all of your celebrations.

This is also a great option for mother of the bride/groom or anyone for that matter that would like to look their best for the big day. Semi-permanent eyebrows frame your face and open your eyes, so it’s great for any ladies that want to achieve a fresh faced, youthful appearance.

Beautiful gift box vouchers are also available for permanent makeup treatments; perfect for brides looking to give their leading ladies a unique thank you gift.

How far ahead of the wedding would you recommend a bride gets in touch with you to discuss treatments/booking appointments?

Appointments do book up quickly, therefore to avoid disappointment, I’d definitely recommend getting in touch for more information as soon as you are considering this as an option. I do a free consultation and patch test with all of my clients before I discuss dates etc., therefore anyone wanting to ask any questions or come in and have a chat about times and the full treatment and costs, feel free to contact me. I always aim to reply to any queries the same day.

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on point products: bridal beauty haul

September 13th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

Once Wed

image source

Bridal beauty doesn’t magically take centre stage on the morning of your wedding day. No, ladies, it begins weeks – even months – in advance. You’ll want your complexion, skin and hair in tip-top condition, so that you look and feel fabulous as you walk down the aisle.

Chances are, you’ll have booked a makeup artist and hair stylist already, but there are a few additions to your own daily regime that will help prepare you for your special day. And there’s certainly no harm in scouting out a new lippy or eye palette that you’d like to incorporate into your bridal look.

As such, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite new products to bolster your beauty and skincare regime every step of the way – from the lead up, to the big day itself and through to your first moments of wedded bliss while on honeymoon.

before the wedding

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Face mask

If your skin is in need of a little pick me up – we’re talking unclogging pores, removing product build up and blitzing general day-to-day nasties – let us introduce you to Lancome’s new Purifying and Refining Clay Mask. Enriched with French Melissa, cranberry and ginseng – the rich mask zaps dullness and the appearance of pores, for skin that’s reinvigorated and beaming with radiance.

Moisturiser

If there was ever a time to up the ante with your facial skincare regime, then this is it! You’ll want glowing, bright skin on your big day – the perfect base for your bridal makeup. Elemis has unveiled a new Dynamic Resurfacing Day Cream that gently resurfaces the skin, leaving the complexion smoother, hydrated and more even. As a bonus, it also has SPF 30 for added protection from the natural elements.

Eye care

If you suffer from dark circles and wrinkles around the eyes then you might want to give this area a little extra TLC to ensure your eyes are sparkling bright come your wedding day. Murad has launched a new Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum – a potent treatment that tackles both of these pesky skincare problems, helping to lift, firm and illuminate the eye area in just one week.

the big day

Eyes

Laura Mercier’s new Caviar Stick Eye Colours are just divine – a collection of high impact, pigment rich shades with a matte or shimmer finish. The creamy crease-resistant formula is ideal for building up colour, smudging, blending or defining, whether you’re after a soft natural look or something bolder. And with the eyeshadow lasting up to 12 hours, you can enjoy your new life as a Mr and Mrs without dashing to the mirror for frequent touch ups throughout the day!

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips

Lipstick

Charlotte Tilbury’s new Hollywood Lips range is all about vintage glam. The collection features ten stunning retro inspired shades, from creamy nude and dusty pink to peach and ruby red. Whatever your bridal look, there’s a lippy to match. Made with a moisturising beeswax formula, the weightless matte liquid lipsticks plump lips for a fuller kiss-me-quick pout with a pop of colour that’ll stay put for hours.

Perfume

We just love the new Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Bloom, a gorgeous take on its original Flowerbomb fragrance, which comes in the most dainty of bottles. The new eau du toilette is a fruity, floral affair, combining notes of pomegranate, mandarin, vanilla and patchouli for what we think is a perfectly delicate bridal day scent, whatever the season.

honeymoon

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Bronzer

For honeymooners soaking up the sunshine in a blissful beach location, you’ll want to subtly accentuate your sun-kissed glow with a light, sheer product that won’t melt away in the heat. The new Bord de Plage Highlighting and Bronzing Palette from NARS is just the ticket, promising a smoldering summer look with its water-activated highlighters and sun wash diffusing bronzer for an all-natural, luminous glow.

Body cream

For something truly sumptuous while holidaying with your beau – Rituals new Karma Shimmer Body Cream soothes the skin and leaves it silky soft. Made with white lotus and organic white tea, this rich velvety cream is both indulgent and nourishing, and the light reflecting shimmer will add a gorgeous hint of sparkle to your newly bronzed skin.

Haircare

Blow-drying and styling your hair for hours on end while on honeymoon is probably the last thing you’ll want to do with your precious time. For a fuss-free textured look (beach waves anyone?) Redken’s new No Blow Dry Bossy Cream promises a faster air-dry time, eliminating frizz to boot and creating that effortless ‘undone’ holiday do we all secretly crave…

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beauty queen: bridal makeup trends

July 27th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth

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image source, photography by Melissa Kruse

We all want to feel at our most beautiful on our wedding day, with preparations such as hair trials, body scrubs, tanning, facials and teeth whitening all under way weeks, and even months in advance. But, essentially, a lot of the beauty element of a wedding comes down to choosing the most flattering makeup palette.

Makeup, as we all know, can enhance our features for the better and, on the flipside, banish a swathe of skin problems, too. Whether it’s making our eyes pop Bambi-style, accentuating our pout or emphasising our cheek bones – there’s a product and a beauty hack out there that’ll be sure to transform any dream bridal look into a reality.

Looking to the bridal runways and the world of Pinterest for inspiration, it’s all about simple, natural beauty this season, dominated by gleaming complexions, sweet pastel hues and subtle accents of shimmer. Here are five of our favourites to get you started…

berry lips

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image source, image source, image source, photography by Christa Elyce

Chances are, you’ll be wearing a classic shade of ivory, champagne or crisp white for your wedding gown, so why don’t you switch up your bridal look with a contrasting makeup palette? There’s no better way to make a statement than with a bold lip and this season it’s all about the stained berry tones (it’s no surprise that Pinterest searches for this look are up more than 70%). A matte lippy is our top choice, as this will stay put for longer and remain smudge-proof – a prerequisite for any bride on her big day!

metallic liner

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image sourceimage source, image source

This might seem a little ‘out there’ for your wedding day, but trust us, a metallic liner – as seen on the catwalk at Marchesa – will be sure to add a touch of sparkle and definition to your eyes. Apply a thin stroke of liner along your lower lash line in a silvery blue or rose gold and combine this with a sheer, nude shadow blended into the sockets of the eyelid for an understated yet glamorous finish.

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blissed out bride: moddershall oaks

January 12th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Moddershall Oaks (2)

Those of you that follow me on Instagram may well have noticed that it was my 30th birthday in December as I stretched out the celebrations across three weeks, no less! As well as nights out with family and friends and a fabulous trip to Copenhagen organised by my wonderful boyfriend Andy, I was also invited to top it all off with an overnight spa break at Moddershall Oaks in rural Staffordshire. Just want the doctor ordered after copious amounts of birthday booze and dancing!

Located in 72 acres of picturesque woodland and grounds, Moddershall Oaks houses an award-winning, fine dining restaurant and is also a stunning wedding venue with options for both indoor and outdoor ceremonies and celebrations. As part of the wedding venue hire package, couples marrying at Moddershall are treated to a complimentary one-night mini-moon break with overnight accommodation in its Master Bedroom, complete with four-poster bed and spa bath, plus full use of the spa’s facilities.

The spa’s “Girly Night In” package also offers the perfect chilled-out hen do, whilst its Snug can be hired for the morning of the wedding for the bridal party to enjoy being pampered and preened from top to toe whilst sipping on champagne. Sounds perfect, right? Which is why were so keen to experience Moddershall Oaks’ spa facilities for ourselves.

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As I was on annual leave, my mum accompanied me on this Blissed Out Bride visit, and given what a wonderful time we had, I would certainly also highly recommend Moddershall Oaks as the perfect place for some quality mother/daughter time.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by the spa’s super friendly staff and given a quick tour of the facilities before being shown to our room. We were staying in one of the venue’s ten luxury suites with gorgeous Moroccan-style décor and use of the outdoor hot tub.

With fabulous-looking facilities both indoor and out to explore, we were quick to change into our robes and indulge in some serious relaxation!

moddershall oaks, stone

moddershall oaks, stone

First up, perhaps the main attraction and also Moddershall’s latest addition, the outdoor spa courtyard, including relaxation lounge, spa deli, heated vitality spa pool and kelo sauna. We braved the cold December temperatures shedding our robes and hopping straight into the warm spa pool with welcoming bubbling jets. You could easily idle away hours in this gorgeous open-air spot with views of the surrounding countryside. There isn’t even the need to get out for a drink, as attentive waiting staff are on hand to gab that glass of fizz for you – utter heaven? We thought so!

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super stylist: say hello to becca hunton hair & makeup

November 16th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

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It’s not just the dress that creates a bride’s big day look, the hair and makeup styling play a big part too, which is why it’s always helpful to know a pro. So ladies, if you’re currently on the search for a bridal hair and makeup stylist, prepare to take note as we’re introducing the fabulous Becca Hunton to the blog today as a shiny new Brides Up North Sponsor.

Ticking both hair and makeup boxes, Yorkshire-based Becca is a fully qualified hairdresser and makeup artist, who’s worked in established salons and at top events in both Ibiza and London, before setting up her own company, specialising in bridal beauty.

And while Becca covers a whole range of bridal looks, she has a particular passion for vintage and festival style weddings, so if you’re planning a big day along these lines, this talented lady is definitely the stylist for you.

Here to tell us more about her services is the super stylist herself…

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Can you tell us a little about your background and how you got into hair and makeup?  

becca says: I’ve always been interested in hair and makeup since I was very young. As soon as I left school I became a hairdresser. Then at 19 I got into London College of Fashion to train in makeup. I loved it! Soon after I worked in Ibiza, creating looks for Hed Kandi and gorgeous brides. I’ve been part of many different salons, including Toni & Guy in London and have worked on shows at London Fashion Week.  After ten years of gaining experience I decided to set up my own business. It’s been the best thing I’ve ever done! I’ve always loved getting brides ready for their big day and with having both hair and makeup qualifications, I can offer the full package.

What do you enjoy about working in the wedding industry?

I love working in the wedding industry because you get to meet so many new and interesting people all the time. Everybody loves a good wedding don’t they? There’s always a good buzz about the place!

What is your favourite part of your job? 

I love it all but I’d say getting a bridal party ready for the big day is my favourite part of my job, it’s always such an excitable time. I love going to different venues too, I’ve been to some amazing places! I also love to see what lovely dresses the brides pick – there’s such a variety of dresses out there!

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Can you tell us about the services you offer?

I’m a fully trained hairdresser and makeup artist. As well as getting a bridal party ready, I cut and colour. I also offer makeup lessons. I do a lot of vintage styling and have found that hen parties love to get involved with that. I can either do mini makeovers on all the hens, or give them makeup lessons and then they all have a go too.

What process will a bride go through if they pick you to do their wedding hair and makeup?

After contacting me we will discuss your wedding and ideas that you have. I can give you tips on where to look for ideas. A trial is included in the price, which usually happens four to six weeks before the wedding. That’s a time when we can try different looks. I take photos of the hair and makeup and also write up a face plan of the makeup I have used ready to recreate on the big day.

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