September 13th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
October 27th, 2015 | Julia Braime
We are used to seeing lots of gorgeous styled shoots that are predominantly about the dress, but this afternoon we’ve got a wonderful collection of images for you that focus on bridal hair and makeup in the first instance instead.
Particularly helpful for those of you that are currently trying to figure out what look to go for on your big day, this stunning shoot, organised by freelance makeup artist Ariana Rose of A Rose Make Up, puts two differing styles in the spotlight – classic & modern – giving brides-to-be inspiration for both.
To explain more about the shoot, and how the looks it features were created, we’ll let Ariana take hold of the blogging reins.
Images by Phillip James Photography.
ariana says: The inspiration for the shoot was simply to do a modern day bride verses as classic bride. I find that although a lot of brides are asking for classic looks with flawless, natural makeup and hairstyle, there is an ever increasing amount of brides nowadays asking for more dramatic looks, such as a smoky eye with slight contouring and more on trend hairstyles. I also find that when I do consultations with clients, a lot of brides will pull up ideas they’ve seen in showbiz magazines and on celebrities’ Instagram accounts.
I wanted to do a shoot to show that both looks are equally beautiful and can make an impact in their own ways. The venue was chosen for this reason too. The Mere in Knutsford is very classic yet contemporary too. Unfortunately we were restricted in how much of the stunning outdoor grounds of the venue we could use on the day due to rain (there is a beautiful lake and greenery) but I feel we still got the images we wanted. The location is just beautiful and I love the feel of the place – it really is perfect for a wedding!
For Abbi (our redhead model), I wanted to go for quite a classic bridal style. I created a look that would not only complement her complexion and hair colour, but also give her the wow factor all brides want. I always prepare the skin with elixir spray and then prep with a base cream that will ensure makeup lasts all day. To complement Abbi’s features and gorgeous skin, I used quite earthy and natural tones on the eyes and finished by applying natural hair false lashes to emphases the makeup. I use natural hair false lashes as I find they blend in a lot better. My signature style with bridal makeup is to really focus on the skin, so I used a medium buildable coverage foundation which blends in fabulously but looks so natural. I used a cream highlighter on Abbi’s cheeks to accentuate her cheekbones and finished with a pop of blush. I lined her lips with a warm toned lip liner then filled in with a gloss.
For Georgia (our blonde model), I went for a more modern take on bridal makeup. As mentioned, I find brides are now asking for a smokier look on the eyes which was something that they kept away from previously. I started by prepping Georgia’s skin in the same way as Abbi’s. I then filled in her brows with an eyeshadow and angle brush to keep it natural but defined. I again used warm earthy tones to complete her soft smoky eyes and lined with a gel based liner. I used slightly longer false lashes but again kept them natural hair as it’s essential they blend in and accentuate the eye as opposed to taking over. I contoured Georgia’s cheeks slightly and highlighted to finish. I lined her lips with pink lip liner and filled in with lipstick. I always use liner on the lips, no matter what the colour, as it gives definition and a clean finish.
The hairstyles, created by Star Salon, were kept in line with the looks we were going for on both models. Abbi started off with glossy waves and then we switched to an up do with finger waves which looked both stunning and timeless. With Georgia we were a little more creative and modern with our hairstyle choices, starting with a backcombed up do and moving onto a tousled curly up do.
Dresses for the shoot were kindly loaned by Brides World Liverpool.
July 29th, 2015 | Rachel Parry
Last time we caught up with Jane Witherspoon, our real life bride & celebrity columnist, she’d been thinking about how to impress guests with her flower, food and entertainment choices for her upcoming wedding while getting some top tips from newlywed wed actress Michelle Keegan.
Fast-forward a month and Jane’s thoughts have turned to her own appearance on the big day, and in particular what style of hair and makeup she might have for her moment in the spotlight.
Luckily Jane’s job as a celebrity reporter has once again put her in touch with an A-lister (of the beauty world) who can help. Hair and makeup artist to the rich and famous Ciona Johnson-King, whose clients include Cameron Diaz and Keira Knitghley, has styled Jane on many occasions for glittering events at which she has been reporting.
So as her wedding day approaches, Jane has called upon Ciona to give her some expert advice on her bridal beauty regime. And rather than keeping it all to herself, the generous bride-to-be is sharing all the details with you here on the blog today. What a star!
jane says: It’s hard to keep on top of a good beauty regime at the best of times let alone when you’re finalising plans for a wedding. I’m not doing too well at trying to eat healthier and drink lots of water. In fact, the busier I get the more I seem to consume! And as for this growing my hair malarkey, generally I’m feeling a bit of a mess. I’m sure it will all be worth it come October though.
For the big day itself, I’m thinking of eeping my hair and makeup quite simple and classic, inspired by Princess Grace of Monaco.
Luckily when it comes to bridal beauty I’ve got a trump card in the form of Ciona Johnson-King. Ciona is the make-up artist to the stars and I’m so lucky and proud to be able to call her my friend. Cameron Diaz, Audrey Tautou, Liv Tyler, Gwyneth Paltorw and Keira Knightley are just a few of the names she’s worked with.
With this in mind I’m handing over this month’s blog post to Cio to give you some amazing pre-wedding beauty tips, and accompanying the post are some of my favourite Ciona creations – now what style to choose?
ciona says: If you’re reading this, the chances are you or someone dear to you is about to get married. Congratulations! It’s the most magical day of your life. I thoroughly recommend it! To help you prepare, here are few of my top wedding tips…
1. Practice beforehand, using daylight when available. Your hairstyle needs to work from the sides and back as well as the front. Make sure your skin tone is the same from the face to all body parts. It’s important to be completely comfortable on the big day so don’t go too far out of your comfort zone with your hair and makeup. It’s not the time to try the latest catwalk trend. Take photos from different angles so you can see how your hair and makeup will look.
2. Take care sunbathing in the run up to the wedding as suntan marks are very tricky to disguise. If fake tanning, build up light layers over a few days or weeks rather than going for a strong spray tan just before your wedding. Find the brand and level of tan that works best on your skin well in advance. It’s all part of the research!
3. Gently exfoliating the skin really does help with radiance. This is the time to treat yourself to some good serum and moisturiser to nourish the skin too.
4. Eat healthily, drink water, exercise, sleep well and avoid stress. Basically -look after yourself!
5. On the day, allocate plenty of preparation time. Listen to your favourite playlist to help relax you. I usually ask the bride’s best friend to help keep our zone free of too many interruptions. You’d be surprised how many people pop in to say ‘hi’! The last thing you want is someone bringing in their last minute drama whilst the bride’s getting ready. Don’t forget to eat either, as fainting at the aisle isn’t a good look (as a make-up artist, I’m likely to be the one force-feeding the bride).
Here Ciona shares three of her beauty videos to help brides-to-be achieve that perfect wedding day look: Golden, Hollywood and Romantic.
Next month Jane will be bringing us all the gossip from her hen do. She and the gals are off to a friend’s 18th Century farmhouse in France. Sounds fabulous!
Follow Ciona Johnson-King at @CionaJK or for more information visit www.ciona.co.
Follow Jane, at @Janeyspoon.
June 9th, 2015 | Julia Braime
As we continue to look to wedded stars for inspiration for bridal wear, hair and makeup, we’re delighted to be putting the gorgeous fearne cotton in the spotlight today – one of our top celebrity crushes here at Brides Up North HQ.
Whether she’s snapped on the way to the Radio 1 offices, presenting on TV or gracing the red carpet, style setter Fearne seems to get it right time and time again.
Cool, quirky and individual in her look, we all knew Miss Cotton was unlikely to wear a traditional wedding dress when she tied the knot to her long-term partner Jesse Wood last summer. And we were right as Fearne dazzled in an ankle-length Pucci gown, complete with sparkling headband, heels and bag. Pure perfection!
So let’s explore how you can steal classy Cotton’s big day look…
Though individual Fearne’s dress appears to take inspiration from a variety of sources. The cute tea-length with wide neck gives the gown a classy vintage edge and is reminiscent of the likes of Audrey Hepburn’s 1950s wedding dress. Meanwhile the soft pleated bodice and floaty tulle skirt have a somewhat Grecian feel about them, but then Fearne’s overall look, with soft hair and makeup, also says boho bride.
So the choice is yours. You can choose to replicate Fearne’s attire throughout or pick just one or two elements as inspiration. So for example you might love the cute length and capped sleeves of Fearne’s dress but not like the sparkle. In which case interest can instead be added with lace detail, a sash or romantic floral corsages. Alternatively you might prefer a fuller skirt than Fearne’s or a strapless or sleeveless design.
For fans of detail there are dresses with sparkle and embellishment along the neckline, sleeves or bodice that create a similar look to Miss Cotton and give brides varying levels of glitz to choose from.
If however you feel a carbon copy is the only way to go, top designer Jenny Packham produced an identical dress called Gemma in her 2014 collection with beautiful intricate detailing across the neckline which gives the illusion of an off-the-shoulder dress, just as Fearne’s did.
Clockwise from top left: image source| image source, photography by Chantal Andre Photography| image source| image source, photography by Karen Wise Photography| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Birds of a Feather.
If there’s one thing females envy Fearne for (apart from her amazing career) it’s her voluminous, golden glossy hair that seems to suit any do imaginable.
Ahead of the pack as always Fearne’s been rocking the lob (long bob) for quite some time now, even though the rest of us have only just caught on to the style. So keeping true to the relaxed look she’s become admired for, Fearne shunned a structured bridal up do in favour of wearing her gorgeous shoulder-length locks down with a cool, effortless wave.
The great news is the look is easy to achieve and works on most hair types and lengths (just those with cropped dos that will miss out on this one). Brides can tighten up the wave slightly to create more of a curl for the ceremony if they so wish and then allow to drop throughout the day for a more boho appearance come the evening celebrations.
Fearne finishes off her look with a sparkling silver headband to pick out the detail on her dress, again an easy look to copy, with numerous stunning vintage-style headpieces available to brides that like a little bling.
Clockwise from top left: image source, photography by Long Distance Loving| image source| image source| image source, photography by Bryce Covey| image source| image source, photography by Getty, Joanna Kustra| image source| image source| image source| image source, photography by Codrean Photography & Films.
We’ve seen Fearne work a variety of makeup looks over the years though she often returns to the safety of her signature style – lined eyes and a slick of lippy. Though slightly toned down, Fearne fell back on this look once again for her wedding day.
A great option for brides wanting fairly natural makeup, the finish is soft and pretty. Whether hiring a professional or going it alone ladies will want a flawless dewy base on which to begin, created using a light foundation and concealer and finished with a dusting of powder.
For a healthy boho glow Fearne’s cheekbones have been defined with bronzer and then a highlighter has been added to the cheeks and nose to reflect the light.
Eyes are kept simple with a sweeping of light, shimmering eyeshadow, that famous flick of eyeliner and a couple of coats of mascara.
Finally the main focal point of Fearne’s look, the lips. Lips should be lined for definition and staying power and then filed in with a warm pink hue for a glamourous yet girlie look.
April 24th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Today on Brides Up North its all about the aesthetics, as we argue the case for keeping things natural or giving the beauty gods a helping hand. We ask: wedding day beauty – what to do? No added effort or bring in the experts?
rachel says: keep it natural
While I do enjoy a good Mac makeover now and again I have to say I’m more a fan of the au natural look than I am an obvious made up look, especially when it comes to weddings.
I’ve first-hand double-taken brides arriving on the aisle, not because I’m dazzled by their radiance but because I barely recognise them. Who is this Barbie-like bride and what have you done with my friend?
Many ladies can think they have to look a certain way for their big day, often adding false nails, eyelashes and fake tan to their pre-wedding beauty regime that they wouldn’t usually entertain. But to me the most important thing is to look like you – a flippin’ good version of you, but you all the same.
I’m pretty certain the majority of grooms out there would also much rather lift a veil to find a bride that they actually recognise rather than someone who could give Amy Childs a run for her money at the cosmetics counter.
And that’s not the only problem, if you go for an on-trend fashionable look chances are you will regret it when look back on your wedding photos, perhaps within a few months, never mind years.
So I say keep it natural ladies, just like our celebrity bride yesterday, Ms Palermo. This doesn’t mean you can’t enhance your makeup a little by adding a bolder lip colour or subtle, smoky eyes but just be sure not to go OTT, which should result in a look that’s more wowie than it is TOWIE.
julia says: go all-out
Ooh, I love a good makeover.
Girls, hear me! This is your wedding day for crissakes. If there was ever a time to step it up, that time is now.
Yes, he loves you just as you are, and yes, you don’t want him to wonder who the make-up caked stranger advancing down the aisle might be, but really – he bought you a diamond – an all-out effort on the most important day of your life really is the least you can do.
First and foremost, when will you get the chance for such unashamed pampering again? Take it from this working mum, not when you’re changing nappies at 5am or catching up on emails at midnight. If I were you, I’d revel in the chance for a bit of spa-time and shopping. Full body massages, regular manicures, raiding the Charlotte Tilbury counter of a Saturday afternoon – the wedding budget can cover that!
Secondly, upping the beauty ante prior to the big day shouldn’t leave you looking like Franken-bride – just choose carefully. In the weeks pre-wedding, I’d leave the chemical peel and spray tan appointments free, but carefully placed individual eyelashes or pretty highlights and even a light swoosh of airbrush makeup will leave you looking flawless and fresh.
Often, the cheapest changes are the most effective. Prior to my own wedding way back in 2010 (when we barely even knew what a wedding blog was), I upped the ante on my regular runs, pencilled in lots more shut eye, ditched the vino and glugged lots of water instead. I treated myself to lots of lovely beauty products and more regular trims to keep my crowning glory in ship-shape. On the day itself, I brought in the experts: my nails were buffed and polished to perfection, hair casually coiffed and make-up beautifully done. The result: tons of confidence and a set of wedding pictures that I’m really proud of.
Did I still look like myself?
Nope. I looked better.
what you said
Kim: “I definitely plan to go glam on my wedding day, this is my chance to look like a princess and I fully intend to make the most of it!”
Melissa: “I’m keeping things natural. My partner hates heavy make up and I don’t want to scare him off!”
Julie: “I’ve heard horror stories about fake tan going wrong, so I plan to let my natural beauty shine through.”
Kate: “Part of my hen party involves a spa day so the bridesmaid and I are going to do lots of pre-wedding pampering!”
We’d love to hear what you’re planning for your big day beauty look?
December 31st, 2014 | Julia Braime
Merry Christmas! Its holiday season here on the blog, and as the editorial team take a break for the festive season, we’ll be leaving you with a reduced blogging schedule so that you still get your daily dose of wedding lovely.
Usual service will recommence on Monday 5th January 2015 (with some big news!) but in the meantime watch out for recaps of our favourite Real Weddings so far this year. Drop in every day for the very prettiest, most unique wedding inspiration and – if you are a Brides Up North bride – to see if your Real Wedding was one of our top picks for 2014.
Turns out that our talented Brides Up North Sponsors make the very prettiest of brides. Today’s absolutely beautiful wedding at Eshott Hall, starring our own Natalie Power, is a lovely lesson in romantic pastels and pretty detailing. I’ve saved this to share with you for a special start to the week, Pinterest fingers at the ready…
With images by Helen Russell Photography.
natalie says: We got engaged in November 2008, it was my birthday and Warren had surprised me with a trip to Barcelona. If that wasn’t surprise enough, he proposed, I could not believe it, it was so unexpected but perfect!
We were married on Saturday 31st May 2014, at Eshott Hall, Northumberland.
After looking at other possible venues we were becoming a little disheartened but then we arrived at Eshott Hall and as soon as we drove up the tree lined gravel driveway and past the manicured lawns we both knew this would be the venue. We wanted to have exclusive use of the venue for the weekend, stunning scenery and not be constrained by minimum numbers: Eshott Hall ticked all those boxes.
We didn’t have a ‘theme’ as such, we just felt everything fell into place; it was little mix of modern classic with a country edge. We chose a soft colour scheme of creams, pinks and peaches. We wanted to keep things pretty neutral and unstructured.
I wore a fitted Vera Wang wedding dress, which is completely the opposite of what I thought I wanted when I started looking. I had been pinning like crazy on the best wedding tool ever and had my heart set on a Jenny Packham dress. After trying it on I was very disappointed, it just didn’t feel like it was my ‘wedding’ dress so I was back to square one. It wasn’t until my Mum suggested I try on something completely different that I came across the dress, I tried it on once and fell in love. To complete the look I wore Jimmy Choo Crown heels in Nude, a gift from my husband
Make-up was provided by Jo Leversuch of Make-up by Jo, she did a super job and was even able to fit in an extra person on the day – nothing was too much for her, I would definitely recommend Jo. She was able to create a look for each of the bridesmaid that was unique to them, not a carbon copy of one another.
Warren wore a navy double-breasted jacket from Hugo Boss with a crisp white shirt from The Kooples. His cream trousers were also from Hugo Boss and completed his look with a set of braces from Bromleys. His shoes were brown double monk straps from Magnanni.
My bridesmaids wore Dessy dresses, style no. 2909 in Cameo to compliment the soft neutral colouring.
The groomsmen wore their own suits in navy to tie in with the Groom’s suit jacket; they all wore matching pink bowties and pocket squares from Etsy.
My bouquet was a selection of garden roses, spray roses, hydrangeas, soft grey foliage and brunia berries – all very loose and effortless. All of the flowers throughout the day were in the same style as my bouquet, provided by Helen of Bels Flowers. She is fabulous and I would highly recommend her.
Helen Russell was our photographer, we would definitely recommend Helen, she is so lovely and captured the atmosphere of the day perfectly.
As well as creating my own wedding invitations (my daytime job – see Natalie Power’s website) I also made the signage, table numbers and seating plan. Of course, my husband was on hand with his trusty saw and drill.
The food and drink was provided by Eshott Hall, it was beautifully presented and tasted just as good, everyone commented on how tasty it was.
We had a selection of cakes, a dessert table provided by the amazingly talented Bernadette of Dreamworld Cakes. The wedding cake itself was chocolate baileys flavour, victoria sponge cupcakes, mini cakes were chocolate orange flavour, macaroons in both rose and pistachio flavours, cake pops and artisan meringues.
During the ceremony, canapés and wedding breakfast the wonderful Aurora Strings entertained us; they played a selection of classical and pop music, which was perfect.
Our evening entertainment was provided by an amazingly talented band, The Noise, that I found through Warble Entertainment. They did an amazing job and were very enthusiastic, I highly recommend them.
We would highly recommend Eshott Hall. The venue itself is perfect if you are looking for somewhere you can use exclusively, it has beautifully manicured grounds to compliment your photography and décor that will not dictate your colour scheme.
For our honeymoon we decided on a US adventure taking in as many locations as we could. Our first stop was San Diego, from there we moved onto Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Morro Bay, Carmel, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Mammoth Lakes, Death Valley before our last stop in Las Vegas. There were so many highlights from the trip from whale watching in Morro Bay, the tour in San Francisco, a Grand Canyon helicopter flight and watching Cirque Du Soleil ‘O’, it was all amazing! We loved the fact that we got to explore so many different places along with amazing weather and ever changing scenery.
My top tip for other Brides Up North would be when things get on top of you or don’t go to plan remember the reason you’re doing this. To marry the love of your life, that’s what’s important, everything else will fall into place.
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