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.
December 13th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
The festive season is upon us, and that can only mean one thing – it’s time to p-a-r-t-y!!
If you’re anything like us, you will have already purchased your festive threads during a frenzied online clothing splurge prompted by the Black Friday sales. So, with our party attire now sitting pretty in our wardrobes, we thought now a good time to focus on fitting makeup for the Christmas and New Year season.
This is probably the one time of the year when we can muster up the confidence to be more daring with our beauty look and go all-out glam, experimenting with those top beauty blogger trends we’ve been secretly crushing on over the past few months.
Ultra-glam makeup isn’t just for Christmas though…it’s also perfect for winter weddings! And so today on the blog, we’re sharing a few of our favourites that are ideal for brides who wants to inject some festive flair into their big day look.
Who doesn’t love a smoky eye? It’s an uber-flattering beauty trend, whether you go for a pristine finish with plenty of definition or for a much softer ‘I just woke up like this’ smudged look. Instead of black, try charcoal grey, mauve or even taupe for a more natural look. Our top pick? Urban Decay’s Naked Smoky Palette has got all the essentials you need to nail this look in one handy kit, with a sultry mix of gorgeous matte, satin and sparkly shades to choose from.
It’s one trend that never goes out of fashion – the classic winged eyeliner. In the winter months, dare to go bold with your liner and pair your angled flick with copper, plum or teal for all-out drama. For peepers with impact – stick with a classic black hue, or for something more understated, go for grey or brown. Bobbi Brown’s Long-wear Gel Eyeliner hasn’t won countless awards for nothing and comes in a dinky little pot, offering the precision of a liquid liner with the effortlessness of a gel-based formula. Simply draw on with a fine brush for a budge- and smudge-free heavy line.
If getting your sparkle on seems too much like an unwanted throwback to your 18-year-old self, then the high shine and glossy route is a more demure, grown-up approach to your festive makeup. Fresh and dewy – glossy eyelids work beautifully with lashings of black mascara and eyeliner for a tres simple yet sophisticated look. Our go-to product for some glossy action is the YSL Eye Gloss Smudger, which is applied as a top coat over your eyeshadow of choice for a high shine, polished finish.
In the summer, we all like to channel the bronzed goddess look, but come winter, it’s time for our natural skin tones to take centre stage. Pale skin with pops of colourful makeup contrasts beautifully with a dark and wintery backdrop. We say, embrace your inner Snow White and keep your complexion fair, with a subtle flush of colour to your face. Our top pick is Illamasqua’s Cream Blusher in Laid, swept across the apples of your cheeks for a highly pigmented yet natural rosy-pink glow.
November 8th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
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…
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.
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.
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.
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