May 1st, 2018 | Rachel Parry
When it comes to planning a hen do it can be tricky to think of an ‘activity’ that’s original and will appeal to all ages and personalities within the group. But thanks to our fabulous North-East based Sponsor, freelance makeup artist Alexandra Jane Edgar, we have a winning suggestion for you that’s guaranteed to go down a treat with all your beloved hens – a professional makeover and photo shoot! We said it was fabulous!
Based in the studio of Joe Laws Photography, in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Alexandra has added this hen party experience to her list of services, so girls can get glammed up before hitting the town and take away some stunning professional shots with their leading ladies as a gorgeous souvenir of their pre-wedding celebrations.
Not only that but Alexandra is also offering group and private makeup classes to help ladies get out of a beauty rut and enhance their features while learning top products, tips and tricks along the way. And those further afield than the North East need not miss out of Alexandra’s golden advice as she’s started a series of online makeup tutorials too. Is there no end to this lady’s talents?
Here to tell us more is the expert herself. Over to you Alexandra…
With images by Joe Laws Photography.
You’ve recently introduced a Hen Party Experience to the portfolio of fabulous services that you offer. Can you tell us a little about this?
alexandra says: Our Hen Party Experience is a new, feel good service providing you and your main girls an amazing treat. All hens get a pamper session with eyes, cheeks and lips at £35 each, with the bride-to-be getting a consultation on skincare, full professional makeup application and hair styled for £55. Next, it’s time to hit the studio and enjoy a photoshoot by award-winning wedding and portrait photographer Joe Laws. Each hen will choose a digital photograph and the bride-to-be chooses an additional one of the entire party to take away with them. Any additional images, prints, framing are also available at an additional cost.
How have the hen party sessions been received so far?
The feedback has been amazing with our parties coming from as far as Northern Ireland and Scotland so far. They say it is a great way to spend an afternoon before going into town to party. It’s a professional, fun experience where everyone gets to look and feel their best. Not only will the session encourage brides-to-be to book their wedding makeup trial, it’s also a great opportunity for some practice in front of a professional photographer – and most of all, they all have fun with beautiful images to take away and treasure. It certainly beats a selfie!
You also run a number of makeup classes at the studio. Why did you want to introduce this service and who do the classes appeal to?
I have been asked for a very long time from clients if I offer classes and tutorials. I decided to offer this service and the feedback and enquiries have been fantastic. I had not realised how intimidating us ladies can find makeup, and how difficult some find it to find a makeup artist they can trust. I run monthly events at the studio (details can be found on my Facebook page) which are a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, get some advice on products and learn, as I show you “how to” on my model. I am also available for private classes, which are great for mums and daughters, or a few friends, looking for some new ideas, tips and tricks. This service appeals to all ladies looking for an informative, fun experience learning new skills and gaining confidence with their look. Events are £15 per person, and private/group consultations are £35 each.
What are the main beauty mistakes that ladies tend to make?
I honestly don’t think it’s the ladies who make the mistakes. I genuinely believe they have been served with the wrong products for their needs initially. I have seen this time and time again. The consultants are not asking the right questions, nor are they listening to the answers. The client walks away having spent money, gets home and doesn’t have a clue how to use her new products. I am passionate about skincare and makeup. It is magical and empowering. I am able to guide you on the best, effective, cruelty free, luxury products to use to suit your lifestyle whilst keeping it easy and transparent.
Your latest venture is video makeup tutorials, which sound exciting – can you tell us more please?
My desire to help others enjoy, experiment and feel good with incredible products has catapulted me right out of my comfort zone. I wished to present my brand in a luxurious, fun, easy going, informative way. I want my clients to see real women, the process, the application, the finish. My videos are currently on my Facebook page, however I am in the process of setting up a Youtube Channel – AJ Edgar Make up Artist – where they will all be together. I will keep you posted!
So what type of videos have you done so far and what else do you have planned?
My first two tutorials have been modelled by two incredible dancers, Jessica and Elena. My first look is based on enhancing Jessica’s own beauty, the second is empowering Elena with a catwalk inspired look from Sophia Webster’s dreamy current collection. Next, I will be showcasing a real prom makeup application on Royal Teen Miss UK, Juliette. Through my videos, I will be filming ladies of all ages and ethnicities focussing on different areas, such as eyes, cheeks, lips, skincare, foundation – the whole schbang!
What current makeup trends are you a fan of and can you forecast any looks that will be big in bridal?
I’m delighted that the magical, ethereal, glistening, mystical looks on the spring/summer catwalks at London, Paris and New York Fashion Weeks are here to stay. The skin is luminous and looks so healthy – perfect for a bride. See examples at Antonio Marras, Ralph & Russo, Sophia Webster and Valentino. I feel the sherbet hues will transcend into bridal with lilac, pink, pistachio and lemon taking centre stage. I adore translating the catwalk looks for bridal and every day. All examples can be seen on my Facebook page, shot by Joe Laws Photography.
Beauty-wise, who is your celebrity crush?
Currently it would have to be bride-to-be of the moment, Meghan Markle. She always looks radiant, polished and so happy. She is a strong, confident woman. I adore that she said no to any editing of her portrait for Vogue. Right now, Meghan will be preparing her skin in order to be wedding-ready, focusing on her nutrition and skincare. This is something I am able to assist my brides-to-be with and I only use vegan skincare, makeup, nutrition, bath and body products.
It would be absolutely incredible at some point in my career to do Meghan’s makeup. It would be such a privilege to advise and create looks for such an empowering, beautiful girl.
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.
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…
July 27th, 2017 | Alexis Forsyth
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…
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!
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.
May 4th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
The month of May is one of our very favourites here at Brides Up North HQ, not only as it tends to signal the start of warmer weather, but it’s also when our incredible festival wedding fairs take place across the north of the country. These super cool events are like no other as we create outdoor wedding wonderlands with huge sailcloth tents, tipis and yurts filled with wildly creative wedding suppliers, plus street food vendors, pop-up bars, live bands and so much more. The tour starts this Sunday 7th May with our glorious WEDSTOCK’17 at Stockeld Park, Yorkshire, and from there we will be heading to Ormesby Hall in Middlesbrough on Sunday 14th May, and Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire on Sunday 21st May, to give all you brides-to-be a piece of the fabulous festival action.
Another reason we favour May is for its bank holidays (who doesn’t love a bonus day off?!) and so with such a busy time on the horizon, we were sure to make the first long weekend of the month a relaxing one by heading off for an overnight spa break at the stunning Hoar Cross Hall.
Such getaways not only enable us to signpost you in the direction of the very best retreats for pre/post wedding pampering and luxurious hen do locations, but it also gives us chance to discuss exciting ideas for the blog, and boy do we have amazing plans in the pipeline! But more about that to follow soon, for now let us fill you in on our heavenly stay at this Grade II stately home where total relaxation comes as standard!
Situated in breath-takingly beautiful Staffordshire countryside, the chilled-out vibes start on your approach to the Hall and only deepen once over its threshold. Its impressive entrance and bar lounge area combine period style and modern luxury perfectly and make for a very warm welcome. Arriving early evening and keen to start the pampering from the off, we began with a glass of bubbles in the bar before heading to our room to freshen up before dinner.
Each of Hoar Cross Hall’s 96 bedrooms are individually designed in keeping with the stately surrounds and offer comfort and class, which resulted in a very restful night’s sleep for the two of us in our adjoining rooms.
Dinner was served in the Hall’s grand restaurant with calming views over the perfectly manicured gardens. Having selected a bottle of rose (well, it is getting on for summer!) we scanned over the varied choice of dishes and made our selection. We enjoyed starters of salmon two ways and chicken liver parfait before going onto mains of roast chicken and spinach and ricotta cannelloni. Something light to finish we thought, and so opted for the fruit platter and ice cream. The food at Hoar Cross is presented beautifully and tastes as good as it looks, while staff are attentive in making sure everything is to your liking.
With relaxation top of the agenda, we decided on an early night and early start to make the most of the Hall’s fabulous spa facilities.
Following an ample breakfast of granola followed by poached eggs, we took the elevator down to the lower ground where the hugely spacious spa is concealed, much like a well kept secret. And what a gem it is, with numerous tranquil pools and soothing water therapies to explore and experience.
Fellow spa visitors included groups of ladies as well as couples, making a Hoar Cross Hall getaway a perfect option for an indulgent hen do with the girls, some pre-wedding pampering with family or friends, plus a relaxing minimoon retreat to recharge the batteries ahead of jetting off on the main honeymoon.
There are various day and overnight packages to choose from, with meals included, and the option of treatments for head-to-toe relaxation.
The spa boasts two beautiful pools; a saltwater vitality pool, complete with jet massage pools, two luxury whirlpools and a starlit cave, plus a hydrotherapy pool with gentle currents and body massage jets.
There are also a number of heat, ice and massage experiences to detox and revitalise the body by stimulating different senses. These include sensory showers and aqua massage therapies as well as an aspen wood sauna, aroma room and ice temple.
And as if that’s not enough, there are lots of beautifully snug spaces to relax both poolside and within designated relaxation lounges, whether you choose to curl up with a good book or get a little extra shut-eye.
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!
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.
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.
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.
The famous Rouge Noir colour nail polish… the essential pick of all nail polishes to have in your make-up bag, and festive too.
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.
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.
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.
A squeezy tube mascara that adds drama, volume and curl to the eyelashes. Key ingredients are keratin and Shea Butter .
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.
An intense & smoothing eye shadow. This black eyeshadow has a subtle shimmer in for that intense strong smoky eye look.
The iconic Shu Uemura Eyelash curler is still the best! Perfect to curl eyelashes to make the eyes appear larger.
These rich strong pigmentation cream blushers are perfect for a rosy cheek colour or to highlight cheekbones and add a Winter glow.
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