We all know that beauty isn’t just about cosmetics, as our skincare regime and what we eat and drink all contributes to how we look on the outside.
An impending wedding often prompts brides-to-be to embark on somewhat of a beauty overhaul, with diet, exercise and products all being considered and scrutinised. But whether freshly engaged or just a matter of months away from your big day, it’s never too late to make some changes that could result in you looking and feeling better in time for your moment in the spotlight.
As such, we’re turning to our super-knowledgeable Sponsor, North East makeup artist Alexandra J Edgar, to give us the lowdown on simple skincare changes, beneficial nutrition and, of course, some must-have makeup picks.
And as if all that wasn’t enough, the lovely Alexandra is also sharing the results of a recent styled bridal shoot that she collaborated on featuring key beauty looks inspired by the fashion catwalks of autumn/winter 2019. Notebooks at the ready ladies!
With shoot images by Joe Laws Photography
Can you give us a brief overview of your background and business?
Alexandra says: I started in the cosmetic industry more than 18 years ago and have had the privilege to represent the world’s most prestigious brands. It was a natural career for me as my passion has always been art. I grew up addicted to the beauty pages of magazines and soaked up every piece of skincare, nutrition and cosmetic training from all the major brands throughout my career.
I soon learned I was most drawn to cruelty-free, botanical brands that gave back to the planet and cared about it with sustainable ingredients and thoughtful packaging. These products provided the best results for my skin, especially my body that can flare up with psoriasis. I decided to venture out on my own so that I had more time to enjoy the bridal part of makeup artistry that I adore. I love a wedding morning, and I love to share my knowledge and enhance people’s lives with great new products and confidence in feeling good.
When should brides start to get into a skincare regime ahead of their wedding and what are the very first steps?
Brides should embrace a healthy skincare regime as soon as possible. There is never a better time than right now for a fresh start. For a bride/groom embarking on skincare for the first time and venturing away from face wipes and soap, let’s keep it real simple. Cleanse, treat and protect with the New Bio Hydria Range (£93.60) containing fundamental hydrating properties to suit all skin types. Your skin will immediately look more radiant, feel more comfortable and fine lines will diminish. I love this range and have started using it myself this autumn. After your makeup trial or skincare consultation we can see which other products would be beneficial for you too.
Are there any particular brands of products that you recommend to your brides and why do you favour these?
After finding that the botanical brands suited me best, I discovered Arbonne. A near 40-year-old brand with a Swiss heritage. The products are all clean formulated with plant-based nutrition and botanically based ingredients. These luxury products work. They are effective, concentrated and clinically and independently tested. They are certified vegan, certified gluten free and certified cruelty free. After discovering this brand and in a time when we have become the most eco aware, wellness warriors of all time, it was a no brainer for me to become an independent consultant and represent the ‘No 1 Global Brand for Healthy Living Inside & Out’. We want brands with a higher purpose, freedom and community and we want to know what is in our products.
In the last couple of months and weeks before the wedding what additional treatments/products would you advise for brides-to-be to get their skin in tip top condition?
In the last couple of months before your wedding, or at least 30 days before, take a 360-degree approach to healthy living from the inside out. I strongly recommend the nutritional programme 30 Days to Healthy Living (£230.40) – it’s essentially your breakfast and lunch/or dinner for a month with a host of other goodies. Your body works as a system and getting the right nutrients and maximising the health of your gut you will ensure healthy, great looking skin. This is also a great way to kick start your fresh start. I am doing this programme right now and the men and women I see who have followed the plan for 30 or 90 days look incredible, no joke! Ask me about it.
Nutrition also has an impact on skin and so what would be your main food and drink dos and don’ts for brides-to-be?
Nutrition has a huge impact on skin so here’s what the programme encourages. We are not on a plan of perfection, but this will be a great way to support healthy living. So, brides- to-be eliminate these common allergens in your 30 Days to Healthy Living: wheat/ gluten/ yeast; dairy; sugar/ artificial sweeteners; alcohol; coffee; vinegar and soy.
Fill your plate half full with non-starchy veggies like broccoli or spinach etc. Make the rest of your plate lean protein like fish, organic chicken, beans, lentils or quinoa. Then you need some healthy carbs like brown rice and healthy fats like olive oil. Et voila… it’s so simple and fun to try new recipes. You’re never on your own following the 30 days. There are Facebook groups, recipe ideas, smoothie recipes.
How would you advise brides to decide on their big day beauty look? What elements should they take into account and where can they look to for inspiration?
When planning your wedding day look, I like to get inspiration from the current catwalks. However, as an artist I can translate these fashion looks to bridal perfection. You should certainly check out UNVEILED magazine, which I am delighted to feature my artistry in Issue 11 and current Issue 12. You need to feel empowered that you will look the best version of you, so check out Instagram and Pinterest to see which looks you are drawn to.
I love when brides have seen my work and are inspired to try that out for themselves. I adore a mood board or a digital selection of images that have inspired you, this really helps me see exactly what “mood” you want to create e.g. vintage, smoky, polished. Visualise yourself on your wedding day. How do you look, how do you feel, what bouquet are you carrying, what room are you getting ready in, what music are you listening to? Then we can create that look.
What would you advise for brides that aren’t used to wearing much makeup?
You don’t need a lot of makeup. I don’t wear a lot of makeup, honestly my cosmetic bag at home consists of the following: concealer, eye primer, bronzer, blusher, liquid eyeliner, brow pencil, eyelash curlers and mascara. I rarely wear anything other than skincare on my face. I have my CC cream and eyeshadow palette if I’m going out anywhere, like a business event or dinner. The only makeup necessary for you ladies that are not used to wearing products is a professional application of enough to look polished, bridal and the best version of you. The products I use are also featherlight. You can invest in a handful of products that I will teach you to use for everyday wear too. That’s all you need. Ready In Five (£82.40) is a great start and the perfect transition to fuss free makeup.
And how can you assist brides with complexion hang ups such as acne, scarring, fine lines or wrinkles?
We all have complexion hang ups. I have worked with every type of skin concern and clients of all ages. I have a broad range of products that cater for all skincare concerns. The right skincare and makeup really does make all the difference. Firstly, we can get you on the correct regime for you. This will address any issues deep down into the skin and deliver results. Secondly, a professional makeup application ensures any concerns like breakouts, scarring, rosacea are covered correctly. For example, I would not use a powder on a bride with uneven skin texture or raised bumps as it will enhance them more. A professional knows this and will apply accordingly. When you are in experienced hands and using products that are benefitting to you, you will feel empowered.
For the accompanying shoot images can you give us an overview of the makeup looks you created, where you drew inspiration from and details of any star products?
I organised a group of talented North East wedding suppliers to create a shoot showcasing an AW19 bridal edit of hair and makeup, photography, bridal gowns and floral design. Taking inspiration from the new season’s runways, here is a quick rundown of the beauty looks I created using Arbonne products…
A nude gloss lip and smoky eye. I used the Its All In The Eyes Volume 1 Eyeshadow Palette and Glossed Over Lip Gloss in Sahara.
Radiant complexions are here to stay. After applying skincare, I primed with Makeup Primer and followed with Perfecting Liquid Foundation SPF 15 which has a satin finish, medium to full coverage and a host of moisturising and firming properties.
Sumptuous purple eye makeup enriched the catwalk at Valentino and Moschino, shaping a key trend for the coming months. For a bridal take on this look, I applied a whisper of Aurora and Amethyst from Its All In The Eyes Volume 2 Eyeshadow Palette.
Our old friend lip gloss is back, but it’s all about picking a product that will give maximum shine without the gloop. For the desired high-shine, I used Glossed Over Lip Gloss in Anise which contains plant extracts and peptides to leave lips quenched and moisturised.
My hero products on the shoot were my beloved It’s A Fine Line Liquid Eyeliner in Arbor, Let It Set Refreshing Finishing Spray and The Real Conceal Liquid Concealer (literally the best concealer I have ever used!).
Find all of these products at www.alexandraedgar.arbonne.com and register as my Preferred Client for special offers and discounts. You can also follow me on Instagram and Facebook to keep us with all my latest work and product news.
Can you tell us a little about your studio – where it is located and the services/classes that you offer there?
I have a wonderful creative collaboration with my friend, talented Joe Laws Photography, the man behind these shoot images. I am based at Joe’s state of the art photography studio in Newburn Village, Newcastle Upon Tyne. You can book your appointment and visit me here for skincare consultations (£45), makeup lessons (£55), prom makeup (£60) and bridal trials (£45). I have a gorgeous counter that I had built to reflect my business with plenty of space for any guests to come along. It’s a great, welcoming space.
Can you tell us about your mobile services too?
My mobile services are exclusive to brides. On appointment I travel to your home/venue from the Scottish Borders to North Yorkshire and the Lake District (unless you’re taking me on your elopement? I’ll come!) I love a wedding morning and have been privileged to visit stunning locations throughout our region. I love a castle, a stately home; ah let’s just say I love that old England romance and a bit of grandeur. I am so thrilled to be a part of your special day and have a huge sense of gratitude to be chosen to create your look. I am known for creating radiant skin and a look that quite simply makes you feel like the best version of you.
Any other exciting news to share?
On Sunday 24th November 2019, I will be exhibiting at The Wedding Creatives at Lartington Hall near Barnard Castle – a luxury wedding show presented by UNVEILED magazine and Brides Up North. It’s open 11am to 2pm and free entry for all, providing a fabulous opportunity to view this stunning venue (with interiors to die for!) whilst also meeting me and a whole host of other talented wedding suppliers to help plan and inspire your big day. I look forward to seeing you there!
Hair, makeup & creative direction: Alexandra at AJ Edgar MUA
Bridal gowns: Bespoken Bridal Boutique
Photography: Joe Laws Photography
Floral design: Wild With Love
Venue: Bamburgh Castle
Model: Rebecca Gormley
Products: Arbonne UK