Top 10 Places To Get Engaged

1. The Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

2. The Canals of Venice, Italy

3. The Grand Canyon, Arizona, America

4. The Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy

5. Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

6. Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney, Australia

7. The London Eye, London, England

8. Maya Beach, Phi Phi Leh, Thailand

9. Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany

10. Palace of Monaco, Monaco, France

REPOST// The big questions – No. 4: What exactly happens at a bridal makeup trial?

Today’s big question concerns the bridal makeup trial, and what exactly is involved.  Usually held approximately 6 weeks before your wedding day, the makeup trial is a chance to try out different styles that complement your wedding gown, colour scheme and theme.  They also serve as an opportunity for a makeup artist to analyse the condition of the skin, and advise on ways to make sure it’s in tip top condition before the big day.  But what exactly happens during the makeup trial?  Here is a brief outline of how I like to approach the trial.

1. Firstly, hello!  This is the first time we would have met after corresponding via email, facebook or over the phone.  I like to see how you’re getting on with the planning stage, and if there is any assistance I can provide or any supplier recommendations you need.

2. Ok, let’s get down to business.  For initial inspiration I like to see any images of your wedding gown, flowers or general colour themes.  That way I can start to piece together a look that will complement all of these elements and (most importantly) something that will suit you and your gorgeous features.

3. I will then talk through the general outline of a makeup design I think will work, and if you’re happy with everything I’ve said then we begin!  The makeup trial usually takes around an hour.  As I work I will be getting to know your skin and how it responds to certain products.  It is at this point I can quickly analyse the condition of the skin and provide advise on how to get the most out of your skincare regime.

4. After completing your initial look I will get you to have a look in my portable mirror (which you can then walk around the room with in different lights) to see if there is anything you want to add or change.  It is at this point I fully encourage my bridal clients to really voice their opinions, even if they hate it!  That way we can work together to build the perfect bespoke makeup design.  If there are only minor changes such as more blusher, or a little less foundation then it all goes down in my diary to remember for the big day.  Any major changes we correct together at the trial, so that you’re not worried about anything before the wedding.

5. Again if you’re happy with everything, we can then have a quick chat about timings, numbers and any other general questions you may have.  So that by the time I send my final correspondence 14 days before the wedding we’re all set and ready to go… then the excitement really kicks in!

REPOST// The big questions – No. 5: Will I look overdone and not like myself?

A very common worry among brides (when considering to hire a makeup artist) is that they will not look like themselves, or that they will be too heavily made up.  There isn’t a bride alive who doesn’t want that pleasant in-take of breath when she enters the room, and see’s her guests and partner for the first time.  You want to be breathtaking for all the right reasons, and any makeup artist worth her salt will always strive to help create that moment for you.  Here are a few myth busters to help you make your choice.

1. One of the most common fears surrounding hiring a makeup artist, is that you will be made to look too heavily ‘made up’ and covered in foundation.  Believe me, no one wants that!  True, we will use slightly more products than than your usual everyday look, but that is only because the makeup design has to work well for meeting guests, different lighting effects, professional photographs and lasting the distance on what is a joyful – but long day.

2. At the makeup trial you will be asked what is usual for you in terms of your everyday look, and what products you like to use.  That way we can design something that is very typically you, yet slightly tweaked to be the very best version of yourself.  A makeup artist is not there to experiment and try out the latest trends on you (only if you want to though!)  We’re here to give a guiding hand to create something that is uniquely you, yet translates well to all mediums.

3. Ok, yes we use a lot more products than you’re used to.  There are eye primers, facial primers, an array of eyeshadows, setting sprays, vitamin sprays the list is endless.  But we only use what we need to, to achieve that flawless base or that gorgeous smokey eye – the key is thin build-able layers that just looks seamless in it’s execution.  Basically, don’t panic when I open the makeup kit!

REPOST // Tips for getting those ‘wedding prep’ photographs just right…

I am completely fascinated by ‘wedding prep’ images.  Whenever I receive pics from photographers I always go to these first as you can’t help but be drawn to these initial glimpses.  Wedding photographers all seem to have this amazing ability to get creative with the placement of shoes, flowers and especially with the wedding bands.  I’ve seen rings placed on strawberries, peaches, on shoe heels and even in a conker shell!  It’s bonkers, but my word does it work!  Here are a few tips for making sure everything is ready for your wedding preps x

1.  If getting ready at your house, parents or even the venue try and make sure the space you have allocated for hair & beauty is kept clear of suitcases and clutter.  Make sure there is no ‘litter’ like left over breakfast or lunch empties, as these do not photograph well in the background.

2.  If it’s in the budget try and source a pretty, chic kimono or elegant bath robe that photographs nicely.  You can always treat the bridesmaids to the same, or slightly different kimono so you all look beautifully paired.  This will look so much better than being photographed in your cosy PJ’s that may have seen better days!

3.  Get one of your bridesmaids or mother to have your shoes, veil or hair piece, jewellery, wedding gown, perfume and wedding rings laid out somewhere safe for the photographer to literally pick up as soon as they arrive to take and photograph.  That way you won’t be rushing around trying to find all these.

Photography by Ikonworks

Who Am I?

Hello!  I’m Frances, a classically trained editorial and bridal makeup artist working across the South of England.  My previous clientele have included brides, models, actors, actresses and aristocracy throughout Hampshire, Dorset, Surrey, Wiltshire and London.  A regular contributor to international and national wedding magazines and blogs, my work has been seen across the world and celebrated for its emphasis on luxury beauty.  I simply love being asked to be a part of someone’s wedding day.  Not only is it incredibly exciting; it’s also a position of trust, and one which I fully respect.

In my professional makeup kit are products which I have carefully researched and selected for their high performance qualities and ability to work under pressure – ensuring your bridal makeup looks fab all day long.  These include: Benefit * Bobbi Brown * Chanel * Charlotte Tilbury * Dr. Brandt * Illamasqua * Laura Mercier * MAC * Makeup Geek * NARS * Rosie for Autograph * Sigma * Smashbox and Urban Decay to name a few.

I’d love to hear about your wedding plans so do get in touch at, or by sending me a message through my Contact page.  Also do check out my blog which is regularly updated with helpful tips & advice for your wedding day!

Uncovering the truth about false eyelashes and why they shouldn’t be dismissed

I am a big believer in the lash.  Love ’em or hate ’em there is no denying that false eyelashes dramatically change the look and feel of any makeup design.  There are a lot of misconceptions about false eyelashes and the name doesn’t help!  Often these little beauties are referred to as fake, false or falsies giving us an assumption that we will look fake or false wearing.  This is simply not true.  I for one champion this misunderstood tool – as that is exactly what it is.  When matched and applied well false eyelashes enhance and become as important as foundation is to a makeup look.  The key is research.  When starting on your false eyelashe journey go for a light band with feathering lashes and practise, practise, practise!!

I regularly use false eyelashes with my clients.  Brides especially love the added effect this brings to their wedding makeup.  They also show up amazingly well in photographs and are great for all those ‘sighing’ in love looks to the camera! x

Photography Ikonworks

REPOST // The big questions – No. 1: Should you hire a makeup artist for your wedding?

Yes, the big question… should you hire a makeup artist for your wedding?  It’s a question every bride puts to themselves – shortly followed by the follow up question… or can I get away with it myself?  Often I think the answer is in the ‘get away with’ part.  Do you really want your wedding makeup to be something you ‘get away with’?  If you’re at that stage of questioning, then here are my top 5 reasons for booking a professional make up artist for your wedding.

1. Your wedding day is not a day for ‘everyday’ makeup.  You’re going to be photographed all day – and not just by a professional wedding photographer.  Remember your friends and family are all equipped with cameras too.  Whether it’s for photographs using natural or flash photography or meeting your guests in sunshine or by candlelight, professionally applied makeup will translate well to all mediums.

2. Do you have a million different bridal looks on Pinterest and still can’t decide what to choose?  A makeup artist can translate these looks, picking out key elements that will compliment your wedding gown, hairstyle, theme and colour scheme.

3. Makeup artists know skin (!) and we can help identify the areas that may become an issue on the big day.  For example, that patch of dry skin or the potential breakout that you don’t know how to deal with?  We can quickly analyse the condition of the skin and give you advice on the steps you could take to avoid future problems.  It’s just one less thing to worry about… and it’s all part of the service.

4. Much as I hate to admit it, weddings can be stressful!  And no one would blame you for feeling a bit nervous on the big day.  Having a makeup artist means there will always be a steady hand to apply that cat flick eyeliner or tackle those false eyelashes.  And we’ll always have a tissue nearby as well in case things get a bit teary!

5. OK, and this is the big one: hiring a makeup artist is not cheap!  But you’ve spent oodles on that gorgeous wedding venue and catering, an eye watering amount on that perfect wedding gown… why skimp on yourself?  It is your wedding after all!  This is your chance to be pampered by the professionals so sit back and enjoy it!

Faye and her funfair wedding at Wasing Park

On Thursday I had the very great pleasure of providing my makeup services to this gorgeous lady and her bridal party.  Faye was just the most loveliest, fun bride I have ever worked for – along with her family they made me feel very welcomed and part of the festivities!  Faye and her beau were planning on a funfair wedding at venue Wasing Park and boy did they have some amazing props, including a giant fab made entirely from roses by their florist Ricky Paul Flowers!

Although Faye’s theme was very quirky she wanted something classic for her wedding makeup.  Creating a deep toned eye using mauves, pinks and browns – I then added a black shadow along the lash line and slightly underneath.  Filling in Faye’s brows using soft shadows and a gel – I then added a couple of layers of foundation.  Popping on a bit of blusher and some powder, I finished Faye’s look using Charlotte Tilbury’s lipstick in Pillow Talk x

Sarah and her wedding at Penton Park

Today is Sarah’s wedding at very pretty wedding venue Penton Park.  I arrived this morning to a very chilled out bride, just hanging out in her gorgeous bridal suite.  Sarah doesn’t generally wear makeup day-to-day so she was a little nervous at her makeup trial, but after reassuring her and talking through bit by bit the look and how it all fits together in the end she was blissfully calm this morning.  As Sarah feels more comfortable in bear skin I kept her bridal design quite low key yet beautifully blended.

Giving Sarah a very pretty, subtle pink and peach toned eye – I then created more depth by adding deeper black tones along the lid which also served to disguise the false eyelash band.  Keeping the brows neatly soft and filled in I then moved onto creating a flawless base for Sarah, adding a dash of blusher and some shimmer to the cheeks/nose and forehead.  Sarah wanted a really light pink lipstick so I used MAC’s lipstick in Politely Pink x