I have a confession to make. I am a former nail biter! I’m not going to lie it took a lot of patience and time to kick this lifetime habit. And it all started with starting to plan my wedding and wanting to make sure my nails (which were in a sorry mess at the time) were not going to let me down. Especially as my good friend and wedding photographer Mia mentioned that she would be taking a few ‘wedding ring’ shots, which immediately spurred me into action! Don’t get me wrong there were plenty of relapses on the lead up to the wedding, as no wedding is completely stress free! I learnt a lot of things along the way that helped me kick this naughty habit and now I’m going to share them with you x
Let’s get started!
1. Buy the wedding nail polish you want to wear and get excited about putting on that first coat of polish! Often if you can visualise what your nails are going to be like by the end of your journey, then it makes it all the easier to make a good start.
2. Often our hair and nails need a little help in getting the right vitamins to them, so try adding a supplement to your daily routine. I personally love Imedeen Derma One teamed with Imedeen Hair & Nails so my skin and nails get a kick start. Also Perfectil is a wonder and slightly cheaper, but still as good. Always check with your local GP before taking any supplements.
3. Get off to a good start by having a professional manicure to improve the cuticles and shape of the nails (be that with tiny nails for now!) This will ensure good habits and make you want to keep up the good work.
4. Avoid the temptation to have false nails applied for your wedding. I honestly don’t know why these have not been banned yet! False nails are incredibly bad for your own nail bed – cutting off the air supply to your nails can make them brittle, yellow and left with unsightly ridges. All those chemicals are not good for the nails, or your lungs! There’s a reason why they all wear masks in nail salons…
5. Regularly paint your nails in expensive nail polish, or top coat it in special nail biter polish which tastes awful! Why expensive nail polish? Well, knowing how much it cost often made me not want to bite it off at all (I definitely wanted to get my monies worth!)
I had a lovely surprise this morning opening my inbox to find these gorgeous images by Maddie Waters Photography sitting there! Georgina was my bride from October 2018 and I had such a great time being with her, for her wedding at Sopley Mill. Georgina was amazing at allowing me free reign to design her something utterly feminine, yet with a sultry twist. Something which I knew she would pull off beautifully x
“Frances, Thank you so much, not only for the best make-up I’ve ever had!! But also for being such a clam & kind presence during the madness that is getting ready for your wedding day. You are an absolute star & amazing at what you do! Georgina xx”
Georgina, Sopley Mill Wedding, October 2018
We’ve all over plucked our eyebrows at some time or another. Whether for fashion or perhaps just accidentally, it can be highly frustrating and a little embarrassing trying to grow them back. Here are my top 5 faves for saving those poor brows! x
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.
My bridal clients often ask me what they will need throughout the wedding to keep their makeup looking fresh, especially if any tears are shed during the ceremony or speeches! A good tip is if you do feel a little emotional and the tears start to well in the eyes, have a tissue on hand and just dap don’t wipe across! This will save your eye makeup. This goes for if the tears that have made it down your cheeks. Below I have complied a list of useful items to have to top up your bridal makeup throughout the day. Give them to a trusted bridesmaid to look after for you x
1. Lipstick and lipliner. Be prepared to talk continuously throughout the day to friends and family! This natural action can result in the lipstick being warn off. Think carefully about your choice of lipstick – a neutrally toned shade is less obvious when it comes to fading. Drinking and eating will also mean the colour fades.
2. Pressed powder. Make sure not to go for a loose powder to avoid any upset if opened incorrectly, and powder ends up all over your gown! A little bit of powder may be needed just under the eyes in case of tears, and if you’re feeling particularly flushed and just need to take some of the oil out of the complexion.
3. Blusher. A little bit of pressed blusher can be useful if a lot of people have kissed your cheeks and worn of your ‘natural’ glow. Think about quickly topping this up before photographs. Don’t be tempted to use too much though!
4. Mints. Breath mints are really useful if you want to feel fresh quickly. With the wine and different foods you will be consuming, having some breath mints can just give you a little more confidence when talking to your guests.
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!
Bridal makeup by its very nature is not like everyday makeup. This is because of two things; 1) it has to be photo-ready or photogenic 2) it has to last at least 16 hours in different temperatures and under varying pressures. Therefore, it will most certainly be more products than you’re used to applying on a daily basis. So something to consider when deciding on hiring a makeup artist for your wedding, is whether you like to wear makeup and how much do you like applied? Sounds like a pretty obvious question, but you’d be surprised how many of my clients are a little tentative with the amount of products needed to produce a relatively ‘natural’ makeup look!
This is most evident at the makeup trial when I create a bespoke bridal design for a client, and there initially reaction is shock – not because the makeup is awful or anything! It is entirely down to the fact that they are seeing the makeup out of context without having their hair styled or their wedding gown on to counter balance the look. And that is where the skill and experience of a makeup artist lies, in knowing where that line is without everything wedding related around them. It can feel like a lot of makeup when you’re in jeans and a T-shirt at your makeup trial – but believe me on the wedding day when you’re wearing the most stunning wedding gown, your is hair styled and with a stunning bouquet held at your waist it will not feel like you’ve overdone the foundation! x
I love doing editorial makeup for blogs and magazines. It’s a total buzz on the day of shooting. Often starting in the very early hours of the morning (it’s not uncommon to have a 4am start!) I get such a high knowing I am working with the very best in the industry. And I have had the most amazing opportunities to work on some gorgeous high profile ad campaigns, TV productions and Films. And of course, getting to create some utterly stunning makeup designs for some of the most beautiful women around the world. One of which is Sophie Waldron – one of the most sought–after model’s in the industry at the moment. Below is an image by photographer Matt Lee, with myself on wardrobe/lighting assistance and makeup! Sophie is such a professional and has such an inner strength she’s just incredible.
I often get asked what is the difference between bridal & editorial makeup? The difference really stems from what sort of conditions we will be shooting in, what look the photographer/ director/producer would like and what elements the model will be going through. So for example, on our ‘beach babe’ shoot I knew Sophie would be in full sun, possibly in the water and with a good deal of sand! So I knew she would physically need something with a high coverage and plenty of touch ups. Bridal makeup is completely different in this aspect – yes I know some clients need a little more coverage due to potential breakouts/excess oil etc but generally speaking bridal makeup is a lot softer and lighter.
What do I like to do most – bridal or editorial makeup? Bridal has, and will always be, my most favourite thing to do. There is nothing quite like the morning of a wedding to make you feel good about the human race! But I like to mix things up occasionally if nothing else but to strengthen my skills as a makeup artist.
Want your makeup professionally applied for your big day? Then email firstname.lastname@example.org to book! x
Your bridal hair & makeup should take your everyday look to the next level and complement, but never overpower, the occasion. It has to work hard though with getting the right balance for photographs, meeting guests and lasting the distance on what is a joyful, but long day. What’s also really lovely about having your hair & makeup professionally done, is that you have a little bit of time to sit back (glass of Prosecco in hand optional) and take a few moments to feel proud of all your hard work and months of planning. And to remember that wonderful person who’ll be waiting for you at the end of the aisle!