Last month I was invited to provide hair and makeup services for model Gemma – on a styled shoot for The Montagu Arms Hotel, and their new wedding brochure. I was delighted to get involved as I regularly provide my services to brides getting married here, and simply love this venue. The brief was ‘Autumnal Bride’ so I decided to use smokey browns, with delicate glitter and a pink burgundy lip.
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!
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
Meghan stunned us all on her wedding day, not just with her beautifully elegant Givenchy gown, but with her simple barely there ‘no makeup, makeup look’. Whilst this worked so perfectly for her and her utterly flawless skin, I would only recommend doing this if the skin is in tip top condition. So here are my tips for getting a Meghan Markle complexion x
1. Preparation, time and hard-work is key to getting clear skin that is naturally radiant. The first thing you will need to practise daily is a facial workout. Like our bodies, where we exercise to stay strong and slender, so does our face need a little workout now and again. Meghan famously loves a good facial workout – favouring this method as opposed to surgery. Search your local Saks salon for this treatment and many others favoured by Meghan.
2. Get rid of the dry skin… pronto! Meghan is a prime example of what the right kind of moisturiser can do for your skin. Moisturising is a product that must not be skipped. Ever! Moisturising literally wakes up the complexion, plumps and boosts circulation. Ditto for the eyes – use a balm or cream to lift the eyes and improve dark circles. Try Dior Hydra Life Hydration Rescue Intense Sorbet Creme and No7 Early Defence Eye Cream. And get as much sleep as you possibly can!
3. Meghan is unique in the fact that her skin requires no colour correction and has a smooth surface area with no unsightly texture. She is very naturally blessed – although like many actresses Meghan understands that what you put in your body has a direct connection to your skin. So it’s no surprising she eats healthy for her body and skin, coupled with drinking plenty of fresh water. Drinking water helps to plump the skin smoothing out lines and wrinkles, it also combats uneven skin tones with patches of redness. This, used with the moisturising, will help to give you that even complexion. It is also important to exfoliate once a month to help the skin’s renewal process and remove any dead skin cells. Try Alpha-H Liquid Gold.
4. You can tell that Meghan has been very good in the past with not picking her spots as she has no marks or scars. Or if she had any, she has quite wisely had these professionally treated. If you do suffer from breakouts it’s important to treat these either with a cortisone gel or red-ness reducing eye drops. If you have suffered from spots in the past and are left with some scars think about booking yourself into your local Sk:n clinic to see about a re-surfacing treatment.
5. Meghan’s teeth have that Hollywood effect of being perfectly straight and whiter than white. If you think your teeth are looking a little sub-par, it is always best to consult your dentist to discuss options of professional teeth whitening and corrective adult braces. Be prepared though… it can be a little pricey! 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.
If you haven’t already then you simply must check out our current feature on wedding blog Bride & Tonic. This styled shoot is especially good for those of you who are thinking of having a spring wedding. Filled with light graceful tones such as pink, green and white you cannot help but be inspired!
As I love you all, I’ve added a few previews below to get your creative juices flowing! Click here to see the full shoot and detailed inspiration.
I am very excited to announce that our ‘Natural Ballerina’ styled shoot is currently being featured on wedding blog Bride & Tonic. We had a very lovely, relaxed time on location with this shoot and so many wonderful suppliers were involved.
See the full shoot images here x