My top 5 face sheet masks…

While they have been around on the market for quite some time now, sheet masks seem to be having something of a renaissance at the moment.  With top celebrities sharing their ‘scary’ sheet masks on social media this unusual trend is definitely catching on!  And who can blame them.  Sheets masks work effectively by holding the product in the fabric – drip feeding the skin whilst on.  Secondly they’re pretty hard to move around in, forcing you to sit down and take a few minutes to chill.  So here are my top 5 sheet masks currently available on the market x

1. Charlotte Tilbury Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask

2. Estée Lauder ‘Advanced Night Repair’ Concentrated Recovery Powerfoil Mask

3. Starskin After Party Brightening Bio-Cellulose Face Mask

4. NUXE Splendieuse Anti-Dark Spot Perfecting Mask

5. Crème de la Mer The Hydrating Facial

REPOST//Tips for growing beautiful, healthy nails for your wedding

I have a confession to make.  I am a reformed 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!)

REPOST//Tips for growing beautiful, healthy nails for your wedding

I have a confession to make.  I am a reformed 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, so that when you go back you can show off your very own homegrown nails!

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…

5. Regularly paint your nails in funky colours and either use an 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!)

How to stay calm on the morning of your wedding…

I know what you’re thinking… easier said than done!  Staying calm on the morning of your wedding can be a bit of a challenge – with co-ordinating family and friends, along with wedding suppliers popping in and out it can be difficult to take a few minutes for yourself.  But take those minutes you must!  Here are a few tips for keeping your cool and handling all those preparation tasks.

1.  Try and stick to your regular morning routine – whether that is having a shower, practising yoga, mediation or having a quick jog or swim.  By keeping to your regular daily routine you’ll feel more at ease and focused for the big day ahead.

2.  Light a relaxing candle, with a scent that means something to you.  Scent is a powerful tool, and can transport you to a calmer time – perhaps when you were sunbathing on that beach or when you met your beau.

3.  Have a good healthy breakfast – something like porridge or a smoothie is a good alternative to a cooked breakfast, which can make you feel a little too full.  Studies have repeatedly shown that having breakfast keeps you more alert, and makes you less likely to scoff high sugar snacks throughout the day.

4.  Make sure to have an ’emergency wedding kit’ prepared for the morning.  Good things to have in it are: Safety pins, headache & heartburn pills, mini sewing kit, tights, bobby pins, stain removal, women’s personal items, toothbrush & toothpaste and q-tips.

5.  Make yourself (and others) a schedule of the morning.  Note down when everyone is arriving – friends, family and when you’re expecting wedding suppliers to arrive and depart.  Make sure to have everyones contact details, and let them know when you are expecting them too.

If you do start to feel overly stressed, just remember this is your special day ;))

Image – Coco’s Tea Party

Tips for growing beautiful, healthy nails for your wedding

I have a confession to make.  I am a reformed 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, so that when you go back you can show off your very own homegrown nails!

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…

5. Regularly paint your nails in funky colours and either use an 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!)

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!

Product Spotlight – Urban Decay Vitamin b6 spray

I came across this prep spray around 6 years ago and since then I’ve used it on myself and for my clients.  It’s simply magically in how it refreshes the skin and perps it up before makeup application.  I wouldn’t be without it.  Unlike most setting sprays I have come across, this formula is uniquely light and visibly reduces redness – which is just perfect for brides who may have struggled to sleep the night before, or are suffering a little with their skin.  Preparation of the skin can often be ignored, but for a true high quality finish to any makeup application preparation is key.

What’s also wonderful about this product is that you can use it throughout the day for a quick pick-me-up, as it will not damage your makeup application in anyway.  What I tend to do is use this to begin and then finish with Urban Decay’s All Nighter setting spray, which has a life span of 15 hours… just spot on for brides! x

Urban Decay Vitamin b6 spray

Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray

That wedding makeup video and more…

Last year I decided to embark on making a promotional wedding makeup video, to showcase what I do basically. I wanted the video to have an air of wedding morning excitement, whilst showing potential clients what is actually involved ‘behind the scenes’ and how much of my skill I put into every single bridal makeup design.  I also wanted to get a couple of local businesses to provide flowers and a very bridal’y’ background in the form of Bleu Bridal Gowns boutique in Southampton.  The striking red roses were from Jo Hicks Flowers in Hythe.

I still get chills every time I watch the video as it is a statement to the support I feel I have from other wedding suppliers, and how far I have built my business.  So what’s next?  Well I’m thinking of doing a set of tutorial videos showing the very basics of looking after your makeup & brushes, and how I create some of my designs.

But we’ll see!…x

A practical guide to managing stress on the morning of the wedding

You’ve planned for this day for so long, taken the greatest of care choosing your venue/cake and that dress.  So don’t let the morning of your wedding slip through your fingers and only be remembered for its level of stress, here are a few practical tips for handling whatever the morning throws at you!

Top 5 tips for managing wedding stress

* Make sure you have all the mobile numbers, names and lists of what all your suppliers/wedding party members are doing and that you have informed everyone of your timings of the day.

* If you are planning on a manicure or pedicure get this done the day before the wedding NOT on the big day – you will definitely not have time!

* Wash your hair late in the evening or early on the morning for your hairdresser, or as otherwise agreed.

* Play your favourite music or get your bridesmaid to make a playlist to calm your nerves.

* Have a glass of Champagne – it is your wedding after all!!

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