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!)

Mini Series 1: A practical guide to healthy skin for your wedding…

Ok, here is the hard truth when it comes to makeup.  Not everything can be covered successfully using foundation and concealer.  Makeup application is only as good as the skin it’s adhering too – it’s a bit like wearing a beautiful gown that is close fitting, but wearing awkwardly fitting underwear underneath!  I often get asked as a makeup artist to cover this patch of dry skin or that freshly picked pimple, and the fact is it’s not going to work.  You have to have a good foundation, to well, apply a good foundation!  So as boring as it is, taking care of your skin should be as much a part of your daily routine as having breakfast or washing your hair.

Now granted having a wedding isn’t going to happen every year of your life, but the effort you put into your skin now will pay you back not just for that one day but will guide you for the rest of your life.  So here are is my practical guide to healthy skin for your wedding day…

1. Kick start your skin into gear with taking a high quality skin supplement.  The earlier you can take regular supplements before the big day the better to get the full benefit.  My personal favourites are Imedeen Derma One and Perfectil Plus Skin – always check with your GP before taking any supplements.  Now and again I like to give myself an extra boost with Imedeen Advanced Beauty Shot.

2. Now is the time to tackle dry skin.  Often dry skin is caused by either not drinking enough water, using a low quality moisturiser not formulated for dry skin, or by poor weather conditions i.e going from cold to hot areas in quick succession.  The fast way to combat dry skin is to apply a balm such as Elizabeth Arden 8hr Cream before bed, and keep this up regularly for at least a week.  Avoid using an exfoliator during this time.

3. Treat yourself to a daily moisturiser that is specifically formulated to your skin type.  Often a skin complaint is caused by using the wrong type of moisturiser, either by using something that is too strong or too weak.  Clinique have the best moisturisers formulated for skin type, whilst MAC do a moisturiser which is good for all.  Avoid supermarket, or drugstore moisturisers which are not as good quality and will do nothing for your skin.

4. Avoid consuming too much alcohol, and if you can, try and reduce or even better give up the smokes!  Alcohol is so drying to the skin and literally depletes the skin of vitamins and nutrients – so all your hard work can amount to nothing if the skin doesn’t have what it needs to look bright and beautiful.  The same goes for smoking – it’s sad but I can always see the subtle differences in clients that smoke and those that don’t.  Kick the naughty habit now and give your skin time to recover – it will love you for it!

5. The best thing you can do for your skin is to leave it alone.  Don’t pick, scratch or squeeze!  If you’re unsure if you have a pimple, or blackhead leave it alone to make up its mind!  If you do constantly pick at the skin you’ll just be spreading that bacteria everywhere else, plus you run the risk of scarring and ‘pot marking’ – which are not easily rectified without resorting to laser therapy.

6. Try and up your intake of water or squash – tea and coffee are also fine but in smaller amounts.  Ultimately you should aim for 8 glasses of water a day, but not all at once!  Also try and add fruit or veg that is also beneficial to the skin.  I personally love strawberries with a little bit of mascarpone – eating healthily doesn’t mean you can’t make it exciting and add a little bit of naughtiness!  Other fruit good for the skin are Bananas, Grapefruit, Oranges, Watermelon and Passionfruit.

7. And finally… after all that effort a little relaxation is needed!  A clay mask is the best way to both relax and lift the impurities (dirt, sweat, pollution) out of the skin.  I am totally in love with Bobbi Brown’s new range of face masks and the best I’ve come across is BB Instant Detox.  Apply this every two weeks before the wedding to have wonderfully clear skin.  Also avoid having a professional facial too close to the big day, as a facial is designed to bring impurities to the surface x

REPOST//How to extend the life of your bridal perfume…

Over time I’ve become a bit of a perfume obsessive.  I love having the choice whether I want a light floaty, floral scent or a deep, vanilla base fragrance to match my mood.  I know a lot of brides worry about how to extend the life of their perfume, to have that beautiful scent follow them continually throughout the day – so I thought I would comply a top tip list including some of my favourite bridal scents to help.

5 Top Tips to extend the life of your perfume

1. Once you have your perfect bridal perfume don’t put it in direct sunlight, or in warm/damp place like the bathroom.  The heat will break down the scent and lessen the quality.  Instead pop it in a draw, or on top of a wardrobe away from windows.

2. Rub a little vaseline on your pulse points, as this will hold the scent better on your skin and for longer.

3. Pop your perfume on right after getting out of the shower, and before getting dressed.  The moisture from the shower will help to lock in the scent – and putting your perfume on before dressing will stop any staining coming through on your wedding jewellery and dress!

4. For a lighter scent, spray in mid air and walk through the mist.  The fragrance will distribute evenly over the body and leave a hint of scent.  Perfect for if you have a very heady perfume.

5.  Don’t rub your wrists together after applying perfume.  This squashes the top notes and makes them disappear faster resulting in a fragrance that doesn’t last the morning!

Top 5 bridal perfumes

1. Chanel no.5 – The classic choice.  This perfume has quite a heady scent, so just a little touch will go along way – it is quite floral with ylang-ylang and jasmine.  With base notes of sandalwood and vetiver.

2. Chanel Chance  – Young, floral scent. Top notes of hyacinth, white musk, and exotic pink pepper – this is a very modern scent, and every time I wear it I always get compliments & asked what perfume it is.

3. Chanel Chance Eau Fraiche – Lighter than Chanel Chance.  The sparkling floral is light but long-lasting; perfect if you’re having a laid-back marquee-based wedding and want just a hint of a romantic scent.  This is just an Eau De Perfume rather than a Perfume, so lightly top up during the day.

4.  Dior, Miss Dior – Playful, young scent.  Fresh, fruity, citrus prelude into blossoming a floral scent with base musk notes.  A very sweet smell also like candyfloss.

5.  Dior J’Adore – Ultra modern & sophisticated – Rose, bergamot and jasmine.  Really beautiful perfume, but is very heady so go carefully.

What’s trending right now in the wedding world…

Some things are just too good to keep to yourself – so here are some of the current trends circling the wedding world…Cottage garden flowers are at their peak at the moment with Iris’ being the main contender in floral arrangements.

Purple lipstick with a hint of pink is everywhere!  MAC lipstick in Rebel is becoming exceptionally popular.  And scented candles (see my previous post) are now a must for any wedding morning nerves x


Flowers shown by Jill Stagg Florist

Sophisticated, mature bridal makeup ideas…

They reckon that more ‘later in life’ weddings happen now, then in any other generation.  With many factors contributing to the sudden boom in weddings for couples over the 50 year mark.  Whether it is a second marriage, a career resulting in a later in life wedding or simply a renewal of vows – the excitement is every bit as intense as a younger wedding, but perhaps with a little more calm and a few more years of wisdom!  I simply love doing the bridal makeup for these brides, as they know what they like and don’t like and certainly tell you, which is great as a Makeup Artist to have that experience and direction.  It’s also lovely when you can show them a new technique or product, as many do stay true to something they’ve used for years – often disappointed it no longer works for their changing skin type or colour.

It also takes a certain amount of skill to use modern techniques, but not so much they over power the elegance of that bride.  I love keeping the eyes soft with browns and a touch of sheen for the brow bone – with more of an intense colour through the lips.  However, I would avoid red and go for more a burgundy colour for lips.  Also don’t be afraid to use false eyelashes, as lashes can disappear with age – just use a very natural set or individuals to bring out the eyes.  Keep cheeks a healthy colour with peach blusher and avoid over using the foundation, which can sit in lines and pores x


What happens at a Wedding Fayre?

When my friends ask me what I’m doing at the weekend I normally reply ‘Off to a Wedding’, or ‘Going to meet a bride for a makeup trial’  but sometimes I say I’m doing a wedding fayre, to which they ask what does that involve?  I know a lot of couples are often put off by going to a wedding fayre, worried that they will be bombarded by vendors asking for email addresses or given a one day 10% discount if you book today now only!!!  But actually they are exceptionally tame and suppliers are simply there to answer any questions, and put people at ease – something which we are used to doing!  I tend to do a lot of fayres where I have been personally approached by a venue, or I have worked with that particular hotel/organisation before – which means that you tend to get individually selected and recommended suppliers for the venue, who are all very very good at their job (no one wants an upset bride)

So what happens at a Wedding Fayre?

OK, so once your at the venue/hotel you will normally be asked when your wedding date is and if you have already booked it, then you will be given a brochure detailing all the suppliers that are at the event today in case you miss anyone that you might later want to book.  Then it’s really up to you what you want to do, whether to speak to anyone and everyone or to just go to the vendors you want to book like a florist or cake maker.  There is absolutely no pressure to book there and then, but the vendor should get their diary to make sure you are not disappointed later – something which I hate doing to brides but the fact is we are all getting booked 2 years in advance these days!

Wedding fayres can be really insightful and fun, and should give you enough information to make an informed choice.  So don’t be afraid to attend them! x