How to wedding prep your hair like a Princess…

Kate Middleton has become most famous for her beautiful glossy, long thick hair with many a client asking for the ‘Middleton’ in hair salons up and down the country.  But how does she do it?  Well, here are a few secrets to achieving that very same healthy shine for your wedding day x

1. Start to deep condition the hair at least six months before the wedding.  Go for products that are meant for repair like Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask – these sorts of masks are brilliant at putting back moisture and life into your mane.  Use them at least once a week.

2.  Try to start putting together an idea of what you want for your wedding hair either by making a collage or Pinterest board.  Now, do you need to grow/colour or cut your hair to gain that style?  If you do then start making plans to be able to achieve the style you want.

3.  If your hair colour needs a little fine tuning then think about root touch-ups or subtle highlights around this time too.  That way the colour has time to develop and for it to feel like ‘you’.  Don’t book in a colour appointment too close to the wedding.  Instead, have your last colour about four weeks in advance.  And always think about going lighter not darker, as this will lift your features and compliment your gown.

4.  Start taking onboard more water, fruit and vegetables along with a daily hair supplement such as Hairburst Chewable Heart Hair Vitamins.  Not only will this help to plump the skin and reduce wrinkles, but will also encourage your hair to grow and become thicker.  Always consult your GP before taking any supplements.

5.  Book in for a hair trial.  Take the opportunity to experiment with different styles and remember to bring your wedding hair accessories including a veil if required.  once your happy with the style, take loads of pictures on your phone to remember the hairstyle and get excited!! x

Facials – how they work, how often you need one and where in the New Forest to get one done

My wonderful bridal clients will often ask my thoughts on facials, and whether having a regular treatment will improve the condition of their skin before the wedding day.  I LOVE a facial.  There’s something about the relaxing movements, gorgeous smelling oils and soft music that just makes me feel completely light headed for the rest of the day.  So I highly recommend getting one or two facials done before the wedding – if not just to chill out for an hour or so!

What I would say though is that facials, by their nature, are designed to bring toxins to the surface of the skin.  So don’t be surprised if a couple of days after your facial you have a breakout.  That’s why I often say to my bridal clients not to have a facial done too close to the wedding date.  2-3 weeks before the wedding is the perfect time frame.  The reason facials can cause breakouts is through the various applied massage techniques done by your therapist – the pressure stimulates blood to the surface of the skin, bringing with it all those naughty toxins.  Which is great if you’re wanting to have a thorough detox, not great if you have an important event coming up… so be warned!

A facial is essentially a multi-step skin treatment that is one of the best ways to take care of your skin.  A facial cleanses, exfoliates, and nourishes the skin, promoting a clear, well-hydrated complexion and can help your skin look younger.  You also receive advice on the best way to take care of your skin.  A facial works best when it is part of an on-going program of skin care.  Try to have a facial at least four times a year, as the season changes. You may need it more frequently if you are trying to clear up a case of acne, especially at the beginning.  Otherwise, once a month is plenty.

Top 5 New Forest Places To Get A Facial:

1. Chewton Glen – Signature Treatment – Natura Bissé Diamond Life infusion

2. Lime Wood – Signature Treatment – Bamford Bespoke Facial

3. Careys Manor Senspa – Signature Treatment – Senspa Acu-Firm Facial

4. Balmer Lawn Saltus Spa – Signature Treatment – Age-Defyer Facial

5. Burley Manor Temple Spa – Signature Treatment – My kinda skin

REPOST//5 microbead-free facial scrubs

Everyone’s skin is different.  But what all skin types benefit from is a good exfoliate once a month.  Not only does it give the skin a good thorough clean, it also fights fine lines and removes dead skin cells to help the skin renewal process.

Microbeads are those harmful little plastic pellets found inside so many face scrubs, that don’t dissolve during water treatment and so end up in the ocean, causing major environmental nightmares and enough of an outcry to have them banned by 2017.

Here are my favourite microbead-free facial scrubs x

1. Alpha-H Liquid Gold

2. Epidermal Re-Texturising Micro-Dermabrasion

3. Bobbi Brown Buffing Grains for Face

4. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

5. Clarins One Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser

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

How to get your hair in good condition for your wedding…

Hairstylist Michelle Crosser and myself are constantly asked by our bridal clients how can they improve the condition of their hair, and how can they make it grow… FAST!  The answer is unfortunately patience and a good diet – you know the boring stuff 😉  Here are my top 4 tips to gorgeous wedding hair x

1. Try and introduce more essential fatty acid foods into your diet such as salmon, tuna, walnuts, flaxseed and avocado.  All these help to improve the condition and shine of your hair.

2. Don’t shampoo your hair everyday.  Instead try and do this every other day to allow the natural oils in your hair to return and make the hair less dry and brittle.

3. Make sure to have regular hair trims that are staged at the correct time your hair requires it.  You will need to have your last trim/highlighting/dying completed at least 5 days before your big day.

4. Try using a hair mask like those from Philip Kingsley.

REPOST//Skin oils and serums – the secret weapon when it comes to skincare

I am often asked what is a skin oil or serum and what exactly does it do by my clients.  I consider serums to be the secret weapon when it comes to youthful, line free skin and I often use these in my personal skincare routine.  If I know I’m going to have a lot of early mornings coming up, then I’ll start my week with an intensive course of facial oils and serums just to make sure my skin is packed with moisture ready for the 5am alarm call!

Skin oils and serums are basically moisturisers that are more intense in their ingredients so do not need to be used daily, but rather once or twice a week before bed.  Because of the complex blend of oils they often take a while for the skin to ‘drink’ but once into the skin the full benefit is gained.  Skin oils & serums are fabulous for fine lines, dark age spots, dry skin and creating an even skin tone that is also firmer and smoother.  For those reasons I always recommend them to my bridal clients, as the preparation they put into their skin now makes for a better makeup application on the day of the wedding.

Here are my favourite skin oils & serums.

1. Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement

2. Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Nourishing Milk

3. Bobbi Brown Extra Face Oil

4. MAC Prep + Prime Essential Oils Grapefruit and Camomile

5. Elemis Superfood Facial Oil

REPOST // 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

My top 5 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// How to extend the life of your wedding perfume

I am a HUGE fan of perfume.  I love having a choice between scents to match my mood, occasion or even outfit.  But how can you make that gorgeous smell last all day?  Well, I’ve complied a list of top tips on how to do just that.  Hope you enjoy! x

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!

Image ikonworks

REPOST // 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