The Ultimate Beauty Product Guide For Brides-to-Be (and Me)

mac-huggable-lipcolour-collection-1

MAC

A few months before our big day, I started hunting for the very best beauty products to get me wedding day perfect… and when I say ‘hunting’ what I really mean is ‘completely obsessing over’. I had to find the most budge resistant lipstick, the moisturiser that would make me look dewy and glowy but not at all shiny and the hair products to make sure my tresses were in tip top condition.

Now I don’t for one second think I am some kind of beauty guru, but I do happen to love scouring the aisles of Boots more than life itself.  One of my intentions for 2014 is to take waaaay better care of myself (and have facials much more regularly!) and what kind of friend would I be if I didn’t share all of my findings with you too?

To kick off I wanted to share my favourite ‘can’t live without them’ products. These are all the items I completely swear by and use on a regular basis.

Hair

fave beaty products hair

♥ If your hair needs some serious TLC then get your mitts on a bunch of Moroccan oil products. I’ve been using their hair oil treatment before I dry or style my hair forever, and while I was in Australia I treated myself to some of their Intense Hydrating Mask too.

My hair is really damaged (like really, really damaged) from so much abuse and after three weeks of non-stop travel, air conditioning and sea water it was well and truly crying out for some love. This stuff made my hair so soft, smooth and lovely that I’ve been using it every time I wash my hair since.

♥ If your hair is, like mine, really damaged from bleach, over-use of products or heat then you need to get yourself some Redkin extreme shampoo, conditioner and treatments. My hairdresser Elbie recommended them to me when my hair was so seriously bad that it snapped off every time I brushed it, and it’s worked wonders.

My hair is by no means perfect now but it is a million times more healthy than it was. A little warning though, this product contains a LOT of protein which will help to repair damaged hair that just snaps off. However if you use it for too long it will put too much protein in your hair which will make it stretchy and stringy. Only use this for as long as you need it and then move onto something less intense!

♥ How could I survive without Batiste dry shampoo!?!? Having pink hair, I don’t want to wash it every day because it will cause the colour to fade super quickly… and hell, sometimes I’m just feeling lazy. I’ve tried a number of dry shampoos but Baltise ones are – by far – the best. No residue, no grease and no nasty product build up. Awesome.

♥ And just because people always ask me, the hair dye I usually use is Stargazer baby pink. I love it because it mixes well with other colours and even when it fades it doesn’t look too bad (it goes kind of peachy). I’ve also experimented with Crazy Colour in the past which I’d recommend if you’re after a deeper colour and I tried out Schwarzkopf Live Color XXL in shocking pink recently which is bright as hell and lasts really well.

Skin

fave beaty products face

♥ My skin is slightly dry (but not massively so) and I love using DHC Deep Cleansing Oil at night to remove my make up. You put it onto dry skin, massage it in and then rinse it off. It just melts everything away (even waterproof mascara!) and cleanses your face in one easy swoop. Your skin will also feel squeaky clean afterwards. I love it.

♥ I’m a bit of a floozy when it comes to daily moisturisers and I tend to change up which ones I’m using often. At the moment I’m using Clarins Multi Active Day Cream rotated with Clinique Moisture Surge Hydrator. They are also great bases for make up. I’ve tried so many moisturisers in my time but these are the two I always go back to.

♥ I adore Lush and their Angels on Bare Skin cleanser is one of my favourite products. It’s not only vegan and animal friendly, but it leaves my skin feeling awesome. It contains ground almonds which gently exfoliate as it’s cleanses too so it’s great to use in the morning – the fresh, organic smell will wake you up nicely!

♥ I bought some Boscia Luminizing Black Mask when I was in The States because I’m a massive sheep and Gala said it was amazing – she wasn’t wrong! It really cleans out your pores and leaves tired skin feeling fabulous. You put it on, leave it for 10/15 minutes or until it’s dry and then peel it off.

A little word of warning though, it’s pretty heavy duty and it does hurt a little bit the first time! Just make sure none of the mask is touching your eyebrows or hair and keep it away from the sensitive areas (lips, neck) Seriously, OUCH.

Make Up

fave beaty products make up

♥ I use Clinique BB Cream as my everyday foundation. For a BB Cream it has quite heavy coverage and so it makes my skin look perfect, yet not too cakey. I’ve tried a million BB Creams and this one is, by far, the best.

♥ If you’re after slightly more coverage then you have to check out Illamasqua‘s products (in fact just check them out in general because they’re amaze). I use their Skin Base Foundation whenever I’m doing a shoot or going on a night out so it would be perfect for a wedding day, when you’re having lots of pictures taken. This is their medium weight foundation and it is amazing, just remember to blend, blend and blend some more!

If you want even more coverage, try their Rich Liquid Foundation for a much heavier, “Today I am a Barbie doll and I literally don’t have any features” coverage. As a side note I also adore their Liquid Metal gel eyeshadow and wear it all. the. time…

♥ If you buy just one thing that I recommend it must, must, must be a Beauty Blender! This is something both Gala and Elbie have been using for ages and both told me I should get, but I’d been procrastinating on taking the plunge because £15 for a friggin’ make up sponge felt completely extortionate. Oh how silly I was!

I cannot tell you how much it helps to improve the look and texture of your foundation. Another tip I only learnt recently is to wet the sponge slightly before you use it (run it under the tap and then squeeze it out like 10 times). Just get one, I promise you won’t regret it!

♥ I’ve tried so many face powders in my time ranging from really affordable to crazy over-priced and, for me, none of them come close to Lush’s Emotional Brilliance Translucent Powder. Again, because it’s Lush, it is vegan and animal friendly and it melts into your foundation seamlessly, while taking away any shine in a flash! The grains are also super fine which means if you accidentally put too much on you can just buff it away. I love it.

♥ I usually go for quite neutral colours on my eyes, favouring brighter lips, but when I’m feeling brave it is all about Sugarpill eye shadows. No other company makes such bright, highly pigmented colours which last all day, all night and beyond (believe me!) Get your colour on and turn yourself into a dazzling unicorn!

My favourites are their Heart Breaker and Sweetheart palettes and the eye-gauging and NEON Electro Cute pigments.

♥ My friend Sophie had some Maybelline 10 Hour Tint Gloss in Timeless Plum with her when we did the wedding shoot at The Farm. So I did what any good friend would and promptly stole it to wear in the photos. Yes, yes I did give it back but I then went out and bought immediately myself. I’ve honestly passed Maybelline by for the last few years, favouring much more trendy or expensive brands (cos I’m a sucker!) but this product has convinced me that I needed to amend my ways!

I am totally obsessed with the colour. It is perfect for winter and stays put pretty well. It’s not flawless though. The pigmentation does tend to stick to any dry skin (making you look a bit like a vampire who’s just had a tasty meal!) so make sure you moisturise your lips THOROUGHLY before you wear it. For the record I always do so with Maybelline’s Baby Lips.

♥ If you want a lip colour that well and truly will not budge then you have to order yourself some Lipsense liquid. Make up artist LaVey used this on me for my shoot in the Las Vegas desert and I’ve been enamoured ever since.

We started shooting at midday (in 35 degree heat) and by 6pm it hadn’t moved an inch. I’d ate, drank and laughed all day and it was still there, looking as impeccable as it did when she first applied it.

You won’t need to top the colour up for hours (I reviewed it here if you’d like to see some photos of me at 8am, 12pm and 10pm without extra application!) but you will need to keep applying some top coat or it has a tendency to get SUPER dry and to flake off. As a side note, the website you order it from doesn’t look like it’s been updated since 1987 but don’t let that put you off, the product is incredible!

♥ I have long been a fan of gel nail manicures, but at £35 a pop, getting them all the time can really add up. Which is why I was so excited when I saw this SensatioNail DIY Gel Nail Kit in Boots recently (of course I had to buy the silver glitter polish too!) While the packet said the gel nails won’t chip or flake off for two weeks, mine tend to start coming up from the nail after about a week, but they certainly won’t chip so are the perfect option for wedding day nails.

So there you have it, my go-to beauty products for wedding day perfection! I’d love to hear from you guys too, what items could you simply not live without and why?

19 comments

  1. A fabulous set of choices! I couldn’t cope without Mac Prep & Prime, also NARS blusher in Orgasm is a beauty must have, it’s just the best powder blush in the world.

    I also swear by the Lush Emotional Brilliance range, I have two lipsticks and an eyeshadow/liner and they are so brilliantly high pigment and last ages.

    Love this piece :)

  2. I’m trying to shake up my beauty regime this year and there are some great tips in here, thanks Kat!

    My skin got ravaged by adult acne a few years back and it’s left me with some light scars and open pores. I haven’t found anything that works for the scaring yet, but for my pores I’ve started using Breath of Fresh Air (facial toner spray) by Lush and it is AMAZING! I think it works a little too well for dry winter skin as it makes your skin feel really tight afterwards, but it is working wonders on my pores! I’m also using the garlic face mask by Lush, but too early to tell on that one x

  3. I just love giving my face a good massage with some beautiful products!
    I’m 2 years off from 30, so (maybe it’s psychological!?) but I feel as though my skin is really starting to change, and my lovely products make me feel better!
    Change seems good, using a different product every day seems to be stimulating, so I switch between Decleor Melting Cleansing Gel, Emma Hardy Cleansing Balm and Caudalie Grape and Sage Foaming Cleanser, with a weekly mask with Gatineax Gommage, or Decleor Moisturising Mask.

    I think, though, that even if your beauty budget can’t stretch to some of the pricier products, that really massaging your face with have great benefits, bringing blood to the surface and carrying away any bad stuff away!

  4. I’ve heard SO much about the beauty blenders!
    My favourites are home made products from a company called Bomber Betty – They make the most amazing brow waxes and in plenty of colours! You can also buy samples first if you’re unsure of which colour to go for.

  5. I can’t live without my Estee Lauder double wear foundation. It stays on forever!

    I also highly recommend the E.L.F baked blush in Pinktastic, it is such an amazing highlighter and sooooo cheap at under £4.

    I also use makeupalley to read reviews on absolutely every little piece of make up out there.

    Oh make-up, I love you.

  6. I love the smell of Moroccan oil!! Not got it yet though. For face: I was using creme de la mer for skin, its rich but feels silky but it’s just soo expensive so i’m now using Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour moisturiser cream, the original is incredible for dry skin but its a bit too sticky and shiny for everyday use so I bought the face cream and hand cream versions and they are just as good! Not sticky or too slippery and keep my face feeling un-tight, what with all the central heating on at the moment! Also I picked up body scrub bath salts with coconut oil in them when I was in Fiji (local Fijian brand but i’m sure any will do) and my skin has never felt better! I try and stay moisturised and healthy from the inside out too so I take Milk thistle tablets (great for spots on forehead), Vitamin E, primrose and sunflower oil vitamins. I really notice the difference in my skin when I stop taking them.

    I had perfect skin throughout teenage years and now it’s like it’s taking revenge on me for some reason!

  7. I need, need, need to look after my skin and treat it nicely, I’m the worst at this. Thank you for the lowdown, I think I’ll try that mask.

  8. Post author

    Alethiea- I’ve been tempted by creme de la mer but I just cant stomach the £100 price tag!

  9. Yeh it is pretty pricey! I’m trying to be good this year so had to say goodbye to it! Ask for some trials at the counter then if you like it treat yourself when your birthday comes round! it is lovely! x

  10. Jennifer Cunningham

    I have noticed that no arbonne products made your list obviously you just have not been introduced to the products as they are not available in stores. I started using Arbonne 8 months before my wedding to get ready and repair my body after my babies. I love the products so much I became a consultant! Arbonne is currently in four countries USA, Canada, Australia, UK. Like my page as I have a contest running https://www.facebook.com/ArbonneJenniferCunningham?ref=hl
    Arbonne is awesome! The products are amazing and the business can change your life!

  11. The Black Mask you talked about sounded quite a bit like this Shea Terra Organics Black Soap I got in my Birchbox a few months ago, except you don’t peel it, and it doesn’t hurt! It does, however, seem to give you a new face. I use it all the time/on ANYONE who enters my home, the stuff is life changing.

    And hey, what about eyebrow goop? Benefit Gimme Brow. Changed. My. Life. Dammit, Birchbox is the best subscription service ever.

  12. I really rate Bare Minerals foundations, and Illamasqua for blushers- they’re really pigmented so a little goes a long way. For a pre wedding say home spa I would use Elemis products as they’re the same as what they actually use on your face. If you have super dry skin their SOS Emergency Cream is ace for the super gross dry days!

  13. Interesting’ I need to try some of the redken hair treatment. I wouldn’t be without my eyelash extensions, my daughter persuaded me to get them before my wedding and now I am continually out of pocket getting them redone every two weeks. It’s worth it though as you could almost go without make up when you have them so I wear less make up which helps me justify the expense (that’s my story anyway)

  14. I’ve always wondered if those beauty blender doodads were any good! I might give it a whirl now. I’m with you all the way with the Lush makeup – their liquid lipsticks are gorgeous and super pigmented!

  15. Kirra

    Ooh lots of products there I haven’t tried before! Totally agree about Redken & Moroccan Oil, have been using them both for my poor damaged hair and they rock! Whenever I’m feeling flush, Kerestase hair products are also A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. :) Benefit Total Rebel tinted moisturiser is my fav and have found it looks great in photos without that “I’m wearing foundation” look for more casual days! Mac studio fix concealer is also the biz, we got given loads of Mac products on tour a few years ago & I got addicted to this one. That and B’oing by Benefit are the only things that work on my dark circles!! Ooh and Kiehl tinted lip gloss is yum too. Still am undecided about whether to do my own for the wedding though. Ah girly makeup talk, yay!

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