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.
♥ 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.
♥ 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.
♥ 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?