Tag Archives: Make up

Being a Bare-Faced Bride: You Don’t Have to Wear Make-Up On Your Wedding Day!

For the majority of brides, the hair and make-up process is a really integral and exciting part of the wedding prep. But what if you don’t at all feel comfortable in foundation and mascara? Do you still have to wear it on your wedding day? Of course not! As we always say, you need to have a wedding that feels right for YOU, but we also know that sometimes, standing against the expected and status quo is easier said than done. Recently married reader Sarah Blake is here today to share her experience of being a bare-faced bride.

Everything was going well until the lipstick went on. I’d been OK with the foundation, even a little contouring, and the concealer to hide my spots made a lot of sense. Then came the dark mascara around my eyes. It felt a little clunky, coating my lashes in heavy goop which I wasn’t accustomed to, but as I looked in the mirror I still felt alright. After the lipstick was applied though, it all came crashing down and I completely freaked out.

All of a sudden my entire face felt clown-like. Every aspect of the make-up trial (which had always been an experimental process) abruptly became an issue and I put the mirror down in disgust. This wasn’t who I was. In an attempt to rectify the situation, we tried other lipstick shades aiming to match as close to my natural colour as possible, but I still felt unnerved by the dark-eyed stranger in front of me.

My make-up artist (who is also my oldest friend) had been brilliant, introducing me to the very subtle look slowly and gradually to make sure it wasn’t a shock. She expertly talked me through everything she was doing, telling me we were just trying to re-create me, but on a really good day, and giving me full control to veto anything I wasn’t happy with, including the whole idea of wearing make-up at all. As we assessed her work, we realised that without the lipstick, the “look” didn’t quite seem right, and with it, I squirmed uncomfortably at my own reflection.

Having decided to let things sit for a while, we took some photos for me to refer back to but however much I looked at them, I couldn’t quite fathom the alien staring back at me. At our second meeting I tried again to adjust my mindset as my friend struggled to reassure me, but questions kept flashing through my head:

I’d never worn make-up a day in my life so why would my wedding day be any different?

Why was the world telling me I should change this fundamental thing about myself just because I’m a bride?

How come there wasn’t anywhere near that much pressure for the groom to look perfect? No one told him he would look washed out in the photos without make-up on so why was that comment constantly being directed at me? Was it my pale skin or was it just people’s expectations?

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The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Makeup for Self-Identifying Men

Photography: Jan Galvan – Creative Direction: Luxe MediaSee the full feature here

It’s 2020 and thinking that makeup is “just for girls” is about as old fashioned as racing to blockbuster for 11pm on a Sunday to return your VHS tapes. But, if you identify as a man or non-binary, where can you go for the best advice? YouTube is obviously a great resource and there are plenty of influencers of all gender identities rocking the most incredible looks, but for your wedding day you may want something a bit more subtle. Plus, doing a face that looks great in a highly edited selfie is very different to creating a look that lasts all day. Makeup artist Natalie Flewitt has been working with male and non-binary clients for years, and today she’s sharing some of her top tips. Over to you Natalie!

Bridal magazines are, on the whole, aimed at women and while you may see plenty of great makeup tips and product recommendations, how do you know if they’ll work for you? While obviously any person can wear whatever the hell they like, if you don’t ever see yourself or your gender represented, it can be confusing.

There are a few differences between biologically male and biologically female skin. It’s not a con or a marketing ploy when you get skincare targeted at different genders. There is often more to it than them just smelling like a rich woodland rather than a flower garden. Biologically male skin is thicker and contains more collagen (so it stays bouncier and youthful for longer), it also produces more sebum so it’s oilier with larger pores, and often has more melanin so it can have more pigmentation… Then there is obviously facial hair. With all this in mind, nothing bad is going to happen if you use face cream aimed at a different gender, but you will get better results by using a product created with your skin type in mind.

Over the years, I have provided makeup services and lessons for many people from the LGBTQ+ community and here are my top tips:

Photography: Jamie Y PhotographySee the full feature here

Skincare

Before any good makeup artist takes a brush to your face, they will prep your skin with products specifically aimed at your skin type and condition. This is going help make your skin look amazing and make your makeup last, rather than just cover any areas of concern with a mask of full coverage foundation.

A dermatologist or beauty therapist who provides facial and skin treatments will be able to advise you of your skin type. If your budget won’t stretch to seeing a beauty therapist, an advisor in the cosmetic and skincare section of a department store will also be able to guide you. Remember, you’re not obliged to buy the products they have recommended from their counter and it’s ok to walk away if you want to think about it.

Whatever your skin type, start cleansing, moisturising, exfoliating and using treatments (such as masks, oils and serums) and SPF in the run up to the big day. For optimum results, start this at least three months before the wedding. In my experience, and whatever your skin type, cream, milk, oil, and balm cleansers are better than anything soapy and foaming, and liquid exfoliators containing salicylic or glycolic acid are more effective and kinder to your skin than the ones with gritty bits in.

Photography: Indigo and Violet PhotographySee the full feature here
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Vampy Glitter Moon Glam Make Up Tutorial

Halloween is right around the corner (erm who’s excited!?) and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share this super easy yet super effective glitter moon make up idea. If you’re more of a low key kinda gal, and the idea of a full face of themed Halloween make up isn’t your jam, then you’re going to love this!

It would also work GREAT for your wedding reception look too. Glitter bars aren’t going anywhere but if you’d rather go down the DIY route, this simple tutorial will help you add some much-needed sparkle to evening face.

Supplies needed:

🌙 A white eyeliner – we used a MAC eye kohl pencil in ‘White’
🌙 A selection of glitter and sequins suitable for use on the face – ours came from The Gypsy Shrine but you can also find LOADS of options very inexpensively on Amazon.
🌙 Glitter adhesive – we’ve used eyelash glue but you can also use Vaseline or a specialist product
🌙 A synthetic flat brush
🌙 Hairspray
🌙 Black eyeliner (both liquid and pencil)
🌙 False lashes
🌙 A dark liquid lipstick – wurs is ‘High Drama’ by MAC

Method:

Step one: Use the white eyeliner to plot out the shape of your glitter. We’ve gone for a simple moon shape but you could do whatever you like!

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How to Ensure Your Wedding Make Up Lasts All Day

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If you’re doing your own wedding day make up, it’s worth taking some time to not only practice what you’re going to do, but invest in some really great products and tools.

While this article could be one of the longest I’ve ever written, I decided to keep it as simple as possible. After all, you only have to Google “make your make up last all day” and you’ll be presented with quite the rabbit-hole of guides and reviews on what products to use.

For me, it’s never really been about the actual products themselves though. Sure, some are way better than others and I certainly have my favourites, but for me, finding my make up mojo has really been about getting the techniques spot on.

Get your skin in it’s best shape

First things first, you have to take care of your skin. Whether you want to invest in fancy creams and treatments or not, having some kind of routine is super important. Even if it’s as simple and taking your make up off properly at night and slapping on a hydrating moisturiser, that’s better than relying on face wipes (which are apparently terrible for your skin – sob) and sleeping with yesterday’s mascara smeared down your face.

If your skin isn’t cared for, depending on your skin type, any make up you apply with either slip right off, or look caked on. I have dry skin and when I slack on my skincare routine, my foundation oxidises on my face, sits on the surface and clogs up my pores. Delightful.

I personally am I bit of a moisturiser floozy. I’m yet to find one I am completely devoted too but right now I’m using Dior Hydra Life and it’s pretty decent. At night time I also slather my face in glycolic serum which is apparently good for improving skin texture and evening the complexion. I also use No. 7 Perfect and Protect serum during the day which I adore. Oh, and by the way, I take my make up off with Coconut Oil! It’s cheap, plentiful and works a treat!

Having a round of pre-wedding salon treatments or facials might seem like an over indulgence, but my skin always feels a million times better, and my make up goes on like a dream, after I’ve had one. If I was a millionaire I’d totally be having facials at least once a month!

Invest in the right tools

The tools you use to put your make up on can make or break the result. While there are some great, cheap brushes and sponge options out there, for me, nothing can come close to the results you get with a Beauty Blender. I use mine to apply my foundation, concealer and powder and I bloody love it.

While £15 for a sponge might seem like a lot, but there really is nothing else that compares to the finish it gives. Even the cheaper but similar knocks off’s pale in comparison. Kandee Johnson did a great video about using a Beauty Blender and if you’re not already a convert, you definitely will be after watching it!

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Summer Bridesmaid Hairspiration

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You know me, I’m no wallflower, so when Claire’s asked me if I’d like to play dress up using some of their brightest of the bright brand new hair adornments, I really couldn’t say no. When that trademark lilac packaging landed on my doorstep and I tore into it, I was greeted with so many pretty florals and bright colours that it instantly lifted my hump day mood. I immediately started thinking of ways I could dress them up, bridesmaid’s style!

So, on a slightly damp Tuesday afternoon, Shell and Elbie jumped on a train bound for Reading and we brought our own kind of sunshine to the proceedings! This was such a fun project, and from Shell’s amazing photographs you’d never tell we shot these in my (definitely not very glamorous) kitchen and back garden!

Neon Pop Flower Princess

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A Dia De Los Muertos Wedding Shoot

This scary Day of the Dead/Dia de la Boda de Los Muertos themed shoot won’t be for everyone but I think it’s pretty rad…For alternative make up inspo alone I think it’s worth a feature!

“This is a concept I’ve been pulling together for about six months,” photographer Gina told me. “Originally I had planned this shoot for October, but because I had no location to shoot it, I put it the back burner. Emily (the Bride in this shoot) was planning her wedding and showed me where she was planning to have her reception. The Harmony Club of Selma is an old Jewish Gentleman’s Club, and I fell in love with its decayed and macabre elements immediately. I rebuilt my concept around this venue and found friends, vendors, and models to come be a part of my dark make-believe wedding.”

“A lot of the group shots look more like a new twist on the Adams Family than anything that may be considered bridal, but the concept as it played out my mind was that since this is the wedding day of the dead, they would perform the normal ‘ceremonies’ backwards. The dancing and revelry of the occasion is mixed with the fear and excitement of the couple.”

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Professional Make Up Tips for DIY Brides

Hi Kat,

Firstly, I wanted to say that out of all the blogs I visit over various genres, your’s is the most consistently updated and therefore interesting blog I’ve come across.

My predicament is that me and my future husband are planning our wedding from London to take place in our home New Zealand. We are flying back there in February to get married on the beach with our closest friends and family.

My hope is to do my hair and make up myself. This will require deciding on a look (I know I want bright red lips!) and buying the products that won’t sweat off in the summer sun (it will be the middle of summer when we get married.) My makeup skills are amateur at best, and I’d like to know how to strategically paint myself pretty!

I’d really appreciate if you could give any tips of good long wearing products, what to avoid and options for learning to apply.

I’d really appreciate your advice,

Ruth xxx

Well there’s one lady I knew I could call on to help Ruth with her dilemma – my bestie, make up artiste extraordinaire, Elbie Van Eeden!

♥  ♥  ♥

When Kat emailed me about doing a post on DIY hair/make-up brides, I knew that it will be a tricky subject. I strongly believe in the difference it makes to have a professional take care of your hair and make-up on your wedding day, in both technique and products.  Photographers are now even more keen on using hair and make-up artists in engagement shoots, just to make their work easier when it comes to retouching.

But I know some brides get married abroad, or won’t be able to afford a hair and make-up artist. A lot of brides would consider going to a department store for make-up trials.  Whilst it is a good idea, and you often get the money you spent on the lesson off any product you buy, unless you know that the brand works on you, it could be a frightening experience.If you’re scared about being bullied into buying products from one make-up range at a store, book a consultation/trial with a independent make-up artist. That way you know you’ll have an unbiased opinion about products, and you could buy the products at your own time, once you’ve seen the results. They will be able to teach you about different techniques, what NOT to do, which brushes to use, and how you could use the make-up after your wedding day.

It’s also a good idea to wear the make-up all day, to see it in different light, and to see how long it stays put before committing to buy anything. If you book a trial, feel free to bring someone with you (preferably someone with a good eye for make-up and hair) so she could help you remember and assist you on the day.

The best make-up products are often expensive, but things like foundation and concealer are worth investing in. You’ll be having your photo taken all day so you don’t want any ‘cakeyness’, or even worse, a ghostly appearance on your photos! There are too many women out there with the wrong colour foundation – make sure you don’t make that mistake on your wedding!  Once the wedding’s over, you could still use it, even if it’s just for a night out, if you’re not a ‘make-uppy’ person.

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How to…Master Perfect Make Up for a Destination Wedding

After the popularity of the last post I ran in conjunction with Sandals and Martha Stewart Weddings, I am pleased to report that I have part two of their video series to share with you.

Susannah, who was married at the Sandals Royal Plantation Resort in Jamaica, is a make up artist and wanted to share with us some of her top tips for perfecting your wedding day make up when getting married in a hot climate. I’m thrilled to share this today and I hope you find it useful if you’re thinking about going the DIY route with your wedding make up.

For more information about having a destination wedding with Sandals and Martha Stewart Weddingscheck out their website right here.

* Sponsored Post

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How to…Look & Feel Natural in Front of the Camera

I hope you’ve been enjoying our much more frequent visits to the ‘How to…’ series. After reading your survey responses (full report to come soon) it was one of the things that was most requested. This week I asked Carina Romano of the fabulous Love Me Do Photography (based in Philadelphia) to address the subject that a lot of brides feel nervous about – how they’re going to look in their wedding pictures.

Don’t forget, I love hearing from you all so if you have any burning questions about anything wedding, business or blogging related be sure to shoot me an email and either myself or one of my carefully selected army of amazing guest posters will try and help out.

♥   ♥   ♥

Make Up

If you’re afraid of your makeup looking fake, book a make up artist who specializes in natural looking make up.  A good make up artist should know how the camera is going to translate the look of your skin.  If you have oily skin, you’re going to want to put something on that so that the flash of the camera doesn’t reflect off your forehead. 

Relax

Make sure you’re in the right state of mind before having your picture taken.  Any negative emotion will be apparent through your face in your pictures.  Make sure you’re allowing yourself to be relaxed.  Go to a spa the day before, make sure you get a good night’s rest, give jobs to your bridesmaids and groomsmen so that you’re not having to do everything yourself (that’s what they’re there for!), have a drink!  A wedding day is stressful, you don’t want to have to look back on your pictures and see that you have a furrowed brow in all your shots. 

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How to…Perfect Your Wedding Day Look

Credit: Kirsty Mitchell Photography

For this week’s guest post I asked the incredibly talented hair & make up extraordinaire Elbie Van Eeden to give us a little bit of advice about how to perfect your wedding day look.

♥  ♥  ♥

So, you’ve dreamt about this day for pretty much your WHOLE LIFE. Your ideas may or may not have changed, and you may or may not still choose to get married in the biggest, fluffiest ballgown or get married in a church like you always imagined you would.  Now as this is Rock ‘n Roll Bride, I’m sure you’ve heard of having YOUR wedding day the way YOU’D want it, not how society expects you to have it – why should your hair & make up choices be any different?

Credit: RVDS Photography

How does this affect your hair and make-up?
Bridal hair and make-up has been looking the same for years and years – a bit of blusher for rosy cheeks and soft contouring for the sparkly eyes (in browns or greys) but why stick with tradition when your wedding will be anything but?  I’m not talking all-out theatrical (unless that’s your thing!) but why wear layers and layers of foundation when normally you’d wear none?

Credit: Kirsty Mitchell Photography

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An Outrageous Punk Rock Engagement Sesh.

Woo! Another true Rock n Roll Bride couple. Rachel & Dale wanted a really punk rock engagement shoot complete with heavy make up (for both of them) outrageous hair and vintage clothes, and after they saw Shelly of Toast of Leeds featured on Rock n Roll Bride they knew she was the lady for the job!

Be sure to check out the video after the ‘jump’ too!

The couple are getting married at the Kirkstall Abbey Ruins in Leeds – at night – with dry ice and super theatrical lighting to boost…hello? Doesn’t that sound AMAZING!

ps I’ve decided I need to come up with a cute name for my true Rock n Roll Brides – you know, you guys who find all your awesome wedding inspiration and suppliers on the site. Answers on a virtual postcard (ie in the comment section) please!

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Mad Hatter Rock n Roll Bride ~ Candy Floss, Beach Huts & The Great British Seaside

It’s that time of immense excitement for me again, when I finally get to share with you a ‘lil project I’ve been busying myself with behind the scenes. Unbelievably this shoot has been in the pipeline for over a year but it’s only now that I’ve had the time to get it all organised properly!

The Photographer
I first met Eliza Claire just over a year ago at the very first ‘Rock n Roll Bride meet’. We met in a teeny cocktail bar in central London. We drank cosmopolitans and mojitos and talked way into the night about business, photography and changing the face of the UK wedding industry…and look how far we’ve come in only a year! At this first meeting we talked about doing a photo shoot together and would you believe it’s actually taken this long to get it together. However, as always, the wait was so worth it as within the past 12 months we’ve got to know so many more amazing people in the industry, a few of which we asked along to join in the fun.

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Retro Rockabilly & Heart Shaped Sunglasses

I’ve got yet another bit of retro rockabilly lovin’ for you today, in the form of Nick & Jamie’s Santa Barbara wedding. The ceremony and reception took place at The Rockwood Womens Club which proved to be the perfect backdrop to their day. Jamie looked stunning in her Maya dress by Michelle Roth, but it had a bit of a story behind it! “”Ohhhhh the dress….it was almost a nightmare! It was a Michelle Roth “Maya” that I bought used on Oncewed. I took it to a local alterations lady who cut it too short and messed up the top! Luckily I have a dear friend in the fashion industry, Denice Dir who saved the day by not only adding the black tulle underneath, sewing in a petticoat and took 45 minutes to carefully seam rip the top and fix what the other lady had messed up. She even made my dog’s collar piece out of my dress trimmings and surprised me on the day of my wedding with the special stitching she did inside!”

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