Beauty School Dropout
Whilst I’d always had some interest in make-up and beauty products, I think due to lack of knowledge, before a year or so ago, I stuck to a very basic (read: boring) make-up and skincare routine using pretty much the same five products over the years at a very minimal level without having a clue about what my skin really needed or what suited me. However it all changed when through the wedding world, I discovered world-renowned make-up artist Lisa Eldridge and her amazing video tutorials. As I watched her transform her own brave (yet annoyingly still very gorgeous) make-up free face to a beautifully simple and elegant look I was hooked. She made it look effortless and of course in order to re-create the look I HAD to have whatever she was using. Cue make-up shopping habit.
But there was one particularly poignant video, which was a tutorial for women with acne and bad skin, which having suffered from acne since a teenager, and after years of antibiotics and potion after potion with little advice from my GP, it literally turned my view on make-up and skincare upside down. I realised where I’d been going wrong with my make-up application and that there were better products suited for my skin and without sounding dramatic, it changed my life as I was able to finally feel like I could help myself in some way and it gave me direction to do so.
Beauty Bloggers World
Since discovering Lisa, it opened the flood-gate to the world of the Beauty Blog and of course the Youtube bloggers and tutorials. I now watch them daily (whilst in the bath, it’s perfect!) and have learnt so much in the last year about my skin type (sensitive, dehydrated, blemish prone – I thought because I had acne I must have oily skin, who knew!), what suits me, and to try new things and it’s been really great for my confidence and for my skin. Perhaps not so much for the bank balance but you win some, you lose some.
So just in case there were ladies out there, who like me, who may have little interest in skincare or make-up and don’t know where to start, or who have yet to discover the world of beauty blogs, I thought I’d list a few of my favourite resources, as I think it would be especially useful for brides to be to learn about their skin, what products are best suited for their skin type and to practice some new make-up looks ahead of the day so here are some of my favourite bridal beauty resources…
I was already a follower of Sali Hughes and her no-nonsense beauty column in The Guardian and was often found on her website, so when one of my recent lovely brides, Katy, mentioned that her friend ‘Sali Hughes’ was going to be doing her make-up for her wedding I was mightily impressed, and knew she would be in very good hands. On the day, Katy looked incredible with utterly flawless skin (although to be fair, she had a pretty good canvas to begin with!) and the most perfect red pout that Sali ensured look picture perfect throughout the day. Quite soon after the wedding Sali launched her new book ‘Pretty Honest’ so I snapped one up as soon as it came out and I read it in near enough one sitting (which is a rare thing with me).
I wanted to mention the book as it’s great for women of all ages, whether you know a lot or very little about beauty and it covers pretty much everything you could ever and should ever need to know (from determining your skin type, to waxing to make up and motherhood to perfumes) though I particularly liked the chapter on Bridal Make-Up, or as Sali calls it, simply ‘Special Occasion’ make-up. Sali’s advice is unbiased, witty and down to earth and I personally think all brides should read this chapter!
Here’s one of my favourite snippets from the book that I couldn’t have put more perfectly: “A bride should look like herself on the best day ever. Her usual skin tone should be at its most flawless, her go-to hairstyle at its most immaculate. A man or woman is marrying you, so it has never been more appropriate and, frankly, polite that you try to look like you, the person they fell in love with.”
Ruth is of course, exceptionally beautiful given she is a model, but she is hilarious! Really down to earth, you feel like your best friend is telling you about what she’s been trying out and never comes across as ‘sell sell sell’. I really like her honesty, and whilst she does recommend a lot of high end products (who can blame her, she is a model after all) her tutorials show just why they are so good and in fact she is just as likely to tell you about the £7.99 eyeshadow palette from L’oreal that is an absolute handbag staple (this one, by the way in case you were wondering it’s fab even for those with no previous eyeshadow experience!). I like a bit of wit with my beauty and Ruth brings it in spades.
I first attempted the world of Youtube beauty bloggers with, dare I say it – Zoella. I switched off in about 10 seconds as I promptly realised whilst watching her squeak in her onesie with a high ponytail swinging, that someone over the age of 25 is most definitely not her target audience (kudos to her though, brilliant resource for tweens I know I would have loved her). So it was with huge relief that I discovered Caroline Hirons blog and videos, who like Ruth, doesn’t take things too seriously yet feels like the wiser woman as she really does know her shi* as she is a qualified beauty therapist. You’ll suddenly know why hyaluronic acid isn’t something to be freaked out by if it’s on the ingredient list of your creams (quite the opposite in fact) and for skincare, I feel Caroline could well have me looking 5 years younger if I follow her advice (and rules, she’s strict, but fair!).
If you’re looking for tutorials, then (along with the aforementioned Lisa Eldridge) the Pixwoo team are your ladies. Two make-up artist sisters, Sam and Nic take you through step by step tutorials to create many (many) different make-up looks, whether it’s a celebrity ‘get the look’ or to help you try something new such as how to wear a ‘smoky eye’ or ‘blue eyeliner’ then you’ll find it here. A video that I think every girl will need to bookmark is their ‘Perfect Eyeliner for Everyone’ video.
I feel I may perhaps be a few years older than the average audience for Anna’s lovely channel and blog, but I’m rather fond of her ‘girl next door’ style – she can pretty much sell me anything. Her weekly vlogs do leave me a little envious that my wedding blogger life is nowhere near as glam or exciting as a beauty blogger (so many press trips!) but her round up posts such as ‘Talking all things foundation’ and ‘Top five eyeshadow palettes‘ are mighty useful for when you next fancy a bit of a make-up spree (I loathe to use the word ‘haul’ like they do!). Also helps she’s just a nice gal, who isn’t afraid of going bare-faced in front of the camera either which is also reassuring and refreshing.
I’ve been aware of her brand for a while but it’s only really been in the last year or so that I’ve become quite the fan. Perhaps the rose gold packaging has something to do with it (come on, we ALL know packaging can be just as important as product!) but truly her website is great as she provides tutorials of how to use her products or how to create looks, which for a novice and beauty virgin like myself is very much welcomed. I got brave and purchased one of her AMAZING colour chameleon eye pencils after learning about it on her site. I also am on my way to perfecting the holy grail of make-up techniques which is the feline eye flick thanks to this video. If anyone who knows me is reading this and struggling with upcoming Christmas presents, just head here. I want it all!
If you have an interest in perfumes (aka an obsession, like myself), or want to perhaps consider a new fragrance for your wedding day then a couple of great resources are ‘Perfumes – The A-Z Guide’ by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez. I’ve had this book for years and often refer back to it. It’s a great read and the reviews are honest and very emotive and no snobbery here, it’s guaranteed to make perfume more alluring (ha). I’ve also recently followed The Perfume Society who have a great blog which is all about discovering new scents and they have a handy fragrance finder (FR.eD!) which is great if you are looking to research some new scents based on your tastes. Another blog is Basenotes who also list interesting scent events if you fancy some real-life olfactory experiences!
Would love to know if there are any other useful resources out there that you like or swear by? I’m still *fairly* new to this beauty world so now the floodgates have opened I’m sure in time I’ll discover more!
Products in my make-up bag in case you were wondering are: Mac 217 Brush (eyes) / Dior Powder Brush (part of set) / Dior Rosy Glow Blush / Soleil Tan De Chanel / Dior Show Waterproof Mascara / Nars Sheer Glow Foundation / By Terry Ombre Blackstar Eye Shadow (in Bronze Moon) / Mac Patisserie
All images: London Bride