About forty thousand years ago I promised to write a post about the hair and makeup I did for my sister's wedding. Here it is! Sorry it took me so long.
My sister Stephanie is a girl who knows exactly what she wants. From early on in the wedding preparations, there were certain things she had a very clear idea of in her mind. For example, the last thing she wanted was a trail of bridesmaids in descending age and height following her down the aisle in identical dresses. In fact, anything too stylised was quickly put on the blacklist. Bouquets were to look hand-picked, groomsmen were to wear their own suits. In short, the vibe was to be sophisticated, but relaxed. Oh, and luxe. Luxe quickly became the watchword of whole affair!
Doing our own hair and makeup was something that definitely fitted into this plan. While neither of us are experts, we both felt our knowledge and skills were up to the task of creating the sort of looks we wanted for the big day. One of the best pieces of bridal beauty advice we read was to resist the temptation to do something wildly different just because it's your wedding. Instead, you should aim to look like the best version of yourself. This suited Steph's vision down to the ground.
The wedding venue was a beautiful Jacobean manor house in Kent which was quite richly decorated. Stephanie chose a colour scheme to compliment that, as you can see from the flowers below.
With these colours in mind, Steph wore an ivory dress with quite a lot of crystals and beading, and decided to go with softly curled hair and a deep pink lip. As the only bridesmaid, my dress was silky, a peachy, champagne colour, and had beaded detail across the shoulders. I went for soft curls too, but kept my makeup very understated. In terms of products, most of what I used is stuff I wear on a day to day basis anyway. I wanted peachy nude lips, subtly defined eyes and glowing, highlighted skin.
A wedding is one of those occasions when you really want your makeup to last all day, so I wore my tried and tested Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation over my Ark Skincare primer. Double Wear lasts a good eight hours on me even without a primer, and this combination proved to have some pretty awesome staying power. Not only did it last the whole day, but it stayed looking fresh too, so I really can't recommend this combination enough. I would also recommend the Chanel Perfection Lumiere foundation my sister wore. This also lasted all day with a primer underneath, and gave her complexion a beautiful, satin finish that looked fantastic on the day and even better in her photo album. (Just in case anyone was wondering, yes, it is on my must-try list!)
I concealed under my eyes using Clarins Instant concealer. This is a great little product that combines effective coverage with a lightweight formula, so it doesn't sink into fine lines.
From Left, Clarins Instant Concealer, Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation
To begin with, I primed my eyes with Urban Decay Anti-Aging Primer Potion. This is such a brilliant product. Not only does it enhance the look and staying power of any shadow you wear over it, it's got firming properties as well. As far as shadows go... well, if I was a "proper" beauty blogger I'd tell you I used Urban Decay or Charlotte Tilbury, but the truth is I used my well-loved Sleek Au Naturel palette! In the photo of the palette below, I used the third shadow from left on the top row all over the lids - you can tell this is my most used shadow as I've hit pan on this one! The brown directly in front of it was blended lightly into my crease, and the furthest shadow on the right on the top row, which has a slight shimmer to it, was used in my inner corners and under the arch of my brows.
I lined my eyes with my L'Oreal Super Liner, but only a thin line to define them, no heavy wing. I also used a black Kohl pencil on my water line, but only the outer half. Finally, I curled my lashes and applied my YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils mascara. (The waterproof version - which I was very glad of during the ceremony as I must confess I did shed a tear or two.)
I defined and shaped my brows with Benefit Brow Zings palette and added a sweep of Benefit Gimme Brow to hold them in place.
From Left, Benefit Brow Zings palette, Benefit Gimme Brow, L'Oreal Super Liner, YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils mascara, Urban Decay Anti-Aging Primer Potion, Sleek Au Naturel eyeshadow palette
Blush and Highlight Products
I lightly swept Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess bronzing powder over my cheeks and temples, just to bring some warmth to my complexion, then applied Mac Peaches blusher to the apples of my cheeks. This is one of my favourite blushers as it's such a lovely, vibrant peach shade. For my highlight, I applied Benefit Watt's Up liberally to my cheekbones, with just a touch on the bridge of my nose and cupid's bow. Then, to lift the look out of the ordinary, I added a dusting of Mac Mineralize Skinfinish Soft and Gentle over the top of the highlight. This gave a fresh-faced, golden glow to the whole look.
From Left, Mac Peaches blusher, Mac Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle, Benefit Watt's Up
I kept this super simple with another of my trusty favourites - Rimmel Nude Delight.
I bet you can see all those products on my face, can't you?! Perhaps not, but hopefully you can see something of the natural glow I was aiming for in the finished result.
I must admit, my hair looked a little wavier and more polished on the day than it does in these photos. However, they should give you a fairly good idea of the overall finished look - complete with dress! (Sorry I haven't got any full length photos for you, but the dress essentially falls straight down to the floor so you're not missing much. All the detail is in the shoulders!)
I divided my hair into two sections (upper and lower) and worked my way around each section with a large-barreled curling wand. (I used the Babyliss Boutique Salon Soft Waves curling wand.) I took approximately 1.5 to 2 inch sections at a time and alternated the direction of the curl, making sure the sections closest to my face were curled outwards. I ran my fingers through the curls to loosen them a bit, backcombed the crown for a little height and sprayed some Tresseme ultimate hold hairspray pretty liberally all over. The jewelled hair slide I wore was from Accessorize.
As you can see, my hair wasn't too different to how I usually wear it. Sometimes I use straighteners to create a wave on a day to day basis, which doesn't give quite as soft a look as this, but other than that it's pretty much the same. Apart from the hairspray, I didn't use any products, but that's because my hair is bleached, so it's textured enough to hold a curl without help. If you have lovely, healthy, silky hair, you'd probably want to put a texturising product in it before you start curling in order to make the style last the distance.
So there you have it - better late than never!
Did you/would you do your own hair and makeup for your wedding? What's your dream bridal look?