Friday 27 November 2015

Current Skincare Heroes

I'm the first to admit that I find skincare a bit of a minefield. There's about fifty million brands, and products galore for dry skin, acne-prone skin, sensitive skin, aging skin, congested skin... but what if you're all of the above? My skin definitely doesn't sit neatly in one category that's easy for me to look after with a specific set of products. It fluctuates between a whole host of issues, all of which seem to require certain things from skincare that are really bad for the other issues. Ugh.

Lately, I've been experiencing a bit of an acne breakout - something I suffer from randomly from time to time - and I decided that there was no point in overthinking things. The breakout is my main issue right now, so I kept it simple and just looked for products that will combat that issue. And as it turns out, I've stumbled across two little gems that target the acne without destroying the moisture in my skin. Result! The products in question are the Witch Naturally Clear Gentle Exfoliating Face Wash and the Avene Cleanance Expert Emulsion.

Witch Naturally Clear Gentle Exfoliating Face Wash and Avene Cleanance Expert Emulsion

The Witch face wash was part of the goodie bag I received at the Pegasus Beauty Showcase back in September (and something, at the time, I didn't think I would use), and the Avene product was sent to me just a few weeks ago by the same PR company. I have to say that this is the perfect example of how blogging opens your eyes to new brands, because I don't think I would have gravitated towards either product had I not been introduced to them through Pegasus.

Witch Naturally Clear Gentle Exfoliating Face Wash

One of my biggest bugbears with my skin is that it's often congested but it's also sensitive. How to clear it up without aggravating it and making it all red and dry? Normally I would have been too nervous to try a product like this, with exfoliating granules in it, especially as a daily cleanser, but having spoken to the Witch team at the Pegasus event, I knew that this was a gentle formula, designed to unclog pores without drying out the skin. I've been using it for almost a month now and it does a fantastic job of deeply cleansing my skin, without giving me any dryness or issues with sensitivity whatsoever. The blurb on the back does recommend caution with sensitive skin, so now that my complexion is clearer I will probably switch to something with a creamier formula, and keep this in reserve for the next time it's needed.

Witch Naturally Clear Gentle Exfoliating Face Wash

Witch Naturally Clear Gentle Exfoliating Face Wash

The Avene Cleanance Expert emulsion won the "Best New Skincare Treatment" in the Pure Beauty Awards 2015. It's unique in the sense that it's a moisturiser which actually contains acne fighting ingredients, and this got me interested straight away. It's a lovely, mid-weight sort of cream with a light, fresh scent. It feels very pleasant to use. It's definitely effective at moisturising my skin, but it also gently exfoliates, mattifies, regulates sebum production and reduces redness and inflammation. My complexion feels perfectly balanced once I've used this after the Witch face wash. Not greasy, but definitely not dry either. It's a lovely product and it's great to know that I can keep my skin hydrated and fight that nasty acne bacteria at the same time.

Avene Cleanance Expert Emulsion

This little wonder in a tube was formulated by Avene after they surveyed women suffering from adult acne. They discovered that a lot of women are reluctant to use acne targeted skincare because they are afraid it will strip their skin and be too harsh for daily use. That's definitely something that's always worried me. Especially since, once over the age of 25, we all need to be careful to make sure that our skin gets enough moisture. Thanks to Avene, I've been able to battle the breakout without feeling like I'm sacrificing the quality of my skin. Brilliant!

Avene Cleanance Expert Emulsion

Avene Cleanance Expert Emulsion

There's no miracle cure for acne breakouts, and there are times when medication is the only answer. However, they can be kept under control with the right products, and I'd definitely recommend both of these. Anyone who's suffered with breakouts will understand when I talk about that dreaded tell tale feeling that something hideous is about to erupt on your face. Well, once I had been using these products for a week or so, those hideous somethings started to reduce before the eruption happened. I honestly didn't think that skincare alone could do that, but I've been really impressed. For now, the little episode seems to be over, but I will definitely be keeping these in my stash for the next time they're needed.

Have you tried either of these products?

Kate x

Monday 23 November 2015

The Classic Colour Palette

Wow, it got cold all of a sudden! Much of November has been so mild and sunny here in South Yorkshire that this rapid drop in temperature has taken me by surprise. ALL the warm clothes have had to come out, pretty sharpish. (This may or may not include thermal vests, but I'll preserve some mystery and leave that to your imagination.)

Winter #OOTD featuring H&M coat and Shein scarf

As much as I love winter fashion, it takes a lot more financial outlay than its summery counterpart, and coats in particular can be really pricey. Yet when we spend so much of the year in coats, it's nice to have a couple of different options. I really fancied getting a camel coat this year, but didn't want to spend a fortune on it, so I was thrilled when I saw this one in H&M for only £59.99. (Yes, I'm slowly working my way towards acquiring H&M's entire winter collection.) It's from their Conscious Collection and is really nice quality - properly lined and nicely weighty, and 58% wool. It's a wraparound style, a bit like a dressing gown, which means you get a double layer of warmth at the front - plus no pesky buttons to do up! It's also available in grey, but I liked the contrast of the dark camel colour against my new black and white scarf.

Winter #OOTD featuring H&M coat and Shein scarf

The scarf is from Shein. It's the second piece I've been gifted from the brand and I love it. I must admit I've been pleasantly surprised by the quality. Shein's clothes are sold at very low prices and my expectations were pretty low, but this scarf is lovely - super soft, a nice thickness and really warm. It could easily pass as a piece from Topshop or Zara and I already know I'm going to wear it to death throughout the winter.

Winter #OOTD featuring H&M coat and Shein scarf

Winter #OOTD featuring H&M coat and Shein scarf

I wore this combination over jeans and a jumper to run a few errands the other day, and with a slick of red lippie - Mac's Russian Red, which I'm loving at the moment - I felt nicely pulled together. Camel with black and white is such a classic colour palette in the winter months. You can't go wrong!

Winter #OOTD featuring H&M coat and Shein scarf

Coat, Jumper, Sunglasses - H&M, Jeans - Topshop, Bag - Zara, Boots - Dune, Scarf - Shein

(Check me out keeping it real at the Next Outlet.)

Winter #OOTD featuring H&M coat and Shein scarf

What are your favourite colours to wear in winter?
Kate x

Friday 20 November 2015

Rainbow Rocks by Nude Jewellery

Having worked with Nude Jewellery before, I was thrilled when they got in touch to ask if I'd like to feature a piece from their new collection, Rainbow Rocks, on my blog. A London-based company, they specialise in modern, unusual designs, and many of their pieces are hand-made on the premises. The Rainbow Rocks collection is a fabulous example of their own work. A celebration of colour and texture, it features some absolutely stunning contemporary jewellery, including this gorgeous amethyst rock pendant.

Rainbow Rocks Collection by Nude Jewellery

Necklace from the Rainbow Rocks Collection by Nude Jewellery

Necklace from the Rainbow Rocks Collection by Nude Jewellery

I was over the moon when I opened up to package to discover this. I've never seen anything quite like it before. The simplicity of the chain really lets the large, striking amethyst do all the talking, and it's the perfect piece to add some interest to a simple white blouse for an evening out. It's faceted, so it's very tactile and catches the light in an interesting way.

Necklace from the Rainbow Rocks Collection by Nude Jewellery

Coloured jewellery is fairly unusual, especially with such a large stone as this, but I love the idea of wearing one standout coloured piece. Despite the simplicity of the design, it's very much a statement necklace. And I love that it's an amethyst. Although I probably wouldn't want to paint my bedroom purple any more, I've never lost my childhood fondness for the shade. If you're interested in the "meaning" behind crystals, amethysts are supposed to promote calm and offer protection, including protection from drunkenness, which may or may not be a good thing on a night out, depending on your point of view!

Necklace from the Rainbow Rocks Collection by Nude Jewellery

I've had a horrible virus most of this week - I actually climbed out of my sick bed to take these photos, then wiped all my makeup off and got straight back in! - but as soon as I feel well again I'm looking forward to wearing the necklace properly on a night out.

What are your thoughts on coloured jewellery?

Kate x

Tuesday 17 November 2015

The Seventies Dress

Ah, the seventies trend. I think I've mentioned before that when it first started to creep in, I wasn't keen on it at all. Then, slowly, I started to warm towards it, and now I'm full-on embracing it! It's amazing how fashion can persuade you to change your mind so completely. I think that's one of the things I love about it most.

OOTD featuring H&M floral maxi dress - Autumn/Winter 2015

I first saw this dress when it popped up on my Twitter feed, and it was love at first sight. The wintry floral print is so pretty and I love the femininity of the relaxed, boho style. There's definitely more than a hint of the seventies about this dress, and because of that, chances are it's not going to look quite right this time next year. But... it was only £14.99, so who cares?! Classic clothing is wonderful, but sometimes it's nice to just have a bit of fun with the latest trends. I'm definitely feeling the fun in fashion right now.

OOTD featuring H&M floral maxi dress - Autumn/Winter 2015

I wore the dress out to dinner on my birthday a couple of weeks ago with spike heeled ankle boots, but it works really well for daytime too. You just have to make sure you have some thick tights and a jacket on if you're out and about, as it's quite thin material.

OOTD featuring H&M floral maxi dress - Autumn/Winter 2015

Dress, Boots, Sunglasses - H&M, Jacket - Warehouse

OOTD featuring H&M floral maxi dress - Autumn/Winter 2015

OOTD featuring H&M floral maxi dress - Autumn/Winter 2015

OOTD featuring H&M floral maxi dress - Autumn/Winter 2015

The dress is from H&M, and I have to say I'm loving their stuff at the moment. H&M is one of those places that's brilliant to shop in if you need to stock up on quite a few things, as the prices are so reasonable and the quality generally pretty high.

OOTD featuring H&M floral maxi dress - Autumn/Winter 2015

I've really enjoyed wearing a deep berry lip with this dress. This one is Rimmel The Only One lipstick in Under My Spell, together with a Rimmel Exaggerate lip liner of the same name. If you haven't tried Rimmel's The Only One range, I really do recommend checking it out. The finish and staying power are seriously impressive for a drugstore lipstick, and I'm totally in love with this shade.

Are you embracing the seventies trend? And what's your favourite shop for picking up fashion bargains?

Kate x

Friday 13 November 2015

Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas Gift Ideas

It's that time of year again. I'm starting to think about shopping for Christmas presents, which inevitably means getting distracted by all the lovely things in the shops and spending far too much time looking at stuff I like instead. So I thought I'd put my inherently selfish ways to good use by compiling a little wishlist/gift ideas post for your reading pleasure. Just to be totally clear, this post has not been sponsored by any of the brands featured. (I wish!) This is just me drooling over some goodies I love and sharing them with you, pure and simple.

I love receiving indulgent bath products at Christmas, and Lush remains one of my favourite brands. Their bath bombs and bubble bars are so much fun to use, and contain all sorts of delicious ingredients to calm the senses and smooth the skin. This gift box is a real whopper, containing 20 of their most popular bombs, bubble bars and bath melts, but there's no shortage of alternatives at different sizes and price points. Plus, they're all beautifully wrapped, so you can just scribble on the name of the lucky recipient and shove it under the tree. Perfect if you're lazy like me!

These are divine. I actually tried them on a few weeks ago and loved them. They were a great fit - to the leg as well as the foot, which can be difficult to find in boots. The heel was sturdy and comfortable too and they looked amazing, but like an idiot I hesitated over buying them. I went back a couple of hours later and the store had sold out of my size, which is probably a good indication of how popular they are. I still haven't bitten the bullet and ordered them, but I do still love them, and I think any fashion lover would agree they would be a pretty amazing present to open on Christmas morning.

I have some ancient GHDs and I use them all the time. They're hands down the best hair tool I've tried when it comes to straightening, and they do a pretty good job of curling too. This new platinum styler has "tri-zone technology" (whatever that is) which delivers an even heat that is supposedly kinder to your hair than regular straighteners. If you style your hair two to three times a week like I do, you definitely want to have the straighteners that are kindest to your hair!

I love getting pyjamas for Christmas! And as I've mentioned before, (many times!) Marks and Spencer's Rosie for Autograph range is my favourite by a mile. So many nightwear brands offer either glamour or comfort, but this one gives you both. This silky set is just gorgeous - perfect for wafting about the house in on Christmas morning and generally being a goddess.

5. Zara Maxi Faux Fur Stole

I'm obsessed with all the gorgeous faux fur scarves around at the moment. This one from Zara is such beautiful quality and it's guaranteed to freshen up last year's winter jackets and coats. An instant way to add a touch of luxe to your cold-weather looks, and it will keep you warm and cosy too!

6. Neom Organics Scented 3-Wick Candle in Christmas Wish

A few months ago I was browsing through candles in John Lewis and thought I would have a sniff of some of the Neom Organics ones. Having seen them featured on blogs quite a bit, I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. Well, I was hooked from that first sniff. The fragrances of these are exceptional. I've never got around to buying one for myself, but scented candles always make a great gift. There's something a bit special about a three-wick one as well, taking pride of place on the coffee table and cheering up the dark winter nights. The Christmas Wish fragrance features mandarin, cinnamon and tonka bean. Heavenly!

7. Marks and Spencer Rosie for Autograph Nuit Perfume

Yes, I really am going to talk about Rosie for Autograph again. My Aunty has the original perfume, and it's just lovely. It's a delicate, powdery rose scent, housed in a beautiful glass bottle with a gold lid. I haven't actually smelled the Nuit version, but it's described as rose with jasmine - two of my favourite floral fragrances. I adore the packaging, and it's Rosie for Autograph! What more can I say?

8. Hotel Chocolat Winter Desserts Sleekster

It wouldn't be Christmas without a great big box of chocolates to share around, and Hotel Chocolat has been one of my favourite places to buy deliciously indulgent gifts for years now. This particular box contains 27 chocolates inspired by winter desserts including apple strudel, mince pie brownies and gingerbread. Yes please!

9. Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Stoned Rose

Sometimes it's difficult to justify spending a fortune on high-end makeup, so when family members ask me what I'd like for Christmas, I often request the latest fancy item I've been lusting after. Just about everything from Charlotte Tilbury seems to receive rave reviews all over the blogosphere, and I've been wanting to try something from the brand for a while. The gold packaging of this lipstick just oozes luxury, and you can't go wrong with a classic nude shade. Stoned Rose looks absolutely beautiful.

10. Zara Chain City Bag

I still think that Zara do some of the best high-street bags around. This one looks so Chanel-esque it's not true. At £89.99 it's pretty pricey for a Zara bag, but it's beautiful, and it's stayed in their collection for a long time now so it's obviously a popular piece. Perfect with smart or casual looks, day or night.

I hope this post gave you a few ideas if you're planning to do some gift shopping soon, whether that's for friends and family or for yourself! What's on your Christmas list this year?

Kate x

Tuesday 10 November 2015

Fifty Shades of Nude

I seem to be on a roll lately. Last week I finally posted about my bridesmaid's hair and makeup - something I'd promised to do months ago - and today I'm back with another post I first talked about writing back in July. I'd been on a little shopping spree, during which I'd picked up a trio of makeup that I thought might look good together as a "nude look". Well, fast forward nearly four months and here it is! (I know, I know, I really should slow down.)

Nude makeup look featuring Rimmel Lasting Finish lipstick by Kate Nude Collection in 43

Nude makeup look featuring Rimmel Lasting Finish lipstick by Kate Nude Collection in 43

Nude makeup look featuring Rimmel Salon Pro by Kate Nail Polish in 127

Nude makeup look featuring Maybelline Master Sculpt Contouring kit in light/medium

The products I bought back in the summer were the Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate Nude Collection in shade 43, the Rimmel Salon Pro by Kate Nail Polish in 127 and the Maybelline Master Sculpt Contouring kit in Light/Medium. The lipstick and nail varnish have been worn to death and are much-loved - you can see how low the lipstick bullet is getting. The contour kit on the other hand has been worn only occasionally. I do think it's nice in tone, or at least the bronzer is, but I'm just not that crazy about it. To be fair, the main reason for this could be that my skull-face doesn't really need any help in the contouring department. I knew this when I bought it, but it was new and shiny, and much hyped, and I had Boots points. The flesh is weak.

Nude makeup look featuring Urban Decay Naked Palette shade Toasted

Another point I should mention is that I'm starting to use my new Urban Decay Naked Palette and I don't think it's any exaggeration to say that my life has been changed forever. I've never really been that into eyeshadow before and I'm realising it's because I didn't have this palette. All I did for this look was apply the shade Toasted all over my lids and blend it softly through the crease, yet it's so much better than anything else I've ever put on my eyes. There are times when a product gets so hyped that you're almost bound to be disappointed when you try it for yourself, but in this case it's even better than I thought it would be.

Anyway, here's the finished look.

Nude makeup look featuring Rimmel, Maybelline and Urban Decay

I really like this makeup. It's a polished daytime look that goes with everything and can be worn at any time of year. The nail varnish in particular is a really sophisticated shade and gives that elongated  "mannequin hands" look -great for me as I'm afraid the almond shaped phase didn't last too long and I'm back to squoval! (A couple of them broke and I couldn't deal with constantly having to re-shape them. I got impatient and they ended up getting lopsided - not a good look!)

Nude makeup look featuring Rimmel, Maybelline and Urban Decay

On my face:

Base - Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation in Cool Bone, Collection Lasting Perfection concealer in Fair, Rimmel Stay Matte powder in Peach Glow

Brows - Benefit Brow Zings palette in dark, Benefit Gimme Brow in medium/deep

Eyes - Urban Decay Anti-Aging Primer Potion, Urban Decay Naked Palette shade Toasted, L'Oreal Super Liner, Rimmel Wake Me Up mascara. (You could also go for a matte shadow instead of Toasted, which I think would be interesting too.)

Face - Maybelline Master Sculpt contouring kit in light/medium. (I used a Real Techniques buffing brush to apply the bronzer just below my cheekbones, then a smaller brush to lightly contour the sides of my nose. I dusted some of the highlighter down the bridge of my nose and on the tops of my cheekbones.)

Lips - Rimmel London Lasting Finish lipstick by Kate Nude Collection, shade 43

Nude makeup look featuring Rimmel, Maybelline and Urban Decay

Nude makeup look featuring Rimmel, Maybelline and Urban Decay

Nude makeup look featuring Rimmel, Maybelline and Urban Decay

What are your thoughts about this sort of look in the winter months? Have you tried any contour kits and which is your favourite? 

Also, I usually take most of my makeup selfies with my iPhone, and it's getting harder and harder to find good light as the winter draws in. (Some of these are distinctly "soft focus" I know!) I'd love to know if anyone has any recommendations for a good iPhone ring light, as I'm not really sure where to start looking! Any advice welcome.

Kate x

Friday 6 November 2015

October Favourites - The Birthday Edition

October Favourites 2015

I'm cheating a little bit with this post. These are some of the birthday presents I received on November 1st, so I can't exactly claim to have been loving them throughout the month of October. On the other hand, they're all things I've been lusting after for a long time, so it's only right that they should be fast-tracked to favourite status. Besides, it's that time of year when we all start to think about gift ideas, so I thought these might be interesting from that point of view as well. Want to see? Of course you do!

Jo Malone Mimosa and Cardamom Cologne

Oh my goodness, this is beautiful. I adore pretty much everything by Jo Malone; it's definitely my favourite brand as far as fragrance is concerned. Every time they bring out a new scent I get ridiculously excited about it, and the idea of this one intrigued me more than most. I first smelled it at the Jo Malone counter at Gatwick Airport in September, and it was nothing like I expected. I thought it would be quite strong and spicy, but in fact it's delicate, like the most delicate floral you can imagine, followed by creamy warmth, and just the faintest hint of spice at the end. There are many perfumes I love, but at the moment this is number one for me by a mile. Needless to say, the scented candle is now on my Christmas list!

Z for Accessorize Necklace

2. Z for Accessorize necklace

I've spoken about my love for Accessorize's premium range before. In fact, I wrote a whole post on it here. This delicate jewellery looks much more expensive than it really is and is equally fabulous whether you wear just one piece or layer it all up together. This lovely necklace is the perfect addition to my collection and will go with anything and everything.

Madeleine Shaw Get the Glow

Madeleine Shaw Get the Glow

3. Madeleine Shaw - Get the Glow

Healthy meal ideas that actually look appetising. Need I say more? I've already made the spicy roast chicken recipe from Madeleine's blog and it was really delicious. The book is beautifully produced and packed full of sensible advice and mouth-watering photography. I can't wait to try some more of Madeleine's dishes, like this Thai beef salad. The dessert section looks pretty good too!

Game of Thrones Box Set - Seasons 1-4

4. Game of Thrones box set

I've read - or should I say devoured? - all the books. I actually started watching the series a while ago too, but ended up having to miss some, so now it's all mine in DVD form, to enjoy whenever I like. I can't remember being this engrossed in a story since I was a kid. An episode finishes and it's actually a wrench to leave the Seven Kingdoms behind me and return to the real world. Pathetic, I know! Who else is a fan?

5. Urban Decay Naked Palette

The original and best. I can't quite believe I've never owned one of these before. My sister got one to do her wedding makeup, and we were both so impressed with the quality of these shadows that it quickly became clear I needed one as well! The shade range and pigmentation are just spectacular. I won't waffle on about it because everyone and their dog has one of these, but the point is it's not hard to see why it's so popular. All I need now is some Muji storage and I'll be a full-on blogger cliche! 

Anything you like the look of here? If you're a Naked Palette fan, which is your favourite?

Kate x

Tuesday 3 November 2015

Bridesmaid's Hair and Makeup

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.

Bridal floral table arrangement

Wedding Flowers in the Church
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.
Bridesmaid's Makeup Ideas
Wedding Makeup Ideas

Face Products

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.

Bridal Makeup Tips

From Left, Clarins Instant Concealer, Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation

Eye Products

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.

Bridesmaid's Eye Makeup Ideas

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

Bridesmaid's Eye Makeup Ideas

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.

Blush and Highlight Products for Bridesmaids

 From Left, Mac Peaches blusher, Mac Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle, Benefit Watt's Up

Lip Products

I kept this super simple with another of my trusty favourites - Rimmel Nude Delight.

Rimmel Nude Delight Lipstick

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?

Kate x
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