Common Bridal Beauty Mistakes

Hi All,

It’s been a while I know and I’m really sorry for that, life has gone a bit crazy in the day job world which has meant my blog has taken a bit of a backseat but I’m back with recently inspired post suggested by a friend of mine who is actually getting married herself in a couple of weeks. We happen to sit next to each other in the day job and she’s regularly asking bridal make-up related questions and this post was born…


Over the past 6 years I often find myself saying the same things or answering the same questions or coming up against the same problems when it comes to looking after yourself and preparing you and your skin for your big day, so with this post I will try to banish some of the worries out there…

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Steve Gower Photography

1. Don’t over do it

This is the most important one which is why I’ve decided to start with it. I’m a make-up artist who actually doesn’t like over doing it when it comes to make-up. It’s really important to be aware of your good points and your bad points and to make it clear on your trial what you do and don’t like about yourself. A good make-up artist will make you look like an enhanced version of yourself but not someone you don’t recognise when you look in the mirror. You need to walk down the aisle and know that the man waiting for you at the other end will be amazed by how wonderful you look and not slightly shocked by how much make-up you’re wearing, Don’t be afraid to say it’s too much if at your trial you feel overly made up. It’s good to be prepared so show your make-up artist some images of yourself with make-up on when you’ve felt good about yourself, it will help her/him build up a picture of what your comfort zone is. Don’t get my wrong it’s ok to push your comfort zone a litte just don’t over do it!


2. Go easy on the tan

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a tan on your wedding day, most brides do, but think very carefully about it and if you’re going for a spray tan allow it to build up slowly rather than going for one last minute really dark tan. Also try to avoid fake tanning your face. It’s really easy for your make-up artist to make your face match your body with bronzers etc but it’s really hard to hide dodgy tan lines where it’s gone a little bit wrong!!

If you want a real tan don’t take ANY risks, wear strapless clothing and a decent amount of sun protection when out in the un, the last thing you want is strap marks or to be a burnt bride!

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Bigeye Photography



3. Don’t change your skincare regime

No matter how much you feel like you want to, in the last 8 weeks running up to your wedding do not change your skin care regime. It’s far more likely to be detrimental than beneficial. Trust me!! If you want to do any thing then purchase a facial exfoliating sponge and use it with your current facial wash, it will help to remove dead skin and keep your skin smooth and clear.


4. Not planning your lip wear for the full day

A good make-up artist will talk about this with you but if you’ve decided to do your make-up yourself or she doesn’t raise it then ask yourself. As the minute she leaves it’s the one thing that usually needs a touch up on occasions throughout the day. I have a few rules I suggest all my brides abide by when picking their lip wear on the day.

1) Avoid lip gloss like the plague, it transfers on to everything you kiss and your hair and veil will stick to it too, plus it needs really regular touch ups

2) If you want to wear a lipstick then make sure you buy the lipstick your make-up artist uses so you can do touch ups on the day and then apply it using a lip brush and blot really well. Lipsticks are made to last 3-4 hours but if you don’t blot then they’ll come off easily in an hour or so.

3) If you don’t like lipstick then ask your make-up artist about a lip stain, this is a real favourite with a lot of my brides, it saves having to reapply lip colour throughout the day and gives you subtle wash of colour that will last and last. You can apply lip balm over the top which works well if you’re suffering with dry lips and feel the need for some moisture but it’s not absolutely necessary. Recommended lip stains are by Benefit, Benetint, Posie Tint and Cha Cha tint.

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Photo by Jake Houghton

5. Wearing too much foundation

Less is more! You really don’t need to pile on the foundation just because it’s your wedding day, in fact your skin will be able to give off it’s natural glow with much more ease if you apply one well applied thin layer of foundation over a good primer. Use bronzers and blushers to add contouring and allow your natural beauty to shine through. This will also avoid awful tear lines down your foundation. If you over do it the foundation with go with the tears.


6. Trying something new

You might feel that it’s your wedding day so you should treat yourself and try something you would never normally do or afford to do. This could be big false lashes, air brush make-up or contouring. Starting with each in turn I’ll explain why I don’t think this is a good idea.

False eyelashes can be really appealing on your wedding day and can give you lovely big fluttery lashes, but if you’re the sort of person who never wears them your wedding day isn’t the day to start. Why not try some individual lashes at the outer corners instead?

Airbrush make-up is a big trend at the moment, especially if you’re lucky enough to not need very much make up but be aware that unless you’ve worn it before and are used to it, it does have it’s disadvantages. If you don’t have the most perfect skin and need a thicker coverage this really isn’t for you. If there’s any kind of a smudge in the make-up from an accidental rub or something then it’s really hard to repair it. I would also advise that it’s not probably going to be suitable for the entire bridal party so take care when thinking of this as an option.

Contouring is really big at the moment, but remember this is true ‘at the moment’ you want a timeless look that when you look at your photographs in 10 and 20 years time you don’t regret going for something too ‘on trend’ of the moment. Contouring is something that can really add definition to your face but I would advise that in daylight (which most weddings are) it can look really harsh and over the top.

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Photo by Leah Millinship

7. Overdoing it on the eyes

Don’t go too dark on the eye make-up, think about choosing browns and greys instead of blacks, especially if you’re not a dab hand with eyeliner. Greys and browns are easier to blend and are much less over powering. Be careful of this if you have a very fair complexion, darker skin tones can take darker eyes with more ease.


8. Forgetting to look after your lips

Dry lips can be a real shame on your big day they can make lipstick look rough and feel uncomfortable, you may find you have no option but to wear a lip balm in order to make them feel better. If you can start to look after your lips in the 8 weeks running up using a good lip balm like Carex or any good lip care treatment on a regular basis. Avoid Vaseline, it blocks moisture from getting in rather than making them more moisturised. Buy yourself a cheap toothbrush and then before bed every night dry brush your lips in circular motions with a bit of lip balm for a couple of minutes. It will help to remove dead skin and make your lips feel really soft.


Ben and Molly Photo

9. Not wanting your eyebrows enhanced

Your eyebrows can make such an impact to the shape of your face, make sure you encourage your make-up artist to enhance them for you during your trial so you can get used to them if it’s something you don’t usually do. If it’s too much ask them to do it with less of an impact but don’t leave them bare they will need some kind of shape to them. Also finding someone who can shape them for you in the week running up, either via waxing or threading is a really good plan, make sure you get a recommendation though and try them at least once before the big day.

10. Dab don’t wipe

This is my biggest tip and the most important thing to remember, when you cry which you undoubtedly will, make sure you catch you tears and dab them away rather than wiping. Dabbing won’t take the make up away in the way that wiping will! Have your bridesmaids on hand with plenty of tissues throughout the ceremony, that’s what they’re there for.


I hope you’ve found this useful and if you think someone could benefit from reading this please feel free to share this with your friends!

Thanks for reading

E x

Anne-Marie and Ian’s vintage day

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I had to open this blog with this most stunning photograph of my bride Anne-Marie from her wedding morning back in early July. All the images in this blog were captured by the very talented Leah Photography.


Our story began back at the beginning of the year. I was busy chatting in the office of my full-time job as a Production Manager with a a colleague about my make-up business when the guy in the corner of the office who had been working on another production asked for more information about my wedding business. My confusion behind why he was asking was soon dispelled when he explained he was getting married later in the year and he knew his fiance hadn’t found her make-up artist yet. Like most women she wasn’t sure who to ask or where to start and was afraid of looking anything other than a more polished version of herself. I passed my website details onto Ian (the groom) with the hope that Anne-Marie might get in  touch and thankfully she did!
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On the morning of the wedding I’d made the 40 minute drive accross the River Severn to Wales and had pulled up in the hotel car park in  Cardiff ready to find my bride to be. I’d been told that she had atranged a suite for us to get ready in, but I had no idea just how huge the space was going to be and even though it was a very misty morning the view was utterly amazing.

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Check out the view – awesome! The bride doesn’t look bad either ey!!

Anne-Marie was a super calm bride, a doctor by trade this was going to be a walk in the park or at least that was the impression she gave.

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Wonderful dress and veil

The look we perfected for her in her trial was quite vintage in style. Anne-Marie has a stunning rosey complexion so no bronzer here. I went for pinky blusher to enhance her cheek bones and added High Beam by Benefit on the tops of her cheek bones to add even more definition.

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We chose a a mix of shades on her eyes. I started with Bourjois eyeshadow in Champagne as a base, then the Body Shop shimmer cube set in Warm 06. I used the peachy colour from this set lightly at the corners. I then used the ruby pink shade from the shimmer cube set 07 into the creases from the outer corners. I then used the grey shade from the 06 set gently into the outer corners. I ran the dark brown shadow along the lashline, I wet an eyeliner brush first then loaded up the brush before running along the lashline. I then added a thin line of Bobbi Brown Gel liner in Black ink and used the brides own mascara. Anne -Marie wore Revlon Lipstick in Cappuchino on her lips, a gentle shimmery coffee lip shade.

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Her mum was relatively shy when it came to the make-up application and so bravely put her trust in me to do what I felt was right. With this in mind I took a look at her outfit, a goldy grey coloured dress suit. I paired her eyemake-up to suit. I used a very light grey base shadow with a gold shimmer over the entire lid but very subtly. A small amount of brown liner and mascara was enough to finish this look. The lipstick was her own, a neutral brown shade.

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Anne-Marie’s bridesmaid were wearing beautiful dusky pink dresses. Jennie had bought an eyeshadow she wanted to use especially, Mac Smokey Mauve. It was fab, really shimmery and complimented the dresses perfectly. I enhanced this shade with a darker aubergine colour in the outer corners.

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Angana, also wore this shade, but I blended it with a lighter pink as she felt that it was a little dark for her. Angana wanted more of an eye flick than Jennie so with Bobbi Brown gel eye liner and a very fine brush I created a flick. Lashings of mascara finished off the look.

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Pretty ladies!

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All three looks worked so well together!

Congratulations to the new Mr and Mrs Hay it was a pleasure to be part of your day!

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Camilla and Keir ride into the sunset on a tractor!

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Where do I begin with this blog post? I guess at the start…

Camilla and I have been friends since sixth form, exactly when we moved from being just school mates to bosom buddies I’m not sure. But I always remember that Camilla was that popular girl with lots of friends and I wondered if I would ever get accepted into her circle… I’m glad to say I did. If I had to describe her in 3 words I would day, artistic, welcoming and indecisive! I love her for all her qualities including the indecisive one. I think it’s down to her artistic nature that she would rather mull over things and mental doodle about them rather than making a quick rash decision. This was my fourth stint as a grown up bridesmaid and I have to say when it came to planning her wedding she was very low maintenance. Anyone who knows Milla will find this surprising. Even packing for a weekend away takes hours so planning a wedding surely was going to tip her over the edge – but no, she kept calm and composed through out and only asked for help when she really felt she needed it. I think this had something to do with her groom Keir being so involved too. They really did organise it together as a partnership and that’s something they do every day in their general lives so it was nice to see if follow through into their wedding prep.

Before I get going I want to say a big thank you to Marcus from Big Eye Photography for letting me use his photographs in my blog. They’re fab and captured the whole feel of the day effortlessly. He was lovely to have around and I whole heartedly recommend him.

Camilla and Keir have been together for 10 years so when Keir finally popped the question whilst on holiday in Croatia last summer I think even though she thought it might be on the cards she was still very surprised, nice work Keir!

The wedding was to be held at Exford Church, this is where the Tucker family have been for years and so was a very easy decision, plus she had always wanted her reception on her parents farm just minutes away so this helped the decision. Soon enough planning was in full swing and being an art teacher Camilla had her students help her with a few details for the day. She’s a very popular teacher so naturally her students wanted to help her – lovely! I’ll show these artistic touches a bit later.

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The marquee supplied by Minehead Marquees
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The day before the wedding was soon upon us and we got to work beautifying the marquee. When we arrived the table centrepieces had just been delivered and we’re wonderful. The went for low level decorations so everyone could easily see eachother and were pastels colours to follow the general theme of the day. All the flowers for the day we’re produced by the extremely talented and regular florist featured on my Wendy Symes. 

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Flowers by Wendy, Copyright Big Eye Photography

As I mentioned previously she had incorporated a lot of work from her students into her day, here are a few examples…

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These were the table names, all the images handpainted by her students or by Camilla and Keir themselves.

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Once we finally dragged Milla out of the marquee on Friday night we all went for some food a glass of wine and a proper wind down. Once back at the farmhouse us girls piled onto Milla’s bed and Lucy (one of the bridesmaids) gave her a book she had been putting together over the last few months. She asked all Camilla’s hens and family to send photos and write something to go in the book. Baring in mind there were 23 of us on the hen do alone it was a HUUUGE book and just so lovely . I’m glad she gave it to her then because it had her in floods of tears and saving it for the wedding morning could have been a make-up write off!

After a relatively good nights sleep we were up bright and early and I was in hair for 7am and make-up for half past. We had discussed make-up the night before and decided on pale pinks on our eyes to compliments the dresses . So I just gave us all something similar but not identical as we were all slightly different in skin tones.

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Harriet (Camilla’s sister) having her false eyelashes applied.
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Building up the colour on Lucy with a bit of Shop Shop shimmer cubes.
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Marcus our very talented photographer happened to be passing the room when I was applying Lucy’s false eyelashes, now I don’t do this with every client but since we’ve been long term friends I asked her if she minded if I straddled her as it would make applying the lashes a lot easier. She didn’t seemed bothered by this until I lost my footing and ended up in her lap – so funny! Thank you Marcus you captured this perfectly!!

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I think I meant business don’t you!!
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Love you Lucy!
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There’s a long story with regards to Camilla’s make-up. Being a friend of Camilla for quite some years now and most of my friends have at some point or other taken advantage of my make-up skills for nights out, weddings, hen do’s Camilla is one that is always a little more challenging. She’ll absolutely admit this herself but her obsession with blue mascara and eyeliner is something I was going to have a real struggle to pull her away from on her wedding day, with many a conversation along the lines of… ‘I don’t suit black’ or ‘but please can I wear it’. Usually followed with ‘you’re just going to have to trust me on this one’. Thankfully she did 🙂

Her trial was on a Sunday morning following a night of BBQing and monopoly at their house (I know we’re so rock and roll). So after a healthy lie in we got to work on producing her perfect wedding look, or at least I hoped so. I’m not afraid to admit that this was one of my more nerve racking trial sessions. I decided I wanted something warm but with peachy undertones and browns closer to the lash line to add definition.  I originally steered clear of black liner and stuck to brown but as the look developed I very quickly realised it needed just an accent to add an impression of volume to the lashes and definition around her eyes. Using pinky / orangey tones on her very pale but beautiful skin and a soft pinky lip colour her look was complete. I nervously turned the mirror round and she had a look. Thankfully she seemed really pleased with it and her fears of losing the blue mascara seemed to be gone – phew! Apparently she felt like a china doll – I took that as a compliment!


On the day of the trial

On the day I got to work replicating her look, building up the shades and tones as I went. Her eyes had a total of about 8 different eye shadow colours, from beiges, to peaches working up the colour chart to dark browns to finish along the lashline. The only battle I had left to deal with where the soon to be Mrs Jones’ watery eyes (my nemesis) and the inevitable tears!

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Adding her base.
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Camilla wore Benetint on her lips to add colour that would last all day and then Mac Fanfare over the top. It worked a treat and she only needed a couple of touch ups!

Before the day Camilla had a treatment called LVL done to her eyelashes, it’s a process that lengthens and volumises your natural lashes and lasts for about 8 weeks. See more information here…  This is a great alternative to false eyelashes and will last well beyond your honeymoon too. I definitely recommend it, such a subtle but effective change.

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Just a bit more lippy!
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Zara was the saviour in the hair department, a previous hairdresser and now good friend of Camilla’s she was the obvious choice for the day. Zara works at Umberto Giannini in Worcester if you want to search her out! Zara designed Camilla’s beautiful hair style, following trialing something Mill’s thought she wanted she then asked if she could ‘give something a go’ and of course Mill’s loved it. It was very different to anything else I’d seen and just looked effortlessly glamorous and worked so well with the general look of the day.

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Zara popping in her hair slide from Bridezilla’s
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This photo shows the style beautifully
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Zara did a great job giving us all something different and unique to us.
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Camilla’s dress came from The Bridal Room at Broadway, I was lucky enough to be with her on the day she chose it. If you’ve never been to Broadway before you must go. It’s a beautiful little picturesque village in the Cotswolds. The Bridal Room is a gorgeous shop with just a handful of carefully selected dresses and accesories chosen by the owner of the shop Emma. She takes appointments only so make sure you book well in advance and will then give you a one on one very personal service. Offering you shoes, jewellery and views to try to help you imagine the finished look. Camilla was asked to pick 10 dresses she liked the look of she did that then Emma chose one she thought she should try. So following 10 dresses all of which ‘just weren’t right’ Camilla tried the dress Emma picked out and wow. That was it, regardless of the fact that it was 2 sizes too big for Camilla I think we both just knew this was THE dress. Following a lot of tailoring to remove A LOT of fabric to make it fit Mills, the dress was ready and it was breath taking. The tailoring gave her a fishtail style fitted her perfectly. These photographs show this…

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The dress…
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The veil was borrowed from her close friend from University, Chloe and was also her something borrowed.

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This beautiful hair slide came from a personal favourite place of mine for all thinks sparkly Bridezillas in Keynsham. Amanda is just brilliant she gives you a really personal experience with one on one time sat at a beautiful dressing table in front of a mirror trying all sorts of hair accessories before you find the right one.  Amanda hand makes many of the pieces so if something isn’t quite right she would happily custom make something for you. If you visit at the right time of day you might just get to see another wedding take place at the church across the road! All in all if you’re a bride in Bristol Brideszillas is a must visit place.

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Maple Hair Comb from Bridezillas
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Before we left there was just time for a couple of pictures by the pond – Camilla’s favourite spot on the farm…

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And so it was time for the off, we piled into Keirs parents awesome campervan for the short journey to the church, before he turned around and collected the bride and her Daddy…

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Camilla is so pretty in the photograph and I love the way her Dad is looking at her
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The service was lovely, a very personal service with a juggling vicar and a reading from Keirs sister Polly and Camillas university friend Sian but probably the most memorable and emotional was Harriet (Camilla’s sister) singing ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’. Just gorgeous and made even more poignant by the extreme nerves she had been feeling in the run up to it.


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Coming from a farming family it was only natural that the bride and groom should leave church via tractor. Complete with straw bale, rug, a bottle of fizz and some glasses!


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I must take a moment to show you the stunning bouquets, handmade by Wendy Symes, with beautiful pastel roses and incorporating brooches and pearls Camilla had collected in the run up to the day.

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Camilla’s bouquet
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Bridesmaids bouquets
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There were a few very personal touches they created for the marquee. On each table there were 2 cards each stating love is… now Keir is a primary school teacher and Camilla arranged for his pupils to write on the cards what they thought love is. So sweet and a lovely surprise for Keir.

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These bottles we’re filled with booze as favours for the boys and had lovely personal labels.

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Camilla and her friends made these beautiful clay hearts, all with different patterns and these were the favours for the girls.

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And a lovely surprise for some of us…we received personalised thank you cupcakes, mine had an image of Bert from Bert and Ernie 🙂

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Finally Nicola one of Camilla’s bridesmaids maid these fabric hearts which hung on the back of the chairs. So pretty. (The blue hat was from the hen party we returned them to everyone for the wedding).

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Once back at the marquee we filled our boots with Pimms, canapés and plenty of garden games they had put on for us plus a few special photo sessions requested by Mr and Mrs Jones. The food was lovely, a really yummy cold meats and salads style buffet followed by mini desserts on cake stands, all cooked and served by Paradise Catering. The bar was provided by a family friend and kept everyone well stocked in Jaeger bombs all night!

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The gorgeous cake fitted in perfectly with the style of the day and was made by Laura Milne who is Keirs cousin.

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The band we’re Dave Can’t Dance, a self confessed funk band and suited all age groups! A brilliant night was had by all!

Here are just a couple of my favourite photographs of the happy couple

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Congratulations Mr and Mrs Jones!

Products used on the new Mrs Jones

Benefit The Pore Professional Primer

L’Oreal Infalliable Foundation a mix of 15 + 125

L’Oreal True Match Powder in Ivory Rose

Body Shop Blush pot in Rose

Body Shop Blush pot in Peach

Bourjois Eyeshadow in Champagne

Maxfactor eyeshaow in Pale Pebble

Other shadow  makes used were Body Shop and Mac

Mac Eyeliner in Duck

Bobbi Brown Gel liner in Black Ink

Diorshow Waterproof mascara

Benetint as a base on the lips

Mac Lipstick in Shy Girl

Make-up Academy Fixing Spray