Naomi and Ally did it their way!


Mr and Mrs Strachan
Copyright Ben and Molly Photography

I’ve known Naomi for just over 4 years now, she’s one of those people who’s always got a MASSIVE smile on her face and actually brightens up a room by just walking into it. You’ll see this from the photos…

Before I get going I must say a massive thank you to Richard Hanmer from Ben and Molly  for the beautiful photographs included in this blog.

Naomi and Ally have been together for donkey’s years! Having met at university their love blossomed and they just one of those couples who are so obviously made for one another. They wanted their wedding to tell a story of their joint love of food, booze and generally having a good time! Being half Chinese there was always going to be Chinese elements thrown into the day and this was a new experience for most of their guests but I’ll tell you more about this later. The reception /wedding weekend as it turned out to be, was held at Symondsbury Manor  near Bridport in Dorset. Nay being from Dorset herself it only felt right to return there. The manor suited their very specific needs perfectly. They wanted a big house for in Naomi’s words ‘a 3 day party’. They had it from Friday – Monday and we’re able to really relax there and make it their own and that they definitely did.


Copyright Ben and Molly Photography

I arrived at the super early time of 7.15am, unloaded my hoards of make-up and rushed through to see the bride who was bouncing off the walls with excitement – this is no exaggeration!! We had to start early because this bride had two outfits and two hair do’s to create, all in aid of the chinese elements which started at 10am sharp. I got on with getting the bridesmaids, Beth, Harry and Katie ready followed by Naomi’s mum Yee Tak. They were all involved in the Chinese games.


Excuse the thinking face!!! This Beth having her make up done
Copyright Harriet Hoare

The bridesmaids were wearing Coast dresses in an aubergine colour, As all the girls were quite different in colourings and looks I gave them somethign similar but varied the depths of colour. Beth gave me free reign to do what ever I wanted – love her! I went for a a soft cream with lilac tones and then used a rich dark purply blue into the outer corners to add depth. I used a neat line of gel eye liner to add definition and then plenty of Diorshow Waterproof mascara to finish. The girls all wore a Make-up academy lipstick in shade 7, a rich raspberry shade. Katie wore somethign similar to Beth but not as strong eye liner but still a strong dark purple into the corners to help to add shape. Harriet is not as confident with make-up as the other girls so I gave her something feminine but avoided masses of liner and colour so not to over do it.


Katie being dolled up!
Copyright Harriet Hoare


The idea behind the games is for the groom to show the brides family his worthiness to marry the bride. The bridesmaids set him challenges such as… Ally had to say I love you in 10 different languages, 10 push ups with claps, 10 countries beginning with A and cities beginning with N, to name a few and finally he had to write a list of promises which Naomi had to accept before she left her boudoir to see him, dressed in her Chinese finery.


The beautiful bride
Copyright Ben and Molly Photography

Naomi’s eye make-up consisted of a thin layer of L’oreal Infallible foundation, and true match powder, she has some lovely natural tones in her skin so covering her in foundation seemed sacrilege. I added a pinky colour to her cheeks using Bourjious little pots of colour and definition to her eyebrows with the Body Shop eyebrow kit 03. The look we decided on for her eyes was a very feminine and quite colourful purple shade, Naomi has always loved purple and it seemed to work well with both her Chinese outfit and her traditional gown. I used the Lily Cole purple eyeshadow set from the Body Shop. Starting with a very light pink over the entire base up to the eyebrow. I added a lilac over the top slightly dampening my brush to make the shadow stronger and longer lasting. I finished with a rich aubergine in the corners to add depth of colour and shape to the eyes. I finished with black Bobbi Brown gel liner along the top lashline and mac eyeliner in black along the lower lashline. I always add a bit of shadow under the eyeliner, it stops the liner from moving and blends the look together well. The mascara I used was Diorshow Waterproof (of course). Her lips had two shades, the first shade was Make Up Academy Lipstick in Shade 2 which is a rich brown, red and then I used Make Up Academy Lipstick in Shade 6.


The bridesmaids being given money by the groom – a chinese tradition
Copyright Ben and Molly Photography

The next part of the day was the Chinese tea ceremony, where Naomi and Ally served tea to their parents. This I know was quite emotional for Nay, lovely to see just how important these cultural elements are to her.


The bride in her finery with her lovely Mummy!
Copyright Ben and Molly Photography

After the ceremony was over it was time for our Chinese bride to change into her more traditional English wedding gown and a quick hair change. Naomi and the bridesmaids hair was done by a family friend Charlie. I took the time to give her a few touch ups where the tea tears had got in the way and we changed her lip colour and she was ready to go. Her bridesmaids helped her to the registry office whilst we all awaited her arrival on what was by now one of the hottest days of the year!!!


Off to the registry office!
Copyright Ben and Molly Photography

The ceremony was lovely, to see two people so utterly perfect for each other tie the knot was quite emotional. Not that Naomi’s grin ever left her face – love her! See below the picture of the happy couple hi-fiving when it was pronounced that they were husband and wife!!


Love it!
Copyright Ben and Molly Photography

Naomi’s Chinese dress came from Hong Kong, and her traditional gown was a Maggie Sottero from Allison Jayne in Bristol. She had not 1 but 3 pairs of shoes, well she couldn’t decide!!! Her red pair was a pair of Christian Louboutins she already owned, the gold pair were Carvela Kurt Geiger called Attitude and the purple pair were called Coldfeet in the Nine West sale. Her hair piece came from a bridal shop in Hong Kong which her Auntie brought over with her.


Copyright Ben and Molly Photography

Back at the marquee the fairy godmother of weddings had been working her magic styling her little heart out. It was beautiful, and I know having the wonderful Kirsten from The Little Wedding Helper there really took Naomi’s mind off it on the morning and was one less thing to worry about. Money well spent. Here’s some of her styling…


Copyright Ben and Molly Photography


The tables had subtle Chinese elements amongst country wedding style elements

The food was fab, a tapas style meal, it was of a very high standard and there was plenty of it! Yum Yum! The canapes and main day food was cooked and served by Heather at The Foodie Queen.


Copyright Ben and Molly Photography


Copyright Ben and Molly Photography

The very delicious dessert table was put together by friends and family, really hard to chose what to have believe me! The naked lemon sponge cake was by James at Ivy Lilly Cakes.

The rest of the day was spent eating and drinking more, including barrels of local cider and stir fried noodles made by their friends Candy and Kim. It was a really relaxed and fun wedding with 2 very special people. We partied into the night, playing on the coconut shy, pulling stupid faces in the photo booth and dancing to our hearts content to The Jackson 3,  a local band in Dorset.


Me and tother half!
Copyright Ben and Molly Photography

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Strachan! I just wanted to share these 2 further photographs with you because I think they’re gorgeous! Nice one Rich!


Copyright Ben and Molly Photography


Copyright Ben and Molly Photography

Naomi had a few thank you’s to make:

Wow, everyone needs a big thanks. All our parents for their constant support and help, James for doing the pasty run, being the MC on the day and generally keeping our glasses topped up with alcohol throughout the weekend! Our amazing friends Pete and Rich for running/sprinting out to get ipod speakers at the last minute for the registry office and making it back in time, Tim and his team at Oakleaf Marquees for being so efficient, great to deal with and managing to drive the lorry up the driveway – very impressive! Kirsten for making everything look so beautiful, Peter and Sally at Symondsbury Manor for being so accommodating and letting us get on with it, Candy and Kim for very kindly cooking the noodles in the evening and Candys help in the tea ceremony, Clio, Allie, the mum’s and my sister Katie for staying up late the night before to fill all the jam jars with flowers and make the button holes etc, Stu, Euan and the dad’s for lifting the kegs of  cider and beer and putting up the lights. The bridesmaids for being well just blimming amazing, Kev Jackson and his band for getting everyone on the dance floor and keeping us there all night. Charlie who did my hair in 2 different styles and did all the girls’ hair too – she can work wonders with some rollers and kirby grips and of course all our friends and family for making the journey down to Dorset. 

Naomi very kindly said:

Choosing Emily to do my makeup, my bridesmaids and my mum’s was a very easy decision to make.  Having been friends for a few years now and been on nights out where she had done my make up before, I knew my face would be in very capable hands.  I was that adamant I wanted Emily to do my make up we even chose our wedding date to fit in with her availability!

We had a great and perhaps unique trial where I asked Emily to do 2 different looks at the same time! I couldn’t decide whether I wanted a more ‘bridally’ look or something a bit different and glitzy and shimmery, so at my request she did one eye in one look and the other in another.  I did look a bit bizarre but it was great to see how different they both were and to compare each one side by side.  I loved both looks but ended up deciding on the more bridal looking one, and going a bit more natural.

On the day itself Emily was brilliant to have around, joining in with the fun and laughter but getting on with the job at hand.  All the girls and my mum loved their makeup and looked beautiful and said how nice it was to be pampered.  I loved my look too and it had immense staying power considering all the tears that were shed (from happiness!), how hot it was and the moves that were being busted out on the dance floor.

To sum it all up, you won’t regret choosing Emily as your make up artist.  She’s a true professional with an easy-going and fun manner and she’ll make you look and feel a million dollars.  Thank you! xx

The double eye flick…

Just a quickie to show you the make-up I went for yesterday…

Double eye flick

I wanted something quick but long lasting as I had a busy day of a road trip to Weston-Super-Mare, gardening and we planned a sunset picnic and I didn’t really want to be touching my make up, up all day.

Face: Make Up Academy Brightening concealer, I used Maxfactor Lasting Performance foundation in Natural Beige, applied with a foundation Brush, more concealer where it was needed (I’ve not got the best skin at the moment), finally True Match pressed powder in Golden Beige.

Cheeks: Make Up Academy Mosaic Bronzer in Sunkissed Glow – love this! Such a bargain at just £2.50 and gives the best contouring!

Eyebrows: Body Shop brow kit 03

Eyes: Mac Peek at you eyeshadow over the entire lid up to the brow, applied with Mac eyeshader brush 239 – this shade gives a bit of a glow without wearing full eyeshadow. Mac Brown Eyeliner under the eye for a less harsh look. Maybelline Gel Eyeliner in Brown. Again I love this product it comes with a brush and as you can see from the picture has a slight shimmery bronze look to it. It’s really easy to apply with the brush in small strokes. I went for the double eye flick look. Simply start with the lower flick on each eye, as big or as small as you want, using the brush and gently flicking it outwards. Use a cotton bud to mop up any mistakes. Then follow the line of the eye further up to add your 2nd flick. It’s really feminine and girly, and almost gives the illusion of fluttery lashes from afar! Give it a go it’s not that hard honest!

Lips: As it was the day time I went for a simple lip light lip colour. I’m loving Revlon Cappuccino Lipstick at the moment, the shine on it is great and it’s really long lasting. Apply a liner (I went for Maxfactor Mauve Moment) use this generously along the edges of your lips and blend into your lips gently with a brush avoiding smudging the outer line. The fill in your lips with the lipstick with a lip brush and blot well. Your lipstick should last you a good 4 hours.

Of course this could be made into an evening look by switching the brown liners for black, enhancing the flicks to make them bigger and a bolder lip!

E x


Make-up Tips – The wonderful world of eyeliner…

Ok so this blog has been a long time coming, many of you have asked for advice on applying eyeliner and particularly more daring eyeliner. So when my lovely (hopefully one day) sister in law Katy offered to model for me I took her up on the offer straight away. I find it really tricky and time consuming to photograph myself and what’s more Katy has a brill camera so it makes it soooo much easier.

Anyway down to business. You need the right tools for the job and it can be a bit of a  mine field with so much choice and options so I thought I would explain each one and how to get the best from each.


Eyeliner Pencil – Recommended Benefit Badgal waterproof eyeliner

The eyeliner pencil is the most common eyeliner around and I would imagine almost everyone woman has one of these in their make-up bag. A good pencil eyeliner can produce most eye looks but you have to know how to use them. I use pencil eyeliner everyday. I line my upper and lower lashlines with the pencil liner and use a smudger (Badgal comes with one on the other end) to blend it in. This reduces the chance of it smudging later in the day and helps to avoid any flaking. By applying eyeliner along the upper lashes makes the lashes look thicker and fuller at the base. If you have small eyes be careful not to apply eyeliner all the way around your eyes as it will make them look smaller.


Liquid eyeliner – Recommended – Body Shop liquid eyeliner

Liquid eyeliners are for those with a steady hand, as you need to work in straight sweeping lines accross the eye. It doesn’t work so well on more wrinkly eyelids either so that’s worth remember. Liquid eyeliner should always be applied after eyeshadow as any eyeshadow on top will dull it. The brush works into a tip and helps to make a very neat flick for cat eyes!


Felt tip liners – Recommended – Maybelline New York Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner

I personally don’t get on with felt tip liners, but I know lots that do. Again they require a steady hand, but are slightly easier to use than standard liquid eye liners. The felt tips tend to be a thinner liquid and so you can apply it in more layers if you want a deeper colour. It’s also good for creating a good flick.


Gel Eyeliners – Recommended  Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner

I’m a recent convert to gel eyeliners. Specifically Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner, you do need a extra fine brush to go with it in order to create the best looks. The beauty of gel eye liner is it creates the look of a liquid without the difficulty of applying it. It’s a lot easier to apply because you can add small strokes and build it up gradually rather than needing a really steady hand. It’s imperative you keep your brush clean for doing this though as when it drys it flakes and makes the brush rock hard so it’s important to wash your brush between uses for the best results.

For any eye look you need to apply a base. Apply your foundation and blusher as normal and shape your eye brows. Think about the kind of look you’re going for. If you want to apply full on eye liner then keep the eyeshadow simple and not too overpowering, less is more! I’ve started with a simple base of Bourjois eyeshadow in creamy beige. It’s a great base to use as it has a slight shimmer which has a brightening effect. Apply it all over the lid blending upwards towards the brow.

For starters

A simple base is best!

All of the following looks have been created using Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner and Bobbi Brown Extra fine brush. For a daytime, easy to apply liner load your brush with make-up and lift the lid upwards and outwards to create a flat surface to work on and run the brush along the lash line. Start no further in than where your lashes start and this line should be at it’s thinest point in the corner of the eye increasing gently in thickness as you work outwards.

Look 1

For the beginner

A thin line along the upper lashes will help to give the illusion of extra volume in your lashes

for beginners part 2

By using the brush you can blend easily and ensure the line is straight and fully covered with make-up

Look 2

The second look I’ve created is again a look you could easily where during the daytime, but if you’re not overly confident with make-up then it could be a night time look too.


Increase the thickness of the line and work outwards and gently upwards to create the flick

small flick

Use the end bristles of the brush loaded with gel eye liner to create a neat flick

Look 3

Ok so we’re getting a little more confident now. This look is a little bolder and the focus is on a cute little flick in the corners.

Work the flick upwards for a smal winged look

Use the end bristles of the brush curving upwards to create a cute flick and make sure the line above the lashes joins it neatly

Increase the flick to make it a little more cat eyed

I think you’ll agree this is pretty cool and easily worn with a bolder eyeshadow if you wish! 🙂

Look 4

This look is very similar to look 3 but a little bolder. I’ve widened the eyeliner from the start and made the end flick a little thicker.

small winged

Also known as a winged eye!


This is my version of this on me! Got a lot of compliments on this day!

Look 5

This is one of my favourites. This time I lost the flick and drew a line from the end of the previous flick to 2 thirds of the way along the line and filled in the gap! A confident eye look for sure but love it!

Join the dots for a full wing look

Aka the Winehouse eye!

Look 6

The full eye flick. This look helps to make small eyes look bigger. Working outwards instead of upwards and when you open your eyes it turns into a cat eye! Love it!


Its easy to create because its a straight line, just remember not to add too much of an angle

428 (2)

An elegant outward flick. Adding glamour without lots of eyeshadow.

Look 7

Not sure how to name this look as it took it’s own way as I was building it up – names welcomed but I like it. It has an awesome curl effect. Only really suitable for tight eyelids as any excess lids can make the shape look strange once eyes are open.


Keep the liner thin up until the centre of the eye then work upwards and gently on a 45 degree angle outwards

Ok so that’s my lot for now. Is there something I’ve missed would you rather a step by step approach to applying eyeliner rather than a range of looks. Tell me! I’d love to hear from you.

E x