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

The proposal….

Now some of you I’m sure love a good proposal story and some of you would rather scratch your own eyes out, hence the very obvious title of this post. If you’re the latter then please feel free to continue browsing elsewhere, I won’t be offended. Putting this down in writing is a little selfish really as I’m worried that one day I might forget how special (and quite funny) it was. So here goes…

So it’s Valentines day, Tom doesn’t do V day and neither do I really but when he asked me if I could cancel my dinner plans with one of my closest friends as he wanted to take me away for the night I could hardly say no! And yes I did book dinner out with my friend on Valentines day… romantic huh! Anyway he picked me up from work and we raced or attempted to race through crazy Bristol traffic trying to get to Bath as apparently we had to be ready for dinner for 7pm, and well I need a good half hour at least in front of the mirror to spruce myself up for such an occasion. After me telling a story in the car about how someone had asked me if I was married yet and managed to have a row about the traffic we finally pulled up outside the beautiful Bath Priory Hotel. It was idyllic, apart from the storm brewing outside it was just perfect. We were then whisked upstairs to our room, ‘The Orchid Suite’ where champagne, flowers, chocolates, rose petals, the works was waiting for me. It’s safe to say I was a very happy bunny and had to of course show off the room as way of a facebook post to declare my excitement! This turns out, annoyed my future husband somewhat as the comments that followed seemed to know what was about to happen far more than I did…


After I finally turned my work email off and relaxed with my first of many glasses of champagne, it was time to go down for dinner. Little did I know that Tom was waiting for the right moment to pop the question and I ‘just had to reply to one more email, or I just need to top up my lippy’ sentences kept coming out of my mouth, it seems I’m pretty hard to surprise or so I thought! Now some might say didn’t you see it coming? You were in a beautiful hotel with the full valentines works and urm nothing??? Nope I really didn’t!

So we went down to dinner, where a 9 course Michelin star taster menu awaited! We do enjoy our food and especially a meal like this. It was just stunning, there were veloutes here and duck cooked in a water bath there, all washed down by a wine flight which is probably why the meal is all a bit of a blur now. Normally we like to photograph our food (yes we’re those annoying people) but being that our room was just upstairs and not wanting to be disturbed we left all technology in the room, and I can’t for the life of me remember what we ate, but it was delicious and we will be back (I hope).

After the most wonderful meal and a lot of giggles oh and another wedding related story that I threw in unknowingly (ooops!) we headed to the bar for a night cap before bed. Ended up chatting to an older couple from Weston-Super-Mare, they were very funny but slightly filthy so it mean’t we left pretty quickly!

Looking back I don’t quite understand why he made me /him wait so long but anyway! We went back to the room and I decided to take advantage of all the gorgeous products and the bath robe that comes with the room, so I unknowingly disappeared into the bathroom for what must have been at least 20 minutes! Sorry Tom! When I finally emerged make-up free, and moisturised up to the nines, he was sat on the huge bed with a glass of fizz in hand and the TV was off –  this was my first clue!!!

We had a bit of chat and he was being unusually nice (2nd clue), and then suddenly to me and what seemed like out of nowhere he said ‘Emily Faith Burt… will you marry me?’ He flung his arms around me and muffled my answer (yes) with his hugging! I couldn’t tell if the hug was relief or emotion but whatever it was it was so special. Suddenly I realised that he had held this secret in all night and I’d had no idea, he’d played a very good game. My friends and family will vouch that I’m not easy to surprise!

He then launched into this story about the ring. The ring? I’d totally forgotten that there’s supposed to be a ring. I’ve never been proposed to before so the fact that he didn’t do it with a ring hadn’t even occurred to me. Apparently he’d been to collect the ring during his lunch hour and the card reader in the shop wouldn’t read his card, bless him! He then had the agonising decision about whether to do it or not, after stiff words from my future mother and father-in-law, he decided to go ahead and I’m so glad he did. I really couldn’t care less that I had to wait, what turned out to be 14 hours for the ring. As the following day we went to the jewelers and managed to sort it. A beautiful single diamond solitaire set in white gold. Just what I had hope for and very me. The boy did good.



I always said ‘Tom will never propose to me on Valentines day’ I always thought he would desperately want to surprise me and well this was probably the only way to do it! It worked and I’m head over heels! Can’t wait to be Mrs Woolley!

I promise not to write lots of posts about my wedding, well much!!

E x

P.S As we drove away the following day he said, ‘so same time same place next year?’ I laughed, to which he answered, ‘no I’ve booked our room for next Valentines day’. Just gorgeous, I’m so lucky!


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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