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For the bride to be…

If you are getting married soon, the chances are you’ve thought about hiring a makeup artist for your big day. There are pros and cons to doing it yourself and to hiring a professional. Doing it yourself is cheaper and is a great option if you are getting married abroad. However, hiring a makeup artist will help you feel pampered and take some stress out of the ‘getting ready’ process. Whichever you decide, this blog will help you navigate bridal makeup and the key things you will have to decide on.

First, what is your style? Are you a total bare-faced babe Monday to Sunday? Or are you someone who won’t leave the house without your brows drawn on? Whatever your day-to-day look is, you want to feel special on your big day, but you don’t want to look so far from your ‘norm’ that it freaks you out! You want to look like the best version of yourself, that is where you will feel at your most comfortable and this is what you should discuss with your makeup artist. Personally, I like to ask my clients to show me a picture of themselves where they really loved the way they looked. Then I ask them to show me a picture of some bridal makeup that they love and would like to try. This is where I first draw inspiration from and that is a good starting point.

False lashes are one of the first decisions you’ll be asked about. First, let’s cover your options:

  • No false lashes- use some eyelash curlers followed by lashings of mascara. Very natural look.
  • Temporary individual eyelashes- small clusters of 3-4 lashes can be glued on with normal eye lash glue to the lash line. These look natural and are easily removed the same as strip lashes.
  • Strip lashes- come in a variety of lengths, thicknesses and brands. They are glued down in a strip to the lash line and can be removed easily. They are for brides who want more of a glam look or wear them day to day anyway.
  • Eyelash extensions- these lashes are called a variety of names: mink lashes, Russian lashes, permanent lashes, but they are all the same technique. These must be applied by a professional beautician and last for several weeks. They will fall out sporadically after 2-3 weeks and can be ‘infilled’ or ‘topped up’ by a beautician. You can also go to a beautician to get them all removed. These are a great option if you are going on honeymoon straight after your big day.

If you still are unsure what option will suit you best, try them out. Wear some lashes for a day for the same duration as you will be wearing them on your wedding day. If your eyes won’t stop watering, they slide off or feel uncomfortable, chances are they aren’t for you. However, wearing lashes is something you must get used to, so if you do want to wear them but have all these difficulties, persevere and you will become a pro. Same goes for application- practice makes perfect. If you are planning on gluing them on yourself make sure you practice a lot and if you want a makeup artist or a friend to do it, allow them to practice several times before the big day too.

What to wear on your lips another important decision to make. You want a perfect pout, but you also want to be able to romantically smooch your new hubby without covering each other in makeup! Here are some options:

  • Liquid-matte lipstick- You’ll need to try a few different ones out. They should hold throughout kissing and drinking but will require re-application after eating. Quite a glam, full-coverage lipstick.
  • Lip-gloss- A soft lip-liner paired with a gloss is a great option to give your lips a natural shine. Make sure it’s not a sticky one!! Not noticeable when it comes off and easy to re-apply.
  • Satin Lip Stick- Avoid!! This will come off when kissing, drinking and eating.
  • Lip Stain- My go-to product is Benetint by Benefit. It’s a bridal favorite! You put a few coats on to make it as light or dark as you want the colour to be. Then you add a nice balm on top, just a Vaseline or a tinted stick of balm will do. Keep topping the balm up throughout the day, which is very easy to do and the colour will stay. This is a natural look and it won’t smudge or come off.

I’ve had a few brides who have found it hard to find a natural bridal colour for their lips as their natural lips are quite red or pink in colour. If this applies to you, you need to find a colour that either matches your natural lip colour or go for a simple stain or gloss. (See above)

Foundation is hard to get right on any given day, let alone on your wedding day! Here are some things to know:

Ordinarily I’m a massive advocate of sunscreen, (just read my last blog post!) However, on your wedding day, (it’s literally the only day in your life I would tell you to do this) avoid foundations with SPF built-in or additional sunscreen on your face. Unfortunately, they’re just not photo friendly! The bulky particles within the composition of SPFs don’t always sit smoothly on the skin but more importantly, are a nightmare with cameras. When the camera flashes, the zinc molecules in SPF reflect the light, causing skin to look white and ghostly. For the sake of good pictures, forgo the sun protection and just stay out of direct sunlight if it’s a gloriously bright day.

My ultimate bridal foundation recommendation is the crème de la crème of cult favourites. Giorgio Armani’s dearly beloved foundation has been praised by editors, makeup artists and celebrities for years—and with good reason. Pros: Micro-fill technology, weightless texture, has an iconic silky finish and it doesn’t have SPF! Cons: It’s light to medium coverage, which isn’t even a con if natural is what you are going for! Perfect for mature, young, dry or sensitive skin types.

That brings me onto my second recommendation which is Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty Foundation. Fenty’s epic foundation made waves last year when the brand set the new gold standard for shade diversity, but this foundation without SPF also set the gold standard for super-flattering application and wear. Offering medium to full coverage and a plush matte finish, climate adaptive technology also ensures sweat and humidity resistance and an airbrushed result. This will be more suitable for a bride with rosacea, oily, or blemished skin.



A few more foundation top tips:

  • Wear a smoothing primer underneath (Recommend Porefessional by Benefit)
  • Apply it with a beauty blender, not a brush. (Promotes even application and no brush strokes)
  • Test in advance to make sure you have the correct shade.
  • Test shade AFTER you have trailed a spray tan if that’s your thing!
  • Blend into your neck!!!
  • Take some photos of yourself with it on, out in the natural light, to get a good idea of how it sits on your skin.
  • Try wearing if for a whole day and see how well it lasts for you.

Another factor to contemplate, is that you will have photos of your wedding day forever and styles will change. The more classic your look, the more it will stand the test of time. Winged liners and cut-creases are fashion trends that will eventually date your look. There is nothing more beautiful that a natural looking bride. This doesn’t mean you can’t play around with your look though! Match your blush to your bouquet, or your lips to his tie. Little hints of colour here and there will be picked up by your photographer and will be more subtlety appreciated than a smokey eye or a scouse brow!

At the end of the day you want to feel comfortable and a more polished version of yourself and your makeup is so important in helping you do that. And don’t forget, The Beauty Umbrella is on hand if you should need some help!

Here are some beautiful brides we’ve helped!…

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The Truth About Sun Cream.

Whether you live in Scotland or Singapore, sunscreen needs to be a part of your daily skincare routine. Sunscreen protects against solar radiation, in particular UVA and UVB rays. Other forms of radiation include infrared and high-energy light and some creams will protect against these also. Many people think that they only need to wear sunscreen in the summer, which could not be further from the truth. On cloudy winter days there is still ultraviolet radiation from the sun and up to 80% of ultraviolet light can penetrate clouds.

The two main repercussions of not wearing sunscreen are simple- skin cancer and premature ageing. Ever heard the phrase prevention is better than cure? Well in this case it’s cheaper too! Anti-ageing products don’t come cheap and a very small percentage of them are proven to be effective.

“Altruist Dermatologist Sunscreen SPF 50 is my family favourite, as my partner has very sensitive skin.”

When looking for a good sun cream, it’s important to understand what the numerical values mean. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is simply a measure of the ability to protect against UVB radiation. UVB damages the outer layers of the skin, (which we know all too well is called sun burn) and is very painful and uncomfortable… not to mention bad for you. The SPF is a theoretical multiplier of the amount of time you can stay in the sun without getting burnt. So if your unprotected skin starts to go red in 10 minutes in the sun, an SPF 20 will theoretically allow you to stay outdoors for 200 minutes. Understand? So, twenty times the original duration of ten. Factors can contribute to this figure being inaccurate, such as what condition your skin is in, distance from the equator, altitude, time of year and the most common factor- people simply not putting enough on! Then you have to remember that swimming, clothes coming on and off and towels will rub the cream off, so regular re-application has to be maintained.

With that in mind, please read this bit because it’s important! Using an SPF 30 will not provide twice as much protection as using SPF 15, the same as a factor 20 is not twice as good as a factor 10.

  • SPF 15 blocks about 93% of UVB
  • SPF 30 blocks about 97% of UVB
  • SPF 50 blocks about 98% of UVB

So as you can see, there is very little difference between an SPF 30 and an SPF 50. There is also no sunscreen that gives 100% protection against the sun. Another common myth about sunscreen is that you won’t get a sun tan if you wear it. This is not true. You will get a tan, and it won’t make a difference if you are wearing factor 15 or factor 50- as we’ve just proven there isn’t much in it. So slap on factor 50 if it does the same thing and enjoy being able to stay out in the sun longer than you could if you had only put a factor 15 on! In essence, the lower the factor, the more you will have to re-apply to stay safe. Some people tan quickly, some don’t. Don’t put yourself at risk to rush something that will come at its own natural pace. (I promise to do a blog post on fake tan very soon!)

SPF also never gives you any indication whether a sunscreen is also offering you protection against UVA. UVA rays penetrate the skin deeper than UVB and are the rays typically associated with ageing of the skin. Sunscreens sold in the EU have a ‘star rating’ for UVA or ‘UVA logo’ on the label. It is becoming more common now for sunscreens to contain both UVA & UVB protection so always go for that option where possible. In the UK, whilst UVB levels fluctuate with the seasons, UVA remains relatively static throughout the year. UVA can also penetrate windows so if you spend a lot of time driving or sitting by a window it’s worthwhile wearing sunscreen all year round.

“This is my everyday facial sunscreen, it’s hard-core sun protection but dries quickly.”

Moving on to your face. You want to make sure you are wearing a minimum of SPF 15 with UVA cover, on your face everyday. SPF 15 is fine for those with olive or darker skin types and SPF 30 is suitable for most white, Caucasian skin. Very fair, pale skin could benefit from increasing to an SPF 50. Lots of products such as moisturiser and foundation have SPF added, as you have probably already noticed. However, the truth is that most of us do not use enough of our cosmetic product to achieve the same SPF as a sunscreen alone. Generally living in the UK, combined products are fine to use in the winter, but come summer switching to using a separate sunscreen is a must.

If you regularly exfoliate or you work outdoors, you are definitely better off with a separate, regular sunscreen. If you spend more than twenty minutes a day outside or live nearer the equator, the same applies. If you do exfoliate regularly, always remember to do it at night and not in the morning. If you scrub off all the dead skin cells in the morning, your skin is fresh and more vulnerable to burning and being damaged in the sun.

  • Oily skin types should opt for sunscreens with a matte finish and light gel or fluid texture
  • Dry skin types should opt for rich creams and balms
  • Sensitive skin types might find sunscreens with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are better than those with chemical filters.

Sunscreen is the last skin care product applied before makeup. Sunscreen goes on AFTER moisturizer. You should use about half a teaspoon of product to your face and neck. This needs to dry for three to five minutes before applying primer or foundation. So slap some on and go and brush your teeth- that’s what I do!

Thanks for reading this blog! Sun protection is something I think is so important to educate our children and ourselves about! I get most of my scientific knowledge and research from what I learnt during my degree and also from reading The Skincare Bible by Dr Anjali Mahto, a UK dermatologist. Please like, share and learn!!

*Due to the nature of today’s blog, here is a ‘no makeup selfie’ with my crew enjoying the sun, with little Esme laying on the cuteness factor 50!!