Hannah Martin is one of the most respected bridal specialists in the British beauty industry. I love her intensely pretty make-up style, warmth and good humour. The first time we met, I was so excited I flew through the door of the Charlotte Street Hotel, face-planting into the wooden floor, ripping my tights and grazing my knees (leather pencil skirts are the enemy), before wiggling inelegantly through to the restaurant to meet her with burning cheeks and look of complete childish embarrassment. Many people in our industry would be mortified by such an entrance but we laughed so hard, I knew a friendship had begun.
I am prone to the odd hormonal break out, and it it has taken me several years to find products that ACTUALLY work to get rid of unsightly blemishes. This is the sort of post I wish I had read before spending a fortune on so much skincare. Having super clear skin is a combination of luck, lifestyle, hormones, happiness AND skincare. I have written all about my holistic 360 approach to skin. I recommend you read this post if you are suffering with your skin.
For a more “yeah just tell me what to put on my face” approach, keep reading… these blessings are made by the beauty skincare gods. I guarantee that if you have spots to try any one of them, you will most likely be delighted by the results.
Mascaras don’t come much more full-on than this one. Two coats will have your lashes blacker than Donald Trump’s soul, and longer than the list of people he offends.
I am late to the party with this highly coveted, top seller for YSL. Nic and Sam from Pixiwoo raved about this to me, so I decided to grab one… and see if it lived up to all the hype. My previous mascara loves are all tubing formulas, simply because I am really fussy about ZERO smudging. No panda eyes in the morning for me please. Some mascaras let you think you have removed your eye makeup, only to leave you with black smudgy peepers the next morning, à la Jack Sparrow. This is genuinely one of my biggest concerns, and I am thrilled to tell you that YSL Effect Faux Cils Mascara does NOT budge or leave panda eyes. Hurrah!
I’ve been meaning to tell you about my love affair with this product for MONTHS. When I run out of people to tell IRL, this is usually the tipping point where a product love becomes a blog post. My flatmate is now also a convert and my mother is perusing the NYX counters like a mad woman with a secret tip off. This brilliant product from NYX has really changed the way I look at “affordable” beauty products…
Colour technician, Despina Sianou was thrust into my consciousness by blogger Lydia Elise Millen… it was a YouTube video about her hair journey that got me interested in Despina’s magic. As top colourist in her own right (before any blogger hysteria), Despina cancelled all her bookings the day a sobbing Lydia walked into the salon; Lydia’s hair had been destroyed by henna box dye, after henna box dye, and a bad bleach job after that. 9 hours later, Lydia left the salon with her natural hair colour restored and condition dramatically improved. It takes some serious expertise to do this; few hairdressers will touch a frazzled head of hair. So, after stalking Despina on Instagram, I wanted to do nothing more than spend an afternoon watching her work. I have some very odd, meditative interests, and Instagram stalking balayaged hair is one of them (TBF some people like train spotting, so whatevs). The application, colour mix, hair knowledge, the finish… it’s a science, an art and form of beauty therapy combined into one highly skilled process.
This was such a beautiful wedding. The dress, the flowers, and blue velvet dog collars. My bride Jessie is a total natural beauty who wears little else but mascara on a day-to-day basis, and she wanted to look completely flawless but not overly made up on her big day – this is my most common brief. I take pride is doing exactly what the bride wants, aiming to create a look more beautiful than she had envisaged. Our shared love of Sensai 38 Degrees Volumizing Mascara and dogs, was a telling sign we were on the same page, and after a very successful trial, the big day was a huge makeup success with wide smiles all round.
Photography by Charlotte Bromley-Davenport
As a bridal artist, it is a big pleasure to participate in someone’s big day, and make it sparkle. When you look beautiful, you feel confident, this is what makes bridal makeup so special to me. It’s not just the actual makeup, but the emotional moment I have when a bride catches her reflection in the mirror and beams at me with elation, as if to say “YES! This is it!”. I feel a bit teary sometimes! No bride is truly ready to walk down the aisle until she feels gorgeous, and that’s my job. I absolutely love it.
The mother of the bride above, was apprehensive about having her makeup done. After a very specific brief to be natural, no foundation and focus on the eyes with a little liner and mascara. I created this look using By Terry light expert corrector, Sensai under-eye concealer, Laura Mercier neutral eyeshadows, NARS kholiner, Kevyn Aucoin black eyeshaow pushed into the lash line, several coats of Eyeko Bespoke Mascara, Delilah blush, Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight powder, Sunday Riley Translucent Powder and a mixture of Lipstick Queen and Stila lipstick. I am thrilled to say she was very happy with the final look!
Jessie’s final bridal look. We used Chanel base products, Kevyn Aucoin for subtle contouring (can you see it?), Sensai, Eyeko brows, Delilah and NARS.
Watching someone else do their makeup is one of the most oddly relaxing things for me to do. I return to these YouTube tutorial gems to help me get ready, time and time again. I’ve always been good at applying makeup, but the enjoyment and inspiration I get from following these videos, is enough to deserve its own blog post.
In no particular order, here are my favourite makeup tutorials on YouTube.
Minus the lashes… Emam here shows my most go-to makeup look. I bloody love a winged liner! She demonstrates how fresh and pretty this look can be when done with attention to detail:
I am going to let you into a little secret, or two little secrets – one is Eyeko Brow Boost and the other is Eyeko Brow Gel. After using these two amazing products, my brows have honestly never looked so good.
With Brow Boost, this is a little, never ending glass tube of tiny brow fibres – you literally brush it on in feathery strokes, with the velvety-tipped wand. I am thrilled to discover something completely new and dare I say it, revolutionary! When you have “done” brows, to my discerning, trained eye, they are either a bit too pencilled in and require a lot of combing through with a spoolie to soften any hard lines. Pot of gel pomade? Too blocky and they bounce the light in a harsh way due to wax and intense pigment. If they are neither liney, nor blocky, then the classic eye shadow applied with a slanted brush is just as fiddly and can so easily look false. I’m not about obviously done brows. Strong? Yes. Fake? No. I’m a tough one to please!
Chanel foundations have always performed beautifully on my skin. I ploughed through more bottles of the sadly discontinued Prolumiere foundation, than I could afford as a student, and then rebounded, only to fall madly, deeply in love with Vitalumier Aqua. The Les Beiges Healthy Glow Fluid is an essential base I always carry in my kit and use for brides – Mary Greenwell’s sterling recommendation, after personally posting one to me. I have MAD love for Chanel bases, they are truly wonderful. You can imagine how excited I have been about this highly anticipated launch!
Stila is one of those beauty brands that often falls off my radar, for long periods of time. Every now and then I discover something new and make a mental note to try more of their products! Their Convertible Colour in Petunia was my first ever blusher, received at the age of 13. Naturally, I applied enough to grout an entire bathroom.