Monday, 12 December 2011

A lovely sunny day in July....

So I've been away for a while- well not actually away but what with Christmas fast approaching my days and evenings have been filled with work, shopping, work and a bit more shopping... with a few nights out in between. I thought I would make my return by posting a beauty blog with a difference. My other passion is wedding planning, I have been taking a distance learning course in it, though my most valuable training and experience was planning my own, I was meticulous down to the very last detail, along with some help from some very talented people along the way. So without further ado I present my own personal masterpiece.... mine and Matthew's wedding day 30th July 2011!

Yvette Craig Photography has very kindly provided all the amazing photos for this post.

My inspiration for the colour scheme and the looks that brought the whole day together came from my amazing shoes, which were from Office. I fell in love with them on their website and rushed in to their Carnaby Street store to try them on. I wanted shoes I would wear again, had a vintage feel and had an amazing heel on them. These fitted the bill perfectly!

My dress and veil were both from David's Bridal. My dress was from the Galina Signature collection and again was just perfect for the look I was after. It was so easy to wear and had beautiful vintage beading around the waist. The veil was edged with Swarovski crystals

For my hair I didn't want a traditional bridal up do- nor did I want to leave my hair as I would normally wear it. In the end Annette Young of Annette's New Hair Care took inspiration from two photos I showed her- one of Dianna Agron at the Golden Globes (which I previously mentioned in this blog post) and the other was a look Anna Paquin wore to the SAG awards. My bridesmaids all wore their hair in the same style as although I had chosen three individual dresses for them, I wanted their hair to keep some continuity to their looks. They had fresh white freesia's on wire in their hair. However when it came to their make-up, I allowed my wonderfully talented friend and former colleague Amanda Bell to work her magic and she created looks for them all which suited them perfectly.

For my own make-up I gave Amanda a brief that I wanted to looks like I was wearing make-up and for it to be subtle and smokey without looking "overdone". I personally knew I was not a 'natural' bride as I love to wear make-up particularly experimenting with colour on my eyes and lips. My only other condition was that my skin looked fresh and glowing. For me it was perfect. I wore Chanel Vitalumiere for my foundation and Amanda used strip lashes trimmed down to suit my eyes perfectly. Everything worked together and the whole looks I felt was fresh, pretty, romantic with a touch of vintage.

Here is my gorgeous flower girl Lily. Her mum embellished a plain monsoon headband and shoes and added diamante and small flowers to fit in perfectly with the rest of my theme.  
Here is the whole bridal party together. Our flowers were by Jo Moody of Moody Blooms, who created structured hand tied but beautifully 'natural' looking bouquets. My bouquet was made up of Sweet Akito pale pink roses, pale blue Scabiosa and white Freesia, Viburnum or Alchemilla Mollis, lavender foliage, mid blue Veronica & Variegated looped China grass. The girls all had a scaled down version of my own. Lily had a silver wand with a pale pink rose to match the main flower used throughout the wedding.

For my something old, borrowed and blue I wore my mum's garter that she wore for her wedding, with a sixpence tied to my garter (rather than wearing it in my shoe). My something new was my beautiful jewellery from Blue Pearl.

We got married aboard the HMS Gannet in Chatham Dockyard and the weather was amazing, we couldn't believe our luck! It added that extra special sparkle to the day!

And not forgetting the boys! They all wore suits from Slaters Menswear, with pink Sweet Akito rose buttonholes.
Above are my four bridesmaids walking to the ship. They wore dresses from both 'Light in the' and 'Coast', and on the left is my entrance! A wonderful surprise for both myself and Matt. We later had a tour round the Dockyard with a glass of champagne. Pure glamour!

We got married on the top deck of the HMS Gannet and after the vows we were both quite relieved to have finished them without messing them up! I had two of my best friends do a reading each to personalise our ceremony. We also hired a String Quartet- Status Cymbal to play not only my entrance music but music during the signing of the register and our drinks reception on the ship. They also played back at Commissioners House during the wedding breakfast; a touch which everyone commented on how lovely it was.

 My cake was created by Helen Brown of Helen Brown Cakes. I chose a fruit top tier with a mixture of lemon and chocolate/vanilla marble cupcakes. Helen created beautiful sugar flowers based on the same flowers in my bouquet and on the table centrepieces. The cupcakes were adorned with similar but scaled down versions of these flowers. We also had our own pick and mix table , we unveiled it at the end of the meal and it caused quite a stir as it had been previously covered and it was a surprise to most people

 We had fresh foliage wreaths on the tables with a mixture of flowers in our colour scheme, with hurricane vases in the centre of each. We gave these away as gifts to people who meant a lot to us. The top table had a garland running along the entire length of the table. My good friend Sam Atlee from Artcardia made our table names, name places, table plan and our favours. I gave her a very loose brief with some colour swatches and she created beautiful and unique cards.

Check out the bride and groom placecard below! I was blown away when I saw it!

Our chair covers and swag for the tables were provided by Debbie Ridd at Ambience Venue Styling. She did a beautiful job and the combination of everything together made the room look and feel like a fairytale!

All of our wedding guests enjoying the beautiful July sunshine. In the front by me you can see our very handsome Page Boy James, kitted out in a pale pink waistcoat and tie from BHS.  We were so appreciative of everyone who came and shared in our special day. I know myself and Matt particularly appreciated all the hard work that went in to our amazing day!

Our first dance was to 'The Book of Love' by Peter Gabriel. Our fantastic DJ for the evening reception was Philip Harvey from 20-20 Sounds and we had some amazing feedback from our guests about the whole evening atmosphere which wouldn't have been possible without the music being just right. Unfortunately as many couples find the evening went far too quickly and we wished we could do it all over again!

Thankyou for reading, I appreciate any comments or feedback on this blog post or any of my others xxx

Thursday, 24 November 2011

A few of my favourite scents...

I don't wear one specific perfume, but I do have a few favourites..

My first is my signature scent that I wore on my wedding day. It is a Bath and Body Works Fragrance and the scent is "Vanilla Noir". Sadly it has been discontinued and I used the last of the fragrance on my big day. I searched high and low in America for another bottle but to no avail. Whenever I wore this I always felt so glamorous and beautiful, which is something a good scent should have the power to do for you.

"Vanilla Noir" has the scent of Madagascan vanilla into aperfume made of dark vanilla beans, black plum, bergamot and dark, seductive musk. Top notes include black plum, exotic dark berries and bergamot  and then blossoms with gardenia, carnation, vanilla-orchid and tuberose and it's base notes incorporate vanilla beans, toffee, cinnamon sticks and sandalwood.

I am forever searching for a scent like this one to replace it, so please if anyone knows of something like it I would be eternally grateful

My next is J'adore L'eau. I tried this version of the original J'adore as I loved the original but when I smelt this I thought it was just beautiful. It combines the original and traditional Neroli/Bergamot Cologne and adds Magnolia. When I wear it, it makes me feel very fresh, awake and beautiful. The bottle is so classic and looks beautiful on your dressing table. A classic with  a twist that you need to try.
My final fragrance is a lust after scent. I sadly do not own it, but it is definately on my wish list. It is a scent by Le Labo, available exclusively in Liberty's. It is described as 'a modern alternative to old-fashioned traditional floral signatures'. It features musk, sandalwood and vanilla. I love it as it starts with a subtle citrus note, with neroli and a touch of orange blossom. You then experience the beautiful and delicate Jasmine scent and it finishes with Amber, musk and Sandalwood base notes. Note to everyone! I LOVE THIS. Unfortunately Le Labo is more on the pricey side, £132 to be precise. So I may have to wait for this special treat for a special occasion... or when I can treat myself ;)

In tomorrows post I will discuss the men's fragrances that I adore.....

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Beauty Inspirations

I thought I would share with you some of my favourite red carpet looks and beauty inspirations.

One of my favourites is Glee's Dianna Agron. No matter what she does on the red carpet she always looks flawless. In fact these two looks were inspiration for my wedding make-up. She manages to look made-up, yet natural and always completely flawless.

The dress she wore to the Golden Globes this year is absolutely beautiful. Her muted and natural tones used on her skin and lips works with the dress beautifully and give her the complexion of an English Rose. Her eyes just have that hint of drama with a liquid line. Just stunning.

This beautiful soft smoky eye to the right is an example of how to look young, fresh and modern without over-doing it. The colours are perfect on her skintone and the hint of pink on her lips complements it beautifully. The hair is simple and it just works.

Another star who always gets it right and isn't afraid to try different looks is January Jones. I absolutely love January in Mad Men and she brings some of that vintage style to her red carpet make-up. The look on the left is classic rock star mixed with old school glamour. She pulls off the heavy smoky eye perfectly by keeping the rest of the make-up nude and simple. The slicked back hair with the side quiff completes this look and keeps it simple.

This look from the Golden Globes this year is vintage but she doesn't make it look old fashioned by using a deeply tinted long lasting lipgloss rather than a matte lipstick. (Rouge Allure Extrait De Gloss in Exces). Her skin is porcelain and eyes so simple with beautiful, long defined lashes.
Finally we come to Emma Stone, a relative newcomer to the red carpet. She changes her hair colour and her look each time. Here with the blonde hair she is wearing a fantastic winged liner, which works perfectly with her fringe... I particularly love the fringe on her, especially as this is the fringe I currently have. As she is so heavy on the eyes she has kept her skin is glowing and fresh and her lips matte. I absolutely LOVE this whole look.
As a red head she isn't afraid to wear a bold lip colour, this plum-berry red looks amazing on her skintone and she just looks flawless and so glamorous. Her hair makes her looks like an old school movie star, but using the hint of pink highlight on her brow bone makes the look just that bit more modern and edgy.

What do you think of my choices and who are your beauty inspirations?

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Natural Day to Night look.

Kim very kindly posed before make-up, something I know many women find very daunting particularly when you know its going to be posted on the internet. Luckily Kim has a great even complexion to start with.

 After moisturising her skin with Caudalie's Quenching Sorbet moisturiser. I then used Benefit's The POREfessional. This came as part of a Bridal gift set I bought in Sephora on honeymoon and hadn't really had the chance to try it on someone else yet.

Next I used Inika's Mineral Foundation in Shade 'Cream'. I love this foundation as it glides on so easily and evens out the skin in an instant. It is full of anti-oxidants and vitamins so it really looks after the skin as well. I used Pixi's Eye Bright Kit in Shade 2 to conceal under and around the eyes as well as any other areas that needed some extra coverage. I then dusted Cover Girl Tru Blend Powder in Translucent Fair to give an even finish.

I wanted to create a flawless base with bright wide awake eyes and a healthy glow. To create the glow I started with Pixi Cheek Gel in Natural and then used Sephora Collection Bronzer in Los Cabos. To add another dimension to the blusher, I used a hint of theBalm's 'Frat Boy'.

On Kim's eyes I started with an Eye Primer by BareMinerals 'Prime Time'. I then used two shades from the Pixi Wake-Up Kit. I started with a shimmery nude shadow blended all over the eye-lid and went over the top with a peach shade to create more depth. Along the lash line I blended a slightly darker grey to give a hint of eyeliner and used a hint of this underneath the eye too. I used 'Lash Hugger' mascara by Tarte Cosmetics

I combed through Kim's eyebrows with an eyebrow brush and filled them in slightly using an angled eyeliner brush and a taupe eyeshadow. I finished this natural look with a hint of Lancome's Juicy Tube in 'Spring Fling'.

To take this look from day to a more dramatic evening look, I blended a bronze tone from the same palette into the crease and down to the lash line. On the lash line I blended a charcoal gray to increase the definition. I used Topshop's Liquid Liner in 'Rook' to draw a very precise line along the lashes.

 Finally I added a highlight colour to the inner corner of the eye and under the brow bone before finishing with a dab of Benefit's High Beam into the inner corner to increase the highlight.

To complete the whole look, I added Chanel's Rouge Coco Shine in  'Bonheur' or 'No.61' to her lips and a second coat of Mascara to add more definition.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Carmine- Beauty's Best in a Box Part 2

So I told you last week about my Carmine Beauty Box I ordered. Well it arrived last week. Unfortunately I haven't been able to post about it before as I was busy preparing for the Make-Up Party that took place at the weekend. I have now had the chance to test everything and I must say how impressed I am.

 When the box arrives, you open up the outer packaging to reveal this beautiful sleek little black box. It gets even better when you open it up and inside it reveals a beautifully wrapped package, complete with a card with the information about the products enclosed.

So in October's box I received; Balance Me: Super Moisturising Hand Cream, Daniel Sadler Eye Delight in Ice, Trind Nail Repair Natural, The Balm Frat Boy All in one Shadow/Blusher and Caudalie Quenching Sorbet

The first product I tried was the Balance Me Hand Cream. I have previously tried the Balance Me Rose Otto Body Wash and a Balance Me Rose Otto Lip Salves and loved them both so I was excited to try this. This is an amazingly rich hand cream that melts into the skin. It also smells fantastic with essence of Patchouli. It also contains Yarrow and Sweet Almond Oil along with Shea Butter. My hands are very dry a lot of the time (again a side effect of hypothyroidism... along with the change in weather at the moment) but this hand cream leaves them feeling hydrated and smooth, it doesnt feel too sticky on the skin either. Carmine send a 30ml sample size of the product, but considering the full size is only 100 mls you get a lot for your £10 you spend on the entire box of products.

Next up is the Daniel Sadler Eye Delight. You actually get one of two colours 'Peach' or 'Ice'. I received Ice which is a silvery white shimmer dust. I am usually not too much of a fan of these loose shimmer powders but this is actually quite nice. It is fairly compact and is a great highlight colour and will be great to use as a highlight for cheeks and brow bone as well as using it on the eyes.

The Nail repair Lacquer by Trind is a work in progress. I have been using it for a few days now to see if it will strengthen my nails. All I can say is that it goes on very easily and looks like a really natural glossy nail varnish. According to the Trind website the formula that Trind uses matches the protein molecules in your nails so it strengthens your nails but keeps them supple.

I love Caudalie products having tried a Radiance Revealing Face Mask and Grape Water spray. Both felt lovely on my skin so I was very intrigued to try a moisturiser of theirs. This is an extremely gentle yet hydrating moisturiser and my skin is left very soft but it doesn't leave a residue. This is part of the Vino Source range which is formulated for dry and sensitive skin. All of Caudalie's products contain their patented grape-seed polyphenols, powerful anti-oxidants and soothing Grape water. If you've never tried this French skincare brand before I can't recommend it enough.

Finally the blusher from TheBalm. Frat Boy is a peachy pink blusher with a hint of sparkle. It brightens the skin instantly and blends really well. The packaging lovely as well, it comes in a cardboard box with it's own mirror. The only downside to it is the price. Obviously I got it as part of the package but individually it is price at £16.00 which I feel is a little steep for a blusher. TheBalm in my opinion is aiming itself into the Benefit beauty market so on the whole £16.00 isn't a bad price.

All in all the Carmine Box is a fantastically well priced box with a wide range of luxury products, with a couple of full size products thrown in (the eyeshadow, blusherand nail treatment) and I cannot wait for November's box to arrive.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Cocktails and a little Make-Up party

So last night I hosted my first make-up party, this was designed as an introduction to in home parties, I am hoping to run for people. I invited a few friends around to be my test subjects, offering the chance of a free mini make-over, homemade food and a few cocktails thrown in for good measure. I hosted this at my house, because as it was the first time I was running something like this I wanted to ensure that I had everything to hand. Now I have worked at large scale events before and also hosted hen parties and birthday parties in store at Pixi, where I previously had worked, but obviously at these events I had help, and everything was to hand.

 I set up a make-up station in my lounge. This is maybe a third of my entire collection. I chose the most versatile and multi-use products to have out. Some of the brands I used last night included Pixi Beauty, Pop Beauty, Urban Decay, Too Faced, Hissy Fit, Inika, Nars, No.7 and Smashbox.

 I also laid on food for my guests and used recipes from two of my favourite cook books to create a small feast- Lorraine Pascale's Baking Made Easy and Sally Bee's The Secret Ingredient. On the menu was a Tomato Tarte Tatin, Herby Leaf Salad, Homemade Salt and Pepper Breadsticks, Italian style courgettes, homemade spicy houmous, homemade onion dip, feta, olives and grilled prosciutto along with some sweet potato and potato wedges.
I also hired my wonderful friend Sam from Artcardia to create some amazing cupcake's inspired  by beauty and products and she came up with these wonderful cakes. Chocolate cupcakes with a layer of chocolate in the centre. Topped with amazing pink and lilac frosting and homemade chocolates in the shapes of make-up palettes, lips and lipsticks. Of course there had to be some edible glitter sprinkled on them as well! My brief to Sam was very vague and she came up with these creations! A fantastic addition to any party you might have!

Sam at Artcardia also made all my wedding favours and stationary for the wedding, you can view those pictures here

 To start the evening, I served everyone a Bellini, the recipe for this particular one was provided by The Blind Tiger. An amazing place... more on that another time. I used edible glitter round the edge of the glass for an extra bit of glamour.

Each of my guests told me what they wanted and I set to work. My focus was to create beautiful flawless looking complexions and using colour to bring out their best features.
Face: No 7 Calming Colour Corrector, Pixi Natural Finish Foundation No.2, Sephora Smoothing and Highlighting Concealer Shade 2, Pixi Flawless Finishing Powder, The Balm 'Frat Boy' Blusher
Eyes: BareMinerals 'Prime Time', Urban Decay Eyeshadows in Polyester Bride, Grifter and Urban Decay Stardust Shadow in Retrograde, Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen 'Black Tulip', Maybelline Lash Stiletto.
Lips: Juicy Tube Smoothie 'Spring Fling' and a touch of nude/pink lip liner.
 Face: Pixi Flawless Vitamin Veil 'Tanned', Pixi Eye Bright Kit No.3, Sephora Collection Bronzer in Bora Bora, Pop Beauty Rose Belle Blusher
Eyes: Urban Decay Eye Primer 'Sin', Urban Decay Eyeshadows in Grifter and Oil Slick, Nars Eyeliner 'Black Moon', Rimmel Day to Night Mascara
Lips: Pixi Lumi Lux Lips Palette

Face: Hissyfit Foundation in 'Nude' blended with a touch of Benefit High Beam, Sephora Smoothing and Highlighting Concealer Shade 2, Pixi Flawless Finishing Powder, Sephora Collection Bronzer in Los Cabos, The Balm 'Frat Boy' Blusher, Benefit High Beam Highlighter.
Eyes: Too Faced Romantic Eye Palette, Urban Decay Eyeshadows in Sin and Chopper, Maybelline Lash Stiletto Mascara
Lips: Pixi Lip Booster 'Theena'

Face: Cosmetics A La Carte Primer and Glow- Nude, Pixi Illuminate Tint and Conceal 'Nude Glow', Sephora Collection Bronzer in Los Cabos, Pixi Lumi Lux Bronzer, Benefit High Beam.
Eyes: Pixi Fairy Light Solo 'Nude Nouveaux', Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Maui Wowie, Pixi Smokey Eye Primer (used as eyeliner), Rimmel Day to Night Mascara
Lips: Juicy Tube Smoothie 'Spring Fling'

I am offering party services as of now onwards, if you have a dinner, party or an event where you just want to feel extra special I will come to your home and provide make-overs, lashes can be included with this as well. (Cocktails and food not provided!!)