Tuesday, 3 April 2012

A Bit of Eylure

I seem to have a bit of a 'glamming it up' theme to this weeks posts to date, so thought I may as well continue on that path and write about my new found love/obsession - fake eyelashes. Why it's taken me so long to discover the amazement that is falsies, I'm not quite sure, but after using them for the first time on my FYEO shoot, I'm in love. They will definitely have a starring role in my wedding day, hen do and any other night out from now until I have too much grey hair to be able to pull them off.

Being somewhat of an eye-phobe (the thought of eye drops and contact lenses sends shivers down my spine) I thought the process of applying, wearing and removing fake eyelashes would be a lot more traumatising then it actually was. It always seemed like a complicated and unnecessary accessory that I was better off without. I have to say, I was completely and utterly incorrect in my assumptions. They were easy to apply, easy to wear and even easier to remove. Being new to the world of fake eyelashes, before attempting my first application I scoured the internet for top tips from the experts. Truth be told, I didn't learn that much more than what was on the foldout instructions that came with the lashes themselves. My top tip would definitely be to just follow those handy included instructions.

For my virgin falsies trial, I went for the dramatic and beautifully full 10th Anniversary Girls Aloud lashes from Eylure (pictured below). They were amazing. They're so thick and full I didn't even need to put mascara on. While they might be a bit much for my actual wedding day, I definitely want something along these lines (maybe just taken down a notch or two) for my big day look.

 For my FYEO shoot, I paired these luxe eyelashes with super smoky eyes. These lashes definitely need some over the top eye make-up to sit alongside of. Anything less would lose it's impact. I'm not gonna lie, I was a little bit in love with my eyes that day. I've never seen them look so big, beautiful and glamourous. Definitely a look I want to repeat.
 My second top tip (that doesn't come in the foldout instructions) would be to make sure you have a good liquid liner handy to go over the lash seam. If you leave it as is, you'll either get white glue marks (not so nice when you've just spent ages getting your eye make-up just right) or a very noticeable seam (whether or not it's your wedding day, a big noticeable eyelash seam just isn't a good look).
 I'll also make sure to leave myself plenty of time on my wedding day to get my lashes in place. If it all goes wrong you need time to do a bit of an eye-shadow/liner touch up. I can't imagine anything worse then being rushed and stressed trying to delicately apply some lashes a few minutes before my ceremony.
All in all, I've 100% been converted to the joy that is false eyelashes. With literally hundreds of styles, brands and shapes to chose from I know what I'll be trialling every Saturday night from now until my wedding day...

Thanks for reading,

Monday, 2 April 2012

FYEO Portraits

This is one post I won't be showcasing many pictures on (if any!), but I still thought had to be written. From reading wedding magazine after wedding magazine, as well as attending numerous NEC wedding shows, I stumbled across the lovely and very talented all female photographers at FYEO portraits. Doing a 'for your eyes only' bridal boudoir photo shoot for my lovely husband to be seemed like the perfect surprise wedding day gift - the kind of thing he would never think I would actually do and that he would never expect. Perfect for the man who's absolutely impossible to buy anything for!

I bought my package deal on a whim at last years wedding show, but it took me until this month to get up the courage to actually use it. The package included a make-up touch up, an hour long photo shoot with 'body sculpting' (basically very detailed and useful directions from the photographer on how to position yourself for the best possible pictures) and an airbrushed personal gallery afterwards of which I could choose one photo to be professionally printed. 

I was incredibly nervous the day of the shoot which wasn't helped by the fact that I had to try and keep it all a secret from my husband to be. Despite having one of my brilliant bridesmaids with me for moral support, the drive down to their studio was very nerve racking. For anyone who knows me, they'll know that a sexy photo shoot really isn't my thing! Saying that, it turned out that all those nerves were for nothing. The all female staff were warm and welcoming and apparently used to handling nervous and shy brides to be. My photographer made me feel completely at ease (not easy to do when I'm about to be photographed in just my bra and pants) which meant I kind of forgot what I was doing for 90% of the time and just got on with it. After an hour of shooting, I had newly discovered confidence in myself, felt like I'd just done an intense yoga class, and gained a new found respect for models. Apparently getting a flattering picture involves allot more twisting, shoulder movements and balancing then I ever thought possible!

Ever the professionals, FYEO had 26 beautiful pictures selected and airbrushed for me to view in my private gallery within 48 hours. I'd left the studio thinking I might struggle to find one good picture to print off for my husband to be, but ended up liking or loving every single one. The photographers at FYEO are miracle workers. They definitely know how to get the best looks from all shapes and sizes and I've never been so impressed with a photo of myself (more the talented photography then actually myself!). I can not recommend FYEO Portraits enough. They are the best in the business and I wouldn't have done it anywhere else. It's a fantastic confidence booster and a great wedding day gift idea. I won't be sharing any of my pics (sorry!), the best I can do is a very cropped copied photo of just my face to give you an idea of the magic these ladies can work. However, if you want to see what they're all about check out their fantabulous website below:

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Wedding Day Make-Up

Having a make-up artist on my wedding day to do myself and my bridal parties make-up would be an absolute dream.  I loved having my face done by the very lovely Donna for the beautiful wedding of Anton and Vicky last year and was so very impressed on how amazing it looked and how well it stayed. If you have the budget to get it done by a professional, or aren't very comfortable doing your own make-up on a day to day basis, then I would recommend Donna at Beauty Angels in a heartbeat. Unfortunately for me, my budget doesn't quite stretch so far as to cover the glamming up of seven girls (I have six bridesmaids!) on my big day. I also have a very strong suspicion that I'll be shedding quite a few tears (happy ones of course) that would make the £125 make-over redundant quite quickly. Luckily, I very much enjoy doing my own and playing about with different products (I can spend hours wandering the aisles in Boots), so the thought of being my own make-up artist on the day doesn't scare me too much. If Kate Midi can do hers herself, then I figure I can do mine.

I've been using mineral make-up for about a year now and have to say I am fully converted. Never again will I go back to the heavy and wet cream foundations of my past. Mineral foundation has literally changed my make-up life. My skin looks and feels healthier (with or without product) and much more natural. However, day to day make-up is definitely not the same as wedding day make-up and with only a few months to go, it's about time I brushed up on a few tips for my big day 'look'.

Soooooo, yesterday afternoon I headed down to the Bare Minerals counter with a couple of friends for a 4pm appointment to have a Bare Minerals make-over. All in all, the three of us spent an hour and a half happily getting a bit pampered, enjoying some girly chat with the very lovely Bare Minerals girls and getting a bit glam for our Saturday night out. With a plethora of shades of blushers, bronzers, eyeshadows and buxom lip glosses, each of us ended up with a different but beautiful look.

Not only was it a generally enjoyable way to spend the afternoon, but I picked up some great wedding day perfect products and tips from the make-up savvy Bare Minerals girls. Along with how to apply beautifully natural and covering foundation, they introduced me to the picture perfect Mineral Veil. It's basically a light, translucent powder that you put on over your face make-up (blusher, bronzer and all!) that takes away any shine (hence the picture perfect description) and helps keep your face in place even through a night of boogying fun. I also fell in love with their buxom lip gloss range that leaves your lips not only pout perfect, but minty and tingling as it plumps them up ever so slightly. 

So, the before and after pictures (the proof is definitely in the pudding!)....

First up is me. I went for the 'Rocker Eye' look. They sell these colours as a kit and I'd thought about doing smokey/dark type eyes for the wedding so thought it would be a good chance to try them out. It's a bit hard to see in the pics, but I did love the dramatic colours and the way they made my eyes pop. It's probably a bit heavy for wedding day make-up but I like the concept behind it. I also love the lip gloss in 'Katie' that I have on. It's definitely wedding day perfect as it's a really pretty, soft neutral that still provides just a bit of colour.

The very lovely Vicky (thanks in advance for letting me put up pre make-up photo's!!) went for a softer smokey eyes look combined with a really pretty nude lip gloss. I really liked this combo as a wedding concept.

Last but not least, the equally as lovely Izzy went for a very classic and simple look - just some lovely foundation and blusher with a bit of eyeliner, mascara and a corally lip gloss. Very easy to re-create, this look is bridesmaid perfect.

 All in all, if you're planning on doing your own make-up on your big day, I would 100% recommend spending an afternoon (or two or three) down at the beauty counter with the industry experts getting a bit of a makeover and some advice on what works for you. It's a bit of a lesson and a trial all in one, and best of all it's free (okay, between us we did end up spending over £150 on products afterwards, but the make-over itself is free!). I'll definitely be going back at some point in the next couple of months to try out a slightly softer smoky eye look, but am already very happy with my Mineral Veil discovery (my new favourite product) and my plumping lip gloss.

It was also a very easy way to prepare for a Saturday night out, and test out the longevity of the make-up. I'm happy to say that the longevity was impressive and lengthy. Our make-up was still looking fresh and in place until the late hours of the night (a night out is an excellent test run pre wedding): 

Thanks for reading,