Monday, 12 August 2019

DIY WEDDING | Make up lesson plus what I wore

When you're planning a wedding at quite short notice (in our case because my lovely stepson James was moving abroad for two years), most of the top suppliers will inevitably be booked up already. I spent ages trying to find a make-up artist who wasn't but to no avail. The other complication was that our wedding ceremony and the reception were on subsequent days, so I would've had to pick one - do I want professional make up for the formal pics or would I rather look my best for the party?

Turns out, our last-minute-ness pointed me in a different direction, and I ended up learning to do wedding make-up myself with a lesson from Nina Norman.

Nina is one of Bristol's top make-up artists but was booked out for the weekend of the wedding itself, but available the week before to teach me what to do. I headed over to hers one Friday morning and spent a brilliant couple of hours learning the ropes. Nina is absolutely lovely and immediately put me at ease while I ogled her massive stash of products. We talked through what I was wearing (my dress is the background fabric in these pics) and my usual style, so that Nina could get an idea of what look I wanted. And then we talked skincare and my routine which gave her more of an understanding of my skin type and what might work best.

I've been doing variations on the same eye make-up for more years than I care to remember (liquid eyeliner, cat-eye flick, loads of mascara), so I was reasonably confident there. But I'm pretty clueless when it comes to base and foundations. My skin has always been clear and smooth (I know, I'm lucky) and so for years I didn't really bother with a. foundation or b. taking off my make-up at night - more on that here. But now I'm in my forties, things are different. I'm noticing age spots, sun damage and generally less consistency. I don't mind it of course - it's just the natural ageing process, and I'm happy to let it all happen (see also the grey hairs that are now starting to come through). For my wedding day though? I'll make an effort.

An aside: when we first started recording Body Cons and my intuitive eating work was in full flow, I struggled a bit with the idea of taking pride in my appearance. It felt a bit contradictory, as though having strong feminist views on the subject meant I could never enjoy make up again. But that's just not true. It's not black or white, there's plenty of grey in there (like my hair). The thing I found hardest was making decisions about my wedding dress KNOWING there would be a focus on what I looked like on the day. Brides are objectified and I wasn't comfortable with any of that.

I digress. Nina started with a primer and then did a great job of figuring out which foundation would work best with my skin. We settled on the Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation, which left my skin dewy and fresh looking - I prefer it on the natural side. Then, we dealt with the dark circles under my eyes using the Becca Under Eye Lightening Corrector iconand the Charlotte Tilbury Mini Miracle Eye Wand - I was so happy with the coverage these two gave as those circles are a bugbear of mine.

Years ago, I used to use a Body Shop pressed powder but haven't done so for a while now, but we gave the Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Finish Skin Perfecting Micro-Powder a go and I loved it. Felt so light and gave a really luminous finish to the base.

Onto the eyes. Nina applied a primer followed by the most beautiful shimmery eye colour - Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Shadow iconin Vivid. It's a kind of muted green colour, which really brought out the colours in my dress. My eyes are green and Nina said she wouldn't normally match eye colour to shadow but actually this combination really worked well. I love this product so much. It reminds me a bit of the Chanel Illusion d'Ombre which I wear often - you can use your finger to quickly smear it across your lids and it looks like you've spent forever doing your make up. As well as this, we did a small amount along the lower lid followed by a liquid eyeliner flick and lashings of black mascara. Nina also filled in my brows really nicely, following the natural line (and filling in a few gaps left over from the over-plucked nineties).

The finishing touches were a sweeping of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Ethereal Glow icon followed by the most beautiful lip colour - Dr Hauschka Lipstick in Azalea. It was spot on, complementing my dress and flowers so well.

Gratuitous shot of my lovely flowers here by Les Fleurs, now starting to dry out:

And - the big question - did I manage to recreate the look on my wedding day? I think so. I was careful to do a couple of practice runs in the week leading up to the wedding, which taught me loads about what needed work. But the day itself was a success, as was the party the following evening. I felt radiant, sophisticated, but mainly I felt like myself.

What I wore on my wedding day - a list of the make-up and skincare products I used (and successfully applied myself!)

Chanel Le Blanc de Chanel Multi-Use Illuminating Base - £38, John Lewis

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation - £32, John Lewis

Becca Under Eye Lightening Corrector icon- £21, Space NK

Charlotte Tilbury Mini Miracle Eye Wand - £29, John Lewis

Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Finish Skin Perfecting Micro-Powder - £34, John Lewis

Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Shadow iconin Vivid - £26, Space NK

Chanel Le Volume Ultra-Noir de Chanel Mascara - £28, Chanel

Benefit Brow Zings Eyebrow Shaping Kit - £27, John Lewis

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Ethereal Glow icon - £35, Space NK

Dr Hauschka Lipstick in Azalea - £20.50, Dr Hauschka

I also used CurveBalm to prevent thigh chafing (use code BODYCONS15 for a 15% discount!) and the perfume I chose was Olfactive Studio's Flash Back in New York which you can buy from the gorgeous perfumery in Clifton, Bristol - Shy Mimosa. My friend Kate of You Beauty did my gel nails using The Gel Bottle in Belladonna on both fingers and toes (here's a pic), and I used Isle of Paradise's Happy Tan Gradual on my legs.

My dress was an old season Boden Icons silk one that I absolutely adore, and as it's not a traditional wedding dress I'm looking forward to wearing it again and again!

Would you do your own wedding make up? Or a lesson? And do any of these ideas take your fancy? Let me know in the comments below.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you go on to buy any of the products I've mentioned then a few pennies from the sale may come my way. We are literally talking pennies!

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