Thursday, 30 August 2012

Beautiful Bride - how to manage your make up for your big day

It's just as important as your dress and how you wear your hair, but planning your make up is so easily overlooked.  Here are my top tips for making sure you look your best on your special day:

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Planning to do your make up yourself, a la the Duchess of Cambridge or Victoria Bracken, is fine, provided you known what you're doing.  I rarely wear make up myself, so I for one would be clueless!  However, if you're confident with a powder brush, save yourself a few pennies and create your wedding look.  If you know someone else who's good with the paint, why not ask them to do it?  It's a great way of allowing someone to be a part of your special day without having to make them a bridesmaid or a reader.

Eyes are always the trickiest part to do.  It's your eyes that people will be immediately drawn to when looking at your photos.  I advise brides to try and go lighter with the eye make-up, both in colour and quantity, simply because dark make up will look more smudgy and untidy if it starts to fade.  The last thing you want is look like you've got a black eye on your big day!  And let's not forget the most important wedding day make up rule of all: WATERPROOF MASCARA!

I always advocate getting a professional in.  Not only does it take the pressure off you, or someone in your wedding party, it also gives you a feeling of being pampered.  Hairdressers are good for recommendations.  If not, ask around.  Twitter and Facebook are great places to look for independent make up artists who are local.

Remember your nails too.  The other part of your outfit people will want to see is your ring.  It's really worth having a manicure, and that goes for the groom too!  Even just a good clean and light varnish will pay dividends.

If all else fails on the day, toddle off to your nearest Boots and ask one of the counter girls to make you up.  It's free!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Keep Calm and Marry On - how to calm those pre wedding jitters

They are perfectly normal and very few of us would expect not to get them.  However, that does not stop them from being a pain in the neck when they turn up.  No, I'm not talking about your in-laws, I mean pre-wedding nerves.

I was talking to a friend recently who told me that on the night before her wedding, her mother gave her sleeping tablets so that she could get some proper sleep.  Every time she woke in the night she took another tablet.  By morning, she was calmer than she'd ever been.  In fact, she was so calm she barely remembers a thing about her wedding day.  Apart from the fact that her mother seemed to have absorbed all the stress instead!

Whilst taking pills seemingly worked for her, it's certainly not recommended for everybody.  It's definitely not advisable if you've never used them before.  Here are some top tips for helping you relax:

1) 7 Days

Start your relaxation programme 7 days before the wedding.  Get in a routine.  Being in bed by the same time every night is vital.  This can be tricky with out-of-towners and people you haven't seen for years coming to visit you and spend time with you, so do push yourself.  The lead up to weddings is stressful and hectic, so why not ask the out-of-towners to hang around AFTER the wedding once all the pressure is off?

2) Delegation

If you can avoid doing it yourself, I strongly recommend you get someone else to do.  Ask them nicely, of course, and if they say No, don't harrass them to do it, but it's not outside the duties of a maid of honour/chief bridesmaid or mother-of-the-bride to run small errands for you, e.g. picking up dresses, shoes, double-checking readers have the right readings, accompanying you to hair/beauty appointments.  Try to take a couple of days off work before the wedding in order to pace out your last-days tasks.

3) Food and drink

Eating the right foods can definitely lower stress levels and help you sleep better.  Avoid carbs and saturated fats in the evening as these will sit heavily in your stomach until morning.  Cut out caffeine after midday.  Instead drink lots of water and caffeine free teas (N.B: Not all green teas are caffeine free!)

4) Exercise

5) Comfy sheets!


One of my personal favourite ways of guaranteeing a good night's sleep is some new bed linen.  That, and new pyjamas.  There's nothing quite like the feel of them.  Another tip is to fill your room with the gentle scent of lavender.  In aromatherapy, lavender is the a calming agent.  Put some dried bunches next to your spread, or sprinkle a few drops of lavender all on a hanky to slip inside your pillowcase.

Remember: Marriage is a tricky affair; the wedding is just the start.