What to expect from my bridal trial (makeup)


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The make-up trial – one of the most important, but slightly overlooked “to-do’s” on any bride’s list. You most likely wear makeup every day, and think you might just be able to tell someone what colours you want and be done with it.

Well, that would be nice; but the reality is, they are called trials for a reason. Not only are you trying out different makeup looks, but also possibly different artists and hairstylists. It’s important to get the right person as the people doing your makeup ( and hair) will be spending a lot of time with you on one of the most important days of your life!

You might be marrying near your hometown and plan on going to your favourite salon for your trial. Some of you might be getting married in a different town or country, for that matter, and need to really do some research on where to get your hair and makeup done for your big day. Regardless of where you end up, there are some basic steps to follow to make sure you are happy and looking gorgeous on your wedding day.

Step 1 ~ Do Your Research!

I can’t stress this enough. Just like any other vendor you would hire for your wedding, make sure you ask a ton of questions and feel comfortable with the people you are talking to. If you don’t like what they have to say over the phone, move on.

Ask friends and coworkers for recommendations, go to bridal shows to check out what’s available, check out reviews on sites such as Google, and check Facebook or websites for testimonials or before and after photos of real brides.

Step 2 ~ Give Yourself Time

This is especially true for brides who are getting married outside of their hometown. Give yourself time in two ways: Trials can take around two hours, so make sure you have the time to dedicate to that. Also give yourself a few months before your wedding to go on your trial. This way, if you go to one person and don’t like what they did, you have time to find another.

During the trial be honest, if you don’t like the way something looks let your artist know, that’s what the trial is for, they can do alterations as they go along until you’re 100% happy!

Step 3 ~ Bring Photos + An Open Mind

You may love a look on Instagram or Pinterest and expect your makeup artist to be able to recreate that on you, but please remember that those photos in general are heavily airbrushed and edited, added to that everybody has a different eye shape, face shape, skin tone etc, what looks good on them may not look good on you, for instance I LOVE a winged liner but because I have hooded eyes I rarely wear it! However you never know until you try. Bring photos of a range of different styles and try as many as you can, because just like your dress, you might be pleasantly surprised by trying something new. It’s very difficult to work with someone that says they don’t care or have no ideas, because we know you do. Even photos where you might like certain elements are helpful. I also like to see photos of how you look everyday since your bridal look should still look like you!

Step 4 ~ At our bridal trial, we wear white! ( Mean girls Reference)

It’s helpful to come along to your bridal trial with a white or pale top if possible ( if that is the colour of your dress) it will show what the makeup will look like against your dress, you may need a little more blush or a slightly darker lip than usual in order to not look “washed out” against the pale colour, also for photography purposes. Please trust your makeup artist in this as they will create a look that will look beautiful both in real life and on film.

Show up with a fresh face. Moisturiser is okay but nothing else. Once you decide on a look, your makeup artist will take a photo to go with the notes they have been taking, especially if your trial is months before your wedding, it’s easy to forget details. A photo captures everything.

Step 5 ~ You Should Look Like An Amazing Version of Yourself

Like yourself, just more polished, Or as I like to call it “me but better”

You are will probably be wearing a formal gown, which requires formal makeup (regardless of whether you have an indoor or outdoor wedding). It also needs to hold up through tears, sweat, smooches, and photos … lots and lots of photos. Because of that, wedding makeup by nature, will be heavier, but it doesn’t mean you will end up looking like a clown. Tell your stylist what kind of makeup you normally wear and what look you are going for. Your wedding is not the time to try something drastically different, it’s just a time to try something better!

Step 6 ~ Cheaper Does Not = Better

Let’s face it: By now you’ve probably realised that anything associated with weddings or brides costs more than it does normally. Your budget might be on its last legs, but don’t skimp on this important part of the planning process. What you look like is going to be captured forever, so you want to make sure you look your best. Make sure to leave a few hundred pounds or so in your budget for proper hair and makeup.

Step 7 ~ Timeline

Believe it or not, getting your hair and makeup done plays a very important role in the timeline for your wedding day. Typically, that’s a bride’s first stop for the day; and if you end up running late there, it pushes everything back, like a domino effect. Make sure you share your timeline with your salon and work backwards from there. For example, your wedding might not take place until 2:00 p.m, but you need to start hair and makeup at 8:30 a.m. to make sure we you have enough time for you, your mum, and the rest of the bridal party to get ready. You also need to figure in time to eat before the wedding, you may not be hungry because of nerves but it is a long day and you want to enjoy it – also so that glass of bubbly doesn’t go straight to your head! Your makeup artist / stylist will know how long it will take to do your hair and makeup – You may need a separate hair and makeup person. Not everyone is skilled in both, but, more importantly, your time may not allow for one person if you have a whole group that needs services. You may need to be doing hair and makeup simultaneously. Might that mean an early wakeup call? Yes. Might it mean a long day? Yes. But you are going to be so psyched and full of adrenaline on your wedding day, getting up early will be a piece of cake.

You will have the best day ever, it goes so fast, my final piece of advice is to try and stop take a moment with your groom look and breathe for 5 minutes maybe between the ceremony and the reception, relax and enjoy your day

Heather xoxo

My favourite cleansers – Balms


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In a previous post – cleansing 101 I mentioned I would give product recommendations, my most favourite method is a balm cleanser, it feels like you’re giving your a face a little treat with all the lovely oils contained within, again oily skinned people don’t be scared of oils – they are your friend – more of which later 🙂

Top of my list for balm cleansers would be Emma Hardie,  I know it’s expensive and I know it has a lot of hype around it, but for me it’s one that is totally worth the hype, both for the effects on my skin and the beautiful smell, if you can afford it, go for this one. You can use to take off your makeup, including eye makeup – spend plenty of time massaging this into the skin , a proper mini spa experience every time you use it! They have even recently changed the packaging so my one bugbear is gone! emma-hardie-moringa-cleansing-balm-5

Number two on my list for similar reasons is the Elemis pro collagen cleansing balm, absolutely beautiful but unfortunately there is an oil in it that stings my eyes so I tend to either use only in the morning, or have to use separate eye makeup cleanser, which is a bit annoying, though am looking to try out the eye wash which may solve this problem?!


My 3rd favourite is the Body shop Camomile cleansing butter, this is a lovely product, good for sensitive skin, including the eye area. Also suitable for the budget conscious, coming in at around £10 – smells gorgeous (not like the cat pee like smell of camomile tea, I promise!) the only thing that lets it down for me is the packaging!img_9380

Fourth on the list for me is Clinique take the day off balm – it’s unscented and uncoloured, so unlikely to irritate even the most sensitive skins, it does look a bit like lard and it’s not one I’d describe as a spa experience, but it may be the one for you if your skin is acting up. It does a really thorough job of makeup removal, I just like like my nice smelling oils!


Fifth and final is another budget friendly option, the Merumaya melting cleansing balm – perfectly adequate, nice smell, I personally just didn’t feel it was effective as the others at cleansing, skin did feel nice afterwards but still had some eye liner coming off the next morning.


Let me know if there are another balm cleansers which you have enjoyed and I should put on my list to try?! I will be purchasing the Oskia renaissance cleansing gel to see if it lives up to the hype, but I suppose it doesn’t really fall into the balm category!

Hope this is helpful – next up – creamy cleansers

Heather xoxo

Budget Brides!

So today on Facebook I have come across a post that made me a little bit cross! It was from a bride that had found a makeup artist whose work she loved, but she found the price a little excessive – to be fair it really was at the upper end of the market, however it was an amazing artist at the top of her game who clearly is getting clients at those prices.

Lots of the comments shocked me – oh I’m only paying £25/£30 for mine on the day, I can’t believe you are getting the sort of service you should get and deserve as a bride, at those prices.  I don’t even know how those “artists” are covering  their costs or paying themselves a wage, even with pro discounts.

Do they have training, high quality kits, public liability insurance, more (continuous professional development) training, travel to and from the venue, plus taking into account all the time and effort that is put into communicating with bride and making sure she is 100% happy?!img_1015

 It is a LUXURY service to make sure you look your best on one of the best days of your life, and hopefully the only time doing this, if you are spending thousands on the dress and the photos, the venue, the cake then I think a couple of hundred on the makeup is not too much. Most makeup artists will do packages which can work out cheaper if you have large party. 

I spend a LOT of time and care on my brides, as I know any good make up artist would – from the initial consultation, through to the trial which can take from 2-4 hours, making sure that the perfect look is created for that bride, emailing back and forth, phonecalls and on the day itself I don’t rush off, until they are in the car or ready to walk up the aisle, often helping with dressing and finishing touches etc

I do honestly believe that you get what you pay for in this situation, and do think that possibly someone charging £30 is not really the quality artist you want for your wedding!

Beauty Preparations for Your Wedding


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So your Wedding is approaching, how are you going to look your best and SPARKLE on your big day?
6 Months Before
Drink Up
Drinking water  really is the key to clear skin, but now’s the time to really follow through. To ensure your skin is glowing and your eyes sparkle on your big day, try to drink at least eight glasses of water every day. Even if you’re only a couple of weeks out you will be surprised what a big difference it makes, it is a good habit to get into anyway, it aids weight loss, gives more energy and will plump out all those fine lines.
Overhaul your skin care regime
If you’re not happy with how your skin looks currently then it is worth getting some advice from a beautician or makeup artist on how you can shake up your routine – Caroline Hirons blog is always my go to read to help out in this area as well. Think about having facials once a month leading up to the wedding as well if you can afford to do so.
Getting the skin on your body in shape
All eyes will be on you for the big day, so ensuring all skin on display is silky smooth is essential. Buy a gentle body scrub and exfoliate from top-to-toe twice a week. My Personal favourite is Soap And Glory Flake Away (smells lush too) After your shower or bath, be meticulous about slathering body moisturiser all over – it may add extra minutes to your morning/ bed routine, but it’ll be worth it in the long run!

Find a Make-up Artist 

It’s not essential that you hire a make-up artist but it is  pretty important factor unless you are excellent at doing your own and know what will work well in person and on camera ( these photos will last a lifetime) A lot of  brides find that their nerves take over and not having to do your makeup is one less thing to worry about.  Take time to research a make-up artist who you feel will meet your expectations. Talk to friends who have married recently as personal recommendations are best or search the internet’s bridal directories to find local make-up artists. Besides that if there is one day you should be the pampered princess shouldnt that be your wedding day?

3 Months Before
Get organised
Now would be a good time to think about booking in for your beauty treatments prior to the wedding. Nobody wants to be caught out with no appointments available for manicures etc. To ensure you get your preferred time and day, book your treatments for the week of your wedding now. If you’ve been having regular facials for the last 6 or 3 months then you shouldn’t get a break out, but if you are just going to have the one facial before the wedding then book it for 8-10 days before.

2 Months Before 

Makeup Trial
I suggest to brides that we have their trial 6-8 weeks before the wedding date, we will spend time designing the perfect look for them. It is a good idea to go along with a pale coloured top and any accessories you will be wearing, also bring pictures of makeup looks you like.
Self Tan Test
If you are planning to have a spray tan for your wedding then it is good to have a trial to see if you like how the colour comes out, that there are no streaks etc. If you are happy book the appointment for your tan for 2 days before the wedding.

Sorry for my long absence – I’m back now :)

Hello Dear readers

It has been  well over a year since my last blog, I have been busy with personal stuff – unfortunately my beloved sister (in law)  Emma became very ill and sadly passed away in the middle of last year (liver cancer). Shortly after she died I made the decision to shave off my long locks to raise money for Macmillan in their “Brave the Shave” so I threw myself into that – raised £2,870 and donated some lengths of hair to Little Princess trust – if you are every fancying a change in style and are having over 7 inches chopped off please consider donating your hair, even if you can’t go for the full shave. 11903826_10152969281892234_3319083331681143839_n me with the hair that was cut off before shaving 🙂

I have also been throwing myself into establishing my Makeup artistry and the business side, lots of hard work but I know it will pay off in the long term – Emma was the inspiration for me ton start so I will keep plugging away – also still in pharmacy for the time being – it’s actually quite a nice balance – but a lot of changes there too – my lovely boss of 12 years retired and three weeks later one of my other colleagues of whom I was really fond, left for pastures new! Argh change!!! Have really not been in the right head space for blogging, but now a week into a two week stay in wonderful Southern Italy I can feel myself recuperating and my inspiration returning, so hope to plan blogging in  bit more regularly!

Write in the comments if there is anything you would like reviewed etc beauty wise and I’ll dome best to write about it – first up is the long promised favourite cleansers!

Ciao for now 🙂

Heather xoxo

Photoshoots part 2 – an altogether better experience!


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So … I’d had my confidence knocked down a lot by the first photoshoot,although I did learn valuble lessons from it, but then I went to the wanna be an entrepreneur event, and my confidence was back up, actually at an all time high! So when i left Southend I texted my friend Amelia if her place was on my way back and did she fancy making me  a cuppa, just so happened we got chatting and she mentioned her friend Rosie, who is a model was looking for a makeup artist that Sunday, was I free and up for it?  IF I hadn’t proved to myself that I could do anything I put my mind to – after standing up and pitching to 230 people, then may well have been tempted to say no, but as it was I left there raring to go!

I’d already learnt a huge lesson from the first photoshoot and had a chat with Rosie the night before to find out what the brief was and the look she wanted to go for, exchanged a few pics with her to make sure I was thinking along the right lines and head off to the shoot with a clear idea of the look we wanted to accomplish. Preparation is key!

The second lesson was speak to your model beforehand, especially when it is a collab, now if you get a model with attitude on a paid job you will just have to deal with it, however you can be firm, polite and professional with them, but on a gig where you’re all meant to be working together and essentially for free (trade for photos) then getting on together is so important in my opinion!

Got all prepared and dropped into M.A.C in Bluewater to get a darker lip colour for our poison ivy shoot and managed to eventually find the photographer’s house – my satnav was broken and google maps were not playing nice!

It was altogether easier putting makeup on someone whom you have the full attention of, plus Rosie and David the photographer (www.mmmfire.com) made the whole thing so much fun! I stayed for the whole shoot which was great! Managed to get a few Behind the scenes shots even and just had a really enjoyable afternoon with the end result of some great pics for my portfolio!!


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Looking forward to doing more creative shoots with Rosie, I’m sure we will come up with some madcap ideas! Another great boost to my confidence, am so ready to get out there and do some makeup for paying clients now!

Wanna Be An Entrepreneur? A nerve wracking but amazing experience!


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Hey I’m back and it’s with a non beauty post I’m afraid, but is related to setting up as an artist 🙂 Well, yes I do wanna be an entrepreneur! I have big ideas that I want to eventually come to fruition in regards to my makeup business, but fully aware that I have a lot of learning to do in the process! I’d done my training, got the best of starts with Pixiwoo, started buying my kit and was really raring to go when I saw my lovely friend Kym tweeting about an event called “Wanna be an Entrepreneur?”

So I asked her if she thought it would be a useful event to attend for me and my new business? She said it would be super useful, but also encouraged me to apply to do a pitch of my business idea in order to win a £5000 business package including Website, logo, branding, mentoring which obviously would be an amazing prize to win for a start up business! I applied on line, not expecting to hear anything back, but soon got an email from Baiju ( the guy that organises and runs the events) saying I’d been successful in my application and that he’d be calling me soon to go over details.

So to cut a long story short, I headed up to the hotel where the event was being held to stay there the night before as didn’t fancy a morning battle with the M25, and Kym had also suggested I Did Sammy (one of the speaker’s) make up It had been a long day with the confidence battering photoshoot that morning so got there and had a hot bath went through my notes and set up a makeup station  in my room as Kym and Sammy were meant to arrive @ 7.30 am.

Didn’t sleep much and with a few texts etc to Kym finally managed to track Sammy down  by 8.30 and did a very quick makeup on her as the event was starting @ 9! Sammy gave me some excellent tips and a pep talk while I did her makeup 🙂

Went @ 9 into the very packed hall where Kym found me a place in the front row – the event started off full of energy with a dance group and followed with some excellent speakers – managed to hear the first two – took in a lot of info that will certainly be putting into practice – then myself and the other 3 people pitching were pulled aside and told that the pitches were being brought forward as the next speaker was stuck in traffic – *gulp!* I asked Kym where the pitch was going to be as she had explained it to me as 5 judges – in my head that meant a dragon’s den style thing – nope – it was on the stage to the 5 judges AND the other 225 people!

At this point I started to have a bit of a nervous breakdown – I’m not outgoing in the slightest and the thought of getting up in front of all those people, let alone 5 was just beyond awful to me!! The wonderful Kym and Baiju helped me pull myself together and with a lot of support I decided I could do it! Then my beautiful bestie Sarah turned up and all was right with the world – I could just look at her and Kym and my new friend Sammy if struggling and pretend my pitch was just to them!

I was to go last of the 4 pitchers and was sitting next to this awesome kid Sam who had an ethical bee business, Sarah and I were trying to support and help him as he was just as nervous as me and found it amazing that she had come along to support me, but I’m sure she will agree she learnt a lot from the event too – awesome speakers! I’m sure my support of Sam was super good karma as I would find out later!


I spoke about my passion for make up and about how although it was a business my main aim was to help people with it, to make them look & feel amazing, to give lessons on certain subjects in person and also broadcast on youtube – all whilst shaking like a leaf!

Once the pitches were over I could relax get a drink and something to eat and do some networking – was great to have loads of encouragement and good comments about my ideas and had the biggest adrenalin rush feeling of “I can do anything if I could do this” after being so near to backing out!

10922497_10152531729912234_211084355884597829_nMessing around with Kym & Baiju during the lunch break 🙂

After a couple more awesome speakers the live pitch results were announced and Sam of Porch honey had won, bless his little cotton socks! I still felt like a winner though just for the experience and for pushing myself so far out of my comfort zone, learning a lot through the speakers, met some lovely new friends, got my business name and ideals out to 230 people – winners all round, and with new found confidence & an “I’ve got this” attitude which makes all the difference in the makeup business!

10944830_10152531735192234_5798111057694156272_nthe results

**Sam after a while has decided he’s not in the right position to use the prize right now and would like me to make use of it so am absolutely thrilled to be able to work with Baiju Solanki, Sammy Blindell and Miles Fryer of the brand brains, Sarah Arrow @ Sarke Media and Rich Withe of just grow co, who I am certain will all help me to make the most awesome business! **

Photoshoots part 1 – a steep learning curve!


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So you’ve done your practice and training, your kit is ready to go and you’re ready to get out there as a makeup artist, there is this overwhelming feeling of where do I go next? You could just advertise in local papers or via cards / word of mouth, but in this digital age businesses need to have a web presence and for that you need images.

Word of mouth is excellent as well of course, but where do people go to see images of work you have done – unless you are prepared to go to every person to show them your physical portfolio then you need to have the images somewhere online as well.

How to get images? These need to be high quality and not taken on your phone, for example. You could take photos yourself if you have a decent camera, but better yet is to try and organise some test shoots- where the photographer, model and yourself give time and skills for free, and you all get photos out of it at the end.

I joined model mayhem but found that it was a bit hit and miss, I had three photoshoots arranged with two different people – all of them were cancelled, unless they can give you specifics of date, time, location then avoid as it is probably not going to happen. Continue reading

Setting up as a makeup artist – choosing products


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It’s exciting and bewildering and overwhelming choosing products for your kit, it’s not a cheap business and if you order 10 of the same foundation in different colours and find you hate it then that’s an expensive mistake to make!

Read and research everything, go test out your choices if possible but do choose carefully – I made a list and asked lots of questions to the lovely make up artists on ‘In My Kit’ on Facebook – truly a great group for those learning and as we should always be learning that’s everyone 😉 and also to my ‘mentors’ Sam (Pixiwoo) Nic (nixiepixi) and Stacey (pixiwooHQ) on Twitter – I’m sure I felt like a bit of a pest to them but I wanted to get the right (for me) kit! Continue reading

Setting up as a Makeup artist – the basics


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So … I’d done the course, got the certificate, made some awesome and supportive makeup artist friends – where did I go from here? Well the answer was no-where fast as it was now the 1st week of December, which as I’m sure you can imagine, in pharmacy life is pretty hectic – prime season for dishing out antibiotics as well as the ‘Christmas Rush’ starting as soon as the GP surgery print on the back order by …
That and Christmas preparations meant that I really didn’t have time to think about setting up my makeup artist business too much, though I did start doing some research into what I would want / need in my kit, on the course we were given a kit list but also had an overwhelming amount of makeup to play with at the studios




For personal use I loved the Nars sheer glow, absolutely gorgeous, but it’s not really so practical for a kit as is in glass bottles and you have to buy the pump seperately which cost an extra £3 per bottle ( crazy – we NEED a pump Mr Nars!) Continue reading