Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Kent Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
To view more expert advice on a different topic, please select one from the list below.
The perfect complement
Q. Should my bridesmaids' make-up look be the same as mine, or would you recommend a complete contrast?
A. Ruth Ashcroft MUA says: The bride should always be the focal point, so it's not a great idea to have your bridesmaids' make-up to match yours, although your bride tribe could have the same style of application. For example, perhaps you'd like a simple wash of colour on the lids, or a smoky eye. In this case, the colour should be different to yours, but in a complementary shade. If you do want them to have the same colour as you though, I'd recommend they at least wear a varying depth of shade. Whilst you don't want the make-up to match exactly, you should keep the overall look the same. For instance, if your brides are going for all-out glam, the bride shouldn't opt for a natural vibe. This way you'll all complement each other beautifully, while making sure you're the belle of the ball.
Ruth Ashcroft MUA
Q. What's the secret to using bronzer and highlighter to best effect?
A. Lara James says: Bronzer is used to contour your face. Be sure to choose one that suits your skin tone – it should be two shades darker than your natural complexion. Using a brush, lightly apply as though you're tracing a number three on both sides of your face, and blend well using a circular motion to avoid emphasising uneven skin texture. This shape ensures the bronzer targets your hairline, temples, below the cheekbone, and below the jawline. Soften any sharp edges with a damp sponge or beauty blender.
Powder bronzers are best for beginners as they give you the most control. Ones with shimmer are great for illuminating the skin, and giving off that fresh sun-kissed glow, but not so much for contouring and shadowing. Applied well, highlighter can really enhance and awaken your complexion. I find the most flattering way to use it is to create skin lights mimicking how fresh and healthy your face would naturally look when the sunlight bounces off it. Remember though, highlighter is so-called for a reason – it will light up whatever it hits, so if there's a feature that you don't want to accentuate don't apply it there!
Take the colour cue from your natural skin colour. Pale to medium skin tones suit champagne and apricot hues, whereas complexions with a hint of sallowness should look for more pink undertones, olive and dark tones, on the other hand, look beautiful with more bronzy, golden highlights. Be wary of anything with too much glitter or sparkle though, as this can be too overpowering, and it's far more likely to settle in pores or over uneven skin texture – not the look you're after on your wedding day! I love to use highlighter on the cheekbones. It's most flattering to keep it to the bone and not stray too close to the eyes; otherwise, you may inadvertently end up highlighting fine lines too. I also add to inner corners of eyes to add brightness, a tiny bit to the cupids bow above the lips to make them look fuller, and onto the bridge of the nose.
The road is long
Q. I've got 18 months until my big day and I'm looking to grow out my pixie cut so that I can have the elegant up do I've always wanted. What's achievable in this time and what's the best way forward?
A. Kimberley Dale says: This definitely depends on your hair growth, and you need to be very honest with yourself. You'll know how much it grows judging by the frequency of your upkeep appointments.
You will need to make sure you look after your locks on this mission! Too many trims and you'll feel like you're not getting anywhere. Not enough, and your ends and style will start to show the strain. Plenty of patience is what's required. It normally takes just over a year for hair to be long enough for a plait or pony, so by a year-and-a-half you should be able to do most styles with a little help from hidden padding or some natural additional locks to help with an up do or luscious long waves.
You'll be able to try some interesting styles on the journey so make sure you experiment with clips and headbands. A cleverly placed hair clip or fancy headscarf will be your new best friend to hide the funny in-between stage. Step up your product game too, as this will keep you sane in the first few months.
The first three months are the hardest as you learn to adjust to your new style and length, so regular trims will help you over this early transitional stage. Once you're through the other side, and on your way to shoulder length be sure to stay out of mullet territory! Start having trim appointments every eight to 12 weeks from here. You'll wake up one morning, and your hair length has magically reached your chin – it'll feel amazing!
Q. How do I pick the perfect lipstick for my wedding day?
A. Emilie Morrissey says: Avoid the extremes. Too matte and your lipstick could dry out your lips leaving the colour looking patchy. Too glossy, and you run the risk of it not lasting. Plus, there's always the chance it could stick to your veil or transfer onto your new hubby's lips!
Discuss your overall look with your make-up artist. Neutral shades will ensure that the focus remains on the eyes, and give warmth. While pinks will bring a romantic, youthful twist. Reds, on the other hand, create drama and glamour, ensuring you stand out for all the right reasons.
Prep, prep, prep! Don't neglect your lips in the run-up to your wedding. I advise my brides to gently exfoliate using a soft-bristled toothbrush every evening to remove any flaking, then apply a petroleum-based lip balm to make sure your lips are at their best when the time comes to apply colour.
Remember, lipstick is one thing we as make-up artists, can't guarantee will last the day, so ask for a small pot of your chosen lippy or buy one, so you can reapply when needed.
Q. I've heard that perfectly painted brows are out and fluffy brows are in. How can I achieve this on trend look?
A. Elizabeth Joseph-Love says: Nothing has changed quite so much as brow trends over the years. From the pencil thin style of the 90s to the defined and faded look of 2000s. This most recent trend is a stark contrast to the dark, sharp and ultra-defined brow that we've seen on Instagram over the last few years. To achieve the perfect, natural fluffy brow you'll need lots of natural hair. Revitabrow is a growth serum that strengthens and conditions for an enhanced appearance. Along the top the brow should look brushed up and separated, whereas along the bottom it should still look sharp and tidy. An excellent product to help you achieve this dramatic yet natural look is Soap Brows. Take your product and spritz once inside the tin. Then with a spoolie gather up some product, until it becomes tacky. Coat your brow hairs, combing them upwards. Leave for a minute then fill in the gaps either with Anastasia Beverley Hills brow wiz or brow pomade (applying with an angled brush). For extra hold use a clear brow gel to set the and finally apply a little highlighter just underneath.
Let’s face it
Q. I am not sure on how to wear my hair for the wedding. Are there particular styles to suit particular face shapes?
A. Sharon Harris says: Deciding how to wear your hair on your wedding day can be quite overwhelming; there are so many styles to choose from, and you want everything to be perfect! So here are a few key things to remember when choosing your style:
- If you have an oval face shape, avoid a style with too much height and pulling back at the sides. Add a little width to the face by keeping your hair loose or wearing it to the side.
- If you have a round face, adding a little height will help to elongate it. Loose wavy sections along the hairline will distract from the roundness.
- For a heart-shaped face, avoid anything that's too tight and slicked back. You'll want volume around the jawline to help balance your beautiful features.
- With a square or diamond face, it's best to create softness by wearing the hair loose in waves or curls. Your bridal hair stylist will be able to advise and guide you because they'll take everything, including your dress and how you usually wear your hair, into consideration.
Just remember: You need to feel comfortable and confident – that's all that matters.
Q. We're having an autumn-themed woodland wedding. How can I wear my make-up to subtly complement this?
A. Ashton Fionda says: Autumn weddings are all about the beautiful crisp scenery that serves as a charming backdrop for your treasured photographs. My advice for a seasonal wedding such as this would be to take inspiration from those hues of gold and brown, matching the relevant shades to your skin tone.
It's possible to create a beautiful subtle glam look to complement these autumnal colours. For example, if you were to opt for smoky eye, I'd suggest enhancing a gold on the lid with some brown smokes.
I'm a big fan of wedding-day lashes – after all, your new husband will be staring into those big beautiful eyes all day. Why not add in some luxury lashes and enhance them to their fullest potential. Finish with a lovely natural lip colour, and you're good to go.
Braid me beautiful
Q. I'm looking for a modern style to keep my hair away from my face on the big day. What can you suggest?
A. Vicki Lord says: There are several points to take into consideration when it comes to your big-day do. Choosing the right bridal hairstyle for your face shape, hair texture and dress neckline is paramount. Depending on your dress and theme, braids are a fabulous option. There are various forms of this particular style to choose from, including Dutch, French and rope, to name but a few. This is a versatile look, as a braid can be tight and neat for a more traditional look or full of volume and texture for a more relaxed vibe. They also work wonderfully with flowers, which lend a real boho festival edge.
Q. We're planning a summer wedding, and I'm concerned the heat will wreak havoc with my make-up. What can you suggest?
A. Elizabeth Joseph-Love, says: Avoid eye cream on the eyelids, as it can break down eyeshadow. Instead, opt for an eyelid primer. Many eyeliners can smudge or transfer in humid weather, so make sure it's set by pressing a dark shadow over the top. To finish off the eyes, a waterproof mascara is essential. Diorshow Pump'N'Volume or Max Factor 2000 Calorie works every time. For flawless skin with lasting coverage, use an oil-free moisturiser. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel with hyaluronic acid quenches parched skin and is perfect under make-up on a hot day. Bear in mind that primers should also be water-based. Try Illamasqua Hydra Veil, which hydrates for a calming and refreshing feeling before applying foundation.
Speaking of foundation in the heat, less is more. For natural-looking summer skin, Diorskin Forever is lightweight, long-wearing and blends effortlessly. It's ultra-smooth and dries down to a beautiful luminous matte finish. For longevity in hot weather, consider a cream rather than powder blush. Giorgio Armani Neo Nude A-Blush gives the skin a healthy natural flush. To eliminate shine on the go, use blotting paper and carry a pressed powder to mattify the T-zone during the day. Finish your look with a setting spray to prevent melting, caking and fading. I'd recommend Morphe Continuous Setting Mist.
Bright and beautiful
Q. I'm using a bright and bold palette for our summer wedding. How can I tie this into my make-up look without going overboard?
A. Lorraine Hawkins says: Bringing your theme's bold palette into your wedding make-up can be tricky to pull off. However, there are two ways I'd approach it.
Option one would be giving a nod to the bold colours by choosing a muted version of one. Purple is a lovely hue to use, and you can easily incorporate it into an understated smoky eye.
Alternatively, my favourite would be to have an elegant and timeless natural smoky eye on the top lid with a pop of colour smoked out on your lower lash line. Ultimately, your makeup artist should steer you away from anything that they think may be overboard, and whichever option you choose you'll look beautiful.
Q. What can you suggest for my wedding day nails? I do love a French manicure but would like something different.
A. Hannah Hennessy says: The traditional French manicure is a classic, but I do agree you need to jazz things up a tad on your wedding day. Everyone will want to see those rings! You could go all out or opt for something delicate. Whatever you do, always have a trial and a good browse on the internet for ideas. My brides have been going for bolder colours recently like reds and dark plums – great for vintage or boho themes. Some clients aren't concerned about colour clashes at all and go for their “usual” so that they'll still feel themselves. A good tip is to use the colours from your bouquet, lipstick or even bridesmaid dresses. This works well if you're not quite sure what to go with, as it ties everything together nicely. A French ombré nail is a nice twist if you want to stick to your roots but fancy a fresher take on things. It's soft, subtle and a modern twist on the traditional French mani. My favourite go-to bridal nail is a sheer pink with delicate detailing at the cuticle and tip.
Lit from within
Q. I love a fresh, glowing face. How do I create this without looking shiny?
A. Lorraine Hawkins says: The key is hydrating your skin before applying any make-up. Fully cleanse using an oil-based product such as Ultrabland by Lush, which contains almond oil. Spray with some toner – rosewater is particularly good for its antioxidant properties – and apply a nice hydrating moisturiser.
A silicone-based primer is great for smoothing the skin and blurring any imperfections. If possible, choose one that has a glow to it. I'd recommend Beyond Veil by Illamasqua. It hydrates as well as giving a great finish.
Use a serum-based foundation that allows you to build coverage where you need it and buff into the skin using a large blending brush. Whatever you do, don't go mad with the highlighter! Small touches in the right places give a better finish – less is most definitely more!
Q. I'll be walking down the aisle outdoors. How should I wear my hair to avoid it looking messy if it's a bit windy?
A. Angela Williams says: There's nothing worse than spending your wedding morning getting ready and styling your hair, only to step outside and have the wind ruin all your efforts. The wind won't stand a chance against the right bridal hairstyle.
If you're set on wearing your hair down, remember that it's naturally going to be more fluid. That means curls aren't going to stay in shape and position all day, so I'd recommend an up do as the best way to make sure you're weather-ready. You can add hairspray, pins, accessories, hairpieces and even extensions to make sure nothing is out of place. It doesn't necessarily have to be a structured look, though. It can be a soft, natural style that's pinned securely in place but looks as if it were simply swept up. The world of up dos is an exciting place at the minute, with endless possibilities.
When it comes to your trial, ask your stylist for their product recommendations to guard against humidity and minimise the ability of the weather to do its worse! You should also consider testing your chosen style by spending some time outside afterwards; you can then gauge how it will behave.
Red carpet ready
Q. I'm a huge fan of the Hollywood Golden Era and would love to capture this in my wedding day look. What can you recommend?
A. Danielle Crees says: This is one of my favourite looks to recreate – not only is this look timeless, but it's a surefire way to take your groom's breath away at first sight. Lip colour, groomed brows and hair play a huge part in creating a nod to this era.
Prepping your hair before styling is essential. Great volume and body styled in waves for an up do or classic hair down look creates beautiful Hollywood glamour to rival the big screen legends. I like to prep with a strong-hold mousse over dry hair for all-day hold with a strong-hold hair spray to finish. For your face, an elegant winged liner is best teamed with a set of Ardell Wispies lashes. For brows, I like to use a liner to fill in any sparse areas and increase the natural arch, finished off with a tinted brow mascara for maximum effect.
To finish your award-winning look, it's best to make your lips the main attraction, starting with a strong liner followed by a bold and confident lipstick. You can either stay traditional and opt for an orange-red shade or, for a modern take on Hollywood glam, stick to a sheer red with more cool tones. Always blot for more control of how much product you're wearing, and for longer lasting wear, finish off with a good-quality non-sticky gloss for kissable lips that say “I do!”
Image credit: https://www.paulplacitelliphotography.com/
Q. I'm a huge fan of Audrey Hepburn's understated sophistication. How can I recreate her look for my wedding day?
A. Kelli Waldock says: This look offers a classic vibe – one that's natural yet pristine. It's becoming more popular with modern brides, as it brings out natural beauty. And luckily, it's a simple look to achieve. A full foundation coverage and an overall matte finish is what's required here. Add cream-gold or cream-silver over the eyelid from the inside corner and a light brown shadow to blend into the crease of the lid, creating drama and sultriness.
Apply a subtle liner halfway along the lower lid but not inside, keeping the eyes wider, and add a thick line of black kohl to the top lid. You can do this with a matte liquid liner, but be sure to stop at the outer creases of the lid.
Next, add mascara to the top lashes and a light application to lower lashes. You might like to apply fine and separate false lashes as well to open up your eyes even more. And don't forget to define your eyebrows, in keeping with this fab retro look. Finally, matte nude lips are a must. You could even try matching your nail colour with lip hue.
Image credit: https://ryancoxphotography.com | Hair by https://www.vickilordhair.com
The only way is up
Q. My dress has a high neckline with lots of lace. How would you suggest I wear my hair to complement it?
A. Lisa Miller says: I would definitely suggest an up do to show off both dress and detail. A topknot has an instantly elegant feel that works well with the formal feel of a high neckline. This high bun elongates your neck, making it easier to pull off the more dramatically detailed neckline that would otherwise compete with your hair.
Add braids or twists to your style for an of-the-moment look or keep it elegant with smooth and sleek styling.
Another classic option is the French pleat – a timeless look that was a favourite with Audrey Hepburn. This style never goes out of fashion and, again, can be smooth or slightly messy and texturised to give it that modern edge. Lastly, a messy bun would be ideal if your wedding is a more relaxed affair. It shouldn't be too messy that it looks untidy, just less formal.
All of these styles would be enhanced with a splash of sparkle! Think carefully about any accessory and how it will work with your hairstyle. A pretty comb or sparkling side tiara would complement all of these choices and the high neckline of your dress beautifully. Keep it simple but stylish.
Q. How can I make my lipstick last all day without having to constantly reapply?
A. Nicola Connell says: Lipstick must have a smooth base to glide on to, so lip care is crucial in the run-up to your wedding. Drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated, and exfoliate using a shop-bought scrub or a homemade one using granulated sugar, Vaseline and a muslin cloth to gently wipe it away.
Use a lip pencil to line, but also fill in lips, as the waxy consistency gives lipstick something to cling to. Plus, when it does wear a little, there will still be colour underneath. Next, using a lip brush, apply a layer of lipstick and press a tissue over before adding another layer. You might like to try applying a gloss just to the centre of the lips. This adds a nice touch, which looks gorgeous in photos. These techniques will ensure you get the most from your application, although eating, drinking and, of course, kissing can still affect the longevity of your lipstick. Why not purchase the shade to keep with you. Even if it's not needed on the day, it's still a lovely keepsake and a reminder of your special day that you can use again and again! Image credit: https://sashaweddings.co.uk/
Colour your life
Q. I've heard that certain colours suit certain skin undertones. How do I tell what undertone I have and can you advise on what colours would complement my skin?
A. Elizabeth Joseph-Love says: Your skin's undertone is the colour beneath the surface. You can have the same skin colour as someone else – ivory, light, medium, tan or dark – but still have a different undertone. These are:
- Cool (pink or bluish undertones) – suited to blues, lavenders and pinks.
- Warm (yellow, peach, golden undertones) – suited to corals, golds, yellows and olive green
- Neutral (a mix of both warm and cool undertones) – suited to any colour!
So, how do you know which you are?
- Check your veins: In your wrist, are they blue or green? If they look blue, you have cool undertones. If the veins look greenish, you're warm. If you're a bit of both you're probably neutral.
- Jewellery: Think about whether you look better in silver or gold jewellery. People with cool undertones look better in silver metals and warm-toned people look better in golds.
- The neutral test: Think about what neutral shades flatter you best. Do you look better in bright white and blacks or ivory, off-whites, and browns? The former means you're probably cool-toned, the latter, warm.
Once you understand your skin's undertone, you can approach the make-up counter with confidence.
A fine line
Q. I have very fine hair. How would you suggest I style it to make sure it doesn't look flat and lifeless?
A. Angela Williams says: Fine hair can be frustrating. Too little product and it looks limp, too much and it still looks limp! So, it's worth noting that volume starts in the shower. Avoid using conditioner on the scalp, instead focusing on the ends. Products containing silicone tend to weigh the hair down; so try a silicone-free range, your salon stylist will be able to you help chose the best one for you. Try to avoid combing your hair in a neat parting; keep it messier and directed back over the crown.
It's best not to grow your hair too long, so invest in a good haircut. Remember though, lots of layers will make your hair look thinner so try to keep the ends blunt with some slicing to give texture, the shorter the hair the thicker it looks.
Your hair can also look thinner the lighter it is. For blondes, one block colour can make hair look one dimensional. Have a darker blonde colour added, which acts as an optical illusion in the same way subtle highlights do on darker hair, to bring your hair to life.
Dry your hair at least 90 per cent with your hands before using brushes. Blow dry upside down first, this allows gravity to lift your roots away from the scalp then lift your roots with a brush. Once you have achieved the volume you want, it's important to seal it in with a cold blast of air. If you're tonging the hair, it's essential to let each section cool before running your hands or a brush through it so that the style can set; otherwise you'll undo all your good work, and your hair will look flat.
Finally, don't forget to lock in the look by finishing with a good holding spray to help protect your hair from humidity.
Out of the darkness
Q. I've always had dark circles underneath my eyes and nothing seems to hide them. Is there anything you can suggest to get rid of them or even keep them well-concealed so my eyes look bright on my wedding day?
A. Michelle Vincent says: Dark circles can be hereditary, or due to a lack of sleep, stress, poor diet and nutrition and usually vitamin K deficiency. In order to get rid of them, unless they're hereditary, you'll need to identify the cause. Eat more leafy vegetables, or juice them if you prefer smoothies, and try to get into a good sleep routine.
As for beauty, before bed massage into the area an equal mix of vitamin E oil and almond oil – like a serum – then wash off in the morning with cold water. Repeat this every night until reduced. You could also try resting sliced potatoes on the eyes, which act as a bleach.
Get a good quality concealer to hide any darkness such as MAC Studio Finish which is a thick, cream-based product. Then set with a light to translucent powder. This has saved me on many occasions and is great for spots too! Barry M also has a full coverage liquid that works quite well. You don't want to go too light in colour or it will look odd in photos but it needs to be a shade or two lighter than your skin tone.
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