I’ll be honest and say that when it came to sorting out bridal hair and make up, I really didn’t know what I wanted.
My searched and saved varied from pictures of Priscilla Presley (‘maybe it’s a lengthy beehive that I’m after?’), Bianca Jagger (‘maybe it’s a hat. YES IT’S A HAT’) and Katherine Ross in The Graduate- where my only bridal dreams were that with a floaty veil and bambi-like bushy brows and lashes. Obviously, everything depended on the dress- and once I’d sorted that, a lot of my decisions became a lot easier. I knew certain hair styles could look ‘too done’ with the dress I’d gone for, and knew that a veil and overly fussy hair and make up could take things from a little more demure, to ever-so-slightly Met Gala (which, naturally, isn’t a bad thing- just not quite what I was after). I knew my sixties dreams were probably best reserved for the hen party, and actually I wanted to feel like Liv 2.0 (lol) and not someone totally dressed up in costume (god, as tempting as that might be)…
So, when it came to actually getting it done, honestly I wasn’t totally sure where to start. I knew the kind of thing I wanted (thanks to many months of saving bits and pieces on Instagram)- but knowing who to ask felt like a bit of a Google search minefield. When ‘wedding hair and make up’ felt a bit overwhelming and vague, I looked closer to home- and if you’re able to ask your hairdresser (or an assistant from the salon you swear by) or a make up artist pal- I can’t recommend this enough…
Recommendation and word of mouth is definitely something that makes life a lot easier here, so check out friend or colleague weddings and start from there. Fortunately my job made life a little easier when it came to the choices I had, but trust me when I say there was still a lot of search engine bars before final decisions were made. You want to make sure you’re using someone trusted, and someone that knows the ropes a little (even if they’re just starting out)- don’t be afraid to be super clear with what you’re after- it’s your day after all, and a little direction can truly go a long way.
Sorting out my big-day barnet was a pretty easy decision. I asked my trusty hairdresser Rob if he’d do weddings (with Amy naturally on colour), and after saying yes- asked if he was free on the 25th of May and that was that. We had one trial before the day, and although I was a little on the fence about what I wanted- knew how happy I typically felt when leaving the hairdressers, and pretty much wanted to recreate that post-hairdresser-swooshy-feeling again (but just making sure it would last through some dancing too). I’d decided that with my dress, hair down would probably look the most relaxed, but rather than my standard waves, opted for something a tiny bit more ‘done’ and resting behind my shoulders, so the dress still got it’s va va voom ‘moment’.
I also picked up a very indulgent Simone Rocha clip as one of my main accessories for the wedding day, and figured because I wasn’t having a viel could justify a fancy clip spend (make of that what you will- trust me when I was looking, pearly clips weren’t as widely available). It felt like the perfect subtle alternative to more tulle and we ended up using that and I couldn’t have been happier with the end result. Plus, the re-wear situation is arguably a little more doable than a veil, so that’s my justification done and done.
In terms of bridesmaids, I wasn’t too fussed about how people wanted to do their hair- as long as they felt comfortable and happy I was too. I did have some extra gypsophila and roses to hand to add in, but everyone ended up having their hair down (or half up and half down), and it looked so gorgeous and relaxed, which is exactly what I had in mind.
The Make Up…
Having done a bit of work with Chanel, and hosted an event with Chanel, Brides Magazine and Zoe Taylor– I was very generously offered Zoe’s amazing services for my big day- and knowing a) that she was already bloody brilliant (come on, she’s done Rihanna and Lucy Boynton’s make up), and b) that she knew her way around my face (and knew what I liked too), it was one of the easiest yes’s of the day (y’know aside from saying yes to Joe…) We did a trial at my house a couple of weeks before the big day, and in all honesty I probably went a little overboard with inspiration images. Refining things down to some common themes; pink, sparkly, dewy and natural- we picked out some favourite products and played around with lashes, a slightly more pigmented lip, and then tweaked until we had something that ultimately, felt like me (with Zoe’s magic, of course).
She is a total magician with make up, and can use lash curlers like no one I’ve met. I was so lucky to have her as part of my day, and for this post we also recreated the look in a step-by-step video, so you can get an idea of how we created it too. It’s been tweaked to be a little more autumnal/wearable for the day- so I hope you like it!
A few months before the wedding, I was contacted by the lovely people at Pfeffer Sal in London, to pay a visit to their heavenly spa for a couple of facials before the big day. Being someone who very rarely makes time for treatments, not only was this a total indulgence, but really felt like a bit of heaven in the mad lead up in planning and writing.
Honestly, when I first arrived, and judging by how cool the location was- I was a little worried it would be a bit pretentious and too-cool for school. I always worry before going in for a facial that I’ll be told off for not doing things properly (a little like when you go to a new hairdressers and they’re like ‘OH madam! Have you been washing your hair with salt water for 10 years?!). But alas, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Not only is everyone in Pfeffer Sal warm, knowledgeable and happy to make you feel incredibly at home (which I must’ve done seeing as I fell asleep in every treatment)- but the ladies here are so knowledgeable in their field, and advise you solely on your needs, and not with what’s ‘trending’ at the moment.
Because I hadn’t had any kind of facial treatment in ages, and because curiosity got the better of me- I also gave micro needling a go. I’d seen the wonderful Emma share this on her stories, and although I wasn’t sure what to expect, was really keen to give it a try, and with a few months before the wedding it felt like a good a time as any to try it out. In short, the micro-needling aims to stimulate collagen production in the face, as well as help with acne scarring (something I have a fair share of) and fine lines. Although the process looks a little scary (I shared a step by step on my stories, and also recommend Emma’s for an in-depth look), it was completely pain free- and within about a day, my skin felt the glowiest it had in ages. Although the treatment does mean taking (even more) care of your skin, and giving it a little time off from make up and skincare while it recovers, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. My facialist Jane was incredible, and having gone back since- cannot recommend them highly enough for the most special treatments in the city. I felt truly spoilt and couldn’t have felt luckier to have them pampering my skin in the lead up.
And in terms of my day-to-day routine? Honestly, nothing changed. That’s probably the least exciting answer and thing to say, but keeping things as I knew them felt preferable than fiddling about and messing up something that I felt I already knew my way around. Thrown in with a couple of facials, keeping things simple felt like my best bet. A few weeks before the big day, however, and a couple of days before my hen party, my skin came down in a red flaky rash across my eyelids- which although I’m certain was down to stress, meant I was even more careful about not muddling around with the products I already knew and trusted. It was a mini skin wake-up-call, the ‘WHY NOW’ (but actually rather now than in a few weeks time). I used this cocktail of products from Boots (including the Avène Skin Recovery Cream and Boots Derma Care Daily Moisturising Cream) which sorted me right out and cannot recommend them all highly enough if you’re someone like me, who can be prone to a flare up now and again.
And the scent…
Finally, trust me when I say there’s a reason so many people go to Jo Malone for their wedding fragrance. So many of their scents evoke sentimental memories for me, and going into one of their boutiques to select something personal for the big day felt like a really special way of spending an afternoon. Although scent is so personal, for me Jo Malone are home to fragrances both my mum and nan’s have loved for years- and selecting something that could encapsulate the day here felt like a really lovely detail.
Plus, if you’re having a venue that accommodates candles and diffusers, they can also tie that together- meaning they can ‘scent’ the wedding (which feels very fancy) but also means that when you smell that fragrance, it transports you straight back to the day- which is pretty magical indeed. For my fragrances, I opted for a combination of Wood Sage and Sea Salt and their Frangipani Flower and couldn’t have loved the combination more. I’m a real florals and fruits kind of lady- so wanted to turn to the kind of scents that I normally love (citruses, light and airy florals) whilst selecting something I’d not worn previously before. It really tied everything together in a sunshiney scent, and although might not be a huge detail for some, felt really special selecting my own wedding day scent as the last step.
(My make-up was generously complimentary as part of some unpaid work with Chanel, as well as services from Pfeffer Sal and the fragrance from Jo Malone)