Beauty Department: A DIY Bridesmaids Make-Up Tutorial

I’ve decided I need to blog more, to make this a better resource for both my brides and others out there who would like access to behind the wedding planner scenes exclusive content, DIY tutorials, real wedding features and lots more locally inspired fabulousness. I feel the need to do more feature interviews with Cotswold wedding suppliers and tell you all about the latest (and coolest) wedding fairs. And I’m going to start a regular newsletter… something that’s been on my “to do” list for a while now!

Part of this master plan is to feature more guest bloggers, as I did recently when I posted about the key questions you should ask your  photographer. I’d also like to share more beauty tips, since I am a self confessed addict to anything that smells good and comes in pretty packaging. 

So it’s this desire that brings you a fabulous guest post from super lovely make-up artist Vanessa Smith. Over to her, my resident expert today in all things bridesmaid. I’m making notes myself on all those key products….


If you have a quick search on the internet you are inundated with ‘Brides’ tutorials.  There is very little information out there for the Bride to direct her Bridesmaids or for the Bridesmaids out there who have free reign over their makeup for their friend’s big day.

So many aspects of a Wedding are planned with military precision and I believe the Makeup should not be an exception either. Most Brides have a theme for the day and want this to continue through to the Bridesmaid dresses and even sometimes the Makeup.

My key tip is don’t necessarily try and match your Makeup to your theme but find a consistent and adaptable look that can be created to emphasise and make the best of your Bridesmaids individual looks.

Whether you decide to get a Makeup Artist in to do the Makeup, or you are doing it yourselves it’s important to agree between you some ground rules and direction for the Bridal Parties Makeup. If the Bride has chosen a natural, fresh and glowing look and one Bridesmaid decides to have a full on smokey eye with lashing of mascara, false lashes and a bright lip then all focus will be shifted away from the one person that everyone should be looking at! Equally, if you have all Bridesmaids with Makeup on apart from one person who is bare faced, this is also going to draw the focus away from the Bride and make an impact on the Photos of the day.

For those who don’t wear much makeup keep the look soft and neutral with neutrals, pinks and taupes and for those wanting something more dramatic the use of eyeliner and false lashes can really transform the look without it being too out of the way and in keeping with the overall look.

Step by step guide to Bridesmaid Makeup

1. Skin prep is key to ensuring you have good base for the makeup to be applied to. Regular exfoliation in the run up to the day is invaluable to smooth skin along with cleansing and moisturising your skin twice daily.

2. I always apply a Primer once I have moisturised by. One of my favourites is Laura Mercier Hydrating Primer which creates a smooth base and ensures that foundation lasts.

3. I prefer to use a foundation brush to apply foundation as love the even finish that it gives and the adaptability to build up the product if needed. More a very natural finish you can use a sponge or fingers to apply the product.

DIY natural make-up tutorial

One of my favourite products in my Bridal kit currently is Nars Sheer Glow Foundation. This gives a lovely glowing light/medium coverage. I then conceal and prime the eye area before lightly powdering the face with a translucent powder.

4. I used a large eye shadow brush to sweep a pearlescent pink over the whole of the eye before applying a lovely warm brown colour to the socket which was then blended out. A small amount of highlighter across the brown bone completes the shadow part of this look.

5. I opted for a pencil liner to apply a neat line across the upper lash line to keep the look soft. It’s important when using a pencil that it is a good quality liner as some of the cheaper ones are often renowned for smudging. My recommendation would be Mac Pro Longwear eyeliner.

bridesmaids make up tutorial

Apply this closely to the bottom lashes too approximately halfway across the eye.

6. I always use Waterproof Mascara on the whole Bridal party. Running mascara can ruin a whole look and you don’t want to spend the day with smudged makeup after being caught out with an attack of the tears during the ceremony! Go for two coats and ensure you get as close to the root of the lash as possible for luscious lashes.

7. I generally like to apply some product to the brows to fill in any gaps or to tame and unruly hairs. I do so by using a powder product and clear brow gel.

8. Next apply some blush to the cheeks. If you have aged or extremely dry skin then a cream blush may be the best option for you. Alternatively a rose blush suits most skin tones and apply this to the apples of the cheeks sweeping gently up into the cheek bones.

diy bridesmaids makeup tutorial

9. Apply a nude liner to the lips to create a base for the lipstick or gloss to hold onto and ensure longevity. Finally, apply a nude or pink tonal lipstick with a lip brush to the lips to finish your look. I’m a big fan of Bobbi Brown Lip Colour and often recommend these onto my clients.

bridesmaids natural makeup

I think you can see from the before and after that a beautiful and natural look has been created and is very adaptable for all skin types, tones and ages.

bridesmaids makeup before and after

how to do bridesmaids make up

Thanks to Paul from the Lemon House Photography for his patience and skills in taking the shots for this look.

Thanks Vanessa! I adore that lip colour, it really pops out and makes me feel ready for Spring. Prettiness! If you are looking for a bridal make up artist in the Cotswolds then look no further, and if you are a bridesmaid panicking about how to make yourself look good in the official photographs then I hope this helps!



Up, up and away!

Hello fellow brides, grooms, bloggers and wedding pro’s…

First of all I have an apology to make as I have been utterly and totally behind on my blogging the last few weeks. I’ve been super busy planning gorgeous events and also had the amazing news that I am pregnant! Now that I’ve come back down to earth and am safely out of the first trimester, bump and I can get back to business providing advice and design inspiration to couples looking to get married in the Cotswolds.

This week I have a super special feature on BALLOONS! Just the word itself conjures up all sorts of bubbly, colourful, and fun images that would suit a carefree and happy couple totally and completely.

Whether you’re sticking to a colour theme, or going all out “rainbow” there are lots of fun ways to include this fun accessory into your big day.

Take a peek at this bright canary yellow and orange theme below. Not a colour combination I’d usually be drawn towards but I adore this splash of summer brights against the wedding party’s more subtle outfits. Just peachy!

Bridesmaids with balloons

Or perhaps you’re wanting to inject a more subtle blend of colours, but love the idea of using balloons to create impact with your guests and treasured photographs. There are plenty of shades to choose from… love the idea of a pastel collection of soft pinks, sage green, lilac, duck egg blues and white. It’s like sugared almonds and sugar mice with a sprinkle of loveliness.

Pastel colour balloons

My absolute favourite use of these fabulous childhood friendly props is when they are a kaleidoscope of colour, which is a theme carried out throughout the venue and decor. A bit Glastonbury meets Wizard of Oz! There is so much to get creative with when you’re not stuck to one colour palette – unmatched bridesmaid dresses, bright shoes under a wedding dress, groomsmen with multi-coloured mixed ties and shoes, flowers that truly stand out from the crowd… endless possibilities! Some inspiration below to get you started…

Fabulous multi-coloured bridesmaids

Colourful wedding - flowers

Amazing, right?!

If you’re not feeling brave enough to take all this on for your own wedding day, but love the idea of balloons featuring somewhere you could always have a fun filled engagement shoot using balloons in whatever colour you chose. Or why not have a fun “guest book” asking guests to write a good wish to the bride and groom on a tag or label, ask each guest to tie it to a balloon – and then with a suitably favourite track in the back ground ask everyone to release them all at once and watch them romantically drift away.

Of course ladies and gents, you know I love to support local wedding businesses – so let me introduce you to the rather wonderful and super lovely supplier… The Balloon Lady! Based in Oxfordshire, with 17 years experience, there is nothing they don’t know about these inflatable goodies. Oh, and they also do flowers. Great combo huh?! I was lucky enough to be sent a rather gorgeous story of one of their weddings that they loved decorating. It featured rocket balloons, party poppers, bubbles and streamers for the guests to play with – but the piece de resistance was for the end of the first dance, where they hand hung four exploding balloon bombs from the beams in the barn… at the end of the first dance these were burst, showering the room with small balloons and slow dropping table confetti! Magic!

See a photo from the day below, balloons used in pinks with a very classy theme in a gorgeous barn:

Venue decoration by The Balloon Lady

So, who’s gone full balloon theme on their wedding day? Or perhaps you’ve been more subtle and only featured them somewhere in the event? Would love to see creative photo’s from those who’ve already tied the knot.

Righto, off to watch Up (the movie) now… all this inflatable talk has got me feeling cheery.

Take care.



Twitter: @Jessie_Thomson

Are you a local supplier waiting to tell the world about your services? Are you an inspiration to the industry or to your clients? Please get in touch for future interview opportunities on the blog!

Credits: Green Wedding Shoes, Style Me Pretty, Bridal Musings, The Balloon Lady

The Only Way to Wed is Essex!

Anyone noticed the recent fascination with all things Essex?? The TV show, Olly Murs, Stacey Solomon, Diversity, Denise Van Outen… even our Dame Helen Mirren is an Essex girl! I laughed my socks off when I watched the “vajazzle” episode on The Only Way is Essex on ITV – and it got me thinking about a sparkly, fun filled, colourful, totally extravagant wedding, and how brilliant it could be!

It’s not a theme I would naturally choose being a bit of a boho chic myself, but plenty of my girlfriends absolutely love dressing up to the nines, so I could really imagine them loving it.

So for inspiration we look to lots of glamour for the girls, sophisticated groomsmen in city suits, and a bright colour scheme to show the fabulously fun side of the couple. I LOVE the idea of fuschia pink, light pink and grey or taupe to compliment this theme. Actually I also love the hot pink + black colour scheme, and this can be made super glamorous or a little more rock chic to suit tastes. If you’d like to stick with subtle, then just pick up on the “sparkle” element and have lots of glitz, silver, gold throughout… lighting could play a big part with glittering chandeliers, and a sparkler send off to end the day.

For the latter theme I couldn’t think of a more beautiful dress than this one, made to order by Clinton Lotter by Blackburn Bridal Couture.

Few people would be as brave as Gwen Stefani and rock out a pink dip dyed wedding dress courtesy of John Galliano..

But if you’re going for this colour scheme then why not wear a fabulous pair of sparkly or patent pink gorgeous heels under your wedding dress, so that they just peek out or the odd flash can be shown off to your guests?

I adore the pink sparkly Christian Louboutins as well, to really inject some party prettiness!

For the groom, a sleek city three piece suit in grey/taupe would look great with pink accessories, but if you wanted to alter the theme slightly as mentioned above, then black or navy work really nicely with hot pink and fuschia as well. For full on sparkle and chic then nothing compares to the tuxedo!!

Bridesmaids definitley need to be oozing glamour… I love the idea of mixing up different colours to show off their individuality. The highstreet have some fab pieces, so they should all be able to find something that suits.

Image taken from United With Love blog, Photo Credit: Love Life Images

For the venue, look for something smart, modern and contemporary – here in the Cotswolds I’d look at places like Cotswold 88, Cowley Manor, The Montpellier Chapter or DFly.

What do you think? Can you imagine having an Essex themed wedding?