Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Cheshire & Merseyside 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.
Q. What's the secret to using bronzer and highlighter to best effect?
A. Julie McCulloch says: Both products can be used to achieve multiple effects, so make sure you get your money's worth! For a natural sun-kissed healthy glow or a contoured look, always opt for a matte formula, and never in a shade that's too dark for your skin tone. Be sure also, to avoid overloading your brush. For a perfect contour, always remember to follow the hollow of your cheeks, building up the colour. I'd recommend using a smaller brush with a rounded end. For an all over healthy glow, sweep the product up the cheekbones, across the forehead, down the nose, and along the chin bone. Make sure everything is well blended or you mind not have such a natural-looking glow!
Highlighter really is a fabulous multi-use product. There are two formulas available: cream or powder. Cream highlighter should be applied before foundation for a more natural look, with powder going on after foundation. Apart from brushing along the top of the cheekbones, highlighter can also be used under the arch of the brow, lightly over concealer to camouflage dark circles, and above the Cupid's bow to give the look of a fuller lip. A technique I use on my brides is to also use on the inner corners of the eyes to really open them up.
Q. Should my bridesmaids' make-up be the same or a complete contrast to mine?
A. Jessica Mair says: I'd usually recommend the bridesmaids have a different make-up look to the bride. However, I would advise that you consider using the same sort of tones on the eyelids, so that the overall style flows and works in harmony for those all-important photographs. Too strong a contrast should be avoided though, as this will really make the bridesmaids stand out, and you should be the only belle of the ball on your big day.
Q. What are your hot bridal hair trend tips for 2020?
A. Natalie Mills says: I love brainstorming with my brides – exchanging hair ideas and inspiration. It's important, of course, to take into account hair type, colour, length and texture, and at the same time considering the silhouette of the dress, the accessories, the venue, and the overall theme of the day.
My head goes in to little bit of a spin, thinking about the latest trends, as a whole whirlwind of images pop into my mind from magazine articles, bridal catwalk shows, and styled shoots I've worked on. The trends I think will lead the way in bridal hair in 2020 will definitely be soft tousled waves rather than curls, and low textured buns over full volume up dos. In general, styles that are super-relaxed, with a hint of sass!
Hair accessories are set to be huge for this year's brides. Flower crowns, and jewelled or beaded headbands will be seen widely across spring/summer weddings, right the way through to autumn/winter. For me personally, it's all about making current trends work for my brides. There isn't anything that can't be adapted to suit. It's all about feeling confident and comfortable. The main thing is to have fun with it, and to feel like the absolute best version of yourself on your big day.
Q. I'm not a huge fan of glitter by want a glam look for my new year nuptials. What can you suggest?
A. Vicky King says: To me is glam is all about the Hollywood red carpet - chic and sophisticated. Think of the classic Oscar looks. I'd suggest a winged eyeliner using warm browns, with a smoky line along the bottom lashes. Smoked-out eyeliner is on trend, but also looks timeless. Make your eyes stand out with a touch of shimmery or metallic eyeshadow. Golds and bronzes are my favourites. Plus, voluminous strip lashes instantly add glamour to your look.
Sculpt your cheekbones with a matte bronzer, and add a pop of blusher on the apples of your cheeks. Dab a little highlighter on the tops of your cheekbones and under your brow bones to add glow.
You can't beat a classic red lip when it comes to a glam make-up look, but if you feel that's too bold try a soft berry red or a natural shade slightly deeper than your own lips. Finally, add a tiny dab of lip gloss to the centre of your lips to make them look fuller and poutier.
Image credit: https://amandabalmain.com/
Q. I loved bride Sarah's wedding day look in the last issue of Your Cheshire & Merseyside Wedding. How did you create this?
A. Evka Allen says: Sarah wanted an original yet glamorous look for her big day. The idea was to make her beautiful and bridal, yet different with a vintage twist. Her everyday style is gothic vintage so I knew we wouldn't be going for a super delicate traditional wedding look, but instead something stronger, bigger and very glamorous. Her dress was handmade from a stunning sheer fitted lace with lots of gold detail and a long train. Right away it gave off a 40s/50s Hollywood glam feel, so we were inspired to create a hair and make-up look to complement it. We opted for the classic pinup look, with black eyeliner and red lipstick. To achieve the tie-in with the gown, I added a bit of gold highlighter to the inner corners of the eyes, with a tiny bit more on the cheeks. To keep her face looking fresh and bridal, we went for a natural foundation, with a delicate peach blush adding a touch of colour to her gorgeous porcelain-like skin. To create drama, we chose to apply the eyeliner in slightly longer and thicker strokes than the usual Hollywood glam look, and added false eye lashes.
Sarah's inspiration for her hair was the queen of burlesque, Dita Von Teese, and her perfect sleek locks styled in old Hollywood waves. The bride had a long veil and a big flower crown, so the challenge was to create a style that would stay intact all day and night, as well as hold the hair pieces in. I curled her hair with a medium thickness tong, and added some hair extensions underneath for volume, which acted as the foundation for the style. There was also a lot of backcombing involved, which gave us the perfect base to fix the crown and veil securely. I kept the bottom fluffy and voluminous to maintain the dramatic glam look, but smoothed the top for a gorgeous soft bridal feel.
Image credit: https://www.paulbaybutphotography.com
Q. I've heard that perfectly painted brows are out and fluffy brows are in. How can I achieve this on trend look?
A. Cathryn Kerwin-Rawlinson says: This is very true. Gone are the days of the heavy painted brow or ombre brow. Now, it's all about a softer more fluffy look, and it's super easy to achieve. It's a gorgeous look, so soft and effortless. It definitely fits in with my favourite bridal make-up aesthetic. Firstly, say goodbye to visits to the brow stylist and let them grow out. The cheapest way to style is using clear soap in a tin, a spray bottle and a clear mascara wand. Simply spray water on the soap, take the wand and scrape it through. Then brush those brows upwards – the soap will set them in place. Finally, if you find they're a bit gappy, take a precision brow pencil, and draw in some hair strokes, my favourite is by MUA from Superdrug. If you prefer, many make-up brands sell brow taming gels, which work just as well. Another way, is a semi-permanent option, lamination. Speak to your beautician about this treatment, which lasts for several weeks.
Q. My lips get dry and cracked in the winter. What's your advice on the best way to combat this so as not to ruin the look of my lipstick?
A. Sophie Chaplin says: To get your lips in good condition start by using an exfoliating lip scrub, ideally one that contains oils to smooth and condition. Follow with a hydrating treatment to replenish the surface of the lips. When wearing your favourite lipstick first apply a primer, this will provide a much-needed layer of moisture underneath your lip colour ensuring it stays put. Also, when you're shopping for your W-day lippy, look out for one with moisturising benefits.
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. Andrea Baines says: Dark circles are one of the biggest beauty concerns for brides. Unfortunately a lot of the time they're simply a matter of genetics. However, the lead up to a wedding can bring a lot of sleepless nights, which can exacerbate the problem. There are various things you can do to reduce their appearance.
* Try to get some decent sleep – easier said than done I know!
* Invest in some skincare that contains vitamin C to restore collagen and hyaluronic acid to plump. I recommend Dr. Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Brighten and Firm Eye Cream.
* On the morning of the wedding, stay hydrated, and use a cold compress on your eyes to reduce any puffiness.
The real trick to hiding dark circles is in your make-up application.
* You'll need to colour correct under your eyes to give a fresher appearance. There are plenty of good colour correctors on the market; my personal favourite is Becca Cosmetics Under Eye Brightening Corrector. The pink tones in this product combat the blue hues in dark circles, and it contains pearlescent particles to reflect light.
* Next you'll need a concealer. In my kit I use NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. This product really does what it says on the tin – it's long lasting without being too heavy on the delicate skin below your eyes, perfect for brides.
Q. My lips are quite thin, but I'd love to give the impression of a fuller pout. How can I achieve this naturally?
A. Cathryn Kerwin-Rawlinson says: To create the perfect pout you need to prep ready for the make-up. Take some lip balm or petroleum jelly (I like Dr Paw Paw) and mix with granulated sugar. Apply to the lips sloughing away dead skin and bringing the blood to the surface, which will naturally plump the skin. Take a highlighter of choice and using your finger pop some onto your cupids bow before applying lipstick. It'll look like you've been drinking milk but once the make-up is on you'll get the effect of a fuller top lip. Use a sharp liner pencil that matches in tone with the chosen lipstick and from the cupids bow draw in the shape, being careful not to go too far over the line. Take the colour of choice and fill in. I find that neutral colours work best as they give the illusion of fuller lips, whereas dark tones and reds can make them look smaller. Finally take a matching gloss and pop this into the centre of the lip only, again a trick of using light reflecting products to give the illusion of a fuller pout.
Q. I'm using a bright and bold colour palette for our summer wedding. How can I tie this into my make-up look without going overboard?
A. Sophie Chaplin says: A statement lip colour can create a bold statement, becoming the perfect accessory. Let elements of your day's palette influence and impact your lip shade. From a glamorous red to a moody plum, you can also customise your chosen hue in either a matte, gloss, satin or even a powder lip. Create a natural, fresh base on the face and eyes, finishing with the statement colour on your lips to brighten your complexion.
Q. I'd love a stunning, pared-back hair style like Elle Gregson in last issue's real wedding feature at The Colony HQ. How was this created?
A. Charlottle Medford says: Elle wanted her bridal hair to have a real Vogue Italia feel to it. Sleekness and shine were key for this style, so with this is mind she had her hairline threaded for that really sharp finish.
I straightened her hair in fine sections, glossing each piece as I went. A lot of time was spent getting the razor sharp parting absolutely perfect, finishing with shine spray then securing everything into a super sleek low ponytail. Her ponytail was then backcombed leaving a smooth section underneath and rolled upwards to create a smooth, classic chignon. The whole look was finished with a dazzling rose gold crown – a piece from my collection, which is available for my brides to hire. Elle really was a total showstopper, a true Vogue Italia beauty.
Image credit: https://www.willowandwilde.com
Q. I'm having a formal, black-tie wedding and my dress has an amazing statement back. What hairstyle would be suitable?
A. Gillian Roslan-Oates says: You have two considerations here: the theme of the wedding and the style of your dress. If the back of your gown is just as beautiful as the front, I'd recommend an up do to show off your locks and to complement the design of your outfit.
As an award-winning bridal hairstylist, I've had the opportunity to work with lots of brides, and there are so many elegant and stunning formal looks that'd work for your special day. A chignon would be perfect, and is much more suitable than the relaxed, tousled vibe. It's gorgeous on all hair colours and has been a classic style since the 1930s, but is still very current. Super-versatile, it can be adapted to a soft, relaxed style or a structured, glamorous look. Either way, you'll get the wow factor!
Image credit: http://jadeosbornephotography.com
Q. I love a fresh, glowing face. How do I create this without looking shiny?
A. Vicky King says: Every bride should have that glowing-from-within look on her big day – and that's my speciality! It can be hard to achieve without looking oily, so preparation is absolutely essential.
I love plumping the complexion with a hydrating cream cleanser used as a mask for five to ten minutes. I follow this with a moisturiser that works for my bride's skin type. Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter is my go-to for giving radiance. I buff it all over before applying foundation. Next, a liquid or cream blusher on the apples of the cheeks and a light dusting of shimmery powder blusher gives a fresh, youthful feel. Dotting liquid highlighter on the cheekbones, browbones and cupid's bow boosts the glow. Dust radiant loose setting powder with a small fluffy brush on areas that tend to get shiny, such as the forehead and nose.
Finish everything off with a few sprays of illuminating setting spray. Skindinavia Bridal is a favourite of mine; it settles the powder and locks your make-up in place without mattifying it too much.
Image credit: Robin May Photography
Q. I want a really simple hair and beauty look for my big day but I still want to look refined. How do I make sure I'm photo-ready?
A. Kelly Kearns says: For lovely laid-back hair, opt to wear your locks down. I'd suggest having your hair blow dried so it's bouncy and then set in rollers for at least two hours before the ceremony. Once removed, the curls can be brushed through to create soft, glamorous waves. Ask your stylist to add a little height to stop it from looking flat in photographs.
To achieve a natural make-up look, start prepping a few months before your special day. A thorough skincare routine is essential to achieving a smooth complexion and will enable you to reduce the amount of coverage you need on the day.
Focus on the most important elements of your look, such as a flawless base, softly groomed brows and feathery lashes. If you get the basics right, the rest of your make-up will fall in to place.
Prep eyes with a colour corrector and concealer then apply an eyeshadow that complements your skin tone. Cool silvery hues suit blue eyes, while warm golden tones work best on brown eyes. Remember that bridal make-up needs to stand out against the white of your gown, so add a pop of colour to your cheeks and lips for a natural glow.
Q. I have very big, curly hair! Are there any pre-wedding treatments and on-the-day styles that'll help tame it?
A. Katy Corcoran says: Natural curls are a dream to work with. To prep your hair in advance, I'd recommend using a leave-in conditioning treatment a few days before the wedding to get your tresses in the best possible condition. Once dry, I love to use After Party Smoothing Cream by Tigi as it's brilliant at smoothing frizz and leaves hair looking super-shiny without weighing it down.
For the day, I'd go for an up do with pretty twists and braids to shows off your hair's natural beauty – this style will hold all day and night. Accessories like fresh flowers or a diamanté hair clip will help to give your look definition.
Image credit: https://bancroftphotography.co.uk/
Q. The worry of wedding planning is disrupting my sleep, which has resulted in dark circles under my eyes. What can I do before the wedding and what products will help on the day?
A. Vicky King says: Don't worry; there are tricks to help! You can purchase brightening eye masks to combat eye shadows, I recommend popping them in the fridge first so they're nice and cool. You can also apply cotton pads to the area that have been soaked in chamomile or green tea bags – just brew the tea then pop in the fridge for at least an hour first. Rose water also works well when applied for 15 minutes each night. Afterwards, massage the area with almond oil. High in vitamin E, it helps to strengthen the skin. Use your ring fingers to gently press from the inner corners of your eye and move outward to encourage circulation and lymphatic drainage. Always drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.
The act of self-care is so important. Taking time to relax will aid your sleep, but if the circles are still evident on the day, don't panic, it's easy to cover. You'll need a colour corrector in a pink-peach shade for purple-tinted circles, or an orange-peach product for blue-tinted circles. Thinly apply the corrector with a brush or your ring finger and then cover with a brightening concealer. Set this with a light dusting of loose powder for added staying power.
Image credit https://www.lucyhannahphotography.co.uk/
Q. I want the perfect smile for my big day but I'm petrified of the dentist – where can I get some expert advice?
A. Dr Clare Robinson says: Looking your big-day best is a priority for many brides and grooms with people investing serious time and money on their hair, make-up and even bodies. We also think that your teeth should be a priority as part of those all-important wedding preparations. After all, you're guaranteed to be smiling all day!
Achieving a gleaming smile doesn't need to be painful or costly, which is what a lot of people associate with a trip to the dentist. At the Dental Café, you can even pop in with your other half and sit back with a cup of coffee for some dental pampering in our informal yet professional environment.
Depending on the existing condition of your teeth, there are lots of non-invasive and affordable options for newlyweds-to-be to improve the overall aesthetic of their smile. A quick scale and polish could be all it takes to give you sparkling, clean teeth. We follow this with Airflow, a system that removes stubborn stains using jet stream technology. Those wanting to lift the base shade of their teeth for a truly striking smile can opt for boutique whitening, which is a safe, easy-to-use method that you can do in your own home after we've created a bespoke mould.
Dr Clare Robinson