Photo Credit: Gary Bonar Photography
One of my earliest memories of my Mum, is watching her sit on the edge of her bed, towel on her head, as she carefully applied her Oil of Ulay (now Olay) moisturiser to her face. Looking after her skin was an important ritual for my mum and I can vividly remember the pure look of enjoyment in her face while she did it. She would always do her facial exercises at the same time which really made me laugh (they did look funny).
My mum taught me the importance of looking after my skin, but also the commitment involved in that. It means keeping up a daily and nightly routine of cleansing, toning and moisturising, all while adapting your routine as you age. As you get older, you will want to add in serums, eye creams, exfoliating treatments and masks to boost, repair and replenish.
I am incredibly passionate about skincare and advising Brides to a better routine, really is something that I put an enormous amount of effort into.
So how do you get your skin into it’s best condition for your big day? Here are some of my top tips to follow:
The makeup trial is usually where the skincare action plan is made (generally around 6 months before the big day). Making a start right away, allows plenty of time for you to get into a good habit and for your skin to adjust to a new routine.
You will spend just a few minutes in the morning and again in the evening, caring for your skin. It will honestly begin to feel like a real luxury treat, rather than a chore. When the results of your efforts begin to show, you will admire how nice your skin feels and it’s gorgeous glow!
This is a really bad word when it comes to skincare. Wipes are problematic mainly because:
1. They don’t do the job of actually cleaning the skin – What they actually do is skim over the top of the skin (ignoring anything in the pores as they can’t reach in there).
2. They are really bad for the environment, polluting the ocean and did you know that they also account for 90% of sewer blockages?
So what makes a good skincare routine? I’ve detailed below an example of my morning and night routine. Please note: If you have sensitive skin, you will want to err on the side of caution and gradually introduce new products to your skin. There are products specifically designed to repair and protect the skin’s barrier which really do benefit those with sensitive skin.
This is the one that removes any makeup/SPF/grime from outside pollutants.
This is the cleanse that gets to work on your skin, removing anything in your pores, which if left could result in breakouts. For both the first and second cleanse, use a warm damp face cloth.
This will rebalance your skins PH level, returning it to its neutral state. Skipping this step can leave your skin open to becoming dehydrated or breaking out.
An essential part of your routine. The under eye skin is much more fragile than the rest of your face, with it being 40 percent thinner there. It’s really important to only use a cream specifically made for the eye area there. Using a regular face moisturiser will overload the area and actually cause further puffiness and darkness. Choose your eye cream depending on your problem, e.g – fine lines, darkness and puffiness.
You will want to use a serum(s) designed to tackle your skin concerns – if you are prone to acne/spots go for a Niacinamide serum, it will protect your skin’s barrier and work to repair any damage from things such as acneic scarring. For skin dullness – Vitamin C serums will help to brighten and even your complexion. Retinol (only use this in the PM) is an anti-ageing hero, boosting collagen production and helping to treat expression lines and sun damage.
If you think of your moisturiser as the ‘duvet’ to tuck in all of the other products you’ve used so far. Your AM moisturiser will generally be a bit more lightweight with your PM moisturiser being much richer feeling on the skin.
This important step in your routine is there to defend your skin. This is a high priority in preventing premature ageing of the skin. I personally use at least SPF30 every single morning, whether I’m going out of the house or not. Environmental factors, including blue light technology from computers, phones etc have been proven to cause photo-aging skin damage. SPF is essential for protecting your skin and is crucial while your skin is responding to serums/treatments you are using, e.g retinol – so please make sure you don’t skip this step.
All too often neglected, I’ve made it my mission to encourage people to think of their lips much like their eyes (another thin skin area) requiring some TLC. A quick slick of a good quality lip balm ( applied with the rest of your skincare morning and night) will keep your lips plump and healthy. Your lipsticks will wear way better on your lips and you can say goodbye to those dry/chapped lips days.
I really enjoy treating my skin to a mask once a week. This step slots in after cleansing and before toning. As I have combination skin, I often multi-mask, using 2 masks at the same time. In my T-zone I use a purifying mask – one that will work to deep clean my pores and reduce their appearance. On the rest of my face, I like to use a hydrating mask to replenish and improve the plumpness of my skin.
My final thoughts – Your Skin is the largest organ in your body, it ages with you as you go through life. Hormone changes and periods of stress will all show their effects through your skin. Your best defence is to be ready for these events, by starting early and getting into a good routine.
I have been spending much of the current lockdown, thinking of the many Brides-to-be who should be getting ready for their weddings right now. So, when John from V-10 Visuals Wedding Photography invited me to do a guest spot Q&A over on his blog, It got me thinking of some of the advice I would be giving right now.
Q. I don’t often wear makeup and I’m scared I won’t look like myself, what advice would you give?
A. I meet many brides, who, for their wedding day, are often considering makeup for the very first time. It’s really important that you look like yourself and feel comfortable – your makeup artist must understand this. You may only want to wear a light coverage makeup base with very softly enhanced eyes and lips, or you may want to wear your favourite bold lipstick! The goal should always be to bring out the very best version and confident YOU!
A. This is where the expertise of a skincare professional are beneficial. If you can afford it and have the schedule that allows for routine facials, this would be a great option. If you already have a good basic skincare routine of cleansing, toning and moisturising, there are products you can add in to compliment this. I highly recommend using a liquid peel exfoliation method on the skin 2-3 times per week and using a serum to target any specific issues, e.g. to hydrate/brighten skin/minimise pores. Use the serum prior to your moisturiser. If you don’t already use one, an eye cream would also be worth adding in. Make sure you are eating a well balanced diet and drinking plenty of water too!
A. If you are normally tanned or if this is a look that you just prefer, absolutely – go for it. I would advise a couple of things to consider though. You should have a trial run with the beauty therapist in advance of your wedding day, you want this to look as flawless and believable as possible. I have had a few situations over the years where I have had to use makeup to ‘patch up’ areas where the tan hasn’t adhered to the skin.
Q. How long does it normally take to do everyones makeup on the wedding morning?
A. I provide full skin prep, makeup and lash application which takes just under an hour per person. Your Makeup Artist and Hairdresser should work together to ensure the best use of time as a team. They should both be well experienced in working on a wedding party to do this, even if they have never worked together before.
A. Your bridal makeup artist should know how to expertly layer products in such a way that it is seamless, well blended and feels as light as air to wear, but most importantly – it lasts all day and night! Don’t get me wrong, you will most likely need to top up your lipstick (usually just after your meal, so you are looking fresh for the arrival of your evening guests). As a final step in your makeup application, your artist should use a finishing spray to ‘lock’ everything into place.
Your choice of makeup artist on the day will come down to lots of different factors. You will have:
• Browsed their website gallery to determine their style of makeup and its suitability for you.
• Read countless reviews attesting to their reliability and professionalism.
• Checked out their social media platforms, to gauge whether their personality ‘clicks’ with yours.
Whoever you decide to invest in (at the end of the day that is just what you are doing, investing not only your money – but your faith and time in that person too), my advice to you – make sure they are an expert. I am sure you will have put lots of thought into choosing your wedding dress and selecting your makeup artist should be no different.
The makeup artist you have with you on your wedding morning should be a seasoned professional, having performed Bridal Party makeup, time and time again. That means they will have dealt with many situations in their time and will have the skills to problem solve for you. They should have the expertise to perfectly match any skin tone, colour correct, cover blemishes, provide the right care for sensitive skin and create a look that really shows who you are.
Speaking of your wedding dress, as stunning and as important as it will be, there is another thing that will be centre stage all day – your face. Your makeup must be ‘you’ and it must be flawless and long lasting. When your husband to be and your loved ones watch you make your way down the aisle, they will be looking at your smile. When the speeches are being made, the drinks reception, the first dance – your makeup, dress and hair will all be on show. My promise, is to make sure your makeup looks beautiful during all of these special moments.