I was so excited to hear the news of so many engagements over the Christmas period, from gorgeous starlets like Natalie Portman to gorgeous friends and work colleagues. With the latter sets, I absolutely love hearing about their proposal stories and big-day ideas, but very often they are bombarded by family and friends giving their opinion and suggesting ideas (read: interfering). It can get very stressful and confusing. The same happened to me, so here is some advice for those first few weeks of madness... Read more »
It was all hands on deck (literally) at the recent Brides' brainstorming day, held at the rather fabulous Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge. Read more »
I was in a department store yesterday skulking around a big-brand beauty counter listening in on a conversation between a shopper and a member of staff (call it eavesdropping, I say homework!). It went a little something like this:
Shopper: 'I saw this lipstick in a magazine but I'm not 100% sure the colour suits me. Can I try some on?'
Staff: 'Sorry madam we don't have a tester in that shade: you can always buy it and if you don't like it you can give it to a friend.'
Shopper: 'Oh, erm, not to worry. Thanks.' [wanders off in bewildered embarrassment]
SERIOUSLY?! There are so many levels of wrong here I don't even know where to begin. I was reminded that it takes a big commitment for someone to invest in a lipstick, blusher or eyeshadow: at £14+ a pop you want to get it right and it can be so off-putting if you have a bad experience like this.
In my dream world one could buy miniature versions of everything that would give you 2 or 3 doses of product so you can trial it out before buying. It happens with foundations and moisturisers - why can't it happen with lipsticks and eye liners? Unfortunately it's probably too expensive to create Sylvanian Family-sized make-up, so another suggestion would be to try out the same type of product in the same(ish) shade but from a cheaper brand. For instance, if you're toying with the idea of pillar-box red lips, silver eyeshadow or navy blue eyeliner on your wedding day, have a go with a less expensive version and if you like it, then invest in the big luxe brand.
When I received a press release about Poundland's new make-up collection a couple of weeks ago I practically laughed out loud, but after my experience at the weekend I take that back and shouldn't have been so dismissive and snobby. Whilst it's not really the place to buy your ultimate make-up wardrobe it does offer a perfect opportunity to experiment with colour and practice a few looks you've always wanted to try but haven't been able to afford. It's a great way to build up your confidence and technique in applying, judging and buying make-up to suit you, so that next time you're faced with a predicament like the shopper above you can visualise the product on your skin and make an assured decision.
It doesn't matter how much you earn: all hard-working women understand the value of things whether it's a £400 pair of shoes or a £16 blusher. So give yourself a break from the beauty aisle pressure and play around with cheap and cheerful versions first. I for one will be buying their black liquid eyeliner (£1) to test out feline flicks at home before moving onto Guerlain's stunning version (£22.50) which I won't want to waste a single drop of.
As well as Poundland, check out the impressive Evie Glam make-up range at Peacocks store (£2 to £4), Primark Make-up (from £1) and if you want to experiment with nail art and fashiony polishes head to Superdrug for Andrea Fulerton's Nail Boutique range (nail colours £4.99 each).
Who knows, plum lipstick might really suit you and look gorgeous on your autumnal wedding day, but it's not worth risking £18 to find out!
Pictured: Vitamin Enriched Lipsticks, £1 each, by Chit Chat at www.poundland.co.uk
I don't remember having even a minute on my wedding day to re-perfume, re-juuj my hair or re-apply make-up, but I can see how some brides might want to, especially if you're having a wedding at this time of the year when evening equals glam and everyone gets into party mode a lot faster than in the summer.
I have a string of work Christmas parties this week and my failsafe, super-quick day-to-evening beauty trick requires only one product: a soft steel grey kohl eyeliner (YSL's, Chanel's and Dior's are my current faves and are either in my drawer at work or in my handbag!).
I pull my upper eyelid upwards and gently line the inner flesh rim of my lashes, rubbing the pencil into the lash roots too. If it's an extra special party, I'll do the bottom inner lash-rim too. It literally takes 30 seconds. Grey seems to give a less dramatic look than black and doesn't make the eyes look so small either. Plus, the metallic sheen adds a fun third dimension. But overall the effect makes a huge difference without going over the top. So, Christmas brides, have a little trick up your sleeve (or in your purse) and play up your peepers for that first dance!