Bridal Holiday Beauty

Bridal Holiday Beauty

This week I'm poolside blogging: right now, I'm lying under a parasol in the Mexican sunshine at Las Ventanas in Cabo San Luca, having just finished a dreamy miniature fresh fruit ice lolly and about to jump in the pool for the billionth time today. It's hot. It's very hot. In fact by 7.30am it's 31 degrees. The husband is busy deep-sea diving with crazy Mexicans and the only dilemma of my day is what time I should order my first Margarita. I am in heaven!
Before jetting off, my glossy posse of adorable beauty PR girls ensured I was prepped, primed and protected with a selection of brilliant holiday treats to use from take-off to touchdown and poolside to barstool. Here's what's getting me through the week:

To inject a little glamour into a tedious flight, I took on board Crème de la Mer's Travel Kit. It contains mini sizes of their amazing eye cream, serum and radiant infusion, plus a generous pot of moisturiser, and it was a joy to use. I'm addicted to their face cream anyway, plus you can use it later on in the week to soothe an accidentally sunburnt nose (ahem) - after all, the cream was originally formulated to heal burns and scars. Read all about it here:

Suntan lotion in two or three varying factors is a good idea. I'm starting with 30, then as the week progresses I'll be heading towards 20 and 15. In my beach bag is UltraSun ( who specialise in all-day sports-level protection, plus Estée Lauder's delicious-smelling Bronze Goddess and Clarins Sun Care - both of which have a lovely gloss finish and don't leave that horrible titanium white residue.

Mascara is pretty much the only make-up item one needs on a hot beachy holiday, and this week's trip was the perfect time to test a new one out. Well, I'm going to make a big statement here so pay attention: Estée Lauder's new Sumptuous Waterproof Mascara is quite possibly THE BEST BRIDAL MASCARA IN THE WORLD. EVER. And I've tried them ALL. It doesn't flake, run or smudge, the brush is bristly (not plastic) so coats the entire circumference of each lash, lengthening them without clumps and basically making one's eyes look glorious and fluttery but not spidery. It's gorgeous and my new best friend. Annoyingly you can't buy it yet, but when it hits shops in a few months you'll be the first to know.

After showering off the day's chlorine, suntan lotion and sticky ice-lolly dribbles, it's time to rehydrate the skin. For body, I'm addicted to Neutrogena's new Body Balm and Guerlain Terracotta Soothing Moisturising Mist (the beautiful balmy fragrance is an ideal substitute for perfume). For face, Estée Lauder's new Hydrationist range is excellent (or use your Crème de La Mer travel pot, particularly if your room is air-conditioned). The only thing left to do: paint one's nails the colour of the sunset (go to for OPI treats) and order that cocktail!


The Perfect Tan

The Perfect Tan

November's beauty guru is James Read, the expert spray-tanner that all the beauty editors and celebrities have on speed dial. He's just opened a luxury tanning room at the Agua Spa at the Sanderson Hotel in London, and here shares his tips on how to achieve the perfect wedding tan.

Tell us a bit about yourself...
I've been tanning clients for over seven years now and my work backstage at high profile events including the Oscars, Grammy and Brit Awards has allowed me to work with top celebrities, such as Lady Gaga, Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. In September 2009 I began working with Agua at Sanderson creating bespoke tanning treatments.

What does a typical week involve?
I spend the majority of my week at Agua tanning my clients. I also travel to meet with celebrity clients, either on location at magazine shoots or preparing to walk the red carpet. I can be called at all hours for last minute requests so no week is the same!

Do you have a favourite tanning brand?
St Tropez. The products are amazing and I can achieve the right shade of tan. I also love Natura Bisse skincare. Their Oxygen facials are perfect for brides prior to their weddings.

How should you go about finding a great spray-tanning salon?
They should all come to see me! Otherwise, I would recommend visiting St Tropez's website to find the nearest salon in their area.

What are your at-home prepping tips before going for your salon spray-tan?
Exfoliate the skin (that morning or the night before) to remove dead skin and any old tan remains. Also use an exfoliating moisturiser in the days leading up to the tan, like ReVive's Moisture Renewal Cream. But remember - it's important not to have any moisturiser on the skin before you have a tan or the tanning product won't sit well.

What are the most important things to do (and not to do) straight after being tanned?
Leave the tan on overnight: the skin heats up while you're asleep and the tan penetrates more deeply. Although if you want a light tan, wash it off after six hours. Avoid washing your hands for at least four hours: otherwise you'll have brown arms and white hands! I'd also recommend wearing loose fitted clothing.

Are there any way of making it last longer?
Moisturising the skin daily will increase the tan's staying power. Or top up the tan daily with a gradual tanner like St Tropez Everyday. This is a great product to take away with you on honeymoon.

Book a tan with James Read at Agua at The Sanderson - call 020 7300 1414 (full body tans from £50)

Hair SOS!

Hair SOS!

Going through the BRIDESMAGAZINE.CO.UK Chat Room today and hearing all your dilemmas at the recent National Wedding Show and Designer Wedding Show, there's one topic that keeps coming up: what to do with your hair. Like with your dress, it's really important that you match yourself to the style of your wedding. To point you in the right direction, here are my four key tips:

- If you're having an elegant, traditional ceremony, and reception in a lavish marquee or hotel ballroom, opt for something polished and perfect, with a great tiara, comb or pin. Think red carpet, beautifully crafted and 'special occasion' glamorous hair.

- A laidback, outdoorsy garden party suits a softer look, such as angelic tousles or loose twists and plaits, pulled together with a gentle accessory like a flower corsage, a small crystal clip or Alice band.

- Once you've figured out your wedding hair vibe, choose the general shape of your style: up (high), up (low), down or half-up. Bring some Kirby grips with you to your next dress fitting. See what looks best with your neckline by quickly styling your hair into those four shapes.

- Now when you go for your trial, you'll know the basic style you want. Use the appointment to perfect the finer details, such as the shape of the chignon twist or the position of your half-up knot - and bring with you any accessories, such as your veil or tiara and a photo of your dress. Meanwhile, tear out pictures from magazines of hairstyles you like to give your hairdresser a visual guide.

Best Face Forward

Best Face Forward

If you want to not only look radiant but also soothe away any pre-wedding jitters, try a facial from Neal's Yard Remedies Organic Beauty Spa. The in-depth consultation and relaxing treatment gives miraculous results, leaving even the most stressed skin glowing long beyond they honeymoon. Treatments are nationwide and the Organic Beauty Spa on London's King's Road is offering 20% of treatments throughout October.