[BEAUTY] Bridal hair and make-up

Bridal hair and make-up

There’s some debate over whether to have your hair and make-up done by a pro for your wedding, or to do it yourself. A few people were surprised by my decision to get a professional in to do my make-up, given my blogging background and love of all things cosmetics.

I spotted this post over of Cider with Rosie in which she talked about doing her own make-up. To be honest, it’s something I did consider. A few years ago, one of my best friends got married and I was one of her bridesmaids. She was having a make-up artist and left it up to us girls to decide if we wanted to use her too. Originally I thought, no way. But then it transpired that my boyf (now hubby) and I would be in Morocco until the day before and I’d be heading straight from the airport to her’s for the wedding prep. I never really take make-up on holiday and didn’t want to lug around a load of make-up for our trip, so decided I’d have my make-up done professionally. I was sceptical that I would end up looking a little like a clown but I figured I could probably tone it down. It turned out to be amazing and looked so good and was so much easier. Plus, I find getting my make-up right, so it will still show up in photos can be difficult.

So when my wedding day came round, I knew I wanted to book a professional. It meant I knew I would look good (having had a trial beforehand) and would also mean one thing I wouldn’t have to stress about on the day.

bridal hair

It turned out to be one of the most chilled parts of the day – but also the point at which it suddenly hit me that it was my wedding day!

The two hair stylists took over our kitchen (downstairs) and so it was filled with people and a lot of noise and chat. The make-up artist was in our living room (upstairs), away from all of that. It was quite serene and very peaceful. And it gave me the space and quiet to think about the day ahead. And I suddenly realised that I was about to get married!

Bridal hair and make-up

If you are thinking about go down the professional route, these are my top tips to ensure that you are happy with your look on your big day:

  • Have a trial. For both hair and make-up. I managed to organise my hair trial for the day that my work colleagues took me for a hen party. It definitely helps to ensure that the nerves on the day aren’t about any surprises!
  • Create a collection of inspiration to show your professionals what you want! Yes, another Pinterest board (or the same wedding one). I made sure that I had images of exactly what I wanted for my hair (see above) and make-up.
  • Choose people you know and trust. I chose my hairdresser – Mel at Envision Hair – for my wedding day. I’ve been going to Mel for the past year, since I moved up to the West Midlands. I asked her for a recommendation for a make-up artist – Debbie at Classic Beauty – as she knew my style and chose very well.

Would you do your own hair and make-up on your wedding day?

Photos by Ed Bagnall Photography

[HOW TO] Create a bedroom you’ll love

pinterest home inspiration board

I hate decorating. Painting is so messy and the prep alone is such a pain. But I do love the end results.

We just repainted our bedroom. Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of the tired yellowing peachy walls – complete with holes! But, believe me, it was not pretty – and certainly not somewhere we wanted to spend any time.

Now, though, it is a haven to retreat to.

The decoration process started, as most processes do these days, with a Pinterest board! I love the whole simplistic minimalistic Scandi decor of white washed walls and white washed bare floorboards.

Working with what we had (dark red carpets which we can’t afford to change right now), we set about doing everything we could to make it as Scandi as possible.

We went for cream walls. We did white walls in an old house and they looked quite cold and uninviting in the winter, so we went for a slightly off white shade – Dulux’s Natural Calico.

I’ve changed our bed linen too – for all white – white pillow cases, white duvet covers, white sheets – it looks cleaner and kind of hotel-esque.

white ikea bedding

The room is quite small (with a fair amount of furniture) so we wanted to keep the wall decoration as simple as possible. One of the things I kept seeing on Pinterest, was a picture rail above the bed. With an impending trip to Ikea, I grabbed one and we added it to the wall.

bedroom redecoration

We already knew we wanted to use the letters that my sister made for us for our wedding in the bedroom and the rail was a great way to display these. I didn’t want to add too many different colours to the display as we were trying to ensure everything else was light and simple, so I picked out the yellow and blue and used a couple of photos from our wedding and a holiday snap of a blue Fiat 500!

For the rest, I’m trying really hard not to clutter up my bedside table too much!

Is your bedroom a place to hide out in or a place you’d rather hide from?

[BEAUTY BYTES] No7 #ColourYourWay Campaign

My wardrobe is a veritable rainbow of blacks, greys, whites and navys. I’m not really one to add too much colour to my outfits. If it comes in black, I’ll probably choose that option.

boots no7 #colouryourway

So when No7 asked me to get involved in their #ColourYourWay campaign I thought it might be a fun way to express myself in an unusual way.

boots no7 #colouryourway

The No7 Colour Your Way campaign uses powerfully contradictory statements about colour and feeling in a bid to inspire women to play with colour cosmetics in a new and exciting way that’s personal to them and in a way to help them empower themselves.

No7 have totally transformed the usual approach to colours and the feelings associated with them: serious pink, fiery blue, quiet red, sunny grey, hot green, electric nude and cool orange.

boots no7 #colouryourway

I’ve been adding a flash of green around my eyes for sunny Sunday drinks at the pub, a pop of blue on my nails to accompany an all-black look for the office and a hint of orange on my lips for lazy weekend brunches. So far, I’m loving playing with colour in unusual situations.

How do you Colour Your Way?

*The new ad will continue No7’s commitment to using real women as all women featured in the campaign have been ‘street cast’ from all walks of life, and none of their images have been retouched or airbrushed.

[WEDDING] Origrami prints

origrami prints

I love photos. More to the point, I love printed photos. I love the tangible manifestation of my memories – from holidays, special occasions and so on.

I have wanted to try Origrami for a long time. Australian based husband and wife team, Jeff and Betsy, offer the opportunity to turn your Instagram photos into beautiful square prints on high quality matt paper.

There are a number of options for printing, from squareprints (which is what I chose) and retroprints (like Polaroids with the white space at the bottom – I am choosing this next time!), to cards and magnets.

Instagram is by far and away my favourite social media channel – I could spend many happy hours trawling through the beautiful images posted. But having them confined to my phone has always been a draw back. Now that I can print them too, I’m perfectly content.

I just have to find somewhere to display the prints now…

[BEAUTY BYTES] FREE Crabtree & Evelyn nail polish

We’ve all got bottles of old nail polish that has gone gloopy or that we just don’t like anymore. Well, Crabtree & Evelyn are offering everyone the chance to swap their old nail polish for a NEW one completely FREE!   

You just need to take any brand of nail polish (except a Crabtree & Evelyn one) into your nearest Crabtree & Evelyn store from today (13 August) until 29 September (while stocks last) to exchange your old nail polish for a brand new nail lacquer from Crabtree & Evelyn worth £6.00! All bottles will be recycled where possible.
Crabtree & Evelyn have a great collection of shades, from classic reds to pretty nudes and summer brights to moody navys. 

Image via

[HOW TO] Travel on a budget part 2

fly away on holiday

Last week we talked about ways to save money on getting to your holiday and on where to stay, this week it’s all about how to save money once you arrive.

  • If you’ve chosen self-catering, one of the easiest ways to save the pennies is to eat in. We try to eat in once of twice a week (depending on how long we’re away for) so that we can afford even better meals when we do go out.
  • Eating in doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your meals. We’ve found lovely (and cheap) take out pizza places in Italy and grabbed a few beers to go with them. In Sorrento we bought olives and a bottle of prosecco from the local supermarket and enjoyed aperitif hour on our balcony – complete with a view of the sea.

prosecco on the balcony

  • Whether you’re self-catering or in a hotel, buy bottled water from the local supermarket. Don’t buy bottles of water from tourist trap shops – or the mini bar! You’ll find it for pence in the supermarket and can then take a bottle with you for days out.
  • Check out free walking tours. A lot of European cities offer free walking tours. We’ve found them in a number of holiday destinations, including Seville, Copenhagen and Naples. They’re a great way to find your feet and get some local inside tips. We found a couple of great places to eat on these tours that we would never have found without the advice.
  • Walking will save you money on transport but will also mean that you see even more of the place you’re visiting. Sure, you’ll find you need to use public transport for some parts of your trip but for the most part, you should be able to take your time and soak in the atmosphere and sights of where you’re staying. Just remember to pack some comfortable shoes!
  • Do your research before you go. This will save you loads. Check out how to get from the airport before you arrive. You’ll likely be tired and keen to get to your accommodation when you arrive at the airport, so if you’ve not done your research, you’re far more likely to take the easiest route, which will also likely be the most expensive. If in doubt, if you’re self-catering, you can usually ask the owner of the place you’re staying for their advice.
  • If you’re planning on using public transport and visiting the sights, it might be worth getting a tourist card. A lot of cities have tourist cards these days which offer free or reduced entry to museums and sights, as well as travel options too.
  • Check out local blogs for tips before you travel. I’ve found some great places by checking out local blogs and sites before heading off on our hols – a few of my favourites are Mad About Copenhagen, Lisbon Lux and a new one (closer to home) The CDF.

What are your tips for travelling on a budget? Any hot reading tips? Favourite travel blogs or websites?

[BEAUTY BYTES] Boots No7 Beautiful Eyebrow Kit

No7 Beautiful Eyebrow Kit

I’ve read time and again that if you’re a glasses wearer, brows should definitely be a part of your make up routine. I’ve never really bothered with my brows. They are thin and almost non-existent in places, after too much plucking as a teenager! So when No7 offered to send me their new No7 Beautiful Eyebrow Kit, I decided it was time I tried out the advice.

No7 Eyebrow Kit

The Brow Kit includes two brushes, a double ended slanted brush and a mascara wand. It features a brow gel, a highlighter and two shades of powder for filling in your brows. It’s so easy to use. This diagram via the No7 Facebook page shows you exactly what goes where:

no7 brows on facebook

You know what? It works! Filling in my thinning brows really does help to define my make-up look. I don’t use much at all, as I don’t want to suddenly have very dark brows but it works to frame my eyes and makes me look made up, without too much actual make-up.

Boots No7 Beautiful Eyebrow Kit

Do you fill your brows? Which product do you use?