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Your Bridal Makeup Trial – Tips From A Wedding Makeup Artist!

May 19, 2017
Bridal Makeup Artist Bolton

To all my bridal clients – past, future and present – Congratulations and thank you so much for booking me as your makeup artist.

Today, I wanted to share some more information on the makeup trial, so you can ensure you get the most value out of it and leave perfectly happy with your look for the special day!

I love doing a bride’s makeup trial. It’s a chance for us to meet, for you to tell me all about your wedding and for me to figure out your personal style – so I can perfectly tailor your makeup look on the day. Here are a few things to consider leading up to your appointment:

I love photos!

It’s so easy for us to be on the same page if we have visuals to look at together. Have a look on Google, Pinterest or in your favourite magazines and find some makeup looks you like. I have a board especially for bridal makeup inspiration if you want to take a look here.

I also love to see pictures of your dress, theme, colours and anything else that you’re inspired by!

Wear white

If possible, wear a plain white top. You’d be amazed at how white completely changes your look. Wearing it at the trial will give you more of an overall look at how your makeup will work with the dress.

BYOB (bring your own beauty products!)

It’s great to have your daily makeup bag handy on the day. This is so I can get an idea for how much you like to wear, what you’re comfortable with and any signature colours/products you love. It’s also important that if you have any specific skincare products you like to use (e.g. if your skin is very sensitive) you have them with you for me to use as well.

Setting up for your trial

I always like to book trials early in the day where possible, as natural light is best to apply makeup in. Please have a think about the best place in your house to sit for your trial. Anywhere near a window is great, and bonus points if there is access to a table, as I have lots of products to lay out to show you and use.

Beauty treatments

We will have a chat about beauty treatments, but you may want to try them before your makeup trial, so you have a better idea of how it all looks paired together. Things like spray tans, brow treatments, etc. can completely change your makeup, and seeing your finished look will re-assure you that everything is perfect and ready to go for the day.

And finally…

The most important thing at your trial is that you relax, have fun and be honest! I need to know exactly how you want to look down to the very last detail. So please don’t hesitate to give as much information as you can, give me feedback along the way and ask me for any tweaks that you want to change. Feel free to invite a family member or friend – but only if you want to!

I really hope this was helpful for all the bride-to-be’s reading! If you’re interested in booking a makeup trial or want to enquire about your wedding, please head to the contact page and fill in a booking form. For information on pricing click here. For previous bridal pictures and testimonials head to my Facebook page.

Beautiful photo of my bridal client Sarah by Matt Horan


Wedding Skincare Tips for Brides!

March 16, 2017
Wedding Skincare Tips for Brides

 Wedding Skincare Tips for Brides!

A lot of brides share skincare and skin-related concerns with me at the trial. So today I thought I’d share my top wedding skincare tips if you’re a bride-to-be. If you can start doing these tips ASAP – the sooner, the better, particularly if you use them leading up to the trial and the big day itself – you should notice a huge, positive difference in your skin.

And beautiful skin makes makeup look even more beautiful and natural, so you can feel 100% confident with your final look.


Whatever your age, skin type, skin concern – hydration is so important to keeping your skin plump, soft and supple. Make sure you’re sipping on water throughout the day, and enjoying things like herbal tea or fruit infusions if you don’t love the taste of plain water. It’s a cliche but it’s true, and this should be the first place you look at if you’re struggling with your skin.


Likewise, a healthy, balanced diet can do wonders for your complexion. There’s no one perfect diet for everyone to follow, but making sure you’re including good sources of everything you need, but particularly healthy fats and of course all your vitamins and minerals in your 5 a day!

On a similar note, many foods and other lifestyle factors can have a negative impact on the skin. I personally don’t have experience with food intolerances, but many people report the foods they’re intolerant to can aggravate their skin concerns – so it’s worth speaking to a health professional if you think that might be the cause.

Skincare Routine

A solid skincare routine that’s suitable for your skin type, done consistently morning and night, is the best thing you can do for your skin topically. There’s no one fancy cream or magic mask you can use that will just fix everything. It’s looking after your skin day in day out, that over time will help it look and feel its best.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match your brands to find the products that work for you – many sales assistants will have you believe you have to use all of their range for any product to be effective, but that’s rarely the case and is often a marketing ploy.

First, identify your skin type (I already have a blogpost on that) and other skin concerns you have. And then begin to research products that are made for your skin. Google everything, read as man y reviews you can and ask (non biased) experts wherever possible. Caroline Hirons’ blog is an invaluable resource I send everyone to.

I can do a separate blogpost all about my skin type and my favourite products if you’d like, just let me know!

Pamper your skin

Take the time at least once a fortnight, preferably once a week, for extra treatments. Not only is this the perfect way to relax and get away from the stresses of ‘wedmin’ (wedding admin), it also does wonders for your skin. Treatment products and masks can really help alleviate some of your skincare concerns – clay masks can tighten your pores and help reduce breakouts, whilst moisture masks add brightness and hydration to dull or dehydrated skin.

Don’t be afraid to get some help

If you really struggle with your skin, don’t be afraid to seek the help of a professional. Our skin is our largest organ, so more often than not we can’t fix a problem overnight. Don’t be afraid to seek advice from a dermatologist, facialists and other skincare professionals, as many skin conditions are more complex and need professional guidance to get to the bottom of and treat.

Of course, be cautious of the person’s credentials – make sure they’re fully qualified to be giving you advice and research them – read testimonials and find out if they represent, work for or sell a certain brand, as sadly that makes a lot of people biased and limited in what products they can recommend to you.

I hope these tips have helped you out if you’re a bride to be and want beautiful, glowing skin on your wedding day. Of course these tips apply year round, but I’d say my main skin complaints come from brides conscious of being photographed and wanting to look their absolute best!


How To Spring Clean Your Beauty Products!

March 8, 2017
how to spring clean your beauty products

How To Spring Clean Your Beauty Products!

I can’t be the only one who gets a strong urge to tidy and rid my space of clutter in the first part of the year around March time?! If you’re on a Spring cleaning rampage like me, these tips will help you de-clutter your beauty stash.

Check Expiry Dates

Most products don’t have a specific date written on them, although some do so be sure to check.

However, all beauty products have a shelf life. You can find this by looking for a small tub sign on the back of the packaging with a number next to the letter ‘M’. This indicates the number of months the product will last for once opened – e.g. 6M = 6 months shelf life.

You’ll find the majority of products have a shelf life between 6-12 months, depending on what it is. Liquids and creams like skincare, foundation and lipstick last a shorter amount of time, as the product is more susceptible to bacteria growth than a powder product like eyeshadow, which can last for a couple of years.

You can usually tell a product has expired, as it smells ‘off’ and may have changed in texture, colour and pigmentation.

So throw away any expired products you have lying around – it’s not worth holding onto them, as they are more likely to cause breakouts and even infections, and will likely have diminished in quality. Particularly with skincare products like serums and SPFs, once expired the active ingredients will no longer work.

If you’re in doubt at all, for the sake of your skin and health get rid.

If anything, it’s an excuse to treat yourself to some new goodies! 😉

Ask Yourself – “Do I love it?”

I’m definitely guilty of holding onto products that I never use. As a makeup artist, I try so many new things and inevitably many don’t work for me. I have to constantly evaluate my collection to make sure things don’t get out of control.

Clinging onto unused products ‘just in case’ is exactly the same scenario as those items in your wardrobe you’ve never worn. They take up space and just make you feel guilty for buying them!

What I like to do is put my favourite products aside, then go through the rest and ask myself “do I truly love this?” Makeup and beauty products should put a pep in your step and give you an instant boost of confidence with their results. If you don’t feel like that when you use the product, it should go.

Other questions to ask yourself:

  1. Have you worn it in the past 2 months? If not, you probably never will.
  2. Do you own anything like it already?
  3. Does it work with your style, or suit your colouring?

If you own something similar or think it doesn’t suit you or your skin type, you can always donate it to a friend or family member (with the exception of expired products or anything with an applicator – mascaras, lip gloss, etc. – none of which I’d recommend passing on for hygiene reasons).

You could even have a ‘makeup swap party’ with your best friend if she’s up for de-cluttering as well!

For unopened products still in packaging, I highly recommend getting in touch with a women’s refuge charity like Give and Makeup, who are always grateful to receive donations.

Get Organised

Use this opportunity to wipe out your makeup bag or drawers, and re-organise everything.

If everything has a place, it’s so much easier to find where things are and saves you so much time when getting ready.

I use the lids of shoe boxes to store my beauty products, so I can put them in drawers and see them all at a glance.

You could also pre-pack your makeup bag if you’re often on the go, so nothing gets left behind!

I hope this post has inspired you to have a little tidy round your beauty stash. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Love, Kat x


Bridal Makeup Tips For Your Wedding Day!

March 2, 2017
Bridal Makeup Tips For Your Wedding Day

Bridal Makeup Tips

If you’re thinking about doing your own makeup for the big day, I hope these tips help you out in putting your look together.

This advice also applies to anyone in the bridal party – bridesmaids, mother of the bride, and even if you’re just attending a wedding and want to look your best for the photographs.

Avoid Trends

As much as I love having fun with the latest trends, it’s always best to keep it classic for a wedding. The looks that are trending today might seem like the ultimate makeup style, but in 10, 20, 30 years time they may look dated, overdone or just plain odd!

Just look at pictures of yourself 10 years ago – would you still wear your hair and makeup like that now? As most people probably cringe when they look at these pictures, I rest my case!

Save your fun, experimental looks and the latest trends for any other day of the year. But on your wedding day, try to keep your look soft and classic. A natural look that enhances your best features will always be in style.

Stay True To Your Signature Look

That being said, you should stay true to yourself. My aim/mission when working with clients is I want them to feel like the best version of themselves!

So if you’ve worn red lipstick every day since you can remember, or don’t feel right leaving the house without a cat eye liner, you should absolutely wear that look on your special day.

Focus On Definition

Defining your features should be the focus of your wedding makeup, regardless of what specific look you’re going for. Even the most natural makeup needs definition, as you want your features to be beautifully defined in all your photographs. You can achieve this definition by paying attention to each aspect of your face.

Make sure you have some sort of deeper eyeshadow or eyeliner lining your eyes – even if it’s a soft brown shadow smudged across the lash line, it will make a huge difference to how striking your eyes look.

Lipliner is great to define your natural lip shape before applying your lipstick. Blend with your finger if you want a softer look.

Finally, don’t neglect the cheekbones. A natural shade of matte bronzer blended across the high points of the face, and a soft, complimentary blusher that suits your skin tone will brighten your complexion and define your bone structure.

Avoid SPF

I won’t be giving too many specific product recommendations in this article, as every one’s skin tone and personal style is so different for their wedding. One thing I will say is make sure all your skincare and makeup products contain little to no SPF.

Most SPFs flash back white in flash photography, as the ingredients reflect light. This means your hard work can be ruined and you’ll end up looking like a ghost in photographs – your body will be a completely different shade to your face!

To make sure this doesn’t happen, take several pictures of your makeup using your phone or digital camera – making sure the flash is on. If you find the flash back appears, check your products for SPF and consider trying an alternative. My favourite foundation for photography and weddings is Illamasqua Skin Base – it looks lovely on the skin, lasts all day and photographs beautifully.

*Of course – many photographers don’t use flash. So be sure to check with yours if you’re set on a specific product and worried about how it will photograph.

Practice Makes Perfect!

Don’t leave it till the last minute to decide on your look. In the months leading up to your wedding, have a look at magazines or Pinterest for inspiration, and purchase any special products you want to use.

Give yourself longer than usual to go step by step through the look, and take your time, making sure you blend well. Take lots of pictures with and without flash – this will help you remember the look for the day, as well as show you how the makeup will appear in photographs. You could even note down the products you’ve used, along with each step.

This will ensure you can have fun and relax getting ready on the day, without adding any extra stress to what can already be a hectic day.

Set & Perfect Makeup

To ensure your makeup looks great all day, you need to prime and set it well. Face and eyeshadow primers help product adhere to the skin, and reduce the chance of smudging, creasing and fading. This paired with a good setting powder to press over your foundation and a setting spray (Urban Decay make a great one) will mean your makeup looks perfect for 12+ hours.

You might want to consider giving your lipstick and a compact powder to your chief bridesmaid, or popping it in your clutch if you have one. Eating, drinking (and kissing!) will fade away your lipstick after a couple of hours, and your skin may start to shine in the t-zone if you’ve been dancing or it’s a sunny day. A quick touch up will refresh your makeup in minutes.

So those are my top tips for brides, bridesmaids and anyone wanting to look their best for a wedding. If you’re set on doing your own makeup, I hope they help!

However, if all this feels too much for you, treat yourself to a professional makeover and let me do all the hard work for you! You can enquire about wedding bookings here.

Photograph by Emmylou Kelly.


Winter Skincare Tips – Beat Dry Skin & Stay Hydrated!

February 6, 2017
Winter Skincare Tips

Beat dry skin and stay hydrated in the cold weather! 

Hydration is one of the most talked about topics in the health and beauty industry. And for good reason, it’s SO important! However, I do think it gets ignored a bit in the colder months. It’s much easier to chat about drinking water in Summer, when everyone’s out in the heat and needs to cool down with a cold glass.

It’s just as important to keep your hydration levels up in Winter, to boost your immune system, aid digestion and keep your skin supple and glowing. Here are my tips to stay hydrated inside AND outside…

  • Hot Tea

Tea is a great way to hydrate in Winter time, as you’re still taking in lots of water just in a different form. If you’re concerned about caffeine, opt for herbal, caffeine free varieties – my favourites are Peppermint and Lemon & Ginger. As a bonus, they really help with digestion and can beat bloating – so enjoy a cup after dinner.

  • No Makeup Pamper Days

The cold weather is the perfect excuse to stay in and have a lazy day. Going makeup free at least one day a week is great for your skin, and allows you to wear your heavier, more moisturising products all day long for extra hydration. Pop on a hydrating face mask beforehand for even better results.

  • Enjoy Water-Rich Foods

Not only do we get hydrated through drinks, there’s actually a lot of water in fresh fruits and veggies. Ever noticed how refreshing eating a juicy apple is? That’s because not only is it yummy, it’s also full of natural juice and vitamins that instantly hydrate the body. Amazing stuff! So enjoy your favourite Winter comfort food, but don’t forget to include a few servings of raw fruits and veggies in your diet. I find snacking on fruits or vegetable crudités an easy way.

  • Facial Oil Is Your Friend

This is a great time to introduce a facial oil into your routine if you haven’t already. Plant oils are fantastic for plumping and softening dry skin, and a great way to heal and repair the skin if it’s already become dry or dehydrated. Most skincare brands offer them, from cheaper brands in Boots to luxury brands in John Lewis and Debenhams. Apply overnight instead of your usual moisturiser, or massage a couple drops into the skin underneath for an extra boost.

  • Hyaluronic Acid

My favourite skincare ingredient for dry and dehydrated skin. I’m hardly a skincare scientist myself, but in plain English, this stuff helps retain the levels of moisture in your skin and protects your skin from environmental factors that can dry it out, like central heating and icy wind. It’s an essential for me in Winter skincare, so look out for it on ingredients lists when you’re shopping!