August 27, 2016

Wedding Hair: The Long and Short of It

By Natalie Willingham – Bridal Makeup & Hair Specialist

Short hair doesn’t need to be boring on your wedding day. In the last year I’ve styled a number of gorgeous ladies who have all had short hair (above the shoulders). So to give you a little bit of inspiration here are a few tips to take your wedding hair from now to wow!

Pixie cutWedding Hair pixie

If you have a really short pixie cut style then texture can be your friend. Using straighteners or wands you can create texture to provide lift and shape to your cut. Having short hair also means that non traditional headpieces can look stunning. I have had brides with percher style hats with personal features such as a treble clef, feathers, all sorts. A shorter style means you can showcase your individuality and confidence. Bird cage veils work best with this wedding hair style.

Chin length Blunt BobWedding Hair chin bob

This style can be worn several ways. Sleek and sharp a la Anna Wintour, or wavy and a bit messy. If you choose the latter, you can still wear hair decorations. Alice bands, side combs and clips work well with this style. You can even create a short version of the traditional half up half down style. Flirty finger tip veils or bird cage veils work well with a bob.

Shoulder length Layered BobWedding Hair long bob

This style offers a bit more versatility. A layered bob can be curled and styled into a soft, loose slightly lifted up do. You can add in extensions to give greater volume or length when wearing it down or to create a more structured up do. Vintage wedding hair styles can also work well on this length of hair. Again, if you have sufficient volume you can create a half up style. As above finger tip veils and bird cages are your friends.

If you have long hair that is past your shoulders then you have a lot of choice available to you. Pinterest offers a huge amount of inspiration but you also need to listen to the advice of your stylist to ensure that your hair can be styled as you wish.

Big, bouncy and downWedding Hair big bouncy

You no longer need a head of hair to rival JLo’s or Beyonces to achieve this look thanks to extensions. Extra hair pieces can be clipped or added into your own hair to provide extra length and volume. Extensions are set and curled in the same way as your natural hair to create big bouncy curls. This look often doesn’t need any accessories but combs and tiaras aways look great. Cathedral length (the really long one) veils look stunning with big bouncy curls.

Plaits and twistsWedding Hair braids

Texture can be created in a number of different ways however, plaits and twists remain a firm favourite with brides and bridesmaids alike. For me plaits and twists have their place and careful consideration needs to be given to the style of your dress and theme of your wedding to ensure it fits. Finding a suitable hair accessory can be slightly more difficult if you already have texture from the plaits. I would recommend looking at combs for the rear of the head, fresh flowers, jewelled bobby pins and hair vines. Finger tip or cathedral length veils work well with this wedding hair style.

Sleek up dosWedding Hai sleek updo

These styles can often be very tight and precise. Ballerina style buns worn high on the top of your head with texture created by looping the length of your hair over the bun are a firm favourite. Depending on the type of up do selected veils can be worn under the bun.

Relaxed up dosWedding Hair messy updo

Messy buns or chignons, fake bobs, loose romantic curls that are slightly casual are extremely popular right now as they create a look that appears to be effortless. They also work well if a few tendrils escape due to a windy day or excess partying. This type of style are my favourite to create and can be very flattering. Any type of veil or accessory works with this wedding hair style.

Half up half downWedding Hair half up

Again another classic style which provides the best of both worlds. Hair away from your face, but hair covering your shoulders to provide a level of comfort if you aren’t so confident wearing a strapless dress. Texture can be added with curls, plaits and twists. Sleek or messy the choice is yours. Such a flattering look and any type of veil works with this hair style.

Hopefully, I’ve given those of you with short hair the confidence to stay short, some ideas for those ladies with hair lengths in between and inspiration for those with longer locks.

Until next time x

July 30, 2016

Successful Bridal Trial

By Natalie Willingham – Bridal Makeup & Hair Specialist

You’re getting married! How massively exciting! Ok well you’ve booked your makeup artist and the next job is to arrange your trial. Your bridal trial should be a fun and joyous occasion. So here’s my top tips to make sure that your bridal trial goes brilliantly.

Successful Bridal Trial

Timing is everything.

Too early and you may change your mind, too late and you may not be 100% certain of your choices. I recommend scheduling your bridal trial 6-12 weeks before your wedding day. By this point you should have a good idea of what styling you would like and have all of the accessories to complement this. Where possible schedule your trial before your dress fitting so you can see how the whole look works together.


Choosing a hair and makeup style can be very confusing but its definitely a very personal thing. Whilst it may be tempting to try a completely new look, you should ensure that you incorporate aspects of your personality so that your groom recognises you at the end of the aisle. Theres little point in having a strong makeup look if you never usually wear it, as your groom won’t realise its you under there!


There are so many images out there, I could get lost in Pinterest for hours, and sometimes it can all feel a bit overwhelming. In that case ask your makeup artist what they think. They will have a lot of experience working with different brides and will keep an eye on the catwalk to ensure they keep up to date with current trends, which can then be incorporated into stunning bridal looks. Bring images of hair and makeup styles you like and those that you don’t along with a photo of your dress to your trial. It is so much easier to communicate what you like and don’t like if you are able to show your artist a photo, as your version of natural will be different to that of another bride.

Successful Bridal TrialBe realistic

Often ladies bring images of celebrities and say I want to look like that, and thats ok however, you need to understand that possibly the celeb doesn’t even look like that. Images can be retouched. Celebs will have a full glam squad available in between shots to primp and preen. False hair may be used. The list goes on. So if you have a photo of Beyonce and her huge mane of hair and your hair is short and fine and the total opposite of Beyonce’s then its unlikely that your artist will be able to work miracles. But what they will be able to do is use the image for inspiration, to create a look for you that feels like Beyonce but is 100% you.

Successful Bridal Trial

Wear white

I usually suggest that my brides wear a white or light coloured top to their trial. The combination of light and the white colour will provide the most accurate example of how your makeup and hair will look on the day. If you don’t have a white top then a white towel or pillowcase will work just as well.


Lighting is really important, so I prefer to schedule my bridal trial during day light hours to ensure that I get the best from our appointment. Lighting at home or in hotels can cast shadows, and yellow tones, which can change the look and colour of your makeup. Bring any accessories with you to your trial as these can also affect the look of your hair and makeup. Strong accessories may need fuller lashes or stronger colours to emphasise your look. Still haven’t decided? Then bring a couple of options with you so you can see which works best.

Successful Bridal Trial

Tell us what you think

And finally, be honest and open to ideas. Before I start any bridal trial appointment, I spend time building a relationship with my bride. I ask lots of questions to learn more about you, your usual hair and makeup style, your wedding plans etc. This helps us get to know each other better, after all having your makeup done can be quite intrusive and requires a lot of trust between artist and bride. Remember, this is our job so any feedback we get is really useful and helps us to help you achieve the look you’ve always wanted.

Hopefully, this short guide will help you understand what to expect at your trial to ensure it goes brilliantly.

Until next time x

July 2, 2016

Wedding Day Emergency Kit

By Natalie Willingham – Bridal Makeup & Hair Specialist

Wedding day emergency kit I hear you cry, what on earth’s one of those and what do I put in it? More frequently I’m meeting brides who have a wedding day emergency kit for on the day not just for themselves but for their bridesmaids and guests too, containing all those extras, just in case they are needed. I’ve heard of all sorts of weird and wonderful items being collected, there is no hard and fast rule, just add what you think you might need.

Wedding day emergency kit

Your wedding day emergency kit items might be stored in a cosmetics bag in the toilets (if you have exclusive use of your venue) or they might be stuffed in a bag under a table in the reception room. Basically anywhere you can get your hands on it at short notice.Continue reading

VW Campervan Vintage Wedding Picnic

Today I have the pleasure in featuring Nathalie Selvon-Bruce from Buttercup Bus VW Campers and her Vintage Wedding Picnic ideas. Buttercup Bus VW Campers offer retro campervan hire for wedding transport, self-drive adventures and photo booths set up inside a campervan. Operating from Croydon on the South London, Surrey and Kent border, they have a selection of six pretty pastel campervans and a soft top beetle.

Vintage Wedding PicnicNathalie has some great ideas on how you could use a campervan apart from transport on your wedding day, including a Vintage Wedding Picnic.

Continue reading

Creating an Atmosphere at Your Wedding With Music

By Rosanna Whitton of Flautino

So you’re getting married? Congratulations! I bet you’ve already been dreaming about your dress and maybe the venue and who you’ll ask to be bridesmaids. But what about the feel of the wedding?

Creating an Atmosphere at Your Wedding With Music

This is a little more ambiguous but equally important, for you and your guests. The atmosphere of the wedding will be created by lots of things: the people who are there, the décor, the style and the music. It might help to do yourself a mood board with clippings from magazines to inspire you and narrow down the style you’re after. Think about things like the lighting, maybe creating scents with flowers and candles and little random things like a treasure hunt for after your wedding breakfast or a few outdoor games.Continue reading

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