Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Herts and Beds Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
To view more expert advice on a different topic, please select one from the list below.
Love is in the air
Q. I struggle with thin hair and want to add volume on my wedding day. How can I achieve this?
A. Emma Horsley says: Here are some tips for creating volume for your special day…
- Blow-dry products into your hair to start, my recommendations would be Bumble and Bumble Go Big Thickening Treatment and the L'Oréal Professionnel Tecni.ART Volume Lift Mousse is also a favourite of mine.
- Blow dry your hair upside down before styling, this will create lift from the roots. - Invest in a good comb for backcombing, tease the hair underneath the top layer to create fullness.
- Invest in a good shampoo and conditioner three to six months prior to the big day.
- Diet also plays a part, so start increasing your intake of iron and vitamin-rich foods such as spinach, broccoli, eggs and good old vitamin C!
Emma Horsley, Emma Kim Hairdressing
Q. What's the best way to cover my spots without my make-up looking cakey?
A. Chloé-Eleanor Russel says: It's all about prep when it comes to concealing blemishes. Even though we want to conceal and hide spots it's important to not draw attention to the area, which can happen if the skin around the blemishes is dehydrated or flaky.
Firstly, make sure your skin has been exfoliated with a gentle exfoliator. I highly recommend Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant all over the skin. It's super soft on the skin whilst also providing anti-inflammatory benefits to help reduce the size of breakouts.
Secondly, moisture the area with a light gel-based cream. My personal favourite is Clinique Moisture Surge 72-Hour Auto-Replenishing Hydrator.. This will leave the skin smooth and hydrated, but without leaving a greasy residue on the surface.
Then using a technique of layering, I build up layers of medium to full coverage with foundation, I recommend Charlotte Tilbury's Airbrush Flawless Foundation, dabbing gently over the blemishes with a buffing brush. This will then create a smooth finish, whilst also neutralising any pink or red angry tones of the skin.
Once you have built up your desired coverage, set your make-up to stop it from moving or being sticky with a smooth finishing powder and then spray with a spritz of setting spray.
Chloé-Eleanor Russel, Chloe-Eleanor MUA
Q. I'm looking for new and exciting hair trends to wow my quests on our wedding day. What would you suggest?
A. Charlie Pearcy says: This year wedding hair trends will feel more relaxed and romantic! You could either choose a soft up-style from full messy buns and braids, to sleek straight styles or luxurious waves framed with a middle parting and soft tendrils framing the face. Even the classic iconic ponytail has become a firm favourite for a bride-to-be who like their hair up and out the way but still can feel it around the shoulders. Hair jewellery is a massive trend this year, with so many beautiful clips and pins – it will definitely wow on your special day.
Charlie Pearcy, Charlie Pearcy Weddings
Q. I want to be inspired by 2020 hair and beauty trends when it comes to creating my big-day look - what are they?
A. Kelly Andrews says: Fluffy brows – gone are the days of super slick and perfectly pencilled brows. The latest trend has a more relaxed feel and is easily achieved by brushing the hairs upwards before setting with a clear or tinted gel. For a longer term solution, check out brow lamination treatments at your local salon.
Au naturel - still by far the hottest make-up trend is the understated natural look. Think wedding-day Duchess of Sussex with radiant glowing skin, lightly flushed cheeks and doe eyes with a smoked-out liner.
Berry nice - a classic red lip is a great way to amp up the glam, but it's not a shade everyone will feel confident with. Try a gorgeous berry hue on your lips after the first kiss to take your look from day to night.
Kelly Andrews, Beauty editor
Q. I'm so excited for our wedding and want the perfect base make-up. What are the main dos and don'ts when it comes to this?
A. Shahnaz Walford says: Bridal make-up is unlike any other type of make-up application as in it needs to stay put and look flawless all day and night, as well as look great in natural light and on camera. It also needs to withstand the demands of the day with all the tears and dancing. The key to achieving the perfect base is about appropriate skin preparation. Correct primers, moisturising and correcting products ensure your base and the rest of the make-up remains radiant and glowing all day. For example, if you have an oily T-zone, you need to use a mattifying primer or your make-up will look shiny in the wrong areas and enhance pores. For very dry skin you will need primer, which will moisturise and hydrate skin otherwise you'll have dry patches, which looks cakey. I usually recommend a facial treatment leading up to the wedding day to ensure skin is in its best condition!
Shahnaz Walford, The Makeup Girl
Brighten and hydrate
Q. The cold weather at this time of year has made my skin dehydrated and dull. How can I improve my skin ready for my big day?
A. Emma Rees says: Staying healthy, relaxed and drinking lots of water ahead of your wedding day is definitely key. In addition to this, the art of layering products to feed each layer of skin can help to brighten and rehydrate. We use ESPA spa products at Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa and the Optimal collection is perfect for this.
Cleansing is important for naturally bright skin while exfoliating the skin is vital to help regenerate cells and helps to remove dead cells. This will promote product absorption to give higher hydration levels. The ESPA Pro Cleanser three-in-one is packed full with jojoba beads and pumpkin enzymes, which naturally brightens the skin and helps create a flawless complexion. Follow this with the ESPA Optimal Pro Serum, which is filled with Omegas three, six and nine and Vitamins A and E. This is like a superfood for the skin, feeding the deeper layers and rejuvenating the skin, which has not yet reached the surface. Finish off with the ESPA Optimal Pro Moisturiser to lock in moisture on the surface and help against environmental aggressors.
Emma Rees , Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa
Q. I'm a very emotional person and I know I will probably end up crying on our big day. How can I stop this ruining my make-up?
A. Emily Panteli says: For long lasting, tear proof wedding make-up I recommend three key items. Firstly, a waterproof eyeliner; I like to use a gel liner on my brides as you can create whatever look you desire – natural, defined or even a dramatic wing. All three will help the eyes pop and MAC gel liners are perfect at staying in place all day and not running! Next, I recommend a waterproof mascara and my favourite is Maybelline Colossal Big Shot as it adds length and volume to the lashes and stays put throughout tears. Most of my brides often opt for semi-permanent lashes for their big day to avoid any chances of mascara streaks and to help the eyes really stand out.
A setting powder is the most important product to finish off any wedding look and Laura Mercier Setting powder is my go-to, the translucent is the best as it blends in with your natural tones! Just lightly dust the powder under your eyes with a blending sponge or a clean brush and this will help hold your make up in place for hours and at the same time stop any eye make-up from falling under your eyes!
My final tip is to ask your bridesmaids to keep some tissue at hand for you, and remember to blot instead of wiping the tears to avoid smudging anything!
Image credit: email@example.com
Sparkle and shine
Q. I'd like to add a winter wonderland sparkle to my make-up. Do you have any recommendations or advice?
A. Charlie Pearcy says: If you're tying the knot in winter and want to add a special theme to your make-up you could use an eye shadow with a bit of sparkle and shine! Great ones I love to use are the Stila liquid shadows that are very pigmented and great for not dropping. Alternately if sparkle isn't your thing, think about your lips. A bold red berry shade such as MAC Russian Red gives a wintery feel to your look – perfect for a beautiful seasonal bride.
Image credit: https://www.matthewlawrencephotography.co.uk
All about the base
Q. My skin's currently really dry from the cold air. How can I add moisture and create a flawless complexion?
A. Ali Kynoch says: In order to get a lovely dewy complexion and for your skin to feel hydrated I'd suggest that you start exfoliating the skin to sweep away dry skin cells and to allow your moisturiser to work effectively. I recommend a beaded exfoliator, as these are kinder on the skin. Opt for a moisturiser that contains hyluronic acid. This helps to plump the skin and keep it hydrated throughout the day. It's also a lighter product so it allows the skin to breath. Always remove make-up at night and use an oil based cleanser so the skin isn't left feeling tight and dry – keeping moisture levels balanced. To create a flawless look, always think about your skincare first. If your skin's well hydrated your base is going to look even throughout the day and will stay for the duration.
Q. My hair's naturally dark but I'd love to try a warmer shade for my December wedding. What do you suggest?
A. Lorna Kings says: There are a few tricks to accentuate detail and help pick up texture. You don't have to do anything drastic and go platinum blonde, but adding some subtle colour will help. Balayage is a great way to go. This is where colour is added through the mid lengths down to the ends, giving a graduated look of sun-kissed colour.
Highlights or lowlights are also another way to depict texture through the hair. Whether a full or half head this is a good way to show off a style. The different tones will lift your colour and accentuate curls. Even in an up do style, adding a few complimentary tones can really make a difference.
Image credit: http://throughthewoodsweran.co.uk
Eyes wide open
Q. What can I do with my make-up to ensure my eyes stand out in our pics?
A. Charlie Pearcy says: Opting for darker shades than normal is a great start. Smokey make-up can make the eyes appear larger and more open. Finish by framing them with a strong liner. Adding fake lashes towards the edges will open up the corners for a dramatic style but if false isn't for you, use a thick coat of very black mascara and be sure to have well-defined brows. If you're opting for dramatic eyes, I'd advise to choose a nude lip.
Q. I have naturally thin, straight hair. How can I add a wave and volume that'll last the duration?
A. Lorna Kings says: There are a few ways to maintain a wave and volume. Be sure to set your hair early, leaving it in for the duration of the morning prep. The layering of strong-hold products throughout the styling stages can help to keep the final look in place, without giving that crispy over-hair-sprayed finish. After the prep, curling your hair and pinning it up for the morning can be a good way to keep it in for longer. If you have fine locks, adding extensions will add fullness and will help to hold your style. If colour matched and inserted well, they're very discreet.
Q. I don't usually wear much make-up so I don't know where to start. How can I find the right look and colours?
A. Chloe-Eleanor Russel says: Start by scouring through magazines and online to see what styles you like and you'll find that there may be a common theme. Look for inspiration from pictures of people with a similar colouring and hair shade to you. Pinterest is a great way to collect images of makeovers you love leading up to your big day and your make-up artist will also advise on the best products for you.
Whether you want to be a boho, romantic, glam or natural bride, don't feel you have to conform to any particular style. Your make-up can be an enhanced version of what you'd normally wear and if you choose something totally different, as long as you feel confident and amazing, that's what matters.
Q. I've opted for an off the shoulder gown and would like a bronzed glow – what tips do you have for the perfect all over tan?
A. Lorna Kings says: Fake tan can put the fear into any make-up artist, as it's one of the hardest things to rectify if done badly. L'Oréal Sublime Self-Tan Elixir is amazing. It creates a gorgeous glow and you can mix it with your moisturiser to build a very natural tan. St Tropez Tan Purity Body Mousse is another great product. Its new formula boasts a more tropical fragrance and with one application you'll achieve a natural tan, without the orangey streaks. Always test your product before any big occasion. Application's key and I recommend that you use a mitt – they're so cheap and prevent streaks on the body and those orangey hands.
If you want more luminosity in certain areas once tanned and your make-up is complete or even post skincare routine, you can go in and highlight any areas, such as cheekbones, brow bones, cupids bow and décolletage, with a highlighter or strobe product.
Q. The boho make-up look is perfect for me as it's quite natural. The problem is, I don't want to look like my everyday self on my special day – help!
A. Hannah Brewin-Smith says: I love the boho style. You can still look quite natural by going for smoky colours such as brown and gold to create a wonderful warm eye and keep a nude lip. If you wanted to add something a bit different you can add a really soft subtle glitter to the centre or corners of your eye make-up. Charlotte Tilbury does a range of beautiful palettes that have the perfect shades along with a very soft subtle glitter to finish off the look. You could also opt for a smoky eye by using the deeper brown eye shadow as a liner then adding a splash of colour with a soft teal liner. This looks great and makes the eye look a bit different. I'd recommend keeping the lips to a nude and a nice warm blush or bronzer to finish off your look.
Q. I want a relaxed hairstyle for my nuptials that I can take down later in the day – do you have any suggestions for achieving this look?
A. Charlie Pearcy says: I'd recommend choosing a style that's curled or tonged and loosely pinned up into a low or mid bun. This is elegant and beautiful for your ceremony and wedding breakfast. For the evening you can just take the pins out and gently brush through. Share your ideas with your stylist so they can make sure the grips and pins are easy for you to take out and they don't overload your style with a hard hairspray. You can always have a small can of spray in the evening if you feel you'd like to reapply.
All about the base
Q. Can you advise on the best way to prep my skin and a good base that'll hide my shine if it's warm on our big day?
A. Jo Saville says: Find a lightweight moisturiser to get the skin hydrated and plumped without leaving an oily sheen. A favourite of mine is La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ Moisturiser. Allow the product to settle on the skin before applying a primer. For normal/combination skin, try Smashbox Oil Free Photo Finish Primer. It blurs the look of open pores and fine lines, holds in shine and smooths over any dry skin. Next opt for a long-lasting foundation. I love NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint for an oil-free base. If you're looking for a full coverage option, Estee Lauder Doublewear will give you a flawless base.
From here you can apply your highlighter. Keep it to the tops of the cheek and brow bone leaving the t-zone matte to draw the light to all the right places.
For the ultimate finish I use a combination of a mattifying powder followed by a setting spray to give an invisible hold to the rest of the make-up.
Q. My blue eyes are my best feature. What makeover tips can you share to make them look amazing?
A. Hannah Brewin-Smith says: Warm tones work really well to emphasise blue eyes. One of my favourite palettes is the Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Quad Eyeshadow. For your lashes I'd recommend trying classic extensions. They look natural but really make a difference to your eyes. If this isn't for you, try a tint to make them darker and appear slightly fuller. If you aren't happy with your brows you can fill them in. I've always used Natural Collection brown eye shadow from Boots for this. Do gentle strokes with the eyebrow brush creating a natural look along the hair. You can also do this with an eyebrow pencil. To finish I recommend Soap Brows. You simply brush through, then run your finger over the top to get rid of any soap residue. This sets your brows and gives them a fresh look.
Two styles in one
Q. I want a relaxed updo for my nuptials that I can take down later in the day – do you have any suggestions for achieving this look?
A. Lorna Kings says: Take the hair back as you would for a half-up-half-down style. Curl the remaining hair and strategically pin it loosely at the nape of the neck, keeping the curl but still creating a low boho style. Finish by adding a beautiful hairpiece or fresh flowers are a pretty addition. When you want the hair to be brought down, release the gripped curls, keeping the half-up part secured. Smooth some serum or smoothing cream throughout, separating and twisting any waves back into shape and you're good to go.
Q. I want to wear an eye shadow that'll make my blue eyes pop. I always opt for a smoky look so what can I do that's a little different?
A. Denise Lilley says: To create some serious standout eye popping potential, use vibrant purple shades. Start by applying a deep semi-thick purple liner to the upper lash line. Broaden slightly to a soft point at the outer corner and continue round and along the lower lash line. Next, apply another line of a lighter shade adjacent to the purple and continue under your lower lid. Lightly soften the edges of both shades on the lower lash line by lightly blending together. Add the dark purple liner to the lower water line and complete the look with a thick coat of very black mascara and well-defined brows. For a more understated look, use a deep lilac and very lightly soften and blend the lines around the whole eye with a cotton bud.
Q. I usually wear a nude lip colour but I want something different for our big day. What shades would you suggest?
A. Jo Saville says: If you want to steer away from nude but still want to look like you, soft pink's a great choice. It'll balance out the make-up beautifully to give a classic bridal look. Try a shade such as Charlotte Tilbury's Matte Revolution lipstick in Amazing Grace or a tawny pink from MAC called Twig. For something more eye-catching, Nars Power Matte lipstick in Save the Queen will work on all complexions giving the lips a little extra kick. Another idea is to try bold, deeper shades. On trend for 2019 are rich berry tones and bright reds. Bobbi Brown's Luxe Liquid Lip in Wilde Orchid will give a deep plum, high shine look that'll last for hours. Or, opt for a stunning red-carpet red. Try MAC's Russian Red for some Hollywood glam. If you're going for this look, keep the focus on the lips by leaving the skin dewy and natural with a soft focus, understated eye.
Q. I want to walk down the aisle with a new 'do'. I'm currently a brunette and fancy a colour change. What ideas do you have that won't feel too drastic?
A. Amy Tidey says: Changing your colour can alter a whole look so I'd suggest keeping it subtle. With glossy brunette hair the best changes are either caramel highlights or balayage. The great thing with these looks is that when you create your style you'll see more of the detail as the different shades will show. If you're not sure what option to choose, highlights will be more noticeable if you fancy lightening all of your hair and balayage is a more natural change that's low maintenance as the colour is just on the mid-lengths and ends. You want your 'do' to look healthy and either colour option will create a noticeable change whilst keeping it in excellent condition.
Q. I've got really long hair and want to wear it up for our wedding. Can you advise on what looks are on-trend – I have no idea where to start!
A. Gemma Furye says: My favourite bridal looks that are trending right now are perfect for long hair. Think of soft feminine plaits and twists, combined with fresh flowers such as gypsophila and tiny rose buds. Add some curls and soft tendrils and you'll have a perfect style. I'd usually recommend setting the hair in curls first to ensure bounce and softness followed by adding a hidden scalp plait that you can secure some delicate curls and twists to. These whimsical styles look gorgeous with vines of pretty beads and sparkles combined with fresh flowers to complement your bouquet.
Q. My cheekbones are my best facial feature. How can I make the most of them when it comes to my big-day make-up?
A. Jo Saville says: As with every gorgeous makeover you need a flawless base. Use a foundation such as Chanel Vitalumiere for a luminous complexion. Contouring products will sculpt and define your natural bone structure by creating an illusion of shadow. Choose a contouring stick such as Charlotte Tilbury's Hollywood Contour Wand and draw a line under the apple of your cheekbone to your ear and blend well. Alternatively sweep a matte bronzer under your cheekbone to create this shadow. Bring your product along the jawline and down either side of the nose for added definition and blend. Next, draw focus to the high-points of your face. My hero products are Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand or for a powder-based illuminator, MAC Pigment in Vanilla – both look incredible! Bring your highlighter along the brow bone and the top of the cheekbone, down the centre of the nose and a touch on your cupid's bow, always blending as you go. Dust a flush of blusher over the apple of the cheeks and finally, spritz the face with a finishing spray. MAC Fix+ Goldrush will catch those high points and leave a natural glow.
Wash and go
Q. I've been advised not to wash my hair on my wedding morning so it goes up easier but I'm worried it'll go greasy. Help!
A. Amy Tidey says: When your hair's fresh it can be very soft and static making it difficult to work with. Not washing makes it more pliable so it'll hold your chosen style better. Whether you choose to wear your hair in an elegant up do or down in lose curls you want to give it the best chance possible to stay for the duration. By not washing it and using the right products that's more likely to happen.
With bridal hair styling I use a number of products including setting spray, dry shampoo, shine spray and firm-hold hair spray. These won't make your hair look greasy and will hold the style securely all day.