Monday, September 24, 2007

Wedding beauty for an English Rose

Years working in the fashion industry, as well as occasionally writing about beauty, has given me an admirable stash of products and tools, plus a little knowledge from watching some of the best in the industry work their magic backstage & on location.

So when Miss P got married a couple of weeks ago I got to be make-up artist for the day, as well as her personal stylist. We had thought about booking a make-up artist – well, hell these pictures are going to be around for the next forty or fifty years. But a pro costs at least £250 plus their travel and, seeing as she is seven months pregnant, she has better places to direct her money. So I did it for her.

Still, I don’t profess to be an expert so we took a couple of shortcuts to ensure I didn’t balls it up too comprehensively.

First stop: Selfridges Beauty Hall in London where we both had our brows shaped at Blink’s threading bar. This is the most effective and longest lasting way to keep them in shape. It’s also good if you have no pain barrier (like me) as it removes multiple hairs at a time.

I then marched Miss P to the Prescriptives counter. Their Custom Blend foundation (£40) is mixed in front of you to match your skin perfectly. We choose the heaviest coverage because it needed to last all day and still look good in flash photography.

Because of the flash photography we couldn’t use the perfect concealer: YSL’s Touche Eclat, as it reflects back light (that’s the reason some celebs have white panda eyes in photographs), so I just didn’t use any, blending foundation with a flat brush under her eyes instead.

Then we went to Laura Mercier to choose a lipstick so she would be able to keep the tube in her purse all day, rather than me blending a colour for her which we couldn’t then replicate. LM’s colours are wedding perfect as they are all pretty neutrals: nothing too strong or un-Miss P looking.

We also cheated by heading to Pout in Covent Garden for their Luscious Lashes application (individual eyelash extensions) (£15). They take just ten minutes, and last for up to three weeks if you buy some extras and replace each one with tweezers & eyelash glue as it falls out – a lot easier to do when you have a whole lid’s worth already in place.

On the day we kept it super simple. MAC Kohl Power Eye Pencil in Orpheus, a soft brown, smudged through the lashes, the pale creamy colour from Clinique’s Colour Surge Eye Shadow Duo in Like Mink over the whole eye socket & up to the brow, with the crease defined in the darker brown, blended & then blended some more. Brows were groomed with MAC clear mascara, and defined with a stiff eyeliner brush & Estée Lauder’s Pure EyeShadow in Espresso Cup. I used just a tiny amount of waterproof mascara on the outer lower lashes – no more because she would just cry it all off eventually. I finished off the look with pretty rosy cheeks using Shiseido’s cream stick blusher in Peach Flush.