Here is a selection of Q&As from Your London 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.
Q. Lockdown has played havoc with my skin. How do I get it back to its best for my wedding at the end of the year?
A. Joyce Connor says: - Cleanse. Washing your hands for 20 seconds has become the norm, now is the time to get into the habit of washing your face for a minimum of 60 seconds with a foaming cleanser. Cleanse your forehead down to your décolletage and rinse thoroughly with tepid water.
- Hydrate. Staying indoors can make your skin dehydrated and tight. Drink plenty of water and add a facial spritz to your skin every few hours under your moisturiser and over your make-up.
- Face mask. Stress and tiredness can deplete your skin's nutrients. Using a face mask weekly will hydrate, plump and give your complexion a boost. Applying your mask at night after cleansing will be most beneficial.
- Sunscreen. Wear a sunscreen daily, even if you're not going outside. Daylight contains UVA rays that age the skin, and you can still get sunburnt if you're working in front of a window.
- De-stress. If you're suffering with breakouts, try to avoid touching your face. Wash your hands before you start your cleansing routine and use calming products and gentle movements. The less-is-more rule applies: less product, less touching and less pressure.
Joyce Connor,Joyce Connor Make Up
Q. We quizzed make-up artist and nail technician Peghe Yianni on bridal beauty
A. Peghe Yianni says: 1) Tell us about your background... I come from a very strict Greek Orthodox background so my father chose my A levels and business diploma. I then joined the family food business and worked there for 20 years. I travelled a lot to source different products and wherever I went, I was asked whether I was a make-up artist. I used to visit MAC counters weekly, would always aspire to be like the professionals there. In 2013, we sadly lost our food business and I completed a make-up diploma and then landed a job at MAC's Chelsea store. I'm now freelance and living proof that you should never give up on your dreams.
2) What's your advice for brides and grooms preparing for the big day? Any dos and don'ts? My main advice is don't be tempted to experiment or radically alter your routine in the immediate run-up to your wedding and book in any brow or lash treatments for a few months ahead of the big day. Skin care is paramount to that all-important 'glow' at your nuptials.
3) Who is your bridal beauty/fashion icon and why? I'm torn between two looks that I absolutely love: one was created by Charlotte Tilbury for Kate Moss in 2011; she created a toned-down sultry rock chick look, and then she came up with a more glamorous look for Poppy Delevinge with copper smoky eyes using her Dolce Vita palette.
4) What is your favourite area of London and why? I just love Knightsbridge, it's usually busy, striking and vibrant. I absolutely love browsing the counters in Harrods' new make-up emporium.
5) What's trending for 2020 weddings? The make-up this season is focused on enhancing your skin, not concealing it à la Megan Markle's minimal bridal look. Think barely-there foundations, soft blush and soft lip tints – Dior has launched some amazing lip glows in berry shades. And don't forget fluffy brows; to achieve this brush brows upwards and outwards and then use MAC's clear brow set to keep them in shape.
6) Talk us through your most requested bridal look… As a general rule, brides will ask for medium-coverage foundation – they want a healthy glow with lots of highlighter and subtle contour. As for eyes, smoky is always popular.
Q. We quizzed make-up artist Joyce Connor on what's trending in bridal beauty for the new decade...
A. Joyce Connor says: Q Tell us about your background? I started my career more than 20 years ago after living in New York for six months. Before then, I didn't really wear much make-up. The colours and shades available in the UK were very limited. But the US opened up a whole new world of colour for me. I would visit the department stores daily for a makeover. I'd always loved looking in beauty magazines and my skin wasn't great as a teen; I really wanted to help other women feel good about themselves. So, on my return to England, I enrolled on a make-up and beauty course and haven't looked back since.
Q What is your advice for brides and grooms preparing for the big day? Any beauty dos and don'ts? Getting your skin ready for the big day is the first step. Any wedding couple will benefit from a good skin care routine. Even a basic ritual of cleansing and daily moisturisation will make a huge difference. That said, I don't recommend trying out any new treatments or beauty products in the month before the wedding, just in case there's a reaction. Brides-to-be should book a trial based on the make-up artist's portfolio; have you seen a look that you like? Have realistic expectations and bear in mind that most images online have been enhanced.
Q Who is your bridal beauty icon and why? My bridal icon is Priyanka Chopra; her make-up was flawless on her wedding day. She chose a bold lip and neutral eye make-up, a look we think will trend throughout 2020.
Q What is your favourite area of London and why? I absolutely love Covent Garden. It's a great place for people watching. There are lots of boutiques there and most of the big make-up brands have a store there.
Q What's trending for 2020 weddings? Lashes and lips are the biggest trends for 2020. Brides will be rocking a bolder lip colour as opposed to the nude lip that's been seen a lot in recent years. Lashes are still a big trend. I recommend using individual lash inserts on your wedding day. If you've got naturally long, lush lashes, a professional lash lift will make your eyes appear bigger. Flower crowns are back for brides and larger hair adornments with pearls and crystal hair vines to cover long, Boho-style hair.
Q Talk us through your most requested bridal look The most requested bridal look has been a soft, smoky eye, strip lashes, highlight and contour and a nude lip. In recent months, I've had less requests for full coverage and brides are asking for a glowing, sheer foundation with minimal powder. Brides want their eyebrows to look as natural as possible but we usually add some colour to fill in any gaps.
Q. Top tips and advice on prepping skin for a winter wedding...
A. Bianka Michelekova says: A Hydration is crucial in the run up to your wedding. Start by drinking plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated. The night before the big day, I would recommend gently exfoliating your skin and then moisturising with a sheet mask. Once you remove the mask, gently massage any leftover serum into your skin using your fingers or a skin care tool such as a jade roller, which can help increase circulation and make skin look plumper. Last, apply a night cream, have a cup of calming tea and a good night's sleep.
One treatment we would suggest to avoid dry patches in wedding photos would be a Dermaplaning exfoliating treatment followed by LED and a Circadia Australian Super Berry antioxidant treatment mask. Through Dermaplaning, we remove all the dead skin cells and vellus hair, which traps excess oil and dirt, from the skin's surface. By adding LED, we stimulate cell turnover and help release growth factors to build new collagen, elastin and protect our skin cells from oxidative stress. Once the LED is done, we apply the Circadia treatment mask, infusing lots of incredible antioxidants into the skin leaving a glowing complexion without any dry patches.
Q. What are the six habits that can be ruining your hair?
A. Katie Allan says: 1 Hot showers Hot showers feel great but can also dry out your hair and scalp. If you can't resist, be sure to use a shampoo and conditioner to moisturise.
2 Dirty brushes Clean those brushes! A bit of warm water and shampoo to take of any debris will work perfectly – otherwise you'll be brushing your clean hair with a tools that you also used after a sweaty work out.
3 Tied too tight. Tight ponytails and top knots can cause traction alopecia but, if you use an elastic band, this will damage the fibres too. A traditional scrunchie or telephone cord-style loop are good alternatives.
4 Sunglasses. Do you stow your sunglasses on your head? If the arms or nose guard are made from metal, they could catch in your hair and pull out strands. This will result in breakage on your front hairline.
5 Repeating the heat. Once you've washed your hair, it's filled with nutrients from your shampoo, conditioner, leave-in products that will protect it from heated styling tools. However, if you then reapply heat to your hair without washing it, you could harm the cuticle.
6 Over using dry shampoo. We all love dry shampoo, however, using it in excess can result in a dry, flaky scalp. Try and limit yourself to two days use before washing.
Get the look
Q. We ask Bridget O'Keefe about getting big-day ready...
A. Bridget O’Keefe says: Q Tell us about your background? I graduated from university hoping to break into the financial sector but I entered the workforce just as the financial crisis gripped. I ended up temping in various offices, Chanel being one of them, and that prompted a U-turn with my career. Chanel gave me a job on counter and the rest is history! I started my first business with a bridal beauty concierge offering and, a few years later, branched out into the general beauty market with the opening of Blush + Blow in 2016.
Q Can you talk us through the treatments on offer for brides- and grooms-to-be? Facials are always a really good place to start. As a make-up artist, I can immediately tell whether someone has been looking after their skin. We offer various bridal packages that include full body waxing, spray tans, facials and hair and make-up as well as manis and pedis. Lots of couples come in together for a pre-wedding relaxation too.
Q What is your advice for brides and grooms preparing for the big day? Any beauty dos and don'ts? A good skin care regime is essential but avoid new products within a month or so of the big day.
Q Who is your bridal beauty icon and why? I have a few. Grace Kelly for her timeless beauty on her wedding day. You can't tell what year she was married in from her wedding make-up, which is the epitome of a timeless beauty. Meghan Markle's glow was enviable too.
Q What is your favourite area of London and why? It has to be Parsons Green. Yes, I'm biased but I really love the locals and its village feel. We have so many lovely, little independents from Katy & Jo for wardrobe inspo to Vincino for my go-to Italian dishes. The area has changed so much over the past five years and continues to boom. One of my all-time favourite things to do is to lie on the green on a sunny day with my dog and note pad for brain storming.
Image credit: https://katenielen.com
Let's face it
Q. We ask facialist Chelsee the best treatments for couples tying the knot...
A. Chelsee Lewis says: Q Tell us about your background? I've worked in the beauty industry for 22 years with some of the most renowned people and product houses in the industry, learning my expertise over the years. I founded my beauty company, Chelsee Lewis, in 2014, which is currently situated in Mayfair. I specialise in beauty treatments from toning to non-surgical facials and, in 2017, I won an award for best facial in West London. My goal is to keep skin looking healthy and beautiful and I'm always adding new services to help my clients feel confident.
Q Can you talk us through the treatments on offer for brides- and grooms-to-be? The treatments I offer to my brides and grooms are tailor-made to their individual concerns and needs. I'd normally design a programme for them six to 12 months prior to the big day. One of the treatments may include my signature facial (Le Visage) with Dermapen (micro needling) or HIFU (high intensity focused ultrasound).
Q Who is your bridal beauty icon and why? My bridal beauty icon is Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. She looked stunning on her big day and wore her dress with grace, elegance and style.
Q What is your favourite area of London and why? My favourite area is west London because this is where I grew up and still live and work. I love the west-end because you can lose yourself like a tourist, discovering new places, and the restaurants here are wonderful.
Q. We quizzed Dajana Prosnanova on bridal beauty...
A. Dajana Prosnanova says: Q Tell us about the HYPOXI-Method® – talk us through the treatments on offer for brides- and grooms-to-be? The HYPOXI-Method® is the first patented training concept to combine advanced vacuum and compression technology with exercise to kick start the body's fat metabolism in stubborn body areas i.e. stomach, buttocks, legs and thighs. It's a fast and sustainable fat-burning treatment, with independent studies showing it to be up to three times more effective than regular exercise for targeted fat loss. Inch loss programs individually designed by a coach, and cellulite reduction alongside bespoke nutrition plans are all available at our Knightsbridge clinic.
You can drop a dress size in a matter of weeks and tone up areas you've been struggling with for years. The sessions should be repeated three times per week, ideally for a minimum of four weeks, so it's a commitment, but one that's well worth the effort.
Q What's your advice for brides and grooms preparing for the big day? Any beauty dos and don'ts? We love working with brides and grooms! They're usually motivated and committed to the treatment in the run up to the big day. I would say to both, brides and grooms – don't try too hard to lose weight. If you're determined to slim down then leave plenty of time – crash diets don't work! You want to look and feel your best on the day, not to be starved and looking fatigued or ill.
Q Who is your bridal beauty icon and why? The Duchess of Cambridge. She was an elegant and stylish bride. I think she got everything right on the wedding day. Imagine, all those millions of people watching that wedding around the globe, and she carried herself so beautifully.
Q What is your favourite area of London and why? The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea – I've worked in the area for 17 years and still find it intriguing. It boasts some of London's most beautiful parks, with Kensington Palace Gardens and Hyde Park a short walk away from the clinic. I love wandering around the area, admiring the amazing houses and architecture – not to mention browsing at Harrods, which is literally next door to my 'office'. Plus, we have the crème de la crème of bridal couture right on Beauchamp Place with boutiques from several designers including Bruce Oldfield, Suzanne Neville, Caroline Castigliano and Kruszynska.
Q. We quizzed Pulse Light Clinic's Nina Patel on bridal beauty...
A. Nina Patel says: Q Tell us about Pulse Light Clinic – talk us through the treatments on offer for brides- and grooms-to-be? Pulse Light Clinic London has specialised exclusively in laser and light treatment technology since 2001. The clinic uses state-of-the-art lasers and has developed innovative treatment techniques for a wide range of skin and body concerns such as rosacea, hair and tattoo removal and fat-freezing. We have three clinics in London, one near Tottenham Court Road station and two near the City of London, Bank.
Q What is your advice for brides and grooms preparing for the big day? Any beauty dos and don'ts?
* Consult one of our senior technicians in advance of any treatment.
* Leave enough downtime – you may experience redness after some treatments.
* Follow post treatment advice.
* Leave treatments until the last minute – tattoo removal, for example, can take up to a year. * Apply fake tan before a consultation/patch test.
Q And the honeymoon – any advice for brides and grooms preparing for the holiday of a lifetime? Want silky smooth skin for the big day and honeymoon? Or does your husband want to tidy up his facial/chest hair? Our senior technician recommends starting laser hair treatments about six to 12 months before the wedding day, as it can take at least six months to see full results. We suggest three to six sessions spaced every four weeks. Unfortunately, we cannot treat those with lighter hairs, such as blondes.
Q Who is your bridal beauty icon and why? Our bridal beauty icon has to be Meghan Markle who looked amazing on her wedding day with minimal make up exposing her freckles – a triumph for body positivity as she'd previously admitted to disliking them.
Q What is your favourite area of London and why? Our favourite place in London has to be Borough Market as it gives us total Bridget Jones vibes and it's a nice stroll across the bridge to both our clinics in Monument and Bank.
Spot of bother
Q. I'm prone to breakouts at times of stress and I'm worried that, as the big day approaches, my acne will flare up. What's your advice for preventing spots?
A. Aaron Gilpin says: My advice for preventing acne breakouts in the lead up to a wedding is to take some proactive steps to minimise the impact. Acne is essentially driven by our hormones, which are readily affected by stress. As we all know, planning a wedding can be a stressful time.
Depending on how much time you have, book in with a specialist skin service as part of your wedding preparation. You may want to consider skin peels, medical skincare or LED phototherapy in the months leading up to the wedding.
Basic everyday tips to reduce likelihood of breaking out include:
- Try to keep processed food to a minimum – simple carbs will stimulate floods of insulin in your body, which will impact the skin negatively.
- When you wash your face / hair / shower / bath, keep the water temperature down. High heat will stimulate your skin to produce oil and therefore increase your risk of breaking out.
- Find ways to address your stress management whether it's walking, meditation or mindfulness. - Have an effective spot treatment at the ready for use the minute a spot starts to appear.
- Despite what you read in the media – do not apply any oil-based product to your face – the aim is to reduce oil and not to add to it.
- Do not pick at your skin – you are very likely to make it look worse!
Make it up
Q. Our wedding budget is running low and I was wondering whether it would be rude to ask my maids and wider bridal party to contribute to their hair and make-up on the day? What's the general etiquette?
A. Mariya Kiani says: The answer really varies by wedding, meaning you'll have to spend some time thinking about your bridesmaids and your own budget and expectations. Of course, weddings are costly for any couple and usually the bridal party will chip in for expenses here and there.
As coordinated dresses and shoes are usually a must for the role, makeovers are a much easier ask if you're running out of budget. Remember that professional beauty services are considered a luxury for a wedding day, despite becoming more of a common feature in recent times.
If you're going to request that your bridal party contribute to anything, hair and make-up on the day would probably be the best way to go. It's also reassuring to remember that your bridal party is made up of your nearest and dearest. In this case, don't worry about what is traditional for a bride to cover for her bridesmaids, and just be as open and transparent with your bridal party as possible!
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