Here is a selection of Q&As from Your North East 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. For my wedding, I would love to use false eyelashes to make my lashes look longer but I struggle to put them on. Do you have any tips on how to apply them?
A. Melissa Carlile says: False eyelashes are a great addition to give an extra dimension to any eye makeup look. There are lots of brands and styles on the market to suit all eye shapes, from natural lightweight lashes to fuller dramatic-styles. I always advise measuring them against your lashline first and trimming them to length from the outer edge only. Apply a thin layer of lash glue and leave until the glue starts to go tacky. Next, you will need to look down whilst applying the lashes aiming to fix the centre first and then the inner and outer corners. You want the band to sit as close to your natural lashes as possible. Once in place, push on the lashes gently to ensure the band is set against the lid. If you struggle using your fingers, tweezers or lash applicators can be used instead. The beauty with strip lashes is they can be peeled off at the end of the day and many brands can be re-used multiple times.
Q. I'm a curvy girl and would love to show off my figure on my wedding day, what styles would best suit my hourglass shape?
A. Susanne Shah says: I love it when brides come into the boutique and want to accentuate their amazing womanly curves. Often ladies feel that they want to hide under a larger, fuller gown but this just doesn't make the best of what you have!
A dress that has a fitted bodice would be great as it creates a feminine and flirty silhouette, which then flares around the knees to give the perfect balance for a fuller figure. I'd recommend a mermaid-style dress, with a corset back. This style will accentuate an hourglass figure while hugging your chest, waist and hips. The corset back allows the dress to pull you in and accentuate your waist, whilst showing off your curves. I call this the Jessica Rabbit look, beautifully feminine womanly curves, which is the reason your partner loves you!
The tan commandments
Q. My maid of honour says I need to start going on sunbeds to give myself a nice tan for my wedding. Are they OK to use, or should I book for an in-salon fake tan instead?
A. Angela Gowens says: Salon spray tanning is so advanced now you have no need to endanger your health and your skin by using a UV tanning booth. The dangers are well documented and may not affect everyone – but is it worth the risk? Cosmetic tanning formulas have come a long way in a short period. They smell a lot better and the transfer, once the guide colour is washed off, is minimal, meaning they're perfect for brides. Various depths of colour are now also easily achieved, giving the client the power to experiment with their desired look.
Q. I'm going to start wedding dress shopping in six weeks, but really want to lose a little weight beforehand. What should I be doing and why?
A. Beverley Middleton says: The months before a wedding can be very stressful and with hundreds of things to do, women need to be practical in their weight-loss goals. Increased stress raises cortisol levels, which has been clinically proven to slow down our metabolic rate as our bodies go in to fight or flight mode! Overall body fat reduction – and toned tummies that most brides want to achieve – is priority, with hips and bums other target areas. Here at Shredding for the Wedding diets and nutritional restrictions are not an option. Our wellness system floods the body with high dense nutrition, as well as detoxing. Quote simply we want our brides lean, healthy, glowing and full of mental clarity and energy for their big day!
Pencil me in
Q. I'm fed up of pencilling in my eyebrows but also don't like the idea of microblading. Is there anything else I can try?
A. Alice Quinn says: As a hair and make-up artist, I have tried and tested many non-invasive methods to create better brows that look natural and don't break the bank! Instead of a pencil, try using regular eyeshadow that matches your natural hair colour, and apply using an angled brush. Powder-based products enable you to have more control, and the end result looks much more natural. To tame eyebrows, use Vaseline or, for even better staying power, Pears soap, which is translucent in appearance and dries clear – it's incredible for taming hairs while adding depth and definition! Using a disposable eyelash wand, dip in water, swirl in the soap and comb through until you have achieved your desired shape and voila! Another product I always recommend, particularly for those with sparse and/or over-plucked eyebrows, is Rapid Brow. This works similarly to an eyelash serum such as Rapid Lash, which helps to increase density and growth. Trust me, this stuff really works – with a bit of patience, you will start to see results after two to four weeks.
Q. Whenever I go on holiday, my make-up never seems to match my complexion as I tan. How can I make sure this doesn't happen when I go on honeymoon?
A. Cheryl Griffiths says: There are a few ways in which you can still use your make-up without the cost of buying a new foundation or powder for your honeymoon. If you like full coverage, you could try bronzing drops, which is a liquid that you can add to your usual foundation. It will help make the skin glow, highlight your cheekbones and add warmth to your foundation. If, however, you're in a rush and just need to add a little bit of colour, invest in a tinted moisturiser with cc cream. This will help to colour-correct any redness and add a little colour to your face without the full coverage of a foundation. Alternatively, why not embrace your holiday skin, popping a little bit of concealer under the eyes and wear moisturiser so your skin looks healthy and natural.
Q. I'm getting married next winter and want my make-up to look classic and timeless with a nod to the season. What should I consider? I'm a brunette with olive skin.
A. Grace Lydia Muir says: For classic bridal make-up, especially in winter, you should keep your complexion radiant. By this I mean not over-highlighted – think your skin but better. Soft brown and champagne eyes with a pop of gold, pink or skin-tone pigment are amazing with a soft winged liner, depending on the shape of your eyes.
It's also worth noting that the majority of my clients opt for a darker eye and skin-tone lip or a softer eye and red lip. This means there are no overpowering factors and that they don't feel like there's too much going on. If you're still unsure, you can't go wrong with a brown smokey eye, which is flattering on all skin types and complements all hair colour. An inner corner highlight can add a little softer touch to an all-matte eye look, along with a subtle lash. You can even up the glam factor with false lashes.
Grace Lydia Muir
Q. I'm struggling to get rid of some stubborn belly fat. As well as hitting the gym, what non-surgical alternatives are there that can help flatten my tummy for my big day?
A. Mandy Boylett says: One of the most popular, safe and effective ways of lessening abdominal fat is a procedure called fat freezing, known scientifically as cryolipolysis. During the fat freezing treatment, skin and fat are sucked into the handles of the machine and sandwiched between metal plates, which safely deliver precisely controlled cooling. The cooling process destroys the fat cells and leaves you with a trimmer outline. You will lose, on average, about 20-30 per cent of the treated fat per session. The average client has between one and three treatments to get the desired results – it depends how well they respond, how much fat there is and what result they will be happy with. There's no downtime or restrictions after treatment – you can even go to the gym if you want! Side effects are minimal and include bruising, tenderness and temporary numbness.
Aged to perfection
Q. As a mature bride-to-be, I'm stressing about having my make-up applied. I've more lines and wrinkles than I'd like, and I don't want to feel like I've gone overboard with how I normally look…
A. Lyndsey Morgan says: Older clients express concern when coming for pre-wedding make-up trials over feeling too over-the-top or not wanting to draw attention to wrinkles. The way to combat this is to choose a make-up artist with experience in working with mature clients and who's used to selecting the most suitable products. When it comes to your base, this is an important choice for mature brides. Finding a balance between coverage, long wear and a skin-like appearance can be tricky for the untrained eye. Concealer should be designed to minimise creasing or settling into fine lines, while powder will ensure your make-up stays in place. Softly define the eyes using a long-wear cream eyeshadow pencil in a matte or semi-matte finish and a soft smudge of kohl pencil to thicken the lash line. Finish with a volumising mascara, brow definition, cream blusher and a neutral soft lip pencil. Add a pretty lipstick with a soft pop of colour.
Q. My fiancé has a lot of body hair. What advice would you give to him when getting it waxed for the first time?
A. Stephanie Atkins says: I'm so pleased you mention waxing as opposed to shaving, as this is much better in the long run! If your partner repeatedly waxes instead of shaving, he will find it grows back thinner over time. This occurs because the hair follicle becomes smaller, and therefore hair grows back finer. As a result, many people are able to extend the amount of time between waxing. If, instead, he opted to shave his body hair, he would find he'd have to shave anywhere from one to three days. There's also the worry of ingrown hairs, which can cause problems. Just remember to get him booked in for a patch test prior to his first treatment to guarantee he has no allergies against any of the products that will be used. The therapist should also discuss the best wax to use and give advice for preparation prior to his treatment.
Q. With all the stress of wedding planning, it's time for my chief bridesmaid and I to relax! What spa treatments do you suggest to help us relax and get big-day ready?
A. Claire Davison says: We know that when you walk up the aisle, you want to be feeling calm, confident and at your most beautiful. At Doxford Hall Spa, we have a range of bridal packages available to help you and your bridesmaid prepare for your big day. The package we offer that is really nice to do with friends and family is the Serene Spa day. This is a full day of pure relaxation, using our Aqueous spa to escape the stresses of your big day. Enjoy a dip in the pool, soak in our bubbling spa bath or drift off in the blissful heat of the sauna or steam room. Next, it's time to choose your 55 minutes of pure relaxation. We even have a duo treatment room where you and your bridesmaid can relax and let us help you drift off into pure heaven. The treatments included are massage, body contour, facials and salt scrubs, meaning there's something for all! Add to that an included two-course lunch in our 4 AA star George Runciman Restaurant, and you're all set for some serious pampering. We'll even give the bride a fabulous Ytsara gift set to take home!
Q. I want my make-up to look fresh and natural, but my last two trials have left me looking like a completely different person! What would you advise for a garden party wedding?
A. Melanie Hedley says: The starting point of the bridal service journey is important, so talking to your make-up artist during the consultation will help to build a picture of what your wedding day look might be. Be sure to be honest and open about exactly what you want. Summer wedding make-up has to be fresh, light and, above all, long-wearing. Sheer coverage foundation or tinted moisturiser is essential, as are products that are transfer- and humidity-resistant. Eye base is a favourite for me, as it will keep eyeshadow staying put all day. Colours are usually understated, with soft pink, nude, champagne and golds. I like using pigments on eyes, as they make an impact with very little product and are complementary to all skin tones. For added drama ask your make-up artist to build them up in the corner socket area, finishing with waterproof mascara and natural lashes. A touch of highlighter and bronzer will give your bridal make-up extra glamour and is perfect for summertime when your look should be glowing and radiant.
Image credit: https://katymelling.com
Q. I'm about to take up swimming in an effort to get fit for our big day, but my mam says daily laps in the pool will damage my locks. Do I have to wear a swimming cap, and is there anything else I should be doing?
A. Keely Passmore says: Wearing a swimming cap protects your hair from the chemicals in the pool. In particular, chlorine damages hair, stripping out the natural shine and leaving it frizzy/dry and even discoloured. If you have coloured, permed or heat-treated hair, your hair is at greater risk, so here's how to prevent chlorine damage. First, saturate your hair with clean water, as your hair will be less likely to absorb as much of the chlorinated water from the pool. Coat your locks with conditioner before applying the cap – again, this will act as a barrier to the chlorinated water. Putting your swim cap on correctly is also important to stop the chlorinated water seeping in. The cap needs to be sealed around the face. Long hair should be evenly distributed around the head, and tuck in as many strays as possible. The cap should be tight enough to stay on while swimming but not too tight that it's uncomfortable. Finally, when finished, shampoo and condition your hair as soon as possible.
Q. I want to have a great manicure that lasts for my wedding and three-week honeymoon. The problem is I'm confused over acrylics, Shellac and gel nails – what do they mean, and what's best to have done?
A. Danielle Scorer says: Gel nails or gel polish are the same as Shellac – Shellac is just a brand of gel polish itself. Gel Polish is cured under a UV or LED lamp and is a great alternative to standard nail polish. Applied over your natural nail, it won't smudge or chip like nail polish and normally lasts around two to three weeks. You will find many salons have a great choice of colours but can also offer a classic gel polish French manicure or the modern take on a French polish, known as ombre nails. Acrylic, meanwhile, are the most hard-wearing choice of nail enhancement and can be used to both overlay your natural nail to create strength or to extend your natural nails. They can be built using a coloured acrylic or you can have gel polish applied over the top of the overlay or extensions. They can also be infilled regularly, normally around every three weeks, before being soaked off, when a new set can be applied if required. If you are happy with the length and strength of your natural nail, then gel polish is a great option. If, instead, you are looking to enhance the length or gain extra strength, then acrylic nails might be best. Bear in mind that both options will need to be maintained, as well as be removed by a professional, to prevent damage being caused to your natural nail plate.
You’d better shape up
Q. It's eight months until my wedding, and I want to tone my mum tum and bingo wings. What are the best exercises to do at the gym to see results in this time?
A. Simon Halloway says: It's better for you to have a varied workout that gets more of your muscles working to help increase your muscle tone, strength and cardiovascular system. Your gym may provide advice, either when you join or during personal training sessions. Having a workout to follow will help to keep you on track and motivated – at Redworth Hall, we provide a free starter program that can be updated every six weeks.
As well as body weight exercises, such as press-ups and tricep dips, which will help the muscle strength and tone in your arms, you should also promote fat loss through varying your routine. Some examples of activities and exercises you could incorporate into your workout are interval training on a treadmill, varying the speed and/or gradient over set times; core exercises like sit-ups and Russian twists; weighted squats using a kettle bell bar or dumbbell; and resistance using free weights or machines. Don't worry – you won't bulk up by using heavier weights alone – your daily calorie intake would need to be high for this to happen – but you can improve muscle tone with the right workout.
Q. I want my bridal party make-up to be similar in style, but we can't agree on a look we love. Is there anything that would work as well on girls who love full make-up to those who prefer a minimal effect?
A. Alice Armstrong says: Make-up is personal, and one size doesn't fit all. The good news is there's no need to agree on a uniform style, instead choosing a look that can be adjusted to each person's preference, as well as being coordinated with the theme of your wedding.
Start by thinking about colours that complement your bridesmaids' dresses and the overall style of your wedding. If you can agree on a colour scheme, such as natural and nude or taupe and silver, then the tones and intensity of the make-up can be adjusted to please everyone.
For example, you might have a bohemian-themed wedding with natural colours and blush pink bridesmaid dresses. Agree on a colour scheme of natural browns and nude with flushed cheeks and pink lips, and then let your wedding party control the level of coverage applied to their skin and the intensity of their eyeshadow. This will help create unity among your wedding party yet still complement each individual's features and let them reflect their personal style.
Image credit http://danmcmenziephotography.co.uk
Top of the crops
Q. I'm having my waist-length hair cut off for charity in a few months, which means it won't grow back in time for my big day. I've decided to embrace my short look rather than have extensions, so how can I make my crop look feminine for my wedding?
A. Kelly Clark says: What an amazing thing you're doing! To make your hair look softer, ask for your new style to be chipped in instead of bluntly cut to soften your face and make it look more feminine. You want the hair to look textured and to move in the wind, too, so make sure you have fun using products to add movement to your look in the run-up to your big day. For styling for your actual wedding, I'd definitely go for a soft waved look, perhaps accessorising with a flower crown or stylish hair clip. Just make sure you don't go over the top when it comes to your hair accessories, as you don't want them to take the focus away from your hair.
Ready or not
Q. I'm not very experimental with make-up, as I'm always worried about what will complement my auburn hair and porcelain skin. What make-up would you suggest for my autumn 2019 wedding?
A. Nicola Quimby says: Porcelain skin looks the most flawless when the right foundation is applied, while you should also embrace your natural colouring, never being afraid to experiment with colours out of your comfort zone. The autumnal shades within the wedding will also complement your colouring – picture reds, golds and oranges in mind when shopping for your bridal make-up. For your eyes, a matte red/brown eyeshadow applied lightly on the socket will make your eyes pop, especially when teamed with a copper shimmer dusted across the lids. A peach shimmer blusher on the apples of the cheeks will give you a healthy glow, while a deep berry lipstick will finish off your look perfectly. You are a typical English rose – embrace and complement that, and you will be a head-turning, beautiful autumnal bride.
Image credit: https://www.erikatanithphotography.co.uk
Q. My fiancé and I are looking to improve our teeth for our big day, but we don't fancy the idea of porcelain veneers. What can you suggest that will give us smiles to be proud of at our wedding?
A. Gulshan Dhanoya says: The combination of teeth whitening and composite bonding are two very effective treatments to help couples smile with confidence on their big day. First, you can choose home whitening or in-surgery whitening. Home whitening requires an appointment to take impressions of your teeth and make mouthguards for you to take home. You then apply a small amount of whitening gel to the trays nightly for two to three weeks to achieve the desired result. In-surgery whitening is a process where gel is placed on the surface of the tooth and activated by light. The process takes about an hour, and the teeth appear up to six shades lighter in one appointment. When you are happy with the shade of your teeth, the next step is composite bonding. This is the addition of composite filling material to the teeth to correct their shape and appearance. It is non-invasive and does not damage the natural tooth structure. Composite material is simply added to the teeth and can be used to correct worn, chipped, stained or misshapen teeth, as well as to close gaps. It usually only takes one appointment to complete the process, meaning you can leave the same day with an enhanced smile! To start your journey, you should book a consultation. Your dentist will discuss your main concerns, take photos of your teeth, discuss all treatment options available and carry out a routine examination. It is important that your teeth and gums are healthy before starting any cosmetic dental procedure.
Image credit: www.whitedoveweddings.co.uk
Q. I suffer from allergies, resulting in itchy eyes and a runny nose. I want to look glam on the day but need some make-up techniques that last the distance…
A. Zoe Lane says: I always recommend buying Optrex Double Action for Dry and Itchy Eyes, as this will hydrate your eyes and stop them from watering during your make-up application. A waterproof mascara and eyeliner are essential, as they'll last all day and won't run or smudge if they do still play up. To ensure your make-up lasts, skin prep is an important step in your routine. Using a good moisturiser gives your skin a healthy glow, as well as providing a smooth base for your foundation. Don't forget to set your make-up, either – I always use Laura Mercier's Translucent Powder to lock my brides' finished looks in place for that long-lasting glam you want to achieve.
Image credit: www.2tonephotography.co.uk
Q. My mam went mad when she found out I was having sunbed in the run-up to my big day. I've promised her I'll opt for a spray tan instead, but I'm terrified of streaking and worried I'll turn orange…
A. Jenni Dodsworth says: We spend so much time researching every part of our weddings that it always surprises me when people book a spray tan without having had one before. Research and preparation is key, so book a trial tan, preferably the day before your make-up trial so that your make-up artist can match your tan to your chosen colours. Don't go too dark, either – the photographer's flash can make a tan look darker on pictures, and against your white or light-coloured dress, that can be a recipe for disaster. You should also prep your skin by exfoliating your body beforehand, and don't shave for 24 hours before your appointment, either. Finally, I always suggest that brides book their final tan 48 hours before the big day to ensure it's properly settled.
Straight and narrow
Q. I'm a straightening iron addict, and it's beginning to show. Is there any way I can nourish my hair back to health in time for my October 2019 wedding?
A. Hannah Holmes says: It can be done, so start by easing off how often you use straighteners to help your hair recover – better still, leave them alone for as long as you can! Regular trims to get rid of damaged ends are vital. Ask your stylist to “dust the ends” if you're worried about losing length. Use a deep conditioning mask once or twice a week, and massage coconut oil on after washing your hair too, leaving it on for 20 minutes to half an hour for extra hydration. If you do still use your irons, always apply heat protection beforehand, and turn down their temperature. It's worth it – your hair will have made big improvements by the time your big day comes around!
Q. I'm desperate to grow my hair for my wedding in January 2022, but it never seems to get past a certain length! Should I just stop visiting my stylist for six-weekly trims?
A. Michelle Weatherly says: Gemma says: This is a good question and I get asked this a lot. You should not stop seeing your stylist, but make your appointments further apart. For those clients that normally visit six to eight weeks we would advise to go about 10 to 12 weeks, as this means we won't be cutting off the hair that has just grown through. Everyone's hair cycle is different, but on average hair should grow about half an inch per month if kept in good condition. To maintain your hair try using conditioning treatments once a week. Also, if any heat is being used on the hair regularly, the number one rule is to always use a heat protector. Once the hair is damaged and has split ends, the only way to get rid of them is to have them cut off.
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