What Is a Bridal Makeup Trial?


This post is all about the bridal makeup trial. Lately there has been an influx of emails and questions regarding this topic and I feel I should address it. A makeup trial is simply a test run of what your dream makeup is for your wedding day. In this instance, the makeup artist and client meet in person to do a run through, go over skincare (in my opinion paramount to beautiful skin on your wedding day), test foundations (I work with mainly with MUFE HD foundation, Illamasqua Skinbase or Face Atelier), AND go over any skin problems/ sensitivities.

Also, think of your makeup trial like a bridal beauty plan, where the chosen makeup artist and the bride work together to get the most radiant and best looking skin for your wedding day. In most cases, if it isn’t already in place, I will make skincare product recommendations and suggestions to all my future brides, send brides reminders weeks in advance for things like facials, eyebrow threading, hair cuts, manicures and conditioning treatments. During a makeup trial potential bridal clients get a feel for the makeup artist’s bridal-style philosophy, her personality and whether this suits or not. After the bridal portfolio, a first impression is just as important.

I should clarify this, a makeup trial is not a makeup lesson or an opportunity to score a free makeup look for the evening. During the trial, we will swatch foundation, try eyeshadow colors, blusher but this does not mean you are going home all dolled up. It is advisable to take pictures during your trial to get an idea of what your makeup might look like! Your makeup artist’s main task is to make you look your best in front of the lenses of the photographer/ videographer AND a variety of lights – natural indoors/ outdoors, day/ night. This may be a very natural subtle look or a bit more dramatic, all depends on the personal style of the bride. I hope this clarifies some questions and offers a bit more insight on what the makeup trial mystery is all about.

Photo credit Wikimedia.com.

Another Week Another Lovely Face


For this makeup, I used a variety of products. First of all, I prepped the skin with Vichy Normaderm toner, followed by Avene Diroséal Anti-Redness Skincare Lotion, Embryolisse moisturizer and Makeup Forever Al Mat primer in the T-zone. I have to tell you, French skincare is my most trusted weapon for problem skin [this includes my own]. You wouldn’t be able to tell from the unretouched I-phone photo but the model had a reaction to the heat and came to set visibly red and with dry/ oily areas all over her face. Trust in skincare and some makeup to take care of problems!

I used Graftobian HD foundation and Makeup Forever HD blush, MUFE Flash palette and MUFE Aqua pencils to smudge the eyes and eyeliner. The eyebrows were filled in with Illamasqua eyeliner and on the lips I used my OCC liptar mixed with MUFE Flash palette.

Ageless Beauty


I wanted to share some images from Illamasqua and their upcoming AW12 collection – Generation Q. The notion that makeup (and beauty) has an age limit is definitely something I do not relate to and a message I feel British brand Illamasqua delivers beautifully. Age does not define who we are on the inside or the outside. Age is not a number.


(The magic that is makeup artist Alex Box on the right – she is one of my many inspirations)

In typical Illamasqua style, they have created a message that no other brand has done. The new Generation Q campaign will go against the industry’s unspoken and despicable taboo, by featuring older models as well as young. Brilliant! More brands neeed to embrace this idea. And to take it a step further, the campaign features real women, not your typical agency models.

Easy Peasy Smokey Eye Technique Using Illamasqua Pencil

This fantastic video was forwarded to me by the great people at Illamasqua London. It is one of the most simple smokey eye techniques I’ve seen thus far, simply using a Sophie Kohl pencil in black, couple of brushes and powdered eyeshadows.

Key makeup artist Charlotte Savoury explains a step by step way to create a deep black and charcoal coloured smokey eye. Since it’s been uploaded, there has been over 4,900 views. And there is a great cause with every purchase of the Sophie-I pencil, a £3 donation is made to the Sophie Lancaster foundation, to find out more click here. Share with friends, it is a fantastic video!

Alex Box Receives Honorary Degree

Makeup artist Alex Box is the Creative Director for Illamasqua, one of my favourite British makeup brands introduced to me during a catwalk trends course at MUSE. Over the past year I have talked about the experience of being in London and Illamasqua’s products which are a staple in my makeup bag. She received an award of Doctor of Design from UK’s Southampton Solent University on 25 November 2011.

This video is so inspirational. Alex talks about being told that “it takes ten years to make an overnight success” as she discusses her own struggles coming from a non academic background. Being a creative person myself I completely understand it takes perseverance, passion and integrity to figure out your true calling. In the middle of the video when she says “If it is in your heart” – it struck me like lightning. Congratulations Alex! I hope to finally meet you when I am back in London.

Eye Makeup For NYE


I found this image and instantly thought, NYE makeup! It is also very much inspired by the latest Chanel runway look.

For this kind of eyes, you need a good base either a cream eyeshadow like Illamasqua Hollow or MUFE Aqua Cream in Taupe – both these colours will easily blend with a powder eyeshadow in a darker tone of your choice (black, dark metallic gray, dark brown for example).

To set your base, apply all over the eyelid and about halfway into your crease, making sure you get the inner corner of the eyes. Get close to the mirror and always try using good lighting, if possible. As a reference, use the photo provided to get an idea, always helps!

Apply your darker colour over your base preferrably with a brush or dabbing it gently with a makeup sponge if you don’t have a brush. Start blending paying attention to the outer corners, you can also use your fingers and brush to achieve a smudged look. Next, using the tip of a makeup sponge just used trace your bottom lash line, trying to go for a smudged Kohl-pencil finish. Once you are done, it is time to clean up with a cotton bud and a pinch of concealer, go over any fall out around the eyes. Alternatively, the DuWop Reverse eyeliner will help you prevent any creasing later in the evening.

**DuWop Reverse eyeliner is sold at Luxola in Singapore!

Bridal Glow


Bridal is one of my favourite types of makeup, it is such a personal and special moment in a woman’s life, when it happens, I feel privileged to be a part of this day. A wedding is a mad rush of family, gowns, hair, makeup, I love the energy, emotions and even the time pressure.

This is an image of a client I wanted to share with my readers. She was positively glowing and ready to head out for her wedding which took place in Singapore.

The base of the makeup included Clinique Pore Minimizer Instant Perfector and Eau Thermal Avene Diroséal skincare, primer by Makeup Forever, highlighting using Benefit High Beam and of course eye base using Illamasqua Hollow cream pigment.

Simply Her Fashion Feature Nov 2011

Makeup and hair by Norah using Illamasqua Skin Base and Hollow cream pigment and lots of Tresemme UK magical mattefying pumping powder on the hair.

And btw I live for snakeskin/ python, always have.  Last month, I went into Quintessential at Scotts Plaza, of course loved everything inside the shop and treated myself to a gorgeous python bag which I am currently featuring as my everyday bag.  When I was living in Manhattan, I found an insane pair of python cowboy style boots in caramel colour, could not resist them – obviously they became an investment piece which I still have and look after in my closet.

Illamasqua :: Theatre of the Nameless AW11

Can’t wait to see what Illamasqua has in store for AW11, thus far every collection has brought out exciting bits.  In July, I ordered some Skinbase in shades #12 and #18 plus Satin Primer (for creating a dewy effect) from a fabulous sale at Illamasqua, got free shipping to Singapore which is a damn good deal!  Products do not disappoint – I’ve been looking for darker foundation shades which believe it or not, are hard to find items in Asia.

And I know from MUSE that David Horne will be teaching courses there. (So bummed I can’t make it this year but do plan on going back to MUSE for more training, it is definitely where all my faith and love for the artistry of makeup was reaffirmed plus the mentorship is ace, major respect to all my lovely tutors!!).