Cheshire Hair & Makeup Artist
The Midland Wedding Fayre
I’m a Cheshire hair and makeup artist so i have worked at The Midland on many occasion but this was my first time at their wedding fair and what a venue! I have got brides ready here and done two photo-shoots here with photographer Sara Porter but this was my first peek inside the elegant and ornate rooms. AND just to confirm – Sara didn’t take these pics, you may or may not be able to tell this was my first day with my very own little camera!
A 6am rise this morning to get ready for my two gorgeous models Jen & Amber.
I have a pretty good portfolio, so fayre days, i like inspire you Bride-to-be with hair and makeup. So morning of, i decided to go a bit vampy retro with myself..
My hair up look is whizzed in to an almost victory roll at the front and sides and all the back just pinned up at the nape scruffy curls. 10 mins its up and in a quirky vintage undo. A makeup base of a little Illamasqua concealer and Sheer Cover mineral makeup buffed over the top. Mascara, MAC brow pencil, Illamasqua shadow ‘Stealth’ & ‘Herione’ – (my 2 must haves) , bit of black MAC eye pencil, some mascara and lashes from eye candy… Done.
I’m almost the middle girl in the looks for us all – with Jen first to arrive at 8am
- Foundation: Airbase (who now stock an at home kit!)
- Conceal: Illamasqua and Laura Mercier
- Eyes: Illamasqua gel liner all over the socket and sinished with Urban Decay ‘Naked 2’ palette and lashes to give it a bit of sparkle to slightly soften but still lots of impact.
- Brows: Illamsqua Brow Cake
- Highlighter: Illamasqua ‘Gleam Cream’ – my favourite highlighter on the market!
- Lip: MAC Limited Addition shimmer gloss
Hair, well Jens chopped off all her locks, and she looks amazing with it, so i didnt want to change that too much. So a directional set, bit of a quiff at the front… Shes ready to grace the stand with a vintage hair down look.
Amber arrived at 9am – Amber we’re going for a soft country look and with her gown ive decided to go up so it dont take away from the neckline. But i still want a little bit of a soft country boho bride look so its all super soft and natural hair and makeup… Amber wasn’t a fan of the camera but with her own wedding in the not too distant future we got her practicing!
- Foundation: Airbrush
- Cheek: Benefit, ‘coralista’ – peachy cheek this time
- Eyes: Urban Decay ‘Naked’ palette for a really delicate smokey eye
- Liner: MAC in ‘Duck’ for soft definition & ‘Engraved’ just on the top to help blend in her half lash
- Lip: Clinique Chubby Stick ‘Mega Melon’
Both Jen and Amber had gowns from the amazing boutique Dream Dress Bridal in Bredbury. Jen wears a comfortable figure hugging tulle gown & Amber a soft lace understated princess gown both from Mori Lee
Illamasqua, MAC, Urban Decay, Benefit, Laura Mercier, Airbase, Clinique
Steph & Chris
My Happiest Memories
I met Steph last year with her mum and makeup obsessed sister 🙂 what a success! Even the trial was amazing, we had tears and excitement, this really was an amazing family to work with… So here is Steph’s trip down memory lane and some amazing photography to remember their happiest memories from Claire Penn!
Chris and I met through mutual friends after university. Ironically, we had the same friends and lived on the same street for 2 years during university and never met!
We were friends to begin with but the relationship blossomed and although Chris had already booked a 5 month trip around the world before we’d met, we got together and decided to give it go. We’ve never looked back and also survived a year of long distance and 3 moves around the country!
We have now settled in Manchester and are very happy… We had been together 3 ½ years when Chris whisked me away to Edinburgh for the weekend. A few friends had said ‘oooo maybe he’ll propose’ but I tried not to think about it as I wanted to enjoy the weekend.
On the Friday night we had a lovely meal out, then I persuaded Chris to go up Calton Hill – it’s a small hill just on the edge of the city centre with amazing views of the city. We went up it on our last visit but never got to see the city at night (little did I know this was Chris’ plan all along). So I changed from my heels to flats and up we went. We were the only people up there and we had these wonderful views of the city and right then he got down on one knee and popped the question! It was a perfect start to the weekend; we told the owner of the restaurant we visited the next night we’d just got engaged and got free dessert and a round of applause!!
We picked The Ashes as our wedding venue; we loved it as soon as we saw it. We wanted somewhere that wasn’t too far from Manchester and somewhere which was quite central, as we have friends and family all over the country. It was the first venue we saw, we looked at a few others but none seemed to compare. We wanted a September wedding, so we decided on early in the month, hopeful that the weather would be better. 15 months to plan and save!
Planning the wedding was stressful but luckily Chris’ mum is really creative and helped with a lot of the decorations including the invitations and all the wedding stationary, vintage lace bunting, table plan and tea lights…
The dress I found at Puure bride in Lymm. It was difficult finding a dress because I originally thought I wanted something quite understated and floaty, but then I realised I wanted something that looked like a “wedding dress” because you only get to wear it once right? But I still wanted something quite delicate but that suited my shape and wasn’t too princess (not my style!).
So with the help of Ange and Jo I found a fitted but vintage style lace dress by Justin Alexander. I’d lost quite a bit of weight when I came to try on the dress once it came into store 6 months later so I was freaking out when it was far too big but the team did an amazing job and even the registrar commented on how well it fitted! I loved the little straps that added some detail at the back but were also removable so I could take them off in the evening when I wanted to swing my arms around and party!
Shoes I went for Jenny Packham open toe high heels I loved them!
The night before the wedding my mum, sister and myself stayed at a cottage a couple of miles from The Ashes. The rest of the bridesmaids joined us in the morning and we started getting ready here. Clare did all the bridesmaids and my mum’s make up, and the bridesmaid’s hair.
We were amazed at her speed and thoroughness! Later in the morning we moved to the old milk dairy at The Ashes (a small barn on site where the bride and bridesmaids can get ready). Clare finished my hair and make up here, along with my mum’s and we toasted with prosecco.
I was so nervous and time seemed to fly by but Clare kept us all calm and more importantly kept calm herself!
I’d decided last minute not to have a veil, instead opting for a vintage style hair piece – a double string of pearls with jewels either side which clipped either side of my hair. It was the perfect finish to the look I wanted which Clare mastered so perfectly with my hair and make up.
The day was perfect and the staff at The Ashes were superb, especially Steph our co-ordinator.
The flowers were from a local florist at the Topiary Tree – the manager Rose totally understood my image of how I wanted the flowers to look, she picked the colours and the flowers brilliantly! We didn’t really have a colour theme but the bridesmaid dresses were a sort of light mauve/dusty lilac so Rose made sure this ran through the flowers as well.
Our photographer Claire Penn just captured every moment so perfectly, we couldn’t be happier with the photos. A friend a friend Laura Jane Dale did our wedding video – this was a last minute decision but probably the best we ever made. She captured the whole ceremony, speeches and recorded video messages from friends and family. Watching this back was the best thing; our guests were a bit merry on the video’s so we got to see some rapping, singing and twerking on our messages which had us in tears of laughter. Along with the photos we were so pleased we are able to look at this and remember the special moments as the day goes by like a bit of a whirlwind.
Our band was The Fanatics, a local band who played an acoustic set outside whilst everyone enjoyed prosecco, peroni and canapés and then played 2 sets in the evening which kept people on the dance floor all night!
All in all our favourite part was having all our friends and family who we love in the same room at the same time celebrating our special day with us. We have so many happy memories, for me it was perfect! I have to say Clare did a fantastic job with everyone’s hair and make up, it stayed put all day and I totally trusted her. You will not be disappointed if you book her for your big day!
My Most Magical Day!
I met Jo quite a while back when she kindly stepped in to model gowns with the ‘Dream Team’ so i have created hair and makeup looks for her before. This time it was Jo’s wedding day and she has to be one of the most smiley brides i’ve ever come across… Her hair and makeup trial was pre hen do, mini girls party getting glammed up for the night ahead and the wedding day… She was magical, gliding through the morning… I’ll let Jo fill you in on THE most magical day of her life! x
Ours isn’t a traditional story of ‘Boy gets on bended knee, girl cries’ (OK i admit there were tears), venues were scoured, then booked and plans began but we did things a little different…
It was 2010 and i’d been waiting 11 years for the big question and dropping the usual hints, so one day i just happened to stumble (accidentally on purpose) across the website of the venue id always dreamt about getting married at; Rookery Hall in Nantwich. Ishowed Paul the website, mention that they have a wedding fayre on in the May of that year.
He suggested that we go to have a look round, so i left it up to him to book the appointment with the wedding co-ordinator.
On the way to the fayre he asked me “so if we book it today, will we have to pay a deposit?” I guess that was ‘it’, a proposal of sorts. We did book our wedding that day. October 6th 2012, a whole 28 months to wait…and plan.
We decided not to tell anyone about the wedding, you know, its a bit odd booking a wedding without the real proposal, OR a ring! So, it was back to waiting and guessing when the question would be popped. I’ve got to admit, for the next few months, any special occasion and date we went on was ruined by me, i was not so good at hiding my disappointment when he failed to speak those four important words.
Christmas Day 2010; we had just finished opening our presents from each other and I gave Paul a hug and a kiss to say thank you. He wouldn’t let me go for a few seconds and when he did, he was holding out the most perfect ring i’d ever seen in my life. He asked – I cried… We celebrated with lots of champagne that day! A fantastic job was done with my ring, he’d listened all those years about my dream to have one from Tiffany & Co, the simple but elegant Tiffany setting was now sparkling on my ring finger!
Now for the planning; there was only one place I was ever going to get my dress from, Dream Dress Bridal! I’d known Holly for years and i was in love with her shop, i’d helped out with some of the bridal shows the Dream Dress team had put on, so I knew the style I wanted, and what did and didn’t suit me. Holly and Lynne couldn’t have made the experience to choose my dress any more perfect. I decided on the Ronald Joyce – Dorianna and i’ve honestly never felt so beautiful in anything, until i put on that gown.
Bridesmaid dresses are always a difficult thing to get right, especially if you have bridesmaids who are all different sizes and body shapes. I wanted soemthing that would suit everyone but most of all, i wanted all the bridesmaids to be comfortable. After some searching, i came across the Dessy Twist Dress, a versatile design which comes in lots of colours and can be work in 15 different ways. All my bridesmaids, sister, best fiends and sister -in-law chose a different style to suit them.
Clare from Harry Jon was the only person i was going to trust to do my wedding hair and makeup. I had worked with Clare at the bridal shows and absolutely loved her vision and style. I didn’t want the au-naturel look on our wedding day, that is just not me – I wear makeup. Clare did exactly as i asked, a dramatic makeup with dark smokey eyes, false lashes and plenty of eyeliner with a nude gloss for the lip. For my hair up, i channelled and Eva Longoria red carpet undo which complimented my dress perfectly, curled and pinned up at the back.
My wedding jewellery was from Glitzy Secrets, a side tiara, bract and earrings encrusted with shimmering smokey and glittering clear Austrian crystal. The shoes… OH THE SHOES, for those that know me, shoes are MY thing, so they had to be all kinds of special! After much deliberating and searching, i decided on Benjamin Adams, Electra – The encrusted beauties, stocked at Dream Dress Bridal.
I’m not a very crafty person when it comes to making decorations, so i enlisted the help of fabulous Charlotte and Maggie from Couture Venue Dressing. You can even see our wedding on their website under ‘magical purple’ on the gallery pages. We came up with having tall centre pieces to compliment the size of the room, along with some smaller pieces for the top table. The table numbers were quotes form ‘Romeo & Juliet’, a theme that started on the invitations and continued through to the music played as i walked in – ‘Kissing You’ Baz Luhrmann Version.
The photographer we used had to be just right so we did do plenty of research. Neither of us are particularly keen on these posed shots, but understood that it is important for the family members to have those type of images. We decided on having 2 photographers so we could do the posed and candid shots we wanted. Jo and John from Elbowroom Photography fit the bill perfectly, we had a meeting with them before booking and we just knew there were for us. On the day, they felt like part of the party, getting involved with all the guests and they got some absolutely amazing shots.
Buying our wedding rings had to be another one of our many experiences. We went to New York for a short break the Christmas before the wedding, so there was no better place to buy our rings than Tiffany & Co on 5th Avenue! Champagne is served as you are trying on rings and they make you feel like a milion dollars. The lady serving us even wrote us a letter a few weeks after we’d arrived back in the UK to wish us well.
The day before the wedding, my mum, bridesmaids and i made our way to Rookery Hall (its where David and Victoria Beckham got engaged you know!) for some champagne and food to celebrate my last night as a single woman!
The morning started with some pampering from Clare; whist she did our hair and makeup we all drank champagne (can you see a theme here?!). The Flowers arrived from Wendy’s Florist in Nantwich Village, corsages for the bridesmaids made with white and purple Lisianthus and my amazing purple Calla Lilly bouquet. My dad came to see me as i was getting tied into my dress (another service provided by Clare) and had a final spritz of my wedding day present – perfume from the Husband-To-Be… Marry Me by Lancome. Could it be anymore perfect? I started to get really excited now, a little too excited in fact as i forgot my amazing bouquet!
Dad raced me down the aisle, i think he was a bit nervous and there i stood with Paul ready to say the most important words i’d ever say.
The ceremony didnt go to plan. I said the wrong name!
Not as in the Ross & Rachel moment but i used my married name a little too early! We had some spectators through the window who didn’t think it was inappropriate to stand and stare, and yes, the missing flowers. Groomsman to the rescue, he went to collect them for the signing of the register…
The rest of the afternoon was a whirlwind of photographs and chatting with guests whilst being entertained by our wonderful singer Ruby Mae.
The meal was served andspeeches took place. Paul isnt normally a public speaker but he really made the most fantastic speech having all the guests crying and laughing. Our only regret of the day was not having it videoed so we can watch it back.
It really is true what they say though, the day goes so quickly and before we knew it, our evening guests had arrived and the drinks were flowing. We were all making good use of the Photo Booth which we hired from Shooting Stars. The album is proof of that!
People told me how stressful wedding planning was and the day of the wedding is the most stressful of all. But hand on heart, i loved every second. From Clare arriving at the crack of dawn for hair and makeup, right until i lay my head on the pillow at the end of the day – it was the most magical day of my life and well worth the 11 year wait to be asked!
Harry Jon MUA
Hair & Makeup Artist
So, ALOMST every wedding trial I get asked about Harry Jon: Where i’ve work, when did i start as a hair and makeup artist (MUA)… Hence writing this post to give you a bit of background and what makes me tick.
I come from a family of hairdressers, so naturally my life began in hair travelling around with my Grandma, a mobile hairdresser, at the super young age of 4 to ‘pass up’ for her; travelling round in her robin reliant car… I guess it was her that unleashed the creative gene in me.
When i came to leave school i had no idea what i wanted to do but a close friend of mine was doing a Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy course and after some advice off mum: ‘Hair styling is a trade and even if you decide not to do it, you can always fall back in to it’ and thats exactly what i did.
Beauty Therapy wasn’t for me but i loved hair styling! I left college and worked in salon where i started to get a feel for all the party & wedding hair and i think that was it for me…
From there i had a change of path and went to work for Elizabeth Arden to explore the makeup work – 100% on the training course in London – YAY, I felt quite proud of myself back then because i felt useless at school.
Since, i’ve set up Harry Jon, (now 7 years ago) done a more in depth course with in makeup & skincare and then went on to the fab School of Makeup. If you are on the hunt for a school to train this place is great. All the tutors are out working still in the industry and are a mindful of info. I’ve returned since doing the media makeup to do a training course on wigs with Jo Anthony – the oracle of period hair and then back again for some prosthetics with the king of gore Darren Longthorne.
As well as that i went to London to work with the immense talent at Illamasqua. I did 2 courses back to back here over 3 days for more creative work – loved it and hoping to venture back for some more creative colour work.
I’ve a huge passion for what i do; my mind is always ticking thinking what i can do next. I don’t just work with brides in Wedding World either, i love photo-shoots be that for beauty work, fashion or avant grade. Ive worked on some music videos and promotional shoots with classical duo ‘Eden‘. I have my own little avant grade quirky corner i like to go back to when an idea pops in to my head.
But you ladies are here for your wedding day – Congratulations! My brides have asked for everything, lots of eras like 1920, 30,40,50’s – 70s chicks, boho brides, gothic brides, complete natural brides that don’t like the feel of makeup, i’ve even had a bride ask to look ‘plastic’ – each to their own.
There is no set looks for brides these days, you have what ever makes you feel comfortable! Natural makeup to some brides is to look like they are wearing nothing – to others this is a full face and lots of eyeliner. The most important thing is that you feel ‘You’ and your relax and have THE best day ever.
I’ve tonnes of inspiration and creativity and i’ve put this blog together to recommend the companies i work with on a regular basis and i know are fab plus i’m notorious for coming up with songs, table centre ideas, anything that helps really when you get wedding block. My hair and makeup work takes me everywhere; all over Cheshire, Shropshire, The Lakes, Lancashire and sometimes further. I use airbrush makeup and I regularly work with hair extensions, in fact i highly recommend them – they can turn a hair do in to a Wow do. Its often difficult to find an MUA that does hair well so I don’t mind saying Im a hair queen! I lurve hair!
So, get in touch and check your dates free, qet a quote and get booked in! Please don’t wait because unfortunately, there is only one of my and i’m always having to turn people down…