I love doing blog posts like this. It’s all about bringing you inside information from the industry so this month I’m tackling the importance of having a professional hair and make-up artist on your wedding day. I’ve worked with 3 types of bride – those who go done the DIY route, those who buy the cosmetics from the department store after paying for a make-up lesson and those who have professional hair and make-up done. I can honestly say the calmest brides are those who use a professional. Also having a professional to do your hair and make-up on your wedding day can mean the difference between good pictures and great pictures. It’s an area I really wouldn’t recommend skimping on. I was lucky enough to work with Joyce Connor of the incredibly successful Brides and Beauty and I asked her all about what she does.

So Joyce, what is your background, were you born with a make-up brush in hand?

Not at all! I used to be a nanny and became a single mum aged 30 with 3 children to look after. I was working with kids and coming home to kids so something had to give. I decided to pack up and go to New York to visit my Mum. At the time she was working for Elizabeth Arden in Bloomingdales and I had an epiphany moment. I just remember being surrounded by all these cosmetics and thought it was amazing. I basically fell in love with being in the make-up department. I ended up staying for 3 months working at the Hilton and then I decided that my children should be growing up in the UK so I came back to do my cosmetic and beauty training.

Where did you do your training?

Initially I trained at Reading College, but even after qualifying it took me a long time to really get into doing the whole make-up thing. I think it took me ten years to really get into it. While I was in the UK I met a couple of make-up artists who’d been working in Hollywood and that’s when I really started to learn from them. I set up Brides and Beauty in 2006 because I was getting lots of calls from brides who couldn’t find a make-up artist to come to their hotel where they were getting ready.

What brands do you work with?

I work with a lot of professional products which you might not have heard of but I use them because I love them. They all have their specialist areas. I use Youngblood, Make-up Designory, Illamasqua, Make-up Atelier Paris, Ardell Lashes, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics and Lime Crime.

In general how long does it take for a bridal make-up?

It takes about an hour and I say double that for a trial.

How do you go about creating a look?

I want to see flowers, the dress and the theme and I want to know what time of day the wedding is. That really dictates the look. If it’s an early wedding it needs to be a daytime look whereas if the wedding is later we would do more of an evening look. I also want to know how much make-up they normally wear.

How do you advise brides who don’t normally wear make-up?

I’d say that the photography definitely benefits from having professional hair and make-up. A bride can still have a natural look but they will appear so much more polished on camera and in the final photographs.

What happens if you work with someone who has allergies?

I have 7 types of foundation and we’d test during the trial. Youngblood is a great range for allergies because the products only have 3 ingredients. I’d ask if they are on medication and if they know what their allergy is. If necessary I’d use their own make-up to make them up.

Why is it important to have a professional make-up artist (MUA)?

I think a bride has so much to think about on her wedding day, it’s one less pressure. It really helps to relax her, and she’ll know what her finished look will be as she will have already had a trial. It’s not just about making up the bride, the make-up artist can do whole bridal party, and the make-up will last all day with minimal touch ups.

How should a bride keep her make-up fresh for the whole day?

I would recommend having a light powder on hand for dusting. Blotting paper is also a great little invention and available from most good make-up brands. Keep a lipstick to hand (the bride should ask her maid of honour or mum to keep her make-up). Some make-up artists ,like myself, offer to go back for the evening and do touch ups or make-up changes.

Finally what are the rends for hair and make-up going to be for 2014?

Big lashes, pastel lips, and smoky colour – dramatic eyes but not not black or dark shadow. Half up half down hair is so out! Hair embellishments will continue to be big.

Now on to the shoot and a step by step of the make-up as it was done and how amazing our model Katarina looked.

Step 1 – Joyce began with some contouring. It might look scary but it’s a very clever technique whereby anything darker recesses and lighter areas are highlighted. It’s a way of creating amazing cheekbones girls!


Step 2 – base and powder completed


Step 3 – Eye make-up and lashes


Step 4 – Blush and mascara


Step 5 – Lips


And now the shoot. You’ll notice how Katarina looks very natural and not overdone. Notice how her skin reflects the light beautifully – a dream for me!





And now for something a little more bridal – a vintage inspired french lace cap with florals






At this point Joyce changed it up a notch and she changed the day look for an evening look with a change of eyeshadow and lips which looked perfect with this more bohemian style.



Hair & Make-up – Joyce Connor – Brides & Beauty
Model – Katarina Letkova
Photography & Styling – Me



Beautiful images Alex, so pretty. Your black and whites are a dream!

Would be lovely to work with you sometime, or meet up for a shoot, if you’re ever up for it! Keep up the gorgeous work x

Thank you Jo, would be great to meet up for a shoot, if you’re ever down my way, let me know would just be nice to have a cuppa 🙂 thanks for your kind words x

What a fabulous blog! Very important ideas and inspiration for brides to be!
Absolutely gorgeous photography! x

Thanks so much for your comments and for taking the time to write x

I think it does make such a difference having a make up artist. My husband commented on how great my make up looked on our wedding day, so it does make an impact.

Definitely Jo, I know the transformation that goes on in my bathroom every morning! 🙂

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