a brush with beauty

Today we have an extremely insightful bridal beauty master class with an expert in the field – who also happens to be one of our talented sellers – Antonia Krieger. Antonia has been a professional make-up artist for over 20 years and has vast experience in both the television and photographic industries as well as bridal make-up.

Antonia’s company, Elle Au Naturel Beauty sells a high quality range of professional make-up brushes on the site. The brushes are exceptionally well made with varnished mahogany handles and offer great value for money. As someone who has actually tried and tested her brushes, I can honestly say that I am a convert and will never consider cheap, mass-moulting, high street alternatives again. Once you try the Powder Dome for bronzer and loose powder, trust me, you won’t look back!

Before we begin, I must say a massive thank you for Antonia for taking the time to share her beauty wisdom with us. Now, let the beauty master class commence…

What are the main considerations brides should make when deciding on their make-up, make-up artist and style of make-up for their wedding day?

When looking for an experienced wedding make-up artist, recommendation is by far the best option. If that’s not possible, then look for good quality websites with clear detailed images showing a variety of styles. This way you’ll know the make-up artist is able to cover all make-up styles and achieve whatever you require them to do. Also check which products they’re using. Professional make-up artists should have a varied kit including ranges such as MAC, Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, as well as some high street brands. If they are holding one range it could suggest that they might be more beauty therapist-orientated, in which case their training in make-up artistry may be limited and you will find that they won’t be holding such high quality products. Good quality products alongside excellent application are the two key things to get your make-up to last all day.

Communication is key to a successful consultation. The more information you give the artist about the style of your wedding, the quicker they’ll be able to pinpoint what you require. Have lots of pictures of looks you like and dislike and always have your consultation in good daylight as this gives the make-up artist the chance to colour match you properly. Evening light is difficult to work in and doesn’t give you a true representation of what the make-up will look like on the day. Wear white or ivory as this reflects light up and dark or bright colours can be distracting and can alter the skin tone slightly. Don’t be frightened to tell the make-up artist that you like a defined eyeliner or maybe a red lipstick. If that’s your trademark look then go for it, otherwise you won’t feel like yourself on the day and that’s absolutely key to how relaxed you are.

What are your top make-up application tips for brides?

Primer – make sure your artist uses a good quality primer as this is vital in getting the make-up to last all day.

Eyebrow shaping – eyebrows are the frames to the eye and the shape is all important. If you have lots of hair on the brow bone then this means the eye shadow won’t sit well and it’s important that the shape is good and the skin is clear of any stray hairs. Wedding make-up is all about definition therefore the eyebrows don’t need to be thin, just tidy and defined, giving a nice base for shadow and highlighter.

Lip colour – don’t go too pale on the lips as this often means that you look like you have no lipstick/gloss on in the photos. Something with a hint of colour is better than something too nude.

Why is using good quality brushes and also the correct brushes for applying make-up so important?

Good quality brushes shouldn’t shed their hair. If you’re getting a lot of shedding from a brush then it suggests that they possibly haven’t been very well made and may not last long.
Each brush has a particular job to do and is shaped accordingly. If you don’t use the right brush for the right job you won’t get the best application. For example there is a lot of choice out there for eye shadow brushes and it can be confusing. A good applicator for eye shadow is the Round Tapered Crease; great for getting definition into the eye socket. Another choice is the Deluxe Crease which isn’t so defined and good if you have larger space between the lid and brow. Most importantly, purchase a good blender such as the Deluxe Oval Shadow. It is good to have a couple of these as you need to keep your blender clean – that way you won’t get different colours mixing together.

If you’ve purchased good quality brushes and you clean them properly then they should last years. Use shampoo to clean them, don’t leave them soaking in hot water as this will gradually melt the glue and they’ll fall apart. For your larger brushes such as the Powder Dome, they do benefit from the occasional dip in water with diluted hair conditioner. Rinse well and reshape them before you dry them and stand them up so the hairs don’t end up misshapen.

What skincare advice do you give to brides in the lead-up to their wedding day?

Exfoliate your skin regularly, especially through the winter months, and moisturise day and night. If the skin is dehydrated then even the most expensive foundation won’t sit well and it will grab any dry patches, making them even more visible to the eye. Invest in a good quality exfoliator that is made up of manmade particles as they tend to be smoother; nut kernals in an exfoliator tend to scratch and aggravate the skin.

Have the odd facial, but don’t over-do it as it can then have an adverse effect. Have your last facial well in advance of your wedding day so you don’t risk having a break out. Also, drink plenty of water and avoid smoking and too much alcohol as they can have a catastrophic effect on the hydration of your skin, making it look dull and lifeless.

Don’t be fooled into not moisturising if you have a very oily skin. There are plenty of moisturisers out there that cater for oily skin. Look for one that is oil-free. If you avoid moisturiser altogether you’ll actually make the problem worse as your skin will try and compensate for the fact it isn’t being given any nourishment at all. The worst type of skin for a make-up artist to work on is oily but with a dehydrated top layer as make-up just doesn’t sit well on it.

What brushes would you consider ‘essentials’ that we shouldn’t live without?

The Deluxe Oval Shadow – people don’t blend their eye shadow enough. This little brush is perfect for that job.

The Oval Foundation – this is great for foundation or primer application rather than using your fingers as it will give you a cleaner finish.

The Taklon Angle Liner – this angled brush is perfect for applying a soft smudge of eye-liner under the eye or for filling in eyebrows with a bit of shadow. It’s advisable to have two for the two different jobs.

Italian Badger Kabouki – this brush is particularly useful for a wedding day as it can be filled with mineral powder foundation, should you want a touch up later in the day.

Thank you again to Antonia and I must extend further thanks to the photgraphers who have kindly allowed us to use their beautiful bridal images of Antonia at work. The credits are as follows:

TOP IMAGE: Polly Alexandre
MIDDLE IMAGE: John Marsh
LAST IMAGE: A Little Box of Memories

To view Antonia’s full range of brushes on the site click here

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