Hello lovely readers!

So, I’ve had a lovely week last week on Linen & Silk. I posted three features under Tips and Advice (‘To album or not to album’, ‘Wedding Venues: from city chic to outdoor’ and an interview with destination planner ‘Tropical Weddings (Thailand)’ giving advice to brides contemplating to get married abroad).

This week I’ve joined forces with two wedding professionals, make-up artist Sarah Stevens, and wedding photographer Asher Goldbourne, from Rock Imaging, who are sharing with us some professional tips and advice for the bride who is concerned about how to handle her skin blemishes on her wedding day.

Wedding Skin Problems

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m all for looking yourself on your wedding day. I’m not a fan of brides who go all out to look so immaculate and perfect that on their wedding day you will barely recognise them. However, my skin is very temperamental and, having suffered with acne since my teens, I know what it feels like to be worried about breakouts on your wedding day, or ensuring that scars, marks or any other visible skin issues are not that obvious on your special day. So I feel that a certain measure of concern is justified and, if it makes you really uncomfortable, you should be allowed to take some steps to ensure that your skin looks as good as it can possibly be.

Luckily for me, despite the stress and the very poor diet I had on the week of the wedding, I made it to the wedding without any spots, but the scars remained and I had no idea whether the my make up was going to be enough to disguise them.

Does it sound familiar? If it does, then read on because there is no reason why you should worry about your skin if you put yourself into the hands of a professional.

Hair and make-up artist Sarah Stevens talks to us about tips and advice that are practical and reassuring.

Sarah, as a MUA you must come across brides with all sorts of skin concerns. Can you give us some examples? I have come across brides with varieties of skin concerns from dry, to combination, to oily and sensitive, allergic prone skins, to those with more problematic issues like uneven pigmentation, dark under eye shadows, puffiness and scar tissue; related to acne, burns and operations.  Those who suffer from active acne may suffer with redness, large open facial pores, as well as a high oilskin content. Rosacea, a separate condition can cause outbreaks that look like acne.

♥ How does this generally affect your client? When meeting a bride for the first time at her trial, if she suffers from a skin complaint this can leave her feeling insecure.  What I do is give a thorough consultation, analyze her skin type, ask her what make-up she uses, get her to talk me through her skin care regime as well as finding out if she is sensitive or allergic to any products. Brides want their skin to look flawless without looking heavily made up.

♥ What reassurance do you give to brides who are worried about their skin appearing less than immaculate on their day? I always emphasize the importance of pre-wedding skin care to my brides. I recommend a series of professional tailor made facials with a reputable beautician before the big day. Then I devise a personal ‘makeup solution plan’ to resolve their specific skin issue.

 For a bride who suffers with acne, what kind of advice would you give her to decrease the risk of breakouts on or before the wedding? Firstly I’d recommend a consultation and a course of acne facials performed at regular 2-week intervals until the problem clears. There is less likelihood that the skin will ‘break out’ because of this particular facial.   Microdermabrasion is an option, removing blemishes.  The skin takes two days to heal.

For severe and persistent acne, chemical peels reduce and control acne, reducing the risk of scaring. Mild acne scars are softened, pore size reduced and the skins smoothness is increased. However, chemical peels are more invasive than microdermabrasion and it can take weeks for the skin to settle down.  I’d suggest that brides considering a chemical peel need to consult a beautician a good 6 months before their big day, to discuss whether this treatment would be the best option for them.

After minimising the risk of ‘breakouts’ with microdermabrasion/acne facials, brides should drink around 2 l. of water a day, to flush out toxins and hydrate the skin. Alcohol, sugary foods/drinks and white bread, rice and pasta should be avoided as they contain a ‘high glycemic index’, which worsens acne. Eating good food and exercising will contribute to great looking skin.

When it comes to daily skin care it is important to not over exfoliate/cleanse the skin.  Being too harsh to the skin can distress it and cause inflammation, which in turn can exacerbate acne. Exfoliate gently, using clay-based products or liquid exfoliants without harsh grains twice a day only.  Use products containing glycolic acid (which loosens the dead skin cells trapped inside the follicle and encourages the plug to dislodge) and salicylic acid (which improves cell turnover and kills bacteria specific to acne).

Dermalogica do a 24-hour treatment system, the ‘medibac clearing system range’ targeted towards acne prone skin and for regulating an over reactive sebaceous gland, absorb excess oil and prevent future breakouts., calm irritation, prevent scarring, eliminating bacteria, and regulating oil production.

 Is there a specific product you would recommend any bride to use if they are applying their own make up and are worried about the shiny or oily skin / enlarged pores / covering scars? With regards to oily skin, brides should use oil free cleansers, moisturizers primers and foundations. If using mineral foundations mica and bismuth are ingredients that need to be avoided as they cause oily skin to look even greasier. Face powders containing mica need to be avoided too. I would suggest using the following products for oil control and enlarged pores:

  • Benefits ‘porefessional’ is a great oil free primer which refines pores

Wedding make up - Benefits Porefessional

  • Cliniques ‘pore refining solutions correcting serum’ is an oil free primer 

Wedding make up - Clinique

  • L’Oreal Paris ‘Studio secrets smoothing resurfacing primer’, smoothens out skins texture and disguises pores. Also perfect under eye primer before applying concealer.

Wedding Make up - L'Oreal

  • Laura Mercier ‘oil-free tinted moisturizer’ is great for oily, acne prone sensitive skin types. Light weight and buildable.

Wedding Make Up Laura Mercier

  • Mac ‘face n body’ foundation, water based, water-resistant, long-lasting natural foundation. Great for all skin types, a lovely natural finish.

Wedding Make Up MAC

  • Laura Mercier ‘silk crème foundation’ great for oil control, redness, acne prone skin, covering acne scars and rosacea. Use minimally and buildup as this product is full coverage.

Wedding Make Up Laura Mercier

  • Mac ‘select cover up’ is a fantastic product. It’s liquid camouflage for the skin, texture free, virtually invisible. It blends in, brightens and lightens dark areas.   It is an amazing concealer, lightweight and matte in finish!  It erases spots, evens out skin tone, and erases light scaring.  Can be used pre-foundation, on its own and after foundation.

Wedding Make Up MAC

  • Laura Mercier ‘secret camouflage’– a concealer also good for redness. Comes in a palette of two shades that you can mix together.Wedding Make Up  Laura Mercier
  • Laura Mercier ‘smooth focus pressed setting powder-shine control’

Wedding Make Up Laura Mercier

  • Laura Mercier ‘secret finish-mattifying’ a lightweight gel, that absorbs excess oil, removes shine for hours, leaving translucent matte finish. Use over foundation/tinted moisturiser.

Wedding Make Up Laura Mercier

  • Model in a bottle – fixative to set make-up, waterproof it. Stops products from rubbing off /fading. Sets make-up for 6-8 hrs

WEdding Make Up MIAB

A great tip is for brides to carry blotting papers from Body Shop in their handbag on their big day.  They soak up oil, mattifying, without clogging the skin with re-applications of powder. When it comes to application it is far better to ‘layer on’ foundation, building up coverage gradually rather than applying one heavy application.  I tend to apply a fine layer onto the skins surface and then build up more coverage only on those areas that need it, concealing spots individually.  A great technique for a really bad blemish is to use concealer then powder, and repeat this process up to four times. This build up of powder adhering to liquid gives long lasting coverage. 

For any level of scaring a product called ‘Dermacolor’ is excellent. It is heavy so build up lightly, layer upon layer.  It can literally be used to cover everything, from rosacea, port wine stains, birth marks, scaring due to burns, uneven pigmentation to tattoo’s too.  It is available in mini palette form, 16 shades for £14.60 from a company called Dauphines or from a company called Charles Fox & Screenface too in mini palette form.  

 What are your top 5 tips for the bride concerned with her skin issues?

  1. Visit a local make-up counter for a skin analysis and product demonstration. Collect samples of the product and test them out. Don’t get persuaded into buying products on the spot.  I would recommend visiting Laura Mercier, Mac, Bobbi Brown, Clarins and Clinique.
  2. Once tried and tested, purchase the products that work for you. Invest in good quality.  Your skin will not only feel the benefits for your special day, but for life!
  3. If you feel that your make-up application skills are lacking and you’re on a small budget, visit a counter for a pre-wedding makeover and ask the consultant how they applied your make-up, what products were used etc.
  4. Visit a beautician for a course of facials before your special day and research into treatments available months in advance of your big day.
  5. There is nothing better than having your hair and make-up done by a professional make-up artist for your big day!  They will know what products to use on your skin and have the artistry skills to make you look your very best!

Lastly, I’ve asked Asher at Rock Imaging to also give us the perspective of a wedding photographer dealing with a bride (and indeed groom) who is worried about how the pictures will look like on the day.

♥ Asher, how do you deal with a bride who tells or shows that she’s uncomfortable in front of the camera due to perhaps skin problems? I found that the best way to tackle this problem is to show that there is no problem. I could spend a lot of time talking about Photoshop and the many different lighting and posing techniques that could be used, and if this helps I will be happy to do so, but in my experience I have found this only helps a little and does not put the bride at ease on the day. They say a picture paints 1000 words, that’s why for me nothing works better than a pre-wedding photo shoots to tackle such an issues.

This will help in three ways:

  1. It gives the photographer a chance to see how the bride and groom are in front of the camera
  2. It allows the couple to get used to being in front of the camera
  3. Most importantly, it will allow the photographer the opportunity to present the couple with a set of photos before the actual wedding day, which will show the bride concerned about any problematic scar or breakout that they will not need to be visible in the finished image. This will surely help the bride relax and be more confident on the day, allowing her to enjoy her wedding with peace of mind.

♥ What recommendation would you give to a bride who is concerned about her skin issue and how the pics are going to turn out? Firstly there’s no need to feel embarrassed; talking to your photographer about any skin issues that you do not want in the photos will help the photographer plan out his shots more carefully on the day. If it helps put your mind at ease, talk about what can be done. The photographer will be happy to go through the different posing and lighting techniques available to conceal a number of skin problems. But seeing is believing, that’s why most photographers these days have pre-wedding photo shoots incorporated into their packages so as to tackle such things as being camera shy for whatever the reason.

♥ How can the post-production or retouching help a bride who is concerned? Post-production is amazing, with enough time we can hide anything, spots, scars, even ageing. Yet, at the same time, it is important to keep the photos looking natural. Like photography, Photoshop is an art. Don’t just assume your photographer is going to retouch your wedding photos. It is always best to ask. As long as you have a good make-up art artists and a good photographer you needn’t worry about anything.

I hope you have enjoyed their advice. If you have, look out for an upcoming tutorial with Sarah Stevens on how to do your own make up on your wedding day that will cover your flaws.

So, do you have any skin concerns that are troubling you? Do you have any worries about how your skin will behave on your wedding day? Or do you have any tips or advice that you can share with our readers? Please do leave a comment and share your thoughts with us.

xx Betta

Thank you to Sarah and Asher for your input. If you would like to know more about their services, please visit www.sarahsmakeup.com //  www.rockimaging.com, or follow them on Twitter: @SarahStevens76 // @RockImaging

© Linen & Silk Weddings


Before and After – image via Best Anti Ageing Products, retouched for the purpose of this feature by Asher Rock Imaging // Benefits Porefessional for sale at Benefits Cosmetics @£23.50 // Clinique Pore Refining Serum for sale at Clinique @£36.50 // L’Oreal Studio Secrets for sale on Amazon @£11.99 // Laura Mercier oil-free tinted moisturiser for sale at Laura Mercier @$42.00 // MAC Face and Body Foundation for sale at MAC Cosmetics @£25 // Laura Mercier ‘silk crème foundation for sale at Laura Mercier @$42.00 // MAC Select Cover Up for sale at MAC Cosmetics @£13.50 // Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage for sale at Laura Mercier @£28 // Laura Mercier Smooth Focus Pressed Setting Powder-shine Control for sale at Laura Mercier @$32 // Laura Mercier Secret Finish Mattifying for sale at Laura Mercier @$27 // Make Up in a Bottle for sale at MUIAB @$18