30 June 2017

The Bridesmaids Make Up

As a beauty blogger, I think it's pretty clear that I love makeup and playing with different products to create different looks. So when my bestie announced she was getting married, and started getting stressed because she couldn't get a make up artist to do her bridesmaids make up, I was super happy to step in and offer my services.

Now, I'm not a professional make up artist, and I don't spend a lot of time doing others make up, but I did some practice and came away really pleased with the results. I used most of my own products, ones that I trusted and knew were going to last throughout the day and give a really flawless finish.

I started off with my all time favourite, and most reliable primer, the Kiehl's Microblur Skin Perfector. It smoothes the skins, and really gives a perfected finish. It also helps to keep skin matt throughout the day, so no oil and skin, and makes a nice base for make up. Now, I actually did the eyeshadow before I did any other base, so I've put that in eyes below but will carry on with base for now. For the foundation, I mixed together the Dior Diorskin Forever foundation and the Nars Sheer Glow. The Dior one lasts for HOURS, so I know it has the lasting power perfect for a wedding, however, I love the finish the Nars product gives. It's a very natural glow. Teamed with the matte finish from Dior and you have my favourite base. I blended this in using a mix of the Real Techniques Buffing Brush, and their Sculpting Brush - it depended on how well it blended on the bridesmaid's skin. I then used Rimmel's Match Perfection Concealer under the eyes to highlight and blended that was the Real Techniques Contour Brush. I applied in a V-shape with the point at the top of the cheek bone. I also used Collections Lasting Perfection Concealer on any redness or blemishes and blended with my finger. I then set the make up with the Rimmel Stay Matte powder with the Real Techniques Powder Brush.

Amber's colour scheme was centred around blush colours, and our bridesmaid's dresses were like a pale mint green, so I wanted to make sure any colours I used for finishing, or the eyes, didn't clash, but complimented. I started with applying Collection Bronze Glow Mosaic, I used the Real Techniques Powder Brush and applied in 3 shape - so forehead, cheeks and chin. Then blended this in. It just gives a lovely healthy glow, with a touch of colour - it's not majorly pigmented. I then did a very subtle contour - so I took the Maybelline Master Sculpt Palette. I used the Real Techniques Contour Brush to blend the contour shade under the cheekbones and did this in circular motions so it looked more natural. For blush I used my absolute favourite, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush. It can be very pigmented so I went easy on this, but it lasts for hours and gives a beautiful natural blush to the cheeks. I then topped this off with Mac's Adored to highlight along the tops of the cheekbones.

As I said, I did the eyes before anything else so I could eliminate any fallout from the eyeshadow. The first thing I did was apply Mac Brule eyeshadow to the base, it's a nude shade that acts as a perfect base for eyeshadow and helps the other colours on top pop. I then used the Naked 3 Palette to do the rest of the eyes. I used Burnout, a beautiful matte pink shade all over the eyelids to create the main shade. It's not too in your face, so it's great for a beautiful blush eye look. I then took Buzz - a shimmery pink, which is a touch darker, to add a bit more definitely around the outer corner, through to the middle of the eyelid. It added more colour and something extra with the shimmer. I finished off my using Liar around the crease and the outer corner to give it a bit of smoke. I used the Eco Tools Eyeshadow Brushes for this. I also took Liar along the waterline as well. To finish I used Strange - the highlighter shade - and put this in the inner corners to brighten. Now, I can't really do eyeliner or brows so at that point I asked them to do those bits themselves, and then they came back to me for mascara. Weirdly, I used two mascaras. I started off with Benefit's Rollerlash to separate, curl and elongate their lashes. It's a beautiful mascara that's super long lasting, but it's not waterproof and doesn't do too much in the way of volume. So I used Maybelline's LashSensational Waterproof Mascara over the top, which added that protection and boosted the volume.

I kept these really simple and took the products with me on the day for any touch ups. The whole day had subtle shades so we didn't need to go too bold on the lips. I started off my using Rimmel's Exaggerate Lipliner in East End Snob to line and fill the lips, just to help the main lip product stay on a little longer and keep it nice and neat. I then used Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien - which is a beautiful pink shade, a touch of shimmer, blue toned and very pretty. I looooove it and wore it for my own wedding.

To finish, we had a spritz of Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray and we were done! I was so happy with how it all turned out, and one of the bridesmaids has even asked me to do her own wedding off the back of it - so I'm super happy. It was so much fun! Just need to figure out how to do liner and brows on other people now...

Photos by the incredible Maddie Waters Photography.

What's your perfect wedding make up?

Much love, Lisa May

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29 June 2017

Top Tips for Moving Home

In case you hadn't realised (or don't follow me on social) I moved house! Finally. We had decided about this time last year that after we got married we'd sell our little two up two down, and upsize our living situation. So at the beginning of this year we put our house on the market, and put an offer on something a bit bigger, that was closer to our friends and family. To say it stressed me out is a bit of an understatement, but then saying that it was actually all quite smooth sailing. I just overthink things.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to pop together a little post with my top five tips for moving house - more for the time you actually move and on the day, having just done it. I am by no means an expert, this is all just based on my experience...

1 | Pack Overtime
The best thing I did was to pack gradually and over time. There are definite pluses to this, as well as a couple of downsides. The main downside is that you feel like you're living in a house of boxes for ages, but it also means you're not running yourself ragged by the time you get to move and it becomes less stressful.

2 | Hire Movers
I cannot recommend this one enough. They made moving day so, so simple. I felt pretty useless moving out of our old house as they just came in, and within an hour had everything in a couple vans and off they went. I then gave them a call when we had the keys and they turned up, and put everything where I wanted it. We unpacked, but it was a massive help to have professionals move all the furniture and get it upstairs and so on. We used Phoenix Rising, on the South Coast, so if you're looking definitely give them a shout.

3 | Ask for Help
We had my parents, and my Grandma, help us once we got to the new house - and it made a massive difference. While I was directing the movers, my Grandma was going around dusting and cleaning, my Mum got started on unpacking the kitchen and my husband and Dad got to work reassembling furniture and doing "manly" house moving stuff. By the time everyone left us around half five, our kitchen and lounge were unpacked and set up and our bed was made, so it already felt like home and took a lot of pressure off the rest of the week.

4 | Make a To Do List
Yeah, I didn't do this and I so wish I had. When I say a to do list, I mean write a list of everything you have to update or change when you move - like energy suppliers, internet, phone, council tax and so on. We've gradually done most of it but it's been more like "oh yeah, need to do that" or "oh I forgot to do this". Be a bit more organised then us and it'll massively help.

5 | Enjoy It
Now, this sounds super weird, but I actually really enjoyed moving day. When you buy a house, you basically have to wait to hear on the day when you can pick up the keys and move in, which is a pain, so keep busy during that time. I went to my Mum and Dad's and walked the dogs with them, but the time I was done I got the call. But it's also really good fun to start unpacking and recreate your home - use it as a fresh start, move things around and have fun with them. You've worked hard for this home, so enjoy it.

I hope this helps! I did a post back in February at the beginning of the process talking about moving on from our first home, and it was easier than I thought it would be. I'm so happy with our new place, there's things we want to do to it - be prepared for home inspo posts - but it's liveable and comfortable, and already feels like home.

What's your top moving tips?

Much love, Lisa May

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26 June 2017

A Week in Cortona: Part One - Villa Sole

The weekend before my wedding, my Dad decided it would be an awesome idea to put a bet on an online charity auction for a week long stay in a Tuscan villa. Now, he didn't really believe he'd win it as it was a good price and you got a lot for your money, but low and behold... no one else bid. So fast forward 9 months, we were on a plane on our way for a week's stay in said villa. And can I just say...

I love Italy.

I wanted to split this blog post into three, as I wanted to talk about the villa and the holiday in general for one, Cortona in another and a third on Lake Trasimene. I loved our holiday so much, I just couldn't condense it into just one long post. So I hope you enjoy, and if so then I'll definitely do much more lifestyle/travel type posts for T&M. So let's start with the holiday in general, and our beautiful villa.

We stayed at the beautiful Villa Sole, which sleeps up up to around 10-11 people and is set up in the hills outside of Cortona. You're up a dirt track and completely isolated, so the peace and quiet is unbelievable. And for someone who has been working on moving house and organising this, it was exactly what I needed. The villa has four double rooms, one twin and one single, a kitchen, lounge, diner, gym and sauna. Most rooms have their own bathrooms, and all have air conditioning. It also had an outside kitchen with bbq and pizza oven, and an infinity pool. It was incredible.

On the trip was my parents, my husband and I, and both my brothers and their girlfriends - so 8 in total. And there was enough room to have some alone time, or a chill out, even with eight of you around. It was so lovely to spend a week just relaxing and hanging out with my family. Now we've all moved out we don't get to spend as much time together as we like, so it was nice for us to all come together and stop moving for a week. I felt utterly relaxed and comfortable. And I slept which was a nice change. 

The area we stayed in was stunning, we had an incredible view of Tuscany, and we were hidden up in the hills so it was completely private. The weather was SUPER hot (although the UK had a heat wave the same week) so I came back with a nice sunkissed tan. I have to say. Italy is just beautiful in genera. Coming from the airport, the scenery was incredible and I just instantly fell i love. I've obviously been to a few countries before, but for me I've never fallen so instantly in love with somewhere as I did with Tuscany. And just in general, everyone was so friendly, super cheerful. And let's face it, it's the home of pizza, pasta, prosecco and Pinot - so I'm all over it.

Most days we did just relax around the pool, play some games, and have a bbq. There were a couple of outings (which will come in other posts) but one of my favourites experiences of the trip was having an Italian cooking lesson. A lovely couple, Ana and Franco came to the villa to teach up how to make tagliatelle from scratch and ragu. They then also made us a main of roast pork and a pineapple creamy dessert thing. I absolutely LOVED making pasta, and it was so much easier then I thought it would be. The end result was also the best pasta I've ever had in my life. It was so light, and not at all filling. I'll definitely be trying this again when I get a chance. Thankfully my new kitchen will be big enough to attempt it!

I absolutely loved our trip. I wish we could have stayed longer but alas - we had to get back and pack so we could move house (FYI - which we're doing today eek). I would highly recommend this area of Italy, and just a really chill villa holiday is perfect for family fun and some peace and quiet.

Where's your favourite area in Italy?

Much love, Lisa May

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