What to expect when you book a bridal make-up artist and do you need one?

Do you really need a bridal make-up artist? Not everyone does, some of you will be confident with your make-up application skills and feel safer doing your own. Others may not be so confident or just don’t want the added stress on the morning of the wedding, having to deal with eyelash malfunctions or the dreaded unblended jaw line…hmmmm nice 😉
So with my piece today, I really wanted to be able to talk about the whole process of finding and booking a make-up artist, but also looking at options for you to attempt your own make-up.
After asking yourself the question and talking with your bridal party, you will need to start researching and having nose around for a make-up artist, whose style and portfolio match you as a person. So whether thats a google search, Facebook, instagram, also ask for recommendations.
On that first contact, as well as congratulating them on setting a date, its all about gathering as much information as possible, to understand that ‘image’ that my bride has in her mind…..which over time and various conversations, as well as a bridal trial/consultation that the ‘image’ is realised. But as I always state to my brides, nothing is set in stone, if they would like to tweak the look slightly on her wedding day, then just advise me and i’ll happily accommodate.
After the trial/consultation, I will have emailed my bride, giving her a run down of the morning/afternoon for her bridal prep, if more than one face (bridesmaids/mother of the bride/groom) I will give a breakdown of times and when I will need each person, this also will be factored into any hair stylists that may be attending the bridal prep….its a well oiled machine, so communication is key.
So, lets go back to the morning of the wedding day…..
On a wedding day morning, my day starts extremely early………actually it starts the evening before, where I ensure that my kit is all ready and prepped, with my brushes cleaned and ready to go, with plenty of lashes! Now i’m ready to start 😉
I always arrive with my bride at least 20/30mins earlier than I would like to start my first face, as this is how long it takes to fully set up my kit and work station (literally looks as though i’m moving in!). I choose a good light location, facing my make-up chair towards a window and away from artificial light.
If my bridal party are looking to have airbrushed foundations (which is becoming very popular) then I will always apply the foundation bases first. I achieve this by cleansing the skin first, priming. concealing and then applying the airbrushed foundations. This process can take around 10 to 15mins per face.
Once the foundation base is completed, I pass that person onto the hair stylists, so once hair is completed, they come back to my chair to have the complete finished look…..also helps when the photographers arrive, as whilst sitting having her hair styled, she is looking completely flawless 😉
After hair is completed, its back to the make-up chair. At this stage, I completely finish the look, so thats from applying the eye shadows, lashes, any brow work needed, contouring, highlighting and not forgetting lips….
If myself and my team have any spare time left, we help out! thats from lacing and zipping dresses, generally tidying up and help with the bridal party. Lips are re-applied before we say our good-byes….
Now at this point, I think it would be good to hear from Bride (Emma Constance), who has recently just got married….with a few questions that I asked on your behalf 😉
Q: Was you nervous before your bridal trial?
A: I was extremely nervous before my trial. I’d done all my research and had been very particular about the type of make-up I wanted. In particular the air brush as I don’t like looking shiny when I get hot. I was desperate to like it as my budget wasn’t huge and I wanted the trial to go well.
Q: Was you nervous after your trial?
A: After my trial I felt completely at ease that id made the right decision. I wasn’t pressured into booking up but did so immediately. All that was left was to look forward to the morning of the wedding.
Q: Was Clare approachable?
A: Clare was completely approachable. All of my bridal party said how friendly she was and how they felt completely at ease even though none of them had a trial prior.
Q: How did your maids feel?
A: All my bridesmaids looked and felt fabulous. They were all amazed at how happy they were with their make-up.
Q: How did your Mum feel?
A: Mum was ecstatic with her make-up. She’d been hesitant prior because she rarely wears make-up and felt very over done despite our best efforts to explain to her that she didn’t. She made some changes along with Clare and everyone commented how amazing she looked…. Which she did!
Q: How was the morning of your bridal prep?
A: The morning of the wedding was ace. It wasn’t rushed it was timed to perfection including Clare helping me into my dress which was causing my mum untold amounts of stress.
Q: Did your H2B have any concerns or worries?
A: I think Andy was a little concerned initially that id have so much make-up on that he would barely recognise the woman walking up the aisle. After everything had settled down and I finally got a chance to ask him what he thought he said he loved it and that he was really pleased that I didn’t look like id got lots of make-up on. To this day he loves the photos that showed off my amazing eyelashes.


Everyone is different, not every bride is the same. Some of my brides like to book a 1:1 session with me, to learn how to create their dream look or to give trust completely over to myself and my team. There is no wrong or right way, only what makes you feel comfortable at the end of the day.
But I must stress, if you are looking to book a Make-up Artist, please review their portfolio of work, check for insurances, read reviews etc….do your homework and your be in safe hands, as you would for any of your wedding suppliers.
Take care, Lakey 🙂

Is it worth getting into debt for your Wedding?

Is it worth getting into debt for your Wedding?

Everyone wants their wedding day to be amazing. Of course, why not? But at what cost, and is it worth getting into debt for it?

Over the last few years, I’ve noticed a real trend within the wedding industry, rather than ‘this is my color scheme’, its now ‘this is my theme’, the overall effect is more like a production and why not, we all want to impress our friends and family, after all , its a lovely feeling knowing that you outdone the last wedding you attended!
I believe that with the help of social media, you have a steady stream of inspiration that you can tap into, which from the 80’s would have been really useful, as silk flower crowns and puff sleeves had to be out ruled as the fashion police were started to get wind of it!
I’ve always been brought up, that if i can’t afford it, I can’t have it! Which will always be sound advice, but in a world where finance and credit card debts is the norm are most newly weds starting out married left in debt and thinking that thats ok? This got me thinking, so after a little research, this is what I found….
* (from debtadvisorycentre uk) With the average cost of a wedding in the UK, including honeymoon and gift list, standing at £24,716, according to Brides Magazine*, do engaged couples today have any choice but to borrow if they want to have the wedding they really want?
Don’t get me wrong, weddings are beautiful and a joining of two souls, but surely the stress of knowing you are starting off your married life with debt, just doesn’t give you that warm fuzzy feeling??
I’ve pulled together a list of tips and tricks, that I know my brides have used to plan and create their perfect wedding and managing to stay in budget.

Set your budget – now this sounds really silly, off course you will set your budget…right?? Don’t fall into the trap where you make a long list of everything you think you need and then stress about how you will pay for it! Having a discussion with your partner and working out how you can trade one item for another will really help, especially to understand how far your budget will go, it may be that you come to the realisation that you can’t afford YOUR wedding yet, which will mean either more saving or tweaking your plans on what is important to you both.
After researching your dream venue, if the price makes you go weak at the knees, look at off peak dates, maybe across autumn/winter months or mid week dates. You can make a real saving, as the venue, normally will be the largest cost. Remember, venue costs are likely to account for about one third to half of your budget. And you can’t really plan anything else until you have set the date 🙂 Also ask whether a corkage fee is chargeable and start to stock pile your booze, this can really help with saving if you can buy bulk (this handy tip was from Maria Assia Photography).
One of my brides for 2017, Liz Hayes recommended to book early, she had only been engaged 3 months when they set the date (giving themselves 2 years). Securing their date so early gave them more options on venues but more importantly price!! They are paying 2015 prices for 2017 wedding!! Although actually finishing paying till 2017!! She also added, finding suppliers early on also gives you time, they set up a direct debit for the videography and paid what they could afford each month. This is so helpful as it meant it has been paid off without too much pain 😉 They also save £2 coins and had £700 saved in 18 months!!
Guest list…always a tricky one. Don’t get me wrong, its lovely to see aunt Marvis (last seen 4years ago), but can you really justify having her at your big day? If your paying for a sit down meal & evening reception catering you really need to know your budget and stick to it. Maybe, a smaller guest list for your ceremony and then aunt Marvis can come along to the evening reception.
Make-up, if you have budget for a professional make-up artist, then I would suggest you build a mood board with styles and pictures that you like. But be realistic, know your face/eyes & lip shape, also maybe have a few ‘make-overs’ at department stores for free, this will get you used to having your make-up done and will give you plenty of ideas before embarking on a bridal trial. Also, send pictures over to your make-up artist, as they will be able to talk to you about styles that will compliment and flatter your face shape, again helping you to set realistic expectations and hopefully stopping you from having to book further trials, hence more money spent!
Bridesmaids and best man…. Over the last 5 years, i’ve seen an increase in the size of the bridal party, now this is fantastic and off course you want to include all the important people in your life. But before you start asking, maybe just do some research in prices of dresses and accessories, also will you be paying for them to have hair and make-up? this all adds up and needs to be taken into account for your budget.
Be prepared to learn to negotiate or know someone who will on your behalf, this point was raised by Kayleigh Betts who was a bridesmaid for one of my brides in 2015. Kayleigh expanded by explaining with flowers, once for a different occasion she was bulk ordering on behalf of others and because she was spending over £500 and paying cash, she just asked if there could be a discount even if only 10% and supplier obliged. Result 🙂
How will you know if thats the going rate for a wedding supplier? reach out and get some quotes, ideally three quotes for each service, then your be able to make a comparison based on cost and also quality, cheaper doesn’t always mean low cost, it can just mean cheap! Check out reviews from previous clients, these are always a fantastic way to gauge if this is the supplier for you. Is the supplier a preferred supplier at venue’s, again another great way of knowing that their services are in demand and of a high standard, plus they aren’t going to let you down.
Wedding insurance…..as the saying goes ‘nothing in life is guaranteed’, it makes total financial sense to insure your wedding. Comparison insurance websites will have lots of deals of you to choose from, again, this will have to be factored into the budget.

Last but not least, talk to each other, stay to plan and remember that this is YOUR day, a day where you both join and declare your love for each other….thats all that really matters.

Your Wedding Day & Make-up Artist

Your Big Day has arrived, everyone is excited and you are counting down the hours till you become a Mrs 🙂

What to expect from the morning and how the timings will run…

I always like to round up to an hour per face, it doesn’t take an hour, more around 35/40mins per face, but those extra minutes you would be surprised how they get used up, buy checking you phone, taking calls, pouring drinks, answering the door etc etc….the list goes on!

Myself, depending on the amount of faces to complete, I tend to airbrush everyones bases first, so this will be cleansing and priming skin, then applying at least two coats of airbrushed or traditional foundations.  This helps in two ways: 1. when the photographer arrives, my Bride at least has a base of foundation on, which helps with feeling at ease in front of the camera.  2.  helps with the flow of the morning, as once the bases are complete, i’ll be using different products, so I can change my set up to reflect the upcoming styles to be created.

I would have already discussed colour schemes with my Bride during the Trial session, I will always double check (as sometimes, changes to colours and themes do get tweaked).

I tend to leave the Bride till last in my chair, as once her Make-up is completed, she can step straight into her dress :)….thats when it all gets serious!

So with everyones bases completed, I start to finish of the complete ‘looks’ for each of the Bridal party.

Its always worth chatting with your professionals, as if you need your Maid of Honour or Mother of the Bride finished first, then just let them know, all we want is for your Bridal Prep to go as smoothly as possible.

So once, all the ‘looks’ are completed, you can all slip into you dresses and accessories






Love, Honour & Be True

I’m very pleased to announce that i’m a stockist for this gorgeous range of non-animal tested lipsticks, especially designed for the Bride 🙂 The shades are so beautiful and don’t even get me started on the fab little bag that they arrive in, with a little note for the Bride….

So whether you are one of my Brides who would like me to bring your lipstick along on your Big Day or you are if you would like to order a lipstick and have it posted out, just let me know, at only £12.00 they are a stunning addition to your overall look, which will allow you to top up your colour throughout your very special day….

You can contact me in the following methods:

Through my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/tlcbeautybyclare

Directly through my email: enquiries@clarelakemakeupartist.co.uk

or through my website http://www.clarelakemakeupartist.co.uk


Winner: Best Make-up Artist for Kent, Wedding Industry Experts Awards

Very proud moment last week 🙂
I’m pleased to announce that i’ve won the following award with Wedding Industry Experts Awards, this is three years in a row that, with the support of my gorgeous Brides, have won a 1st for Kent.
Thank you to everyone who has voted for me, you are all amazing xx

2016 – 1st Kent : Most Popular Make-up Artist
2015 – 1st Kent : Most Popular Make-up Service
2014 – 1st Kent : Most Popular New Make-up Artist

What to look for when booking a Bridal Make-up Artist?

Over the last two weeks I have been approached with at least ten Brides, whom have had a Trial with another Make-up Artist and haven’t gone ahead with booking their services for her Wedding Day.

Why? sometimes it just down to ‘not clicking’ or ‘not liking the finished look’……..

I wanted to take this opportunity to talk you through, what to look for in a professional MUA and also what to expect from a Make-up Trial.

Firstly, you are looking for a MUA who will create your dream Wedding look…this is a look, that in some cases, you have been dreaming about since you was a little girl (so no, pressure then! lol).

Don’t rush into booking a Make-up Artist, without doing a little homework:

  • Have they got a current website?
  • A portfolio of work, showing different styles (you don’t want a one trick pony!)
  • Do they have a Facebook business page?
  • Yes – how many ‘likes’ do they have, do they have reviews on the page?
  • Are they posting pictures all the time, can you see that they are busy?
  • Are they approachable?
  • Have they had their work published in a magazine or been featured?
  • How long has the Facebook page been running since?
  • Have you asked to speak to one of the Brides who has left a review? (this is always a great idea, what Bride isn’t going to want to talk about her Wedding Experience with one of her Suppliers?)
  • Check the MUA’s prices, with your budget, if the MUA is not in your budget, then re-select or indeed try to increase your budget – you pay for what you get….

Hmmmm you pay for what you get!  what does that mean….

  • You are paying for the artist’s skills, experience and expertise
  • Insurance
  • Hourly rate
  • High end cosmetics
  • Reliability
  • Professionalism
  • Reputation
  • Mileage (if necessary)

Making the most of your Bridal Trial

  • Book your Trial as soon as possible
  • Start to research different ‘looks’, create a mood board if you can, which will allow you to show the artist your thoughts and overall styles and themes that you like
  • Listen to your MUA, ideally, they will have lots of experience and be able to explain to you or even demonstrate whether a certain ‘look’ will compliment your face shape
  • Wear a white or cream top, this really helps with trying to visualise what your overall look will look like on your Wedding Day (or the chosen colour you will be wearing)
  • Take lots of pictures, from different angles, ensure that you are happy with your make-over…and if you aren’t, tell the MUA, I know myself, I will always say to my Brides, this is the whole point of a Trial – you need to be happy and confident with your look
  • Discuss how your Wedding prep will run: who is having their make-up for first, what to expect during your Wedding prep, how can you prepare for the morning/afternoon…….

My next blog will cover what to expect for your Wedding Day 🙂





Featured work in KM Wedding Day

Very excited to share with you all that I was featured in the KM Wedding Day Magazine for Kent, 2016.

It was all very ‘top secret squirrel’ as I was interviewed by a fab journalist who wanted to know all about ‘how I set up my business’, ‘grew my business’, ‘learnt my skills’ and ‘essential hints and tips for the Brides of Kent’ , to say I was honoured was an understatement…..

My business has come along was in the last three years and I want to thank all my Brides, Clients and Wedding Supplier friends for supporting me and believing in me 🙂 Peace out you gorgeous people 🙂 xx






What have you learnt this week?

I totally believe that learning new skills, information, even a new recipe helps us to continue to grow and develop as humans…..wow Clare! I hear you cry, thats deep…..

This week i’ve attended a ‘Social’ event to help me understand Media Marketing and looking at my online presence etc…. I kinda came away from the event feeling, actually, I’m doing OK…not great….but OK.  So what can I change?  I’m guilty of adding posts onto my media platforms *Twitter/Facebook etc ‘selling my services’ as a Bridal Make-up Artist.  This off course gets me work and requests for quotes…..but what doesn’t it do?  I don’t feel as though I’m engaging with my Clients with meaningful information – what are they learning from me? Ummmmmm its really got me thinking…..

SAS Flower of Youth, Facial Lift Spray

Today I received (all the way from the States), a new product to try…….

SAS Flower of Youth, Facial Lift Spray http://www.sasfaciallift.com/

$30 (which is around £17.85 Sterling).

The product arrived, packed extremely well, I liked the way that the bottle (30ml) was wrapped as well, so no leakage whilst in transit, plus came with its own little lid.

Soooooo, lets take a look at the new product and what they claim:

Firstly, cleanse the skin thoroughly (i’ve opted for my good old faithful Liz Earle, Cleanse and Polish http://uk.lizearle.com/cleanse-tone-moisturise/cleanse-and-polish-hot-cloth-cleanser.html).  With my eyes closed, I’ve sprayed my face and not forgetting under my chin.  Let it dry……my skin has started to tighten and firm, this isn’t a ‘tight’ feeling, more a refreshed feeling.  They recommend using the spray morning and night time, which I will do.

Ohhhhhh exciting stuff…….i’ll keep you posted on my progress. I’ve included my before picture (with no make-up…ahhhhhhhh!!)


Ingredients: Deionized water, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8- It has a Botox®* like effect, Yeast Extract, Glycerin, sH-Oligopeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38- Amino Acid with 6 Components: 1. Collagen I, 2. Collagen III, 3. Collagen, 4. Fibronectin, 5. Hyaluronic Acid, 6. Laminin 5, Ubiquinone-Is also known as Coenzyme Q10 Hydrolyzed Collagen-T, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Sodium Phytate, Ruscogenin, Neoruscogenin, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl glycol,  Hexylene glycol, Ethylhexyl glycerine, *Botox is a Registered Trademark of Allergan.