Ask Lolly – A Make-Up Dilemma

Beauty Help Post With Inspiration For Your Wedding Day

One of my favourite things about working for Rock My Wedding is the amount of interaction that I’m able to have with you lovely lot. From Instagram to Facebook through to the comments on each and every blogpost through to Twitter, you can guarantee that I have a natter with at least some of you every day.

And I love it!

But that’s not the limit of my contact with you…increasingly I receive a few emails a week from distressed RMW-ettes seeking help and advice with W-Day problems. From hair predicaments to floral plights and bridesmaid quandaries it seems that there’s a fair few of you in a bind.

Whilst I try to respond to as many of you gorgeous girls as possible, there’s just not enough hours in the day to reply to everyone. Not does this induce a bit of anxious lip-biting on my part but I also can’t help but feel that I’m letting some of you down…

And then last Monday I had a lightbulb moment.

For you see, many of the pickles and scrapes that you folks seem to get yourselves into actually have a common element, aside from the fact that they’re wedding related of course. You can guarantee that one bride’s smokey eye dilemma is also being thrashed out by another somewhere in the country. Equally the same applies to linen impasses, decor difficulties and so on and so forth.

It seemed daft then to have these problem-solving conversations ‘offline’ when they could so easily be shared with all of you and perhaps provide a galactic dose of comfort in the process.

And so today I’ve decided to share a letter I received not so long back from the lovely Zoe who was experiencing a ‘big day beauty dilemma’ in the hope that it might help out those of you in a similar position.

Hi Lolly


I hope you don’t mind me contacting you but I’ve been going out of my mind with a big day beauty dilemma and I didn’t know who else to turn to. After a series of truly tragic make-up trials where I ended up looking worse than a pantomime dame in drag I’ve decided to bite the bullet and apply my own make-up on my wedding day.

I’m not going to lie to you, I’m nervous, but I’ve been practicing using lots of make-up tutorials on YouTube so I’m fairly confident that it’ll be alright on the night. At least that’s what I think they say anyway, plus it gives me a brilliant excuse to go all out and stock up on some quality make-up products that will last long after the day is over.

Which is where you come in…

I’d love to know what beauty products you would recommend and any top tips you could give me. I’m not really someone that goes all out on the make-up front on a daily basis but I’m keen on creating a subtle and elegant look for my big day…possibly with a smokey eye.

Do you think this would look ok on quite fair skin?

Desperately awaiting your reply…

Zoe xxx

Zoe love, let’s see what we can do for you eh?

Skin Deep

Given that pretty much every member of the RMW team is a bit of a beauty fanatic, yes even Mr Gossip Girl, it seemed daft not to ask them for their opinions and recommendations on this plea for help. What you’ll see below is a glorious mix of all of our top picks from the glistening beauty counters to help you on your way.

Let’s start with the skin then…from primers to concealers through to foundations and CC creams, we’ve got it covered.

According to Becky you can’t do any better than Dior’s Foundation – DiorSkin Nude – ‘It’s light and silky and lasts all day and you only need to use a small amount for maximum coverage plus it feels beautiful on your skin. I love the liquid form because it stays really moisturised and doesn’t dry your skin. It also comes in a great range of colours to suit most skin tones.’

If you’re looking for something with a slightly smaller price tag then Fern claims you can’t go wrong with No 7 Intelligent Colour Foundation which ‘literally melts into your skin’.

Perhaps you’re not a foundation fanatic? Can I offer an alternative – namely Clinique’s Moisture Surge CC Cream which is the absolute bomb. It’s so lightweight that you barely know you’re wearing it and it gives you the complexion of a porcelain doll plus it has also got a healthy dollop of SPF 30 so you can be sure that you’re being a good girl too.

I pair this up with YSL’s radiant Touche Eclat wherever I need a touch of radiance on the skin since it blends so effortlessly even when using your fingers.

ask lolly_0001

Charlotte has tried every concealer there is (literally) and she always comes back to Lancome’s Effacernes Long-lasting Hydrating Concealer for covering under-eye circles. I’m told it has excellent coverage, doesn’t crease and stays put all day without the need for frequent touch ups.

She’s also an advocate of Chanel’s Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder – ‘you can use this for touch ups or apply more layers as a powder foundation, as the name suggests it really does give you a healthy glow as well as remaining sheer and natural. The compact is also very covetable – it looks ace when whipped out of your handbag for a touch up’.

I’m also a firm advocate of the velvety soft Nars’ Eyeshadow Base Primer which guarantees that your eyeshadow will stay put until the last dance and beyond.

Eye Spy

Zoe mentioned in her email that she was keen to integrate a smokey eye into her big day beauty and asked if I thought it would suit her fair skin.

I have to say that I’ve not met a woman yet who didn’t look all kinds of gorgeous with seductive smokey peepers so Zoe I say to you…go for it!

A word of warning however…I recommend using colour palettes of soft greys and light browns rather than really intense shades of black eyeshadows. Darker hues can overpower the face and in the worse cases actually make your eyes look smaller which is…erm not so hot…

Below is our selection of the best products for the ultimate smokey eye…

Becky loves Dior’s Iconic Overcurl Mascara…I also think she might be nursing an addiction to the brand. Regardless, she argues her case competently – ‘the brush is fantastic and never clogs and your lashes are left feeling like lycra! Supple and perfectly curled. I have very short, very straight lashes and if this works on me it will work on anyone!’

O’Shea favours Clinique however… ‘If you want thick non-smudge fluttery lashes, Clinique’s High Impact Mascara this takes some beating. I don’t use it every day but it’s a winner for special occasions, it really does give a “false lash” effect.’

For me though it’s all about Lancome’s Defincils Mascara. I’m lucky enough to be blessed with long lashes so I look for a brush that’s going to separate every lash and coat them in sooty blackness for the ultimate Bambi effect. If that’s your goal then this is the product for you.

ask lolly_0002

A truly successful smokey eye will require the application of a kohl pencil or a gel eyeliner so that you can ensure that you’re creating some definition around the eye. Bobbi Brown’s Long Wear Gel Eye Liner offers the precision of liquid liner and the ease of a gel-based formula. It stays on FOREVER and is water resistant too but is a touch on the expensive as you have to buy a brush too; I’m told that the pot lasts a long time though. 

Alternatively opt for Revlon’s Colorstay gel liner if you’re looking for something that’s more budget friendly.

Lastly I cannot recommend Tom Ford’s Eyeshadow Quads strongly enough. Four velvetly soft eyeshadows that just last and last without a hint of a crease either… choose Titanium smoke if you’re looking for a bridal smokey eye. Yes it’s expensive but I promise you won’t regret it.

Blushing Brides

We’re head over heels for a blushing bride and between us we’ve plenty of recommendations for you lovely lot depending on whether you’re after a youthful peachy glow or you want to channel the sun-kissed skin of a Grecian goddess.

Becky is crazy for Estee Lauder’s Bronze Goddess blusher / bronzer. Apparently the name says it all plus it’s oil free so sits beautifully on top of her recommended Dior foundation. Equally Fern can’t get enough of Bobbi Brown’s Bronze Shimmer Brick Compact – ‘it’s more of a bronzer, but looks great on olive skin tones’.

For fairer skins it’s worth considering Charlotte’s recommendation – Tumulte – a new Chanel blush shade in a kind of peachy bright pink; it really warms up winter complexions and has a delicate shimmer for luminosity.

ask lolly_0003

If you’re feeling adventurous then I wholeheartedly suggest that you try out Tom Ford’s Cheek Colour in ‘Flush’. Granted it’s a powerful shade but it instantly brightens up tired complexions and lasts forever without repeat applications. Plus the compact is super glamorous too.

Lastly for a touch of sparkle for the evening festivities, I’d suggest opting for Nars’ Super Orgasm blush which will guarantee that you sparkle all the way to bed and sets the tone for things to come…

Pucker Up

A ha.

The all important first kiss.

Typically if you’re going for a smokey eye then most MUAs recommend that you keep your lips fairly neutral. It might be worth considering in this case, Fern’s favourite Burt’s Bees lip balm for a touch of colour without overwhelming the face or Charlotte’s staple Bobbi Brown lip colour in ‘Bikini Pink’. Its pinky / nude “suits all” shade gives the impression of your lips “but better” as it were. The Blog Queen particularly loves the formulation as it’s creamy and moisturising but stays put for hours providing you prep your lips properly beforehand.

Which leads us nicely onto my recommendation for M.A.C’s lip conditioner – guaranteed to do what it says on the tin. At only £11.00 this tube of goodness is a complete bargain and totally wearable long after the big day has been and gone.

However if you’re more of a lip gloss kind of girl then Charlotte has just the thing for you…Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector – “This was recommended to me recently by Emily Kent who worked with us on our I Believe In Mermaids shoot. Rose Shimmer is a natural pink shade and the consistency is somewhere between a gloss and a balm, perfect for non-lipstick lovers or to put over the top for some sexy shine.”

ask lolly_0004

Make like a screen siren and opt for a splash of bold colour if you’re feeling bold enough. Take Becky’s lead and pop Benefit Hydra-smooth Lip Colour in your basket. Becky raves about its ‘super hydrating properties ensuring you don’t get that nasty dry lip issue on your big day!’. Cleverly, this lippy also has three different levels of coverage from sheer to full ‘so why not go delicate and light in the day and ramp it up with a fuller lip on the evening’

So there you are Zoe love…hopefully we’ve given you a bit of make-up related succor. Let us know what you ultimately opt for…we’re a nosy lot.

So folks, are you experiencing a beauty dilemma of your own?

Perhaps you have difficulties in other areas…like your florals for example?

Would you be interested in a regular ‘Ask Lolly’ agony aunt style post?

Let us know what you think in the comments box below.

All my love Lolly xxx

Author: Lauren Gautier-Ollerenshaw
Lolly is a self-professed frustrated florist and styling maven with an endless passion for all things pretty.

47 thoughts on “Ask Lolly – A Make-Up Dilemma

  1. Amazing, thank you Lolly! I have exactly the same make-up dilemma and am currently trialling an awful lot of products to see if I can do it myself… Blusher, mascara, eye liner and lippy are all sorted which leads me onto a question…

    I have less-than-perfect skin (namely a spotty chin) and wonder if any of you could recommend a concealer that covers spots and/or a foundation that gives good coverage? The ones you mention sound fabulous but are probably a bit light for me. Am currently using YSL’s touche eclait foundation but it doesn’t last long even with a (Benefit) primer underneath, I always get a shiny nose and chin by lunchtime :'(

    1. Hi Janine *waves*

      Ok so you’re looking for an amazing concealer – I tend to use YSL but as you say this isn’t the best product for you. My mum has similar skin to you – problem area in the chin area and oilyish skin? Am I right in thinking that? She doesn’t wear foundation but she swears by Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage concealer so it might be worth checking that out.

      Can anyone else recommend a foundation for Janine??

      Good luck xx

      1. Hi Janine, I can completely vouch for Lolly’s recommendation. I have real problem skin around my chin and jawline and Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage is definitely the best concealer I have found by far. It is not oily, gives great coverage without being clumpy, blends really well and has good staying power – especially if you finish it off with a light dusting of powder. x

    2. Janine – I’m currently wearing the No7 Stay Perfect (I think) foundation and that seems to be a good combo of nice even coverage and staying power. I’ve also heard good things about Estee Lauder Double Wear and Double Wear light so I’m going to trial them

    3. Janine, I’d also suggest a finishing powder over the top when you’re done with all your make up – Bare Minerals Illuminating Mineral Veil is something I’ve had recommended to me and am about to try – it sets your make up and gives a beautiful luminosity to your whole face, whilst keeping shine at bay. There are so many great finishing powders around though.

  2. LOVE the makeup/beauty posts (though can’t say my bank mangers agrees!)

    Question (or recommendations please!) – I’m going for a bold lip but want it to stay on my face not everyone else’s – tips? tricks? product love?

    Obviously I’ll be pencilling/lip brushing/blotting etc but just wondering if anyone has a go-to for this sort of thing?

    1. Actually Claire I’m with you on this one! I have to say that I haven’t a clue…it usually ends up smeared on the boy’s lips hence the reason he hates me wearing any kind of lippy or gloss!

      Thoughts please folks!

      1. If I want to go bold then it’s always a tinted balm (it’s all relative given that I usually wear plain lip balm!!) You can get some really good, deep colours and as they kind of sink into your lips you don’t tend to offload much onto anyone else’s! You’ll need to top up still but at least you’ll have beautifully soft lips by the end of the day 🙂

        1. recommendations please! I’m a proper lippy girl so it’d need to be a good deep colour but I’m more than happy to buy new make up in the name of research 😉

          @lolly – same here (plus the whole ‘hair stuck to lips’ scenario!!)

          1. Sorry forgot that bit!!! Mine are both Clinique – one is a chubby stick which (from looking at their website) might be “richer raisin” (though “two ton tomato” would be fab!!!!) and the other is “almost lipstick” which is my absolute fave. It only comes in one colour which is a black cherry type tint, and I love it. When I wear it I feel super glam (though mainly it scares me) 🙂

  3. Hello! Love this post, very handy thank you. I just have one question which is the only thing coming between me and doing my own makeup on the day… minerals! Will they make me look like a ghost on photos? Does SPF do the same thing? It seems so minor but I’m really stressed!! x

    1. I find this is only the case if flash photography is involved.
      Normal wedding photography probably won’t be a problem, it is just that lovely friend who insists on taking pics of you busting your moves on the dance floor who may capture ‘ghost’ you!!!!
      Well that’s what I have found anyway!!

    2. the danger with spf is the flashback in photos but I haven’t heard of mineral make up doing the same thing. I used to wear the Bare Minerals foundation for ages and never had a problem with it. Can you get a tester (or get them to put it on you in the shop) then get someone to take pics of you?

      1. Well that all sounds most reassuring, thank you 🙂 I usually wear no skin makeup (just mascara) and Bare Minerals is the only foundation I have found that I can cope with – anyone can scrub their face madly with a big brush, it’s absolutely the best invention in the world!! 🙂

        I have SPF in my face moisturiser so maybe I’ll do so research on non-SPF ones, I’m getting married in November (five weeks eeeeeeek!!) so I’m not too worried about the sun. As an aside, and while I have an avenue for my concerns, heavy snow is forecast!!!!!!! Think of the photos, not of the guests stuck on the motorway…..

        1. snap november bride, I’m the 30th. Am not even bothering to check the weather forecast!!

          slightly random but… I have a whole tub of BM foundation that I bought and now isn’t right for my skin any more (sob), I think its the second lightest one. If you wanted it, I’d be happy to mail it to you 🙂

          1. Ooooooo, that would be lovely… will check what colour I have when I get home. I have tons that I’ve bought and not got on with / bought in a shop with no natural light / been bullied into buying that I can swap if you like!! x

      2. Claire if it helps lovely then the SPF in the Clinique CC Cream doesn’t give you ghost like qualities…well not as far as I’m aware. I’ve worn it for a while now and had some snaps and I look pretty normal. I see no reason why you can’t test it in the store after all that’s the point of testers is it not?

  4. Oooooo….having a sneak peek while at work!!

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVING the ‘Get the products’ bit
    Fab work Lolly! 🙂 xx

    ps. I also agree with Lolly on the Clinique CC cream & with Charlotte on Chanel Blusher, but the one I use is Caprice. (That blusher was the first ever piece of Chanel I ever owned, bought for me by my lovely cousin!) 🙂

    1. The ‘Get The Products’ bit is ace isn’t it! That would be the clever Mr Crohill…

      My first piece of Chanel was the rouge noir nail varnish when I was about 14 and I still love the shade now!

  5. Lolly!!

    Thank you SO much to replying to my email with such an incredible list of recommendations. This is amazing and a massive help.

    I love the pink Chanel lippy! I’m literally clicking the link to buy it now! I’m definitely going to try out the Revlon liner and the NARS eyeshadow base…I always get that sweaty eyelid thing.

    Such an incredible help and cannot wait to perfect my wedding make up. Ill let you know how it all goes!

    Also the tip about browns and greys for a smokey eye is much appreciated! I don’t want to look like Morticia!

    Thank you so much again!

    Zoe x

    1. It’s a pleasure sweetheart – anything I can do to help. Seems like there’s a few others in the same boat eh?

      And your sweaty eyelid thing made me laugh. Lots!

  6. Thank you for your always useful info! I just wanted to share this AMAZING website that my sister in law used to learn how to apply her wedding day make up! There are so many useful videos, it gets a bit addictive!

    Gina x

    1. OMG I LOVE Lisa Eldridge – the videos are completely additive!

      Aside – she used to be the makeup artist on 10 Years Younger (remember the scary Nicky Hambleton Jones and her fifty seven thousand different pairs of glasses??)

  7. Oh and my favourite lippy at the mo……………………my Rimmel freebie from a certain #prettynaughty party!!! 😉
    Am loving a red lips/geeky glasses combo at the mo!!

  8. What colour/ shade is the Chanel lipstick? The link isn’t working. Perfect colour pop I’m after!!

    Amazing post by the way. Totally feeds my cosmetic obsession!


    1. Hi Emily….hmmmm it’s working for me, not sure why it’s not working for you..I’ll get Adam on the case. In the meantime the shade you’re looking for is LEXUBERANTE. Happy shopping xx

      1. Thanks Lolly. Maybe I’ll try by laptop but definitely buying the Chanel. Mega excited about that colour! Thanks for the info xx

  9. Ooops! Me again!
    One last thing – for the big day I had red lips and the lippy my MUA used was MAC Satin lipstick in MAC Red. It was a gorgeous colour!

  10. I did my own make up for my wedding day, see here –

    I did soooo much hunting around so I feel your pain!! I used and hugely recommend –

    Bobbi Brown concealer (can’t recommend for spots, but for dark circles, redness etc., it’s the bomb!)
    Bobbi Brown Skin foundation (perfectly buildable coverage and sooo natural looking it’s unreal)
    Clarins blusher in Miami pink (beautiful pink ‘pop’ colour and you only need a tiny bit so lasts forever)
    Dior Diorshow brow styler in Universal Brown (this only comes in one colour, but it really suits everyone, you can press harder/softer for different colours)
    Dior 5 Coleurs palette in Incognito (the PERFECT colours for a subtle smokey eye)
    Bobbi Brown Gel liner in Espresso (Great black-brown colour, slightly less harsh and more bridal that black I thought)
    Dior Addict Lip Glow (gorgeous peachy pink pretty bridal lips – so moisturising and the colour stays!)

    I had semi-permanent false lashes put on too – I couldn’t recommend this enough as they look fab on the day and for the honeymoon. I had half a set put on at the Lash Bar in London near Carnaby Street –

    Good luck ladies, you’ll all look fabulous I bet! xxxxxxxx

  11. Ask Lolly, what a great idea!

    I LOVE Chanel. Their vitalumiere foundation is the best ive ever used and love their powders, lipsticks… I could go on and on. I am going to do my own make up for w day and think I will have to give the powder compact foundation a try. I’ve wanted to try it for a while now. Weddingbudgeting doesnt go well with all the new make up I always want to buy! Hehe x

  12. I bought all my make up for my wedding and the best product I was recommended for a primer was dermalogica skin prefect primer. My make up held all day, in the wind, rain, sun and heat! Yes that was the weather, plus it smoothed out my puffy eye from knocking it on a cupboard board ending in a black eye, yes a black eye on the Tuesday before my wedding, investing in good make up was my saviour and well worth the money you spend x

  13. The letter sounds a little like me – I think more and more people are doing their own make up and how handy are You Tube tutorials?

    I also used it as an excuse to go on a bit of a splurge and the products below I can’t recommend highly enough
    Benefit Porefessional Primer – skin so smooth
    MAC BB Cream – I went to MAC for something else but the girl actually suggested the BB cream for my arms just to give a nice soft bit of colour. She gave me a sample of the medium plus which is a bit dark for my skin tone but I tried it with a MAC foundation brush (fwhy did I only start using a foundation brush now – it IS the secret!). And with a lot of good blending it just gave my face a bit of colour (without looking like I’d accidentally walked into a fake tan booth).
    Chanel Joues Contraste blusher has mentioned in the article – this is such a gorgeous blusher – the photo can’t do it justice, go and have a look at your nearest Chanel counter. I’ve had it for about 5 months now and still going strong.
    Maybelline Gel Liner in brown – this was recommended on an article a while back on RMW and I love it. Having never used gel eye liner in my life and having never attempted to put it on my top lid before I found it quite easy (after some YT tutorials!) and it’s loads cheaper than Bobbi Brown’s.

    One of my friends gave me the advice to put on 3 times as much as you’d normally do – that sounds scary but with the base as long as you’re blending blending then it did stay put!

    Have fun shopping and practising!


  14. This post is so perfect for me – I was having just this dilemma this week – MUA or DIY – but have decided I want to be in control of what happens to my face on the day! I’m really worried about not looking like me if someone else does my makeup, and so I think this is the best decision for me!

    Lisa Eldridge’s videos swayed me – so much helpful advice and to be able to see her doing the techniques on her own face, instead of on a model, is perfect. I will be spending a lot of time on that site in the next few months!

    I’m really pleased with my decision as it means I can try out the different products, see how a primer and foundation last throughout the day at work etc, and tweak what I’m using or how I’m using it so nothing is a surprise on the day

    I definitely think it is worth investing in premium products – you can use them afterwards as well, whereas paying for an MUA is a one time investment. Lucky for me I work at Boots Head Office so my discount card will be taking a bashing…!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.