Friday 30 November 2007

How to choose a make-up artist

So you might have seen my previous post about the benefits of doing your own bridal/make-up, but I know a lot of people would still go down the route of getting one for their big day, myself included!
So here's some tips on how to pick a make-up artist and avoid disaster!

1. Find make-up artists
Use bridal magazines, forums, online searches, and ask your friends about any make-up artists and beauticians in your local area. Start by looking for people in your local area first because you won't have to pay their travel costs, or have the worry of your make-up artist being delayed due to transport.

2. Research
Do your homework on your the make-up artists you've chosen, but beware: don't believe everything you read online, especially in forums. Think about it, it takes 5 minutes to sign up to a forum such as the Asiana Forums and post a comment about how amazing someone is, any make-up artist could get their friends or family to post amazing reviews of their work in order to drum up some business. I'm not saying everyone on forums is a liar, but take everything you read with a pinch of salt.
Also, try not to be taken in by some glamourous amazing photos of models in the make-up artist's portfolio, chances are those photos have been airbrushed, and they're models - it's their JOB to look beautiful! Instead, look at real brides to get an idea of the make-up artist's work.

3. The trial
I'd definitely advise trying out your make-up artist before you book them for your wedding...however, instead of booking yourself in for a bridal make-up trial, I'd suggest booking yourself in for "party make-up" so that you can get a feel for the make-up artist and see how professional they are, without being given the bridal-package-hard-sell. If you're happy with your look and how well you were treated then you'll be much happier to go ahead and book. I'd advise booking your party make-up on a day when you are actually going to a party, so you can test the wear-ability of the make-up and people's reactions...and also so that it's not a total waste of money!
The thing about bridal trials is that you can't wear the make-up for the rest of the day to try it out in different lights and see how it feels after a few hours (well, unless you want to go about your day with full bridal make-up on!)

4. Making decisions
Once you've decided on who you want to book, do some more research about what you want, and the type of look you're going for. Don't be totally clueless! Do you want to look natural? Do you want to look glam? Do you want to look like an old-style bollywood icon? Do you want to emphasize your lips more? Do you want to focus on your eyes?
It all has to start with an idea, and then you can work with your make-up artist to decide what will suit you best.

5. Don't be afraid to say you're not happy
Finally, on the big day if you're not happy with something, don't stay quiet and just let it be. This is your wedding day! You want to feel amazing, and if there's something about your look that's bugging you, no matter how small it is, ask if it can be changed. After all, that's what your paying your make-up artist for.

These tips were based on my own experience with make-up artists, but for more information, there's a fab article from the June 07 issue of the American based Nirali Magazine, which you can check out by clicking here.

Sunday 25 November 2007

Asians with blonde hair

What do you think when you see an asian girl with blonde hair? Do you think it looks good, or does it look awful? I recently switched on Raj TV and caught an episode of the "shaadi show" (aka - people's home weddings videos aired in their entirity on tv) and practically EVERY girl in that asian family had bleached blonde hair or streaks! If just one girl had it, it might have looked ok, but it was the fact that practically the whole family had opted for this very obviously not natural colour.

Still thinking about it though?? Well, as someone who only recently got rid of her blonde streaks - here's some tips for you :)

1. Get a pro to do it for you
I mean a real pro, in a salon - not your mum's friend's daughter who's a trainee and who'll do it for free! There's no getting round this one really, I know it's expensive but turning dark hair to blonde isn't as easy as sticking on a bit of bleach. You wouldn't want your hair to turn orange now would you?!

2. Think about your roots
Does your hair grow really fast? Cause you know in a few weeks time your dark roots will start to show and that's your perfect blonde hair look ruined! Can you afford to go back every few weeks for a retouch??

3. Conditioning
Lightening your hair with bleach can make it a lot weaker and thinner (anyone who's ever bleached their facial hair might know this already!) so what was once your lustrious dark hair might start to feel straw-like and weak, especially if you tend to blow-dry and straighten it a lot. To make it feel fab again all you need is a good intense conditioner :)

4. Try streaks first if you're not sure
Having blonde streaks in your hair instead of all over can still make a big statement and look just as fab. Also, if your hair is layered, you can choose to have your streaks in the underneath layers of your hair, so that when your roots grow back, no-one will notice. This is the option I personally went for, and it worked a treat cause I could style my hair differently to emphasize the brown, or the blonde according to the occasion!

5. Extensions can look just as good
If you're just not happy to hit the bottle, why not try blonde extensions. They're a really good temporary way to try out the blonde look.

Those are my 6 tips, finally, here's two pics of famous asian girls with blonde hair, I think one looks fab, and the other looks rubbish...let's see if you can tell the difference :)

Thursday 22 November 2007

Do you REALLY need a make-up artist for your wedding?

Finding the right make-up artist for your wedding can be such a hassle! What do you go on - friend's recommendations? a name you've heard of? the person with the biggest airbrushed ad in the magazines? or do you just risk it and try out someone you found online?

Thing is, make-up artists can be expensive, the average rate for JUST a make-up trial is £40. With prices like that I can see why some brides settle for the first artist they find.

Here's a true story for you - my sister had her make-up trial, I recommended the beautician who at the time did my eyebrows. The trial went really well, this lady had a nice professional salon and we were happy to book. We even payed extra for the artist and her team to come to our house to make us up.
On the day of the wedding, not only did she turn up 2 hours late, she had a cold and I'm sure we all caught it off her. The make-up looked NOTHING like the trial and she couldn't even put my sister's lipstick on straight!!
Looking back, we should have complained cause we weren't happy with the service she'd provided, but it was the wedding day, the house was full of guests and frankly we didn't have the time or the energy to deal with this woman. Needless to say I don't go there to get my eyebrows done anymore!

I'm not bad-mouthing all make-up artists, but here's 3 reasons why I'm weary of them:

1. They're expensive, and that's before you've even decided to book
2. They can be unreliable, you don't need to be worrying if your make-up artist is gonna show up on time
3. The "good" ones are in demand, if your make-up artist is doing 3 or more brides in one day don't you think she's gonna rush and you might not get the best service?

Here's an idea -why not do your OWN bridal make-up?

Ok, that might sound ridiculous at first, you're not a trained professional, there's no way you can make yourself up asian-bride-style! But hear me out on this one :)

You know your own skin don't you? You put make-up on yourself every day. You know which products don't work for you, and more importantly which products DO work for you. You've also go the basic skills, like being able to put mascara on without poking your eyes out, or applying lipstick without getting most of it on your teeth!!
All you need to transform your everyday make-up to bridal make-up is the tools and some advice.

Go to your favourite make-up counter in the department stores, make an appointment, take a fabric swatch of your wedding outfit, and then tell them what you want!

You want:
- products to make your make-up last all day eg. a good primer
- colours to match your outfit
- ask what to apply first
- ask about the best way to apply each product
- ask about re-touching after the initial application

See the thing about make-up counter staff in shops, they're main objective isn't to become your personal make-up artist, they just want to sell you products, so ask as many questions as you want, take notes if you have to! I'm sure they'll be happy to help you! If you're happy with the products, buy them, then go home and practice practice practice.

You probably won't get it right first time, but you'll get there eventually, there's even books if you still need tips.

Well, you've heard me out, what do you think? I admit, it all sounds like a lot of hassle doesn't it? But rather than have the stress of "what am I gonna look like? what if my make-up artist is rubbish? what if she turns up late? what if she makes me look horrible" I think I'd be happier with the knowledge that I have my make-up regime sorted and ready to go!!!

(image above by Suky Make-up Artist)

Sunday 11 November 2007

Make-up Winter Treats

Whether you celebrate christmas or not, you have to give it to the lovely retailers that come up with such amazing winter treats! Suddenly everything comes gift wrapped, or in special packaging, and I'm such a sucker for fabulous packaging!

Here's what I've got my eye on at the moment:

This lovely lip compact comes courtesy of M.A.C. It's available in two colours, and at £19 I think it's quite a bargain! I might just have to pay a little visit to the M.A.C counter in Selfridges on my lunch break tomorrow and see which colour palette suits me best!

Up next we have this little treat:

You're thinking what's that? A necklace by Dior, oh but it's so much more...

SHOCK! HORROR! It's a lip gloss too! Dior have put some fab ads out there for the DiorLight product, and if that's Dior lipgloss in there it's bound to be lush, but to be honest would you wear that round your neck? and then have to pay £54 for the pleasure??! You could buy the M.A.C compact in both colours for that price, AND still have some money leftover for treats of the chocolate variety :)

Visit my new beauty gifts blog: Perfect Beauty Gifts for more fab gift treats like these

Friday 9 November 2007

let's talk bridal outfits! (part two)

Part two of our search for asian bridal outfits online, takes us back to 2005 yet again!

RCKC - with a store in London and one in India, RCKC have been established for nearly 100 years.
The Good Stuff: I really like the site design, there are good clear photos of the outfits, from full-on bridalwear to party clothes, and there's a decent range of menswear too. Also, the pictures don't take ages to load up....BUT:
The Bad Stuff: this site hasn't had any new outfits added since 2005!! So even if you find you're dream dress, the chances of ordering it 2 years later are slim. This site is more of an advert for the actual shop, but having never visited the store itself, I can't comment on whether this nice website goes with a nice shop!

Here's one of my favourites from the site:

Thursday 8 November 2007

let's talk bridal outfits! (part one)

Is it me, or have most asian fashion boutiques completely missed the point when it comes to their company websites? That's if they even have websites in the first place!!
I want to see beautiful outfits! I want to see different variations of colours, styles, embroidery, I want to see what's hot NOW, not your collection from 2 seasons ago!

In my search for some inspiration, here are some sites I came across for good asian bridalwear pictures - click on the pic to go to the site...butbe warned, some of these sites haven't been updated in a VERY long time!

Redd Bridal - based in London, this company boasts that they "accept no more than 140 bridal outfit commissions per season".
The Good Stuff: pictures, from traditional bridalwear to party outfits and couture. Oh yeh and the testimonials with pictures, of course outfits looks amazing on models, but the REAL test is how good they look on us mere mortals!!
The Bad Stuff: The "news" sections hasn't been updated since 2005! From the way they describe themselves, these outfits are obviously really expensive - but that's just a guess, no prices on the site at all.

Santoshi another one based in London (although they do have a stockist in Wolverhampton too).
The Good Stuff: clear pictures, full details about each outfit, prices in different currencies.
The Bad Stuff: 2005! Yep, all the designs, prices, updates, everything is from 2005!! It's a shame really, cause they have some fab stuff, if their online catalogue was up-to-date they'd probably get loads of orders.
Here's my favourite outfit from what's on their site (click to enlarge/go to site)

Saturday 3 November 2007

Quick-Fix Henna

Doesn't henna/mehndi look fab? It can do, if you get a good henna artist to apply it for you, and if you leave it on long enough...I don't know about you, but I'm a busy girl and I don't always have time to sit around waiting for it to dry, and picking a good henna artist can be a bit hit and miss!

Well, if you've got an occasion, and you're in a rush here's a quick fix for you: henna tattoo transfers. You know the type I mean, like these, you peel off the back, put it on your skin, apply water and then the design tranfers onto your skin.

Are they any good though?? Well, my lovely sister tried them out recently, and here's the verdict:

We applied it to the outside of the hand, and didn't use the whole design - we cut it up and left out the finger bits. Overall it looked really cool! Obvioulsy it didn't last as long as normal henna, 2-3 days, and towards the end it started to get a bit crinkly on your skin, but aside from that I think it worked really well as a quick-fix. Plus, if you cut it up you can use all the left-over bits as tattoo transfers for the rest of your body :)

Thursday 1 November 2007

Asian Bridal Magazines

I love a good magazine! I don't usually do weeklies though, and monthlies can become an expensive habit, so when those thick glossy quarterly mags come out, I'm powerless to resist. Sometimes though, these mags disappoint, so here's your guide to two of the latest asian bridal mags out right now.

AsianBride Issue 23
Front Cover 5/10: Pretty model, nice photography BUT that's a western-style wedding dress, yep, on the front cover of ASIAN Bride magazine. There's nothing wrong with that really, asian girls can wear western wedding dresses, but to be honest if I wanted to look at traditional western-style wedding dresses I would have bought a mainstream bridal mag!

Articles & Advice 4/10: Well, this is issue 23 of this magazine, but I feel that there's too many long boring articles and I'm sure I've read all this before!
There's the article on love marriage vs arranged...BORING! There's the few pages about relationships with your mother-in-law, that might be a bit more interesting, only I've not got round to reading it yet because it's probably going to be BORING! There's the article on open marriages, except that the writer hasn't actually spoken to anyone IN an open marriage, or maybe they have but it seems like it's just a bunch of quotes from people talking about something they don't really know about.
Aside from articles there's, "216 fantastic wedding songs" which started off quite good, it has a hindi songs section and an english songs section, but I scanned through the list and then I noticed that some of the songs are in the list TWICE. That really annoyed me!! It's a small thing I know, but don't go calling your article "216 songs" when really it's 200 with a few repeats in there.
Oh yeh and along with all of the above there's the usual "Q+A" articles with "expert advice" on topics such as "my fiance is having strippers at his stag do and I don't like it/I have a small budget/I want my fiance to cut his hair for the photos but he refuses/I'm based in x and my fiance is based in x - we can't decide where to have the wedding..."

Pictures & Ideas 8/10: Now if you're anything like me, this is what you buy this type of magazine for - inspiration! I'm happy to say that inside this mag there are lots of beautiful outfits, accessories, jewellery, table decorations, flowers, henna designs, wedding gifts and make-up looks. There's also a few pics from real-life weddings, I love these things, maybe it's a bit bitchy of me but if you're going to send your wedding pictures to a magazine, what do you expect! Plus, it makes a change from the airbrushed models you see everywhere else in the magazines!!

Asiana Wedding Issue 12 - click here to view the cover
Front Cover 10/10: Model looks fab, in a traditional outfit but she looks modern too...I think that's what I aspire to be, traditional with a modern twist!

Articles & Advice 7/10: It's page 68 before you actually get to any text! But when you do it's all in byte-size little chunks, making it much easier to read. You've got the profile of a make-up artist, real-life weddings, little bits on "planning", "giveaways" (hurray! stuff to win!) and even a celeb wedding thrown in there. There's a venue selector for different wedding sizes, not much use for people up north/outside London, like me, but I still found it interesting to read. Also there's a "bridal beauty countdown" and a what-type-of-bouquet-suits-your-body-shape - very shallow, but if you were a bride you know you'd read it!

Pictures & Ideas 9/10: Lovely outfits, mens and womens, acessories, jewellery, make-up, hairstyles, flowers, gifts, exotic honeymoon locations.

So which mag wins?? If you're only gonna buy one of these mags, my winner would be Asiana Wedding. Maybe it's cause it's a younger/newer magazine, but for some reason the pictures seem glossier to me, and the concepts and ideas presented seem more appealing.

It all starts here...

Welcome to Asian Fashion Blog!
This is where it all starts, I created this blog because I'm a big fan of fashion blogs and gossip blogs.
Sure, there are loads out there, so why go and make another one? Well, cause this one is going to focus on asian fashions. I'm talking shop reviews, latest trends, celebs getting it right, celebs getting it wrong, and anything else I happen to come across.
I'm not a fashion expert, but I've got a good eye for detail and lots of opinions! You could call me more of a fashion look out for my future posts and feel free to leave comments and share your opinions!

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