Guest Post – Ellie Sanderson Bridal Boutique

Guest Post 

ELLIE SANDERSON the multi award winning bridal Boutique owner talks about choosing the right dress!

Making the right dress choice.
It’s so important to choose a dress style that makes the most of your figure. Your height and your body shape are the key things that should influence your style of dress. The average British Woman is size 14 and more often than not slightly pear shaped and so when a bride goes shopping for the Dress of her Life it is so very important that she tries on a number of dress shapes until she finds the one that makes her figure look as perfectly in proportioned as possible.
A few golden rules – Choosing the right shape


Fishtail bridal dress


These two styles look terrific on girls that have a figure that is in good proportion all over. They are fairly unforgiving shapes so steer clear if your hips are bigger than your bust size (i.e. 12 bust on 16 hips)

This is probably the most popular dress shape as it’s brilliant on all figure types, fitted bodices are totally flattering on the bust and waist but the A LINE of the skirt falls away over the hips. Repeat after me – A LINE IS MY FRIEND, Trust me they are everyone’s friends. In silk, in Lace and in taffeta we love them.

Bridal dresses


This shape of gown is great on girls who have slim tops and bigger bottoms; they fit to the waist and have full circular skirts which exaggerate a small waist and hide a problem bottom! Sassi Holford is Queen of the English Ballgown, soft floating silk organza will ensure you float of puff of smoke down the aisle.
A few golden rules – Choosing the right neckline

Wedding dresses

These necklines are great on small to medium busts and brilliant on petite girls as it opens up the decolletage making them look taller. All illusion of the eye, they are also so very flattering and terribly feminine.

Bridal Gowns

Are perfect for bigger busted girls, without doubt it will help keep your bust contained and prevent you from looking too booby on your big day. They are also great on medium sized busts.

Backless bridal dress
Backs are the new fronts without question – designers like Claire Pettibone have some incredible dress back detail, no wonder she is tipped to do Jennifer Anistons dress when she finally gets up the aisle !

Shoulder strap bridal dress

Shoulders and straps are great on most girls except those with a very broad athletic frame as it can make you look broader. Shoulder straps can also make full busted girls feel more comfortable and supported.

Little jackets can also change the neckline of a dress and hide arms if you feel uncomfortable exposing them, cap sleeves or longer length sleeves are possible for that extra bit of coverage and glamour.
Also think about points of detail on a gown, they will draw people’s attention to that point, girls with a tiny waist and larger bust and hips look amazing with a flower or sparkles at the waist – drawing the eye to the waist and away from the bust and hips.
Girls with a small bust look great in dresses with rushing on the bust and sparkles or flowers to make the bust look bigger and more in proportion.
Petite girls look amazing in dresses with empire lines or sash detail to the waist, making them look taller and longer and pulling the eye to under the bust on the waist.

Once you have chosen your dress there are a few final golden rules.

1. Wear a small heel even if you hate heels, your posture is so much better when you are tilted onto the ball of your foot, if heels are a no go zone, try wedges, trust me you look and feel more glam in a heel.
2. Choose great underwear, most well made dresses have corsets if yours doesn’t buy one. A corset helps you stay in place and look shapely all day, it also helps your posture.
3. And keep your undies nude – white or ivory can show, lots of lace and bows can show. Plain is best and save the fancy glam bits for the honey moon!

Whatever your shape you should make sure you go to a boutique that offers you a one to one consultation. Being told to pick 6 dresses and leaving you with a sea of dresses is not going to help you.
At Ellie Sanderson you will be booked in for a 1 ½ hour consultation with one of my great girls who will guide you through all of the above and help you select the right dresses to try.
You will be styled, spoiled and totally looked after. Finally once you have chosen a dress you will be invited back to a personalised styling appointment with one of our stylist who will help you with shoes, veils and accessories – we are a little bit crazy about the detail and love to make sure your look is perfect from your tiara to your toes!!
We have two shops with some of the UKs top labels like Jenny Packham, Sassi Holford to Suzanne Neville mixed with world famous names like Augusta Jones and Claire Pettibone.

Call us today to book your appointment by visiting our website.

Summer Make Up For Darker Skins

Last year I found a brand of make up that I had never tired before and having darker skin myself I find the high street brands are too ashy once applied onto darker skin. I tried the French brand Make Up Atelier Paris and was extremely happy with the results! They have a foundation shade for every skin tone and it blends really easily on the skin, plus no ashy after effect. The great thing is its now available in the UK too. I use this make up personally and professionally!


I did this make over using only Make Up Atelier products

Make up in berkshire


No make up

Make Up Atelier Paris

Make up for darker skin

Dark skin make up using make up atelier paris

Products used 

  • T-Zone gel
  • Foundation – TN2 and TN3 (TN5 for contour)
  • Concealor – PN2
  • Powder Compact – CPM
  • Brows pencil – 07 ( Dark Brown) and 10 (Black)
  • Eyeliner pencil – 10
  • Brow Bone pencil – 09
  • Lips Pencil – 01
  • Lipstick – Petal
  • Eyes – Palette T23
  • Busher – AIRM1 (Mandarin)

All products are available to buy from Make Up Atelier Paris in the UK

Paris Wedding Hairstyles: The Chignon

Have I got a real treat in store for you today! today’s post is all about an amazing Parisian wedding book by Kimberley Petyt

We have got our hands on a copy of this gorgeous book and you could win it! Just read to the end for more details!! 

© The Paris Wedding, Gibbs-Smith

© The Paris Wedding, Gibbs-Smith


Paris Wedding Hairstyles: The Chignon

© The Paris Wedding, Gibbs-Smith

© The Paris Wedding, Gibbs-Smith


As with wine, cheese, fashion and Johnny Halliday, the French take their chignons very seriously. Before moving to France, I had assumed that a chignon was a fancy word for “bun”—when hair is pulled back into a band and then pinned under to make, well, a bun. It wasn’t until I started phoning hair salons in Paris for wedding clients did I realize how naive I had been. The moment that I would tell the salon receptionist that my client needed a chignon, her tone would immediately change: “Non! Zayre ees nobody who can do chignon ’eere.” Or, “C’est pas possible, Pierre is zee only one who can do chignon and Thursday ees his day off!” That was my first clue that a chignon à la française is a whole other ballgame.


Getting married in Paris


Bombée, tressé, néo-romantique, décoiffé or banane—the names of styles of the French chignon are as elaborate as the many variations of the style itself. Like the bride who sports it, a classic chignon mariage can be austere, demure or unbridled. It can be slicked back, poofed up, or swept over with meters of ringlets tumbling down the bride’s back. Some French hairstylists devote their entire professional lives to chignon, while others, having been shamed early on in beauty school, outright refuse to approach them. This is actually quite a noble thing, considering that a bad chignon is typically very, very bad.


© The Paris Wedding, Gibbs-Smith

© The Paris Wedding, Gibbs-Smith


When you’re making an appointment for a chignon at a salon in Paris, especially for a wedding or other special occasion, try to make an appointment for a trial (called an essai in French) sometime before the actual event. Go to the trial armed with photos of the style you want, any combs, clips or other accessories that you plan to wear and photos of your wedding dress or gown. This being Paris, be prepared for the stylist to gasp in horror at your photos, and to insist that under no circumstance will he ever give you the style that you want. It’s okay, it’s all part of le jeu (the game). Let him give you the style that he thinks is best, ogle and fawn all over it, all the while flaming his ego with words like “maître” (master) and “génie” (genius). Then slowwwly ease it into the style you want. For example: “Oh, Pierre, it is absolutely magnifique (magnificent)! My future sister-in-law was right! You ARE a genius. You have given me a chignon that is sexy and sophisticated, with just the right amount of virginity to make those other women seethe with jealousy. Oh, but I must confess—I have always been embarrassed by the homeliness of the nape of my neck. Do you think it would be possible to drop the chignon down just a bit, to spare me the embarrassment on my wedding day?” Et voila!


Bride in Paris

© The Paris Wedding, Gibbs-Smith


Many salons in Paris will offer a forfait mariage, which is a package deal that could include a hair and makeup trial, plus hair/makeup and a simple manicure on the day of. The prices of forfait mariage are varied. For some reason, salons in Paris are usually very suspicious about quoting a forfait price over the phone. They often try to insist that you come in to see them to get a price. If you let them know that you’re phoning from overseas and are unable to come in, they will give you a price seemingly off the top of their heads, but you can assume that the true price will be within fifty euros or so of the one quoted. The best bet, of course, is if you have a printed advertisement or if you can get a quote sent to you by email.

If you’re thinking about trying out an authentic French chignon while in Paris, take a look at a few of these salons. I’m sure that any one of them will make you look magnifique.


Bar à chignons

Christophe-Nicolas Biot

52, rue Saint André des Arts

75006 Paris, France

Carita International

11, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré

75008 Paris, France

Jean Marc Joubert

255, rue Saint-Honoré

75001 Paris, France


Kimberley Petyt is an American wedding planner in Paris, a French wedding expert and the owner of Parisian Events, a wedding & event planning agency catering to English-speakers in Paris. She writes the popular blog “parisian party: tales of an american wedding planner in paris”

Her book, The Paris Wedding (Gibbs-Smith, 2013) is a full-color, idea-packed, go-to guide for globally minded trendsetters who are in love with the style and romance of Paris, and is available in the U.K. now through online booksellers.

To enter the competition to win your very own copy of this book. Just answer this question:

Who is the book’s author?

Please leave your answer in the comment box. One winner will be chosen at random on the 25th April 2013.   


Good luck

Joyce xx



DIY Bridal Make Up – Good or Bad?

I have noticed the rise in the number of brides that have decided to do their own make up for their wedding day. I know its what i do professionally but i wanted to point out that once your wedding day is over you have to live with the images forever. I never make anyone look like someone else. I only do a brides make up after a thorough consultation.

My guide is always to enhance what someone already has. If you normally wear very little make up i will make you look very natural but flawless. Your wedding day is special and you should look special too.

Things to consider?

  • Does your normal make up last for 12 hours without retouching?
  • Do you know how to contour the shape of your face?
  • Can you make your lips even in shape and length?
  • Does your foundation leave a stripe around your jawline?
  • Can you lengthen you lashes using just mascara?

A make up artist will have the skills needed to avoid these things. The last thing you want to worry about on your wedding day is how your make up looks!

Some brides are very capable of doing their own make up and i’m not saying they shouldn’t. If you would like to do your own but need help then consider a make up lesson.

I would love to hear from you if you did your own make up and if you’re happy with the images! I would also like to hear from you if you regret doing your own make up!

An Expert Lesson in Lashes with Louise Page

A few weeks ago I attended an Ardell lashes event hosted in conjunction with Louise Page International Celebrity Make Up Artist. It was a great night for all concerned I love Ardell lashes and it was a great to meet Louise and her team.

We all got to have lashes applied and Louise talked about the best way to apply lashes to yourself.

Here are her top tips!!

Before you do anything measure the lashes against your eye and trim to fit.
Give the lashes a little bend gently with your fingers-the idea is that by moulding them you make them more pliable and easier to put on.
Use a tooth pick to apply to glue so as not too load the lashes up too much-just a fine line along the strip is all you need.
The crucial part…wait 10-30 seconds for the glue to go tacky. This will make them stick instantly rather than slipping up your eyelid.
5.Look Up
Yes up-not down, by looking up into a mirror you’re more likely to get as close to your natural lash line as physically possible.
Press the lashes down from the outer corner inwards-this will ensure a better fit.
Apply your make-up following lash application to blend everything in.

False lashes are a staple in most girl’s make-up bags these days, with no night-out look complete without a pair. However application can be easier said than done-(especially with the customary getting ready glass of wine in hand!) Often lashes are left till last and result in gluing fingers together-ruining pristinely applied make-up or just a last minute stress.
Luckily renowned make-up artist Lou Page has now shared the secret of that flawless finish, dispelling many common myths-make-up first/look down.?! Lou rates the Ardell lashes for easy application and with her top tips you’ll be a pro in no time . With Ardell’s huge range you’ll find styles for night and daytime looks and at £5.10 a pair and the notion that practice makes perfect there’s no excuse not to stock up!

Ardell Lashes are available from
Aspiring Make Up Artists can head on over to the Louise Page Make Up Academy

Classic Hollywood Beauty Icons

I love the looks of the1920’s through to the 1950’s! At the moment Vintage looks are on the increase along with a rise in the reappearance of Burlesque! I love all things vintage and the way that women had a certain style.

The actresses I have always admired in no particular order are:

Lauren Bacall

Bette Davis

Clara Bow

Lana Turner

Audrey Hepburn

Ruan Lingyu

Louise Brooks

Marlene Dietrich

Marylin Monroe

Elizabeth Taylor

Juanita Moore

Jean Harlow

Lillian Gish

Ruth Walker

You can’t beat a B&W movie on a Sunday afternoon! My favourite all time ‘Old’ movie is ‘Imitation of Life‘ starring Lana Turner and Juanita Moore! 1959

If you have a favourite movie Icon tell me who in the comments box!

A Fifties Wedding

Today I’d like to share with you a post by the fabulous Charlie of Fifties Wedding. We both share a love of all things vintage!

A Fifties Wedding

I love a vintage bride, and for me there is no better decade than the fabulous fifties! The 1950s oozes glamour & sophistication, think Marilyn Monroe, Sandra Dee, Grace Kelly & Audrey Hepburn. If you re looking for some 50s inspiration on your wedding day these icons of the last century should be top of your list.

Generally weddings in the fifties were very traditional, and when brides today talk about having a fifties wedding what they generally mean is inspired by the decade, e.g. the fashion, the music, patterns (such as polka dots). Certainly this was the case for my own wedding.

For most real 1950s brides they still wore white, full-length gowns, though the shorter style dresses had become more popular towards the end of the decade. Today 50s inspired wedding dresses tend to reflect the fashion of the era. A classic 50s style dress on today modern bride is classy, stylish and flattering to any shape. Think high waists and petticoats, lace, modest necklines and shorter or tea-length gowns. These dresses from Dolly Couture and Joanne Fleming Design illustrate the look perfectly.

As for hair, 1950s hairstyles were generally shorter than the preceding decade, and fabulous curls and elegant buns were the order of the day to recreate that movie star look. For a bride I love Audrey updo and Grace Kelly curls.

The 50s wedding reception was much less lavish compared to today standards. It was very traditional. There were certainly no cupcakes, the wedding cake was the traditional fruitcake covered with marzipan & icing, with the top tier saved for a first christening. Since the war had not long ended, not all foods were widely available yet (particularly at the start of the decade). For my grandparents, they served cocktails for guests instead of champagne.

As far as makeup went, peaches, pink and creams were popular, and lips were either pink or bright red. Eyeliner was thick and mascara was important to accentuate the eyes. Blue & green eye shadow made an appearance, though generally eye shadow was quite muted.

For fifties inspired hair accessories, my favourite is the birdcage veil, which always looks so stylish. For bridal jewellery, long sparkly earrings really give that movie star glamour. Long white gloves can finish off the look.

© Elizabeth Lois Photography, birdcage veil from Flo & Percy

Above, Grace Kelly with her Oscar 1955

I think the reason why I love the 1950s so much is that the women (and men) seemed to look so alluring and fashionable without even trying! The hemlines and necklines were simple, and a pair of drop pearl earrings and a beautiful updo could transform a woman into the epitome of sophistication and glamour. I also love the music and the old movies. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong decade!

For more 50s inspiration visit the Fifties Wedding website for lots more ideas.

Charlie x

Fragrance Map of Britain, Life Sweeter Up North

Fragrance Map of Britain, Life Sweeter Up North

The North/South divide is proving alive and well in beauty halls across the country with the most floral, feminine fragrances a sell out success thanks to northern women. South of Watford Gap however, women are snapping up musky, woody and even male scents, according to findings released by one of the UK largest perfume retailers, Debenhams.

Northern and Scottish ladies are drawn to glamorous fragrances with a sweet, edible ‘gourmand edge. They choose the most ‘girly of fragrances with the current bestseller in the region, Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb.

Southerners opt for more masculine fragrances with an edge, such as Clinique Aromatics Elixir. Men fragrances are also popular with Southern girls who wear them on a night out for a more distinctive, dramatic scent.

Women in the Midlands and Wales are the most traditional, opting for the enduring classic perfumes such as Chanel No. 5 and Chanel Coco Mademoiselle.

Irish women are plumping for fresh, light fragrances, even through the winter months, choosing Calvin Klein Euphoria and Marc Jacobs Daisy.

Research from the retailer also showed that:

  • Northern women are very loyal to perfume brands and invest in big bottles that last months
  • Southern women are much more likely to buy several small bottles of fragrance that they interchange on a regular basis
  • Northern women spritz the most, topping up their perfume in the morning, lunchtime and often twice in the evening
  • Southern women are more likely to go fragrance free during the day, keeping a bottle in their handbags or office draw ready for a night out
  • Northern women wouldn t even consider borrowing their man scent, less than 5 per cent have done so
  • Southern women are frequent offenders and borrow their partner aftershave on average once a fortnight

Ruth Attridge, spokesperson for Debenhams says, “We see the same trends in fragrance as we do in fashion. Just as Northern women snap up our party dresses and highest heels, they also love the most feminine sweet scents.

“In the South however, it distinctive, often masculine fragrances that are teamed with a more edgy style.

√¢‚Ǩ≈ìAs perfume buying reaches its peak in the run-up to Christmas, we have altered our stock patterns to make sure that whether you are after a fruity fragrance in Folkestone or a woody whiff in Wigan, there is a scent to suit under the tree√¢‚Ǩ ù.

Debenhams sales figures also reveal that in contrast, there is hardly any regional variance in terms of male fragrance. 1 Million, Bleu de Chanel and Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male are the consistent bestsellers throughout Britain.

Attridge adds, √¢‚Ǩ≈ìAs long as they smell good, British men are quite happy to buy a brand they recognise and like without worrying about the messages their scent portrays√¢‚Ǩ ù.

North & Scotland
  1. Chanel Chance
  2. Gucci Guilty
  3. Paco Rabanne Lady Million
  4. Chanel No. 5
  5. Givenchy Play for Her
  1. Paco Rabanne 1 Million
  2. Bleu de Chanel
  3. Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male
  4. Boss Bottled Night
  5. Dolce & Gabanna The One
  1. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle
  2. Clinique Aromatics
  3. Dior Miss Dior
  4. Chanel Coco
  5. Calvin Klein Obsession
  1. Paco Rabanne 1 Million
  2. Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male
  3. Bleu de Chanel
  4. Dolce & Gabanna The One
  5. Boss Bottled
Midlands & Wales
  1. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle
  2. Chanel No. 5
  3. Estee Lauder Beautiful
  4. Dior J Adore
  5. Calvin Klein Eternity
  1. Paco Rabanne 1 Million
  2. Bleu de Chanel
  3. Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male
  4. Dolce & Gabanna The One
  5. Diesel Only The Brave
  1. Marc Jacobs Daisy
  2. Calvin Klein Euphoria
  3. Marc Jacobs Lola
  4. Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio
  5. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle
  1. Paco Rabanne 1 Million
  2. Armani Black Code
  3. Dolce & Gabanna The One
  4. Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male
  5. Boss Bottled
Northern Ireland
  1. Marc Jacobs Daisy
  2. Calvin Klein Euphoria
  3. Marc Jacobs Lola
  4. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle
  5. Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio
  1. Paco Rabanne 1 Million
  2. Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male
  3. Bleu de Chanel
  4. Armani Black Code
  5. Dolce & Gabanna The One

Debenhams predicted Christmas fragrance bestsellers:

  1. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle
  2. Chanel No. 5
  3. Gucci Guilty
  4. Marc Jacobs Daisy
  5. Estee Lauder Beautiful
  6. Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb
  7. Paco Rabanne Lady Million
  8. Dior J Adore
  9. Clinique Aromatics
  10. Thierry Mugler Angel

Do you live in the North or the South? Let me know if your perfume is on the list and where you fit in with the stats by leaving a comment. Did you get any of the predicted Top Ten for Christmas?

Get ‘The Look’ This Christmas With New Cid Cosmetics

Get ‘The Look’ This Christmas With New Cid Cosmetics

Its nearly Christmas and I’m sure most of you will have been partying till the early hours already. I tried this make up out on my daughter just by adding a small amount to what she already had on. It gave me the idea that you could take your make up from day to night with these 2 products. I love that they are compact and can fit into any handbag. So you can go from office to Christmas party in 10 minutes! Hayley was a willing model for the 10 minutes it took me to apply the make up! The trend this year is still towards the smokey eye look with nude lips.

The colours in this compact are great for a smokey eyed look. Use the darkest shade in the socket line for depth and the lightest colour on the brow bone to highlight it.

i-shadow Aspen £18.00

The finished look

If you really can’t be bothered with the eye-shadow. Then this pencil is great for quick touch ups too. I love the flat tip of this pencil, which makes application really simple. Even those with unsteady hands can use it. The other end of the pencil has a sponge with cream to give you a smudgey smokey look if you want that look.

i smoulder in Charcoal £18.00

The finished look

Two different looks and very simple

New Cid is available for House of Fraser, Debenhams and

Illamasqua School of Make Up Art

Last night I had the best time ever at the Illamsqua School of Make Up Art on a course called ‘Night Time Diva’ The course is aimed at professionals and consumers and shows you how to use colour and new techniques to create a look for the evening or ‘Night Time Diva’.

On arrival I was greeted by everyone with a very warm welcome and a glass of champagne! I was so excited that I bought lots of things before I’d even started the course.

The School of Make Up Art is located within the Illamasqua Flagship Store at 20 Beak Street, Soho, London, W1. Book early to avoid disappointment, I can see these courses being a sell out!!

I was so impressed with my look that I had to meet up with a friend afterwards just so that I could show off my new look, she loved it.

Adam used me as the model and I was amazed at the colour scheme he put together to create the most dramatic eyes I’ve ever had!! I was delighted with the results.

Adam created my eyes using Liquid Metals Enrapture and Resolute £17.00 each, Powder eyeshadows – Machine and Daemon. Precison ink – Alchemy £16.50 above the upper lash line. Eyebrow Cake – Vehement £14.00. False lashes No. 21 £14.00 on upper lids and No. 6 £12.00 under lower lashes. Volume mascara – Harness £15.50.

Once everyone had watched the demonstration we were let loose in the store to create the look on ourselves. Of course I loved mine so much I didn’t dare remove it. There are so many colour choices I dare you to enter at your peril!

The ‘Night Time Diva’ course is £50.00 and worth every penny. To find out more visit their website