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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Marshall

A Love Letter to you; the real bride.

The Wedding Hair and Make-up industry is changing, there's been a shift. With many 'Well renowned' makeup artists taking up coaching and expanding their business to create extra revenue streams by coaching up-and-coming artists teaching that their success now relies on 'Professional Pinterest style Instagram images using only models'. As an artist whose love lies not only with bridal but editorial too there is nothing more I love when the two worlds meet and from the beginning, you'll see I've taken part in shoots and have focused on creating editorial-worthy bridal content. And yes it's important to do, it gives freedom to hone in on the style we love to do - attracting our dream brides and making it easier for you to book the right artist. It allows us to try new things without the pressure of wanting to please you... our brides.

But as I reflect upon this pressure that has been created within my own industry, I ask whether we are creating a significant problem. As I witness some artists constructing their Instagram pages full of only workshop images and have attended £1000 portfolio coaching days or styled shoots with vogue-style content and agency models with an image of only a real bride few and far between with the one intention to sell luxury.

No longer does the pressure of looking like the 'picture-perfect' bride remains in Vogue in which the pages can remain closed, it's now holding you, hostage, available 24/7 on your phone, every scroll on every wedding page. Luxury is not curated from an Instagram page full of 1080px X 1080 px images of models. Luxury is that feeling when you see that twinkle in your eye of admiration for your own beauty on your wedding day, the real bride is the 20-something-old woman who is trying to make a career for herself exhausted post-pandemic, middle of the cost of living crisis who's burnt out and can't remember the last time they did their skincare routine but is constantly anxious about their acne prone skin OR the mum of three who is finally marrying the love of their life but now purposely avoids looking in the mirror because you only have time to throw your hair up into a bun, and when you do catch your reflection you focus in on the discolouration under your eyes from the years of lack of sleep OR the nurse who is tired and underpaid, whose face was battered and bruised through the protective gear they had to wear so long and still sometimes do whose skin feels dull, dry and tired. Or the bride who picks themselves apart, who hates the idea of being the centre of attention because their insecurities are on show for everyone to see, Whoever you are, whatever your story. I see you.

To me, luxury is the moment when my bride, you the real bride stares at the reflection in the mirror complete with your bridal look. Your shoulder's relax, your eyes moisten, and your face beams, your insecurities fade away when you realise that the woman staring back at you who radiates beauty is yourself.

I believe as an industry we have a duty to you - the real bride. One in which we show you real women, real brides on their wedding day. The women who you can relate to, the women you see a bit of yourself in, the women who you say hi to picking your kids up from school or bump into every day on the train to work. The women who have the same insecurities as you. The women who aren't confident about themselves but on their wedding day the twinkle in their eye tells you that for the first time, they truly do feel beautiful. We have a duty to make you- the real bride feel vogue worthy on your wedding day. To make you fall in love with yourself and accept those things you've deemed yourself to be imperfections.

We have a duty to be conscious about not putting picture after picture of model-only content which starts your bridal journey full of comparison and insecurities. I see the beauty in every single one of my brides, and I love nothing more than enhancing that beauty to make you see how beautiful you truly are. This is why I will continue to post my real brides and I won't fall into this pressure of every single image I post to be from a workshop or portfolio day. Of course, I will still do my editorial-style bridal shoots to challenge my skill, to grow as an artist and to evoke inspiration for your bridal makeup but I promise to do this in a way which is still real.

So when you are trying to find your bridal makeup artist, is their content full of styled shoots/ workshops or are you seeing real brides who are being celebrated for their beauty? Because anyone can sell an Instagram feed of luxury but not everyone can give you that luxury moment, from the time spent not only applying your makeup or doing your hair but spent making you feel 1000% time more confident from when you first walked in makeup free for your trial, encouraging you to look after yourself, teaching you about skincare that's right for you, that you can fit in around your lifestyle and most importantly spend time making you feel stunning from the inside not just applying makeup from the outside.

Brides you are safe with me.

Olivia xx


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