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  • Writer's pictureLauren O MUA

finding Inspiration for your look - Tips, Tricks and What To Avoid!

We all love a bit of Instagram browsing or a Pinterest board, but if you're looking for inspiration for your next night out look or even your wedding day, read on to make sure you're getting the best of your browsing!


ditch pinterest!

OK, so this is going to be controversial but I'm going to put it out there straight away. Yes, we all love Pinterest for a bit of inspiration but that is exactly what it should be - inspiration - and not a how-to. The majority of pics on Pinterest or even a Google image search are kind of the same as flicking through a fashion magazine - they're selling a dream not necessarily a reality. Whether it's photoshop, four hours behind the scenes, or just the weird search algorithm (type in 'natural makeup' and I can guarantee that 90% of the images you get back are definitely *not* natural!) sometimes your traditional image libraries can be more confusing than they are helpful. My advice? Look in some more unusual places - check out the galleries of wedding photographers that you like to see real weddings, or if there's a celebrity whose style you like, look for photos of them at events rather than at photoshoots. Whilst they won't always be free of a bit of post-production, at least you're seeing something in a real life setting!

Know Your Colours

Whether you're looking at makeup or hair, things are going to look different on different skin tones, eye colours and hair colours, so try to find pictures on people with similar colouring to yourself. You'll notice with hair pictures in particular a lot of professional shots are done on blonde or highlighted hair, because it tends to show up detail and texture better, whereas sleeker styles are often done on brunette hair because it shows off shine better. If you're doing an image search instead of just looking for 'bridal up do' or 'smoky eye', include your details to get back pictures that are more suited to you 'bridal up do on short hair' or 'smoky makeup for brown eyes' will get you much better hits to look through! Alternatively if there's a celebrity whose style you've always admired and who has similar colouring to you, look at their images for inspiration.

Be Realistic

A bit like knowing your colours, know your features too. Will that cat eye look the same on your rounded eye as on the almond eyed model? Does that model with the cascading curls have hair down to her waist, whereas yours is shoulder length? That's not to say that looks aren't adaptable - I will always do my best to recreate a style that a client is looking for but in a way that makes it suit you, so be prepared that a final look might not be exactly the same as the image you've shown. It's also worth thinking not only of your event, but your own style too - does the glam Hollywood wave over one eye look amazing, but actually you know you hate hair in your face and you'll be pushing it out of the way all night? Or maybe the makeup look relies on heavy lashes but you hate the feel of wearing falsies. In which case have your ideas ready but be prepared to..

Be Adaptable!

I love to make hair and make that suits you and makes you feel amazing, so if you've shown me a picture of Kim K with a full beat base but told me you don't like heavy makeup I'm not going to say 'no'. What I will probably say is 'the skin here looks really flawless and glowy, but Kim has a really heavy base here so let's get the same kind of look in a way you're going to feel comfortable wearing'. A great artist never wants to say no but we do want you to have a look that you'll love so if you're open to suggestions or making tweaks to an image you'll probably end up with a style that you'll adore even more than the original.

Ditch The Pics

Another controversial one, but remember it is actually OK to ditch the picture search altogether! Even when a client shows me a picture I'll always get them to talk me through what it is about the image that they like, as a professional makeup artist or hair stylist is likely to analyse the look in a lot more detail than just the overall style - the picture might have a full coverage contoured base, but the only part you are focused on is the blush toned eye look, so it's important to know what it is that you actually like. I often give my customers a set of questions to consider about when they're thinking about creating their look which are great as a jumping off point for an image search, but can actually be just as good on their own:

For hair

- do you feel more comfortable with your hair up or down (or part down!) - how do you wear your hair when you feel your best/most confident self? - do you like to have texture in your hair, whether it's waves, curls or volume, or do you prefer a sleek look? - are you the kind of person who often touches/fiddles with their hair a lot? - do you have hair accessories to include (and/or a veil for brides!) For makeup: - what are your favourite features, or features you'd like to focus on? - do you have favourite makeup colours you like to wear, and what colour is your outfit? For brides are colours from the wedding that you'd like to incorporate or compliment - has there been a time you've worn makeup out or had your makeup done that made you feel really confident and special, and what was your favourite part (or vice versa if there's been something you really didn't like!)

If In Doubt - Ask!

Your hair or make up artist is always going to want to create a look that you love, so don't be afraid to ask their advice. Whether it's 'I like this look but will it work for me?', 'Can you do this kind of thing but not as heavy?' or even just 'I don't know what I want, can you help?!' So if image searching has left you with an Insta-headache, or Pinterest just makes you want to stick pins in your eyes, don't worry! We'll come up with a look together and you'll never have to type 'search by image' again.


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