Focus on Makeup | With Makeup Artist, Hazel George

“Makeup can help you capture a moment”
Carine Roitfeld

Today on the blog we are featuring the amazingly talented and lovely makeup artist, Hazel George. She knows how to make a woman look naturally beautiful by using her fairy dust and, most importantly, works her magic on all types of skin tones.

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We had the chance to delve into Hazel’s story and to also get some insight into her process and useful makeup tips. (Full disclosure – Hazel made me look like a goddess for my wedding (see below) so yes, she’s that good!)

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L&L: Tell us about what set you on the path to becoming a makeup artist?

Growing up I always enjoyed art & crafts, painting, drawing, sewing and creating jewellery and many things by hand. I became an independent beauty consultant with Mary Kay Cosmetics 8 years ago and in my second year I entered a makeover challenge and won first prize out of all the entrants in the U.K. During that time I started receiving enquiries about Bridal makeup and makeup for special occasions from my circle of friends, family and beauty clients. This helped me realise that makeup artistry was my calling and pushed me to seek the necessary training I needed to continue to have my creative outlet and do what I love so I took time off my day job and attended a makeup course at the London School of Beauty.

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L&L: What brand(s) of makeup do you use? What happens if the bride has a preference?

I have some favourite standard, as well as specialized, products that I like working with, that suit all skin tones well, so my initial recommendations are made based on that. However, I am familiar with, experienced and capable of using a wide variety of cosmetic brands in an expert manner. My ultimate aim is to ensure that the Bride’s ideas and preferences are prioritized to achieve an amazing, timeless look.

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L&L: How long do you typically take per person?

About 30 to 40 minutes for each person on average (Bridesmaids, Mothers and other special ladies), but on sets where a large number of people are involved, I have worked at a faster pace.  For the Bride, an allowance of about an hour is ideal for general skin prepping, corrective measures, blending, contouring and facial feature enhancements, while taking into account the gown and head gear design, as well as overall style theme.

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L&L: When doing bridal makeup, what do you do to ‘connect’ with your bride before the big day?

Usually, we get to know each other by chatting over the phone and via email. I ask Brides to compile and provide images of bridal makeup looks they admire, elaborating on what particularly appeals to them, so that I can begin to make notes and plan on how I will refer to those pictures as a guide in a way that is realistically suitable to the individual concerned. I tend to meet most of my bridal clients, for the first time in person, when we have the trial which is arranged to take place 8 to 12 weeks before the actual wedding date. I always suggest this is scheduled to happen in the morning for 2 reasons; firstly so that we have natural lighting which is very important, and secondly so that the Bride gets a chance to evaluate not only how it feels but also how long it lasts, which helps determine how long I may be needed to be available for on the actual day.

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We get better acquainted on the trial day, which starts off as a consultation. We go over the Bride’s skin type and skin care regime.  I learn more about a client’s makeup likes, dislikes and usual habits. Specific wedding look requirements such as; colour combinations, keeping it natural, being glamorous and even adding a bit of drama are discussed in advance, and considered when I apply the makeup. A trusted friend or relative is most welcome to attend the appointment, to give a second opinion on how the Bride looks.

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L&L: How does a bride keep her make-up fresh throughout the big day?

There are various methods that can be used to keep makeup looking perfect throughout the ceremony and reception, depending on application techniques, appropriate water-proof choices and long-lasting product selection. It’s necessary to take preventive measures to counter the effects hugs, kisses, tears and toasts could have on the Bride’s appearance.  A good primer is key – I read once in Vogue Beauty that ‘Primers do for your skin what lingerie does for your figure – they smooth, flatter, conceal and hold things in place, so that everything you put on top of them looks immediately better’. I use foundation primer for a smooth and flawless finish, an eye primer for eye makeup and lip primer to stop the lipstick from feathering or bleeding. Primers are just one example of the options available to ensure a picture perfect wedding day.

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I never double book on a wedding day, so can be on standby to make emergency and periodic makeup touch ups that the Bride and her party may require. Alternatively, I can recommend and help pack a touch-up kit for application by the Bride herself or a designated Bridesmaid at a later stage. I will also give the necessary tips on how best to go about maintaining the desired look.

L&L: What are your top beauty do’s and don’ts for the bride before the big day?

  1.  Seek professional advice, from a beautician, on the timing of complimentary procedures such as tanning, application of false lashes, manicures, pedicures, shaping brows and removal of facial hair if applicable. Grooming and ideal appearance of exposed areas, depending on the design of the gown, such as the neck, décolletage, shoulders, back, arms and possibly covering tattoos, must also be discussed with a beautician and makeup artist, so that everything appears uniform and flawless.
  2. Never experiment with a new skincare routine, product or exfoliation treatment a few days before the wedding day. Taking such a risk may lead to an adverse reaction that may cause a breakout, redness, pain or inflammation.
  3. A Bride must also have a hairdo trial to gauge exactly how much time should be set aside by the hairdresser, no matter how simple or elaborate the style planned will be. On the wedding day, it’s common practice to start with the hair then finish with the makeup. It’s therefore very important to make sure that enough time is allocated for both the hairdresser and makeup artist, as rushing either or both, will compromise the overall quality of the Bride’s look.

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Thank you so much to Hazel for sharing her story and process.

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See more information and examples of Hazel’s gorgeous work here. 







Image credits: Images 1, 4, 5, 7 and 8 – Emma Harrel Photography / Image 2 – Alana Meyer Photography / Images 3, 6 and 9 – Daniela K Photography 

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Creating special, memorable events

Sussex events planner

Do You Organise Your Own Event Or Use An Event Planner?

Have you ever wanted to hold that magical, perfect special event where every detail is considered, from the writing on the place cards to the colour of the cocktails? An event that you dream about and one that will stay long in the memory of those who are lucky enough to be invited. It may be that you want to organise a special celebration for a birthday or an anniversary, a dinner party, a luncheon for business associates or a corporate event that needs to make a big impression.

Time and Planning

It is a daunting task and the onus will be on you, so you need to ensure that you have the time to organise it successfully and that you are thinking about it far enough in advance so that you can arrange all of the elements. There is a lot to consider and it’s all down to the planning in order to make sure your event goes off without a hitch. Here are a few tips and things to think about for staging that “never to be forgotten” event.

• Date and Time
• Venue
• Logistics
• Food, Drinks and Entertainment
• Marketing and Advertising
• Budget

All of the above are interlinked and although you may think the date and time are the most significant, you may have to rethink if the venue that you think is perfect is not available on the date that you want to hold your special celebration.

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Date, Time and Venue

Think carefully about the day of the week. Will the people that you want to attend need to get time off from work? If so, would it be better to have it at the weekend? If your guests are predominantly mums, it will probably be best to avoid the school holidays. Would your event be more suited to a lunch, an evening or an all day event?

Securing the perfect venue is critical, as this will go a long way towards setting the right mood and ambience. Have you used the venue in the past or has it been recommended to you? Will there be enough parking and is it suitable for wheelchair access? Is the space large enough or could it be too big? You don’t want people jammed into an area and if you are planning a sit down meal, you need to know that there is enough room for everyone to sit comfortably. Does the venue have the equipment that you need, perhaps a stage is required or the right tools for a presentation?

Catering and Entertainment

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Food, drinks and entertainment can make or break an event. Will the venue be supplying the food and drinks or are you going to need outside caterers? If you are planning to have entertainment, book this well in advance to ensure that it is available.

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How Much Will It All Cost?

When considering budget, you will need to think of every possible expense and be realistic so that you avoid any surprises. Are you trying to make money out of the event or are you personally paying for everything?

How will people get to know about your event? Is it just by personal invitation or ticketed and if it’s a large corporate event, how do you best advertise and market it?

What To Do Next

It may seem a great idea to organise your own event but always bear in mind that it is going to take up a lot of your valuable time and you may find that it can actually be more cost effective if you use an event planner. They have all the contacts and can quite often get better rates than you can at venues and have all the experience for making sure that nothing is forgotten.

Lily & Lavender is a luxury event planning, design and styling company based in Sussex and organises events throughout the South East of England. We believe that every event, whether modern or traditional should be unique so please call us on +44 1435 866595 or use our contact form  to discuss your requirements. We will ensure your special bash has all the dash and panache that you deserve.

Image credits: Image 1 and 4 – Ilaria Petrucci Photography / Image 2 and 3 – Emma Harrel Photography / Image 5 – Maria D’Souza Photography


Luxe Romantic Red and Gold Valentine’s Wedding Inspiration

Luxury Events Sussex Kent and London

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone – we hope you’re busy celebrating and surrounding yourself with lots of love. Seeing as it’s the most romantic day of the year, we thought we’d offer you some lovely wedding inspiration to make your hearts flutter. We’ve opted for a divine luxurious red colour scheme teamed with delectable gold accents throughout. The result is a luxe romantic wedding theme that’s overflowing with gorgeousness…

We’ll start things off with your wedding flowers. Velvet red roses are the traditional choice of flower used for Valentine’s Day, and they can be used in various beautiful ways throughout your wedding. From your bouquet to your décor – they immediately add a pop of colour and dash of romance to your day.

An antique golden frame entwined with greenery and roses will not only look fabulous as part of your venue décor, it can be used as a backdrop or photo-booth prop.

Creative wedding ceremony spaces are becoming more and more popular with couples in 2017. It allows couples to personalise their venue, while creating a space that is completely unique to their day. A golden archway adorned with a variety of red and pink blooms will look wonderful, and it will create a special area for you to say ‘I Do’.

For food and drink you can opt for a Valentine’s wedding cake displayed on a sequin gold table runner (or a equally dramatic runner in a rich fabric like velvet) and gilded cake stand. A cupid’s arrow is a great alternative to a traditional cake topper, and it will fit in with this theme perfectly. Red blooms trailing the tiers of your cake will look exquisite, especially if they match your bouquet!

Why not serve delicious cocktails inspired by the colour red? From strawberry daiquiri to a raspberry martini, a cocktail bar is a wonderful way of treating your guests. Lily & Lavender Events work with a select few luxury mobile bar companies in Sussex and London who would be able to create a bespoke  luxury bar to suit your needs and wow your guests.

It’s time to think about wedding day attire for the bridal party, and there are numerous people to take into account. As a bride, you might love the idea of rocking vibrant red lipstick as a nod towards your Valentine’s wedding theme. If you want to keep it simple, a bouquet brimming with red blooms will be able to do all of the talking. A groom will look handsome wearing a velvet red bow-tie and buttonhole.

It’s a tricky task finding a dress to suit all of your bridesmaids, so we recommending going for the mix and match approach rather than a ‘one size fits all’. A variety of red gowns in different hues and styles will look beautiful, and your team of maids will be able to find one that they feel completely comfortable in.

There are so many ways to incorporate subtle Valentines-inspired touches throughout your décor – such as plush red armchairs for guests to relax in or gorgeous red wedding stationery!

Add a sprinkling of glitz and glamour to your wedding venue by tying a mixture of gold and red ribbons to your chairs. They’ll make even the simplest chairs look stunning and will immediately inject colour into your venue. Brides and grooms chairs can be made to stand out by adding golden calligraphy signs to the back, or by adorning the rims with foliage.

A red and gold colour palette is the perfect choice for a luxury romantic Valentine inspired Wedding!  Contact us if you need guidance and professional help to achieve this luxe theme.

Image Credits: Featured ImagePhotographer /  Image 1Photographer / Image 2Photographer / Image 3Photographer / Image 4Photographer / Image 5Photographer / Image 6Photographer / Image 7Photographer / Image 8 Photographer / Image 9Photographer / Image 10Photographer


15 Things to Tick off your Post-Engagement Checklist

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If you’re recently engaged and caught up in the midst of a happy post-engagement blur, you’ve certainly come to the right place. Although getting engaged is one of the most wonderful experiences, it can easily become overwhelming. So if you’re starting to ask ‘what now?’ we suggest you read on and find out exactly what you need to tick off your checklist…

  1. As soon as you’ve got that ring on your finger it’s almost impossible to keep it a secret, but try and cherish the moment and simply take it in. Hold off from phoning anybody or posting any pictures on social media – just take the time to appreciate and savour the fact that you and your partner are going to get married. Eeek!

2) Okay, once you’ve done that it’s time to spread the good news. Let everybody know that they’re going to need to buy a new hat because you’re getting married!

3) In-between calling your best friends and checking your social media notifications, we always recommend getting your bling insured. While it may not seem important, you’ll definitely appreciate doing it if you lose it or if it gets stolen. Plus, now is your chance to get it resized if it’s feeling a little bit loose or slightly too tight.

4) Now for the serious stuff: set a wedding budget. Choosing a specific amount of money to spend on your special day will mean you can start planning within your budget.

5) Budgets mean spreadsheets! Use a spreadsheet to list all of your chosen suppliers and costs so that you can track the whole wedding planning process, without any stress. Alternatively, if you’re feeling dazed by budgets, spreadsheets and planning Lily & Lavender can lend a helping hand. We have a variety of packages to suit you. From partial planning, wedding day management (sometimes referred to as on-the-day coordination) or the full planning package – we can help you organise and  design the most important day of your life!

6) Wedding fairs are not only a brilliant day out for you and your girls, they’re a fabulous source of wedding inspiration and suppliers. You may find that you meet the majority of your suppliers there, and they’ll be able to chat to you about what you envisage for your special day. From florists to cake makers, stationers to stylists – you’ll definitely find them at a wedding fair.

7) It’s time to think about the type of day you want to have – bohemian, rustic or ultra-elegant? Discuss your wedding vision together as a couple and then you can start thinking about the style of your gown, flowers and décor.

8) Before you start searching for your dream wedding venue, you need to work out how many people you want to invite to your big day. As soon as you’ve got a number in your head, you find a venue that can accommodate that number. Choosing your guest list can be an extremely difficult task, but once it’s over and done with you can carry on with the rest of the wedding planning.

9) Now you can kick-start the venue hunting! Your wedding venue will help to provide inspiration for your wedding theme and colour scheme. If you’ve fallen head over heels with a country barn or chic stately home, make sure you know the terms and conditions before you book it. It may sound obvious, but it’s easy to make hasty decisions.

10) Pinterest is an incredible source of inspiration for wedding planning. You can easily create separate boards for different aspects of your day, and it’s a wonderful visual tool that can bring your visions to life.

11) Let your bridesmaids know that they’re going to be a part of your big day. Then you have the task of finding a dress to suit a variety of different shapes and sizes!

12) It may be worth creating a wedding website that you and your guests can log into before the big day. You can provide your guests with information on local accommodation, menu choices and directions. Plus, the majority of websites offer a simple RSVP service that is incredibly easy for your guests to use.

13) While you may want to jump headfirst into wedding planning (we totally understand), take time out without any discussion about suppliers or who’s not RSVP’ed. It’s important to have ‘wedding-free’ days and you’ll find you feel refreshed and re-inspired the next day.

14) Make sure you’re both on the same page at all times – you may be dreaming of an Autumn boho affair while your partner may love the idea of a Summer soiree. The day is about both of you, so make sure your wedding reflects that.

15) Wedding planning is bound to be exciting, stressful and a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so make sure you enjoy every second of it.

So if you love the sound of stress-free wedding planning or if you want to add a touch of luxe to your special day, head over to the Lily & Lavender contact us page now.

Image Credits: Image 1Photography / Image 2Photography / Image 3Photography / Image 4Photography / Image 5Photography / Image 6Photography / Image 7Photography / Image 8Photography


Five Reasons Why We Love Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2017

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Pantone has a huge impact on wedding trends and colour schemes, which is why we couldn’t be more excited about the Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2017: greenery. Described by Pantone as “symbolic of new beginnings”, as well as “refreshing and revitalising”, this colour is a beautiful choice for your special day. From zesty cocktails to gorgeous green gowns, find out why we at Lily & Lavender HQ adore this shade…

Flowers and Foliage


Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2017 lends itself beautifully to bouquets brimming with greenery and foliage, as well as wild green and leafy garlands. Work in elegant white blooms for to keep it fresh and simple – a heavenly colour combination for any season. Alternatively, you can include eye-popping shades such as fuchsia pink and citrus yellow for a sizzling Summer soiree. Green is an extremely versatile colour, especially when it comes to floral arrangements.

Delicious Drinks


Pantone’s Colour of the Year also gives you the chance to get ultra-creative with fun and fabulous cocktails. From zesty mojitos to chilled water infused with green tea, there are so many chic drinks to choose from when it comes to greenery.

Beautiful Bridesmaids


If you’re planning a green wedding based on Pantone’s Colour of the Year, why not dress your team of ‘maids in exquisite green gowns? Team with glittering gold accessories for a dazzling finishing touch for your bridal party. If you’re a fashion-forward bride-to-be, you could opt for a show-stopper statement green gown instead of a traditional white dress! There are no rules when it comes to aisle style, and it’s a fabulous choice if you want to wear something a little different for your big day.

Statement Stationery


Whether you’re planning a wedding, party or any other event, we suggest you set the scene with your stationery. Green looks divine as the main colour for invitations suites, whether it’s forest green or emerald jewel tones. Keep the same design throughout your wedding or event, it’ll create a ‘brand’ effect and will look oh-so-luxurious.

Dazzling Venue Décor


When it comes to decorating your venue and styling your tables, you really can’t go wrong with Pantone’s Colour of the Year: greenery. Pale succulents and cacti in terracotta or concrete pots look chic and on-trend, while foliage-based garlands look stunning lined along tables. Add in a botanical vibe by using palm leaves and fern as an alternatively foliage for your event.

We’ve seen an increase of weddings and events using greenery and foliage throughout venue décor and styling, and it seems that this trend simply won’t budge – and we couldn’t be happier.

Image Credits: Image 1Photographer / Image 2Photographer / Image 3Photographer / Image 4Photographer / Image 5Photographer


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