Tag Archives: Hair and makeup artist

Life in Lockdown

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Covid-19….. social distancing….. lockdown….. self-isolation….. key-workers. These are all words and phrases that we never, or very rarely used just a few months ago. But they’re now very much part of our everyday vocabulary.

Covid-19 is affecting us all in many different ways, so I really don’t think it would be right to go all the way through lockdown without writing about it in my blog!

Family standing beside pond

Enjoying a family walk during lockdown

This time last year, I was gearing up for another busy wedding season and pretty much going about business as usual. My days were taken up meeting brides for trials, dealing with a stream of enquiries, and travelling to the many lovely wedding venues that Scotland has to offer, to beautify my excited bridal parties.

If someone had said to me then, I would spend at least 3 or 4 (or potentially more!) of my busiest months of 2020 with no bookings, I would have laughed in their face. But back in March that scenario became reality. As social distancing measures were put in place, and then eventually lockdown, I panicked about what would happen to my business and could only watch in horror as every booking I had was wiped from my diary. Not only that, but I then had to deal with a mountain of admin as devastated brides were forced to rearrange weddings they’d spent months and years planning for. It was just awful for everyone involved.

Now I certainly don’t want to take away from the devastation Covid-19 has caused throughout the world, including the massive loss of life, front-line workers scared to go to work, people being separated from family and friends and businesses being forced to close. It’s something we’ve never experienced before, and hopefully never will again.

Girl standing in kitchen

Just back from an early morning run (excuse the red face!)

But what I do want to do is try and focus on some positives that have come out of this situation. First and foremost is I’m loving spending more time together with my family. Before this I was always rushing about, juggling work, running about after my kids and quite often my husband and I were like ships that passed in the night. Now we’re all home together, we all eat together at mealtimes, and we’re enjoying a bit more of a relaxed pace of life. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve all had our patience tested at times over the past few weeks, but we’re actually coping OK with our new normal.

Another massive positive is the fact I’ve really got to know some of the other lovely hair and makeup artists in the Scottish wedding industry. Over the years, I’ve found myself working alongside many other hair and makeup artists, and we would often have a chat, but now we’ve all got a bit closer. With so many weddings having to be rescheduled it was inevitable that at some point we were going to be booked on a bride’s new date. So we’ve all pulled together and are helping one another out to make sure no bride will have to go without a hair or makeup artist on her big day.  Not only that, we’ve all been keeping one another’s spirits up and have also jumped on the #passthechallenge bandwagon where we’ve created a video to showcase our hair/makeup work, passing combs/makeup brushes between us. Who knew it was so difficult to catch a comb?!

Girl standing to side with hand up

My hairstyle for #passthechallenge (just passed the comb to the next person!)

So, what does the future hold for weddings in Scotland? There’s been lots of speculation lately…. there’ll be no more weddings this year, weddings will re-start again in September, the only weddings this year will be with a very limited number of people.  Every day I read something new, and as much as we can second guess, no-one has the answer to this question yet. No-one knows exactly when weddings will be running again as normal, or what that normal might be!

But what I do know, is the last couple of months have taught me that I actually CAN cope with a nightmare work scenario being thrown at me, and there will be positives in every bad situation. This won’t last forever, but until then I’ll keep focusing on those positives and look forward to the day that weddings resume, and we can all get back to work.

My skincare routine….

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One thing I’m always banging on about to my clients is the importance of a good skincare routine. Never underestimate how much your skin will benefit from being properly looked after and taken care of.  So I thought it was about time I dedicated a blog to this particular subject!

Woman Washing Her Face With WaterA bit of an obvious point to make, but I want to begin by pointing out that everyone’s skin is different! Some people have dry skin, some have oily skin, some combination ….. and your skin will also change as you get older and even in response to your hormones, so there really is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to skincare products.  You are the best person to decide which particular products and ranges work best for your skin, and it may take a bit of trial and error. But once you find a range you like, there’s really no excuse not to look after your skin.

By sharing my own skincare routine and some of the high street products that I love and work great for me, I hope you’ll be able to see how easy it is to get into a good routine.  I’ve really noticed a change in my skin since I hit the big 4-0 a couple of years ago. I used to find my skin to be quite oily, however I’ve definitely noticed it’s a bit drier now, especially in the colder weather when I can feel it screaming to be moisturised sometimes. Anti-ageing products have definitely been on my radar recently!

Cleanse, tone and moisturise

As a minimum, we should be doing this at least once a day (at night-time) to wash away the dirt and impurities that have built up on your face (not to mention removing your makeup). If your skin is really oily, you may also wish to do this in the morning too, but if you have very dry skin then just stick with evening only.

I cleanse my face morning and night with Simple moisturising facial wash. It doesn’t make my skin feel dry afterwards but doesn’t make my skin oily either which is just what I need. I don’t wear too much make-up day to day so I don’t normally use a separate eye-makeup remover, but when I do, my favourite high-street brand would be the Garnier 2 in 1 eyemakeup remover as it literally gets rid of everything! It’s a bit oily, but that disappears after cleansing.

Natural Ingredients for SkincareOne of my favourite high street brands for toner is the Clinique Clarifying Lotion. While it’s a bit more expensive than other brands I love how it’s gentle on your skin and they also have different formulas to suit different skin types.

To moisturise, I have recently come across the Body Shop Drops of Youth range, which I really like. As I mentioned before, being over 40 I’ve found my skin to be more in need of moisture. What I really love about this product is how it feels so light yet still moisturises my skin well without leaving it feeling oily. The eye cream is great too!


If you don’t exfoliate your skin, it will lead to a build up of dead skin cells, resulting in a dull/uneven skin tone and clogged pores. As with everything else, how often you exfoliate will depend on your own skin type, but as a rule, you should aim for once or twice a week. Any more and you risk stripping the skin of its natural oils. I regularly use the Body Shop Drops of Youth Liquid Peel to exfoliate. My skin feels so soft afterwards.

Face Mask

Who doesn’t love relaxing with a face mask, but how often do we get the time? Regular face masks help with hydrating the skin, deep cleansing and also improving the appearance of pores. There’s so many different face masks to choose from these days, from one off sachets to recipes for making your own! I really like the Olay Clay Stick Mask. It looks almost like a stick of deodorant which you just roll on to your face, leave to set and then rinse off.

And not forgetting….

Lastly, two things that I cannot stress enough how important they are for good skin:

Clear Glass Pitcher Pouring Water on Clear Drinking GlassSunscreen; using sunscreen will almost certainly help protect your skin against premature ageing. Many moisturisers, BB creams and foundations contain a certain amount of SPF (check the labels for full info), but if you’re going to be in the sun for prolonged periods it’s really important to wear a sunscreen of at least SPF 50. We all want to keep those wrinkles at bay for as long as we can, but more importantly this will help protect against skin cancer.

Drink water; we all know that drinking at least 2 litres of water a day has many benefits for your body. But not everyone knows of the benefits it has for skin. It helps flush out toxins, which in turn will improve complexion and give you a healthy glowing skin.

The benefits of a good skincare routine really can’t be denied, so why not get started today!?

A summer wedding….

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It’s time for another blog post, and this time I thought it would be nice to feature one of my weddings from this summer, since I’ve not done one of these posts for a while.

I’ve been running Sarah-Lou Beauty now since 2012, and these days I often find a lot of my new clients are recommended to me from previous brides. This is exactly what happened with Gemma; I did bridal hair and makeup for one of her bridesmaids a couple of years back and she recommended me.

Bridal hair and makeup

Hair and makeup by Sarah-Lou Beauty
Photography by Cara Frew Photography

Gemma was a super organised bride and booked me to do her bridal hair and makeup a year and a half before her wedding! This was definitely a good idea as it’s not unusual for my diary to fill up well in advance, especially for weekend dates in the summer months.

I first met Gemma later that year, when she booked me to do her hair and makeup for a family wedding. It was great to meet her and get to know her and her hair and makeup likes and dislikes before the main trial. On this occasion she went for a simple but elegant updo and some gorgeous glam makeup.

Bride and mother of the bride hair and makeup

Bride and mother of the bride hair and makeup by Sarah-Lou Beauty
Photography by Cara Frew Photography

Fast forward another 6+ months and I did hair and makeup trials for Gemma and her mum, Michelle. Gemma wasn’t sure if she wanted her hair up or down for the wedding, so we tried a couple of styles. Gemma was fortunate enough to already have her dress home at this stage, so she was able to try it on with each hairstyle and take some pics to look back on and make the final decision!

On the wedding morning, I went to the venue to get Gemma and her girls ready; the fabulous Waterside Hotel in West Kilbride. Such a lovely location right on the beach, and an amazing honeymoon suite!

Bride and bridesmaids hair and makeup

Hair and makeup by Sarah-Lou Beauty
Photography by Cara Frew Photography

It was an early start, and the weather wasn’t the best (even though it was July!) but that definitely didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. It was great to have a giggle with the girls while I got everyone ready. It was also great catching up with Gemma’s bridesmaid Laura, who I did bridal hair and makeup for a couple of years earlier, and meeting Gemma’s other bridesmaid Rebecca, for the first time.

On the day, Gemma decided to have her hair up, and went for a gorgeous, soft and relaxed updo with lots of loose strands. Makeup was nice and natural with some shimmer and strip lashes – just perfect!

Bridal hair and makeup

Hair and makeup by Sarah-Lou
Photography by Cara Frew Photography

The bridesmaids chose their own hair and makeup styles, with Laura opting to have her hair down with some soft curls and Rebecca choosing loose waves pinned round to one side. Both girls went for a natural makeup look to complement the bride. Mother of the bride went for a lovely soft updo with subtle makeup. All four girls looked stunning!

Gemma’s photographer, Cara Frew Photography, captured some fantastic getting ready shots! It was the first time I’d actually met Cara, but strangely enough we were both working at the same wedding the following day.

What an amazing morning getting Gemma and her girls ready and I’m so happy to have been a part of it! 

Top of the ROCCO!

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It’s now been a couple of weeks since my amazing win at the ROCCOS; The Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce ROCCO Award for Excellence in Customer Service!

I’m absolutely ecstatic with this latest win as it reinforces my commitment to delivering excellent customer service, and to be recognised for this in my local community makes me so proud.

For me this award was a bit different, as it’s not just specific to the wedding industry.  It takes in all kinds of businesses in the Renfrewshire area, some large some small, and all industry types from manufacturing to education, leisure and retail.

First of all, I had to complete an application form, answering questions relating to my business and commitment to customer service. The judges were looking for specific evidence that I have customer satisfaction at the heart of my business, and proof of my continued commitment to exceeding customer expectations.

So my application was completed and submitted in time for the deadline, and a few weeks later I was delighted to receive an email from the organisers saying I’d been shortlisted, along with two other organisations, for the award.

I was particularly delighted with the news because, as a small business, I had been shortlisted alongside two much larger organisations, and for me this is a major achievement.

For the next stage of the judging process I had to prepare a presentation and take part in an interview with the judges.  A bit nerve-wracking, but once I got to work on my presentation I found I had so much to say about my commitment to customer service, and how I can demonstrate this. All of my worries quickly faded, and I actually really enjoyed the process.  Now the hard work had been done, I could look forward to the awards dinner.

On the evening, my award was the first to be announced and I was surprised but thrilled when my name was called out.  My very own business, Sarah-Lou Beauty, chosen as the winner….. WOW! It was a brilliant evening all round, and was a great celebration of some of the fantastic businesses there are in Renfrewshire.

This award is another wonderful accolade for Sarah-Lou Beauty…… thank you everyone for your continued support!