Beauty Queens: Wedding Make-up & Beauty Tips with Joyce Connor

I thought it was about time I brought a little beauty to the blog and am privileged to feature a Q&A session with the lovely Joyce Connor of Brides and Beauty.

I have never been great at applying my own make-up and rarely wear it to be honest unless I am on stage or out on a special occasion, so clearly I need all the help I can get with my bridal make-up!

Read on for some seriously good make-up and beauty tips for all skin types below!

Nu Bride: Welcome Joyce! Please tell us a bit about yourself – how did you get into the beauty and wedding industry?

JC: I got into the beauty industry about 15 years ago after a trip to New York made me realise how much there was to offer in skin care and make-up. On my return to the UK I found a course that fitted my criteria and I haven’t looked back since.

Nu Bride: Did you always want to be a make-up artist?

JC: I always wanted to be a high flyer in a suit but after 2 years as an accountancy clerk in my teens, I knew an office job wasn’t for me. I wanted to do something creative and although that took the shape of being a nanny for 10 years I was still using my creative skills.

Nu Bride: Top 3 tips to applying bridal make-up that will last and survive the duration of the day and tears!


1. Use a primer to help the make-up stay in place.

2. Use a powder to set the make up,

3. Apply waterproof mascara over your normal mascara to stop it running if you do have a few tears on the day!

Brides and BeautyPhotography: Carey Sheffield

Nu Bride: As a teenager I remember it was so difficult , in-fact near impossible to find make-up for black skin and found it difficult to find shades appropriate for my skin tone, (I think Clinique was the first brand I stumbled across)…now we have so much choice, it is wonderful!

JC: There is a lot more available but I think the cosmetic companies still have a long way to go. Some foundations still look ashy on the skin and some look like a mask on the face. Foundation should look like you’re not wearing make up!

Nu Bride: Apart from the obvious – please could you tell us some of the fundamental differences (if any) between working with black and European skin?

JC: Black skin is usually much oilier and more sensitive than European skin. It tends to be affected by keloid scarring more too. I try to do a skin analysis before I apply anything to the skin and make sure I do a thorough consultation to find out what is needed before I start to apply any make-up. Using the wrong skin care can cause uneven skin tone so this needs to be corrected on darker skins.

Nu Bride: Was it difficult to break into the very popular beauty and wedding industry? If so why and how did you overcome it?

JC: No it wasn’t difficult at all. When I started there wasn’t very many make-up artists in my area that travelled and there certainly weren’t any that could cater for all skin tones and hair types. When I first started I got a lot of my make-up and hair products from the US because I wanted to only use the best brands for my customers. Now it’s getting better but it’s still difficult to find good brands on the high street for black skins.

Photography: Balaji Photography | Make-Up Joyce Connor Brides and Beauty

Nu Bride: Favourite hair and make-up products to use and why?

JC: My favourite hair care brand is Keracare. It has something for everyone. I love the whole range and use it professionally and personally.

I absolutely love MakeUp Atelier Paris make-up. It’s new to the UK and its one of the best professional brands with a huge colour palette. I love Illamasqua for their unusual and different colour ranges too, they are always updating their range. Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics is a great brand too and fantastic for oilier skins because of the minerals. I only use professional make-up brands because they contain a high amount of pigment and give a truer colour than the high street brands do.

Nu Bride: I hear you are a bit of a social media superstar! Fabulous news –  Please tell us more about being number one on the UK top 100 Wedding Tweeters List and how communicating via social media is important for your business / how it has enhanced it?

JC: I am a total twitter addict. When I first signed up to Twitter I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing. Then I had a brief lesson from a local journalist and quickly got the hang of things. I became Number One in the Top 100 Wedding Tweeters this year. I couldn’t believe it. It was the most exciting thing ever.

I have built up a huge network of friends and other hair, make-up and bridal businesses by using twitter. We get together occasionally and have ‘Tweetups’ i.e. Twitter Meet Ups. They are really good fun and a great way of networking. I have had lots of recommendations for bridal and beauty services by using social media and I can do the same for others in my network. My bookings have increased since using social media. I can show all my images on Facebook and it’s linked to Twitter so everyone can see it.

Copyright and Make-Up: Joyce Connor Brides and Beauty

Nu Bride: Personally I find my skin loves the summer sunshine (particularly the Caribbean sunshine!) do you have any skin care tips for summer and winter brides? 

JC: Summer brides should be aware of skin dehydration. Moisturise daily. Use a hydrating masque weekly and a sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15 to protect the skin from UV rays. Skin cancers are on the increase in darker skins due to the lack of sun protection. Although black skins have melanin to protect it you still need to amplify the protection by using a sunscreen. If you have oily skin use oil free moisturiser and have some skin care treatments in the run up to your big day.

Winter brides make sure you exfoliate at least once a week to remove the dead skin build up that occurs during the colder months. Over exfoliation isn’t good for oily skins as it will stimulate the oil production and make skin even oilier. Drier skins should exfoliate twice a week. Use a slightly richer moisturiser in winter months and a nourishing masque to keep skin in top condition.

Nu Bride: For brides who are particularly keen to have a natural look – Why choose a make-up artist to do your make-up on your wedding day?

JC: A good make-up artist will ensure your make up looks natural but photographic. The make-up you apply to yourself won’t be the same as the make-up applied by a make-up artist. Good application and contouring the face can make the photographs look amazing on your wedding day. Your wedding day is the one day you should feel special and having a make-up artist on the morning of your wedding makes you feel like you’re being pampered.

Photography Copyright: Martins Kikulis  | Make-Up Joyce Connor Brides and Beauty

Nu Bride: What makes a good make-up artist?

JC: A good make-up artist will listen to what the customer wants and be able to advise on colours and the correct type of foundation for your skin type. A thorough consultation should be carried out prior to the make-up application and a record of the make-up used made. Make-up artists should have a good selection of make-up for the bride to choose from.

Nu Bride: Anything else you would like to add? 

JC: Always have a trial session with your chosen make-up artist. That way you both know what you are having done on the big day.  However, I have had to do make-up on the day of the wedding having not met the bride before that. This can be done by seeing photos of the bride-to-be beforehand and a telephone consultation.

Nu Bride: Magic! Thank you very much Joyce!

Joyce can be contacted at Brides and Beauty via: 
Tel: 07788 993 965 


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