Roughton Editorial Photoshoot

Roughton Editorial Photoshoot – Part One

The Holly and The Ivy – Rock in the Aisle


I recently got together with a small creative team to work on some images for portfolios, for fun and to do something different to regular bridal make up but still with a bridal theme.


Jaq – Jacqui Bridal Hair Specialist  – a friend of over 30 years and a colleague and I got to talking about having a creative day based loosely on our love for Bridal make up but something more editorial, more eye catching and a little wild. We were looking for the chance to get creative and play with hair and make up, textures and themes.

We knew we wanted to create some kind of woodland look and a rock look but also keep the theme bridal as we would be shooting in a church and weather dependant not a woodland…

We had also discussed doing a “snow queen”  look and as luck would have it that week we had “The Beast from the East” arrive and we had actual snow albeit the best of it had gone by the time shoot day arrived.


Jaq draughted in a super talented photographer – Matthew from 517 Photography and we also had dresses provided by the fabulous Adeava Bridal on the day and our models were all willing volunteers looking for a fun day out.

Here are my favourites from one half of the shoot.


I wanted to keep this make up fresh and the colour theme to be Greens and Pinks, yet I wanted the models eyes to pop – combined with the hair and addition of Ivy we wanted her to look like she was literally coming out of the ground…


Rock Bride

Jaq presented me with the most INCREDIBLE Mohican hair sculpture and I knew instantly I wanted to enhance Beth’s Rock look and edge it with a black and gold theme. Using actual gold leaf and smudgy powder stained eyes a little contouring was all that was needed for our interpretation of “Rock Bride”




Alopecia – a survivors guide.

I thought today that I would blog about something very near and dear to me and that is the subject of Alopecia in younger and older women.

I lost all of my hair to alopecia when I was 20 years old, recovered and then lost 50% of thickness and all of the crown (top part of my head) when I was 23.   Now 2 amazing wigs later, lots of tears and life experience thankfully  I have a full head of thick and beautiful hair and I don’t have bad hair days anymore!

There is no bad hair day like a no hair day.

Many of you who know me will know that I am passionate about the fact that when we feel that we look good we do indeed feel better, for a woman to lose her hair and her eyebrows/eyelashes in my mind is actually very devastating and learning to be this other person looking back at you in the mirror can be extremely challenging.

Unlike when I was younger there are now some amazing resources available for alopecia sufferers, from forums, amazing wig suppliers and make up and make up artists to help you to feel confident and more like yourself. I will put some links to this at the bottom of this blog post and of course will attempt to answer any questions where I can.

About Alopecia

Alopecia is a general term used for hairloss, be it in men women or children. There are different types of Alopecia, from Alopecia Areata – where hair loss occurs anywhere on the body in patches, to Alopecia Totalis – this is total loss of hair all over the scalp.


This is a difficult one. I have been told by many people from doctors, to hairdressers that there is no cure, and no universally proven therapy to induce hair growth or prevent and more hair loss.  So where does this leave sufferers???

There are treatments available and in my experience some work and some don’t. Some are relatively cost free and some are very expensive. I feel personally that some treatments will work for some people and others will work for others. Out of some of the treatments that I tried there were the insane ones – like lying upside down on the bed to make the blood rush to your head – cost £FREE – yep did that one… to having a trichological set of treatments at a clinic in Belgravia London cost £850! Taking chinese herbal medicine – 80 tablets a day for 3 months alongside a smelly tar based shampoo – cost £50 per month, Massage for relaxation cost – £40 per session, Indian head massage – cost £25 per session, sun bead – for UVlight therapy £6 per session and seeing a lovely and spiritual man who claims to be a faith healer cost £Donation to a childrens charity.

In my experience from my own hair loss situation, (Stress related) there is treatment needed on an inner level which then reflects what is happening to the body on the outside. I truly believe that inner calm in stress related alopecia certainly helps. Its also extremeley difficult to say to a young lady who is losing her hair ” try not to worry about it” – this is virtually impossible and so the viscious circle begins and never ends.


The thought of a WIG terrified me and when one of my friends told me “you will just get home kick off your shoes, kick off your wig and you will get used to it” I was mortified, I thought she was mad, but some nights I couldn’t wait to get that wig off and have a good scratch of my hot head!!!

Just the word “WIG” – used to freak me out, especially being offered one at 20 years old from the NHS cupboard!!! I struggled to find a decent wig supplier, there wasn’t really any internet back then and wig suppliers in Lincolnshire were few and far between, I actually got on a bus all the way to london and 6 hours later ventured shaking and feeling sick into Selfridges and came home with a synthetic bobbed wig. Not unlike what my hair looked like before it fell out!  At the time it was the best I could find and afford.

The second time I lost all of the hair on top of my head and had to wear a wig I opted for 2 real hair ones – I ordered them from America and eagerly awaited their arrival by post. I remember unpacking them and thinking how awful they looked – all flat and limp but after a bit of styling and a shake in the air they were amazing. One was straight and shoulder length with a full fringe and the other a big curly one! This time I thought what the heck i’m going to go for hair I always wanted instead of trying to look like my own pre loss hair style.

I had one of the styles trimmed by my hairdresser and even once got told “Melanie your hair is so beautiful” I look back now and think I should have said to this lovely lady “Thank you – you can try it on if you like”

I can now look back on my wig experiences with fondness that they made me a stronger person, taught me a lot about they way we judge people by their appearances, and how insensitive other people be, however  I do have some very funny memories from that time – after all I was young and dating too!!! At the time I was stressed out and worried about them but now I can look back and laugh.

I still have my 2 dear human hair wigs and they come with me to hospices and when I may do a one to one with a lady with cancer/alopecia to show them that wigs really are not that scary!

Alongside losing your hair dealing with having no eyebrows – the frame of your face is also difficult. I believe from a make up artist point of view there are several things we can do to help. Alongside inner calm and a good diet – organic where possible, and the same relating to skincare – using some beautiful organic natural skincare with uplifting scents to make us feel relaxed/invigorated/calm we can of course advise on a great wig and also great make up to add in those missing brows and learn to define eyes that may be missing lashes.

I have put a patient information sheet together for some of the cancer patients that I work with who also lose their hair and eyebrows as a result of their invasive treatments, there is a small section here on how to pencil in your eyebrows and if anyone would like a copy of the whole leaflet I can easily provide a link to upload the rest of the information.


  • Eyebrows frame the face and also give you a guideline as to where to work your eyeliner/eye shadow. They have an uplifting effect on the face and even if you have lost your eyebrows through your treatment there are effortless ways to bring them back and make them look natural.
  • First choose an eyebrow pencil in the colour of your natural brows or current Wig/hair colour. To define your natural brow shape; look at the shape of your eye. Place the pencil straight up along the inside of your nose from the inner corner of your eye and you will find the starting position for your brow (begin brow) Next hold the pencil diagonally from the bottom corner of your nose and you will find the outer point for your brow (end brow) Looking straight ahead place the pencil upright along the outer part of the coloured part of your eye and you will find the arch point. (Point of arch) Mark the three points and map out your brows.

Use light feathery movements to sketch in your brows  sketching the hairs in the direction of the natural hair growth. For extra fullness go over with a slightly darker colour to give the illusion of individual hairs once the basic shape is in place.

Be careful to use a light touch to avoid brows looking drawn on and to achieve the most natural effect.  This is the most dramatic change make up can bring you if your brows have gone and often the change I see give women the most confidence back.

There are also now many options for tattooed brows and micro blading be sure to research therapists and costs and get some word of mouth recommendations before diving in to this type of procedure.

Alopecia is devastating and life changing but it can be a positive life changing experience and with the help of great friends and family and other people who have shared this experience you can beat it – I did –  and you can too!

For more information about Alopecia


Organic Skincare and make up






Do you know what you are putting onto your skin???

Well this week I have decided to get a little on my high horse and have a little rant about the chemicals and nasties that many of us use quite blissfully unawarely on a day to day basis on our skin. As many of you know I am passionate about all things organic and particularly love skin care brands such as Aveda and Neals Yard for their organic properties and ethical processes.

I have uncovered some interesting research and information this week and thought I would share it with you.

As consumers we should be on the look out for chemicals and toxic ingredients that may cause harm to our skin and your body/inner well being. It’s true that we wouldn’t eat products which we knew contained chemicals or cancer causing agents, and so we shouldn’t in the same way let these toxins penetrate our skin through our beauty regime.

Currently there are insignificant amounts of research available to provide evidence of the safety or health risks of low dose repeated exposures to chemical combinations like those in personal care products… just think potentially now on a daily basis many women will put some or all of the following into their skin…

Shampoo and Conditioner,

Shower Gel

Other hair products including hairspray,

Skin care, cleansers, toners, moisturisers, serums, scrubs and Make up,

Body lotion



plus others such as fake tan, and cosmetic injections etc

That is a whole host of potential nasties going into our systems – have you ever looked on the back of your shower gel at the ingredients, or your perfume, body lotion?

So although there is a lack of evidence on the potential effects of using some of these chemicals on a small every day but longer term basis it is important to remember that the absence of information should never be mistaken for the confirmation of safety. The more that we investigate low dose contact with these products, the more it is possible to understand that they can cause adverse effects ranging from the subtle and reversible to effects that are more critical and permanent.

Did you know for example that 450 ingredients that are used in the USA are banned for use in cosmetics in the European Union by the industry. The dictatorial vacuum in the United States gives cosmetic companies enormous leeway in selecting ingredients, while it shifts potentially considerable and unnecessary health risks to the users of the products.

Cosmetics and personal care products are promoted based on the quality and ingredients of their formulas. Numerous products allege to be filled with expensive vitamins, oils, and perfumes. Others profess to use an all-natural formula. How can you be certain that the products you purchase contain the ingredients they claim to have or that they are safe? Read the label? Guess again! Unless you happen to be a scientist or a chemist, the ingredient list on the majority of cosmetic and personal care products will look like a laundry list of monotonous, tongue twisting names that make no sense at all. If you want to educate yourself, there are several books that will really bring you up to speed on what is in your personal care products. One would be, Dangerous Beauty, by Mark Fearer; and the other is called, Drop Dead Gorgeous, by Kim Erickson. Additionally, there are many groups that are pushing for safe products such as

So…Why should we have reservations about the safety of ingredients in body care products that we spread over our body and hair? There are many reasons, yet here is the most compelling one:

Hongran Fan and her coworkers at the Veteran Affairs Palo Alto (Calif.) Health Care System and Stanford University School of Medicine planned to demonstrate the effectiveness of intramuscular gene injections by comparing them with simply dripping a DNA vaccine solution onto the skin of mice. Well, they discovered that it was possible to distribute the vaccine through the hair follicles on unbroken skin.

So, if you can absorb an effectual prescribed amount by simply having it come in contact with your skin, how much of the toxic ingredients that are in your personal care products are you absorbing through your skin? Think about it—you are literally bombarding your tissues, your organs and your brain with man-made chemicals and their processing residues!

Always question and investigate chemical ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Shun phony “organic” and “natural” body care products that are filled with, “derived from” synthetic chemicals. Support the companies that actually create non-chemical, true organic products that are considered safe and don’t need to be tested on animals (for obvious reasons). You really can make a difference for you, the environment and your loved ones.

Just a few of the chemicals most commonly used for you to mull over:

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)/Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
Imidazolidinyl Urea And DMDM Hydantoin
DEA (diethanolamine) MEA (monoethanolamine) TEA (triethanolamine)
FD&C Color Pigments
Propylene Glycol (PG)
Mineral Oil
Synthetic Fragrance
Isopropyl Alcohol

For more information on theses products see the full article on the link below…

So what do we take from all of this information…..

For me it is important to feel that you look good (cosmetics and skin care play a huge part in this) and that in turn you feel great and of course enjoy your life, however I think on occassion we should be more aware and we should question the ingredients in the products we use especially if we use them on a daily basis, being curious allows us to make a more informed choice, unfortunately no one will ever tell us that we shouldn’t buy something just that we should!

Be happy, healthy and most of all be curious!!!

Nicola’s wedding at Hilltop Country House

I first met Nicola at Hilltop when she came along for her food tasting and also Hair and Make up trial – not at the same time! With her were her lovely husband to be Matthew and their gorgeous little boy Toby and we had a couple of wonderful hours in their soon to be wedding venue!

I was delighted and honoured to meet such a caring, honest, warm and friendly girl who dedicates her work to looking after people and her 2 beautiful sons and in return I was ready to look after and pamper her on the morning of her wedding.

Nicola arrived at Hilltop with her 2 bridesmaids and “mini Mum”

Team Meik Make up which this day consisted of Myself and the lovely Jacqui did hair and make up for the entire bridal party including her 2 lovely bridesmaids Gillian and Julia.

Nicola wanted a very fresh natural look and wanted to use golden tones on her eyes, to enhance their natural blue tones. Nicola has lovely skin which we wanted to glow and I really wanted to enhance her pretty eyes that seem to smile!

We used MAC foundation and buffed it into Nicolas skin, we wanted to keep the look very fresh and dewy too so we also used creme blush also by MAC which is one of my favourites – “Brit Wit”.

For a lovely glowing highlight I delicately applied strobe cream to the areas of the face that I wanted to highlight.

I believe it is always important to frame the eyes by making sure eyebrows are neat and defined and we just lightly filled and shaded Nicola’s with a smashbox brow palette, this is an item I love using in my kit and lots of people like to buy, I think it iften gives a much softer look than a pencil and applied the product with my Ruby and Millie slanted brow brush.

I put a very delicate contour into the sockets of Nicolas eyes to define and enhance the shape and we used a chocolate shimmer eyeliner in a  waterproof long lasting  gel formulation which we gently blended into the lash line for a lovely soft look. We completed the look on Nicola’s eyes with lashings of Opulash in Black by MAC.

This lady was a truly beautiful bride inside and out and I wish Nicola and Matthew all the love, luck, laughter and happiness in the world for their future together.

These beautiful images are courtesy of Mr Joe Gardner whom I work with at many a Hilltop wedding!

A Romantic Sorrento Wedding

In July I was very blessed to be doing bridal make for a beautiful bride and special friend – The location :

The Cloisters -Sorrento – Italy

Jacqui and I have worked together on many weddings as she is exquisite at bridal and bridesmaid hair.

This time she was doing her own hair and I applied her make up for her very own big day.

We had a make up trial and skin care advice plan pre wedding and talked about the look Jaq wanted to go for I was very privileged to be involved at this stage and we could plan her complete bridal look.

This was a challenging make up application as this was no ordinary wedding – firstly we had the heat to contend with – blue skies and a mid day wedding themperstures in the mid 30 degrees 

Add to that the  change of Jacquis skin colour due to pre wedding fun in the sun and other elements…

This make up would also need to withstand an on foot tour of Sorrento – lemocello shots,  dancing in the street and then a wedding breakfast in a beautiful Italian garden and an evening party…..


The brides look was classic vintage and we wanted to make sure her make up coincided perfectly so we went with a classic vintage Hollywood theme with a pink lip.

We had much deliberation over the lip colour but jacqui wanted to feel like herself on the day (you will notice this is something I encourage ) and so she went with a beautiful YSL Pink

Jacqui’s dress was a vintage classic from the US and all of Jacqui’s accessories and headpiece were hand made by the very talented Carly Kassube – See Carly’s beautiful work here

This make up needed to withstand the heat and all of the usual wedding elects hugs, tears, dancing etc and I barely had to touch up or re apply – Jacqui looked classically beautiful from start to finish.

My hero product at this wedding was  – Hydro Veil primer by Illamasqua

For more information on Jacqui’s Bridal hair services click the link here



Make up review – Dr Haushka – Organic and natural

As many of you know I love natural and organic products especially skin care and make up. When I find some organic and natural make up that is extra special I can’t help but share it with the world.

I want to share with you a love of mine – Dr Hauschkas Illiminating Powder

This was a limited edition and there is still some stock available, keep reading to find out where you can get your hands on some but you will have to be quick as myself and my fellow make up artist may beat you to buying up whats left!

This beautiful powder gives a natural sparkle, luminosity and radiance to the skin and it smells so very lovely too! This isn’t something I have ever come across really with a powder before. It is a pure silky powder that balances your complexion and pampers your skin with pure botanicals. It is oil absorbing and light reflective.

The wonder ingredients in this powder are Anthyllis and Witch Hazel which calm and balance the skin. Tapioca starch and diatomaceous earth create a matte, oil absorbing finish. I can hear you thinking Diatomaceous what?…Diatomaceous earth also known as D.E., diatomite, or kieselgur/kieselguhr, is a naturally occurring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder. It has a particle size ranging from less than 3 micrometre to more than 1 millimeter, but typically 10 to 200 micrometres

My fellow make up artist and I were recently getting ready for a ball when I showed her this little wonder product and she insisted on using it, I feel it gives the skin a real natural radiance that can be seen on many a celebrity on the red carpet. Amy and I are both wearing it in the image below!

Facebook squreThe powder comes in a lovely little black shiny compact with a twist and secure lid and as with all loose powders it can be tricky if on the move but it has a neat little filter level in the middle to help the distribution of the powder.

Buff into the skin with a small powder brush for a lasting and luminous set to your make up.

I love this powder!

I have used a few mineral powders in my kit and have found some of them too chalky or flat looking, this one is so different, it is light and luminous and that light reflection and radiance makes for a really beautiful finish to the skin. It will be beautiful for brides and ladies looking to add some radiance to their skin without adding BB creams or light reflecting primers.

Perhaps this could be a perfect treat for Mum for Mothers Day?

If you would like to get some of this little powder keep an eye out on Dr Jauschkas website.. I am hoping they will re launch it…

Also for more 5/5 reviews…

in the meantime there is a little bit of stock available on Amazon…

Coming soon- More Dr Hauschka Make up reviews.. eyeshadows and Liners…

Happy Make up days x x x

How much lipstick do you eat?

It’s perhaps not a well known fact to the public that lipsticks contain a variety of Chemicals (some even lead) after all that isn’t going to have you rushing to the make up counter to treat yourself, and what we also are not openly told is that by wearing these lipsticks we are effectively eating them – therefore absorbing what is in them not only through our skin but with our food as well. I am sure you wouldn’t consider biting the top off your favourite designer lipstick and chewing it but if you are a lipstick wearer just think about how much you re apply your lipstick and where it goes?

It is thought by many different sources that we effectively eat up to 7 Lbs of lipstick in our life time! Thats half a stone!!! Now I don’t want to put you off lipstick far from it I am a make up artist and I love Red Lips, Pink Lips, shiny lips, matte lips and more, I just want you to consider perhaps alternating between your favourite high street/luxe brand and perhaps an organic lipstick?

I feel this could be particularly important for ladies receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy, I am extra passionate about these ladies using organic skin care and make up and generally people who may be unwell. I feel that we come into contact with so many chemicals in the modern world that if we can reduce our contact with them even for a day we should consider it.

One of my favourite organic lipsticks is from a much loved brand of mine Dr Hauschka. These lipsticks feel moisturising and luxurious. They have a great colour pay off and smell lovely! I regularly use these during the day and save my favourite red for nights out and weekends, I figure then my intake of lipsticks containing chemicals has to be significantly reduced!

I particularly love these 2 shades – Lipstick Novum 7 and 8 they come in sleek gorgeous packaging and twist up for application.

These beautiful lipsticks contain in their ingredients list… just to name a few

Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil,
Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil,
Rosa Canina Fruit Extract,
Beeswax (Cera Flava),
Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract,
Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil,
Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax,
Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax,
Rosa Damascena Flower Extract..
Find out more about these gorgeous lipsticks and treat yourself to one at

Watch this video it will make you smile and maybe look at your lipsticks differently from now on!

Maria Modes Bridal Wear – Macclesfield – Bridal testimonial

Maria Modes – Designer bridal wear in Macclesfield Cheshire.

My dear friend Mary owns Maria Modes Bridal wear in Macclesfield. Occassionally I help out in the shop fitting brides with their dream dresses which is lovely and I get to chat to them about hair and make up too.

Click on the link,-2.131553&cid=18159667399043196082&panoid=1x7vZqq9JsAddIVUI085LQ&cbp=13,190.73673304938481,,0,0&hl=en&ved=0CA4Q2wU&sa=X&ei=QSipUMK7HuOsiQbYh4GIDAand take a virtual tour of this beautiful bridal boutique


m modes 1Maria Modes stocks designer gowns by Maggie Sottero, Ian Stuart, Pronovias, Ellis and Intuzuri. They are also providers of stylish menswear by Peter Posh.

Recently I received a beautiful email from a bride with some kind words about her experience there and I wanted to share it.

FAO Owner/Manager,

I would just like to say a massive thank you for employing such wonderful
staff.  I came in on Saturday 19th with my bridesmaid and my appointment
was with a lady called Mel. She was amazing. So professional, new exactly
what style suited my shape, which resulted in me finding my dream dress! Mel is a credit to your buisness, her warmth and knowledge is second to
none.  I came back with my mum, mum in law AND step mum yesterday and
again, the service was second to none. I have ordered my dress and I am
really looking forwards to everything your shop has to offer.  I feel
extremely safe with how professional you are. Once again thank you, and a
massive thank you to Mel. Warm regards,  Carla Gration

Pia Michi and Barnardos Charity Ball – Mayfair London

As a make up artist we are usually behind the scenes at events (which is where we really  love to be) but occasionally we are invited to an event where we get to enjoy it alongside the people involved. My fellow super talented Make up Artist friend and colleague Amy Brandon recently did make up for the talented designer at Pia Michi – Penny and some other super talents for the Pia Michi and Barnados Ball in Mayfair London.

Amy was invited to the ball thanks to her amazing make up skills and I as her guest. We were treated to a red carpet entrance and cocktails on arrival at the lovely Millenium hotel in Mayfair –  We were also treated to a catwalk show of amazing Pia Michi dresses from the new collection, a vocal performance from Jade Ellis and an amazing Electric String Quartet “String Fever” – These 4 guys looked great and sounded amazing, as well as being entertaining and talented- Following this we had  a lovely dinner and dancing!

Pia Michi 1We were also treated to a goody bag full of treats and wonderful items… What was in it – that would be telling but there were gorgeous products from the suppliers at the ball including Pia Michi, Sparkling Jewellery and Inanch London.

Pia Michi dresses –

Sparkling Jewellery –

Inanch Hair –


Hair for the catwalk was done by Inanch from Inanch London – an award winning salon offering amazing hair services including beautiful extensions/styling and treatments! OK magazine were there to capture some of the celebs in their Pia Michi gowns one of my favourites was worn by Josie Gibson and it was a dress that looked like Liquid Gold! Seeif you can spot some celebs!

Piam Michi hold 2 collections, a couture collection and a Cocktail and prom collection. Many Pia Michi dresses have dresses celebrities and been seen on red carpets and TV. If you are looking for a stunning one off dress for an event and want to dress like a celebrity look at these beautiful designs.


Hello to North West Wedding Ideas.

It is always lovely to meet and connect with other people in the wedding industry particularly those that live and work so close by.

North-West-Wedding-IdeasI recently met Stuart and Laura and together they are North West Wedding Ideas.

They have a lovely blog full of information on Suppliers and wedding ideas for all Brides and Grooms in the North West. They encourage feedback too on suppliers which in turn helps future brides and grooms to be!

I am pleased to be featured on their blog as a supplier and its a great go to for brides looking for anything during the planning process!

twitter – @NWWeddingideas.