Dress Code | Black Tie

As a wedding guest, I’m always conscious that it truly is someone else’s special day. With months – sometimes years – invested in planning the details, (from the cake right through to the name settings), I’m of the belief that you should always make that extra special effort when getting ready. If you’re single, remember, your friend has probably thoughtfully arranged the table for you to sit near potential available bachelors. If you’re family, remember, the happy couple have laid out significant cash on a photographer and these photos are capturing history. Whichever way you know the bride or groom, know that you’ve been invited to share a monumental day and so when an important dress code is put in place, it’s essential to pay attention and let the bride have her moment in her dream dress.

For a recent wedding (dress code: Black Tie), I wanted a heavy eye and natural lip, natural hair and a floor length dress. Sounds simple but we all know it never is.  Black tie is always a funny one. At black tie work events you can *sometimes* get away with a casual maxi dress or a daring cocktail dress (hello Jourdan Dunn at last year’s GQ Men Of The Year Awards) but at a wedding, for me, it has to be formal attire. This time around, having already fallen in love with some new makeup pieces that week and finding a cool new red carpet dress retailer, it was actually lots of fun getting ready with Daniel and heading to Bury.

Makeup

I’ve tried enough makeup to know what I can rely on for a heavy face that will work in natural daylight but still be there in the evening. Ok it is worth throwing one or two things into your clutch to top up, but a good brightener for strobing/creating light, smudge proof eyebrows and a winged eye are the only things I look to. 

After moisturising and applying some Givenchy Mister Radiant Primer (a hero product of mine that I use everyday), I touched up with some concealer where necessary. I then applied a spot of Estée Edit Pore Vanishing Stick followed by a generous helping of Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint all over (avoiding under eye and eyelids). Next I took my Benefit High Brow and didn’t hold back. Applying under the brow, top of the lip, down the nose and drawing a tree between the brows… ticks under my eyes and lines above my jawline. Perfect for reflecting light and giving easy contouring. After a flick of Estée Lauder Double Wear Infinite Eyeliner, a slick of the new Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color and a brush of Models Own Scult and Glow Bronzing Powder (which by the way is only £8.99). Eyebrows came courtesy of Glo Minerals.

Hair

You know that my hair is an uncultivated mess of frizz, breakage and dead ends. If I haven’t visited Sassoon salon for a while, my hair looks angry and unhinged no matter what. It’s usually shoved up in a pony tail – a sleek one if I’m awake early enough or a disturbing rats nest strangled in a bobble if humidity from my morning shower gets its wicked way. If I do choose to wear it down, I’ll try styling it to look ‘naturally wavy’. By ‘natural’ I don’t mean organic, wholesome and untouched; I mean styled to death leaving me with three burned fingers and chemical sprays in my eye until it’s looking kind of like I’ve just woken up.

My tools of choice for this look? It started with a shampoo and condition from Maria Nila (I first tried this two weeks ago if you noticed on Instagram) which is great for cleaning and nourishing dyed hair. Then I followed with a teeny tiny drop of Sassoon Professional Diamond Polish. After roughly blow drying upside down I’m left with a (manageable) crumpled hairdo. Using GHD straighteners (patience I know), I twist and turn a few sections to create curls – then run my fingers through hair until it’s loosened. After finishing with my favourite ‘party’ hairspray (as in the hairspray that you know will make your hair tough and keep in place for-literally-ever), VO5 Sublime Sleek Creation Hairspray I’m done.

The Dress

Black tie is a chance to wear a stunning gown that’s floor length and fitted – this dress from Alyce Paris at Serenity and Grace had me drawn like a moth to the proverbial flame. With a cute little cut out back, this navy long line dress comes with a flattering halter top lace bodice and a thin bow waistband. It dips at the back and has some intricate lace and beaded detail at the front. The best bit is right now it’s reduced from £350 to just £210. 

Shop the Post

Givenchy Mister Radiant Primer

Estée Edit Pore Vanishing Stick 

Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint 

Benefit High Brow 

Estée Lauder Double Wear Infinite Eyeliner

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color

Models Own Scult and Glow Bronzing Powder

Glo Minerals

Maria Nila

Sassoon Professional Diamond Polish

VO5 Sublime Sleek Creation Hairspray

Alyce Paris at Serenity and Grace

Have you been to some awesome weddings recently? What did you wear? Xx

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