Primp Powder Pout - a Make-Up Artist's Life: A Year in Review - 2013 - The life of a Makeup Artist


Primp Powder Pout

Primp Powder Pout
Ashley Kay Gifford Make-up & Hair Artist

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Tuesday, 7 January 2014

A Year in Review - 2013 - The life of a Makeup Artist

I know we aren't supposed to look back, but to always move forward and look to the future...BUT if you had a totally AWESOME YEAR, then I say we should DEFINITELY reflect on it's greatness!

You all know, that aside from doing tutorials I also have a full blown makeup career which consists of lots of exciting things from Advertising campaigns, music videos and a whole lot of WEDDINGS!

So here is my AMAZING year in Review. (It is a little late...purely because I was so unwell the last week of Dec until first week of Jan! Blurgh!)

Below will be a beautiful array of images from some of the most beautiful weddings of the year. All were perfection and it is so hard to choose just a few...or several...but I shall do my utmost :D

The adorable Shona at her Jesus College, Cambridge wedding.

How cute is this couple! I'm lucky to say we have stayed friends as well.

Victoria was gorgeous and serene on her snowy Easter weekend wedding!
What more could you ask for a winter wedding?
Photography: Blush Photography Algarve

After a few winter weddings, I also had a little shoot with the AMAZING Clamp Optometrists -Cambridge for their A/W Campaign. 
You can also see a behind the scenes video of us on the job. I was lucky enough to have my sister working with me that day as well. It was such a pleasure to work with such a brilliant, local business!

I also had the chance to use my sister as a guinea pig and do a few tutorials on her. This is one of my favourites and makes me miss her immensely! I wish she were back in the UK with us.

This is Terri below. I was originally only booked to do her hair, but it was changed to me helping her do her makeup with the makeup she bought from Chanel. Unfortunately, Chanel sold her colours completely wrong for her beautifully fair skin and I ended up using my products. Im pleased I could save the day!
One of my next favourite weddings from the year was Terri's. Her large bridal party was a complete pleasure to be with and there were lots of laughs. 

What a pleasure, this wedding was!
Next up was another central Cambridge wedding with Clare. I loved the fact she wants a messy updo with fishtail plaits wrapped around.
A moment of calm before they headed to the ceremony (car breaking down on the way! Eek!)

Nothing can phase this incredibly calm and lovely bride!
Photography: Glenn Sparks

Another gem was Faye. Faye arranged all the details with me from Germany, where she lives with her husband. We were only able to do a trial if she was visiting the UK. But of course it all worked out and the day was beautiful!
It was also featured in another amazing wedding blog:
The wedding was at South Farm which I must admit is one of my FAVOURITE wedding venues between Cambridge and Royston. You can see more of the venue in the blog link above in 

Faye and her lovely maids, all in a row!

A bit of prepping! I pieced the headband together myself, once I had put Faye's hair up.
Though this next wedding was from 2012, it counts because it was featured in You and Your Wedding 

Michelle has stayed in touch and it is lovely to see how great life has been after getting married!
Photography by Ria Mishaal  

Next up is Katie. What can I say!? Katie was hilarious, fun and energetic! There was never a dull moment and she was such a pleasure to work with! Even though on the wedding day she had given me her mother's address with her own personal postcode which sent me in circles for about an hour :D But that just added to the hilarity of it all! I loved every minute of working with Katie and another bride I have stayed friends with.
I loved the photos from this wedding so much, it was difficult to choose just two to show you!  really knew how to capture the energy from this wedding! I'm jealous I wasn't there!
When I first heard from Claire, I was so excited to learn that not only was she getting married in Barnes, (my old stomping ground) but she was getting married in the Wetland Centre! I had never thought of the Wetland Centre being a place for weddings, but actually it is the PERFECT PLACE when you are surrounded by a city of concrete buildings and not much greenery!
This backdrop of beautiful London Wetland Centre is perfect!

Such a beautiful couple. Claire was so lovely, fun and calm and you would never know that her dress was charity shop bought and altered! What a gem!
My next bride of the year was Keegan. Keegan was based in California (her hubby is British and Cambrideshire based) and she arranged everything from Cali. We didn't even have a trial. I met Keegan and her maids, on the day, and we did the makeup then and there!
I also got a chance to work with one of my favourite photographers Alex Beckett who I worked with on one of my first Cambridgeshire weddings in 2011. 

The day was perfect and beautiful! Keegan was a gem and so sweet. It was great to be able to speak 'American' for the day :D

I also had the chance to work with Alex another day on a shoot. Here is a little behind the scenes footage of what we got up to!

Another beautiful wedding was ANOTHER American bride, Maggie. Maggie was quirky, cute and fun. Even more great is that pretty much everyone I know in Ely (Where I live) went to school or knows her NOW husband. 
What I also loved about this wedding is I got to meet a new photographer that I hadn't worked with before. Ben Minnaar  who is a fantastic photographer with impeccable taste and style, came onto my radar and was amazing. The images speak for themselves!
My amazingly talented assistant, Monica, doing her thing. Monica first started assisting me in the start of 2013. She learned so quick and her makeup was flawless that I knew she was going to be my sidekick!

Maggie and I have a little giggle. 

Beautiful. That's all I can say!
There are upsides to living in a small town, (I've never had this before, seeing as I have always been a big city kind of girl), everyone knows everyone. 
So it was a bit of a shock, when my bride who arranged who entire wedding from Australia, had her whole family and friend base in my local town! Everyone knew I was doing the wedding before I could tell them I was. 
So meet Lois, my 'famous' bride.
All the girls were lovely and all pretty much local to me! 

What a beautiful bride!
I also had the chance, in 2013, to work with Neil and his lovely wife from,  Invision Photography for a wedding accessories shoot for Fancy Freckle. I somehow got roped into it, but I enjoyed every minute. What was even more exciting is the 'bride' model in the shoot, is getting married this year and has also now booked me for her ACTUAL wedding day. 
This shoot took place at Rectory Farm, Madingley, Cambrideshire.

I bought this hairpiece several months later...I loved it so much! I actually forgot I had worn it until now! So it was meant to be!

All hair and makeup by Me :D

Though I don't have the video footage from it, I also had a chance to work on the PinItForwardUK Campaign. It was such a pleasure and honour to be asked to help them launch in the UK!

This is Vanessa. I actually loved Vanessa so much that I am still trying to convince her to be my best friend and move to Ely. Even so much so, she's done some house hunting here!
I did Vanessa's trial in London, where she currently lives, and the wedding took place in Rectory Farm, same place as the shoot above. This venue is gorgeous! The weather was perfect, so there wasn't much more you could ask for really!

Vanessa's smile says it all! She's just too much fun :D
Sophie was my next bride. Her mother, Claudine from arranged everything, from the trial to the wedding venue (her house). She was amazing!
I also got to work with my long term, photographer buddy, Scott Gilbert from
I had a lot of fun with Sophie and her mother was so lovely!

This is the beautiful Katka, who called me just days before her wedding, in a panic. She wasn't happy with her original hair and makeup artist and begged that I was free. As it was later in the year I, luckily, was. I also worked with her NOW husband's best friend Oliviero. Who I have a lovely instagram friendship with. 

Aside from various gigs over the summer, I also had the most AMAZING chance to work with one of the most clever and talented people EVER. This is not an understatement. I had the great, unique privilege of working with Professor Stephen Hawking. Fandangotv 
Though I don't currently have a copy of the footage from filming, I do have this lovely shot of the two of us!

I even got a cheeky smile for it! What an experience and pleasure. There were quite a few giggles on the day.
As Halloween approached, I had a few chances to do something awesome Halloween makeup. It was a chance for me to be a bit more creative and do something for everyone...not just the those who like feminine makeup. 

As the year came to a close, I did a few more makeup tutorials and a few more weddings, but I have to say, the best wedding I did ALL year...and I'm probably a bit biased...WAS MY WEDDING VOW RENEWAL!

I had the chance to surprise my hubby with our wedding vow renewal once we planned to go to Thailand for our 10 year wedding anniversary. I ended up telling him about it, just two weeks to go, because I wanted to prepare him for it. 

I booked it all through a wonderful wedding planner who was BY FAR the best person for the job. Natalie Wilson , owner of
Natalie arranged everything...even my photographer Cherry Ward 
Gavin Marsh on recommendation by Natalie, did our ceremony. The videographers Samui Memory Productions were by recommendation by Cherry. So I was very lucky.
I hadn't planned on having a videographer but last minute I decided that I better had, since my family were, yet again, going to miss my wedding. I wanted everyone to be able to see it. 

My dress was a wedding dress from Monsoon, which was an unworn wedding dress on ebay! BARGAIN. I then had it altered to suit my style, changing up the back into a more racer back form and dropping the neckline. I added a broach at the back to pull it in and show my back a bit more. I then added a vintage wedding dress lace around the waist as a sash. 

My headpiece I made myself from fake flowers I bought from a lovely florist, local to me. 
Of course I did my own hair and makeup. 

Dom wore some skinny chinos I bought him and a lovely Nautica shirt I bought him. I thought he looked very handsome and comfortable. I didn't want it to be too contrived. It all was so lovely and perfect. 
Here is one of the videos we had made! Dom and I love 80's music and I just thought this song was  perfect!

Here are the amazing shots that Cherry took! Just looking at them, makes me want to go and do it all again!
If there is one thing I can recommend is choose your photographers and videographers wisely. Mine were perfect!

Lamai Beach

Handmade Headpiece...BY me :D

Getting ready!

The dress!

Just before the big reveal!

Walking to our vows. I cropped out the semi naked woman in the back!

There were a few tears from the two of us!

A little happy dance!

Handsome fella!


A little cuddle

My little baby 'g' was with me the whole time!


Bite size!

High Five! Phsych!

So that was my year! Of course it wasn't EVERY great moment and of course it was incredibly difficult to choose the key moments of work and weddings that I loved, but these were some good places to start!

Thank you to all of my clients, brides, and photographers that I worked with this year. Everyone was amazing! It was such a lovely year and I can't wait to see what this year, 2014, has in store!

Wishing everyone all the best in this new year, new beginning!

HAPPY 2014


  1. Oh hurray now that I can post again I wanted to comment on this as it is insanely lovely! You had a wonderful year and though nothing is perfect for anyone of us I love knowing by most standards yours was a brilliant year with exciting jobs, weddings, and having your sister with you. I liked her blogs and videos with you. Is she going to write some more? I hope so I love to see all that sister love!

    Happy happy new year! :)

  2. Wow. Thanks for sharing this. Those are really great photos. You have so many memorable moments last year. wedding makeup artist philippines


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