Skin + hair prep
WITH CARLA DYSON / MAKE UP + HAIR ARTIST
If you haven’t heard of Carla Dyson, I don’t even know where you’ve been living.
I met Carla a couple of years ago on a shoot and was instantly drawn to her beautiful nature and her English accent. She is such a gorgeous person inside and out, and is an incredibly talented make-up and hair artist. I had the privilege of having my face painted and my hair styled by her for my besties wedding and I can honestly say I have never looked or felt better. My face looked flawless (when it's usually very far from that) and my thin, lifeless hair had so much texture in it and the waves held all night!
“From a young age, I always wanted to be in the beauty industry. I went straight from school to college to study beauty therapy, and during my studies I fell in love with makeup and wanted to specialise further. I went to university in England to study a degree in makeup artistry. During this time, I started doing test shoots and weddings and building up my clientele. I also worked on a few makeup counters to practice and improve my skills. I’ve never had just one job! I’ve always been a workaholic and have worked 6 days a week since I was 16!
Since moving to Australia 7 years ago, I have built my business up to working freelance full time.”
If you know Carla’s work, you’ll know that her signature look usually involves natural, bronzed makeup with glowing skin. However, she does like to get creative occasionally and work with different colours and textures.
I caught up with Carla to chat about how best to prepare your skin and hair for your big day. She shared her top tips including her favourite products and treatments, so get ready to take some notes!
Carla herself got married about 6 months ago so it was finally her turn in the chair getting pampered! With wedding prep so fresh in her mind she knows first-hand the importance of well-prepared wedding day skin and hair.
“I think it’s important to think of skin prep well in advance of your big day. I mean, it’s your face on your wedding day! Any skin concerns can be addressed and you can work with your skin specialist to perfect your skin before the wedding.
I often have clients or brides-to-be, telling me their foundation doesn’t sit right, or it doesn’t last all day – I always say, good makeup starts with good skin, so a trip to an amazing skin clinic is always a good idea.
Similar advice for your hair, ensure you’re using the correct shampoo and conditioner so you aren’t drying your hair out. Make sure you discuss how to achieve the look you want for your wedding and if this involves colouring your hair, it could take a few tries before it will be perfect. For instance, don’t go into your hairdresser 3 weeks before your wedding and say you want bleach blonde hair, when your hair is jet black! This will definitely be a process that needs to be discussed well in advance!
My number one piece of advice is not to try anything new or drastic in the run up to your big day (around 2 months). Any skin treatments, drastic hair colour or cuts should be trialed at least 6 months prior.”
We asked Carla for her top 5 tips to help brides prepare their skin.
1. Get regular facials to prep the skin (1 year out from the day)
“One of my favourite skin treatments is Clear + Brilliant which is a mild laser resurfacing treatment. It brightens the complexion, tones the skin, reduces pigmentation, regulates oil production (it’s really an all-rounder) but of course this would need to be discussed with a skincare professional to see what your individual needs are.
I also recommend Hydra Facials to my clients who are feeling a bit dull and dehydrated. This will help plump and hydrate the skin and will perfect the skin for makeup application on the day.
Then for the ultimate event facial, there is one called “Ultra Events” this combines a micro current toning facial, a peel and LED into one insane facial. I got one before my wedding and my skin felt the best ever!”
2. Get a full skincare routine, starting with a good cleanser.
“I think a good skincare routine is absolutely imperative to life, never mind when you’re prepping for your wedding!
I recommend 2 different cleansers for most skins, one that is gentle enough to use daily, and another more exfoliating cleanser for twice per week.”
3. Get lathered up in serums and moisturiser.
“Once you have your consult with a skin professional, you will need to bite the bullet and invest in serums and moisturisers for daily use (one with an SPF for the day).
One of my favourite products to recommend is a B serum! I feel like B serums are great for all skins and help to brighten and give the skin a healthy glow. My favourite vitamin B is by Medik8.
It’s also a great excuse to try a vitamin A/ Retinol, which is an ingredient that increases cell turn over, boosts collagen, unclogs pores and helps reduce pigmentation. This needs to be tested on the skin well in advance as it can cause redness and flaking until your skin gets used to it.
I also love FOREO Luna devices to use once a week for a deep cleanse and exfoliation.”
4. Drink lots of water!
“Many skin concerns start with dehydration! Hydrate your body and your skin will reap the benefits.
I also mixed ‘The Beauty Chef Glow powder’ in a glass of water, daily, in the run up to my big day! This is filled with superfoods, anti-oxidants and probiotics. This works on gut health to make your skin is radiant from the inside out.”
5. Face tan
“We know everyone gets a spray tan for their wedding, but I do recommend my brides to avoid having this applied to their face. #1 it can make the skin oily, #2 the tan can clog open pores and can cover the radiance you have worked so hard to achieve over the past year.
My advice is to buy a specific face tan spray. These are ultra lightweight and don’t clog pores. There are so many on the market now and I have tried a fair few. My favourite is Isle of Paradise spray, which comes in a range of undertones so you won’t have a problem finding the perfect shade!”
Similarly, we asked Carla for her top 5 tips to help brides prepare their hair.
“Ask your hair dresser what treatments would be beneficial to achieve your wedding style. It might be a keratin smoothing treatment, or a hydrating leave in treatment to give you extra shine.”
2. Discuss the use of extensions
“Many of my brides wear extensions on their wedding day (depending on the chosen style of course, and the amount of hair the bride has naturally). Most of the time, I advise extensions to add thickness as opposed to length. Extensions also hold curl/style longer so this is a great option for people who have fine hair that never holds a curl. I wore Carla Lawson hair extensions on my wedding day and cannot recommend her enough! The hair is the highest quality I have ever worked with, so that made my decision pretty easy. You can have them put onto clips so you can remove or have them put in more permanently and can wear them for around 6 weeks at a time. Great if you’ve booked a honeymoon straight after the big day!”
3. Colour prep
“Plan out what colour you will be having for the day and ensure it complements the style you have chosen. For instance, I often advise brides to get subtle highlights if they have dark brown hair, and would like a textured up-do. The lighter tones will help show up the texture created in the style.
When researching your hair style, try to look for reference images that have a similar colouring to you. Showing your hair stylist a platinum blonde style, when your hair is dark brown, is setting yourself up for disappointment.”
4. Don’t choose a style for your wedding that’s too far away from how you usually wear your hair.
“For instance, I always ask my brides how they usually wear their hair. If someone asks me for a sleek up-do but wears their hair down and wavy every day, I would always advise wearing their hair down on the day. This isn’t a rule for everyone but it’s certainly a way of feeling more ‘yourself’ on your wedding day. I would then work with the bride to find a style that is more special than their everyday hair, but still makes them feel comfortable.”
5. Invest in quality products (including shampoo and conditioner).
“The right shampoo and conditioner can help your hair stay hydrated, thicken your hair, keep your colour fresh for longer and. I love Kevin Murphy shampoo and conditioners.
I also love Oribe products, I use Supershine moisturising cream and Damage repair booster. These keep the hair hydrated and repairs damage.”
Carla’s final piece of advice –
“Enjoy the lead up! Enjoy being pampered, trying new things and feeling your absolute best! We get so caught up in the organising and the stresses (believe me, I had my share of pre wedding stress), but when the day arrives it’s the most incredible feeling ever.
With the current climate, I can imagine most brides-to-be are feeling exhausted from the uncertainty - and that’s completely understandable! It’s okay to have unproductive days, just know that when the day comes around you will wish you could turn back the clock and do it all over again. So soak it all up and celebrate this time!”
To see more of Carla's work, head to her Instagram page.