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Rhonda Hemmingway: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

In this post I will talk through how I created the hair and makeup for Amber, our model when I profiled Rhonda Hemmingway for The Bridal Series Sydney.


Hair and makeup by Sonia Allen using Make Up Forever, Indeed Labs and Label M. as photographed by Angela Rose Photography.


I was inspired by the symbiotic relationships you see growing in nature…  The beautiful shapes that vines make when they wrap and twist, the bends of wild ivy growing on trees…


I wanted to incorporate these shapes into my design but at the same time, I wanted Amber’s hair to look effortless.  Perfect for a boho-luxe outdoor bride or for brides without a lot of length to their hair as the shapes create interest and the illusion of full hair.

Et voila…



To create this style I had to create a matte texture to the hair to bulk it up, allowing for the structure of the design.  I  started with the Heat Protection Spray to dampen the hair and spritzed with Sea Salt Spray from mid-lengths (for texture and separation) down while at the roots I massaged in the Volume Mousse (to volumise and hold) and blasted dry with my hairdryer before tonging into loose waves.

Once Amber’s hair  had cooled I brushed out the curls and backcombed the crown and sprayed with the Texturising Volume Spray at the roots and a light dusting of the Resurrection Style Dust for added oomph. Twisting and pinning Amber’s hair was a process of ensuring visual interest, placement and hold. I used a combination of interwoven twists and small braids to create the shape. To finish I sprayed some more of the Texturising Volume Spray and away we went.


Hair styling products from LabelM.


Amber’s skin had a wonderful natural luminosity which I really wanted to incorporate into the makeup design.  I used the water-activated Indeed Labs Facial Powdered Exfoliator (containing bamboo extract, rice bran powder, okinawa red algae, hyaluronic acid & bromelain) to gently resurface the skin while hydrating at the same time.  I followed with Snoxin, a peptide-rich serum that helps with fine lines and the Eysilix eye cream around the orbital bone. After a few minutes, I massaged the the Fillume moisturiser for a gorgeous volumising finish to the skin.


Skincare using Indeed Laboratories. More on this great brand here.


Rhonda Hemmingway’s designs are so beautiful and diverse (there really is something to suit all tastes!) so I knew the makeup had to translate across the different styles of her gowns.


Beautiful gowns from our shoot with Rhonda Hemmingway as photographed by Angela Rose Photography.

I opted to design a feminine yet bold look with the key being the ability to achieve balance between the shading on the eyes and the colour on the lips.  I went for bold matte shades of berry and red for the lips because they made a great contrast against the location where we shot (we all love a bit of drama on editorials!).  However the modern bride could use a more sheer textured lipstick to achieve the same balance without the intensity.


My key makeup products from Make Up Forever:

Base: My tried and tested favourite, the Ultra HD Foundation was my base of choice and I only needed slight amounts of the Ultra HD Concealer to correct discolouration.

Blush: Using my fingers I gently patted the HD Blush in “Rosy Plum” and set lightly with loose powder.  I wanted this to look like a natural flush to the face.

Highlighter: On the high points of Amber’s face I used a lighter shade of the Ultra HD Concealer and then dusted the Shine On Powder in “Flesh” to luminise the skin.

Brows: Aqua Brow was used to shape the brows and I then worked some of the Eyebrow Pencil in a slightly lighter shade throughout to create texture and keep them looking as natural as possible.

Eyes: The Eye Prime eyeshadow base went down first, followed by eyeshadow shades from the Spring 2016 Palette and a small winged liner using the Ink Liner on the upper lashline for that classic matte finish. For the lower lashline, I smudged some of the Artist Liner in “Iridescent Taupe Grey” and set with shadow.

Make Up Forever

Tools of the trade with Make Up Forever.

Lashes:  I emphasised Amber’s lashes with the Smoky Lash Mascara and carefully added some Ardell Double Individual lashes in small and medium near the centre of the lashline.


And it came together like this…


I hope this post has left you inspired to try something new!  Be sure to keep an eye out for the rest of the designers profiled and behind-the-scenes hair & makeup posts in this Bridal Series Sydney.

The Bridal Series Sydney: KAREN WILLIS HOLMES

Karen Willis Holmes: THE HAIR AND MAKEUP by Sonia Allen

And as always, feel free to leave comments and questions below!


© 2016 Sonia Allen Make Up.  Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.
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