Image by Lana Ivanova via Charlene & Ginette’s Intimate Sydney Wedding

It’s no secret that wedding planning can be a stressful and emotional time. Between choosing a venue, booking a photographer and organising caterers, looking after yourself can often take a back seat. Self-care is such an important part of the planning process because we all want to feel relaxed and happy on the big day – both inside and out! With this in mind, we spoke to Sarah Pelham, beauty and wellness expert at Bookwell, for the best in-spa beauty and wellness treatments, to help you feel ready for a walk down the aisle.  

Image by Georgia Verrells via Emma & Mike’s Relaxed Blairgowrie Beachside Wedding

Body scrub

Body scrubs are an effective and inexpensive way to achieve that signature ‘blushing bride’ glow. Not only does a body scrub leave the skin squeaky clean and fresh it also increases blood circulation to help fight off bacteria, which can lead to breakouts. During the treatment, the scrub is applied to the whole body to both exfoliate and moisturise the skin. Creative body scrub treatments often include a wide variety of ingredients such as mud, clay, minerals, sugar, and herbs.

Price: $80 – $230


Microdermabrasion is perfect for brides looking for a non-invasive way to achieve flawless and blemish-free skin. The treatment uses tiny crystals to remove dead skins cells and minimise wrinkles, fine lines and pigmentation. It also stimulates blood flow, which promotes cell production to improve the skin’s texture and elasticity. Monthly treatments are recommended to achieve the best possible results, but it’s best to leave at least three weeks between the treatment and your wedding day.

Price: $89 – $100

Image by Jernej Graj on Unsplash

Gold leaf facial

For a more luxurious experience, opt for a gold leaf facial before your big day. While this treatment has risen in popularity in the last few years, the use of gold to rejuvenate the skin is actually an ancient practice, originating in India. Typically, a gold leaf facial consists of 24K gold leaf massaged into the skin and followed by standard facial. The benefits of using of gold on the skin include treating sun damage, prevention of premature ageing and increased elasticity of the skin. A facial is also great preparation for your wedding day makeup, as it will ensure your skin is at its most smooth and radiant for the application.

Price: $115 – $300

Crystal massage

A crystal massage is a rejuvenating choice for those who want to focus on both their body and mind. The treatment aims to alleviate stress by combining meditation with the use of crystals during a tension-relieving muscle massage. The aim of a crystal massage is deep relaxation and greater self-awareness, while encouraging positive feelings and mental clarity.

Price: $265

Image by Sonja C Photography via Kayla & James’s Grand & Elegant Ballroom Wedding

With so many things to consider when planning your wedding day, it’s easy to forget what’s most important. YOU!  Every bride wants to look their absolute best for their big day so be sure to invest and pamper yourself. Choosing from what seems like an endless list of treatments may seem a daunting task, however, the ones above will ensure you’ll be glowing in confidence as you walk down the aisle.

Ms Zebra: Such a simple thing, book yourself in for a facial or massage. But then you’re busy and choosing which treatment seems all too hard. Thanks Sarah for making it super simple – now to make a booking!

About Bookwell: BookWell provides a quick and easy way to book your beauty and wellness appointments all over Australia. They are an Australian owned and operated business that aims to provide excellent coverage Australia wide. With you can book from your mobile, tablet or PC and have confirmation immediately!


Image by Deb Savy from Tropix Photography

The lovely makeup artist you see above is Whitsundays local, Lauriely Taylor, founder and director of Loll Doll Makeup. On your wedding day, it is so important you are surrounded by genuine, enthusiastic and kind wedding vendors who are also complete whizzes at their job! Lauriely is the embodiment of this thinking; you and your wedding party will be best friends with her before you head off to say ‘I do’, and more importantly you’ll be thrilled with the makeup look she creates for you. 

Today we chat with this Whitsundays ray of sunshine, Lauriely Taylor, about five stunning Whitsundays wedding makeup looks that are perfect for a beach wedding and beyond. 


Image by Nadine Kemp Photography

Brook is naturally a very stunning woman with a classic look of her own. Her brief was that she wanted to look like herself and doesn’t normally wear much makeup. It is so important when creating a wedding look, to understand and communicate well with your client. Beach Romance is what I have described this look to be.

To achieve a flawless yet natural base I used airbrush makeup, the canvas blend in Element 2.  Airbrush is perfect for our Whitsunday weather as if offers sweat resistance and is long lasting. Brook had already chosen a nude pink for her lipstick.  I used this as the inspiration behind her colour palette.  On her eyes I used the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette. I used the rose gold colour “trick” to highlight the ball of her eye, followed by “nooner” and “factory” to accentuate the crease being mindful to keep it soft and romantic. I lined her lash line with a thin line of gel liner from Erin Biggs.

Her lashes are my personal favourites, I love to use Individual lashes by Ardell, placing them all the way along the lash line. On her cheeks I used the Youngblood illuminator palette to create a base for her blush.  I lightly accentuated her cheek colour with Amazonian Clay palette by Tarte. Brooks brows were naturally well groomed, I used a touch of colour from the Youngblood Brow Palette using a light touch in order to keep them natural looking, and some brow gel to set.

I applied the highlighter from the Youngblood Illuminator palette under her brow bone, in the inner corner of her eyes and a touch across her cheek bones – in order to complete the romantic glow. Her lips were lined with a nude liner and then her own lipstick applied. I used a hi-definition powder in clear by Youngblood to help set the makeup and absorb any excess oil should it appear.  Lastly I used Skindinavia finishing spray to set the look.


Image via Brooke Miles Photography

This was a styled shoot for a gorgeous location called Earlando in the Whitsundays.  We called it
“Hollywood in the Tropics”. We wanted to showcase that even though you were having a beach wedding it could still be glamourous. Christina was an absolutely stunning model. Instantly I knew that a red lip and winged eyeliner would make this shoot perfect.

I used my signature airbrush makeup to achieve her flawless base. I also accentuated her high cheekbones even more by contouring using the airbrush. On her eyes I kept the eyeshadow in subtle shades of taupe and light brown from the Chocolate Bar palette by Too Faced. This ensured that the winged eyeliner by Erin Biggs in black was the main focal point for the eye makeup. I am a huge fan of using gel eyeliner when lining the eyes, I find it very easy to work with and to manipulate into exactly the line you are after.

Christina’s eyes were further enhanced using Ardell individual lashes, I used a mixture of long, medium and short to create an outer flick that would draw attention to the eyes. On her cheeks I placed a crème blush called “tropical glow” from Youngblood, I followed this with a pressed blush by Evolve called “meant to be” – this is no longer available, but basically a blush that is neither pink or peach, more brown or bronze in shade.

This lipstick is a bright red lipstick and is actually just a Designer Brand along with the liner.  I went in and bought about three different shades just to ensure we had the right one for her skin tone. A light dusting of Hi-definition powder by Youngblood and a spritz of Skindinavia to set was all I need to complete this glamourous look.

Classic Smokey

Photos by Lauriely Taylor from Loll Doll Makeup 

Karen has her own beauty business, which enabled her to know exactly what she was after for her wedding day makeup look. Her foundation was applied with the airbrush and was a combination of shades from Element 2 canvas blend.  I also used the airbrush to apply the contouring and some highlighting. She chose a Smokey Eye with a glowing complexion.  She was keen to try a darker lip colour, but hadn’t decided the shade.

I had recently bought a new makeup palette from Tarte Cosmetics called Tartelette in Bloom.  It had some gorgeous plum/burgundy shades that I was keen to use especially since they complemented her eyes well. I mixed the combination of the Tartelette bloom palette with the rose gold shade from the Urban Decay Naked 3, this helped to accentuate the eye and add a little shimmer.  In order to heighten the smokey eye, I lined the lower eye line with the same eyeshadows used on her eyelid.

Using the Erin Biggs gel liner in black I lined her upper eye line, I did this twice to give it extra thickness and drama.

Karen already had some gorgeous lash extensions on her eyelashes.  I just ensured that after the eye makeup was applied, that I combed them with a mascara wand to brush off any excess makeup.

Her brows were in perfect shape, all I had to do was add some colour to fill in any gaps and place some brow gel on to keep them in place.  I used the brow palette in dark by Youngblood. On her cheeks I used a combination of crème blush and pressed blush in “live boldly” by Tarte. Her lips we used a gorgeous lip liner from Youngblood called “Pinot”. It was such a nice colour that I decided to line her entire lip with it and use a clear gloss over the top. Lastly I set her make up with a combination of the Hi-definition powder by Youngblood and a light spray of the Skindinavian setting spray.


Image via Madeline Druce Photography

Jeni obviously doesn’t need much makeup, but then again I don’t believe that any of us really require loads of makeup. It all depends on the look we are wanting to achieve. Truly a natural beauty, my job was to make sure that I enhanced what Jeni has not mask it. Airbrush makeup is my go to application for foundation.  It not only creates great coverage, but also allows for a natural look and allows the skin to shine through, giving you the look of not wearing much.

Using soft natural colours from the Chocolate Bar. I love using a tan/copper colour with blue eyes, this is a complementary shade and instantly makes them pop.  I used the matte colours from this palette to accentuate her eyes. Ensuring that this look remained natural, I didn’t use too many dark colours, as these would have taken away from our desired look.  I did use the gel liner from Youngblood to line the lash line, this creates definition and helps make the eyes stand out.Using the individual lashes from Ardell I line her lash line, making her lashes look longer and fuller, but not noticeably fake.

On her eye brows I used the “blonde” brow palette from Youngblood.  This helped to fill in the gaps and elongate her brows slightly at the outer corners. On her cheeks I used the “tropical glow” Youngblood crème blush. This gave that dewy fresh faced appearance. On her lips I used “coral beach lipstick” and “malt lip liner” a gorgeous warm colour that once again complimented the blue eyes.  Both from Youngblood.I used the Hi-definition powder by Youngblood to slightly set the foundation only around the eyes and mouth.  I finished by spraying the Skindinavian setting spray.


Image by Summer Rain Photography

Kim has her very own unique look.  I wanted to capture this and enhance it further. I used airbrush makeup from Element 2, canvas blend. I also used the airbrush for contouring to help bring out her cheekbones.

Her gorgeous hair colour helped to inspire my makeup colours.  I chose the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette as it has some beautiful shades in pink/purple. Kim wasn’t shy about experimenting with a bit of colour. We decided on a forest green colour eye liner, which I also used in her waterline. This enabled some drama without making the eyes look smaller. By using a green, it helped to bring the green out in her eyes and complemented the purple shades perfectly.

I used Ardell individual lashes in long and medium to create her beautiful full long lashes. To warm up this look I used a loose mineral dust on her cheeks from Youngblood called “sherbet” this is a colour that is pinky/peach in tone. On her lips we used “coral beach” by Youngblood, with a touch of gloss in “coral kiss”. A light touch of pressed powder to set her makeup and a spritz of Skindinavia setting spray to ensure a long lasting look.

Ms Zebra Says: Perfecting the right palette and cover for wedding makeup would be so HARD! Lauriely has created stunning looks, that complement each bride, their natural features and want they are wanting to achieve. Thanks Lauriely for sharing your expertise with us!

About Loll Doll Makeup. : Lauriely is a professional Whitsunday wedding makeup artist based in Airlie Beach. Lauriely is passionate about creating exactly the look her brides desire on their special day. Offering a mobile service Lauriely will come to you so that you can have your wedding makeup done in the comfort of your home, resort room or bridal villa.

When photographs taken beyond the image into the realm of art, are what you love, then Nigel Unsworth Studios is the photographer for you. His photographs go beyond the simplicity of a moment in time and with an artist’s flair for light, exude old world elegance with a dramatic old Hollywood feel to the images. There’s a feeling of a story behind the photograph – of glamour, love, perhaps intrigue sometimes too – just like in an old painting or film. Yet there is still a very personal quality to each image of a moment captured – and that’s the essence of photography that will capture your heart over the years to come – because no matter what, it’s all about love! Let’s join Nigel for a chat about his photography.

When and where did your passion for photography start?

My passion for photography started when I was in High School and continued on later through TAFE and University. Our school had extra non curriculum courses we could do and photography was one of them.

What or who inspires you?

I’m inspired by travel, films, art and other photography. I love independent, classic Hollywood, and foreign films. The way films are shot, the lighting etc I find interesting. I like to a have a cinematic look and feel to my photography. With weddings it’s not always possible but there are times you can get creative with the right clients. Directors like Wes Anderson I think are amazing. I also love art and in particular paintings from the Renaissance and Baroque periods which also has been an inspiration.

What do you enjoy about having a boutique photography studio?

Definitely my clients and the type of weddings I book. My clients book me because they want me as their photographer and they like my style of photography which is nice. We share a common interest in wanting to create beautiful images and we have a lot of fun doing it.

How do your clients get to know you, and is it important that both you and the couple feel a rapport to get the best out of your photography?

It is imperative that there’s a great client/photographer relationship otherwise it will show in the photography. I always meet my clients before their wedding or Skype if they are interstate. Some of our meetings are long because we enjoy the conversation of getting to know each other more.

What do you like the most about wedding photography?

The variation of different people, places and cultures. The wedding day is one of the most important days a couple will have and I get to experience that with them. As a photographer I get to be creative and combine a lot of different styles of photography in the one day. Weddings are portrait, family, landscape, photojournalism and event photography all rolled in one.

Your work doesn’t stop when the wedding day is over. What are the next steps you take to ensure the best images?

I back up the images I took on the day onto three different hard drives and in two locations (my studio and home). Then the post processing/editing starts and I’m quite particular with how I edit so that process takes a few weeks. I love the editing process and think it’s a big part of being a photographer/artist. The skills and attention to detail in the post production is something clients should definitely be looking at when choosing a photographer. I limit the number of weddings I do each year because of the time I spend with each wedding.

You work has been described as dramatic, artistic, beautiful and emotional. Have you developed a certain ‘style’ of photography – and if so, how would you describe it?

I think when a client sees a whole wedding of mine, there’s a combination of photojournalism and directed creative images. I use available light and off camera lighting and think it’s important to have the option of both. I have photographed Winter weddings in the dark where the off camera lighting came in handy. It also allows you to be more creative. In saying that, I think the clients I meet are surprised with how many natural photojournalistic (images) I take at a wedding. It’s all about balance.

The dramatic effects you achieve with lighting, positioning of the bridal couple, symmetry etc make your images look like a painting. Has this developed through experience or have you always had an ‘artist’s eye’?

I think a photographer’s style develops over time and gravitates towards things that inspire them. My style of photography has probably developed from studying art/photography and just different techniques I’ve learnt over time. The influences in art/films I admire, combined with learning and understanding light helped develop my style.

Does your style keep changing as the years go on?

I am constantly learning new techniques and wanting to improve my photography so I guess it changes a little. I don’t make a conscience effort to dramatically change my style because of my clients. I think it’s important to keep things consistent if you have developed a brand and style your clients like.

Does educating yourself and teaching photography workshops change your style? And in what way?

Education is very important to me. Studying and learning will improve your photography. It doesn’t have to be at university, it can be learning techniques from Youtube videos, but I think it’s important if you want to grow as an artist. Teaching workshops is something I love doing and I only teach what I am passionate about and have a good understanding of. I don’t think it changes my style, it’s more me teaching my style and how I approach photography. It does force you to explore and learn different techniques though.

Are there some tips you could offer bridal couples to help relax them in front of the camera?

It is important clients choose a photographer that is experienced and knows what they are doing. I know that sounds obvious, but people skills are very important as well as being able to take great photographs. A good photographer will help clients relax and having a good rapport is extremely important as well. My assistant and I joke around a lot with clients and the important thing is to make sure your clients are comfortable and having fun too.

What inspires you about Australian brides – is there a special ‘Australian’ quality that you’ve noticed?

Their character, friendliness and willingness to have fun.

Do you travel anywhere in Australia and overseas to shoot a wedding?

Yes, I do, I think there are some couples who only look locally for their photographer and don’t think photographers will travel. I regularly photograph in Sydney and don’t charge a travel fee. It works the other way around as well where say Sydney clients won’t look on the South Coast or Southern Highlands for a photographer and there’s a lot of talent in those areas. My advice is look locally and in the area you are getting married. And if there is a particular photographer you like, chances are they will travel anyway.

Do you have some favourite places that you’ve visited when you’ve photographed weddings?

I love travelling. I have taken wedding photos on a ski lift at Perisher which was challenging. I photographed a wedding in a very small town called Loxton in South Australia which was in the middle of nowhere. I did a road trip out there with my Scottish assistant and driving across the Hay plains was an eye opener for him. Brisbane and Melbourne weddings are always fun.

The Southern Highlands where most of my weddings are is a special place. Venues like Milton Park and Peppers Manor House provide a great European feel, especially in Autumn and Winter. My office is in Berry on the NSW South Coast and another favourite venue is Jaspers Berry. Most of my clients are Sydney couples who want to escape to city to get married.

Would you suggest an album of the wedding images is important?

Yes, absolutely! Images printed look so good and I do a lot of printing myself using archival fine art paper. I use Queensberry Albums which is a New Zealand company and their albums are of the highest quality. The wedding album should be thought of as an heirloom and something to hand down to future generations in my opinion. It is nice having a space where clients can see albums and framed prints.

What do you love about the region you live in?

I love the fact I am located within driving distance to some great wedding venues. The Southern Highlands, Sydney, Canberra and South Coast.

The Southern Highlands looks amazing all year round, particularly in Autumn. The South Coast has fantastic landscapes and Sydney is so different again, with so many photo opportunities.

What do you do when you have spare time?

I spend time with my family, watch a lot of films. I travel a lot during the winter period when the wedding season slows down. Travel photography is important to me as well as getting involved in more creative personal projects.

Thank you Nigel for sharing your story and your wonderful images with us today. I love the feeling of the stories and the atmosphere in these images and if Nigel takes your wedding photographs, then you’ll lose yourself in the images, poring over them, just as I have.

Headshot courtesy of Nigel Unsworth Studios