How to Stage a Vintage Makeover Hen Party

06 Nov 2015

Coming up with original hen party ideas for best friends and bridesmaids can be tricky. Discover whether a vintage makeover hen party is for you with this behind-the-scenes look at what goes on during the retro-themed day

Photography by Velvet Storm

Pinning hair into voluminous victory rolls, perfecting winged eyeliner and adjusting those 50s style full skirts thats what a vintage makeover hen party is all about.

Throw in a themed photoshoot, burlesque dancing lessons and afternoon tea and youre even closer to discovering what goes on behind the scenes at one of these charming events focused on retro glamour.

Brighton-based airbrush make-up artist and hairdresser, Ingrid Watts, makes up one half of, and gave us the inside knowledge on what happens during one of her hen parties. 


There has been a clear surge in vintage beauty trends over the past few years. What defines a vintage beauty look in your opinion and what makes it so appealing? 
This is true and I think this is because ladies in the vintage era looked so glamorous and now women from today want to sample this look too. A vintage beauty look needs to have all the style and finesse but with a modern twist.


What packages do you offer for brides and their hen parties? 
For brides, I offer vintage hairstyling and airbrush make-up for their wedding day. During a trial before the big day, we look at styles that they like and I recreate the look to suit them and their theme. For hen parties, this is a great way to have fun, be pampered and step back in time with a vintage makeover for their hair and make-up.


Which is the most popular era for these vintage makeover styles and why? 
The most popular are the 1940s and 1950s, because the victory roll hairstyles are more flamboyant. Together with the swing tea-dresses or sexy wiggle dresses and high block heels, every lady feels like a vintage vixen.

What are the defining beauty elements of each era? 
The make-up options for each era are the 1920s and 1930s with smoky eyes and burgundy lips, and the 1940s and 1950s with black eyeliner flicks and pouty red lips. 



What can brides and their party expect from their vintage makeover event?
They will feel like they are being pampered with a vintage up-do or hairstyle. They will need to come with their base foundation and mascara applied, then we apply the rest of the make-up the brows, eyes, cheeks and lips. If they bring their own strip lashes we will apply those too. The package can include high tea where the girls can relax and chat over tea, delicate sandwiches and sweet cakes, while they wait to have their turn for hair and make-up. If they want to add burlesque lessons, this can be done after the afternoon tea. The ladies can change into stockings, frilly French knickers and a basque. However, they can choose what theyd like to wear.




Tell us about the burlesque dance lessons they sound interesting
The lesson works really well with a minimum of six girls, with the main props being high heels, stockings and long black gloves. Feather boas are introduced later on in the lesson as the group will learn how to step in time to the music. Chairs are used and by the end of the hour lesson the girls will have a one minute routine, which will be well choreographed. Its so much fun to look back on the video and all the girls will be very proud of themselves.


Whats the idea behind burlesque?
Burlesque is a form of strip-tease a slow dance routine that has been around since 1880s. It has evolved from gentlemens clubs to shows and nightclubs. There are varying degrees of burlesque that will come to mind. However, these days, burlesque instructors have put together routines that involve keeping a certain amount of dignity for ladies who want to have a taste of the glamour and lots of laughs. During the lesson there is no audience and it can be filmed or photographed so the group can look back on their experience. Some ladies may want to take home what they have learnt and others will put it down to a great life adventure.


What kind of brides enjoy a vintage makeover?
Brides who are looking for an element of their hen celebrations to be relaxing and a chance to catch up and discuss wedding preparations. If they book the burlesque package they will be ones who want excitement and fun with their best girlfriends.

Do guests need to bring their own vintage clothes or are they provided? 
Brides and their hens come in all shapes and sizes and typical vintage dresses need to fit correctly so theyre comfortable. We ask guests to come in their own dresses, and we have very good links with online shops that offer discounts.


Whats the most popular vintage bridal make-up look and hairstyle? 
The 1920s and 1930s have been the most popular. With the long, flowing silk dresses that are available on the market, brides want to complete the look with softer version of the Marcel wave hairstyle. The make-up is not so heavy and fairly natural. Again in the wedding dress market, 50s knee-length circular dress designs are available, with more adventurous brides will opting for hairstyles with quiffs and victory rolls.

What was your most memorable vintage makeover party? 
The most memorable party was when most of the ladies came with brightly coloured hair in pink and blue. They wanted the biggest rolls and lots of big, voluminous hairstyles which was really exciting and pushed the boundaries. 


Vintage makeover parties from start from £25 per person.


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