Arranging your hair and makeup trial is one of the most important parts of booking your hair and makeup artist. Bad hair days and smudged makeup happen—but they shouldn’t happen on your wedding day. That’s why hair and makeup trials are so important. It may not be at the top of your list in terms of things you need to organise when you first get engaged but it should be high on the list of priorities once you have confirmed your artist.
I have created this guide to help you feel prepared for your trial and ensure that both you, as the Bride, and your chosen artist can get the most from your experience. Your hair and makeup trial will allow you and your artist to get to know one another and provide you with an exciting glimpse of how amazing you will look once the big day comes around.
PLANNING FOR YOUR TRIAL
There are a few crucial things that need to have been decided before you have your hair and makeup trial:
1. SECURE YOUR DATE AND VENUE
- This might sound like an obvious first point but knowing when and where you’ll be getting married is important. Whether you’re having a beach wedding in summer temperatures or a wedding in a ballroom during winter months will have a big impact on the styles you’ll be considering.
2. CHOOSE YOUR DRESS
- Many Brides will tell you that the wedding dress they chose was nothing like what they thought they would have ended up wearing down the aisle. So, make sure you have found the one before deciding on your hair and makeup. Once you have your dress, you will have much more of a vision as to how you will look on the day. This allows you, along with your artist, to create a look that compliments your overall style and aesthetic.
3. WEARING A VEIL?
- If you’re planning on wearing a veil or a statement piece of jewellery, it can help if these are brought to your trial to provide a more comprehensive idea of how your look comes together.
4. CREATE A VISION BOARD
- Bridal hair and makeup can be overwhelming… but at your trial it’s really important to have a basic idea of what you want. If you come to the trial without figuring out what you like (and dislike!) in the world of hair and makeup, you’re more likely to be disappointed with the outcome. Pinterest is amazing for collecting images, so is saving them to an Instagram folder.
- Expert tip! If you’re stuck, just start by identifying what you don’t want! Any information is better than none. You will probably find that once you’ve identified what you don’t like, recognising what you do like will become easier.
- You may love a lip colour in one image, and an eye makeup in the next, so feel free to bring a collage/selection of images.
5. SKIN, SKIN, SKIN
- Skincare is one of the most important aspects of any makeup look. Without good skincare, whatever is applied on top won’t sit right no matter how talented your artist. If there was ever an opportune time to establish a consistent skincare routine, the run up to your wedding is up there - so, what can you do to prepare for your trial?
The simplest place to start is by committing to drinking at least 2 litres of water a day, we’ve all heard it plenty of times and know we should be doing it so now is the perfect time to get this habit into your daily routine.
Ensure you are looking after your skin by removing makeup and cleansing your face daily – never sleep in your makeup!
Keep things gentle and light in the run up to your trial, ensure you are moisturising and hydrating the skin properly, use good quality products and avoid using creams that are too heavy.
Once at your trial, a thorough skincare regime will be discussed and recommendations of facialists and skincare specialists can be made should you wish to go that extra mile.
6. WHEN TO BOOK
- I recommend having your trial anywhere from 3-6 months before your wedding day. This allows us plenty of time to implement any skincare routines and any facial schedules time to take effect. Please be aware that weekends are prioritised for weddings, therefore weekday daytimes are preferable in order for you to see yourself in natural daylight, as this will be how you will spend the majority of your time on your wedding day. Limited weekend availability is offered from January – March (off peak) so do get in touch to highlight if this is preferable.
ARRANGING YOUR TRIAL
When choosing where to have your trial, whether it's your home address or that of a family member or friend, ensure the location is somewhere you feel calm and relaxed. Plenty of natural light is helpful where possible, to give the best application and viewing.
Trial pricing is stated at the time of enquiry and will be payable prior to the date of your trial. Booking fees are not deductible from your trial fee and trial fees are non-refundable.
PREPARING YOUR HAIR
- Please wash your hair the night before, or if necessary, on the morning of your trial.
- Please begin the trial with clean, dry hair. Avoid using any product on your hair once it is washed and where possible do not use heated tongs or straighteners to pre-style the hair. You want your hair to be as natural as possible.
- If you have an abundance of ideas for your hair styling, please narrow them down to your two favourite styles before the trial. It can become overwhelming having any more than 2 styles to choose from, and your hair can only take so much styling in one session in terms of product and excessive heat.
- If you have chosen a veil/hair accessory/jewellery, please have them with you so we can add them to your finished look. This will help complete your finalised aesthetic for the day.
- Consider wearing hair extensions… About 90 percent of the Brides I work with will end up wearing extensions on their big day. Wearing extensions doesn’t mean you need to use them to add length, they can add volume and fullness, as well as hold whether you’re wearing your hair down or in an up-do. These will be provided at the trial so don't worry about purchasing anything prior to your appointment.
PREPARING FOR MAKEUP
- Please arrive with a makeup free face – this includes mascara, brow product and any concealer. If possible, follow your usual skincare beforehand, however, I will always provide a full cleanse and routine, suited to your skin type, prior to any makeup application.
- As well as your inspiration photos, please provide images of how you would normally wear your makeup, as well as any night out/special occasion photos. This will help provide a more comprehensive understanding of your style and how you like your makeup normally.
TOP TIPS FOR YOUR TRIAL
- And wear a top that mimics the neckline of your dress as much as possible. If your dress is off the shoulder, wear an off the shoulder top; if your dress has a low neckline, wear a low-cut top; if your dress doesn’t have sleeves, don’t wear a top that has sleeves. This helps you to envisage how your look will come together on the day and ties everything into your Bridal look a lot better.
BRING PHOTOS OF PEOPLE WHO LOOK LIKE YOU
- Falling for a look that isn’t physically possible for you can be heart-breaking! The same style will look different depending on your skin tone, hair colour, hair texture. If you have curly hair, look for curly-haired inspo. If you have very dark hair or very pale skin, look for very dark-haired or pale-skinned inspo. Remember that a lot of images are heavily edited, or show models who just have great genetics and immense amounts of hair! Images of real Brides should give you a more accurate idea of what looks will work for you.
o Expert Tip! Search through your wedding photographers Instagram, they’ll have an easily scannable grid full of real brides!
BE OPEN AND HONEST
- Don’t hold back. Stylists will never be offended if you don’t like something. With honest feedback we will be able to suggest something you’ll love and work together to create your dream look – that’s the whole point of a trial!
BE PREPARED TO ANSWER QUESTIONS
- And to tell me about your plans for your big day! Showing photos of everything from your dress to your flowers, shoes, bridesmaid dresses, and venue will all help to build a more comprehensive picture and your vision of your day.
- If you’re considering tanning for the day itself, apply your tan before your trial so that we can tailor colour palettes and products accordingly.
- If your brows need shaping/tinting/laminating; if your lashes need infills; if you're due an upper lip wax or thread; if your roots need doing or you are due a trim, I would advise getting these done before your trial. Don’t rush out for any treatments that aren’t part of your normal grooming routine or that you don’t intend on having before the day itself, but if you’re due an appointment, I would advise having it before the trial if you can.
- Please allow 2-4 hours for your hair and makeup trials, with some wiggle room either side should we overrun.
WHO TO BRING
- You are welcome to bring along one friend or family member but make sure it’s someone whos opinions you trust and ideas you admire. Bringing the entire Bridal party is likely to result in much uninvited interference, general confusion and you losing sight of the end result.
- Most makeup artists will take photos from every angle and in different lighting, as well as compile a thorough list of every product used. But don’t be afraid to ask for them to send you their photos and make sure you take plenty yourself. Videos are another great way of seeing how the makeup looks from all angles and in real time. This documentation is important as having your makeup on file will enable you to refer back and remind yourself of the look in the run up to your day.
- I carry a range of accessories for Brides to try at their trials should they wish, so if you’re yet to decide on whether you want to add an accessory to your hair please don’t worry as we will have plenty of options to play with.
YOU SHOULD FEEL LIKE YOURSELF
- Don’t let anyone talk you into something radically different or too far out of your comfort zone. It’s important to feel like the most beautiful version of yourself, with emphasis on yourself. You want to look back and love your photos and for your children and grandchildren to love them. It’s about natural embellishments on your wedding day, it’s not the time to try a new trend.
AFTER YOUR TRIAL
So you've had your trial, now what?
I highly recommend making fun plans for after your trial!
- Try to plan your trial on the same day as a dress fitting, engagement photos, or just a nice dinner with your girls. Not only does this help ‘road test’ your hair and makeup, but you’ve just been pampered and should be feeling amazing, it would be a shame to let it go to waste with a night in sat in front of the TV.
Following up with your artist
- Your artist should follow up with you after your trial, usually within about a week to check you were happy with everything and wishing to go ahead. However, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your artist before this to let them know your thoughts and thank them for the trial.
You will need to confirm your numbers
- Now you have confirmed your artist and know exactly how you will look on your wedding day, it's important your artist knows how many other Bridal party members they will be providing services for on the day. This allows them plenty of time to establish whether they will need to bring along additional team members and provide a schedule.
Image 1- Leanne Jade Photography
Image 2 - Camilla J Hards Photography
Image 3 - Tom Calton Weddings
Image 4 - Ride Out Films