How to prepare for a makeup trial and what to expect?

Updated: Jun 25

Ok, so you have spent hours online and on instagram searching for a makeup and/or hair artist.

You start stalking a few artists on Instagram, saving some of their work, you bring the courage to like their work and finally you start following them. You finally have a 10 minute gap between meetings on Monday and you fill out their enquiry form and all the stars align and voila! You have booked a makeup artist that you like, and is available and within your budget! Could this be true?


In my previous blog, we have established why trials are important.



Now that you have booked in a trial with your artist and wondering, now what?


When to organise a trial?

  1. Have a few trial date options to present to the artist, around 2-3 months before the wedding if possible

  2. Try to book your trial in the morning or as early in the day as possible so you can see how it wears throughout the day. I have had brides go to the gym with a full face of makeup and an up-do to really give it a good go

  3. Some brides book in a trial on their hen's day, which is fine. However, keep in mind that hair and makeup is something that you want as part of the whole reveal on the wedding day as a surprise and to keep the magic moment.. well.. magical?

Start researching reference images

  1. Start researching some reference images of the kind of hair and/or makeup you might like for your special day. (Pinterest is going to be your best friend for next few months)

  2. Wedding trial is a time to try the look out, but it is important to keep true to your aesthetics and not to go wild. You probably want to keep it fairly timeless and true to self to avoid looking back in 15 years and wonder 'what was I thinking?'

  3. Send through the reference images and a selfie to the artist before the trial so they are fully prepared and organised. Also, they will be able to ask questions in advance to be able to better prepare you for the trial as well (e.g. If all the images have highlights through, is that something that is important part of your images, so therefore do you have/intend to get highlights before the trial and then the wedding? Or if you have pale complexion and if all the reference images have very bronzed and sun kissed look, will you be getting a fake tan done or is that not the important part of the image etc)

What is the wedding theme?

  1. Establish the feel/theme for your wedding. Is it a barn wedding, rustic, romantic, boho, fairytale, rock n’roll or whatever the look, it will help to give your artist an idea of your taste and to keep hair and makeup harmonious with the overall theme


Bring accessories


Have photos of the kind of flowers you might be getting (even if they are just inspo photos at this stage), wedding dress, bridesmaid dress, accessories, veil etc. This will enable the hair and makeup style to work with your accessories


How to prep hair and skin


Wash and dry your hair the night before your trial (same will go for the wedding day) - if your hair is frizzy, straighten it either with blowdryer and brush, or with a straightener - No, this won’t affect your hair styling for the day. It will however, leave us with more precious time to perfect your style! Hair being too greasy and dirty will interfere with your hair style than clean hair. Clean hair is good as long as it is dry!


What to wear?


Wear a white/cream coloured top (or any colour that is similar to your wedding dress) with preferably similar neckline to your wedding dress. This will give a better idea of the overall look of the day



Here is a check-list for things to bring to the trial


* White/light coloured plain top

* Veil/Hair accessories

* Photo of your Wedding dress

* Photo of your bridesmaids dresses

* Reference images of hair and makeup styles that you like (preferably send these images couple of weeks prior to the trial so the makeup artist is well prepared and will save a lot of time)


You are at the trial, here are few things to look out for:-

  1. What is the feeling/vibe you get from the artist? Just imagine spending 3-8hrs with this person on your wedding day. Will they make you laugh, be at ease and feel good?

  2. What is their hygiene practice like? If their brushes are dirty, double dipping into mascara etc, probably best to walk away now. Peace of mind is a powerful thing

  3. Speak up and ask lots of questions. The time is now! Best to dot your i's and cross your t's on the trial. Communication is the key in getting the exact look that you want, you should discuss the things you do AND don't like before, during and after the trial



Now that we have established a few things..


You will notice the artist taking photos of you before and after the makeup/hair, writing notes down regarding your wedding day, wedding dress etc. This part is important for us makeup artists to refer back to for the wedding day. We want to make sure you look and feel the best, so every detail matters.


Once you have finished your trial, take some selfies, walk around the the whole house looking at every mirror there is to make sure you get a close look from all angles and all lighting! The terrible fluorescent down-light in the bathroom to flattering hallway mirror with good natural light.

But most important thing is, how do you FEEL in it? If you feel amazing, that means it is right for you!

You have one more thing that you can tick off your (never ending) list of things to do before the wedding. It is important to touch base with your artist to give any feedback on how makeup and/or hair wore through out the day and if anything needs changing for the big day.



Timeline/Run Sheet


Hair and makeup will probably the first thing you do on your wedding day (probably an early morning start, and many many hours together too, but that is all part of the wedding day experience right?) Run sheet is very important to make sure the day runs smoothly. If hair and makeup is running late, it will push everything else back! Not to freak you out, therefore, a run sheet is an important part to get right. Trial is a good time to discuss the timeline.


Some things to consider to establish the run sheet;-

* How many services are required (e.g. 3 x hair styling, 4 x makeup etc)

* What is the photographer coming

* What time do you need to leave by

* Who needs to finish first/last (e.g. Your sister may need to leave earlier as she needs to go to the venue to help with setting up the flowers. Or your mum needs to be last as she is getting her hair blowdried by Sally who has been doing her hair for 25 years and knows exactly how to get it right).


Next step


All you need to do now is look forward to the big day with a smile on your face knowing that you can trust your artist. What a great feeling it is!


Now to the next on your list!

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