As a Makeup Artist who specialises in Bridal and Weddings, and as a Wife, I have been on both sides of the Bridal trial. I know the questions and information I like to find out walking into a trial as the Makeup Artist, and I understand the nerves, excitement and questions as the Bride walking into the Bridal Trial in the midst of planning a Wedding.
So I thought I would pass on my tips and advice on how to get the most out of your ‘Wedding Makeup Trial’ to ensure a fun, confident and smooth process that ends with the result and look that is right for you.
Booking the Trial
As soon as you know which Makeup Artist you want its a good idea to book the trial. Some brides-to-be like to have their trial a few months in advance, others prefer to wait until about 3 or 4 weeks before the Wedding. That way the dresses have been ordered, the hair-style more than likely decided and you have more time to think about the kind of makeup look you would like.
If you are getting married away from home then the time of the trial maybe out of your hands. If its a destination Wedding it might be that the trial can only take place during one of your visits which may be months before the big day, or it can be the opposite if you are flying out just before the wedding and can only have the trial a few days before.
Either way being as prepared as you can (mentally aswell as physically) will help to take the stress and any nerves away.
If you can, always try for a daytime trial rather than an evening one so you can see the look in natural daylight and see how the makeup wears over a longer period of time.
Time of Day
As mentioned above its important to take into consideration the time of day that you book the trial for, my suggestion would be to try and book (if you can) for a similar time of day to what your Wedding Ceremony time will be. This way you get to see how the makeup oxidises or wears through the day and it will give you an idea of when you might need to potentially top up any makeup product.
For example, if you are getting married at lunchtime, then arrange your trial for mid-morning so you can see the full longevity of your chosen look. By night time it might look at whole lot different, you might have alot of shine come through, the lipstick you liked may not be so long-wearing, etc (these shouldn’t happen but best discover these things now rather than on your Wedding Day).
Try to gather as much information and inspiration as you can to take with you to your trial. Pinterest is a great place to start and is what I always recommend to my clients. Start a Pinterest board of makeup looks/bridal looks you like, whether it be the eyeshadow shades, colour tones or the overall look. I
have a Pinterest Board of Bridal Makeup Inspiration here which should help get you started. Magazines are another great source of inspiration, cut out pages, put a scrapbook/mood board together, it all helps to show the type of looks you like and from there you can discuss how those looks can transformed to fit to you.
Equally it can be helpful to have a separate page/pinterest board of the looks you don’t like, sometimes a Brides comes to me not quite sure of what they want but are very sure of what they don’t want, if I am able to see these looks straight away it can eliminate time and gives the Makeup Artist alot to work with.
Having a photo of your dress and bridesmaids dresses can also be incredibly helpful in creating your bridal look, especially if the Makeup Artist is working with the Bridesmaids as well as the Bride. Colours, themes, styles – it all goes into creating a complimentary finish that works for you and your Bridesmaids and creates an overall look for the Wedding.
Its helpful to see the dress style particularly around the neckline and the hairstyle choice, and the same applies to the Bridesmaids.
It might sound like a trivial thing but I often ask my Bride-to-be to wear a similar colour top and style for their trial that they will be wearing on their wedding day. So if your Wedding dress has lots of lace, then a top of a similar colour with some lace, if your dress is strapless then wear a strapless top of a similar colour if you can, if in doubt a white top is great – all this will help both you and your makeup artist (but especially you) get more of an idea of the overall look on your day and how the makeup looks next to the dress colour.
Same applies to hair, if you are having your hair done separately to your makeup artist and aren’t able to have the hair trial just before your makeup trial then try to replicate the hairstyle or atleast something similar – e.g hair up in a bun, hair down with curls, etc – again it helps to give you an overall picture of how your look will all come together on your big day.
Your Normal Makeup Look
Arriving to your Bridal trial wearing your usual makeup look can be super helpful for the Makeup Artist to see how you like your makeup done and the style you prefer.
If you are someone who normally wears a little makeup then its good for us to know and see that anything too heavy wouldn’t necessarily make you feel comfortable and also we want to see ‘you’.
Your Husband-to-be, your friends and family see your makeup look everyday, a Makeup Artist often sees you for the first time at the trial so sometimes it can be difficult to gauge just how light or heavy you prefer your look, and we want to expertly enhance your natural beauty in a way that makes you look and feel your best for your special day but is also in-keeping to how you normally look.
If you aren’t able to do your makeup then have a photo ready of what you normally wear on a daily basis or how you like to look on a night out.
Be honest and don’t be afraid to speak up
If you aren’t happy with a look, the way your eyeliner looks, the way the false lashes have been applied, don’t be afraid to speak up and say. The trial is all about working out what is right for you and it is just that ‘a trial’.
A professional Makeup Artist won’t get annoyed or upset if you say you don’t like the blusher or the highlight is too strong, we would much rather iron out all niggles at the trial then for you to say ‘yes I like it’ only for afterwards to start listing all the things you didn’t like and then ending up having to have another trial/or another Makeup Artist or hoping for the best on the Wedding Day.
Make sure you have a good mirror to hand so you can see the makeup application as the Makeup Artist is going along, don’t wait for the end to see the look, make sure you view the makeup in different lighting too – natural daylight and artificial light.
If you feel the base is too heavy say so before they Makeup Artist goes further – each Makeup Artist works differently but for me I don’t like to move on to the next Makeup Product until I know my client is happy but if you don’t speak up and say then you won’t get the most out of your trial.
If you feel you may lack confidence in situations like that then maybe bring a Bridesmaid or Bridal Party member along to your trial for moral support.
Products and Tanning
If you have any favourite products bring them to the trial. One of the first questions I always ask at a trial to my Bride is ‘what foundation do you normally wear?’ This can give me a good idea of the normally coverage and finish you prefer.
I often have Brides come to me with a lipstick they love and want to wear on their Wedding Day so I would always try to incorporate this into the look. There is nothing wrong in using your own products if you feel much more comfortable in doing so, talk with your Makeup Artist and express your feelings, obviously you are employing the Makeup Artist for their skill and their trusted and tested kit but if there is a particular product you really want to wear on your Wedding Day don’t be afraid to say.
If you are going to fake tan or plan on tanning for your Wedding Day then try to fake tan before your trial too.
This should always be asked by any Makeup Artist to a client but just incase for some reason they don’t, always let the Makeup Artist know of any allergies you have to any ingredients, products or brands. This is so important as the last thing you want is to breakout due to a product having a certain ingredient in that you knew you normally have a reaction to.
Breakouts and reactions can and do sometimes happen but if they could have been prevented in the first place it makes life a whole lot easier.
Have fun and take photos
It might sound obvious but Wedding, Wedding Planning and Wedding Preparations are supposed to be fun! I know there is lots of stress, decision making and sometimes it can all feel a little overwhelming but this is about celebrating a day with your best friend/soul mate and the love you share for each other and the dress, hair, makeup can be such an exciting, thrilling and fun part of that.
Try to relax and enjoy the moment and memories being made and don’t forget to take photos of your trial. Camera phones are fantastic so take photos throughout the trial in different lights, with and without a flash. You will be photographed so much on your special day so you want to make sure you are happy with your makeup at any angle and in any light, and if not then let your Makeup Artist know. Good luck x