Bridal Hair & Makeup Trial – How to Prepare for Your Appointment

Your bridal hair & makeup trial is a really important step towards getting the perfect style for your wedding day. Understandably, it’s not something you do often so you may be a bit unsure on what to expect. Feeling nervous before your appointment is totally normal, but here are my top tips on getting the best out of your trial, as a professional bridal hair and makeup artist.

Photo by Amara Photography

Come prepared with some ideas

It’s always really helpful for your artist if you come with some ideas for your hair & makeup trial. It helps give us a guide on what you want! Pictures are best, but don’t overthink it if you can’t find an EXACT picture, you can always explain what parts you like and dislike about a particular image. When looking for inspiration pictures, try to look for images of people who are of a similar age/skin tone/hair type/eye shape as these will be the most realistic ideas for you. Also remember that a hell of a lot of the images you see online are heavily filtered, so don’t compare yourself to them! The best place to find inspo for your bridal hair & makeup trial is your own artist’s portfolio – you can check out my Instagram here.

What to wear to your bridal hair & makeup trial

The colour you are wearing can really change the outcome of your look, especially when it comes to makeup. Whatever you are wearing on your wedding day, come to your bridal hair & makeup trial with a top in a similar shade (it doesn’t have to be an exact match). For example, a makeup look created when you’re wearing white can look a bit washed out if you then put it next to something black. Wearing a top in a similar colour will help you to gauge the intensity of the makeup you are comfortable with, and give you a better idea of the overall look. For hair trials this is less important, but it can be helpful to find a top with a similar neckline to your wedding dress to help you envision everything put together.

Photo by Liam Gillan

Follow the prep instructions you’ve been given

Your artist should give you some instructions on how best to prep your skin and hair for your bridal hair & makeup trial. It’s really important to follow these instructions to get the best results! Advice will vary from artist to artist, but personally I ask my brides to arrive with a clean face, free of makeup and clean, dry hair. Clean hydrated skin is always going to help your makeup sit better. In the same vein, clean hair is also much easier to style – for most hair types, washing and drying your hair the night before will be best. PLEASE don’t arrive with dirty hair! It’s flat, hard to work with and actually smells really bad when you put a heat tool on it.

Approach your bridal hair & makeup trial with an open mind

Whilst it’s good to come with an idea of what you would like in mind, also be flexible and open to ideas. If your artist offers you advice or suggests a particular style/element might not be suitable, it’s because we want to create the best, longest lasting look possible for you. I promise we’re not trying to be mean! For example, if a bride tells me her hair doesn’t hold a curl and she doesn’t want to invest in extensions, I would advise her against having Hollywood waves as without those extensions it just isn’t going to be long lasting. Your bridal hair & makeup trial is all about finding what works best, both in what makes you look and feel most confident AND what is going to be realistically achievable, comfortable and long lasting.

Don’t rush the process

Bridal hair & makeup trials take time, usually they take longer than it takes to get you ready on the actual wedding day, so make sure you allow plenty of time for your appointment. During your trial you will have an in depth consultation, both about your look, logistics for the day and the needs of your bridal party. Your artist will also need to record the steps they have taken, the products they have used and any changes you want to make for the big day. Not forgetting that bridal hair & makeup trials are a time for experimentation and figuring out what works best for you. All of this takes time, so sit back, relax and treat yourself to a few hours of pampering! The duration of trials vary, but on average my trials take 1-2 hours for a hair only/makeup only trial, and 3-4 hours for a hair and makeup trial.

Photo by Visions of View

Bring your bridal accessories with you

If you have them already, bring your veil, hair accessories, necklace and earrings with you (if you’re having them). Whilst this isn’t essential, it can be helpful to envision your entire look if you have all the finishing touches to try on. If you’re still waiting on your accessories, or haven’t chosen them yet don’t panic! Just have a chat with your artist about your ideas, and they can take this into account when creating your style. Some hair accessories work better with certain hairstyles, so keeping your artist in the loop avoids any last minute hiccups on the wedding day. This might be obvious, but you don’t need to bring your hair accessories if you’re only having a makeup trial!

Look after your skin and hair

In the run up to your bridal hair & makeup trial, it will be really helpful to look after your skin and hair. The better canvas you give us to work on, the better your finished look will be. This doesn’t mean your skin or hair has to look perfect (nobodies does), but a little self care goes a long way! Try your best to get yourself into a good skincare routine in the run up to the wedding (the earlier you start the better). For your hair try to find a good quality shampoo and conditioner suited to your hair type, don’t go too mad with the heat styling and use a heat protector when you do. If you want some help with your skincare routine, I have a free skincare guide you can download here.

Photo by James Thomas Photography

Your bridal hair & makeup trial isn’t your hen do…

It might sound fun to bring all 7 of your bridesmaids, your Mum and your dog to your bridal hair & makeup trial, but trust me when I say it will lead to a whole world of confusion! For one, most artists simply don’t have enough room for that amount of people in their work space (I certainly don’t). Secondly, the more people who are there the more opinions that will be pushed upon you. Your hair and makeup is a super personal service (it’s literally your face), so the only opinion that really counts is yours. Having lots of differing opinions can make the process really difficult. If you’d like someone with you for moral support, bring along a friend or family member who you really trust to give you balanced advice. Don’t bring Aunt Debbie who is known for being blunt, harsh and pushing her opinions on others!

Your bridal hair & makeup trial really is a time to experiment, find out what works best for you and what makes you feel the most confident! Working in tandem with your hair and makeup artist is always the best way to create the look you’ve always dreamed of. Following these tips will help to smooth the process, and help you to make the most of your appointment. Want to find out more about my bridal hair & makeup services? You can do so here.

Header image by Rapid Image UK.

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