As soon as you’ve found your dream venue and booked your wedding date, it’s a good idea to start looking for your make-up artist.
There’s nothing wrong with going down the DIY route, particularly if you’re totally confident in your make-up skills. However, getting in a professional will take away a potential stress point on the day (applying mascara with shaking hands really isn’t fun).
The best make-up artists will have solid experience, as well as an excellent range of products, so they’ll also be able to suggest looks you may not have considered.
Once you’ve made a choice, book yourself in for a trial. “If you like someone’s work, try to meet with them as soon as possible for the best chance of securing them on the day,” says Hannah Martin of Bobbi Brown.
Remember, your trial isn’t just about working out your big-day beauty look, important as that is – it’s also about making sure your potential make-up artist is a good fit for what you want to achieve.
Here’s what you need to know so your trial goes like a dream…
1. When should you book your wedding make-up trial?
It’s important to wait until you have your dress, venue and wedding theme sorted, as these will undoubtedly influence your look for the day.
An ultra-glam red lip and fluttering false lashes may be out of place at a boho barn wedding, for example.
“I usually recommend carrying out your make-up trial around three months before your wedding,” says Nadia Matoorian Farrow, of Portraits Bridal. “That way, it can be crossed off your to-do list before things get really hectic.”
By holding the trial that far in advance of your wedding, you’ve allowed time for several appointments in the event the look you dreamed of doesn’t work for you and you need time to figure out what feels best.
2. What should you take with you on your wedding make-up trial?
Ahead of your trial, your make-up artist is likely to request a recent photo of you, as well as images of looks that have caught your eye (don’t pretend you haven’t got a Pinterest board jam-packed with bridal inspiration!).
“The more information you give your artist, the easier they will find it to create your perfect look,” says Nadia.
“It’s really helpful to show your artist pictures you like of yourself – they won’t know how you feel your prettiest, so showing them can be really beneficial,” says Hannah.
And don’t forget to have one or two shots of your dress on your phone, so your pro can have a look.
3. How much will your wedding make-up trial cost?
Be prepared for your trial to cost as much as your wedding day appointment – remember, it’s the same amount of work for your make-up artist, even if it’s just a practice run for you.
Some artists include the trial as part of a larger package (including your w-day make-up, your maids’ looks, and also your mum’s), so be sure to ask about this when you’re selecting who to trust with a blusher brush.
4. What time should I book my wedding make-up trial?
We suggest booking your trial first thing in the morning so you can see if your make-up is going to last you from dawn ’til dancing.
5. How long will my wedding make-up trial last?
Time the trial so you’ll know how long to set aside on the day itself.
6. Should I arrive to my make-up trial wearing make-up?
“A common misconception is to arrive at your trial bare-faced, but it is more helpful to go wearing your daily make-up so your artist can see how you like to apply your products,” says Nadia.
7. How should I wear my hair to my make-up trial?
Wear your hair in a similar style as your bridal ’do so you can visualise your final look coming together.
8. What should I wear to my make-up trial?
“It’s also helpful to wear a top in a similar shade to your wedding dress,” says Hannah. “Pale fabrics can drain colour from the face, so a light top will give you a better idea of how the make-up will look on your wedding day.”
Also don’t forget to take lots of selfies (or get someone to take a few photos of you) to see how you look in different lights and with a flash.
9. What should I do if I hate my wedding make-up?
It’s not nice to think you might have a bad experience at your trial, but don’t be discouraged if you end up less than happy with your look – the point of a trial is to test everything out.
“An ideal time to broach any misgivings is in person, at the time of the trial,” says Amanda Bell of PIXI. “However, if that makes you uncomfortable, send an email giving very specific details about what you’re unhappy with, as soon as possible after the trial.”
Be honest and open, and don’t worry about letting your make-up artist know that your look is not as you’d originally hoped for.
“A good make-up artist won’t be offended,” advises Hannah. “The trial is not about them, it’s about you and making you feel beautiful, so be as honest and open as possible. The joy of make-up is that it can be tweaked, changed or simply removed and reapplied.”