Not every bride will need, want, or care to have a hair or make-up trial, or indeed professionally styled hair or make-up on their wedding day, and that’s perfectly okay.
But if you’re a bride who simply wants peace of mind in knowing that hair and make-up are two items ticked off the list of things to worry about ahead of your wedding, then I’d highly recommend booking in a trial.
Having your very own glam squad on the morning of your wedding is fun, relaxing, and for me anyway, hugely confidence boosting.
If you’re someone who panics at the thought of having your make-up done by someone else, or is nervous about how your chosen hairstyle will work with your type of hair, then having a practise run will ensure you’re happy with the pro you’ve chosen, and the look they’re going to give you on your wedding day.
So, to help you make the most of your hair or make-up trials I’ve put together a bunch of tips I’ve gathered from my own experience, my friends’ own trials, and from bending the ear off every hair stylist and make-up artist I meet!
1. Be Armed with Ideas (But Not Too Many)
While I was sure on the hair front (I had a single screenshot from Instagram), I went to my own make-up trial with a folder on my phone filled with pictures of make-up ideas, and they were all a bit different from eachother. It just left the make-up artist a bit confused about what I was looking for.
Likewise saying you’re ‘fine with whatever they think’ is equally frustrating to a professional you wants you to feel like you on your big way.
Take time to go through Pinterest or Instagram, or look to your favourite celebrities or beauty bloggers for a look you love – bringing pictures will definitely help.
2. Bring Your Make-up Bag and Go-To Products
If you have products you love, you know work for you, or that last well on your skin or in your hair, bring them along with you.
Your stylist might not choose to use them, but it will be helpful for them when they’re selecting tones, or figuring out what’s best to use for your hair or skin type.
Lipstick in particular is something you’ll be topping up throughout your wedding day, so it’s helpful to have one you already own or will buy for your big day, so you can freshen up afterwards.
As for your hair, if you have them, bring your hair accessories or veil with you too.
3. Not All ‘Naturals’ Are Created Equally
Your idea of ‘natural beachy waves’ or ‘natural make-up’ might be very different from your hairstylist or make-up artist’s.
One hairstylist I spoke to, said that when brides say they want ‘beachy hair’ they really want more of a Hollywood wave, but are terrified of ending up with tight curls. Again, this is why it’s so important to bring visual aids to show exactly what you mean when you say ‘natural’.
I for example, wanted ‘natural’ wedding make-up but by the end of my trial I was asking my make-up artist to load on even more false lashes – I’m obsessed!
4. Budget It In
Many brides are shocked at the price of hair and make-up trials and often forget to factor them in while planning their beauty budget – especially if they end up having more than one or two.
Before you book, ask any potential hair and make-up artists about their trial prices and their wedding prices (so you can definitely afford them for the big day if you love their work.)
Also be sure to ask them how much time they allot for a hair trial. Many only leave time to complete one look, leaving brides disappointed if they were hoping to try out several different styles.
5. Ask About Pre-Trial Prep
Depending on what you’re having done, and how long your stylist or artist has, you may need to come with your hair or skin prepped a certain way – hair freshly washed or a day old, untouched skin or moisturised an hour in advance.
You’ll also want to replicate the real thing as closely as possible, so if you’re planning to have a spray tan or tinted brows, try to have that done ahead of your trial too.
Likewise, try to have your hair about the length and condition it will be on the day – you don’t want newly cut bangs and bleached hair on your wedding morning to throw off your hairstylist!
6. Replicate Your Dress Colour & Neckline
This might seem silly, but if you’re wearing a white or off-white wedding dress, try to wear a similar colour to your make-up trial.
This way you can see how your complexion looks and photographs against white (not always the most forgiving colour!).
And for your hair trial, attempt to replicate the neckline of your dress, whether it’s backless, strapless or off-the-shoulder – it will give you a better idea of how your hair style will look and sit on the day, and ensure you’re showing off your gown at its best.
7. Take Note of the Timings
A friend of mine said her make-up artist was really slow at the trial, but figured she’d be more prompt on the day. She ended up holding things up on the morning of the wedding and the bride and her bridesmaids were 40 minutes late to the church (and pretty stressed!).
Take note of how long your hair and make-up take during your trial, and talk to your stylist about timings on the day to make sure you allocate enough time for everyone in your pre-wedding prep gang to have their hair and make-up done – with time to spare for any last minute mishaps.
8. Ask Lots of Questions
Don’t be afraid to make the most of your hair or make-up trial by asking your hairstylist or make-up artist lots of questions – ask for tips, get the products their using, and find out how you can better prep your hair and skin for your big day and if there are some products you should invest in for freshening up throughout the day.
Likewise, make sure you ask them everything you need about logistics for the day. How much space they’ll need, what lighting they should have, how they accept payment, how much time they’ll spend between you and your bridal party or family, etc.
Take your chance to ask all the questions you can so you don’t need to chase them up afterwards.
9. Be Honest
If you don’t like what they do, tell them. Now I need to take my own advice at this, because I’ve left the hairdresser with a smile on my face only to cry outside on countless occasions!
The whole point of a hair or make-up trial is to try out a look so you can make tweaks before your wedding day. Things like fuller brows, a different lip colour, or looser up-style, can easily be fixed while you’re at your trial.
If the problem is something more significant like poor quality products, the wrong foundation colour, bad service or the make-up artist or hair stylist simply not listening to what you want, it’s probably best to take the hit, consider it money well spent on a mishap avoided, and book in another trial with someone new.
10. Make Plans for Afterwards
I’ve added this final tip for two reasons.
One: you’ll look gorgeous! So make the most of your pro-styled hair or make-up and go out dancing, get some cocktails or plan a special date night.
And two: giving your hair and make-up a proper test run means you can see how it wears over the course of a day or night, how it looks in photographs, and if any of the products need to be tweaked for longevity.
I got my hair and make-up trial on the day of my hen party, and I can safely vouch that it looked as good when I woke up the next morning with bunny ears on, as it had when I walked out of the salon the afternoon before!