Brides-to-be, listen up! Your wedding beauty trial is a super important step in planning for your big day. To make it exponentially more successful, we’ve got a little insider information to help you prepare. There are several details to consider and steps you can take that will help you get the most out of the meeting (and make your chosen artist very happy because you’re so ahead of the game!).

First off, you need to hire a hair and makeup artist. When it comes to finding someone who grasps your wedding look vision (like smokey eye wedding makeup for the boho bride or classic bridal makeup for the minimalist bride) and can execute it in a way that brings you a sense of confidence and excitement, the number one driving factor is communication. As a hair and makeup artist who has been in the industry for the last six years (and has also been on the other end of the makeup brush), I have a clear understanding of what the bride and the artist both need. That’s why today I’m going to share a few tips that will help make the process of finding the right hair and makeup artist less stressful, and also teach you how to communicate the look you want.


You’re most likely paying good money for your trial, so you might as well plan your run-through on a day where you can use the look! Schedule it on the same day as your bridal shower, bachelorette party, engagement photos or, at the very least, a night out, so you can see how your makeup and hair holds up.

Pro Tip: Ask your stylist if she or he is willing to switch up your hairstyle slightly so you don’t give away your full look. Gotta leave something to be revealed on the big day, right?


Know if you want to wear hair extensions, are planning on changing your hair color or have a major haircut prior to your trial. It’s best to discuss this with your stylist in advance so she can prompt you to do them before you meet. You don’t want to have a trial, nail down your look and then change everything before the big day.


Be sure to have all of your inspiration images stocked up. It’s best to have notes on each image with the specifics of what you like and don’t like and the reasons why. If you have an image with really pretty makeup, is it the entire look, or just her eyeshadow or glowing skin that you love? Be VERY specific about each part. Often, a bride likes an image because it’s beautiful — but her makeup vision is not actually being portrayed.


If your artist understands how much makeup you’re comfortable wearing in your everyday life, she will know how to bridge the gap between your vision and your actual comfort level with makeup. Send an image of yourself with no makeup, a day makeup look and an evening makeup look. If you don’t wear any makeup at all, then it’s going to make a big difference in how the artist does your makeup for an event.


Send images of your wedding dress, bridesmaids’ dresses, color scheme, wedding planning boards or anything else that shows your aesthetic. This will help her get on your wavelength.


We ALL do this when it comes to finding an image of our desired hair color, hair cut or hair and makeup style. We see an image and think that at the end of our appointment we will look like that image. This is not realistic, gals! Remember that those images are your inspiration and that your artist will interpret and customize your look according to your features, style and hair and skin type. This is a GOOD thing! That said, I’m a stylist and still need to remind myself every time :)


Treat your trial as if it’s your wedding day. Be sure to get rest and hydrate. You can’t show up to your trial hungover or super tired and expect to feel good about anything. The more rested and positive you feel, the more likely you’ll be able to communicate clearly about what you want.


The color of your dress will make a huge difference in how you perceive your look, so pick an outfit for your trial that’s the same color. Also, be sure to wear something you feel good in — don’t put on a t-shirt just because it’s white!


If you have makeup or a specific skin product that you know you can’t go without, that’s totally fine. It’s perfectly acceptable to bring it to the trial. Your makeup artist has everything she needs to give you the look of your dreams, but at the end of the day, you know what you love. There’s nothing wrong with loyalty to a particular product that works well for you. Just let your artist know that you would be more comfortable having her incorporate it into her routine.


If you plan on wearing a veil, hair accessories, earrings or jewelry, bring them to the trial so that you can try them on with your hair and makeup look. It will help you make minor adjustments to your final silhouette and/or add drama to your makeup.

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It is your responsibility to make sure your artist knows exactly what you’re thinking and feeling about your hair and makeup. Hopefully you found someone who is easy to talk to (if not, keep looking!). Be specific about anything you’re not comfortable with and give her more details on the direction you would like her to go. If you end up not liking the look you thought you were going for, it’s no big deal! That’s why it’s a trial. Just be sure to communicate that to your artist so she can make the changes necessary to bring your vision to life.


If you want to get an idea of how your hair and makeup are going to look throughout your wedding, then take photos throughout the day while you’re still wearing your trial hair and makeup. This is also your time to take notes on how they hold up. Know that your artist can make adjustments based on your feedback. If you end up looking too shiny at the end of the evening, she can use a mattifying primer on your wedding day. On the contrary, if your skin looks dry, she can add a more hydrating serum before applying your makeup.

While some of these tips may seem a little drastic, if you follow them, you can avoid all those moments of miscommunication that often result in wasted time and money. Make as many phone calls to artists as you need, and really be sure to go with the one you vibe with. After all, this is an important person who will be by your side on the big day. You want an artist who will keep you calm and also make you feel your most beautiful.

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