What To Expect At Your Wedding Makeup Trial

This is a guide on how to prepare and get the most out of your Bridal Makeup Trial. As with all other aspects of wedding planning and preparation in the lead up to your big day, it has to be fun and enjoyable!

Hopefully the below will help reassure and answer any concerns or queries you may have about this session and the overall experience.


  • Gather together all of your inspiration images and information on the makeup looks you love and have it all there to hand for us to go through together. Laptop/iPad/Pinterest/scrapbooks are all great!

  • This is an integral part of the process as these images (and our accompanying chats) will act as a starting point for the look we’ll create together. The difference between articulating your ideas and showing me what you’d like is what will bring your dream makeup look to life. For example, your idea of natural could be another bride’s OTT or your description of a warm brown could be another bride’s griege/taupe/purple/grey.

  • Pinterest is brilliant for this, create your own makeup board; hunt around for other peoples and check out wedding blogs for them too – mine is here. It’s also a good way of mixing and matching ideas, don’t be afraid to do this. You can say you like the shape of a smoky eye but with the colour of another image; or that dusty pink lip with that dewy skin etc.

  • Show me as much as you like! I’d really like to see the hairstyle you’re going for so we can make sure your makeup compliments that. And although the style of the dress may not really have an impact on the makeup style, nor will the shoes; it doesn’t mean I don’t want to see them. Everything you show me helps me to build a good picture and an idea of the feel, heart and vibe of your wedding.

Up Close & Personal:

  • It’s completely natural to feel a little nervous or apprehensive ahead of your trial especially as I’ll be right there, up close, touching your face and all that! But I promise that you will feel more relaxed as we go through it and as with all wedding related things it’s designed to be a fun and exciting experience.

  • My approach to makeup artistry is to emphasize the power of your natural features as well as your individuality and so I make a big effort to get to know all of my brides and build a good, friendly yet professional relationship with everyone. After all, you may well be sitting in my chair on the morning of the wedding when you get your ‘holy mackerel, it’s actually happening’ moment.

Your Style:

  • If you have a signature look or style that makes you who you are, I need to know. The straight up truth is that you will not feel like yourself when you see the final look. For example, if you’re used to wearing black kohl on the inner rim of your eye, and you don’t have it on (even when your bridal party and family are rendered speechless by how stunningly beautiful you look), you will not like it without.

  • Leave your usual makeup on for the trial. Failing that, show me pictures. One thing to remember is that I’m not there to recreate your usual makeup look, it’s really hard (fairly impossible) to replicate something your used to doing everyday on yourself. It’s also a big waste of money for you to employ me when it’s something you could actually do yourself.


  • If you have very sensitive skin and react to most moisturisers, please make sure yours is available at the trial. I’m happy to use most skincare ranges (unless it’s too high a SPF or overly silicon based). I enjoy trying new things and I like to keep up to date with the latest trends/products and so you may end up introducing me to something new!

  • My kit contains a wide variety of products including MAC, Urban Decay and Bobbi Brown and luxury brands like Guerlain and YSL as well as other professional products such as Bioderma and Keromask. As a rule, I like to use my own foundations as they are ideal for longevity and I mix them to ensure that I get the exact colour for your skin tone.

Set Up & Timings:

  • Ideally I need light and surface space. A kitchen table or worktop next to or near a window is ideal; it’s quicker and easier if I can lay everything out. Where possible it’s best to turn most lights off and just work with the daylight where possible.

  • Ordinarily I’ll bring my tall chair, mainly to save my own back. But if I haven’t got it with me then please don’t sit in a low chair, this will make it really difficult for us both, especially if I’m practically straddling you to see your face and you’re slumped forward!

  • I never limit a bride to a certain length of time for a trial as it's really important to me that you are happy and that we get the look perfectly suited to you, however long it takes.

Second Opinions:

  • If it is important to you to have a second opinion, then invite a friend, bridesmaid or your sister along. Mums are fine too, as long as you’re ok with having her there.

The Reveal:

  • To put it directly, if you don’t like it, say so!

  • It's really important to me that you’re happy and that we get the look perfectly suited to you; a trial is there for exactly this reason. If you’re not sure about something, say it whilst I’m still there with my kit and brushes out, so we can tweak and fine-tune it.

  • When you’re studying a finished makeup look, do so in a full length mirror if you have one and ideally (and if possible) in daylight. If you’re wearing a white dress (or whatever colour you’re wearing ) on the big day, throw on a shirt in the colour of your dress so that you can see the look in the same context. I will design your wedding makeup to work against the brightness of the dress and what can look a bit uninspiring will come alive in the right kind of light.


  • If you decide to keep the makeup on, enjoy it and try to wear it for a few hours to get used to it. It’s also worth taking some pictures so you can see how it looks on camera but try to do it on a real camera where possible, camera phones have a tendency to distort how you normally look.

  • If after wearing your makeup look for an hour or so you feel that it needs to be heavier, let me reassure you that it doesn’t. You’re getting married, not performing on stage under hot theatre lights.

  • Bridal makeup is designed for longevity so it may look more matte that perhaps you’re used to. Generally for photos (combined with a long day), it's best to keep makeup quite matte and avoid anything too shiny or shimmery. It’s also likely that I will have increased the definition in your eye makeup to a couple of shades darker than usual (switching your usual brown mascara to black, for example) because eyeliner and mascara will help your eyes stand out in your pictures.

I hope these tips help you get prepared for your wedding makeup trial, whether it’s with me or another makeup artist, I’d love to what you think in the comments below. Do you have a strong idea about the makeup look you’d like for the big day? If you’re not used to wearing much makeup, how do you feel about ramping it up for the big day? Did this advice help, do you know where to begin now with figuring out your look?

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