Wedding Hair & Makeup. Trial and Error! How to Get the Most Out of Your Wedding Hair and Makeup Trial?
As a bride, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing your hair and makeup artist—and I’m not just saying that because I am one!. Think about all the photos that will be taken of you on your big day, and for how many years to come you will be looking at them. They can either be cherished keepsakes of how radiant you felt, or stark reminders of the updo that fell flat, or the melting eyeliner and foundation that wasn’t set properly. Finding the right stylist who can execute your vision and also be a positive, uplifting presence during your potentially stressful wedding day prep is more of a challenge than many brides realize. The hair and makeup trial is a crucial step in the vetting process, and arriving to your appointment prepared can make all the difference.
Here are my tips for getting the most out of your trial experience:
Ask the right questions. Before you make your appointment, be sure you have all the initial information you need from your potential artist. Most artists will send a detailed price list with some guidelines and requirements that they ask of their clients. Read through this carefully to make sure you are comfortable with everything, and if these questions are not addressed send them a follow-up:
Do you place a time limit on your trials? Many artists place 2-3 hour limits on appointments, regardless of whether or not you have found the look you want. While I will say that 2 hours is almost always sufficient, if you feel like you may go over it might be a good idea to make sure your artist does not have any constraints.
Do you have any additional fees? Common fees include: travel fees/reimbursement, early start fees, peak season/holiday fees, and assistant artist fees (for large wedding parties).
Do you use airbrush makeup? Airbrush is quickly becoming the gold standard for bridal makeup because of its lightweight feel and durability. If you love the work of an artist that does not use this technique, ask about what products they use to help ensure longevity.
Do you provide a touch-up kit? Most bridal artists will provide their clients with a small jar of their lipstick shade and an applicator, as well as extra hair pins and translucent powder if necessary.
Bring photos! This is probably my top recommendation for clients. Most artists are very visual, and while you may have a clear idea in your mind of how you’d like to look, so much can get lost in translation from a verbal description. Your idea of a smokey eye or romantic updo might be very different than your potential artist’s, so pictures can help get you both on the same page very quickly. Even if you don’t find one image that perfectly encapsulates what you want, it is very helpful to have a handful of inspirational photos and describe which elements you love about each one. A skilled artist can piece together your vision and create your perfect customized look. I also love to see brides’ ideas for the rest of the wedding, so any pictures you have of your dress, flowers, or table settings can be very helpful to create a style that ties in with the overall theme of your day.
Consider personality. Although the main focus will of course be on the potential artist’s skill level, it is also important to take into account their demeanor and presence. Treat the trial like a job interview; do you feel like the artist is working for you, or that they are trying to overrule your suggestions? A good artist should be able to take constructive criticism and strive to realize your vision without taking it personally. Wedding day prep can be a stressful time when you may feel like you are being pulled in all directions, so try to envision the artist’s energy in those surroundings. Making sure you and your wedding party “click” with your artist can be a big factor in how enjoyable the start of your big day is.
Choosing your hair and makeup artist can feel like a daunting task, but by asking the right questions, bringing visual aids, and taking chemistry into consideration, you can focus on the fun part—your perfect bridal look. Now get thee to Pinterest and find some inspiration!
Cati James is a NYC based hair and makeup artist. Over the course of her career she has had the pleasure of working for NBC, CNN, MTV, Food Network, Sony, Warner Bros., and many more. Her bridal work has been featured in New York Magazine, Brides Magazine, Westchester Weddings, Long Island Bride and Groom, and BrideChic.
She is currently represented by | Miss Harlequin | Cati James