Preparing For Your Bridal Hair & Make-up Trial


Your hair & make-up style completes your wedding day look, so it’s absolutely essential that you book in a trial with your stylist. Here’s our top tips on how to prepare for your hair & make-up trial.

Get some inspiration

The first thing that I suggest that you do before your trial is go searching for some inspiration pics of what you’re after for yourself and your maids, that you can then send to your stylist. And the best place to go to do this, is Pinterest.

Brides to be, if you haven’t checked out Pinterest yet, where on earth have you been since you got engaged??? Pinterest is literally like your wedding inspiration bible- it’s like thousands of wedding magazines all rolled into one very handy app on your phone. It’s amazing, but its very easy to end up down a Pinterest rabbit hole scrolling past thousands of images of photoshopped 18 year old models who are fair skinned and blonde, when you have dark hair and are naturally blessed with a tan all year round (yes, I’m very jealous).

When looking for your Inspo images, make sure that you only really look at models who have similar features to yourself - so same eye colour, skin colouring, and hair colour. The natural look on the model with the pale blonde hair and porcelain skin is going to look very different on you if you don’t have pale blonde hair and porcelain skin. And the detailing in her updo, will look different if you have jet black hair, as it won’t be as pronounced.

If looking at all of the heavily photoshopped looks is giving you a headache, we do have a Pinterest board ourselves, with absolutely no photoshopping- with brides this pretty, why would we need to? Plus I can’t photoshop for the life of me.

My main tip for you when deciding on your chosen inspo pics is to pic a style that’s similar to what you would wear for a special event- eg if you love red lips and wear them every day, pick a red lipped look, or if your version of special occasion makeup is actually breaking out the mascara, then pick a really soft, natural look - you need to look like you on your wedding day, not like a caked on version of you.

And if decoding your bridal beauty style is just not an enjoyable process at all for you, and you have no idea what you’re doing, don’t worry, your stylist is here to help, so don’t be afraid to ask. Personally, I offer all of my brides complimentary consults from my studio where we sit down over a cup of coffee and work together to find out exactly which looks we’re going to trial. You can find out more about our consults here.

Booking your trial

Now it’s time to send your selected looks to your stylist, along with a selfie of yourself, and ask her what you’ll need to bring to your trial, eg hair accessories, extensions. A lot of those extremely voluminous hair styles are created with a full head or two of clip in hair extensions, so by sending the selfie and style through to her, she’ll be able to tell you if you’ll need them to recreate it, or what she can do to adjust the style so you can achieve it without.

Also, don’t forget to let your stylist know if you’re planning on wearing and hair accessories or a veil, or your own lipstick, as she might want you to bring these in too.

Book your trial for a day when you’ll be heading out, at least two months prior to your wedding, eg for your engagement photoshoot, engagement party, or just a night out - don’t waste getting all glammed up by going home to do your vacuuming! If you’re concerned about your fiancé and others seeing you all glammed up in your bridal hair & make-up style, just ask your stylist if they can adjust the look at the end. You do need to tell them in advance, as this takes time and generally the only gaps that most stylists can leave in between clients is barely long enough for them to make a cup of coffee, particularly on weekends! 

If you’re heading out directly afterwards, make sure that you allow roughly 2.5 hours for your hair & makeup trial (it’s not this long on the day), as most stylists will take their time at trials so that they can write notes and take extensive photos to document each section, plus they want to chat and get to know YOU!

If you’re wanting to trial more than one hair & make-up look, make sure that you let your stylist know. They may ask you to book two separate trials, so be prepared for this also.


Prep your hair & skin for your trial

We’ve all heard that wive’s tale about “the longer you leave your hair between washes, the better it will hold”. Well, that might’ve been true when our mothers and grandmothers were getting married, but with all of the new techniques and products available today, there’s no need to make your stylist touch your grimy week old hair filled with dandruff, crumbs from what you’ve eaten that week, plus god knows what else. No amount of dry shampoo can make greasy hair look good, so I always recommend that you arrive with hair washed the day before. Most stylists won’t have the capacity on your wedding day to wash and blow-dry, so generally that’s up to you, unless your stylist says otherwise. I recommend that you don’t apply any serums, leave-in treatments, oils or any other hair products to your hair, as these can react with your stylist’s hot tools, and can also risk the longevity of your hairstyle. If you absolutely have to apply some treatment, I’d suggest that you send a quick message to your stylist just to make sure that they approve the product. Lastly, for the love of God, do not apply coconut oil to your hair! Coconut oil is for cooking, and it reacts just like olive oil when combined with a GHD at 180 degrees- it sizzles and burns!

To prep your skin, I recommend that you do a soft exfoliating scrub or a light AHA mask the night before, something that you’ve tried and tested many times before (now is not the time to risk a reaction!), and hydrate with a good night cream.

Before you leave for your trial, cleanse your face with an actual cleanser (no make-up wipes!) to make sure that you’re completely fresh-faced and mascara-free. If you arrive to your trial with a face full of make-up, you risk losing a large portion of your allocated time to your stylist removing every trace of make-up from your face. I personally love my clients to arrive without any skin care treatments on, such as moisturisers, eye creams, serums, sunscreens, just as they can interfere with how well the makeup sits and how well it lasts, plus dependent upon the SPF, they can cause that dreaded “flashback” ghost effect in pictures!. Most stylists will supply all skincare products, but if you’d prefer to use your own, just bring it along to your trial for your stylist to approve and apply for you.


At your trial

When you arrive to your trial, your stylist will either start with hair or make-up first- I personally prefer to start with hair, because thats how I like to work on the day. Whilst you’re at your trial, take the time to chat with your stylist about your wedding and get to know each other- they’re going to be a big part of your wedding morning, so it’s important that you both enjoy each other’s company.

Whilst your stylist is working, I definitely suggest that you don’t bombard them with nitty-gritty questions such as financials, exact timings and other similar queries- I know myself personally, I go into a “creative zone” when working on clients, so I can’t alway answer those questions on the spot as I’m too focused on perfect that liner or making sure that that piece of hair is sitting correctly and isn’t going to budge! It’s definitely better to ask those questions via email, as that was you have an on-paper copy of every answer, plus your stylist can take the time to make sure that they’ve answered it to the best of their ability, not whilst they’ve got the hairdryer blasting and you both can barely hear a thing!

Photography | Aaron Gort

Photography | Aaron Gort

If you’re like me and can be a little Type A, my recommendation is to ask your stylist if you can sit not facing a mirror, as often it doesn’t look that pretty whilst your hair is all teased up on top of your head clipped in sectioning clips, or whilst the fallout from that flawless smokey eye is resting on your cheeks! Your stylist can always spin you round to face the mirror when she needs your opinion on different sections, and there’s always time at the end for you to ask for adjustments. 

When your stylist is finished, they’ll probably take around 10 000 photos if they’re anything like me, so be prepared to be asked to move your head around in all different positions, all so that they can document every little detail of your chosen look. 

When you leave your trial, make sure that you take as many selfies as you can, in as natural sunlight as possible. Use your back camera if possible because its better quality, or get someone else to take them for you, and for the love of god- don’t use a snapchat filter on them! 

This way, you have heaps of photos that you can look back on in the lead up to your wedding, and you can look back on them on a day when you have a fresh mind to see if theres any little things that you want changed. Don’t be afraid to change your mind- that’s the whole point of the trial!

If you’re wanting to book a bridal trial or complimentary consult with us, or just want to have a chat about your bridal beauty ideas, then you can do so by clicking here, or by sending us an email to