1/ Come prepared
Image by Brad and Jen Photography
Wash your hair the night before. The natural oils present in day-old hair make it easier to style and shape compared to when it’s freshly washed. This is especially true for updos or braided styles, where overly soft, washed hair can be harder to control!
Come fresh-faced, so you don’t need to remove makeup before starting the trial.
Bring a camera and have a friend capture the look from a range of different angles, and under different light conditions (preferably daylight). If you don’t mind sharing the look with your fiancé, you might even want to arrange your engagement photo sessions for after the trials, to give a more accurate view of how your style will look through their lens on the day!
2/ Recreate Wedding conditions as best you can
Images by Eric Kelley Photography and Tamara Gruner Photography
Book hair and makeup trials for the same day if you can. This will give you the most accurate view on how the looks will complement each other.
Bring any accessories to be worn on the day, particularly for your hair trial. This might include your veil, barrette or other hair ornaments.
Wear a top in a similar colour and with a similar neckline to your dress.
Prep your skin in the same way you will on the day. This is particularly relevant if you’re planning on self-tanning or getting a spray tan, as the colouring will make a big difference to the makeup shades used. If you’re getting married outdoors or in summer, you’ll also want to consider wearing suncream on your face ahead of the makeup trial.
The same goes for your hair. If you want to make a change to your colour, length or style, be sure to do so before the trial!
3/ Think balanced but bright for makeup
Images by Romance Weddings by Joseba Sandoval Photography and Lori Paladino Photography
To maintain a timeless look, wedding looks are almost universally very soft and well balanced; anything too glossy or shimmery can become distracting and unflattering under brighter light conditions. That isn’t to say you have to stick with neutral or pale tones, which can look washed out next to a white dress. Keep things bright (but not harsh) by considering lip and cheek colours that are just a few shades brighter than what you’d wear every day.
4/ Leave the trials till the last minute
Image by Avodah Photography
Equally, don’t book your trial too early! You want it to fall at a point where you have much of your wedding look already planned out (including the dress, hair accessories and a clear view of the style you like). You also want to ensure you have plenty of time to make changes should you need to. Between 4 and 8 weeks before the wedding is a good time frame.
5/ Forget about maintenance
Image by Le Secret d'Audrey
Wear the looks for an extended period of time after the trials. Going out with the girls afterwards isn’t just a fun way to treat yourself and make the most of the look, it will also give you a clearer idea of how the hair and makeup stand up to eating, drinking and dancing!
Ask your vendors about the longevity of products. If you’d rather go with extra staying power, express this preference to them ahead of time so they can choose the best products for the job.
If you do anticipate touch ups throughout your wedding day, make note of all the products you’ll need (and the right shades), so you can add them to your makeup bag.
6/ Let others guide your decision
Image by Ryan Ray Photography
By all means, seek advice from your stylist, makeup artist and friends or family, but guard against getting carried away by other people’s visions. Being really honest about what you do and don’t like the look of will ensure everyone is free to create the best possible look!