How to make the most of your Makeup Trial

Part of the process of deciding your makeup look for your big day is figuring out what makeup you want to wear and for you and your makeup artist to get together and play! For me, personally I don’t treat the trial as an audition to see if my bride likes my work. It’s easy enough to search through the hundreds of images online to see whether you like my style. Trials or practice runs for me are to nail the exact look, help sort out skincare issues and work through all the ideas/photos/pinterest images you like.

Like many other parts of planning a wedding, having a makeup trial is a new experience and so I want to give you some help and guidance so that both you and your makeup artist can have the best experience..

First of, it needs to be fun, it needs to be enjoyable. This is important! It shouldn’t be stressful; it shouldn’t feel like a chore. You should be relaxed, if not during (because you are allowed to be nervous) then at least after. A huge part of this can be down to picking the right make-up artist. We’re pretty much going to be right in there, touching your face and all that. So you have to like us! Luckily these days it’s easier than ever to get to know someone’s character because social media these days is not just our work- it’s us. We share more than just our clients and our final finished projects, so get watching someones Instagram stories and see if you think you’ll ‘click’.

I make a big effort to build a good, friendly yet professional relationship with my clients. It will probably be in my chair on the wedding morning that you’ll get your ‘it’s actually happening’ moment. I love that I share that moment with so many brides. It’d feel intrusive if I wasn’t on a good level with her.

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Show your makeup artist how you imagine your perfect wedding makeup

Next it’s all about preparation. Gather information and have it all there for us to peruse…. Laptop/iPad/scrap-book, it’s all good. It’s part of the process and will have been factored into the timings by the makeup artist. You can show us as much as you like! The style of the dress may not really have a lot of impact on the make-up style, nor will the shoes but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to see them. Everything you show us helps to build a good picture for us. An idea of the feel and heart of your wedding.

When it comes to make-up looks, this is really essential. REALLY!  The difference between telling us your ideas and showing us is what will make your make-up work.

For instance – “I’d like a soft, yet defined, smoky eye, kind of warm greys, not too heavy or dark. But I LOVE lots of black liquid liner. Flicked. Oh and lashes, I like my lashes to look natural. I only use 3/4 coats mascara.”

This is about as clear as mud. Your idea of warm grey can be another girls taupe/brown/purple/greige. Your idea of natural is another girls over-done.

Image by Guy Collier

Image by Guy Collier

Makeup artists are not MIND READERS, tell us what you want and like, we can’t guess

Don’t be afraid to mix and match your look. You may love the shape of smoky eye but with the colour of another image. This lip with that glowing skin etc. It’s our job to translate what you see and make it work for you.

In order to ensure that the makeup artist can recreate what you’ve fallen in love with, I would suggest that you pick your inspiration look from his/her own gallery. Most experienced makeup artists will have a wide range of photographs to pick from. Versatility is one of the skills that makes a great makeup artist but we do have a style that is our own. So show us our work that you love and you’ll get better, truer to inspiration results.

Also, and I can’t stress this enough; A make-up artist is many things but I’m pretty sure that none of us are MIND READERS…

If you have a signature look or style that makes you who you are, we need to know. You will not feel yourself when you see the final look. No matter if it is a blindingly elegant, beautiful glowing look or that your whole family are dumbstruck with it’s gorgeousness. If you’re used to wearing kohl on the inner rim of your eye, you will not like it without.

So, either come to the trial with your make-up on or show us pictures of you wearing make-up. Failing that, just tell us… What we’re not here to do is recreate your usual make-up, all the while guessing what you usually do. It’s really hard and can create tension if we’re made to feel like we’re being tested! Testing to see whether we agree with your daily make-up choices and confirming it by doing the exact same. Recreating it exactly will a) be quite impossible and b) be a big old waste of your money!

The same goes with saying “You’re the makeup artist, you tell ME” when asked for your wants and ideas. Something that I may think looks lovely on you, may be the complete opposite of what you want. There is no right or wrong, but there is a ‘what you want and what you don’t’. Please see above comment re MINDREADING.

If you have super sensitive skin and react to most moisturisers, tell us beforehand. If you’ve allergies we REALLY need to know. If push comes to shove we can use your skincare, but we would need to test run it during this trial to see if it works with our foundation. Some ingredients and products don’t mesh well together so it’s the last resort.

One thing I’m not really comfortable doing is using a foundation I’m not familiar with. I know my bases inside out, how they last, how they blend and how they photograph. I don’t want to risk using something that flashes back or oxidises.

Set-up for a trial makeup

I carry a tall chair with me for work, so this doesn’t apply to me but it’s important. Your make-up artist needs his/her back to make a living! Please don’t sit in a really low chair, slumped forward so the makeup artist is practically straddling you to see your face! A past client once sat in a beanbag. I almost had to lie on top of her. Not dignified at all I purchased my chair the following week.”

We need a relatively large surface space. A dining room or kitchen table if possible. We carry a LOT of stuff and it needs to be laid out to ensure we can work fast and efficiently. Cramming £1000’s of palettes and glass bottles on a tiny coffee table, does not a safe workspace make. Our kits and brush belts/rolls can be quite extensive and it’s quicker and easier if we can lay everything out. If a table isn’t always to hand, a kitchen worktop is fine. Please don’t make us work off the floor! (Yes, this also happened…)

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Light is also a massive factor is us being able to do our jobs correctly. We need good light to make the right decisions for you. House lights, both ceiling and wall lights will be far too yellow and cast shadows. Lovely daylight is always best where possible. I carry with me a full light set up of the purest, cleanest lights that I can clip up, so please give us access to some electricity!

In the winter months don’t leave your trial too late in the day. You want to be able to see how it lasts and if it changes at all and by 3.30pm in January there’s not much light left!

Who do I bring to a wedding makeup trial?

Is it important to you to have a second opinion? If yes, bring a bridesmaid or your sister along. Mums are OK too, as long as you’re OK with having mum there. Is it important to you what your significant other thinks? He may have ‘make-up issues’ and be reluctant for you to change anything. This is your call. Hopefully he can be reassured that you’ll still look like yourself. I really do not mind working under someones gaze, as long as YOU’RE ok…

The Reveal

To put it plainly, if you don’t like it. Say. Say it now whilst we’re still there with kit out and brushes to hand! The trial is there for exactly this reason! As a make-up artist it is my job to make you happy and ensure that you look your very best. If you’re not sure about something, we can tweak it. This is why the trials are scheduled to take longer, a LOT longer! I’m not precious about whether you love everything 100% the very first time.

It’s why we do the practise run, it’s why we ask to see inspiration photos and also YOU in your usual make-up. So that we can get as good an idea of your vision as possible. Once again, that mind reading skill evades us.

Image by Annamarie Stepney

Image by Annamarie Stepney

Whilst I’m being a stickler for details, can I add in about the mirror you look in? Please don’t look in a tiny hand mirror, or a palette mirror. You’ll literally be able to see it an eye at a time. You need to see the whoooole picture. A full length mirror is ideal, in daylight. If you’re wearing a white dress, throw on one of your other half’s white shirts so you can see it in the same context.

Bridal make-up is designed to work against the brightness of the dress (or whatever colour you’re wearing, as long as you’ve shared it with the artist) and what can look a bit ‘meh’ in your grey jumper will come alive in the right light.

One last word about the actual make-up, don’t be talked into believing that the make-up needs to be any heavier. It doesn’t. You’re getting married not reading the news.

You do need to increase your definition, so your usual brown mascara gets switched to black etc. However if you feel it looks more matte than usual, wear it for the day, see how it looks after an hour or so. This make-up is designed for longevity.

In order to see it on camera and be reassured, it’s simple. Take a photo! Part of the service I provide is that each bride gets a beautiful portrait photo taken on a professional camera. You can see how the makeup looks and you get a lovely new profile photo to boot!

Make-up and photo by Katy Angelidi

Make-up and photo by Katy Angelidi

Finally, and this is an absolute must - put the kettle on. I am only half kidding! A cuppa always goes down well, as does the odd hobnob ;)

But on a serious note, if your artist is working on a large group people, he/she will probably need a drink at some point. We’re probably rushing around fitting numerous people in on the same day. Or dragging kits that weigh an absolute TON on trains or in and out of cars. And talking, lots!

Other than that, enjoy it! If you are keeping the make-up on to show him, get him to take you out to dinner that night at least. Staying in and doing laundry looking that good is just criminal!

Katy x

P.S If you have yet to book your makeup artist, get in touch. I have limited availability left for 2019 and 2020 books are now open. I recommend trials are done a good few months in advance so we can deal with any skin issues that may need help.