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How to Make the Most of Your Wedding Make Up Trial

Wedding photographs are one of those sentimental, special somethings that are often passed along to future generations. Most brides are fully aware of this, and bear this in mind when dreaming up their wedding day hair and make up looks.


As a professional wedding make up artist in Manchester and Cheshire, I find that many of my brides desire a wedding make up look that both withstands the test of time and enhances their natural features. But with so many incredibly talented bridal make up artists available at our fingertips (literally), it can be difficult for brides to choose the right make up artist to match their style and personality. So, when you do choose the right wedding make up artist for you and your bridesmaids, it’s important to make the most of the experience.


Within this piece, I share my professional advice and guidance to help your experience go as smoothly as possible from your make up trial right through to your wedding day.


Do I really need a make up trial?


Booking a trial for your wedding make up is a necessity. A make up trial with your chosen make up artist is a brilliant way to get to know one another, talk through what you have in mind and see your desired look on your own face – you may find that you love it more than you thought you would or actually want to opt for something else.


I recommend your make up trial take place between 6-8 weeks prior to your big day, as by this time you are more likely to have a better idea of what you want. I would recommend trying to book in for a date that you have your hair trial or dress fitting, so that you can see how everything is going to come together.


Your wedding make up is often a collaboration. You should come prepared! Here’s how you can best prepare for your wedding make up trial:


  1. Collate any photos of a time where you loved your make up into an album on your phone, and think about why you liked your make up in each of the photographs. Maybe you loved how radiant and glowy your skin looked, how flawless and natural your foundation looked or how pretty your eye make up was.

  2. While sourcing images, it is also worth looking at and saving pictures of other brides and models whose make up you think you would like.

  3. Remain open to suggestions from your make up artist, on how they can adapt what you love to compliment your features.

Questions you should ask your bridal make up artist at your make up trial

How long does your make up usually last? Are you able to make it last through the day and night?


Make up longevity depends on various factors, such as skin type. Your trial is the perfect place for you to discuss skin type and any concerns you may have with regards to the longevity of your wedding day make up. Your make up artist will know which make up and skincare products work best together for your specific skin type to ensure it lasts all day.


The T-Zone tends to be one of the first areas to be prone to shine throughout the day, however if there are any other areas you tend to get shine where you don’t want it, do tell your make up artist at your trial. They will select suitable products and make recommendations on how you can manage this throughout the day. This may be by carrying blotting paper in your handbag or having a powder such as the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder to hand for top ups later on in the day.


Some make up artists will stay with you throughout the day for make up top ups. Find out whether your make up artist offers this as part of their wedding make up service. Within my bridal make up service, I offer exclusive make up packages where I can stay with you and your bridal party all day so that you don’t have to worry about touching up your own make up – I can do this for you! All you would need to do is let me know upon booking.


What if either myself or my party have any allergies or sensitive skin? How will that work? What products do you use?


Your make up trial is the perfect place and time to discuss any allergies you have with your make up artist. Whether you are allergic to any particular ingredients or find you have more sensitive skin, mentioning this prior to any make up application is essential to ensure you achieve the long lasting look you desire.


Common make up allergies include being allergic to latex, commonly found in eyelash glue. If you are allergic to latex but would like to wear false eyelashes on your wedding day, don’t worry – there are plenty of latex-free lash glue alternatives available making it completely possible.


If you are prone to watery eyes throughout the day, by letting your make up artist know means that they can opt for a waterproof mascara and use an application method to prevent the initial watery eye and ensure longevity throughout the day.


If you have sensitive skin, advising your make up artist means they can avoid heavily scented products and any products containing alcohol – known skin irritants.


The great thing about a trial is that, even if you do not have any known allergies or skin sensitivities, you will be able to let your products sit for the entire day to ensure none of the products, that your skin may not be used to, do not react at all. Each make up artist has their own favourite products that they use; let them know if you already know that your skin does not agree with a specific product.


What if I have redness in my skin or blemishes? Are you able to cover them?


If there are any areas of your skin that cause you concern, i.e an area of your face you tend to be prone to redness or blemishes, please bring this up with your make up artist during your trial. They can make recommendations on skincare products to help with these concerns and may recommend visiting a skin specialist before your wedding day. Your make up artist will, of course, also have their own favourite go-to face products that will help to hide any blemishes and redness on the day of your wedding.


What if you are undecided between different make up styles? Are you able to recommend what will work best for me?


It might be that you would love a matte look when it comes to your eyes on the day, but at the same time you would like to see how a gold shimmer looks. Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts with your make up artist, as this way they could show you what each would look like on one half of the face so that you can compare the two. Your make up artist will also recommend what might look best or how the two ideas can be infused together into one look.

And once applied, try to be as honest as possible when expressing your feedback and opinions on your make up look. Share both what you do and don’t like about the make up look as the end goal is to ensure you look and feel beautiful. You don’t want to end up walking down the aisle with a make up look you aren’t in love with. It is easy to tweak the look ahead of time. Perhaps you were dead set on a bold smokey eye for your wedding day, but now that’s on in the trial, you are having some doubts. That is completely ok! That is what your trial is for! By letting your make up artist know, the look can be toned down or you can go for a completely different eye look. That is the purpose of having a trial and it is the perfect time for you to see how the look will come together on the big day.


If there is a specific product you really love, i.e a foundation you have used for years and would love to be wearing on the day, then ask your make up artist if they house this product in their kit. If not, it’s no problem for your make up artist to use your own products on the day. If you bring it along to your trial, you can see how it compliments the rest of the make up look.


If you have never had your make up done professionally before and are feeling nervous at the idea of having it done by a make up artist, don’t be. Let your make up artist know and they can bear this in mind and tailor your look and experience to suit you.


Are you able to do my bridal party’s make up? How do I choose the look for my bridesmaids?


Your trial is a great opportunity to discuss what look your bridesmaids will be having on the day too.


As a professional wedding make up artist, I would usually recommend a uniform look for all bridesmaids as it creates symmetry which looks picture perfect and helps the bride stand out. If you let your make up artist know your bridesmaids dress colours, they can help to pick a shimmer to compliment these. A rose gold like Peached Pigment or a gold pigment such as Wish Pigment are always an excellent choice.


If you haven’t yet booked a make up artist for your wedding day make up, my signature make up style is classic, glamorous bridal make up. You can find more information about my wedding make up service, examples of bridal make up and booking information here.


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Makeup by Barbara Ayisi

Keep up to date with my makeup and beauty blog for the inside scoop from professional makeup artist, Barbara Ayisi. You can expect to find fresh makeup reviews, swatches and beauty tips.

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