Why have a trial? The makeup artist’s portfolio looks great, what else is there to decide? LOTS!


The makeup artists (MUA) approach to designing your wedding look should be a collaborative one. They should give you, the bride as much or as little control as you want. If you have an idea of how you want to look, the MUA can work with that look and tailor it to you. Alternatively, you may not have anything specific in mind, and they will be able to guide to by offering advice on suitable make-up colours, styles and how to make the most of your features.

Why trial?

  • You can discuss your needs/ requirements, so you get the look the way you want it.
  • You can have a play around with new looks to see what suits you. You may want to choose a tried & tested look for you, or you may decide that you want to go all-out glam with a look that’s very new to you. A trial gives you the chance to see different looks and make an informed decision on the final look.
  • You’ll know what to expect from the look – the MUA should confirm the look with you, and give you a written copy of what you’ve agreed, or a face chart as confirmation. This protects the MUA also, the Bride will have to take responsibility for any last minute changes that don’t work out the way she wants.
  • A MUA’s portfolio will often have airbrushed or touched up images for print. This may not be the face-to-face finish you will get on the day. Your professional photos will most likely have some touch-ups and will no doubt look amazing, but don’t forget the wedding guests will be taking photos on their own point-and-shoot cameras (which probably won’t be Photoshopped) so your makeup needs to look as good in person as it does on paper.


An initial consultation will last anything from an hour to two hours, and will typically consist of:
•skin analysis
•skin patch test (for foundation and/ or eyelash glue)
•discussion of preferred styles/ colours
•make-up application
•false lash application (if desired)
•hair styling (if desired)

Things to remember for the consultation/ trial

Remember to go wearing minimal make-up.

Magazine clippings of looks/ styles or photos you like of yourself at a party/ wedding. These will give the MUA an idea of your personal make-up style, and the types of looks that you are trying to achieve. The MUA can then advise you on which of these looks suit you best and can tailor the chosen looks to suit you.

Outfit/ jewellery/ dupatta
This will ensure that hair and make-up can be matched to the colour and style of the outfit and jewellery. If you have not yet chosen your outfit/ jewellery, it may be a good idea to bring pictures of the style of outfit/ jewellery that you are likely to buy.

Also it helps if you are wearing a top/ sweater the same colour as your wedding outfit. This will show how well the light reflects off the outfit colour and can help the MUA decide how much to highlight and contour and how strong the eye/ lip/ cheek colours should be. Not sure what I mean? Grab a white scarf, a black scarf and a coloured scarf. Stand by a mirror near natural light and hold each scarf up against your chest. Can you see that your makeup looks slightly different when wearing the different colours?

Preferred make-up brands/ make-up items
If there are any foundations/ other cosmetics of your own that that you would like to use, bring them with you. The MUA can work with them instead of, or in addition to their own professional make-up kit.

A friend/ sister/ cousin
They can provide an impartial second opinion. The bridal make-up trial will often make the wedding feel more ‘real’ and can be emotionally overwhelming. It always helps to have a good friend to keep you calm and offer advice when making all-important make-up & hair decisions.

This will enable you to take photos of your chosen look and assess whether the hair and make-up look as good on camera as it does in person. Take a digital camera if possible, so that you can take the photos away with you and consider whether you would like any changes made or a second trial.

Final thoughts

If you’ve had second thoughts on anything you’ve agreed at a trial, then arrange to have a second trial. The MUA may charge an extra fee for this, but in the end, it’s worth it, as you need to be 100% happy.

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