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How to prepare for your bridal makeup trial

Updated: Apr 21, 2019

What if I don’t know what I like? What if I have zero clue about where to even start? What if I’m just a chapstick and sunscreen girl? *DEEP BREATH* You will be fine, here’s some tips!


1. Bring photo examples!

Makeup artists, well every single artist for that matter, are very much “visual” people. We need to see photo examples of what kind of makeup you like. Examine the photos that you are re-pinning or screenshot-ing. What is it EXACTLY about the photo that you like? Is it the color choices? The perfectly placed glow? The shape of the eyeliner? The flawless skin? What do you NOT like about it?

Bring photos of yourself the last time you dressed up and did your makeup. This really helps me to see the amount of makeup you’re comfortable with.

A word on choosing photos: look for celebrity red-carpet event photos (...the Oscars, Met Gala etc.) These events are usually photographed with all outdoor lighting, which means you will get a much more realistic representation of what your bridal makeup might look like. Most press photos (especially Getty images) are never put through an “Instagram-filter” or even edited at all. I’ll make it super easy for you, check out my Pinterest boards!

2. If you don’t know what you like, tell me what you HATE!

Honestly, it’s very helpful to tell me what you don’t like! Hate the feel of matte lipstick? Hate it when your hair gets stuck in sticky lipgloss? Can’t stand contouring or overdone eyebrows? Hate the way foundation feels on your skin? Does eyeliner always smudge on you? Or does your eyeshadow constantly crease? These are all important details to communicate to me at your trial.

3. Wear white!

It is amazing to me to see how much color can change the way your makeup looks. If you wear a top that is close to your dress color (ivory, champagne etc.), it can really give you a better idea of how the makeup and hair will all pull together. Sometimes I put a white hairstyling cape or even just drape a white towel (not that classy TBH) around your shoulders to show you the difference!

4. Communicate

Your trial is all about open and honest communication. I genuinely appreciate my brides to be 100% honest and give feedback. You are not going to hurt my feelings if we need to adjust something! I want to make sure you are happy with every aspect of your makeup so please tell me exactly what you think! That is the whole point of having a trial anyway, right?

5. Book your trial the same day as your engagement photos!

This is the best way to see what works and what doesn’t work! Every photographer has a different editing style and this can greatly affect how your makeup looks on camera. If your photographer tends to gravitate to a light and airy look, we might need to bump up some elements so you don’t look washed out. Or, on the flip side, if they have a dark and moody style, we should lessen the smokiness on your eyes or the contouring on your cheeks, it can look more dramatic than intended. I usually do my research on the photographer I will be working with ahead of time! (Instagram stalking haha)

6. Document

After your trial makeup is done, I always recommend taking photos throughout the day in different lighting conditions, to see what it looks like on camera. Don’t forget to take selfies too! Booking your trial early in the day, if possible, is a great way to see what lasts, and what you needed to touch-up. I usually bring my Canon and take some portraits too! I always send them to you in a follow-up email and ask you what changes we need to make.


Getting pampered is the fun part of the wedding! This is probably one of the times that you get to be treated like an absolute queen, so soak it up and enjoy it all! I can’t wait to get you in my chair!

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Janelle this is such a great article for preparing for a bridal makeup trial! I know so many brides and going to find this resource helpful!!

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