How To Prepare For Your Wedding Makeup Trial

Finding a makeup artist for your wedding is a lot of work and can be confusing at times. The majority of brides have never worked with a makeup artist before and don’t know what to expect from a trial. Here are some tips from a makeup artist’s point of view so that you know what to look for and are better prepared for a seamless trial.

The First Step – Finding a Makeup Artist

First of all, determine your budget for makeup. You can find makeup artists that range from $150-$500. However, remember you get what you pay for. Are there talented artists out there that charge in the lower range? Sure. But finding a cheap but good artist is like going to a sample sale. You’ll have to dig and dig and in the end, you may not find what you’re looking for. Also, you need to factor in the money you’ll shell out for trials. Some brides have 4 or 5 trials before they settle on a makeup artist they like. That’s a several hundred dollars right there! If you think about it, you can go with an artist in the mid to high range that you will most likely be happy with, and put those extra bucks you've saved towards your wedding day application.


So, the next step would be to look for an artist within your budget. This is the part that’s a lot of work. The best place to find artists in your area is to simply do a Google search. If you’re in NYC, then do "Makeup artist + NYC" and that should give you more than enough leads. If you want to be more specific, do "Makeup Arist + Bridal + NYC." Some good websites that have a database of makeup artists are The Knot, One Wed, and Party Pop.


When you look through all these makeup artists, see what catches your eye. Do you like a certain makeup artist because he or she is dramatic or natural? Do you like how he or she does eyes or lips? Find someone that fits your style. Once you narrow down your choices, it’s time to book your trial.


The Second Step – Booking Your Trial

You’ve found a makeup artist whose work you like and want to book a trial. Call or email the artist and have all the information handy, such as the wedding date, number of people in the party getting makeup done, the location of the wedding or where you’re getting ready, and an estimate of what time you need to be ready by. Also be sure to include any special requests such as if you need a tattoo covered or are allergic to anything.

The Third Step – Preparing for Your Trial

Once you’ve booked a date for your trial, scour the internet for all the wedding-day makeup looks you love. It’s good to have images to describe what you want because your version of a smoky eye and the makeup artist’s version of a smoky eye might be completely different!


A day or two before your trial, exfoliate your skin with a gentle scrub to get rid of all the dead skin cells. Be sure to hydrate well by drinking water and moisturizing your skin. The better your skin looks, the better the makeup will look. Make sure your brows and upper lips are done as well. Remember to ask your artist what their payment policies are so that you have enough cash or can pay electronically. Also remember to have enough for a deposit if you want to book your artist that day. If for any reason you need to cancel or reschedule, please let the artist know! I don’t know how many times I’ve waited for a no-show when I could have booked that time slot for someone else. Remember, it’s not just your time, but the artist’s time as well.

The Fourth Step – Your Trial

You’re finally at the trial and chatting with your makeup artist. This is an important part of your trial because your artist should get to know you and your tastes. Show him or her all your pictures and try to describe your preferences as accurately as you can. Don’t forget to inform your artist of any allergies or sensitivities you have, even if they’re non-makeup related. For example, if you’re allergic to cats, mention it to your artist – if he or she has a pet cat, he/she should be careful to not wear any clothes with cat hair on it.


When you’re in the chair, you should sit back and relax. This is your time to be pampered. Resist the urge to jump up and peek in a mirror every five minutes. It’s better to see the end result than to look at eyeshadow that hasn’t been blended yet. After the makeup artist is done, look at yourself in different lighting. Try to recreate the lighting you will have for your wedding. Is it a daytime wedding? Look at yourself in natural daylight. If it’s an evening wedding, look at yourself in soft, yellow lighting.

Do you like it, but are not so crazy about the lip color? Or feel like the eyes are too dramatic? Speak up! Don’t be afraid of hurting the artist’s feelings or appearing picky. It’s YOUR day and you should walk out of the trial feeling happy. Makeup is easy to fix and it’s better to try on a few different colors than to waste your money on another trial. Finally, if you love the end result, then book the artist so that he/she can save the date for you. Nothing’s worse than finding an artist you love, waiting a week to think about it, then finding out he/she has been snatched up by another bride!


The Final Step - Go Out And Show Off Your Makeup!

Get dressed and take advantage of your beautiful makeup job! Go out on a date with your fiancee or go for a girls night out. You can see how well the makeup holds up and you can practice touching it up throughout the night.


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