10 Tips for Acing Your Hair and Makeup Trials

Get a gorgeous big-day look with these pro tips and tricks.

hair and makeup trial

1. Come Prepared. Time to get started on a Pinterest board — the more inspiration you bring, the easier it will be for your stylist to interpret what you want. “Photos of looks you love are always helpful,” says Jaime Shannon, makeup expert at Warren-Tricomi Salons. “Bring photos of your dress to your makeup appointment as well so your artist can complement your whole look.” And if you’re wearing a veil, don’t forget to bring it to your hair trial!

2. Take Notes. Make sure you ask your makeup artist how you should touch up your look during the day,” says Shannon. Write down the products that are used so you can buy the same shades, and make note of how colors are applied so you’ll know how to fix any smudges.

3. Get Travel-Ready. If you’re planning a destination wedding and not bringing a hair stylist along, it may help to have a trial at home. “We can give step-by-step instructions to a stylist at your destination,” says Yann Varin, founder of the Varin Salon. “Pictures are worth a thousand words, so have your stylist take plenty of detailed shots during the trial. It’s important to show even the tiniest details, like how to hide pins, so the stylist at your destination can recreate the look.”

4. Dress for Success. Take a white T-shirt and cut the neckline to match your wedding gown. It will help you get an idea of how your hair and makeup will work with your dress.

5. Talk Money. “At the end of the trial, you should discuss the financial expectations for the big day,” says Varin. “In general, the larger the bridal party, the better the price. Have as much info as you can about how many people will be styled, what style each person wants and where the styling will take place. Be aware that services outside the salon will be significantly more expensive and you will probably be charged for travel time. If you have a large party, you should also ask who will be assisting your stylist and what their experience level is.”

6. Go It Alone. “Try to not bring your mother or any friends who tend to be too opinionated — they could impact your decision,” says Edward Tricomi, master stylist at Warren-Tricomi Salons. “Going alone will help you relax and have fun.”

7. Snap Pics. Once you’re happy with your hair and makeup, it’s time to go camera-crazy! “Make sure you take a shot from every angle as well as a full-length shot,” Tricomi says. You may also want to take both outdoor and indoor photos, especially if you’ll be taking pics outside on your big day. The more pictures you take, the easier it will be to create the look again.

8. Watch the Time. According to Mia Boam, makeup artist at the Varin Salon, your big-day look should take less time than your trial. “We need time to discuss the desired look during the trial, plus the client may ask for adjustments before we find the perfect look,” she says. Ask your stylist and makeup artist how long they’ll take on your wedding day and be sure to budget extra time just in case — it’s best to play it safe!

9. Ask Questions. “If your stylist has any preparation tips such as when to shampoo your hair and which products to use, they should tell you at the trial,” Varin says. “Follow their instructions and the big day should be a breeze.”

10. Don’t Forget to Tip. Even if you do several trials with different stylists and makeup artists before you make your final decisions, it’s important to tip each one after every service (about 15 to 20% is appropriate for both the stylist and their assistant). Be sure to tip them after the big day too.

Photo Credit: Terry Doyle