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Preparing for Perfection: Bridal Hair and Makeup Trial Tips by an NYC-based Hair and Makeup Artist

Bride happy and smiling

Picture this: the wedding day has come, and all eyes are on you, the beautiful bride. You’re walking down the aisle feeling confident, radiant, and looking stunning. Your hair and makeup are flawless, and you know it.


If you’re reading this and thinking: “That’s exactly what I want!”, then we can agree on one thing - there is no room for mishaps on your wedding day. It’s why so many brides turn to a professional HMU artist for that extra confidence boost.


But here's the thing: simply booking and expecting your HMU artist to work their magic on the day isn't enough. You need to establish a connection, get on the same wavelength, and ensure they fully get the look you’re going for. That's why doing a bridal hair and makeup trial is crucial.


Think of it as the first step to your perfect wedding day look. It's an opportunity to experiment, fine-tune every detail, and make necessary adjustments well in advance.


So, if you're hoping to make the most of your upcoming trial session, stick around because we’ve got the tea. These insider tips come from a team of over 20 experienced NYC-based hair and makeup artists and will help everything fall into place, leaving you ready to shine on your big day.


Know What You Want


You've heard it before: knowing what you want is half the job done. We understand that the pressure of making decisions can sometimes weigh on brides-to-be, but even a vague idea or a few reference photos are better than showing up empty-handed.


If you have zero ideas of what you want (or what would look good on you), don't panic. Start Googling and narrowing down your preferences. Dive into the vast sea of bridal inspiration, explore different looks, and see which style truly speaks to your soul.


Do you yearn for a dazzling glam look that will leave everyone in awe? Or maybe you're more drawn to a timeless style that enhances your natural beauty? Take the time to explore and discover what makes you feel like the best version of “you”.


Once you have a handful of images that resonate with you, simply send them to your stylist before your bridal hair and makeup trial. This way your HMU artist will be well-prepared, and no precious time will be wasted. Of course, don't hesitate to ask them for their expert opinion and recommendations. Together, you can work on finding the perfect style on the spot and start shaping your dream look.


Oh, and don't forget to clue your HMU artist in on any details about your skin. Flawless skin is a canvas for your makeup masterpiece, so let them know if you have any concerns or if certain makeup ingredients tend to cause flare-ups. While pimples can be covered, it's always best to avoid surprises, right?


Skin and Hair Prep


There is some homework to do before your bridal hair and makeup trial. Having your face and hair ready is non-negotiable, but the good news is that it’s easier than you think.


Photo By: Diana & Korey

Refreshing a brides makeup

Let’s talk skin.


Take time to lightly exfoliate your face before the trial. This will help remove dead skin cells that might make your makeup look clumpy or dry. If you’re up for it do some dermaplaning which is a minimally invasive procedure that shaves away the top layers of your skin and remove unwanted hair. It can help reduce the appearance of acne scars or pitted skin. We advise consulting a trained esthetician, and while you’re at it, why not take care of your brows, too? If you’re familiar with facial treatments, you can opt for a hydro-facial to boost the moisture in your skin and give it that extra plumpness.


But here's the golden rule: no experimenting with new techniques or treatments right before your trial day. This is not the time to take risks, so stick to products and methods you know your skin adores.


On the morning of your trial, embrace the beauty of a bare face. We get it - some brides may feel a tad uncomfortable stepping out of their homes without a stitch of makeup. But doing this will save you precious time and give your HMU artist an exact idea of what they’re dealing with + a crystal clear canvas to work their magic on.

Apply your favorite moisturizer before you leave the house and get ready to own that trial session like the superstar bride that you are!


getting the brides hair perfect

Now, let’s prep the hair.


You can wash your hair the night before but remember to skip any leave-in conditioner. Conditioners often have a smoothing agent that can make the hair difficult to work with.

Depending on what you want, some styles rely on your hair staying perfectly in place, and having any products in it beforehand may get in the way. Given that your stylist will already have things picked out for you on the spot, home intervention is simply obsolete.


If you’re thinking of showing up to your trial with wet hair, think twice (unless you’re only getting a blowout). Dry hair is what your artist needs to transform your strands into the iconic hairdo you’re looking for!


If you or anyone else in your wedding party is planning on earring extensions on the big day, let your HMU artist know beforehand. They may even have some top-notch extensions in their arsenal they can hook you up with. This way, you'll save yourself the hassle of researching the best-quality extensions out there.


Time and energy saved? Check!


bridal party in all shades of green and sage

Clothing & More


What you wear on your bridal hair and makeup trial day may not seem like a big deal, but it’s super important!


Make sure you wear a comfortable shirt or dress in a shade similar to that of your wedding dress! By doing this, you’ll get an exact idea of how your makeup works with your dress, and you’ll be able to mix and match until you reach the look you’re after.


Bringing your veil or any distinctive hairpieces you plan on wearing is also a great idea, especially for your hair trial.


If you’re into spray tanning and you’re planning on being tan for your big day, make an appointment before your trial. This way, your HMU artist will match you with the best shades for your tanned skin. Who doesn't love a bronzy glow.

Bridal Hair and Makeup Trial Secrets

Timing is everything when it comes to bridal hair and makeup trials.

We recommend scheduling your trial session 3 to 4 months before your wedding day. This gives you plenty of time to fine-tune your desired look, ensuring everything is picture-perfect when you walk down that aisle.


If you’re looking for an NYC-based hair and makeup artist that also serves NJ, Philadelphia, or Connecticut, our team of over 20 hair and makeup artists would love to hear from you.

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