Once engaged, one of the biggest things most brides start thinking about is how to look great on their wedding day. A big part of this for most of us will be our hair and makeup. There are plenty of options out there, from top tier bridal hair stylists and makeup artists, right down to doing it yourself. However, without a little bit of professional help at some stage, most brides are daunted by the option of doing it themselves.
Rest assured however, there is plenty of help available, even if you choose to go it alone on the big day. Regardless of which option you choose, you need to know how to make the most out of your beauty, hair and makeup, so you look your very best on your big day.
Work out what style you want
The first key is to work out what style you want. Is your wedding going to be formal, semi-formal, or even a casual beach theme, or are you going for a colour theme? This will often dictate what type of hairstyle and makeup you will want. If your day is going to be formal, you will most likely have a more elaborate dress, and will possibly want a more elaborate hairstyle to match, along with similarly dramatic makeup.
This will be one of the first things your hairstylist or makeup artist asks so they can ensure you get the correct look. Even if you are on a tight budget, this will be key to ensuring you choose the correct colours for your makeup, and even for your hair, if you need to buy products to do it yourself.
In addition to working out what look you want, also take into consideration that you still want to look like yourself, just perhaps a bit more dressy, classy, formal, sexy, or sassier. Don’t be afraid to have a bit of fun with your wedding makeup. Start to consider whether you’ll feel comfortable in your chosen style, remembering you’ll be dressed like that, and wearing your hair and makeup in that style all day.
Work out what your budget is
You will also need to work out what your budget is. There is no point booking a trial with the most in-demand wedding hair stylist or makeup artist, only to work out down the track that you really can’t afford it. As with any aspect of life, money is one of the biggest things many couples disagree over, and your wedding is no different, unfortunately, so make sure you involve your fiancee in these discussions.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
Ensure you get quotes in writing from potential suppliers. This will protect you from any nasty surprises down the track. Ensure the quotes have details, such as any terms and conditions on them. If you do have any questions later, or they try to charge you more, don’t be afraid to pull out the quote, and refer back to it, and ask the supplier to do the same.
If you have a supplier who you are really keen on using, because they’ve been used by family or friends, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Most suppliers are happy to receive referrals, and are happy to get business this way, and will try and accommodate you, provided your requests are reasonable, and you are not asking for excessive discounts.
Take some clippings and pictures
Pictures and photos will help you getting the look you want. Ensure you take these with you to a trial, and if possible email these through to the hairstylist or makeup artist prior to your trial. These pictures can be from wedding makeup blogs, bridal magazines, Instagram, or any other source of makeup photos. Don’t limit yourself to particular wedding magazines.
Along with images of the look you want to achieve, also send through a picture of yourself, and if possible, your bridesmaids (and mother if she is having her hair and makeup done with you). This will help your hairstylist and makeup artist determine if your hair is long enough for your chosen hairstyle, or if you will need a hair piece, or whether the makeup looks chosen will suit you.
When choosing makeup colours, it can also be handy to keep in mind what colour your bridesmaids dresses and flowers are. Photos will also allow your hairstylist and makeup artist to ensure they bring all necessary equipment and accessories for your big day.
Ensure you communicate with suppliers. They are there to help you. This is critical when it comes down to trials. As your trial is progressing, speak up if you don’t think something is quite right, or you’re not happy with it. Many makeup artists and hairstylists report doing hair and makeup trials for customers, and then following up a few days later, only to find that the bride has booked a trial or possibly even booked someone else for their big day.
As professionals, hairstylists and makeup artists understand that your hair and makeup need to last all day, and look great, and more importantly, you need to feel comfortable. Some brides will have their trial, and then see how the hairstyle and makeup last. This is often when things go downhill.
You might find that your hairstyle falls out a little more quickly than you would have liked, or your makeup ends up smudging a bit too quickly, or once you head out, your makeup looks too dark, or too light.
That’s what a trial is for, and most suppliers will be happy to come and redo your trial if you weren’t completely happy with it for any reason.
This then makes it easier to work out what you need, as they then have the experience of what you need, rather than completely starting from scratch with another supplier. This also helps you build a relationship and feel comfortable with the supplier. Most suppliers won’t be upset by this, they will in fact, be grateful you offered them the opportunity to continue working with you.
Take your suppliers advice on board
When you have your trial, a lot of hair stylists and makeup artists will offer suggestions. These may range from things like not washing your hair the morning of the wedding, right through to suggestions on skincare, facials, and hair treatments and colour prior to the wedding. Your suppliers give this advice for a reason, and they are professionals in their fields.
A bride called me in for a makeup trial, and asked me to cover up her dark under eye circles, telling me how she’d been unhappy with a previous trial, because the heavy concealer used under her eyes had caked during the remainder of the day, and looked terrible by the end of the night. I had struggled with these myself, and had really wanted to get rid of mine, or cover them up for my wedding.
I suggested to her that whilst I could cover them up, the best solution would be to use an eye cream religiously for the 10 days in the lead up to her wedding. This would hydrate and soften the skin, and if the correct product was chosen, it could also help lightening the circles. This would reduce the amount of concealer needed, and prevent the concealer that was used from appearing “caked on”.
If you don’t understand the suppliers advice, feel free to ask for clarification, or ask why. Most suppliers will be more than happy to explain. If they’re not willing to explain anything you don’t understand, maybe you need to look elsewhere. This then helps you understand why you should invest time, effort and money in following their advice.
Take good care of your skin and hair prior to your wedding
Although it may seem contradictory, this is even more important if you are on a budget. Many brides seem to believe that by spending a bit more money on hair and makeup, their supplier will be more accomplished, and will be able to achieve more. Whilst this is often the case, If you spend a bit more on your skincare and haircare prior to the wedding, you will be able to save time and maybe even a bit of money on your hair and makeup.
Ask your hairstylist and makeup artist for tips and suggestions. If you are going for professional treatments, also ask your beauty therapist or regular hairdresser for advice. Even ask them for suggestions on good suppliers in your area, as they will often be able to suggest good, experienced suppliers in your area. As per the case study above, your cleanser, eye cream, and moisturiser will ensure your skin is hydrated and in good condition, and this will make your makeup artists job a lot easier, and there will be less things he or she needs to conceal.
With your hair, it will undoubtedly go through a lot of stress and heat styling during the course of your trials and your big day. Ensuring you use a hair treatment in the lead up, particularly if your hair is coloured, will ensure your hair survives this stress, and you don’t have any unforeseen issues.
Consult your suppliers early and don’t rely on them to perform superhuman miracles.
A lot of suppliers, particularly reputable ones, will book up early for weekend weddings, and you want to make sure you have the best chance of securing a booking with your chosen supplier. Suppliers won’t be able to miraculously fit you in, no matter how much you beg, if you leave it too late. When you have booked with a supplier of your choice, ensure you heed their advice, as per my suggestion above.
They are only human, and if you follow their advice as much as possible, it optimises your chances of getting the result you want on your big day. If you don’t think you’ll be able to follow their advice for whatever reason, explain the potential issue to them, and ask for alternatives which may work for you, or fit with your lifestyle. For instance, if a makeup artist or beauty therapist suggests a ridiculously complicated skincare routine, which you know you won’t be able to follow, tell them, and ask if there is something simpler you could do.
As I suggested above, make sure you’ve followed their advice, and looked after your skin and hair at home. Looking after your skin or hair at home every day is going to be much more effective than relying on one or two facials or trips to hairdresser in the week leading up to your wedding to get your hair or skin in the condition in which they should be leading up to the wedding.
Sarah Dower is a qualified Biomedical Scientist, who has worked in pharmaceutical formulation. Sarah also has a passion for helping women to look and feel amazing, and is a self-confessed beauty and makeup geek and product junkie. Her experience Biomedical Science, and pharmaceuticals allows her to understand the science behind the products, and understand them at a deeper level.
As her passion for beauty and makeup grew, with friends and colleagues asking for advice, Sarah decided it was time to take the leap, and completed her qualifications in Beauty Therapy, and founded SGD Body & Beauty.
Understanding that women are busy, SGD Body & Beauty offers a completely mobile service. The business has grown with branches in Sydney and Melbourne, offering mobile beauty and makeup services, as well as bridal hair and makeup