11 Tips to Prepare For Your Hair and Makeup Trial

Hi Loves,

Bridal hair and makeup trial may be one of the last things you think of when planning your wedding, but it can also be one of the most nerve wracking.  The reality is, they are called trials for a reason. Not only are you trying different hair styles, or makeup colors, but also different salons. Here are some valuable tips to prepare for your hair and makeup trial to ensure you are happy and looking gorgeous on your wedding day.

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Preparing for Your Trial

1. Bring Your Makeup Bag.

If there’s a foundation that sits well on your skin or a certain product you wear every single day, show it to your makeup artist. The artist may do a beautiful job with their products, but if you don’t feel like yourself, you won’t be 100 percent comfortable with your look. For the day of, share this tip with any bridesmaids who are nervous about getting their makeup done or have sensitive skin.  I say this from experience regarding your bridesmaids.

2. Find Inspirational Photos of Hair and Makeup + An Open Mind.

It may be hard to figure out the exact look you want for your special day so we suggest creating an inspiration board on Pinterest of hair and makeup. Do you gravitate toward whimsical, textured looks or more chic, structured updo’s?  By showing your stylists what you like about each photo, they’ll be able to understand your preferences without your needing to know all the terminology. This is one instance when showing is probably easier than telling.  Just keep in mind that if you like something in photos, but don’t like it on yourself, that’s totally fine.

While a chignon is so beautiful and elegant, it’s not for everyone.  I brought photos with me but ended up doing something completely different than what I had originally wanted. You need to be flexible enough to work with what you have. Thin hair might be better down, thick hair might be better up. You never know until you try. Bring photos of a range of different styles and try as many as you can, because just like your dress, you might be pleasantly surprised by trying something new.

Preparing for Successful Hair and Makeup Trial

3. Ask Questions and Speak Up.

Another helpful way for you to communicate what you’re looking for is to describe what you don’t want. Have you been in a wedding party where you disliked how you looked? Tell the stylists why you felt that way. If your stylists know what to stay away from, your trial will be so much more efficient—you won’t need to wait until each look is finished to figure out what you don’t like.

4. Purchase Accessories and Hair Extensions Beforehand.

Take a look at the hair and makeup photos you like. Inspired by photos of hairstyles with long, thick hair? If your hair is thin, short or doesn’t hold curls well, consider investing in clip-in extensions. We found Hair Extension Plus to be good source for quality hair extension. These easily blend into your own hair and help create a fuller look. If there’s a certain hair accessory you plan to incorporate, definitely bring that along.  If not, once you decide on the look during your trial, you can easily pick up a hair piece afterward—just let your hairstylist know if you plan to wear a hair accessory so they can think about how to incorporate it into your style.

Something to consider is renting your bridal accessories and bridal veils.  Yes, you can rent bridal accessories and veils from Little Things Borrowed to use before for the day of the wedding or event.  Find out more here.

5. Dress for Your Appointment.

We recommend wearing a white top and cut the neckline to match your wedding gown to your trial or bring white kimono rob.  This will help you envision what your makeup will really look like on the wedding day.  Do not forget to take pictures!

6. Arrive Clean Face and Hair.

This one’s simple—in order to find that perfect look, get to your appointment with clean hair and no makeup so your pros can start with a blank canvas.  Come with your hair prepped as you would have it the day of your wedding: washed – or unwashed – with little to no product as possible. Same for your face. Show up with a fresh face. Moisturizer is okay (check with your makeup artist first), but nothing else. Once you decide on a look, take a photo! Your stylist should be taking notes, but even at that, if your trial is months before your wedding, it’s easy to forget details. A photo captures everything.  Your wedding is not the time to try something drastically different, it’s just a time to try something better.

7. Bring Your Bling.

Bring your veil, headpiece, flowers, or barrettes to your appointment so you can see what they will look like with your hairstyle.  If you are renting bridal accessories and veils from Little Things Borrowed.  Yes, you can rent bridal accessories and veils.  Little Things Borrowed has a Try It. Style It. Preview service for brides to use before renting for the day of the wedding or event.

Preparing for Successful Hair and Makeup Trial Hair Pieces

Additional Items to Consider

1. Travel Fees.

Depending on where you are getting married or getting ready, it may require the salon to come to you. If this is the case, make sure you ask if they are able to meet you at the venue. If it’s out of state or out of the country, you may be looking at paying travel fees for your stylists, so be prepared. If travel is something they can’t do, and you can’t go to the salon the day of your wedding, you may need to book different vendors.

2. Cheaper Isn’t Always Better.

By now you’ve probably realized that anything associated with weddings or bride’s costs more than it does normally. Your budget might be on its last legs, but don’t skimp on this important part of the planning process. What you look like is going to be captured forever, so you want to make sure you look your best. Make sure to leave a few hundred dollars or so in your budget for proper hair and makeup.

3. Timeline.

Believe it or not, getting your hair and makeup done plays a very important role in the timeline for your wedding day. Typically, that’s a bride’s first stop for the day; and if you end up running late there, it pushes everything back, like a domino effect. Make sure you share your timeline with your salon and work backwards from there. A great salon/stylist will want you in and out as quickly as possible so that you can get on with your day and photos. Might that mean an early wakeup call? Yes. Might it mean a long day? Yes, but you are going to be so psyched and full of adrenaline on your wedding day, getting up early will be a piece of cake.

Preparing for Successful Hair and Makeup Trial

4. Items to Bring.

At your hair and makeup preview the hairstylist/makeup artist will do a trial run representing your wedding day look.  Bring your headpiece, veil and any other decorative hair accessories to this appointment.  This is the time to be honest with your stylist and if you do not feel comfortable with how the hairstyle or makeup application looks on you, let him or her know so that he or she can try something else.  Be sure to bring the following items to your hair and makeup trial:

Items to Bring:

✨ Foundation you use daily

✨ Hair Extensions

✨ Bridal Veil

✨ Hair Accessories

✨ Photo of Wedding Dress

✨ Photos of hair/makeup styles you prefer

✨ Phone to take pictures

✨ Wear white top or bring a white kimono robe


We hope the steps that were provided above will help you to survive by being prepared for your wedding day! It has definitely helped all of us here.  Wishing you happy and stress-free hair and makeup trial.






Mackey, Jaimie and Santana, Katherine. “When Should I Have My Wedding Hair and Makeup Trials”.  Brides.com October 4, 2017 [online].

Shunatona, Brooke. “What I Learned from Trying 5 Popular Wedding Makeup Options.” Cosmopolitan. April 18, 2017 [online].

Zammit-McMann, Felicia. “What to Expect During Your Bridal Hair + Makeup Trial // From A Real Bride.” August 27, 2015 [online].