It’s your wedding day. You’ve dreamed of it for what seems like forever. You have spent countless hours planning, perfecting, and agonizing over all the details of the day. You want the day to run smoothly. The last thing you need to be worrying about is your makeup and hair. That should be the fun start to the day. It should be a time you spend with your best friends getting ready and it should be filled with laughter, reminiscing and celebration. Here are some tips for not only the day of your wedding but also in preparation for the big day that will ensure that your beauty preparations are a calm and enjoyable experience.

Skin Care

The last thing a bride wants to see in the days leading up to her wedding are breakouts. Be sure to get yourself on a good skin care routine several months before the wedding. Consult a licensed esthetician to help you decide on the best products for your skin type. Schedule a series of facials prior to the big day to ensure your skin is looking it’s best.

Two weeks prior to the wedding is the absolute last time you should try anything new or do any harsh treatments (facials, deep exfoliation, waxing, etc.) on your skin. Two days before your wedding is not the time to try out that new cleanser or foundation, to have a chemical peel or to have anything on your face waxed. Even if you’ve never experienced a reaction before – it’s best not to chance it. A gentle exfoliation (ask your esthetician for recommendations) is recommended 2-3 days prior to your wedding as this will make the makeup lay much better on your skin.

Avoid applying sunscreen on the day of your wedding as many sunscreens will interfere with flash photography and cause your face to appear white in the photographs. If your wedding requires you to be outdoors for an extended period of time, consult your makeup artist about which sunscreens will be safe to use.


Schedule a makeup trial several months before your wedding. Many artists are booked many months in advance so contact your desired artist as soon as you can. Do not delay. Good artists are booked well in advance for a reason.

Send your artist inspiration photos of makeup you like prior to the trial. Try to find photos of people with similar skin tones and facial features as you. For example, if you are blond with fair skin and small eyes try not to send them photos of dark haired, tan models with large eyes. Even if the artist uses similar colors on you, the effect will never be the same. Once you have found several photos you like, be sure to discuss with your artist what appeals to you in each photo. Tell your artist what the feel of your wedding will be – romantic, old Hollywood, fun, dramatic, etc.… Show them photos of your dress and hairstyle if you have them. Any and all details you can provide about the look and feel you are going for can help steer them in the right direction.

Be open to the artist’s opinion. Remember, they have worked on many faces and can advise you on what may or may not work for you. Be honest with your artist too, if you don’t like something – speak up! The trial is a time for playing around with different looks to determine what makes you feel your best.

Be mindful that because the trial is a time for playing around with different ideas you may not come out of it looking as amazing as you will on the day of the wedding. You may end up with two different eye looks or everything in general may not be as crisp if you’ve been applying, taking off and reapplying makeup. For this reason, I don’t recommend trying to schedule engagement photos or wedding showers on the same day as the trial. Besides, your wedding look should be special and should be debuted on your wedding day. Using the same look for engagement photos or wedding showers lessons some of the element of surprise for your fiancé and guests.


Just like with makeup, you should schedule a hair trial several months in advance. The best stylists are booked quickly so do not delay. If possible, try to schedule the hair trial on the same day as your makeup trial so you can get an idea of what the total effect will be.

Look for inspiration photos of styles you like to share with your stylist. Be mindful that lighter hair will show detail better than darker hair colors. Braids, twists and other details will show up better on hair that is lighter overall or has highlights. Be sure to also share the look and feel of your wedding with the stylist.

Listen to your stylist. They will have a far better idea of what your particular hair type is capable of doing. If you have thin hair, you may need to invest in extensions to achieve a super voluminous look. If your hair texture is simply not going to hold a particular style, the stylist will tell you. The stylist’s goal is to give you a look that will make you happy and last all day. Some of the photos you may find online are styles that were done for a photo shoot and not necessarily to last through a day of hugging, and a night of dancing. Be open to suggestions from your stylist on how to make a look work for you.

If you don’t like something – speak up! Now is the time to iron out details. Small adjustments can easily be made on the day of your wedding, but major changes to the style should be addressed at the trial. This will lesson any stress on the wedding day.


Most artists will need a final count of how many makeup and hair services are required when you sign the contract. Make sure you give them an accurate number as often times artists will be committed to more than one wedding on a given date and cannot stay later or come earlier to accommodate last minute additions.

Your artist will give you a schedule for the appointments. I advise brides to tell their bridesmaids to arrive 30 minutes prior to their actual appointment time. Most weddings have a rehearsal dinner the night before that keeps the wedding party out late. It may not seem like a big deal for a bridesmaid to show up ten minutes late but it can cause a snowball effect that will be a source of stress that no bride needs. I’ve had weddings where bridesmaids have shown up over an hour late. Many people simply don’t understand than an on-site artist is contracted to be there only a certain amount of time and may have other commitments that prevent them from just hanging around to finish hair and makeup. Unfortunately, if someone shows up too late and the artist/stylist has another commitment following your wedding that bridesmaid may not get serviced. It’s simply a stress that can be avoided. Make sure your bridesmaids are aware that if they don’t show up on time they may not be able to get their hair and or makeup done (though contractually they will still likely have to pay for it) and then as an extra safety measure tell them their appointment time is 15-30 minutes earlier than it actually is.

Usually the weddings that run the smoothest are when all members of the bridal party are there at the start of the appointments. Typically, it’s a fun time for them all to get ready together and it allows the artists more leeway to take a bit of extra time with Aunt Margo who is particular and a little less time with cousin Susan who is very easy going and loves everything immediately. I realize this may not be popular for weddings with a very early start time so take this advice only if it will work for your wedding party.

The goal of the artist is get everyone ready on time and stress free. The artist schedules plenty of time to make sure this happens and as long as everyone is on time you should have a fun and stress free experience.

Wedding Party Looks

It’s kind of old fashioned to have matching bridesmaids right down to their makeup and hairstyles these days. However, if that is your request, make sure that what you choose will work with everyone’s hair type and facial features. I’d typically recommend a more natural makeup look as this can easily be suited to any facial shape and skin tone. For the hair, either have their hair all down or half up unless everyone has long hair. In this case you can also choose an up do.

However, most brides let their bridesmaids choose their own makeup and hair styles these days. If this is your plan – make sure that you ask the bridesmaids to come prepared with inspiration photos of makeup and hair that they like. If you want to give them total free reign, then this will be enough. If you want to give them choice but still want them to have a more cohesive look, consider choosing 2-3 hairstyles you like and determining the level of drama in their makeup that you will allow (ex: request no one has deep smoky eyes) and then let them choose from there.

Beauty Maintenance

Good makeup artists use quality products and understand how to ensure that the makeup and hairstyle will last. However, there is some maintenance required on your part.

Avoid humid and hot areas if possible as this is never good for hair. If taking photos outside in July, make your stylist is aware as adjustments to the style for longevity might be necessary.

If you cry, do not rub at your face or eyes with anything. Use a tissue and blot your face. Good, well applied foundation should be water resistant and if you blot (instead of rubbing) tears or sweat away your makeup should look good all night long. If you are concerned, make sure you ask your artist if their products are made to last all night. Waterproof mascara is a must and any good bridal artist will automatically use this but it’s better to be ask than be sorry later.

If you tend to get shiny during the day alert your artist prior to the makeup application as there are products designed to limit oil on the face that can be applied before the makeup. Bring blotting papers or powder with you to remove shine throughout the day.

Lipstick comes off. It just does. I give all my bridal clients enough of their lipstick color to do 2 -3 touch ups. However, if the bride has chosen a very dark or bright color I’d recommend purchasing a tube of her own to keep with her for touch ups.

False lashes are pretty sturdy and I’ve yet to have a bride tell me they fell off. However, as an emergency item I also include a small tube of lash glue in my touch up kits and I recommend buying a small tube to carry with you if your artist doesn’t provide this for you. It’s just piece of mind that doesn’t cost much.

Finally, I’d recommend keeping a small travel hairspray and some bobby pins in your emergency kit. A stray hair or loose curl can be fixed in a flash.

If you follow these tips you will ensure that the makeup and hairstyling part of your wedding day will be an enjoyable and stress-free experience for you and your wedding party. After all, getting glammed up is fun!