As a professional makeup artist, I often hear the same stories from brides again and again, so in order to help brides be more informed, more empowered to avoid common pitfalls and ensure they get the most out of their bridal trials to make their journey through planning a wedding as enjoyable and stress free as possible.
1. I often get many brides that have had trials with other artists before me, did not like them and proceeded to book me after their trial with me, but in doing so brides are in the predicament of having many trials to "figure out which artist they like" and in doing so end up wasting a lot of money in the process. I see it as this, more often than not, brides have never had any previous experience with hiring and finding quality vendors, and as such rely on blindly finding someone either through word of mouth or by the internet searches. More often than not, they are disappointed as there are many hobbyists out there who just waste their time and money. My advice in this scenario is to have a read of my other note on "how to select quality vendors" It helps to do some research on the vendor you wish to consider before committing funds to a trial etc.
2. Set a budget and stick to it. Its always good to go to the "middle ground of rates", obviously going for rock bottom $20 a face people from gumtree your going to expect them to be really dodgy, unhygienic, no show, unprofessional, and probably just some random that uses their own makeup and wants to make a quick buck at your expense. On the other hand I completely understand most brides simply cannot afford to spend $250 per person just for hair and makeup when weddings are expensive enough as it is, be reasonable and choose a middle ground figure. When you enquire to an artist, don't tell them you charge too much or you don't think there worth what there asking. Be honest and just say, sorry but you don't fit in with my budget. Some artists including myself depending on the individual circumstances will ask what is your budget and can make some suggestions or adjustments to allow us to be more closer to your budget and be more accomodating, either way it doesn't hurt to ask politely.
3. Plan ahead with your trial. Planning is everything! ideally by the time you have your trial you should already know the following which will help you and your artist work together in the decision making process so you can judge accurately if you two are a good fit.
-the theme or style of your wedding
-colours of the bridal dress, bridesmaids dresses
-your usual makeup style or choices, what you are and are not comfortable with
-photos of styles you like or prefer and be prepared to answer what it is you like about the photo, is it how the skin looks, how the skin glows, how the colours suit the model, please be wary though of Instagram or heavily photoshopped pictures, google other brides and their photos and use that as a guide.
- have the ability to describe what you like and prefer or be honest if you have no clue and ask the artist to explain to you what she think suits your facial features, shape, tone of skin and take it from there.
4. If you are the indecisive type and have no idea what you want- remember the trial is a test of the artists skills or ability to deliver what you want, the communication and people skills you want, the personality that you are comfortable with, and that she makes you feel calm, relaxed and in control of your wedding. If you change your mind about the design of makeup that was originally applied at a trial, rather than just going to another artist, if you were happy with their skills but no longer liked the colours chosen etc, it is easier and more beneficial to just straight up communicate that to your artist in an email. For example- "i really liked my trial but I am having second thoughts about the colours we chose at the trial after wearing it out for the night I didn't feel comfortable, I was really happy with your skills though, could we please change the design of the makeup? what do you suggest would be a good alternative to what we did or what I would be more comfortable with?" finding a great artist isn't easy, so when you find one, communicate with them how you felt after the trial, what if any adjustments to the makeup you would like. They will be more than happy to alter things to make you happy rather than see you disappear off the radar and try again elsewhere. It will also save you money from having trial after trial with no clear direction.
5. And finally, take the time to get to know your artist, expect the time for a trial to be much longer than the actual application on the day. A good artist will go through a thorough consultation with you, will have a feel and look at your skin condition, make suggestions on how to prepare leading up to your wedding, and be taking notes as to what they used on you, what they thought worked well on you etc. Because of this extended time spent- always expect a bridal trial to cost as much if not more than the price for your makeup on the actual day. If someone offers you a free trial RUN and RUN FAST. They clearly wont spend their valuable time doing all these things for you that are valuable for you as the bride, and valuable to them as an artist to be prepared for the big day. An artist that values their time will charge accordingly. Offering a free or cheap trial is like they are saying"i don't do many brides, I don't have many clients, most clients don't book me so I want to entice you to give me your money by offering a cheaper trial and a cheaper service in the hope that you will book me just to save a few dollars" That says nothing about the kind of service they will provide you, or how serious they think of your wedding. If they aren't getting paid, there is a very high likelihood of them not wanting to roll out of bed to come to you-there is no motivation so expect them to be unreliable.
Hope this helps some brides out there overcome common fears, pitfalls and most of all feel more in control of their trials and experience with them. Feel free to post your bridal trial experiences below and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.