So you have a makeup and/or hair trial scheduled. Let’s say for the sake of this guide that you have a competent artist who shows up on time/early and isn’t hungover/distracted by relationship drama/otherwise mentally incapacitated. How do you get the results YOU want?
Bring some pictures…
A starting point is helpful for most artists. They don’t even necessarily have to all be similar styles. Your makeup artist will see the amount of makeup and level of drama you like and a hair stylist will see that you like texture, or braids, or a super sleek look, etc.
…but don’t expect to look exactly like them.
I can do the same makeup on you as on someone else, down to using the same products and brushes, and it will look different.Sometimes by altering the makeup, I can make it match what you want better than by copying it exactly. For example, if you have a deep skin tone and bring in a picture of a fair skinned woman with cream colored eyeshadow with a taupe crease, this will look chalky on you. I can get the same look in a version that flatters you by using a medium shade of brown on your lid and a deeper one in the crease. I could do either makeup look on you and you might protest it doesn’t match the picture, when in both circumstances, it does. If the person in the picture is neither you nor your identical twin, you should expect to look different. As for hair, braids and twists will always show up best on blonde hair with highlights and lowlights and worst on equally gorgeous, one-tone black hair, and you will have to acknowledge that your haircut is probably not exactly the same as that of the woman in the picture. You want loose tendrils coming out of your updo but you have hair to your butt and no face-framing layers? OK…
Make sure you want the makeup and hair in the picture, and don’t just like the way the woman in it looks.
Here is an example of something that has happened to me a few times: a non-Arab woman shows me a picture of Arabian eye makeup, and once the makeup is actually on, says things like she actually DOESN’T want the shadow darkest in the crease; she wants it darkest by the lashes and to fade as it rises, and oh, could we get rid of the winged eyeliner and make it smudgy, and not bring the shadow out so far to the side? Also, can we change every single color real quick?
When looking at makeup inspiration, really look at the actual colors and placement of them to figure out what it is that you like. If what you are left with is “if I had that face and was also Instagram-famous, I would wear makeup like that”, then save it to a Pinterest and swoon over your girl-crush later.
Trust your artist.
I will do whatever makeup you want, if it makes you happy (and won’t completely destroy my credibility and reputation.) A good hairstylist will do the same for your hair. But we will also politely try to steer you toward the best look for you.
I am not a fan of the Kardashian highlight, but I am ESPECIALLY not a fan of it on anyone with a less than perfectly flat undereye area. See Kim? She doesn’t have bags or hollows. You don’t want to highlight (both literally and figuratively) anything that isn’t perfect. I personally have a slightly hollowed out area underneath my eyes, and there is no amount of light concealer that will change that. I would much rather use a salmon-toned corrector on myself and brighten the area than lighten it. Clients who examine their dark circles after I’m done (um, it’s a shadow, you guys, please don’t make me tell you that fillers are the only thing that will fix it) and then sigh and throw their own concealer at me in a shade called Casper or Wite-Out or some shit are unintentionally sabotaging themselves.
Be careful who you bring with you.
In my experience, it has been 50/50 whether bringing one person with you to a trial can be helpful. (Two or more people though is almost always a bad idea.) Ideally, you would be confident enough in what you like to ask for it and to articulate what you would like changed. Not everyone is, and some people have awesome sisters/aunts/dogwalkers who will be supportive and helpful and make sure you leave happy. That’s great; please bring them and let’s all have fun! Bringing someone who is overly-critical and who speaks over you to tell your artists to do the opposite of what you want is not ideal. Of course, most trials have time to try more than one look, but you are not going to be confident choosing the look you would have otherwise loved if your companion insults it while you look it over in the mirror. I PROMISE that if you are happy and have a good artist and stylist, your mother/cousin/friend-who-is-a-makeup-artist-but-who-you-did-not-hire will tell you how beautiful you are on your wedding day and not say that your lipstick makes you look weird or that you should get a different haircut because the one you have now makes your updo suck.
If possible, have your hair colored the way it will be for you wedding day. Also, get both your hair and your makeup done during the same trial.
You want to see how everything will look all together. And wear a white top! That will help you really imagine how you’ll actually look on the big day (assuming you’ll be wearing white.)
If you feel like the makeup is too much and your trusted artist promises you it’s not and that you will need that much to avoid looking barefaced in photos, there is an easy way to see. If you still feel that it is too much, any good artist will be happy to tone it down.
Above all, remember that it is your face and head of hair.
Even artists and stylists who work with A-list clients don’t get to dictate how you look. They can politely give suggestions, but should never be pushy and should always let you decide. If you want to rock a tiara and 80’s bangs, then you go girl, that’s your prerogative. Your fiancé(e) also does not get to dictate how you look. If you feel good, you’ll look good. Own it.