Why I Insist On Makeup Trials

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Ever seen a dress online, fallen in love, brought it, waited for it, tried it on and….. it’s not right.

Not what you expected or just not you at all? Nothing wrong with the dress, it just doesn’t suit you or looks completely different on you to the picture? Maybe the colour looks different on you or you just don’t feel comfortable in it? So many things can go wrong.

You might try to wear it anyway, accessorise around it but then think, “..no”, it just doesn’t feel right for the occasion.

It’s the same with makeup.

Firstly I love makeup and how it changes my face. I am happy to wear as much as I feel I need to get the look I’m after. I would never worry about wearing ‘too much’ makeup. It’s about what makes me happy. But that’s me. You can have as much or as little you feel happy with. It’s about you feeling special.

Whenever I book a trial I ask you to bring a photo of your usual makeup. Even if you come to the trial with makeup on and a photo of your ‘going out’ makeup so I can see what finish of foundation you like to wear. If you usually wear eyeliner or pencil your brows in and how much of ‘everything’ there is and what you are comfortable in and then I ask for photos of what you would like.

These photos are nearly always from online sites like Instagram Pinterest or Google which are great for inspiration but there is a downside to these ‘beauty’ images.

You might have a very specific idea of what you want. For example if you search for a ‘natural bridal make up’ you will get some very varied results. I found these…

These first two photos, to me, are what I would call ‘natural makeup’. The ladies have foundation, concealer, subtle eyeshadow, no false lashes, some pink blush, brows pencilled lightly and nude lips.

To some of my clients this would still be too much make up but they might not know this until it’s done. We would then tweak until they are happy. This is the beauty of having the luxury of time at the trial so that on the day we both know what the expectations are.

The second photo, the lady is wearing strip lashes which would look a lot fuller with her eyes open, but she has less dramatic eyeshadow than the first. Little things like this make a big difference. You might want false lashes and then tone down the eyeshadow, or vice versa.

Generally I use individual flare lashes on my Brides, as they have better staying power and look more natural, but this is up to the individual. To some clients they can be too much. I do use strip lashes on clients who are comfortable with them and who are comfortable re-applying them should they be particularly emotional on the day. For some, however, mascara is enough.

Luckily for these models they both have full brows that have just been lightly filled in with powder. Very different to the Instagram brow. Subtle differences with your brows can completely change your face and how you feel.

While all of these makeups are beautiful there is a vast difference between the first photo and the last. These last 3 photos the Brides all have a ‘natural smokey’ if there is such a thing. False lashes and structured brows. Eyeliner in the waterline and more colour in the eyeshadow as well as bronzers and highlighters for contouring and a full coverage foundation which has been powdered to set and might I add… beautiful bone structure!

If my client never wears makeup I would be reluctant to do this in full for their trial from the beginning. I would probably do a lighter version and tweak from there. I can always add more makeup but it is more difficult to tone it down.

For instance in the photo above, for me to recreate what she is wearing I would use;

  • pore refiner (she may have had a blurring tool retouching the photo)
  • primer
  • foundation(s) at least 2 colours
  • setting powder – under eyes and t-zone
  • bronzer along cheekbone and hairline to contour
  • pink blusher
  • gold highlighter
  • pink highlighter
  • concealer under eyes, eyebrows and any blemishes
  • eyeshadow colours: cream, light pink, shimmer bronze, camel in socket crease, light warm brown, dark cool brown in corners of crease and lower lash line
  • brow pencil
  • brow shadow
  • eyeliner bottom and lower lid
  • mascara; both lashes
  • false lashes
  • lipliner
  • lipstick
  • lipgloss
  • setting spray

…yet people might think her makeup is quite minimal. She certainly looks beautiful in my opinion.

But for every natural Bride I get a client who really does want the full magic works, like above. The same makeup could all have been used in the first photo but it has been applied completely differently and lighter but this is just a much heavier look.

These all came under the same search for ‘natural bridal makeup’.

It still surprises me when clients come to me, who usually wear no makeup and ask for something like the last photo because the model looks pretty, have not really considered how much makeup she has on and how they will feel with that much makeup. Photos are not reality, they sell an idea of beauty. In real life with the model in front of you, you can see the foundation more clearly and the brow pencil and so on. She would still look beautiful but you would realise she is not perhaps ‘born with it’ and so when this is on the client it feels more unnatural (although still beautiful) than it looked in the photo.

It’s about getting that balance between expectation and reality.

I try to find out as much as I can about what the clients expectations are for the wedding and make it a reality. Sometimes there are compromises. If you want your foundation to cover blemishes all day but be glowing than you will have to have a fake glow from a highlighter rather than the glow of your skin. As a luminous foundation that will show real skin too doesn’t cover blemishes and doesn’t tend to be long lasting. A matt powdered foundation whereas will cover blemishes and will last and we would add a glow with powders and creams.

If you have great skin then by all means you can have a glowing foundation and liquid highlighters without all the setting powder and coverage.

Or it might be the client never pencils their brows in and is excited to look like the Instagram model with filled in uber brows but the reality of their new defined brows along with other makeup they are not used to doesn’t feel like them. So we tone this down in keeping with the rest of the makeup and the client still feeling like themselves.

This is what we find out at the trial whether you want to be a polished version of yourself or a complete transformation to ‘super glam’ and you might be surprised at what you decide on at the end of the trial and pleased for taking the time to be sure.

Then we can both rest assured for your big day, that you will get exactly what you want, because lets face it you wouldn’t leave trying on your wedding dress until the big day!