• Kimberley

Top questions brides ask when looking for a wedding hair and makeup artist

Updated: Feb 28



You’re busy sending out invitations, sourcing favours, wedding cake tasting, bridal flowers, making sure the wedding venue gets what you are after and are ‘on it’, thinking already about who is going to get on with who for a seating plan. It is a lot of pressure and it is easy to forget about booking your stuff, like your hair and makeup, even though you have probably spent months looking through Pinterest, Instagram and wedding magazines to find that ‘perfect look.’

BRIDES - HOW TO ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT, WHAT TO DO IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT AND WHAT TO SAY IF IT ISN’T RIGHT…

In order to look and feel at your best and get exactly what you are dreaming of you’ll want to ask your wedding hairstylist and makeup artist all the right questions. But what are they? If you are getting married and have more questions than answers, are yet to book a hair and makeup trial, not sure what look you want, are wondering about accessories and what will go with your dress and theme then you are definitely not alone and this article is for you.


Other articles that might be useful for you:

MAGICAL WINTER WEDDING HAIR HALF UP HALF DOWN | AMAZING WEDDING UPDOS | MOST ASKED FOR BRIDES HAIRSTYLES | WHAT HAPPENS AT A HAIR TRIAL | WHAT STYLE GOES WITH MY DRESS | PRETTY SHORT BRIDAL HAIRSTYLES


What is wedding hair and makeup? What is the difference between bridal makeup and regular makeup?

Wedding hair and makeup is a special kind of look that will :

  • Last all day and into the evening

  • Compliment your wedding theme

  • Look amazing in photographs

The main difference between bridal makeup and regular makeup is that bridal makeup needs to last all day and into the evening, it takes longer to apply because of the care needed, it is very thoughtfully planned to match the brides overall vision, is complimentary to the brides overall look and theme, and each makeup product needs to be made to be long lasting.


Of course each bride is different so the makeup artist will also often have to work to figure out what the bride’s vision of her dream look is. This will usually be worked through during consultations and at your bridal trial.


The makeup artist will typically apply a combination of long wear products such as primers, powders, setting sprays and waterproof mascara, take into account allergies and sensitive skin, and use techniques to create long lasting looks. Special makeup is used so there is no flashback in pictures. A professional makeup artist will have a large kit of products they can choose from so that they will be able to create the exact look you are going for.


So whilst your daily foundation might do the trick for a night out your wedding makeup needs to stand the test of time against other factors without regular touch ups such as summer heat, indoor heating, outdoor weddings in wind, rain, and still look picture perfect in photographs.


How to choose your wedding hairstylist and make up artist? / What should you keep in mind when picking a bridal makeup artist?

You should look for someone who is experienced in weddings. Ask them for real bride examples or see their Gallery on website/instagram/facebook. Ask what qualifications they have and read their reviews. Check that they keep up to date on latest looks and trends and can create the look that you are after. And it should be someone you click with - someone who you think will ‘get you’ so that you can work together to create your perfect look.

I keep up to date with the latest trends, looks and products and am constantly researching and training in bridal hair and make-up looks to help my brides. I have a lot of kit which I have built up over the years to help create a wide range of looks.


How long should your wedding make up last? / How do you make sure your wedding makeup and hair looks good all day?

Your wedding makeup should last all day and into the evening. Bridal makeup artists are skilled in being able to create looks that will look great all day. Ensuring that your skin is in the best shape possible helps - if it is too oily your makeup can slide off or too dry then it can absorb the makeup. So getting a good skincare regime is important. That said a skilled makeup artist can work with all skin types and help to advise you. They will apply your makeup using the correct primer, good foundation and finishing products that will ensure that the makeup lasts. Ask your makeup artist to supply you with (or purchase) some lipstick that matches the one applied for your top-ups.


What Brands do you use? What products do you recommend for bridal hair and makeup?

For hair I use the Milkshake and Design Me range. For makeup I tailor this for each bride and in my kit I use Mehron, Urban Decay, Charlotte Tilbury, Mac, No7, Revolution, Estee Lauder and Laura Geller.


How do you deal with sensitive skin for wedding makeup?

I always consult fully with my clients first to understand what works for them and what doesn’t. It is important that you let your professional know of any allergies you might have and reactions you have had to makeup and other products in the past. After all you want to be able to enjoy your day! A good bridal professional will be able to address your concerns and provide solutions as they will have an extensive kit available to you.


Wedding makeup needs to have staying power so it is important to understand exactly how your skin is going to react to certain makeup. To work with sensitive skin I find using a mineral based primer is vital. Primer is key for all long lasting looks but very important for combination/sensitive skin. It acts as a barrier between your skin and the makeup. Some primers contain colour correcting properties to disguise red skin or broken capillaries in the skin. Primer is also used as a great base to get foundation to sit on. It fills and smooths uneven surfaces so the makeup looks flawless.

  • Silicone primers are used to mattify the skin.

  • Non silicone primers are better for dry/normal skin


Do you offer wedding hair and makeup near me?

I am happy to travel to wherever you need me in the UK and overseas. I am based in North Somerset just outside Bristol and mainly travel to wedding venues in Bath, Bristol, Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, S Wales and the Cotswolds. However I have also done destination weddings overseas.


How do you organise a hairstylist and makeup artist for destination weddings?

If you’ve got a destination wedding you may not be able to meet your hairstylist or makeup artist until the week before, so stay in contact and plot in a few Facetime sessions to get your style and preferences across. When I do destination weddings we usually have the trial as normal in the UK 3 months before the date and then I travel to the venue and run the wedding hair and makeup as normal.


I have done destination weddings from the far edges of the UK to Italy and Croatia. I’d love to be there for you if you’re marrying overseas. It is important that you pick a wedding hairstylist who has this experience and who understands the climate, the best way to get your hair looking its best and what your hair will do in high humidity, baking sunshine and beach environments!


For brides getting married in the UK who are from overseas or for whom travel to my salon is not possible then we will take and meet on Facetime so you can share with me what you are after and we can create that look virtually together so you are ready for your big day.


How much does wedding hair and makeup cost?

Although it depends on what you want and where you are based, £300 for a bride is a good ballpark figure for an experienced stylist/MUA. This would include bridal hair and makeup trials as well as hair and makeup on the day at your venue. You will be able to find cheaper prices for less experienced providers and also a lot more expensive salons too. Some hair and MUA will provide a package for weddings. I have a Picture Perfect package which includes all bridal hair and makeup trials and on the day at the venue and also included is an eye lash lift and tint and eyebrow thread and tint.


How do I choose my wedding hair and makeup look?

Pinterest, Instagram are full of ideas and inspo for brides to be. It can be a daunting venture though as there is so much choice. A good place to start is to think about what suits your face shape, your wedding dress neck line, your wedding dress back and your overall wedding theme. Also think about how you want to feel on the day. For example if you are wanting a boho country feel then a sleeked back high bun is probably not for you. You will also need to consider the time of year you are having your wedding, the location and the weather. With this information your wedding hairstylist and makeup artist will be able to work with you to create a truly unique look just for you that compliments you, your dress and your theme. Take a look at a few bridal hairstylists near you and their online website Gallery, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest pages as you may see something you like and also you will get a feel for how they work. It is always important to have a trial with your hairstylist/MUA beforehand to try out different looks and agree on the perfect one for your special day. These links from Bridal Hair by Kimberley provide a wide range of choice and advice to create 100’s of different looks:


How to wear wedding hair accessories and what wedding hair accessories to choose?

When accessorising your up or down do you have to take into consideration how the accessory will sit and stay in your hair. For example a tiara needs to sit and be pinned to something or a comb needs to be pushed into something.


Where to buy wedding hair accessories - does my wedding hairstylist supply wedding hair accessories?

You will usually supply the hair accessories for your stylist to use and it is helpful if you have them for your trial.


How to style with a bridal hair vine and what is a wedding hair vine?

At the moment hair vines are a popular accessory to be threaded into longer hair although there are shorter vines now available that can be entwined into short and medium hair. A hair vine is a length of bendable wire which you can twist through the hair. It creates a really romantic and pretty bridal hair finish. Some hair vines have crystal and/or pearl like jewels and some are flowers or natural themed. There are a lot of examples of both on my Website and Instagram pages.


What are ideal wedding hair and make up timings?

How long does wedding hair and makeup take?

Wedding hair and makeup can take 2 hours for the bride depending on what is planned. For bridesmaids and other guests it is usually between 30-45 minutes for hair and 30-45 minutes for makeup. Your wedding hairstylist and makeup artist will be able to give you exact times and will have the beauty timeline all planned so you don’t have to worry. They will be in control and ensure that you are ready on time to walk down the aisle.


What goes first wedding hair or makeup?

It really doesn’t matter - either is fine. Your wedding stylist will make sure your timings are organised so that it all runs smoothly.


How many hair stylists and makeup artists do you need for wedding?

For weddings with the Bride and up to 3 bridesmaids normally one hairstylist and makeup artist is needed. For bigger weddings where there are more than 3 bridesmaids then you may need more stylists. When I work on bigger weddings I compile the perfect team that I trust and have worked with before. I work with some incredible people and will organise the other stylists so things run quickly and efficiently.

When should I book my wedding hair and makeup?

Book your chosen wedding hairstylist and MUA as far in advance as possible. Even if you don’t know what makeup or hairstyle you would like. Having exact ideas isn’t necessary, but booking as early as possible is, because the good hairstylists and makeup artists get booked many months and sometimes years in advance. There are certain times of the year where there is a bit of a wedding rush and where I get lots of enquiries - following Christmas and Valentines engagements for example. And then in the Winter or early Spring ready for Summer weddings. So if you find someone whose work you love - get in touch as soon as possible.


Will I need to sign a wedding hair and makeup contract?

Yes - it’s a good thing! If you’ve found someone whose work you love and who will help make your day special then it ensures that you get the stylist you want and secure your wedding date in their diary.


What happens at a wedding hair trial / makeup trial?

This is your chance to try out the different bridal hair styles you’ve been researching and see them come to life. You will discuss your preferences and talk about how you want to feel on the day. If your thing is more bohemian than classic then you probably want to avoid formal hair styles - so it is helpful to know what vibe you are going for. Classic, boho, vintage, princess, bright, monochrome whatever you are going for don’t be afraid to let your professional hair and makeup artist know so they can create the final look that all fits together. Make sure they take lots of photos and make notes so you have a record of the final look you are going for. Read more about what happens at a bridal hair and makeup trial.


What happens next after a bridal hair and makeup trial?

It might even be nice to have a wedding dress fitting afterwards so you can see the look or book a table for a nice evening out after your trial as you’ll be left looking special for the rest of the day -without spoiling the surprise hair do! It will also give you a chance to see how the makeup sits with you all day and into the evening. It is important that you let your makeup artist know how the makeup has “behaved” and whether any adjustments are required.


And if you aren’t sure about the finished look, have changed your mind and want to have another trial then that is fine too. Just let your stylist know. If booking another trial will make you feel more confident about the wedding day plan, do it. In the grand scheme of things it’s an additional hour that could make all of the difference and it means that your expectations should be crystal clear.


Read more about what happens at a bridal hair and makeup trial.


What if I don’t like my wedding hair and makeup after my trial or have changed my mind?

If you aren’t sure about the finished look, have changed your mind and want to have another trial then that is fine too. Just let your stylist know. If booking another trial will make you feel more confident about the wedding day plan, do it. In the grand scheme of things it’s an additional hour that could make all of the difference and it means that your expectations should be crystal clear.


Why should I have a hair trial and makeup trial?

You should always have a wedding trial. To ensure that your look is interpreted correctly by your stylist/MUA. You should always be honest at the trial so your stylist is not kept in the dark. If you don’t like the look created SAY SO! If the look is going a bit wayward, don’t be afraid to steer things back on course. If you feel in any way hesitant or just not yourself, that’s a sign that you might need to go back to the drawing board, but then that’s exactly what a trial is for. And your stylist/MUA will want to hear your honest views and constant feedback. So let them know what you do and don’t like about your look and let them work with you to achieve what you have in mind.


How about an evening switch up? If you would like to mix things up with your makeup and hair on your wedding day but perhaps want a softer look for the ceremony rather than all-day drama, then you could change up your style for the evening and have the best of both worlds.


Ask about timings for the day. Your hairstylist and makeup artist will organise the timings to run smoothly so there are no hitches and everything will run on time and as planned. But it is always good if you know the timings too so you can let other people know and ensure that you walk down the aisle on time.


Document the lot - Ask your makeup artist to take photos from every angle and in different lighting to give you a thorough appreciation of what’s happened. Having your makeup on file will give you a canvas to work from if you’re having your trial well before your wedding day, or alternatively provide “evidence” if you’re not entirely feeling like it’s your vibe. I always document with my clients the exact products and styles created and we keep in touch right up to the wedding day. It is always okay to change things - what is important is that you feel like it is the best version of you.


When to have wedding hair and makeup trial?

Booking a hair and makeup trial about 3 months before your wedding day is ideal. Especially if you have a wedding hairstylist and MUA in mind because you will want to have booked them as soon as possible. That said anytime when you are ready is good enough. I have done trials the week before a wedding.


How many wedding hair and makeup trials should I have?

You can have as many trials as you like. It is important that you get the look you are after. Your hairstylist and makeup artist will want to work with you until it is just right. Your trial should be totally collaborative and you should have lots of input. You should feel able to discuss with them any new ideas and thoughts you have had after your trial and right up to your wedding day.

How do I prepare for my wedding trial? Should I wear makeup or have my hair washed?

Come fresh faced and keeping your face clean before your trial will allow your makeup artist to accurately assess your skin and colouring from the start. That way makeup removal also won’t eat into your appointment time.


If you are thinking of having a fake tan for your wedding now is the time to mention it! It will change your skin tone and therefore the makeup choices and colours. So if you are considering a fake tan then it is helpful to have this applied before your trial so your makeup artist knows what they are working with and can tailor their products and colour palettes to you. I offer a tanning service for my brides as it makes sure they keep a natural healthy glow and I can work with them on the tone and then make sure the makeup works seamlessly.


Clean hair that has been washed the day before is ideal - but it isn’t vital. As near to your natural state as possible is good but don’t worry if you are having one of those bad hair days - it won’t matter we will sort it together.


Wear ivory, white, your dress colour… It can be helpful to wear a colour that is as close to your dress colour as possible. That way your stylist will be able to build a better picture of how your makeup will look sitting next to your outfit and the effect that the colour has on your skin tone.


What should I bring to my wedding trial?

I like to see photos and general ideas of everything from your dress to your wedding flowers, shoes and jewellery before a bridal hair and makeup consultation. And most importantly photos of yourself that you love. I like to get to know my brides and what you are after - everyone has a different idea of perfect - that way we create an authentic look that is not only you - but you living your best day.

  • Hair accessory - Hair accessories are important to be talked about or brought along so we can try these in your hair.

  • Bring your Pinterest board - You’ve probably checked out wedding pictures on Pinterest and Googled lots of different bridal hairstyles, so you know what you are looking for. It really helps me to see the looks you like - and also those you don’t like. For example you might like the way the back looks but not the front. I also get a feel for your style which all helps me understand where you are coming from so that we can work together to create your perfect look.

  • A friend - please do invite your best mate, mum or someone fun who gets you - but you don’t need to have everyone there. The more the merrier might be true for a party but it is also true that the result is chaos with lots of confusion and the danger that you lose sight of what you actually dreamed of in the first place - a picture perfect look that you love.


Can I bring a friend to my wedding trial?

Yes - please invite your best mate, mum or someone fun who gets you - but you don’t need to have everyone there. The more the merrier might be true for a party but it is also true that the result is chaos with lots of confusion and the danger that you lose sight of what you actually dreamed of in the first place - a picture perfect look that you love.


Should I get a fake tan for my wedding?

If you are thinking of having a fake tan for your wedding now is the time to mention it! It will change your skin tone and therefore the makeup choices and colours. So if you are considering a fake tan then it is helpful to have this applied before your trial so your makeup artist knows what they are working with and can tailor their products and colour palettes to you. I offer a tanning service for my brides as it makes sure they keep a natural healthy glow and I can work with them on the tone and then make sure the makeup works seamlessly.


I’d always advise getting your tan done ahead of time by a professional because bridal tanning can be tricky to get right at home especially as the pressure is on and self tan plus beautiful white dress is a big challenge even for the most experienced home tanners!


Why should I have a professional wedding hairstylist and make up artist?

I believe that all brides look so happy on their wedding day that they simply glow no matter the level of hair styling and makeup. That said looking stunning on your wedding day and being picture perfect is something no bride should have to give up. The lead up to and your wedding day itself can be stressful as there is just so much to think about and it’s always a relief to know you have someone professional taking care of your hair and beauty. Remember experienced professionals have spent many years honing their craft. They style brides all year round and don't 'dabble.' Your business is important to them and they will do everything to help you achieve that dream look you are after. Your wedding photographs will last a life time and you will want to look your best you and picture perfect no matter the time of day or conditions.

"Thank you so much for working your magic on our wedding day. Both my and the bridesmaids hair looked great. And a big thank you for keeping my nerves at bay when it was just you and I getting ready. Everyone said how fabulous I looked and that was down to you." Catherine

Booking wedding hair and makeup is expensive could I do my own?

What tips for do it yourself wedding hair and makeup?

If you do want to DIY your wedding makeup then many UK department stores with makeup counters will offer you makeup lessons and try and match your desired look to their products. If you can’t get to a counter, online bridal makeup tutorials might help you to get a feel for and plan your wedding makeup style.


My family member, friend has offered to do my makeup or hair - is that a good idea?

Well the answer is it depends. I think there are a few things to consider: professional expertise - understanding timings, what you want, how to do it and ensure it lasts all day for all weathers; wedding pictures you will be looking back on for many years; that you will want them to enjoy your wedding day and not be flustered; being honest and letting them know that you don’t like something - this can be particularly hard when it is a family member; finally peace of mind for you - there is enough going on and you will want to enjoy every minute - having a professional hair stylist and make up artist means that you don’t have to worry at all about how you will look, it is one less thing to think about and you will be able to sit back and relax while you are pampered and looked after.


How am I going to stay calm and enjoy my wedding day with everything I have to think about?

My most important message to you is Do Not Panic. You’re in expert hands, and if you discover that you’re actually not, you can change pro's asap. Professional bridal hairstylists and makeup artists are extremely skilled at soothing fraught nerves, creating an enjoyable relaxing atmosphere for the bride and politely encouraging less than helpful wedding party members to go and do something else! And we've obviously got the technical stuff sorted too - your makeup and hair will stay in place and you will look as good at the end of the night as you did at the beginning of the day.


I hope this has answered some of your questions about bridal hair and makeup. If you have any others please contact me and I will try my best to answer them for you. For examples, ideas, and inspiration visit my Gallery, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest pages. If you have any questions please get in touch. And if you’d like me to help with your special day I look forward to hearing from you.


Kimberley x

"My bridesmaids and I had the privilege of having Kim styling our hair on the day of my wedding. She gave us excellent advice on what styles would work but also accommodated all of our preferences. We were all so delighted with how amazing she made our hair look. Kim was so lovely to have with us on my wedding morning, she was calm and so professional. I would totally recommend her to anyone looking for a wedding hairstylist!" Caroline

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Bridal Hair and Makeup by Kimberley  |  Professional wedding hairstylist and bridal makeup artist covering Bristol, Bath, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Devon, South Wales, the Cotswolds and the South West.  

info@bridalhairbykimberley.co.uk  tel: 07803 520848

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