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Trial Makeup VS Wedding Day Makeup

Updated: Oct 24, 2023





As a makeup artist, I often get asked: "Should I do a trial? I hear it won't look the same on the day-of." I like to frame it like this: Trials are a great way to rule out what you like and what you don't like. We will always be pro-trial because: we get to meet you and learn all about you, and we get to experiment and see what works best for you, our client.


Lots of times clients come in with an idea of what they want and when they get it, they're not sure about it. It's just like trying on wedding dresses. Most brides go in with an idea of the styles they like but they end up leaving with a dress they didn't expect to like but looks like a dream on them. It's the same thing with makeup. For example, some brides come in wanting a natural look and then discover that they want something more dramatic while other brides come in wanting something super glamorous and dramatic but then don't feel like themselves in the makeup or hair.


Part of our process as hairstylists and makeup artists completing a trial run (or if you want to get fancy dah-ling: 'bridal preview') is we go through an exhaustive list of questions during the trial to determine the best foundation formula for their skin type, type of coverage, the colours, natural contour or more snatched contour, type of lashes, etc.


In this blog I will go through two real life examples: one bride who thought she wanted glam and another who thought she wanted natural.



This lovely client of mine came to me wanting a soft glam look that would suit her features. The inspiration pictures (below - not my work) she showed me had a full coverage foundation, rosy cheeks, black winged liner, black liner in the water line, and pink glossy lips. She didn't wear a lot of makeup in her day to day life and wasn't sure how she'd feel in a super glam makeup look.


The look we came up with at the trial had dewy medium coverage foundation, liquid blush and liquid highlighter. For her eyes, we went with sheer satin cool tones to make her beautiful brown eyes pop and appear larger. Adjustments she asked to make during the trial were: less foundation, blush, and eyeliner. Totally doable!


On her wedding day we ended up going in a different direction totally! I mixed MAC face and body foundation (which is a super sheer dewy foundation) with prolongwear concealer to sheer it out a bit. I applied it under the eyes and in any spots that required it. I set it with a yellow tinted setting powder to neutralize any redness on the skin and then layered MAC mineralize powder overtop. I used a few different colours of the mineralize powder to bronze and add dimension to the skin. For her eyes, I kept it simple; I defined the crease with a warm neutral shadow and then added her favourite eyeshadow from her favourite palette, a shimmery rose gold. We used her favourite go-to neutral-pink lip gloss to pull the look together.


While the look we did at her trial was gorgeous, in the end it wasn't quite her style. The makeup we did for her wedding was definitely softer, ultimately more her, and she loved it. Which is always the ultimate goal!



When this lovely lady came to me for her bridal makeup, she wasn't sure what she wanted to do. She regularly did her own makeup - foundation, bronzer, brows, etc so she understood what makeup feels like.


When I do a trial, I like to stay fairly natural at first because it's easier to make makeup darker than to make it lighter. I wanted her blue eyes to be the first thing to be noticed so I went with a gold and peach soft halo eye. With her hair being so light, I didn't want to go too dark with her brows so I stuck with a taupe colour. The look was monochromatic, soft and romantic. She loved the makeup.


She was planning to get a lash lift and brow tint prior to the wedding. She opted out of false lashes expecting that the lift would have a similar effect as lashes. She also expected that her eyebrows would be darker after the tint.


A few months went by and she found a picture with a pinky-purple shadow that she just loved. Picture shown below. (Not my work)


I was a little bit nervous to do such a drastic change from the trial. This was going from natural to glam. But the day of - we went for it and in the end she loved it even more than the trial.


So, all of the above to say that minds change and that's totally ok! Whether you're a bride getting married, graduating or just date night, you should always feel comfortable and like your best self after having your makeup done... much like the reaction below...




Thanks so much for reading this week's blog post! I am curious, if you were a bride and you did a trial, did you change your mind on what you wanted? Let me know in the comments! :D

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