Bridal Hair and Makeup Survival Guide



Congrats!  You’re engaged!!!  For some, this is the moment they have planned since they were a kid playing dress up in their mother’s old bridesmaid dresses.  For others, this is the hive-inducing moment when they realize they have to actually PLAN this wedding. Between going venue shopping, cake tastings, enduring countless opinions and picking out the perfect shade of invitation; there are a lot of decisions to make.

I am here to help you on the beauty end of things.  As a seasoned hairstylist and makeup artist, I have had the pleasure of working with all types of brides with all different styles of weddings. Let me make things a little easier for you and help you prepare for your hair and makeup trial and on your big day!



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Crystal Thomas – Bridal Hair



Things to bring:


Inspiration Pictures

Bring anything that grabs your attention.  Your stylist and/or make up artist will be able to see what you are vibing on from the pictures; it will help them guide you into the best direction.

Wedding Details

Bring pictures of your dress, wedding colors, hair accessories, veil, venue, timeline, etc. It all helps with painting the picture of the day you are creating.  I am a visual person as most beauty professionals are.  I like knowing as many of the details as possible to create a look for my guest that feels right.


Any makeup and hair products that you would prefer your stylist/MUA to use on the day of the wedding.  I like when my guests bring the lip color they want to use, because that color will be what they re-apply with all day.  Other products could include clip in extensions, products for sensitive skin (if applicable) or anything you like to wear that makes you feel special.

Yourself and positive people

If you would like to bring someone to your trial make sure they aren’t someone who stresses you out.  Sometimes you want an extra opinion, but be aware of the energy that other person could bring and how that could affect you and the direction of the service.


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Natalie Ruzgis – Hair/Crystal Thomas – Makeup


Things to know:


Schedule 2 month to 3 weeks before the wedding

One to two months ahead of the big day, your hair will most likely be a similar length and shape it will be for the wedding; this is a good time for a hair trial.

You should wear makeup, but it shouldn’t wear you

I’m speaking to my natural girls in particular. You will want to be wearing makeup and you will need a touch more color than you may be used to wearing.  No one should look like a clown or feel uncomfortable on their wedding day either.  You need to communicate what makes you comfortable.  Photography can be unforgiving and there is only so much that photoshop can do.  A solid makeup artist will be able to find that happy medium for you and to bring out your best features.

Who do you want to be on your wedding day?

Think about it. You may think this is a weird question.  Who doesn’t want to be themself at their wedding?  Most people want to be an enhanced version of themself on their wedding day.

There are people out there though who do want to channel an inner part of them that doesn’t come out too often, such as the girl who only wears a ponytail normally, but doesn’t want an updo that looks like they did it themself.  If you are the girl who leaves the house in just Chapstick, but you covet the look of a modern pin-up, then go on with your bad self!  

Sometimes pictures can convey this message, but it’s easier for everyone when the bride thinks about this ahead of time.  There is quite an emotional impact in changing your look up, so be prepared.

It’s OK to want more than one trial

There is no rule that says you can have only one hair and makeup trial.  Sometimes you try out a look that you’re sure will be the one and you end up not loving it. That is ok. There are so many options and your professional will do anything in their power to help you articulate what direction you should go.  It may be a matter of wearing your hair up and not down or that smokey eye versus a deep lip.  The world is your oyster; there is nothing wrong with trying something different!

If you have not worked with your bridal hairstylist/MUA before, be able to describe or have pictures of yourself

If I have never worked with a bride-to-be before, I like to know who they are on a regular basis just as much as I need to know who they want to be day of.  I like to feel out a person, so I can get a gauge of what comforts they may need the day of the wedding.  A person who wears a good amount of eye makeup regularly will most likely not be happy without that eyeliner they love.  A person who never wears their hair up and doesn’t like their ears probably won’t want to waste their time with an updo.  This will save time and any sorrow to have these perimeters set.

Take pictures in different lighting

Pictures are usually a big part of the wedding.  Be sure to take photos of yourself outside in natural light as well as indoors.  Makeup can translate very different in different lighting.  You want to be sure to love your look in all settings.

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Crystal Thomas – Bridal Hair



Things to bring and keep in mind:


Items you will be wearing and/or using today

For example, veil, lip color, blotting papers or translucent powder (combats shiny skin through the day), eyelash glue (in case of rogue lash corner), hair accessories, a few extra bobby pins, etc.

Pictures from the trial for reference

One day old washed hair is my preference and a lot of stylists preferences when working with updos.  We usually like to dirty up your hair even more with powders and products to ensure staying power.  With that being said, we do not prefer really dirty hair either.  This is something your stylist will guide you on if your hair gets greasy quickly.

If you want a look that is curled for the day of the wedding DO NOT flat ironed your hair

It is challenging to get a curl that will hold all day when the hair has been flat ironed straight, especially when the bride wants to wear a down/half up and wavy/curly look.

Keep tissues handy!  

When wiping beautiful wedded tears away with makeup on, my rule of thumb is to dab in the corners of your eyes and no wiping!

You will have makeup not only on your face, but on your neck and chest

This is to blend the color from your face down, especially if your dress neckline is low. There is nothing worse than when a bride’s face is a different color than the rest of her body.  Spray tanning is a huge culprit of the mismatched skin tone issue.  Pictures will not lie about this one guys, trust me.

You will be waterproofed

Bring waterproof makeup remover for the night of the wedding unless you want to wake up with that beautiful full face makeup 🙂

Don’t overdo the lip gloss!

It will be the quickest way for your lip color to be everywhere you don’t want it to be. A dab in the middle of your top and bottom lip then a good smoosh will do the trick.  Straws are always a good idea post makeup application to ensure your lip color doesn’t move too much.  


So now that you are a pro at the wedding day beauty process, when all is said and done you got married 🙂  The things that went awry fade into recent history.  The stresses dissipate when you realize now you have no more phone calls to the caterer or late night emails to the wedding planner.

You now have awesome memories of a day that will live on because of the special people who were there.  You also have gorgeous pictures of the way that day unfolded.  Hair and makeup is a small part of the equation, but it can certainly make a bride happy to look at her photos and see how special she looked that day.  Enjoy it!



Crystal Thomas