More and more now I come across clients who have no idea what to expect when booking a hair stylist and makeup artist (HMUA), or have had a bad experience in the past and are ready to write off hiring an HMUA all together. If you are the first of your friends to get married it’s hard to know what to anticipate when you book a professional and it can be exciting and terrifying in equal measures, particularly if you have fallen victim to a bad ‘makeover’ at a cosmetics counter. With the 2018 wedding season simmering to a close and the 2019 wedding season just around the corner, I thought it would be good to give all prospective brides the lowdown on the magical world of HMUAs.
Now, bear in mind that wedding season is seven months of the year with the height of summer being the most popular time to get married, and many popular HMUAs get booked up a whole summer, or even two, in advance. If you find an HMUA that you really love, book them straightaway – the deposit is usually very affordable and you can rest easy that you have the perfect person to help to make you look your best on your wedding day.
When looking for the HMUA that is perfect for you, ask for recommendations, look at their galleries and at their reviews (particularly on Facebook as these cannot be edited). Choose someone whose work you like the look of – we can usually create any look that you would like but we also all have our natural preferred style, so make sure it is in keeping with yours.
Be understanding that with such a high volume of clients the person you have booked may take a little time to reply to emails, however don’t be too blasé about it. A responsible supplier should get back to you within a few days at most, and a gentle nudge to remind them of your email never does any harm as sometimes emails can go to Junk folders or get lost amongst many others.
When it comes to your hair and makeup trial this should be an enjoyable experience. Often clients come to me nervous and apprehensive as they have no idea what a trial entails. Basically, it is an opportunity to meet the person to whom you are entrusting your wedding day look – a pretty big deal! You are going to be spending a lot of time with them on your wedding morning, so make sure you enjoy their company as well as being happy with your final look.
Come armed with plenty of photos of looks that you like rather than trusting your descriptive skills, as everyone’s idea of ‘natural’ or ‘smoky eye’ varies. And if you really have no clue, bring photographs of things you DON’T like – these can be just as useful. But even if you do have a set look in mind, listen to your artist’s advice; they have years of experience under their brush belt and will know what will and won’t work for you as well as being able to tailor your desired look to suit your hair type, complexion and even to compliment your dress. And, particularly when it comes to hair, please do manage your expectations. Hair types vary massively and often models will have a lot of extensions in to help create particularly voluminous looks. Very whimsical styles look beautiful for a photograph that requires the model to stand still for five minutes, but consider whether they will realistically have the longevity to last a full wedding day with wind, hugs and lots of dancing. And be honest with your HMUA – just because we think you look stunning, it doesn’t necessarily follow that you will be 100% happy. This is not the time to be British – explain if there are elements that you are not happy with as they are usually very easy to tweak to perfection. Don’t go home unhappy without speaking up.
When you walk away from your trial you should know exactly how you are going to look, be more familiar with the person who you will be spending your wedding morning with, and be well informed in terms of how the morning is going to go (order of other bridal party members, what time you will start getting ready and what time you will all be done by etc.). Between your trial and your wedding day there can be a sizeable gap in time so don’t hesitate to contact your MUA with any additional questions!
Wedding mornings can be manic, but despite any dramas that may happen with lost buttonholes or misplaced cuff links, everything concerning your ‘glam squad’ should be smooth sailing so expect nothing less than military precision and timing. This can be aided by making sure that you and your bridesmaids are up and ready to go before your HMUA arrives so they can get started as soon as they are set up. Also, follow any advice you may have been given regarding hair being washed (or not washed) and dry, and being makeup free. And make sure that advice is passed on to the other members of your bridal party too. Bridesmaids and mums should have pictures to hand of how they would like to look and if anyone has ridiculous amounts of hair, please make sure you inform your HMUA before the big day so that they can build in a little extra time!
Once everyone is done, final touch ups are in order; the first ones to be made up will certainly be in need of a lipstick top up, especially after a few glasses of bubbly. The final hour before you leave to get married is always very busy, so that is always our cue to leave -the less bodies the better! Our departure should signal the end of what has hopefully been an easy and enjoyable experience, and with any luck one that you will recommend to friends and family.