How to Nail Your Bridal Hair & Makeup Trial Run Every Time

Before you actually hit the ground running as a bridal hair & makeup artist, it would be easy to think that being successful and having a diary full of booked clients comes down entirely to your practical skill, but as with any career involving working with people, it’s the way that you treat your clients, communicate and go the extra mile that will make the difference between you and the next stylist.

Of course, skill is paramount and you need to be ready to create that dream style for your bride (which is why, on all of our Bridal Hair Courses, we’ll teach you the techniques to be able to produce ANY style!) but you’re never going to get to that point if you don’t take the steps to ensure that your trial run is a huge hit.

As a bridal hair & makeup artist, you only get one shot at proving that you are the one for the job above all others, so before you have your next trial run, make sure that you’re clued up on how to nail it, every time.

bridal hair

Prep the Bride


Communication is key when it comes to being an amazing bridal hair & makeup artist and this should start before you even meet your client…


From the first point of contact, it’s on you to not only make sure that your bride-to-be feels special and well taken care of, but that she also feels prepared for the upcoming trial run. It’s not just you who feels the pressure of getting this right – she’s eager to find that dream look too!

To effectively prep your bride, you need to fill her in on all the things she can do in advance to help her feel ready when you finally meet.


Laying some ground rules on how she should arrive with dry, product-free, un-styled hair preferably washed the night before will make your life a lot easier!

bridal hair

Ask your bride to have a think about what’s important to her – what she loves and wants to show off and what she’s not so keen on and wants to disguise or work around. Let her know that you don’t expect her to arrive knowing exactly what she wants (this is something you’ll figure out together) and not to stress if she’s totally clueless. She wants to know that she’s in good hands as well as being part of the process.

Get Inspired

Find Gorgeous Bridal Hair Styles in the CBH Gallery

Talk & Listen


When the day of the trial finally arrives, you might be brimming with ideas that you would love to bring to life on your bride and that’s great! But don’t be pushy.


It’s a fine line between making expert suggestions and recommendations for looks that you think will look beautiful (which is usually welcomed!) and making a bride feel as though she doesn’t really have a say in the finished result.


Listen to her responses as you talk and as you work with both your ears and your eyes – often body language speaks much louder than words.


To be a great bridal hair & makeup artist, you need to be a great listener. Talk to your client about everything, not just her hair and makeup, as her overall plans for her big day should impact the style you discover together for her as much as anything else.

Be Prepared (With Pam in your Pocket!)


No bride wants a bridal hair & makeup artist who is unsure of themselves, so be confident by being well prepared.


Practice makes perfect, so work on your skills non-stop on the run up to your trials or attend one of our 2 Day Bridal Hair Courses to perfect your skills.

Our Online Bridal Hair Course is an invaluable tool for all bridal hair & makeup artists during a trial run, as you can watch our 100s of quick tip videos at any time and solve any number of issues in a instant. Keep your phone on you and if you find that you’re struggling to get a style to stay put, getting a curl to hold or any other problem you can nip to the loo and watch Pam take you through how to sort it, step by step, in just a minute or two!

Use Your Planner


You can now buy the bridal hair and makeup planners that Pam uses with her clients in our online shop!


As you’re working your way through the trial run, you absolutely must make notes so that when the wedding day comes around you can recreate the exact look that your client loved so much before, without having to try and remember which techniques or products you used off the top of your head. This will also help you to work out a timetable for the day so that you bride and the bridal party are all ready on time!


Buy your bridal hair planner here and your bridal makeup planner here.

How to Take Amazing Photos for Your Social Media

To be a successful Bridal Hair and Makeup Artist, a great online presence is a must and gorgeous photos of your work on your social media plays a major part in that.

Gone are the days when having some fab shots in a physical portfolio was enough; now, that portfolio needs to be bigger and better than ever and it needs to be accessible for the world to see, especially on social media.

Social media has the potential to be a fantastic tool for anyone in business, particularly when a part of your business is producing amazing visual work, as it is for Bridal Hair and Makeup Artists. However, it’s no use just taking some quick snaps of your hair and makeup creations, sticking them up on your social media feeds and hoping for the best! There are certain rules you need to follow and techniques you must employ to get your photos really working for you.

Need Some Help with Your Portfolio?

come to our 4 Day Bridal Hair Course for a pro portfolio photoshoot!

How to Take Fantastic, Sharable Images

The first step to successful social media pages for your business is to have amazing images of your work that are good enough for people to want to like and better yet, share with their friends.

Blurry, dark and cluttered photos are not going to grab the attention of anyone and they’re certainly not going to showcase your work in any way shape or form, so it’s time to get savvy about what you’re posting. If you have a DSLR camera or the opportunity to collaborate with some skilled photographers, take full advantage of that!


The more professional-looking the image, the better; but if you are taking your own photos, here are some points to consider:

social media

Use Natural Light

Is your model well lit? Lighting can make a monumental difference to the overall result, so think about this before taking any photo. Ideally, you want to use as much natural light as possible to avoid any orange tones that room lighting can create, but avoid direct sunlight as this can make a photo very overexposed.


Think About Composition

It’s important to think about what is surrounding your subject, as well as the hair and makeup itself. Make sure that the space around is free from clutter and is pleasing to the eye. This is particularly important for Instagram images as you need your photo to look great even when it’s small and amongst many other photos.

When setting up your shot, try working with the ‘rule of thirds’ using gridlines on your phone or camera. This is a photographic composition principle that says an image should be broken down into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, so you have nine parts in total, making an image more balanced and pleasing to the viewer.

Beautiful Student Portfolio Images from our 4 Day Bridal Hair Course

Use Negative Space

Sometimes a close up photo of the detail in your work can be brilliant, but it doesn’t hurt to mix it up a bit with some images taken from further back that utilise negative space.

If you have your model against a clear, open background like the sky or a large wall, it can make your subject really stand out and draw people into your photo.


Don’t Zoom In

If you want a close up, get closer! Zooming in can result in a blurry image and that’s the last thing you want! Your photos need to be clean and crisp, so steer clear of the zoom and instead, try different angles until you find something you’re happy with.


Always Edit

The tiniest tweak of an image can take it from ‘good’ to ‘great’, but you have to do it right! You don’t have to be a pro with Photoshop to get an image looking amazing – there are some fantastic phone apps that are easy to use and can really transform a photo.

Snapseed is our favourite – a free app that gives you all the basics (contrast, brightness, saturation etc) as well as a few other nifty options. The ‘selective’ tool gives you the ability to choose an area of your photo to edit rather than having to change the whole thing, so you can brighten up the background or just the face or hair to bring the whole thing to life without overdoing it.

If you don’t feel confident using an editing tool where you have to do it manually, you can always fall back on trusty filters or apps like Instabeauty to automatically get things looks fab.

Interested in more great Bridal Hair & Makeup Artist business tips? Read our blog ‘Mastered Bridal Hair? Time To Get Paid! Our Tips on Going Pro…’ or catch up on our business tips Webinar.