Hair and Makeup: From Choosing an Artist to Your Wedding Day

Published February 13, 2014

Step 1. Choosing & Booking Your Make-Up Artist

  • Online review: Finding online reviews on your artists are a wonderful way to check up on their credibility before enquiring with them. There are wedding specific websites that display reviews from past brides including their comments and a scoring on quality of service, value for money, etc.
  • Referrals: I would say around 70% of new brides are a referral from a past bride. If a bride has had a good experience, she will tell all of her friends and family.
  • Portfolios: Online portfolios are what will win you over. You can review the artist portfolios on their website, Facebook, twitter, Instagram, etc.
  • Personality: Although you can get a sense of an artist’s personality through their emails, a phone conversation or a coffee meeting is the best way to connect. You will be spending a lot of time with your artist so it is important that you get along.
  • Booking your artist: Top hair & makeup artists book up at least a year in advance during the peak season and months in advance for non-peak season. If you are getting married between the months of July and October, book as far in advance as you can! Put a deposit down to save the date & book your make-up trial for a later time.


Vancouver Wedding Invitation

Photo by Pure Souls Photography

Step 2. Do Your Research

There are many wedding resources you can do your research on for your hair & make-up:

  • Online: Wedding Blogs, Articles, and Boards such as Pinterest
  • Magazines: Real Weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings, etc.
  • Wedding Shows


Vancouver Wedding Invitation

Left photo by Blush Wedding. Right photo by Jamie Lauren Photography

Step 3. Your Trial

  • Day old hair unless specified otherwise: Day old hair is best in 99% of situations. One day of natural grease will enable curls to hold longer and the hair to be smoother. The only time you will be required to wash your hair on the same morning as styling is if you have short hair and are getting a blow-out, or if your hair gets particularly greasy within 24 hours. In those cases, wash and dry it in the morning.
  • Clean face: You can carry out your usual skin regime in the morning but other than that, arrive with a clean face.
  • Bring hair pieces, veil etc: Bring along any hairpieces you will be wearing on your wedding day. Some of my brides have bought in a number of hair pieces/clips so they can try them on with the hairstyle and we can make a decision on which one she will wear.
  • Professional advice: Your artist is your beauty guru, beauty geek and beauty professional. If you have a question about hair, makeup or skincare, this is the best time to ask.
  • The colour scheme and style of your wedding: The colour scheme and style of your wedding will definitely affect the style of hair and makeup you choose. The hair must work well with the dress and your face shape. You can inform your artist of the details to the wedding and have her help in making some decisions on your hair and makeup.
  • Bringing a friend or family member: Most of my brides come to their trial alone; however, some do bring a friend or family member along to help with some decision-making. I would suggest bringing no more than one person along to your trial.
  • Your own personal style: Your own personal style plays possibly the most important part in determining your hair and makeup design for your wedding day. If you are sexy and glamorous, go smoky and dramatic. If you never wear makeup and tend to prefer looking more natural, go glowing and fresh. Don’t try to be something you’re not. The only thing I will suggest for any natural brides out there is to go one or two steps more dramatic than what you would normally be comfortable with. Makeup really vanishes in pictures so in order to make a very natural look show up on camera, you need extra emphasis on your features. Make sure to take lots of pictures at your trial so you can make any necessary adjustments to your look.
Vancouver Wedding Invitation

Left photo by Lee Halliday Photography. Right photo by Life Studios Inc.

Step 4. Preparing for the Wedding Day

  • Facials & Skincare: I swear by microdermabrasion facials and Eminence Organics Skincare. Good skin will make for flawless makeup! Make sure to drink plenty of water as well! That will play a huge part in the hydration of your skin.
  • Good cosmetics: Wear good cosmetics. At least when it comes to primer and foundation, the investment is certainly worth it. On a day to day basis, I love to use Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics as my cover up. The minerals allow my skin to breath and heal while wearing makeup. It doesn’t clog pores and make you break out. It is amazing!
  • Colour and trim 1-2 weeks prior: Dead ends are actually pretty handy when it comes to up-do’s. Bobby pins will grasp onto broken ends much better than healthy, smooth ones. In fact, healthy hair in general is harder to work with.
    Adding high or low lights will help emphasise any detail you have in your hair design. Unfortunately, one colour hair doesn’t really show texture or design well. If you are up for subtle high or low lights, I say do it.

Step 5. The Wedding Day

  • Touch up kit: Most bridal artists will compose a touch up kit for you to keep in your purse. This should include blotting papers to control shine, your lip colour, Kleenex to blot away possible tears, q-tips and bobby pins. Although your makeup and hair shouldn’t move too much, you do need to be able to maintain any minor wear and tear. It’s also a good idea to bring along your own face powder and mini hair spray.
  • Hire an artist: Many brides like to have a day look and an evening look for their hair and makeup. I think this idea is wonderful for any wedding that will begin earlier in the day. This is also a great opportunity to have everything touched up and made perfect before dinner and speeches. For any bride getting married in the summer, I advise hiring an artist for a look change or at least a touch up. The sun is hot and heat causes sweat. In the summer, it is inevitable that a touch up will be needed by your make-up artist, yourself or a friend. This also applies to anyone getting married on a rainy day that plans to take pictures outside, especially if you have curls. Curls do fall out when any kind of moisture touches them.
  • “The don’t touch hug”: Master the art of “the don’t touch hug”. Basically, don’t rub your face all over someone. The make-up will not stay on! Hug gently.
  • Dab don’t rub: If you cry, dab don’t rub. Rubbing will cause the makeup to smudge or completely come off. Dabbing will just blot away the tears without causing damage. Always have Kleenex nearby to catch the tears before they fall!

Ready to Book?

Mention Vancity Weddings Directory to receive 10% off when you (the bride) and 2 or more people book with Faye Smith Makeup & Hair. Offer is good until June 1, 2014.

About the Writer

Faye Smith Makeup & Hair is a artist based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada specializing in wedding hair & makeup. Learn more about their services at