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My 5 steps to a top trial



So last Saturday I went for my hair and make-up trial. For years as a magazine journalist I’d written about the importance of having a trial – and how to get the most out of it. Now it was my turn to basically put my money where my mouth (or fingertips) had been and do it for myself! As a follicly-challenged bride-to-be I’ll admit that I was anxious. How my hair will look and behave has been on my mind since the proposal. However, one happy trial later and any thoughts of hair-mares are gone. I thought it might be helpful to tell you about my trial and in particular, what I considered to be the most important factors to think about. Here goes…

1. Choose artists whose work you admire

I lucked out on this one. During my years as a magazine stylist, I formed my dream team. Practically every shoot I arranged, I’d book Dino Perreira to do hair and Lica Fensome to do make-up. Between them, they’ve beautified pretty much every A-lister on the planet and racked up mountains of glossy editorial tear sheets. If you don’t have your own dream team, don’t worry. Ask friends, ask other brides whose looks you’ve loved, ask your photographer and even ask the venue for their recommendations. Then, when you’ve decided on a firm favourite, request a trial. Don’t forget to make sure that they’re available on your wedding day and that you’ve budgeted for their fee (including travel.)

2. Put together a Pinterest board

Putting together a mood board of your favourite hair and make-up looks is so easy nowadays – you’re just a tick of a Pin away. I added anything and everything I saw that I liked – updos, down dos, side-swept dos and full-on glam Hollywood dos. I also collected tear sheets and created a Pinterest board for make-up looks. I’m a sucker for spiky lashes, sooty lids and strong lips. Dino and Lica studied my Pinterest board spotting similarities. Dino plugged his hot rollers in whilst Lica pulled a capsule collection of colours from her kit for us to coo over.

3. Go prepared

It’s a really good idea to have your hair and make-up trial done at the same time so that you can get a feel for your overall bridal look. And don’t forget some essentials: I took my phone (for Pinterest), my Jenny Packham hair accessory, a white top, my favourite lipstick, some hair extensions (from which I’d had colour matched to my hair and a picture of my dress.

4. Take your time

To get the most out of your trial, allow as much time as possible. I say this from experience because I had planned to go and see the Xanadu* musical later in the day but wasn’t finished in time. It’s important to have time to tweak to perfection. Also, we started mid morning to allow the rest of the day to road test the longevity of my updo (don’t tell my fiancé) and my make-up.

5. Snap loads of pictures

Once you’re happy, take pictures of yourself from every angle so you can see how your hair will look – and how it’ll photograph. Lica also snapped the exact make-up colours she used – and texted me later in the evening to check how they had worn on my skin.

So have you had your trial yet? Have you any more tips to pass on? And are you doing a mani or a fake tan trial too? I’m thinking it could be a wise move…..

Sarah x

*Honestly it was so good. I went with my bridesman when it first opened but was desperate to see it again before it closed.


image courtesy David’s Bridal

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  • Thanks for these tips. There are loads of similar features on line but it’s good to read it from someone who has actually had a trial for a real wedding. How nice of your makeup artist to check with you afterwards xoxo

    5 years ago : Sdevine
  • Is it natural to feel absolutely petrified about my trial? I’ve never had a truly amazing experience at the hairdressers. I’m taking my mum for moral support x

    6 years ago : Kerry edwards
    • Feeling your pain Kerry. Just promise me that if you don’t like what you see, you will tell the stylist – or at least pre-plan a signal to your mum so that she can say something. Try to enjoy it. And afterwards, when you’re feeling on top of the world, head out (no pun intended) somewhere special. Good luck x

      6 years ago : Sarah Green
  • Hilarious! I saw Xanadu too. Was the tallest sister any better at roller skating when u went? Info v helpful – cheers x

    6 years ago : Swell-mel
    • I literally squealed when I read your comment. The honest answer is …. No! She was hilarious. She was holding onto her sisters for dear life! Wish it’d come back x

      6 years ago : Sarah Green
  • This is such great advice – thank you – I hadn’t thought to take along my jewellery or wear a white top. It makes total sense.

    6 years ago : tara