No matter how good a bride is at doing her hair and makeup, she usually picks professionals for the big day. They are the experts, after all, and they know about the latest and greatest products. Plus, life is a lot less stressful for a bride if she charges someone else with the responsibility of making her look her best. In the end, a professional should be able to create looks that are even better than a bride’s best DIY efforts – as long as she finds the right people. There are so many artists and salons to choose from, so how do you find your perfect match when it comes to assembling your glam squad?
Rather than trying a few places you found on Google, use this five-step guide to help you track down your ideal partners.
Step 1: Do your research.
Referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations are always the best. “If you like someone’s look at a wedding or a party, find out who they worked with,” says Miranda Webb, aesthetician and co-owner of Timeless Beauty Day Spa. “If you are planning a destination wedding, then look for reviews online. Blogs, forums and websites like Yelp are full of feedback on salons and stylists. You can also see before and afters and get a general feel of what prices should be. You can always ask your wedding planner or hotel contact. They will be able to recommend artists for you to research.”
If your wedding is close to home, you don’t have to go with your usual hairdresser. “They may be great at cut and color but not updos,” says Melissa Maia, owner of Salon Maia. “Find out how many weddings they have done and whether they enjoy event work.” Maia adds that your stylist will most likely recommend someone else if he or she is not confident with your wedding hairstyle of choice.
Also, before you decide on a stylist or makeup artist, start looking for images of the kinds of looks you like, and come up with two or three different ideas.
Step 2: Pay attention to first impressions.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential stylists and makeup artists, make plans to talk to them about your wedding. You can tell a lot from your first impression, says Danielle DeSalvo, owner and lead stylist of Kiss and Makeup Beauty Services. “Do they respond quickly to you?” DeSalvo says. “Are they easy to communicate with? Do you feel like you will be able to trust them? Do they ask the right questions, from skin sensitivity to how many people you have in your bridal party? Do they ask about your color scheme? Do they want to see photos in advance so they can think about colors and looks?”
When it’s time to look at an artist’s look book or portfolio, Maia says you should make sure you are looking at real brides and not models. “Ask if the photos have been retouched and whether they created the whole look with cut, color and updo, or whether they are only responsible for part of it,” Maia adds. “Ask if they used hair extensions or fake lashes? Look for styles you like or are similar to what you are aiming to achieve.”
Step 3: Maximize your hair and makeup trials.
Suzette Stuprich, owner of EyeDo Makeup Artistry, suggests setting up a trial appointment with an artist. It’s important to “ask about their policies on how long the trial will last and what happens if you don’t like the look they create. How many times will they re-do it? Will they charge you? How much money do you have to put down as a deposit? If there’s something specific, like airbrush foundation, make sure they perform the service before making an appointment.”
Shannon Diaz, owner of Up’sa Daisy Hair Studio says, the trial is a test of your relationship with the stylist as well as his ir her skills. “They should ask you to bring photos of at least three styles. That way they can advise on which style best suits your hair, your features and the dress,” Diaz says. “They should also ask you to bring any veil or headpiece you might be wearing and a sample of the color of your dress.”
Diaz adds that the trial is the time to decide if you feel comfortable with your stylist. The hairstylist or makeup artist should be a good communicator, and you should feel comfortable telling him or her if you don’t like something. The trial is also a good time to ask about a stylist’s experience. “During the trial find out if they have the local knowledge about how to deal with different weather conditions such as rain and humidity,” Diaz says. “Find out if they have experience working with different photographers. Are they good with logistics like parking and travel times? All these things become important on the day.”
DeSalvo says another thing to consider at the practice run is if you like the products the stylist or makeup artist is using. Webb says one other thing to think about is if you are comfortable with the salon, or if the salon can come to you. “Do you like the environment you are in?” Webb says. “Can you and your bridal party relax and have fun while you’re getting ready or will you need to rent hotel rooms?”
Any makeup artist or hairstylist you are considering should be willing to try different approaches and write down everything they used to achieve the final look you are happy with. He or she should take 365 angle photos and even suggest you use the colors at home to give you time to decide if you like them. Bringing a trusted friend is a good idea but not a whole gaggle with different views. Remember to walk outside before you leave, to take in the look in daylight. Ideally, schedule the trial to coincide with your bridal portraits or an event so you can see how the makeup and hair “wears.”
Step 4: Understand the financials and logistics.
With all the excitement, don’t forget to ask for a full breakdown of costs including gas and parking. Make sure you know how long your makeup artist and hairstylist will be with you on the day and what would happen should one of them falls sick.
Step 5: Do the “Chemistry Test.”
Finally, follow your instinct. Can you trust a potential stylist to create the hair and makeup of your dreams? If you and your potential stylist have great chemistry, the relationship will make your wedding day more fun.
four places for a spray tan
The perfect accessory to any bridal gown is the gorgeous glow of a spray tan. The potential pitfall, though, is arriving at the altar with a strange orange color with streaks. Try these four spots to get it right.
The Doll House Salon
516 Veterans Blvd., Suite 200, Metairie,
(504) 835-7474, metairiesalon.com
At this full service salon in Metairie, the staff advises brides to have their first spray tan before their makeup application trial to ensure that the skin tones match. The salon’s formula has no orange pigment in it and a discount is available when sessions are bought as a package.
various locations, planetbeach.com
You’ll find several ways at this automated spa to achieve a natural color in minutes, such as the PB Glow system and the Mystic Spray Tan. There’s also the Mystic HD, which uses heat for a long lasting tan and a UV-Free AutoBronzer.
Rodan + Fields Independent Consultant
Christine Modica, (504) 606-3035,
The skin care line, created by the doctors behind ProActiv, features a sunless tanner. It is easy to apply at home, and contains technology that prolongs your tan, as well as antioxidants to protect the skin.
Sip and Spray
(504) 908-2260, twitter.com/sipnspray
Sip and Spray is 100-percent mobile, so the service comes to you. A day or two before the wedding, this is a fun way for brides to relax with their bridal parties while getting a quick-drying, streak-free gorgeous tan.