Primp Powder Pout - a Make-Up Artist's Life: A Bride's Guide to Hair & Makeup


Primp Powder Pout

Primp Powder Pout
Ashley Kay Gifford Make-up & Hair Artist

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Thursday, 17 May 2012

A Bride's Guide to Hair & Makeup

This blog today is dedicated to all the brides out there who are needing a little bit of help on what they need to do regarding their hair and makeup on their 'Big Day'. 

I receive dozens of emails a week regarding hair and makeup enquiries for weddings. 
90% of these emails are from brides who have never been involved in a wedding before...or at least in the arrangement of a wedding. 

The other 10% of my brides have either been involved or have been a bridesmaid and have had hair and makeup done before and I say most of those brides have horror stories of what their hair and makeup looked like on the day. 

Arranging a wedding is probably one of the most stressful things a soon-to-be bride will do. Basically she has become an events planner when she has never planned big events ever before. 

There are so many aspects to the arranging of a wedding that hair and makeup tends to be the last thing on a brides mind until a few months before (or unless you are my super organised brides who arrange hair and makeup a year in advance...I wish I was that organised). 

Though hair and makeup is a second to last is probably one of the biggest, important things of the to the dress. A bride doesn't go and spend the amount of money on this beautiful, one off dress to have her normal hair and makeup she always has. 

In saying that last bit, I don't mean brides want something extravagant for their big day regarding their beauty. The majority of my brides would just like to look like themselves but on a really great day! 

They want to be flawless, fresh faced, immaculate hair and glowing all over. They want to walk down the aisle and feel radiant! 

Not only is it the artist's job to make the bride gorgeous as well as her bridal party, but it is also important that the artist provides a calm, relaxed environment before the ceremony. 

I can't tell you how many brides I have helped calm nerves, over-excitement etc. It is a very overwhelmingly happy day and for some, bittersweet. There are moments where excitement, nervous energy, feelings of sadness that lost loved ones are not there, can take over and it is my job to help the brides through all of her emotional ups and downs. 

So here is my check-list of DO's & DON'TS for brides:


Do- get your makeup and hair done on the big day. The last thing you want to be doing is frantically applying your mascara and eyeshadow, while setting your hair and getting everything in place while also preparing to walk down the aisle. 

Do- arrange a bridal trial for hair and makeup. This is so important. Not only do you want to ensure you have exactly what you want on the day, but you want to make sure the person who is prepping you will add to the lovely atmosphere. 

Do- go with your gut instinct. If you trial with someone who's portfolio or website do not suit your is more than likely that when they do your hair and won't suit your style either.  

Do- check around. Just because an artist is high in price, doesn't mean that artist is the best. You want an artist who is efficient, skilled and who you click with. The same goes for artists who are undercutting. Compare artists' websites and go with your instinct. 

Do- pay a deposit and hold your date. Makeup and hair artists get booked up sometimes a year in advance...don't miss out on a good artist. 

Do- know which dress you are wearing as this will dictate what your hair and makeup will look like. 

Do- think about what you want for your bridesmaids and set boundaries if you want to...and don't be afraid. It is your big day and if you would like your bridesmaids to have neutral makeup then say this to them. You don't want bridesmaids attempting to have clubbing makeup and overshadowing your natural radiant makeup. 

Do- drink plenty of water and have a good skincare regime in place. Speak to your artist about your skin type and they should be able to advise on a skincare regime that suits your skin and your well as your haircare regime. 

DO- ENJOY YOUR DAY! Breathe, take it all in and don't worry about the small things. You want to remember it for the magical day that it is. If there are little hiccups during the ceremony or party...laugh them off...:)


Don't- NOT have a trial. YOU and the artist need a trial so that the day goes smoothly and everyone is happy. 

Don't- have any last minute changes on the day unless you tell your artist a week in advance. If you are adding more than a few people to the party last minute, the artist may have to hire an assistant for the day and will need suitable notice to do so...especially during peak season. 

Don't- expect to walk into a makeup shop and have your makeup done on the same day without a trial. You may end up with makeup you don't like or worse, have a reaction to the makeup with you definitely don't want. 

Don't- fake tan without warning the artist that you may do so when you meet for you trial, so the artist is prepared for a skin colour change...the same goes with sun beds...give notice. 

Don't- cut your hair unless you discuss it with the artist. The last thing you want is to trial out a hairstyle then cut your hair into a new style which will not go into your desired style for the day. (I have had this happen. A bride had long hair and had arranged for this beautiful cascading style...but when I saw her on the wedding day her hair was 5 inches shorter, in a long bob...and I couldn't do what she wanted because she cut all of her hair off)

Don't- dye your hair the same day or day before the wedding. Give your hair at least a week. Not only will this allow some leeway if you have a disaster but also, if you go darker, you won't have the dye lines around the hairline. 

Don't- get a facial within two weeks of the wedding. Facials are clarifying and therefore pull out impurities which can cause breakouts...and with the stress of the wedding...a breakout or two is likely anyway, so you don't want to add to that! 

Don't- STRESS! It's going to be a magical day!


The beautiful and sweet Laura

Liza's bridesmaids and flower girls

The beautiful Liza.,

Rosie and her maids

Claire who has now become a friend as well. 


My fellow American, Nikki

The gorgeous Kirsty and her mother

Kirsty and her maids and second from the left is Shani, my fantastically talented assistant.

The Portuguese beauty in New Jersey, Adelaide

Adelaide's lovely and hilarious bridesmaid Jo!

Laura, my Basque beauty. Wedding was in San Sebastian, Spain. Gorgeous!

Harriet...super sweet and quirky!

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