Hair & Beauty Magazine

Everything You Wanted to Know About Bridal Hair & Makeup: Your Top Questions Answered!

By Joanna Koh

A wedding is one of those things that are easy to attend, but ridiculously difficult to plan for. There are always so many things to be taken into consideration, from choosing an auspicious date to finding the wedding dress that is “the one” (after your soon-to-be husband of course). Which is why when it comes to your big day, you want your Hair & Makeup team to help you look like a million bucks with minimal fuss.

As with everything in life, there are a hundred and one choices to be made for your Hair & Makeup: whether you should wear your hair in a elegant up-do or leave it down in flowing princess curls, an Au Natural make up look or a strong smokey eye… and the list goes on. Hence, we have complied a list of Frequently Asked Questions by Brides regarding Hair & Makeup and answered them for you – from a makeup artist’s point of view.

Booking A Makeup Artist 

Q: How early in advance should I book a MUA?

A: I hope you still have a few months before your wedding if you’re asking this question now. We’ve had enquiries for weddings which were a mere week away – if you’re lucky (which is pretty rare), your preferred makeup artist will still available to take bookings. More often than not, popular makeup artists are usually fully booked at least three months in advance. If you know that your wedding is going to fall on a “hot” or “auspicious” date, try to book your favourite artist at least nine months to a year in advance.

Q: How do I know if the MUA is “right” for me? What factors do I need to consider in choosing a MUA – education,portfolio,cost?

Firstly, ask yourself what’s your main beauty concern or preference. Do you have a skin tone or skin type that you think requires the help of a specialist, for example, extremely light or dark tones, or hyper sensitive skin etc. Next, browse through the artist’s portfolio and find one style that you like . If you love clean and fresh looks, get a make up artist whose portfolio reflects just that. If you’re the “princess” type,  there are makeup artists who can make you look like you just stepped out of a fairytale too.
Cost is always a factor in choosing a makeup artist, so look for one that gives you the best quality for a price that’s within your budget.

Q: Are there any hidden costs I should look out for? 

Sometimes, makeup artists try to make an extra buck by selling you things that you assumed were already included in the package, for example, ampoules (Read my article to find out if you really need to buy these ampoules), false eyelashes, charging you for their transport and the list goes on.

So before you book a makeup artist, ask about the following items or services if you would like them:
- Ampoules
- False eyelashes
- Transport or morning surcharges (especially if you need them before 7am)
- Hair accessories
- Touchups

For us, we believe in not selling ampoules (read the post to find out why!), providing complimentary false eyelashes, artist’s transport and even a free touchup for the groom within the package.
However, we do charge to return for any touchups or makeup/hair changes.
As for hair accessories, we’re working on bringing you a selection of hair accessories soon, which will hopefully be included free of charge with the packages too!

Q: Do I really need a MUA if I know how to do my own makeup?

Wasn’t it rumoured that Kate Middleton did her own makeup for her wedding? If you’ve been in the spotlight for years like she has, and know what makeup works both off and on camera, by all means, go ahead. But for many of us, what we think looks great for our daily face might look too washed out during the wedding with the dress, veil and all that jazz. With all that’s going on on the wedding day itself, unless you can lock everyone else out of the room to focus on your own prep, it’s hard for a bride to multitask. We suggest leaving your makeup in the hands of a trusty professional who knows your style and can help enhance it to make your look perfect on your special day.

Kate's an expert at doing her own makeup, but even she had help in the hair department

Kate’s an expert at doing her own makeup, but even she had help in the hair department

Q: How many people in a bridal party can a MUA accommodate? (e.g. Mother, sisters, bridesmaids)

This, you’ll need to ask your makeup artist before booking. Some artists work solo, some with a partner, and some have a whole team! You should inform them of how many people you have in your bridal party who want makeup and hair done so they can prepare for it or advise you to hire another artist.

Q: I have sensitive skin/skin allergies, can a MUA work with that?

Do you know what causes your skin to have such a reaction? If you know that it’s caused by a certain product or type of ingredient, you can ask your makeup artist if they have any alternatives to such a product. For people with hyper-sensitive skin, you should bring some of your own skincare or makeup products on the wedding day itself too, just in case of emergencies!

Q: How long will my makeup last? Do I need the MUA to be around for touch-ups the whole day?

Depending on the climate you are in and your skin type, you may want to hire the artist to return for a touchup, or just do it yourself if you can manage. This is another reason why you should schedule a trial session, so you can get a feel as to whether the makeup will last through the day or night.

Q: Do I have to schedule a trial? What goes on during one?

As mentioned previously, a trial is really great for seeing how long the makeup lasts on you. It’s also good to schedule a trial so that you get to know your artist better and they in turn, get to know what looks you’re comfortable with so that no one freaks out on the wedding day! We usually advise our clients to try on their wedding gown during the trial, so they get to visualise the final look, with the makeup, hairdo, and dress all together.

During our trials, we usually do the looks required on the wedding day itself, be it day, evening or party looks. It includes both makeup and hairstyling, and you get to try the FULL look, as well as all the products which will be used on the day itself. We take many photographs as reference so that we can discuss the look even after you’ve washed it off, and if there’s anything you are not happy with, we can change it immediately.

Always check with your makeup artist if the trial is a FULL trial or only a consultation. We’ve heard of horror 15 minute trials where the bride didn’t even get to try on the foundation or any ‘dos.

Here's an example of the photos we take of our client during the trial. Makeup and different hairstyles.

Here’s an example of the photos we take of our client during the trial. Makeup and different hairstyles.

Q: Do I need to have a back-up MUA in case my MUA ends up being a no-show for on my wedding day?

If your makeup artist doesn’t show up on a day, we’re sorry to say that probably you can’t get a makeup artist at the last minute. No professional makeup artist would cancel on the day itself, neither would they agree to be a “back up”.
We advise that you get a makeup artist who has a registered company so you can trace (or take legal action against) them if they do not show up.

If you’re worried, you should touch base with them a few days before the wedding to put your mind at ease. Always book a trustworthy makeup artist who has a good track record with previous clients.

Q: I don’t usually wear makeup so I’m afraid the MUA might make me look too overdone. How can I avoid this?

Here, it is really essential that you communicate this with your makeup artist. Tell them your concerns. You should already have shortlisted the makeup artists whom you feel do a natural look instead of full-on, overdone types of makeup.

Show them some images of natural makeup styles you like, and be open to the makeup they do for you as well. Wear your gown with the full ‘do, take lots of photographs and sift though them. Sometimes we think our faces look too overdone when we’re wearing a teeshirt with full makeup, but once we change into a stunning gown, the makeup does help our face to stand out instead of fade out.

The Big Beauty Prep Before The Wedding 

Q: I’ve heard that celebrities start preparing for big events like the Oscars weeks in advance by going for things like facials etc. Should I do the same or is hiring a MUA enough?

If you’re blessed with naturally great skin, then we believe in the mantra “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”. However, prior to the wedding day, the stress of planning may get to you, many soon-to-be brides find that their skin isn’t in tip top condition. We recommend finding a great facial regime at least six months before the wedding, and that includes going for monthly facials, eating & drinking right, and also following your daily skincare routine.

Q: What are some of the biggest beauty mistakes to avoid before the wedding? 

Before the wedding, don’t try anything too crazy! Read about that new spray tan, permanent makeup, aunties selling whitening formulas, bold haircut or injections? DON’T!
Travelling? Bring along your trusty products so your skin won’t be struggling to adjust.
Don’t visit dodgy nail salons or strange facial places trying to sell you funny treatments. Better to be safe than sorry. Stick with your trusted beauty professionals, your regular aesthetician, manicurist and hairdresser, and let them know that you are getting married so they won’t try to persuade you to do anything too weird.

Q: What are the best nail polish colors for brides if I do not want to do any nail art?

We’re not big fans of huge acrylic flowers and other dangly applique on the nails either, but we agree that a bride should at least have clean, manicured nails. Here are some of our favourite ideas

Creamy nudes look modern and also go with any colour of gowns

Creamy nudes look modern and also go with any colour of gowns

Foil and Chrome coloured nails add an interesting, futuristic touch

Foil and Chrome coloured nails add an interesting, futuristic touch

The half-moon manicure. Not quite nail art, but this shows extreme attention to detail

The half-moon manicure. Not quite nail art, but this shows extreme attention to detail

Still can’t decide? Go for a classic (read: boring) french manicure , or check out the new gel formulas so you’ll NEVER chip your nails on your big day! If you ask us, personally, we would do a bright or extremely dark statement colour on our toes, and a nude on our fingers


Q: What products would you recommend to reduce the appearance of scars/hyper pigmentation?

If you need results fast, I would suggest a visit to the dermatologist for clinical procedures like lasers, IPL or peels. If you have plenty of time, you can research for products which contain AHAs to help resurface the skin, and Vitamin C to lighten hyper pigmentation. We love the products from Ole Henriksen for treating hyper pigmentation - his Invigorating Night Gel with AHAs, as well as the Truth Serum which is full of Vitamin C.

invigorating night gel
truth serum


If you’ve any more questions, feel free to drop us a comment below and we’ll answer them too


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