Thinking of booking a makeup trial before the big day? Why not schedule it for your hen do

Thinking of booking a makeup trial before the big day? Why not schedule it for your hen do

You’ll be looking fab after your hair and makeup trial – so why not to test out your new look on a wild night of partying. If it can survive the hen do, it’ll survive the wedding! Nicole Conner finds out more…

Makeup artist Danielle Dickson does a brides eye makeup
Danielle Dickson Makeup Artist will refine your bridal look using feedback from your trial. (Photo:

Choosing the right bridal hair and makeup is no small task. Photographs from the big day will be framed on your wall for years to come, so it doesn’t surprise us to hear that so many brides plan a visit to their MUA for a trial long before they’ll actually walk up the aisle.

Scheduling the trial for before a big shindig, such as the hen do makes good sense, so we’ve spoken to some of the beauty industry’s most sought-after gurus for their top tips on how to experiment ahead of the wedding.

Georgina of I Do Makeup by Geo Kane tell us that it is a very popular move for brides to use their trial for their hen makeup. “This allows you to get a feel for how your makeup will endure – and what better way to try it out than to see if it stands up against a night with your bride tribe!”

Katie of Katie McMahon Hair’s view is that hen dos provide a great excuse to play about with wedding hair options. Her advice? Choose a style for your hen that makes you feel comfortable, and boasts similar features to your bridal look such as height, texture and positioning. “Ponytails are also a good style for seeing if you like your hair up,” she adds. “They can easily be dressed down to be more casual for the hen and then made to look bridal for the wedding itself.”

Makeup looks by Danielle Dickson on left and Geo Kane on right
Left: Perfect bridal glam by Danielle Dickson Makeup Artist; Right: Big lashes and soft smokes by I Do Makeup by Geo Kane

The big reveal

Although it sounds more sensible to get your makeup done before hen-night shenanigans than, say, an ordinary trip to the supermarket, our experts warn against giving your chums a preview of your final bridal look.

Georgina says she tweaks her brides’ makeup slightly so there’s still a big reveal when the day comes: “We’ll use bolder lashes or a smokier eye or change up the lip colour for the hen night, so it’s a bit different,” she tells us.

It’s a similar story for Leigh of Makeup by Leigh Blaney: after trying out the chosen wedding look, she’ll amp up the glam. “We’ll jazz things up with some glitter or go for bigger lashes to add a bit of drama, so the final look remains a secret.”

As for your locks, Katie McMahon advises adapting some elements of your bridal hair at the trial: “Once you choose a style, leave a touch of your wedding hair there, but change aspects slightly to give a different look. For example, pull out more texture and make it more relaxed.”

If an updo is on the cards for the wedding, keep the same height and face-framing pieces, she suggests, but let down the rest of your hair so you get an idea of what it will look like from the front in pictures.

Model wears blonde hair in up do
Katie McMahon Hair suggests a few tweaks to your bridal hairstyle for the hen do, such as having it slightly more relaxed

Build it up

Taking your bridal look to the next level for your hen do can be as simple as tweaking a few areas, making it perfect if you’d like to experiment.

“Once you have found your dream bridal base makeup, why not play up the eyes or lips?” suggests Danielle of Danielle Dickson Makeup Artist. “You can transform your look with a dark, smoky eye or by injecting a touch of sparkle.”

She also advises anyone who is a little apprehensive about false lashes to give them a go at the trial: “It’s a good chance to find out if you like them before committing.”

For high-octane hen-night makeup suitable for dancing the night away, Georgina recommends a full-coverage foundation: “My go-to is one that’s long-lasting but doesn’t look cakey,” she adds. “Radiant Longwear by NARS is fab for that. I often use it for weddings too, so makeup lasts all day.”

If you’re trying to see how well your tresses will hold a curl ahead of the big day after your hairdresser has got a hold of them, Katie suggests giving them a spritz with dry shampoo: “This will freshen them up throughout the day, and it can also be used to keep them going for a second day.” Bonus!

Makeup artist Leigh Blaney does bride and bridal party's makeup look
Left: A touch of glitter will take you from aisle to dancefloor, like this bride worked on by Makeup by Leigh Blaney; Right: Leigh works her magic on this bridal party before the hen do

In safe hands

Everyone has butterflies on their wedding morning, but your glam squad shouldn’t be an extra source of anxiety. That’s where a trial beforehand helps, suggests Danielle: you’ll form a connection with your makeup artist, which should make you feel more comfortable on the day.

This is echoed by Leigh, who loves being on board for her bride-to-be’s hen night celebrations, as she sees it as a chance to build a rapport with her clients: “You get to know them better, as they do you, and you have a closer working relationship before the big day. Glam it up and trust your MUA – you’re in safe hands,” she says.

A smokey eye makeup look by I Do Makeup by Geo Kane
We’re loving these dramatic, smoky eyes by I Do Makeup by Geo Kane

The final look

So the hen party was a roaring success and your hair and makeup survived the night – more or less. What happens next?

Danielle recommends chatting to your artist or stylist about what you liked and what didn’t work so well, then using that info to perfect the bridal look. “Your hen party is a great opportunity to try something new, then alter any areas that need it thereafter. You’ll be able to see how well your makeup lasted and adjust aspects of it for the big day.”