Bridal Trials

What are they and do I need one?

You’ve chosen your artist for a reason…because you love the look of their work.  Out of all the businesses listed on Google, the multitude of makeup artists on social media, the recommendations from family and friends, you’ve narrowed down your choice and you believe they are the right artist for you. 

Here’s a few things to consider if you’re thinking about having a trial:

  1. Getting to know each other – Trials are a great way for the artist and bride to get to know each other face to face.  Are these the people and personalities that you want with you on your wedding day?

  2. The finer details – An opportunity to discuss your wedding in detail.  The dress, location, timings, photographer, celebrant, flowers and just generally how the bride should expect the morning to run.

  3. Putting your hair and/or skin to the test – As artists, we can only choose products based on the information you provide us.  It’s a way for us to trial the best products on your hair and skin and ultimately get the absolute best result on your wedding day.  When we use the word trial, it’s not about our skills being put to the test, it’s actually seeing what will suit you best and how it performs over the course of the day.

  4. Understanding what you want – make sure you have a clear idea of what look you’d like to achieve. If you really have no idea, then let your artists best advise you.  If you have pale skin, then don’t choose inspiration images that portray a highly bronzed look. Don’t choose images of beautiful blonde up-styles if you have dark brown hair – all that beautiful detail is not as present in darker hair.  Don’t choose a model with huge big eyes and loads of lid space, when your eyes are hooded.  You will not get the same effect.

  5. You never wear makeup – if you are an absolute non-wearer of makeup, then it’s probably a good idea to have a trial.  Whilst the most natural of looks can be created, having dimension and colour added to your face can still be a little overwhelming.  I often find that once people continue to look at themselves in the mirror, the more and more they love their new look.

  6. Valuing others opinions –if you are someone who really values your mums or best friend’s opinion, then discuss your choices with them and bring them to the trial with you.  My studio is small; however, I can accommodate two additional guests.
  7. When – we generally suggest you contact us 12 months in advance to check availability for your wedding day. Don’t wait to the last minute. Wedding plans for some are commencing 2 years prior. The actual trial can then take place between 3-6 months prior to your big day.

Whilst we do our absolute best to ensure everything is perfect at your trial, you may not walk away with the look that will be created on your wedding day.   

Details can be changed.  So, if you specifically asked for a winged liner and hate it, don’t be afraid to say “I’d like that changed on my wedding day”.  Don’t rush off and have a trial with another artist because of one minor detail.

And lastly, please remember whilst you are ‘trialling’ our service, you are not putting our skills ‘on trial’. We are industry professionals and have been working with brides for many years. So just sit back, relax, try not to keep looking in the mirror and let us create your perfect look.

Feel free to read all of our wonderful reviews from the “Real Melbourne Brides” we’ve worked with.

Until next time…

Jane xo

Creating Flawless Foundation

The secret to creating a flawless foundation base firstly consists of perfect skin preparation.

Yep there I go again, talking about skin.  But its 100% truth.  The better the skin and the better its prepared, the better your foundation will look and last.

Skimming over your skin prep will give you an uneven foundation that won’t last, will require multiple touch-ups and will end up looking cakey. Imagine the Mona Lisa was painted on some rough dodgy surface, do you think it would still be here today?.

All of my clients must arrive with cleansed, moisturised skin.  I then prepare the skin for skincare.  I start with using micellar water.  Micellar is a gentle non-washable cleanser.

Micellar is not your daily cleanser and it shouldn’t replace anything in your skincare regime, but that’s another blog entirely… 

I analyse the skin, firstly checking to see if any gentle exfoliating gels are required, then apply toner, serums and moisturiser to suit my clients individual needs.

I then assess the skin to see if the primer is needed.  Contrary to what advertising campaign’s make you believe, not everyone’s skin needs a primer.  Your skincare is actually your primer! A primer should be used to help correct or enhance the skin e.g. minimizing pores, combat redness, mattifying oily skin, adding illumination, etc.  Don’t just start waking on loads of primer that doesn’t really have a purpose for you.

Next is the foundation.  My absolute favourite method is to use a combination of brush and sponge. The foundation brush I love is the Designer Makeup Tools Rounded Synthetic Buffer Brush.  This brush has a rounded top and is dense in bristle mass. Synthetic brushes are best for wet products.  I like to apply a light veil of foundation with my brush all over the face using a stippling motion.  Next using a damp beauty sponge, I like to pick up a little more product and bounce and roll the foundation over the entire face.  By starting out light, you can build your foundation to the desired coverage.

Remember, more foundation does not mean it’s going to last longer.

Using a combination of the two techniques, gives a beautiful flawless finish, without looking thick and cakey.  

Finish by concealing areas only as needed and set with your favourite powder.  I love powders that are colourless or have minimal colour. Powders full of colour can change the colour of your beautiful laid foundation.  I love the Nars Light Reflecting Setting Powder, RCMA & Ben Nye Colourless Powder and the Inglot Sport Stage & Studio Powder.

To lash or not to lash, that’s the question!

Over the last 5-10 years the craze of false lashes has reached new heights.  Long gone are the days you’d just wear mascara on your wedding day.  With so many options available, it can get confusing as to which lashes you should choose.  If you are a barely there person when it comes to makeup, then don’t feel the pressure to get lash extensions just because your BFF did.

Here are some lash options to consider for your big day:

Individual Lashes

These are my absolute favourite lashes.  Applied in individual clumps, they are super light on the eyes, and can be built up to give the desired fullness.  They give a natural and beautiful look and are so elegant for brides.  There are different lengths and fullness to suit everybody.  Individual lashes are my most used lashes. The lashes I have used in my feature image are double flare knot free individuals.

Strip Lashes

From natural to full glam, the styles are endless and can really create that extra wow factor without looking over the top. Full strip lashes can sometimes feel a little heavy on the eyes to start with and generally take about 20minutes to get used to the feeling.  On the rare occasion, full strip lashes can lift in the inner and outer corners.  If the lashes are a fuller heavier style then the artist should cut these into sections to avoid any lifting.  You can also double stack these lashes to create extra wow factor.  Strip lashes can be reused up to 5 times if they are removed with care.

Natural style
Full style

Lash Lift

If you’re not into false lashes then a lash lift is a beautiful way of making your natural lashes appear longer, without applying anything false on top.  Done by an experienced lash technician these can look amazing.  A lash lift won’t necessarily give you fullness but will definitely make your lashes appear longer.  Make sure you always test this method 6 months before your wedding day and see an experienced technician like Zoe at Tan by Zoe.  I’ve had a few clients who’ve seen inexperienced technicians and had their lashes so tightly curled it’s been impossible to apply mascara and absolutely no way of applying anything false over the top. Lash lifts can last up to 12 weeks.

Lash lift before and after by Tan by Zoe

Lash Extensions

A costly exercise and an added expense to your wedding day as they require upkeep. Lash extensions last for approximately three weeks before needing a refill (a bit like acrylic nails).  This type of lash look is definitely full.  If truth be told, I’m not a fan, but each to their own. Out of the hundreds of lash extensions I’ve seen on clients, there would be less than a handful I actually like.  I can generally see lash extensions coming towards me before I even see the person.  They can appear very top heavy on the eyes.  If you love waking up feeling like your eyes are front and centre, then these babies are for you! 

Lash Extensions

Note: My wedding and special event prices include complimentary supply & application of individual or full strip lashes.  Beware some artists can charge up to $30 extra for these on top of the makeup application.  

Jane xo

Main Image by Phenomena Photography
Lash lift by Tan by Zoe

Wedding Day – Where should I get ready?

Bride getting ready

When you live in a beautiful city like Melbourne your option for locations are endless.

Some brides chose their own home, some the traditional location of their parents house and others a lovely Airbnb or Hotel Suite.

There’s lots of pros and cons to consider when choosing your perfect location, so I’ve compiled a list, some food for thought if you’re really unsure of the best location.

Your own home

  • There’s nothing like the comfort of your own bed and that familiar place you call home.  Everything you need is here.  If you’re a nervous person then having your creature comforts surrounding you might help calm those nerves.
  • Think about your décor, garden and general appearance indoors and out.  Will your home be a good location for any bridal party photos?
  • If you’re looking for a fun night, and having all your bridesmaids together the night before, will there be enough room for sleeping, and general getting ready space?

Parents home

  • Some people love traditions and getting ready at your parents home, which may still be your childhood home is the perfect idea of a wedding morning. Again, another familiar place.
  • A bit like your own home, think about the décor and whether there’s plenty of photo opportunities.  Are your parent’s hoarders? Is the furniture looking like you’ve stepped into a 70’s nightmare?
  • Unfortunately for some they may not get along with their parents like happy families. If you think your mum or dad are going to put any undue stress into the morning, or you’ll feel uncomfortable in their home then maybe rethink this location.
  • Lots of parents love to take care of their kids, and will always make sure everyone is well fed and hydrated on the day.  One less thing to think about…you may also score breakfast in bed.

Airbnb or Hotel Suite

  • There’s so many beautiful locations in Melbourne that we truly are spoilt for choice.  Opting for this type of accommodation means you can select a spacious modern location and you’ll have beautiful pre-wedding shots.
  • If choosing a hotel, make sure the room is big enough to house everyone – bridal party, hair & makeup team and photographer. Those amazing internet pictures can be deceiving and rooms are generally a lot smaller in real life.
  • Just remember, you’ll need a thorough checklist of what to take with you and a big list of “just in case items”.  You don’t want to be in a mad panic as you’ve forgotten something important.
  • Select a location within 15mins travel to your ceremony.  The closer you are, the bigger the sleep in and less rushing you have.  And no fear of being caught in busy Melbourne traffic!
  • Consider the lighting, some secluded BnB’s and hotel rooms are designed for romance, and unfortunately can be quite dark and not ideal for hair, makeup or photography.  

Any don’t forget wherever you decide to get ready just consider how far away it is from your ceremony?  If its 45mins or more, that’s just extra time in your “getting ready schedule” and potentially sitting in crazy Melbourne traffic.  

No one wants to see the Groom sweating…

Jane xo

Image | Clarte Photography

Makeup | Ava Jane Makeup Artistry

Makeup is NOT photoshop!

Don’t be fooled into thinking that everyone on social media has amazing flawless skin!

Unfortunately, it’s becoming ‘the norm’ to edit photos. From removing wrinkles, smoothing skin texture, changing eye colour, the list is endless.

Have you ever seen a before and after photo where the clients scars, raised acne, wrinkles and fine lines have miraculously disappeared in the after shot?  Believe me, this is not the work of a makeup brush or the artists mad skills, but more like “ALAKAZAM’ some great iPhone app skills.   

The constant editing of images is building unrealistic expectations from our clients (of all ages) and it saddens me that there are so many artists heavily editing their work and misleading potential clients into what is achievable.

Dark under eyes, pigmentation, non- raised skin marks and discolouration can be corrected and disguised, but any texture on the skin will not just disappear into thin air. Skin texture cannot be removed. 

Whilst makeup can still create amazing before and after results, I tell all of my clients that your makeup will only be as good as the skin its sitting on top of.  If you struggle to even wash your face, remove your makeup at night, and use supermarket grade skin care, then please don’t expect that the makeup artists brush will have some crazy Harry Potter wizardry.

If you want to see real unedited work, then follow makeup artists who don’t use these filtering tools on their photos.  Once you’ve seen the editing you won’t be able to unsee it! Signs of edited work are ultra-smooth skin with zero pores, no lines, insanely good before & after photos, fuzziness or shadowing, areas of the face blending into others, blurriness in the eyeshadow and brows, and every single person’s face looking exactly like the last one posted!

If you want your makeup to look amazing then please do yourself a favour, invest in quality professional skincare with active ingredients. Have regular skin treatments, use SPF daily and stay out of the sun.  AND always take your selfies in great light, it really does work!  

Please don’t put crazy high expectations upon your makeup artist.  We go into every job with the very best of intentions, and that’s to make our clients look and feel beautiful.

Have you ever heard anyone say “I really regret looking after my skin”?…

Brides guide to creating a stress-free wedding morning

Bride and her bridesmaids getting on the wedding dayYou’ve no doubt been scouring Pinterest and getting lost for hours in the images of happy carefree bridal parties in their robes. I too have been a bride and it was many (many) years before the craze of social media took hold. The things I stressed about just paled in significance to the magical day I had. Brides put so much pressure on having ‘the perfect day’ that sometimes they can forget to relax and take in the moment.

Here are my 12 top tips to help you create a calm, stress free wedding morning:

CATCH THOSE ZZZZ
Get to bed early! I know it’s tempting to stay up all night with your bridal party chatting over a few wines, but the last thing you want is to be tired or hungover. Jump into bed early with some beautiful fresh linen and a nice cup of herbal tea.

TIMING IS KEY
Ensure you have a running schedule from your hair & makeup artist and from your photographer. Your suppliers have been working weddings for many years and they always include some extra buffer time just in case a problem arises. Each and every step should be relaxed, not rushed. If you think your day is starting out a bit earlier than what you had thought, please just trust your wedding suppliers.

BOOGIE
Prepare a Spotify playlist of your favourite tunes. Music is a wonderful destressing tool. It’s also a nice way to break any silence and to get everyone in the mood for the fun day ahead.

NOURISH
It’s a good idea to have some pre-made platters and nibbles. Nothing greasy or messy. Fruit, sushi and finger sandwiches are always devoured. Also drink lots of water, hydration is key!

SPICK, SPAN AND READY TO GO…
If you’re getting ready at your home then make sure its spick and span. You’ll be surprised, but this can save time for when the artists and photographers arrive. The last thing you want to be doing is vacuuming or tidying up. Also have someone designated (Dads are always a good option) to tidying up any mess created throughout the day and preparing any bags to be taken to the ceremony/venue.

ARE WE THERE YET?
If your home is 45 minutes away or more from your venue then consider booking accommodation close by. This way you won’t be worried about being stuck in traffic and you won’t be up as early in the morning. Just be sure to write yourself a checklist of what to take with you.

IF THE DRESS FITS
Make sure everyone in the bridal party tries on their dress a few days before the big day. You don’t need any unexpected zipper malfunctions.

READ THE FINE PRINT
Please read all of the information your hair & makeup team provides on skin and hair preparation. Don’t go and have any last-minute waxing or buy some new beauty product you’ve never used. The last thing you want is a reaction!

ALLOW EXTRA TIME
Don’t wait to the last minute to get dressed. Surprisingly this can take time. Bridesmaids should all be dressed before the Bride. Also, if the brides dress has a button down back, take note of how long it takes to do this up. Some buttons can be fiddly, and can take much longer than you think.

WEATHER CHECK
Check the weather forecast, if its looking like rain, then think about purchasing a few clear umbrella’s. They’ll keep you dry and look amazing in your photos too.

DELIVERIES
Make sure important things like flowers, cakes etc. are being delivered exactly where you need them to go. Who wants to be rushing around picking up orders, or worse be the person responsible for holding the cake!

ENJOY BEING PAMPERED
Put down your phone and relax while your hair & makeup team are pampering you. Having a mobile service is a luxury, so sit back and enjoy every moment, as it doesn’t happen every day.

Your wedding morning is what you make of it. It’s a fun time, so relax, get pampered and enjoy quality time with your bridal party.

Jane xo

Why Hire a Makeup Artist for your Wedding Day?


So you’ve probably spent close to a year busily planning your wedding.  You have the most amazing dress, the venue is booked, you’ve perfectly seated every guest and your cake is something Adriano Zumbo would be proud of.

Now don’t forget about yourself…after all, what’s a wedding without a beautiful bride.

WSP-M&R-141

You contemplate (only for a nano second) if you are good enough to perform this task yourself.  You decide you need a professional; this is the biggest day of your life.

Here are my top tips on hiring the perfect makeup artist:

  1. Make sure the artist you are considering has an extensive bridal portfolio to view either online or in person. Bridal makeup and Fashion/Editorial makeup is very different.  Editorial makeup is often not worn every day and can be quite bold and generally seen on the runway or in print.  Your makeup will be put to the test; it won’t just be worn in a perfectly lit studio space, or worn for a quick photoshoot.  It needs to last from sometimes very early (yes 4am) in the morning, right through to midnight; it also needs to look good in daylight, under flash photography, and sometimes on video.
  2. Find out what products your Makeup Artist uses, especially if you have any skin concerns.   You don’t need a kit full of supermarket makeup! Makeup Artists don’t just stock one brand in their kits, nor do we just stock makeup that is targeted directly at the consumer. Whilst we still stock many well-known brands, we also stock brands you’ll have never heard of.  Makeup Artists are always rigorously testing products, to make sure we are putting only the best cosmetics and skincare on our client’s faces.  We stock specific products for all skin types, tones and problems, and have perfected our techniques to make sure all of your best features stand out.
  3. Make sure there is a selection of professional photographer images, as well as up-close makeup images taken by the makeup artist themselves. You’ll probably find the more candid shots are listed on their Facebook and Instagram pages.  If you can only see models and no real brides in the portfolio, then think twice.  Let’s face it; a model would look fabulous in just about anything.  Most people are not blessed with flawless skin, perfect bone structure and zero pores.  Look for real brides!
  4. Decide what look are you trying to achieve? If you are after a natural look that shows off your best features, then don’t choose an artist who specialises in the latest Instagram makeup trend of heavy foundation, over contoured faces and big bold brows.  Makeup Artists are adaptable to most makeup styles, however each artists definitely has their own style.  If you like their style, then make an enquiry.
  5. Ring the artist. Generally hearing the artist voice will give you a pretty quick indication of whether you are going to click with this person and if you want them around on your wedding day.
  6. Read their reviews and testimonials from their website, Facebook or online wedding directories the artist may be listed on. Reading reviews from other brides may help make your decision.
  7. Book a trial. Although this is an added expense, it’s the best way to make sure you will feel comfortable and relaxed on your wedding day.   It’s also a great way to get to know your artist and discuss the finer details.  Take inspiration pictures to your trial.  Tell the artist exactly what you like and what you don’t.
  8. Steer clear of cheap pricing/cheap package deals, as they are often too good to be true.  Choose experience and expertise over a cheap deal, as don’t forget once your wedding day is over, all you’ll have left is your memories and wedding photos.  And you want to look good in those photos!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog and that you’ll now feel confident in finding the right makeup artist for your wedding day.

Jane xo