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

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

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

Avalon Castle Styled Wedding Shoot 7.12.16



When I was invited back by Wedding Services Melbourne to do hair and makeup for another styled shoot, I of course jumped at the opportunity.  I was super excited when the location was revealed.  Avalon Castle in Cockatoo, Victoria.

Who knew a Castle only an hour or so from Melbourne’s CBD even existed.

As I was driving through the beautiful hills of Emerald into Cockatoo, I knew it was going to be a great day. The sun was shining and I was working at a Castle (like who does that!!) with  other amazing wedding suppliers.

The estate Avalon Castle is situated on is just breathtaking.  It truly was a Castle, tucked away in Melbourne’s beautiful South East.  The Castle boasts medieval styled architecture, a chapel with stained glass windows, grassed tiered outdoor amphitheatre, luxurious dining area, and stunning accommodation for the bride and groom.

I worked with some familiar faces again, and also a few new ones.  Everyone on the shoot was so friendly and down to earth and having the upmost professionalism and dedication to their craft.

Location | Avalon Castle

Hair + Makeup | Ava Jane Hair & Makeup Artistry

Photography | Amanda Kilbourn Photography

Dress | Thafnis Dress Making & Alterations

Shoot Organiser | Wedding Services Melbourne

DJ | Matt Jefferies Entertainment

Jewellery | Valerene Bespoke Jewellery

Flowers | Floral by Design

Videography | Post Film Productions

Cake | Langfords Patisserie

Celebrant | Sharon Kershaw – Civil Celebrant

A few highlights on the day were seeing our stunning faux bride emerging in her handmade princess gown by Thafnis Dress Making.  Also to our event organiser Matt Jefferies of Wedding Services Melbourne who bought along a dry ice machine.  Watching the smoke pour from the machine onto the dance floor, surrounding our bride and groom was mesmerising.

For this shoot I kept the makeup natural, fresh and glowing, bringing out all of our models best features.  Our beautiful bride Nola has the most amazing skin, so why cover that up!  We used soft purple and grey tones on her eyes and a one of my favourite lip colours MAC Viva Glam V.  For Nola’s hair, I curled it all first to create body and texture. Then it was put up into an elegant chignon, allowing the backless gown to shine.  One of the products I used in Nola’s hair was Batiste Oomph My Locks XXL Volume Spray.  It adds volume to limp hair and creates a gritty texture on the hair shaft, allowing you to create beautiful full styles.

A huge thank you to Matt once again for organising such an amazing day, and an extra special thank you to Amanda Kilbourn Photography.  The amount of work Amanda puts into each and every photo is amazing.  It’s always exiting receiving a file filled with stunning photos.

Jane xoxo

 

Melbourne Wedding Supplier Collaboration

Wednesday 9th November 2016

Believe it or not this day actually started 11 years ago on April 1st 2015, when I married the love of my life.

Little did I know that when I booked Mustangs in Black to drive me to my ceremony, that I would reconnect with owner and driver  Jonny Mustang 11 years later.

In April 2016 I was working a wedding in Kew.  I was walking back to my car after finishing making-over a gorgeous bridal party and as I rounded the car park there were three stunning Mustangs parked in front of me.  As a long-time lover of Mustang cars I of course had to stop and drool a little.

I approached one of the guys, and realised how familiar he looked.  When I asked the company name, I soon realised this same guy I was talking too had driven me to my wedding day 11 years ago!

After a brief catch-up, a little more drooling and an exchange of business cards, I was on my merry way.

Fast forward 6 months and I was so delighted to receive a call from Matt Jeffries, owner and operator of Wedding Services Melbourne and Matt Jeffries Entertainment, asking if I would  like to join in on a wedding supplier collaboration, and that I had been recommended by the one and only Jonny from Mustangs in Black.

I was truly honoured to not only be asked, but also to be put in a league of very talented Melbourne Wedding Suppliers.

Everything was set:

Two Brookes Bar & Bistro in Seville, Yarra Valley – wedding venue set on rolling green hills and vineyards set the scene for the day

Amanda Kilbourn Photography – taking beautiful, relaxed, natural photography

Post Film Productions – telling the story of a fun filled day through videography

Matt Jeffries Entertainment – bringing fun and positive energy through great music & wedding games

A Day To Remember Event Hire – setting up our rustic inspired décor

Wedding Flowers Etc – creating stunning bouquets, table and aisle centre pieces

Thafni’s Dress Making – putting hours of fine handmade sewing into our beautiful halter neck gown

Valerene Bespoke Jewellery – providing stunning custom handcrafted jewellery pieces

Mustangs in Black – providing a 1966 GT Mustang, a stylish classic American muscle car

A Tactile Perception – beautiful original hand crafted wedding stationery, inspired by origami

Ava Jane Hair & Makeup Artistry – well that’s me.  Inspired by inner and outer beauty, my aim is to bring out my clients best features and to create flawless, natural hair and makeup.

Well like all good weddings, there’s always a slight hitch.  We had a small hurdle of finding a bride & groom after our elusive models were a no show.  After a few quick calls and messages, this professional team had the issue solved.

Our fill in bride was our amazing jewellery creator, Valerene and our groom was to be Matt (not sure he was quite ready for the role of Groom).

After many introductions we all got to work creating our piece of magic for the day.

I decided to create a textured messy bun and a simple flawless makeup for our bride, to fit in with the natural rustic theme we had for the day.

With all of my brides I like to use long lasting products, that will see you through an early morning start or even a hot humid Melbourne Day.

One of my favourite foundations for Brides is Makeup Atelier Paris Waterproof Liquid Foundation.  This beautiful foundation glides onto the skin, providing amazing coverage without looking thick and caked on.  As this foundation is HD (High Definition), it photographs beautifully under all light conditions and is also waterproof and sweat proof to ensure maximum lastability.

A few other favourites I used on the day were:
Inglot Toner
Embryolisse Lait Creme
Inglot & Too Faced Eyeshadows
Smashbox Waterproof Mascara
Mac Syrup Lipstick
MAC Matte Bronzer & Soft and Gentle Highlighter
Inglot Blush
Modelrock Lashes
Vanity Mark Brow Powder

Thank-you to everyone who made this day possible.  You are not only fun and easy to work with, you are all a truly talented bunch of Melbourne Wedding Suppliers.

Jane xo