Everything you need to know as a bride to be from an expert hair and make – up artist!

This week I have the lovely Jennifer Hawkins a bridal hair and make-up based in Sunbury on Thames, Surrey. I first met Jen at a shoot at the Cherry Barns in East Sussex and most recently we worked together on the spring shoot I planned and styled in the rolling surrey hills and beautiful Botley Hill Barn. Jen mostly works in Surrey and the surrounding counties but also travels to pretty much anywhere she’s needed – the furthest she’s travelled for a hair and make-up job is Beijing. 

I caught up with Jen to ask questions all thing bridal hair and makeup.

Jen you’ve been in the business for a few years now, you’ve seen everything so what is fashionable in bridal hair and makeup now, and what do you foresee for the future? 

“Right now, the most popular styles for hair are definitely loose, romantic, boho-type styles like half-up-dos with beachy waves or a low curly bun with plenty of face-framing pieces left out.  However, I am starting to see a lot more red-carpet style inspiration coming through from my brides, with the classic ‘Hollywood wave’ being a firm favourite of those wanting a timeless look for their wedding day. 

I have found that bridal makeup tends to be less affected by the pressure of changing trends (for the most part!), with most of my brides opting for a natural, ‘best version of myself’ type-look.  This style of makeup is a safe bet because it relies on colour theory and enhancing your best features which never really goes out of fashion!”

Let’s start at the beginning, what are your top tips for finding a good hair and make-up artist for your wedding day? 

Recommendations are always a good place to start, check with anyone you know who has married recently and ask what their experience was with their hair and makeup artist.  Most venues also have a list of recommended suppliers, usually those who are closets to their location. 

Searching using Instagram ‘hash tags’ is also a great way to discover suppliers you may not have found otherwise.  Try and keep them relevant to your location and remember to use the things like ‘#HMUA’ and ‘#MUA’ too as many stylists use these abbreviations for ‘hair and makeup artist’ and ‘makeup artist’ (e.g. #surreymua #bridalmakeuphampshire #hmualondon). 

Also check out wedding blogs and magazines, see who they’re featuring and if you like a particular style you see, look the artist up on Instagram!

And so once our lovely brides have shortlisted a hair and make-up artist, how far out to the wedding should brides be booking a hair and makeup artist?

“As soon as you can!  I receive enquiries for bookings up to a year and a half in advance.  If you’re planning for a weekend wedding between April – September, it’s best to start thinking about booking your hair and makeup artist as soon as you have confirmed a date with your venue.  Off-peak and week-day weddings (December – March, Monday-Thursday) are far more flexible as these dates get booked up a little slower but it’s still best to get your booking in early to avoid disappointment. “ 

What is the biggest mistake brides make with regards to hair & make up and most importantly what advice would you give to overcome this? 

“I’d say the most common mistake is not coming prepared to your trial.  You want to make sure you have at least a rough idea of the style you want, and reference pictures to show your stylist so that you can get the most out of your appointment.  If you’re struggling to decide, have a chat with your stylist before your trial, send them some pictures of yourself, let them know what type of dress you’re going for and how you usually style your hair and makeup.  Your stylist will be able to help narrow down your options by suggesting what would work best!

Also, when looking for reference pictures, try and focus on finding images close to your own skin tone and hair type/colour.  Hair and makeup styles can look very different on varying features!”

We hear a lot that skin care is import but how important is skincare prior to the wedding day? 

“It’s really important to have a regular skin care routine in the run up to your wedding, particularly if you have ‘problem skin’, suffer with dryness or have acne-prone skin.  Your makeup artist may be able to recommend specific skin care products if you need suggestions for a particular type of product (like a face mask or moisturiser), but making an appointment with a dermatologist and getting regular facials will make a huge difference if have no idea what your skin needs and/or are need of a complete skin care overhaul.  How well your makeup sits on your face depends entirely on the skin care prep and it can take months to see real results to be patient and stick with it!”

So skin care is important, what are your 3 top tips for skincare? 

“Identify your skin type.  

Scrutinise your skin care regime – make sure your products have all the best, hardest-working ingredients for your skin type and if in doubt consult a dermatologist!  

Drink plenty of water and try to stay away from foods and drinks that upset your skin!”

And lastly what is your favourite part of this job? 

“The wedding morning for sure!  Everyone is so excited and happy, the atmosphere is always so positive and seeing the bridal look come together once hair and makeup is done and the dress is on, witnessing the reactions from those in the room is always an emotional one!  I also love hearing back from my brides after the wedding and seeing their favourite photos from the day!”

A huge thank you to Jen for answering all my questions and sharing all her top tips and advice for brides to be. Jen is fabulous and so easy to work with so if you’d like to get in contact with her you can find her here: 

Website: https://www.jenhawkins.co.uk

Instagram: @jenhawkins_hmua 

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