Here Stacey regularly answers the questions on brides’ minds. If you have a query that she hasn’t covered yet, please email us.
Q: I barely wear makeup. Can you make sure I won’t feel “too made up”?
A: At your trial, our makeup artists will talk with you about what kind of makeup you’re used to wearing, so that we can create a look for you that won’t feel overdone. We also have products for women who don’t like to wear a lot on their skin, such as tinted moisturizers, which keep the skin feeling light and looking radiant. At your wedding, you will be dressed differently—and more pictures will be taken of you—than on any other day. We will give you makeup that suits those circumstances while making sure that you still feel and look like you.
Q: How do I know my hair and makeup will last throughout my wedding?
A: It is the oil on your skin that usually causes makeup to wear off, so we use primers that prevent the oil from mixing with your makeup. You also have the option of airbrush makeup, which has a longer-lasting wear, making it especially popular in the hot summer months. And whether the day is hot and humid, windy or rainy, we use the latest top hair products to ensure your hairstyle holds throughout the day and long into the night—while looking totally natural. Because every Once Upon A Bride artist follows a special protocol I developed that emphasizes the preparation stage, by the time you step into your dress you can be confident your hair and makeup will last all day and throughout the night. We do stock lipsticks so that you can purchase the one your artist will be using on the day in case you need to reapply.
Q: What brands of makeup do you use?
A: We are stocked with the latest and the greatest. You’ll recognize many of your favorite products in our makeup kits—Nars, Stila, Trish McEvoy, Chanel, Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown, and many, many more. We also have secret favorites that we will gladly turn you on to. For airbrush makeup, we carry the elite Temptu and Kett lines, which ensure flawless, long-lasting coverage.
Q: What brands of hair products do you use?
A: We love the high-fashion, luxury Oribe line of conditioning gels, oils, sprays, and skincare-grade shampoos, which are all lightly scented with French perfumes. Our artists have many other favorite brands in their kits—such as Bumble and bumble, Kérastase, and Moroccanoil. We also use Phyto styling products and Phyto botanical therapies for treating stressed, damaged, or problem hair before the wedding day.
Q: I have allergies to certain products. What do you suggest?
A: Bring in the products that you use at home and we can work with those to create a beautiful, professional look for your wedding day—safe from any allergic reactions. Our artists are very knowledgeable about the latest and greatest products, so they can also suggest hypoallergenic lines you may wish to try.
Q: How long will my trial be?
A: On your trial day, you should allow 1 hour and 15 minutes each for hair styling and makeup. If you’re trialing both hair and makeup, be sure to allow 2½ hours. Try to make it to your appointment with plenty of time to spare—or even better, come early so you can settle in and unwind while having a glass of champagne! We want you to feel calm and relaxed and enjoy this part of your wedding preparations.
Q: Can I try different looks at my trial?
A: We encourage all our brides to experience several different looks. All my artists follow a trial system I created, which has a very high success rate because it moves you through several hair and makeup looks until your artists find the perfect look for you. First we have a chat and get to know you and the style of your wedding, and then we create two signature hair looks, plus a third variation as another option. We explore makeup looks, starting out clean and natural, and then move on to a more smoky and sultry style. That way you can see a transition and decide what works best for you—always with the backup of our expert advice and support.
Q: Can you help me choose a bridal hair accessory?
A: We have a beautiful collection of clips, combs, pins, and brooches featuring Swarovski crystals, rhinestones, feathers, and fabric flowers. When you come in for your trial, your hair artist can show you the full range and then incorporate some into your trial hair looks. Once your artist has helped you to choose the perfect accessory to complement your wedding-day hair, you can purchase it at our salon or by contacting us [hyperlink “contacting us” to firstname.lastname@example.org].
Q: What about my bridal party?
A: We offer a special package of discounted rates for the members of your bridal party. Your artists will work with you on the wedding day to create any look you want for your bridal party. You are welcome to bring photos for us or let us do something original and beautiful that complements your look. And if you have a big bridal party, don’t stress: we will bring along an additional stylist.
Q: Can your artists stay overtime on the wedding day?
A: On your wedding day, your team of artists will be booked for you exclusively; they won’t be rushing off to anyone else’s wedding. So if you want your artists to stay after you get into your dress, we are happy to arrange that. We do need advance notice, and a small fee may apply. Our brides usually find they don’t need us once they are in their dress, because we follow such a finely tuned protocol that our hair and makeup lasts all day and all night. In fact, we recommend against continually touching up hair and makeup, as it can become heavy and overdone.
Q: How do you choose the artists for Once Upon A Bride?
A: I pick only elite hair and makeup artists who work regularly in the beauty and fashion industries, often with celebrities, and whose work appears in national magazines, on television, or on the catwalks of major designers’ shows. Most importantly, I choose specialists in bridal hair and makeup who have years of experience working with brides, who know how to bring out the inner radiance of every bride, and who love doing it.
Q: How do you choose the right artists for me?
A: When you call for your free phone consultation, I’ll spend time getting to know you and getting a sense of your personal style, the style of your wedding, and your budget. I know my artists so well that I can then match you with the perfect team for your wedding day. For instance, the more intricate or complex your wedding look, or the more open your budget is, I might suggest that you have me or one of my senior artists. Or maybe you’re a huge fan of MAC, Trish McEvoy, or Bobbi Brown cosmetics: I have artists who are actually educators for those brands, so I would pair you with one of them. If your hair is curly or has a texture that tends to be trickier to style, I would suggest myself or June—but if you have fine hair, that’s Angela’s specialty.
Q: How far in advance should I book?
A: We have a big team of artists, so we usually have availability, but it’s best to call us for your complimentary phone consultation and price list as soon as you can. When you book your trial, we will secure your wedding date on our books. We don’t require a deposit from you at that time. After the trial, we will continue to hold your date for a further two weeks, giving you time to decide if you would like to move forward and book us for your wedding. If you’re getting married on a Sunday or during winter, you should book your trial about three months before your wedding. If you’re getting married at any other time of year, or on a Saturday, it’s best to book a trial six months ahead. We also recommend that you make a booking for your rehearsal dinner, because it gives your artists a chance to get to know you even better and try any final variations that you might be considering for your wedding-day look.
Q: Do you have any specials or discounts?
A: We have a secret special discount: when you come in for your trial, we will share with you how you can get 10% off. We will also give you a goody bag that includes a discount card giving you 25% off a cut, color, and hair and makeup services for your rehearsal day and engagement photos.
Q: I need a haircut and color before my wedding. Can you also do that?
A: Absolutely! Once Upon A Bride is based at my full-service salon, Loft 26, which offers haircuts, straightening, extensions, conditioning treatments, and organic hair color and haircare. Many of our brides continue coming to us long after their wedding day for regular styling and coloring.