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Preparing for your wedding by Maxine Wilson Bridal Hair and Makeup

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Guest post | Preparing for your wedding by Maxine Wilson Bridal Hair and Makeup

 Maxine make up artist

As part of a series of posts designed to help you with planning more than just your wedding decor for your big day, we will be inviting a number of esteemed wedding suppliers to give insights and helpful guides on how to prepare for your wedding so that you are not stressed or overwhelmed with everything! First up - a guide to preparing for your big day from a hair and make up artists perspective... 

Maxine Wilson is an award-winning hair and makeup artist based in Oxfordshire. She specialises in a “naturally glamorous“ look to ensure that her brides look, and most importantly, feel, their very best, with hair and make up which perfectly accentuates their lovely features rather than leaving them showered in hairspray and caked in makeup. We are so pleased that Maxine has agreed to give us her insight into preparing for your big day from a skincare and self-care perspective!

wedding hair and makeup


Hello, I am Maxine! I am a hair and makeup artist specialising in bridal and makeup lessons. I came to the wedding world relatively late after a career in - if you can believe it - divorce law! Weddings are much lovelier and more joyful and I haven’t regretted the switch for a second.

This blog has hints and tips on where to start with your skincare and haircare, choosing a hair and make-up artist and deciding on a hairstyle and make up look for your wedding day.


The importance of a good skincare routine cannot be overstated, whether you’re getting married or not. As with so many things in life, with skincare, you really do get what you pay for. In my experience, products from High Street brands simply do not contain enough active ingredients to provide the results which you are no doubt seeking. My personal view is that most brides will need a relatively simple skincare routine - if they are consistent with it - to see results. I have a number of skincare favourites which you may find help you too.


Good quality cream cleanser is essential. I like to remove mine with a muslin cloth which has been soaked in hot water as this helps to provide a gentle physical exfoliation of the skin. Double cleanse - once to remove makeup and the day and again to actually clean your skin. I really don’t like foaming cleanser as the foaming agents are very often extremely drying. I also advise trying to avoid washing your face under the hot shower. I know that it feels really good, but the hot water tends to strip the natural oils from your skin leaving it very dry and dehydrated.


Thereafter I like to use a toner which contains a low dose of acids. These help to exfoliate your skin by removing dead skin cells and other yucky goop which will block your pores, without causing distress to the skin like a physical scrub. Yes I know that they feel good too, and they have their place, but almost without exception they are too vigorous for every day or even weekly use. My favourite is the Beauty Pie Japanfusion toner - check out one of my previous posts to find out why!


Finally, it’s all about moisture. I like to use both a serum and moisturiser and sometimes additionally an oil in order to give my skin as much moisture as possible. However the products that you will need for all three stages will absolutely depend on your skin type et cetera.


I’m often asked by brides whether or not they need to start having facials or other skin treatments with the beautician. Personally, I think that a good skincare routine is a sufficient substitute for most facials, especially on a budget. However, if you have them regularly in any case then I would absolutely advocate continuing them, not least because they are very relaxing! The only word of caution that I would note is that if you are to have a facial very shortly before the wedding, do you ensure that you have had a practice run at least a couple of months ahead, just in case you have any sort of reaction to the treatment. This can be anything from an allergic reaction all the way through to it causing your skin to break out as it withdraws any gunk and toxins from your skin. Looking after your skin in the run up to the wedding can pay dividends - as your makeup will look and last better - read my top tips on pre wedding skin prep here 


Water is the best thing for skin

I highly advise drinking plenty of water. I know that this is something that everybody goes on about but I promise that it really does pay dividends for your skin. Your skin is made up of cells which are predominantly water and therefore, if you are regularly dehydrated, your skin will not be able to function as well as it can when you are well hydrated.  Similarly, staying off the fizzy drinks will really help to (I know I’m not the only one with an addiction to diet Coke in a can!)

Hair removal treatments

In terms of any hair removal on your face, I really would advise having this done at least five days before your wedding. Even if you have your brows shaped regularly or your upper lip waxed routinely, sometimes you may still have a reaction and therefore I do you think five days ahead is about the right time, just in case!


 Maxine make up artist

A woman’s hair is often referred to as her crowning glory, and I do really think that this is true for most brides as well.


How long should my hair be for my wedding?

Lots of my brides choose to grow their hair out for their wedding so that they can have a large choice of styles. In any case this is very helpful for your chosen by the hairstylist, but please don’t feel that you need Rapunzel style hair in order to be able to achieve a beautiful bridal hairstyle. Good bridal to hairstylists are able to use extensions and padding to achieve your desired hairstyle without making you grow your hair ridiculously long. My preference in order to give clients the widest range of styling options is a couple of inches below the shoulders. This means that hair is long enough to achieve most styles, without the assistance of extensions for length, although I do often use them for volume.

Keep your hair in good condition

The most important tip for your hair when you are preparing for your wedding, is to ensure that it is kept in really good condition. For most of us, that will mean regular trips to the hairdresser to keep on top of any split ends. I also like to use conditioning masks to keep my hair looking lovely, soft and supple. Many clients with oily hair types tend to shy away from using masks. However, as with skin, often oily hair can be a sign that you are stripping too much oil From your hair when you wash it causing your scalp to overproduce oil to compensate. There are lots of other reasons why you might have already heard, but in the run-up to the wedding, it’s definitely worth trying some different products and also leaving your hair longer between washes.


wedding makeup consultation

I just want to touch on looking after yourself quickly as so many brides tell me that the first question that they were asked after announcing their engagement was whether or not they were going to lose weight for the wedding. I really hate the suggestion that all brides need to lose weight to prepare for their weddings. It’s entirely unnecessary! At the end of the day your fiancé knows what you look like and still wants to marry you in any case. As they are the only one whose opinion matters (other than your own of course) then really it’s nobody else’s business.

However, many of my brides (including me!) use their wedding as a really great motivator to eat better and exercise more. This is absolutely to be applauded as long as you, the bride, I doing it for yourself rather than someone else.


When trying to figure out the kind of wedding and bride you want to be, there is so much inspiration out there that it can actually be really confusing. Pinterest is wonderful, but I don’t call it rabbit hole for nothing! Here are my tips for helping choose hair and makeup to create a cohesive look for your whole wedding.

Wedding Decor


It’s always worth considering the kind of wedding that you’re having when planning your hair and putting her make up. And elaborate, sleek, and traditional update will look perfect with a structure dress in a very formal venue but will look out of place with a floaty boo-hoo dress in a barn.

A good hair and make-up artist will be interested in hearing about all of your wedding plans so that they can best advise you about the hairstyle and make up looks which will suit your wedding best. Honestly it’s one of the best things about our jobs hearing about all of the wedding styling and decor options that you are considering for your big day!

I have had brides matching their lipsticks to their pink/red toned themes before and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! 

Finding a hair and makeup artist

 wedding makeup

I always think that it is best to start with artists who live locally to your venue and widen your search if you don’t find somebody you like. My best tip would be to follow them on Instagram and when you find a stylist who is regularly posting images that you love then you may have found a winner! Read more of my tips on how to choose your hair and make up artist here 

Do I need a bridal hair and makeup artist?

wedding hair 

I often hear that brides will do their own hair and make up and of course that is absolutely fine. You know your own face better than anybody else. However, I would just note that on the day of the wedding you’re likely to be a bundle of excitement, nerves and anticipation and having absolutely nothing to stress about can be really lovely. I have been booked to look after the bridesmaids only in the past and invariably also end up helping the bride with her hair and make up because they are simply just not “going right”.

How much is wedding hair and makeup?

As with most things for weddings, there isn’t really an average price for wedding hair and make up as it will very much depend on a number of factors. Firstly, how how many people are in your party and how far does the make-up artist have to travel? Secondly where in the country are they based? Artists living and working in the north of England generally tend to charge less than artists in the south-east. Thirdly, what is the skill and experience level of your artist? I have seen artists starting out and charging as little as £20 for hair and make up for bridesmaids. If this is the case then they are unlikely to be running a sustainable business for very long. I am of the view that anything less than £100 for hair and make up for bridesmaids and mums is likely to be an indicator that the artist in question is either inexperienced or is not actually making any money from the business. However this is very much a generalisation and it will depend upon the pricing structure of each of an individual artist. Read more about why wedding hair and make up is ‘so expensive’

Finally, as with skincare, and many things to do with weddings, I would reiterate that you generally get what you pay for with wedding hair and make up artists. I am now a well established hair and make up artist in the south-east and have invested huge sums it into my training, studio and business And my pricing reflects that due to my skill level

How to choose a wedding hair style?

maxine bridal makeup oxfordshire

One of the biggest influences on the hairstyle that you choose for your wedding will be your wedding dress! I always get totally excited seeing pictures of the dress my brides have chosen and helping them to pick a hair and make up look to compliment it.

Often the easiest place to start with choosing a hairstyle is up or down! If your dress has beautiful black detailing and having your hair up is a lovely way to show it off, or why not choose beautiful Hollywood waves which we can sweep to one side? Similarly, if your back dress has a low back, then sometimes it’s nice to have your hair down, especially if you’re marrying in church, so that’s not too much skin is on show. It’s also really helpful to see any hair pieces or veils which you have chosen as this can help us design a hairstyle to accommodate it.

How to choose your wedding makeup?

wedding makeup 2

I tend to work really intuitively with a brides make up based on the discussion that we’ve had about her she wants to look and feel, how much make up she normally wears, whether she wants to look more natural or more glamorous and he has to which she has chosen. A good make-up artist will be able to tailor a make up look to your face. I’m quite technical about make up in a sense that 1 millimetre here or there can absolutely make the difference between your eyes looking tired and heavy or beautifully bright and open. I’m afraid I’m that person who looks at you and does your make up in my head!


Creating a schedule for the morning of the wedding will really help it to go smoothly. This is something that I always do with my clients at the trial for every single wedding that I am booked for. The important thing is that everybody is ready in good time looking and feeling fabulous. You can read my blog about how to schedule the morning of your wedding and whether wedding hair or makeup should come first here 


I hope my whistlestop tour of how to prepare for your wedding in terms of hair and makeup has been helpful. Do come and say hello over at and on instagram. Or if you have any questions don’t hesitate to drop me an email at [email protected].