The key to a stress-free wedding day is a solid timeline. You’ve spent months planning every single little detail, especially when it comes to hair and makeup, and keeping everything running smoothly (and most importantly, on time!) requires some preparation ahead of the big day. But as you’re piecing together your getting-ready schedule, you might face a slight dilemma: should you start with your makeup first or hair?
While there is no hard and fast rule to answering this question, there are benefits to getting your makeup done before your hair. However, different artists also have different preferences, so you may hear varying answers on which strategy is best depending on who you ask. In either case, this is a pre-wedding detail to consider in order to ensure your hair and makeup artists both have plenty of time to work their magic.
To help you figure out the optimal order for your own bridal beauty routine, we asked celebrity makeup artist Jade Voight to weigh in with her recommendation. Read on to learn more.
Meet the Expert
Jade Voight is a licensed cosmetologist and makeup artist based in New York City. She specializes in on-camera, news, headshot, fashion, and influencer makeup, and has over 10 years of experience as a bi-costal artist.
Should You Do Your Makeup First or Hair on Your Wedding Day?
Although there is no “right” answer to this common question, many artists would agree that makeup before hair is the best approach. “It has been my experience with clients that getting your makeup done before doing your hair is best,” says Voight.
She further adds, “This way, the makeup artist has the chance to blend the makeup into the hairline and around the jaw area without worrying about messing up the beautiful work of the hairstylist. The best makeup starts with a well-blended foundation and no line of demarcations, a look that is best achieved when the makeup is applied first.”
Can You Get Your Makeup and Hair Done at the Same Time?
Most hair and makeup artists would prefer to spend time on your bridal look individually. Not only is it more stressful for you as the bride to have two people working at the same time, but it usually causes the process to take longer, as your hair and makeup artists are often waiting on each other to finish different parts of their jobs. Even the best makeup artist can’t do a perfectly pointed winged liner while you’re in the middle of getting a blowout.
“The positioning of a client's head greatly impacts the ability of an artist to apply makeup or style hair,” says Voight. “Therefore, alternating angles to meet the competing needs of hair and makeup can undermine the ability of both artists to make you look your best on your special day.”
Nonetheless, doing hair and makeup at the same time is difficult, but not impossible. If your pros have experience working together, it can often go very smoothly. But if you want a stress-free wedding day, Voight suggests keeping the two services separate. “If time is scarce, most trained professionals can manage the challenge of doing hair and makeup at the same time,” says Voight. “However, if time permits, I recommend allocating enough time to do each separately.”
The Best Timing for Makeup and Hair on Your Wedding Day
Always ask your hair and makeup artist how long they predict each service will take before finalizing your getting-ready timeline. “I usually allot one hour to 1.5 hours for makeup and 45 minutes to an hour for hair,” says Voight. “Ultimately, the timing truly depends on the complexity of the look the bride wants to create.”
If you have long hair, your hairstylist might need to set aside 45 minutes to curl your hair before taking another 15 to 30 minutes to finish styling it. Also, don’t forget to account for the time it takes to put on any hair pieces or your veil. Most hairstylists are happy to help you do this once you get in your wedding dress.
As for makeup, depending on your desired bridal look, it could take anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour. If you’re wearing airbrush makeup and/or false lashes, this will take more time than a natural makeup application. “A simpler look can be achieved in closer to 30 minutes,” says Voight. “For a more intricate and detail-oriented look, it is critical to allot an appropriate amount of time so that you don’t get behind schedule on your big day.”
To be on the safe side, we suggest giving each stylist an extra 15-minute buffer in your schedule, just in case you want to make any changes to the final look or do touch-ups after you get into your dress.
Other Helpful Tips
In general, getting your makeup done first is just a suggestion, and if it works out better for you to do your hair at the beginning, don’t sweat it. As long as it gets done and you’re happy with the final result, that’s all that really matters. Also, remember to take time to breathe, close your eyes, and relax while you can, because once you get up out of that chair, it’s go time!
“It is easy to allow the planning of your wedding day to consume the joy of the moment,” says Voight. “Your hair and makeup routine will serve as one of the final opportunities to center yourself before saying ‘I do’ to the rest of your life. Cherish it.”
Lastly, your getting-ready timeline is just a guide, so if you’re running early or even a few minutes behind, don’t stress. Trust that your glam team will get you out of their chair and down the aisle in record time. “Finding a hair and makeup partner that you trust is the first step towards ensuring that the final hours before your forever moment are filled with peace,” says Voight. “Take time to fully enjoy the process and always remember: the party does not start until the bride is ready.”