FAQ's & TIP's FOR YOUR WEDDING DAY
What hair and makeup brands do you use?
Ava Belle’s extensive professional kits have a range of products from various brands such as CHANEL, ARMANI, YSL, Lancôme, Embryolisse, Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, Nars, M.A.C., Smash Box, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Urban Decay, Zoeva, O.P.I, REDKEN, L’Oreal Professional Hair, Delorenzo, Kevin Murphy and many more. She is tapped in to the cosmetics and hair industry and constantly tries out new products, but she only uses those which she has tested thoroughly. Ava also has a full range of sensitive skincare products to hand and she can provide specialist products such as tattoo covering cosmetics on request.
What are your OH&S procedures ?
Ava Belle is meticulous when it comes to your Health & Safety while in the chair. We use individual disposable items for all mascara and lip applications, we use hospital grand cleaning fluid for brushes and tools. All makeup is sprayed between clients with antibacterial spray and we take the upmost care to keep all items and tools clean and in working order.
What’s the difference between a trial and a preview?
The trial is a chance for you to meet Ava Belle in person before making your decision to book her services for the wedding day. Trials are available during the week of your quotation either in person if possible or via FaceTime. Please note Ava’s service on your wedding date will not be confirmed until the booking fee has been transferred.
The preview is a ‘dress rehearsal’ on a day close to the wedding date, where you meet Ava in person to set the look for your hair/beauty/both and finalise the details. The preview date is booked at the time of confirming your wedding date.
Should I have a preview?
Yes, it’s highly advisable to book a preview date – see this as an opportunity to work with Ava in a low pressure environment to create your perfect wedding day look. A preview saves so much time on the actual day and minimises any last minute issues; you don’t want to be deciding on hair up or down, false eyelashes or your lipstick colour just hours before slipping in to your wedding dress. With a preview done the big decisions will be made and you can enjoy the process of getting ready, confident that the end result is exactly what you’ve asked for.
A preview also serves the purpose of testing any product sensitivities and skin reactions. Ava recommends booking the preview 2-4 weeks before the big day, and for those brides travelling interstate or internationally, book the preview during the week prior to the wedding. If you can’t squeeze in a preview Ava is available for a meet and greet or FaceTime consultation to discuss the looks and preparation for your big day.
How long will my preview take?
For a preview including hair AND makeup, the approximate length is 2 to 3 hours.
Previews for hair OR makeup last 1 ½ - 2 hours.
This includes a personal consultation, makeup application/hair styling followed by any adjustments and photos for reference.
What can I expect from my preview?
Firstly Ava will spend time getting up to speed on all aspects of your wedding – the location and running order, theme and overall styling, your dress (of course!) and any other little details important to you. For makeup she will conduct a skin consultation and for hair, she’ll ask questions about your preferred styles and how you manage your locks, before talking through your vision of how you would like to look on your wedding day.
Based on this in-depth discussion Ava will expertly guide you in a direction to complement your natural features and bring out the best version of yourself for the wedding day. What she then asks from you in the preview is complete openness – share your likes and dislikes for hair and makeup, raise anything she needs to be aware of about the wedding day (photographer timings, special shots with your bridesmaids etc) and when the preview looks are finished, please give honest feedback so that Ava can create your dream hair and makeup on the day itself.
What should I bring with me to my preview?
If possible please bring a image of your dress along with screen shoots, saved Pinterest board, photos of any hair and makeup styles you envision for your wedding day. When choosing your references, keep it to celebrities/women with the same skin tone and hair colour as these will most likely suit you best and work with your features. For example, blonde braids don’t translate well to brunette hair. Please also bring any veils or hair accessories you plan to wear on the day so that Ava can work these in to your style.
What time do you suggest we start on the wedding day?
Ava will work with your wedding day timetable to recommend a starting point for your hair and makeup, always allowing extra time for unanticipated holdups. In her vast experience time flies on the wedding morning and the many little interruptions all add up – phone calls from special friends who can’t make the day, any children present who need attending to, the arrival of your photographer and flowers, family members popping in to see you before the big moment. Ava’s goal for her brides is to create an enjoyable and stress-free environment with plenty of time to bring all the small details together – plus there is guaranteed to be a last rush to ensure everything is perfect and in place. Why not allow yourself that little extra time to get things perfect…it is your wedding day after all!
How long does each person take?
For a bride’s hair OR makeup, it’s usually one hour approx.
For both bridal hair AND makeup, allow two hours approx.
For additional wedding party members:
Hair OR makeup is around 25-40 minutes, hair AND makeup can take between 45-60 minutes.
How many people can Ava Belle accommodate?
Ava Belle can accommodate any size party from small to large, we have experienced in large wedding parties and have a team of professional hair and makeup artists to bring on board if you require services for big numbers. Fees for additional artists will be included in your quote and may incur extra travel costs. Please get in touch for a tailored quote to your specific needs.
Will the person who goes first in hair and makeup still look fresh by the time everyone is finished?
Ava Belle has worked with hundreds of bridal parties and has adapted her timetable to ensure everyone’s hair and makeup is just-done perfect. She schedules time at the end to do touch-ups and finishing touches for everyone and leaves lipstick to this point so the party can enjoy a glass of champagne and nibbles while they get ready. For hair down styles, Ava sets the locks in pins and only takes them out just before the party leaves for the ceremony.
Will my makeup hold all day in to the evening?
Ava Belle’s professional makeup applications hold up beautifully all day in to the evening. She uses key products to prime the face and eyes for long lasting, weather-proof (and tear proof!) wear. She also offers a selection of long-wear lipsticks in a range of colours available for purchase at your preview or on the day. The only areas you will need to touch up are your lip colour, and potentially dabbing a little powder or blotting papers on oily skin, so Ava recommends you keep your lipstick or gloss, a blush and some translucent powder in your purse.
Ava can also provide a VIP service to be with you throughout the day.
I have allergies to certain types of makeup.
Can you work with my products?
Ava Belle can work with all skin sensitivities and any issues like this will be discussed in your preview. She is more than happy work with your own products; please advise as early as possible in the process and she can guide you on what to bring on your wedding day.
Can you work with hair extensions?
Ava Belle has worked with hair extensions of all types on models, actors and her many brides. We can provide semi-permanent tape-in extensions which require an appointment the day or a few days before your wedding and are perfect for multi-day events, clip in extensions just for the day, or pre-bonded and clip-in pony pieces. She recommends extensions for extra wow factor and these can be discussed in your trial and preview.
What if it’s a hot/rainy/windy day – will my hair and makeup last?
Ava Belle can guide you to the best options for these weather conditions - however there is a limit in what hair and makeup can endure. If you are concerned about the climate at your wedding location or the weather isn’t in your favor on the day we offer VIP standby (where schedules allow) for touch-ups and fixes.
Can you create makeup looks for all ethnicities?
Yes, we are highly skilled at working with all skin tones and ethnicities. Our makeup kits are equipped with a range of diverse shades to accommodate all women. Take a look at our Instagram images to see brides of all cultures looking the best version of themselves on their wedding day. @avabelleluxury
Should I have semi permanent lash extensions?
These aren’t necessary as we will provide individual false lashes within your makeup service for all bridal party members. Your wedding is not the time to try lash extensions for the first time – they are very dramatic and not for everyone, and once they are on they require touch-ups every two weeks and upkeep to ensure they look fresh. If you think you would like to have semi permanent lashes try them a few months before the wedding day and advise us of your decision as soon as you can.
Do you offer airbrush foundation, and what’s the difference from normal foundations?
Airbrush foundation is not our recommendation as in our opinion, it tends to look more ‘made up’ and obvious compared to traditional foundation applications (done with brush or sponge). Airbrush foundation is a unique formula of foundation that is water, alcohol or silicon based and it’s sprayed as a very fine mist through an airbrush gun. It sits on top of the skin and can appear a little more obvious to the naked eye than traditional makeup application than blends into the skin creating a flawless finish.
What happens if I don’t like my hair or makeup,
or certain aspects of the hair and makeup?
Ava Belle fully understands that sometimes it can be tricky to communicate your exact vision. To solve this Ava encourages her clients to communicate freely with her on their likes and dislikes – her only goal is for her clients to be completely happy and enjoy the process. If it takes a few tweaks and adjustments to create your vision,
she will maintain a fun space for you to speak freely about your hair and makeup and guide you with professional advise.
She will work with your preferences so that you are in love with every aspect of your look.
What preparation can I do before my wedding makeup session?
Glowing skin starts from within so ahead of your wedding drink plenty of water, get lots of rest and do some light exercise in the morning to keep stress levels down. Please cleanse, exfoliate (but avoid any SPF or oils) and use a lip balm on the morning of your preview and on the wedding day. Ava swears by refresh eye drops – keep some on hand to use on the day to make your eyes look much whiter and sparkle for photographs.
DO NOT WAX eyebrows or any facial hair for at least 8-10 days before the preview or the wedding, as this can cause issues with foundation adhering to your skin surface resulting in a very uneven makeup base.
Ava does not recommend semi permanent eyelash extensions as these can be a little overdone and high maintenance for a daytime wedding. Instead she suggests an eyelash tint for light coloured lashes which gives a soft and subtle enhancement. Ava can also use individual false lashes if extra volume and length is required on the day.
How should I prepare my hair on the wedding day?
Choosing a wedding hairstyle is a big decision and Ava Belle recommends staying with a style that feels comfortable for you and works with the nature of your hair. For example if you have very naturally straight hair, keeping it in a curl is tricky with everything the day can throw at it – heat, humidity, wind, a ride in a convertible car, and the 12 hour wedding day with dancing in to the night. Instead Ava recommends an up style or half upstyle to ensure your hair will withstand all wedding day challenges. Ava will talk through suitable hair options during your preview.
For blow waves and down styles (achieved with flat irons or curling wand): do wash your hair on the preview day and wedding morning, leaving it slightly damp with absolutely no products. Please do not use Pantene or Tresemme shampoo to wash your hair as in Ava’s experience this makes the hair too slippery and difficult to work with.
Up style, half up style and hot set: please do not wash your hair the day of the preview and wedding, instead wash it the night before and let it dry naturally or rough dry with the hairdryer and absolutely no products.
For all hairstyles, aim to have your hair trimmed and any usual maintenance around two weeks before the wedding.
What about tanning/body moisturizing and other beauty preparations?
If you’ve never had a fake/spray tan before, your wedding day is not the time to try it out as it may look orange, patchy or too dark and this will be exaggerated in the photographs. However if you do wish to tan have a trial with the beautician you’ll be using and take photographs to test the colour in the few weeks before the wedding. And if you regularly have a spray tan and you’re happy with the results use the same tanner for your wedding day. Ava also loves the Dove gradual tanning moisturizer to give a hint of colour and sun-kissed feel without being too obvious or collecting in the skin creases as spray tans can do.
Use any deodorant, perfume, talcum powder, body lotions and hand creams long before you dress in your wedding gown – this will ensure they are fully absorbed and don’t rub off on your dress. One of Ava’s tips for her brides is to choose a favourite fragrance which you use as the common scent for your bridal party – it’s a nice touch and in years to come that particular perfume will remind everyone of your gorgeous wedding day.
Remember to wear a button or zip through top (not a T-shirt) for your makeup and hair preview plus on the wedding day, to ensure nothing is smudged or tousled. Please share these tips with your bridal party ahead of the big day!
How do destination bookings work,
do we provide the accommodation and travel?
Ava Belle will send an estimate for accommodation and travel with your hair/makeup services quote. Once your booking fee is paid all accommodation and travel will be booked and paid for by Ava and these expenses will be detailed in your invoice which is due 30 days prior to your event. An inventory of further expenses such as taxis, transfers and unexpected costs will be detailed in a final invoice following your wedding (if they exceed the amounts estimated). Ava Belle is a highly seasoned traveller adept at organising her itinerary quickly and cost-effectively.
Do we need to provide food for you on the day?
For bookings under seven hours, Ava (and her team if relevant)
will provide their own food and stop for a short break at a suitable time in the day.
For bookings over seven hours a staff meal is appreciated.
What is Ava Belle’s background in hair and makeup?
Ava worked in the arts in her teenage years - theatre, music, film and television and on stage as a singer and dancer. During this time she spent so long in the hair and makeup chair it sparked her interest and creativity, so following her University degree studying music Ava Belle enrolled to train across hair and makeup in Sydney. She began her career creating hair and makeup for fashion magazines, events, special effects for films, commercials and actor/model headshots before specializing in luxury destination weddings and working with bridal magazines and designers across the globe.