top of page

After being part of so many weddings I have been lucky enough to work with numerous suppliers over the years. Ive compliled a list of of Cordelia & Co.'s favourites.

I know how over whelming planning a wedding can be and if you don't know where to start hopefully this guide will be of some use to you 

Please reach out to us if you require any advice or recommendations in any aspect of planning your wedding. 

I have also written an eBook 'The Bride Trial Guide' which answers everything you ever wanted to know about booking and having a makeup trial prior to your wedding. You can download it instantly & for free below.

Please enjoy with my compliments

x Anna

bride makeup trial

My insider tips & secrets behind a successful wedding makeup trial every bride needs to know!

A Guide to All my top industry secrets to get the most from your makeup trial. Making sure you look incredible & feel amazing on your wedding day.

... Plus, the most common makeup trial mistakes made by brides & how to avoid them!

#1 Not All Makeup Artists Are Created Equal

I really believe that separating myself from the bridal MUA pack has made me a sought-after Bridal MUA in the industry.

I’m about to reveal the #1 most Common Mistake that will end up costing you £££’s!

Everyone has a list of priorities for their big day budget. I'm pretty certain how you look on your wedding day is up there. Yet for some reason I'm yet to understand why a bride will try to reign in the budget with her bridal makeup (& sometimes her hair too!).

I've seen thousands spent on the dress. Maybe even some designer heels, perhaps even some luxury branded jewellery, only to practically kick their makeup (the final polish) off the list of importance.

When shopping for your dream dress, while budget was likely a consideration, I doubt you made your final choice based on the price tag. You chose a dress you fell in love with. It was about how it made you feel (incredible). A feeling that couldn't be replicated. You deserve to (& shall!) look like a Queen on your wedding day.

When you see Celebrities on the Red Carpet with every detail polished to perfection, I guarantee a sizable budget has been spent on their hair and makeup. It’s likely their dress, accessories and jewellery cost more than an average mortgage, so spending pocket money on a beauty professional just wouldn't make sense!

THE HARD TRUTH ... Not All MUA'S are equal & not all MUA’s are experienced in arguably the most specialist genre - that is bridal makeup.

This truly is a niche skill for good reason.

Consider the following:

  • Experience of weddings (a very high-pressured situation to work in)

  • Artistic skills to create the most infallible flawless version of you (not a ‘painted

    insta- doll’)

  • Quality of kit and knowledge of products, including skincare.

  • The ability to ensure makeup lasts all day, through all emotions and will look fantastic in all lighting & photos.

  • A genuine understanding of people, with great personal skills, who you would like to have with you on the morning of your big day.

A highly skilled bridal MUA is in demand. I often get booked up over a year in advance.

If a bridal MUA comes with a hefty price tag - this only reflects the quality-of- service and skills they have to offer - backed up of course by amazing reviews!

If you're reading this having already experienced a not-so-successful makeup trial, then please reach out to me. I will happily answer any questions you may have and hopefully see if I can help.

Ultimately, researching the best bridal MUA to suit your requirements at this stage will save you so much time, stress and even a lot of money later. I can't tell you how many times a bride has come to me, only after wasting money on a cheaper (but also less skilled & less experienced makeup artist!).

By this stage they are so broken and desperate they've all but lost faith in the industry. If I can help these lovely brides (& I usually can) they will practically throw their credit card at me!

It's a costly mistake that can be avoided though, so do your research and be prepared to invest in every aspect of your bridal beauty styling... You will then be the most beautiful bride.

#2 Trial Prep... failure to prepare is preparing to fail

Look at your bridal makeup trial as a dress rehearsal... a broken-down version of what will happen on the big day.

I personally put just as much time & thought into my makeup trial meetings, and never leave anything to chance.

I consider the trial a chance to get to know my prospective bride while building trust and rapport.

We collaborate and work together on her look without pressure, until she feels the incredible tingles of excitement.

Every detail of her look is covered, as are her likes/dislikes - and I also take photos.

I answer all questions and we discuss timings and numbers.

I don’t like to put a time limit on my makeup trials and will never squeeze brides in back-to-back.

In general, a makeup trial with myself takes between one and a half hours to two hours... Yes! Not the 45-minute slot so commonly offered in the industry.

I really feel that by putting extra time into the trial and covering all eventualities, I ensure that on the day, everything is effortless and easy- with a natural flow. No guesswork and no shortcomings, just a happy and relaxed bridal party!

If you'd like to discuss what goes on at a makeup trial at my home studio

please don’t hesitate to call or message me

#3 Clean canvassing your way to trial success

Please, please do not make your makeup trial part of a weekend celebration for example... your Hen Do!

I always request my brides turn up to their trial appointment fresh and well rested (no rushing). Ideally already following a skincare regime. So no going out the night before (sorry!).

Honestly, nothing makes me happier than when a bride walks into my studio all bright eyed, excited and with a bottle of H2O in hand!

So seriously whether you're getting married or not - my 101 skin care mantra is as follows...

  • Don't Smoke... it’s like dipping your face powder brush in an ashtray, giving you aged and grubby skin.

  • Reduce your alcohol intake to as little as possible. This is not a popular tip but just one drink can dehydrate your skin within seconds... I’ve actually seen eye makeup crease during application due to sipping champagne!!

  • Wear a hat & SPF in the Sun. I'm not saying not to sunbathe - as Vit D is important - but nothing ages your skin more than the sun!
    Also, fake tan is so amazing these days that there is no need to cook your skin!

  • Drink loads of water!!! This is a universal beauty secret to life itself!

  • (Bonus tip) the lesser-known beauty secret to that ‘What is she doing glow’



  • Seriously, this is what separates the glowing goddesses from the girls.

    A good (really good) sex life creates an inner radiance, a youthful glow that makes your eyes sparkle. Why do you think so many blushes and highlighters make reference to post-orgasmic flushes?!

  • If you want to know more about the importance of skin care and discuss a suitable regime before your wedding, please just message me here.

    All these tips will mean you show up for your trial with the optimum facial canvas for makeup application. The difference to your finished makeup will be rewarded... and your Chosen MUA will love you for it!

#4 I'm now going to share with you my number one secret to having a successful bridal makeup trial....

I have been teaching this tip to all my up-and-coming Bridal MUA’s & I can't stress the importance of it enough.

I always ask my brides to attend their trial wearing a full face of makeup.

Yep, the most makeup they feel comfortable wearing. Usually a 'night out' makeup.

Now I know this seems counterproductive, as it means I will then have to take the client’s makeup all off and prep their skin, before even starting their bridal makeup look, but... there is a very good reason for this:

When someone verbally communicates what they want, rather than show me visually, I am left with a lot of gaps to fill in.

One person's version of a natural look could mean 1000 different variables to the next.

When a bride turns up wearing her own makeup put on by herself, it gives me an incredible insight into how she sees herself, her comfort level with makeup, the details etc.

So, without seeing her with makeup, I really am going in blind. When a bride ignores this request and either turns up sans-makeup or without any real effort to her makeup, I know that trying to create her intended look will take at least an hour more and be a lot more hit and miss.

I believe this tip alone has been one of the keys to my success as a multiple Bridal MUA Customer Service Award winner.

#5 Some final tips for a successful bridal makeup trial

  • Have an early night and refrain from alcohol the night before.

  • Arrive for your trial in good time, so you are not stressed and overwhelmed.

    And don’t make plans too close to your time slot, as this will add pressure.

  • Bring along your makeup to show your MUA what you like, in terms of products and colours.

  • Tell your MUA your current skin care regime, your lifestyle and any medications you are taking.

  • If you normally wear lashes wear them to the trial or bring a pair with you. If you like the idea of adding some lashes, enquire at the trial (not on the day of your wedding!).

  • If you normally wear fake tan for occasions or intend getting a spray tan before your wedding, have one before your trial (it makes sense!).

  • Wear a white top if possible, to get an idea of light against your skin. Unless of course your wedding dress is black for example... then wear a black top!

  • Bring all your visual inspo such as Pinterest pics and swatches with you, to show your MUA, remember it’s all about communicating your style.

  • Tell your MUA immediately about any sensitivities or allergies you may have.

  • If you wear either glasses or contact lenses and intend to wear them on your wedding day, remember to wear them at your trial. Contact lenses should always be put in before makeup application.

• Make a note of any questions you have, as and when you think of them, and be sure to bring these to your trial. Having your questions answered will give you extra reassurance in your decision in choosing your bridal makeup artist.

Thank you for taking the time to read this guide, I really hope it has been of use to you. You will hopefully now have a much better understanding of the bridal makeup trial world and all its jargon.

Who knew there was so much to learn, amongst all the planning of the day of your dreams!

I really hope this guide has been of value to you. It should help you navigate the makeup/beauty/bridal world more confidently and with less stress.

It really isn’t something to get overwhelmed about. If you now have any questions, concerns or would like to discuss with me the possibility of us working together on your special day look, then please just pop me an email or pick up the phone. All my advice and consultations are always free, with my compliments.


middleston lodge wedding venue
bride makeup trial

Beautiful Venues

I've worked as a Makeup Artist in the North East of England for over 10 years covering weddings across Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, County Durham and Cleveland in towns such as Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Darlington.


I've worked at scores of North East wedding venues including Le Petit Chateau, Healey Barn, Charlton Hall, Black Horse Beamish, South Causey Inn, Durham Castle, Woodhill Hall, Headlam Hall, Linden Hall, Matfen Hall, Ellingham Hall, Brinkburn Priory, Royal Station Hotel, Jesmond Dene House, Gisborough Hall, Lumley Castle, Wallsend Hall, Horton Grange Country House, Acklam Hall, The Biscuit Factory, The Plough Alnwick, Bowburn Hall, Hallgarth Manor, Eshott Hall, Redworth Hall, As You Like It, Rushpool Hall, Beamish Hall, Hardwick Hall, Gisbside, Crathorne Hall and many others.


  • As a North East MAKEUP ARTIST, it is great to work at many of the best wedding venues in and around the famous city of Newcastle. Popular venues include the

  • Vermont Hotel,

  • The Life Centre and

  • Horton Grange Country Hotel.


Trust me this is one thing you want to get right. The following photogrpahers/Videographers are my trusted colleagues who I am confident to recommend.

I have worked with all of these photographers/videographers building a trusted team feel


  • Daz Mack                                                                DAZMACK.CO.UK

  • Lauren Braithwaite


  • Nkki Paxton


anna cordelia makeup artist
Nikki Paxton Photography
Simone Whitehead bridal hair
carolyn clayton bridal hair

Bridal Hair

We work with the best bridal hairstylists in the North East of England. Bridal hair styling is a specialist niche and not a skill owned by all hairdressers. Here are my favourite Cordelia & Co. hair stylist associates...


  • Simone Whitehead


  • Katie Alison


  • Tina Elliot


  • Carly The Big Event


  •  Gareth Lambert


  • Carolyn Clayton



beautiful natural bridal wedding makeup by Anna Cordelia

Brides turn to this talented make-up artist to help them wow on their big day - and now her tricks of the trade have been acknowledged with a special award.

Anna Cordelia Mason is a make-up artist from Guisborough who has made her mark on the North-east by winning at the North of England Wedding Awards (NOEWA).

I’m Anna!

… a multi-award winning Makeup Artist and Wedding Business Boss with a passion for Bridal makeup.

I’m all about helping people feel beautiful, empowered and confident through the power of makeup, from the everyday to life’s most special moments.

anna cordelia makeup artist portfolio

Made up with your Make up

The awesome Anna Cordelia Mason wrote this perfect tip for brides to be:

“Look after your skin in the build up to your wedding, taking time to relax, remembering that too much stress will show through in your skin Leave at least a week between a facial and your wedding day, giving your skin time to settle Invest some time in your brows by either committing to grow them out if there over plucked and having then professionally shaped.

This really can redefine your face! . For touch ups, ask an attendant to keep a small mirror, lipstick and blotting paper in their purse. Blotting paper will absorb excess oil that causes shine and is a better alternative to reapplying more powder as over the day this can become cakey.

Waterproof mascara… of course! And if you do shed a tear remember to ‘dab’ with a tissue don’t wipe!”

She also gave this advice for when looking for a make up artist:

“I’m a makeup artist but really my business is all about customer service, with a real emphasis on the customer. Communication and reliability and the confidence my customers gain from this are invaluable. For a bride that is not confident with makeup but knows she wants to look her most polished and radiant having their makeup professionally applied will be invaluable. Even if she is more than makeup savvy, bridal makeup has to fill a vast criteria such as longevity, photogenic and being lighting friendly.

There’s a such a fine balance between looking fantastic in both photographs and real life. A bride will pick up lots of tips and tricks about products, while learning about colours and dispelling any makeup myths!

Finally, nerves! Even as a makeup artist I chose to have a trusted colleague perform my own wedding day makeup, emotions are running high and hands are shaking! A good makeup artist will bring a sense of calm to the preparations.




bottom of page