There’s a lot of planning that goes into a wedding, but the most important (and fun!) is the beauty preparation. Starting six months out, there’s a lot to be done to make sure you look picture perfect.
Six Months to Go
Start researching a hair and makeup artist. Schedule a trial and see what works and what doesn’t. “Be realistic about what you can achieve at your first trial.This is the time to play around and find the direction you would like to go.If the first artist doesn’t wow you, try a few until you find someone you feel comfortable with,” says celebrity makeup artist Amanda Shackleton. Be sure you know your dress color and have a veil and hairstyle in mind, so the makeup artist gets a sense of the look you’re going for.
This is also the time you should stop whatever you have been doing with your brows thus far. Give eyebrows a solid month to grow in, and then you can properly evaluate the issues you want to change, fix or rework. Shapings should be done monthly, so if you begin this process now, you can have three solid shapings between this “reboot” and your wedding.
“My answer for having healthy and beautiful hair is a traditional Indian beauty secret: coconut oil. Indian women have beautiful hair because we
use coconut oil on a regular basis (once a week to once a month at minimum). Unfortunately, far too few American women use it to strengthen their hair naturally,” says Preeti Moberg, CEO of Blue Mango Weddings and creator of My Big Fat Indian Wedding. To be ready for your big day, start using coconut oil as a deep conditioner six months out. If you can do this twice monthly, your hair will be stronger and have a shine to it. You’ll want to avoid using the oil on your hair the week before the wedding, as you want your hair to breathe and glow.
Three Months to Go
Everything old can be new again. Regular exfoliation (two to three times per week) speeds up the cell turnover process, which allows the body to produce moisture-bearing properties like hyaluronic acid. “Exfoliation also helps to plump the skin by churning up elastin and collagen production. I use natural resurfacing agents, such as glycolic acid, to gently dissolve dead surface skin cells. I suggest starting a resurfacing routine eight to 12 weeks prior to the wedding,” says Celeste Hilling, a healthy skin care expert and CEO of Skin Authority.
One Month to Go
Everyone will want to catch a glimpse of the wedding ring, so make sure your hands are smooth and polished. Look for a therapeutic cream with active ingredients to exfoliate and resurface the tougher skin on your hands. Glycolic acid is ideal for this, because it not only resurfaces, but it helps brighten skin by gently lifting away spots and discoloration. Give yourself at least four weeks for a complete hand transformation.
One month before the wedding, go easy on your skin. Now that you’re on the home stretch, it’s not the time to be experimenting with new products or services. Keep everything gentle and stick with the tried and true. “If your skin is prone to breakouts, prevent breakouts by avoiding dairy products. Break outs, especially cysts (the deep, sore, underground break outs) in the chin and jaw line area, most often are related to excessive ice cream, yogurt, milk and cheese. Try cutting back and watch your skin clear up,” says celebrity aesthetician Renée Rouleau.
One Week to Go
“In preparation for a bride’s special day, it is very important for her to get her final hair cut and color a week before the wedding. Even if it just a trim, it will make the hair look and feel healthy without making a drastic change,” says celebrity hair stylist Valery Joseph.
This should also be around when you schedule your final brow shaping or tweezing—just in case your skin is the type that gets red or reacts, you don’t want it to reflect on your wedding day photos.
One Day to Go
“Do a full body scrub with a product you have used before to give your hands, arms, back and feet a little extra love before the big day,” says Wohrle. “No matter the time of year, your skin will appreciate this little scrub down and a little special attention. Especially the hands. You want your hands to be ready for the attention.”
Work on your kissable lips. No one wants to say “I do” with chapped lips. The night before your wedding festivities begin, gently exfoliate with a lip scrub and follow with a hydrating balm to seal in moisture and softness, suggests Hilling.
Get a good night’s sleep. “Take an Advil PM the night before if you anticipate a restless night, but test drive your sleeping pill prior to the night before your wedding,” says celebrity makeup artist and brow expert, Ramy Gafni.
The Big Day
“If you wake up with a giant blemish on your wedding day and have no time to see a dermatologist, dab rubbing alcohol directly on the blemish (not on your entire face, just on the blemish) several times throughout the day,” says Gafni. It will dry and shrink the blemish at warp speed.
Summer weddings require special care. Be sure to use a sun block under your makeup, because even a few hours outside could lead to burning. Also use a lightweight foundation so skin can breathe in the heat (otherwise you may perspire more than usual, and makeup can run). Finally, remember that perfume and heavy hairspray can attract bees, so keep the extra scents to a minimum,” says makeup artist and beauty expert Laura Geller.