GET YOUR SKIN READY FOR YOUR WEDDING
Four to Six Months Prior
Schedule a Visit with Your Derm If you have major skin concerns like acne and uneven pigmentation, it’s best to get the situation under control well in advance. This is the time to have your doctor prescribe topicals, like retinoids, and medications to address them, says New York City dermatologist Jennifer MacGregor, MD. But because it may require multiple sessions and several months to see their cumulative benefits, “you need to start as early as possible,” explains MacGregor. This is also the right time to schedule a series of derm-administered light peels or microdermabrasion on both the face and body—especially if your dress exposes the décolleté, shoulders, back, or legs.
Three Months Prior
Consider Your Brows “Have your brow groomer settle on a shape and tint as far in advance as possible so you can figure out what you like best,” says New York City– and Dallas-based aesthetician Joanna Czech. For the most flattering and youthful effect, Czech suggests keeping brows as full and as natural (i.e., not too perfect) as possible, which may mean forgoing waxing in favor of tweezing.
Make Time for a Complexion Check-In
Book an appointment with your dermatologist so they can see how your skin is responding to any new prescriptions and products, says MacGregor. At this point, there is still time to tweak your regimen or in-office treatments so you get the best results by your wedding day.
Two Months Prior
Master the Self-Tanning Equation There’s much to be said for the ethereal beauty of pale skin, but if you prefer your limbs and complexion subtly golden, self-tanner is an option. Start experimenting with the right shade a few months before your wedding to adjust to seeing yourself with color, says skin-finishing expert Sophie Evans. If you’re getting a professional spray tan, work continuously with the same specialist to avoid any surprises and book your final pre-wedding session three days before the ceremony. If you’re using an at-home formula, exfoliate before each session and then again every two to three days afterward to avoid streaks and unevenness, advises Evans. Two days before you walk down the aisle, if you feel confident that you’ve conquered any chance of streaking, do one last application. For those hesitant about committing to self-tanner, try a temporary body bronzer (like St. Tropez One Night Only) that washes off but won’t transfer onto your white dress.
One Month Prior
Invest in a Keratin Treatment If you have naturally rebellious or frizzy strands, go for an in-salon keratin treatment one month before the wedding so your texture is under control but hair doesn’t fall flat on the day, says hairstylist (and bridal pro) Ryan Cotton of New York City’s Serge Normant salon.
Experiment with Eyelash Extensions
The semi-permanent glue used with lash extensions “is water-proof so they won’t rub off if you cry on your wedding day,” says Soul Lee, owner of New York City’s Beautiful Soul Soul Lee Makeup Studio. She suggests having the lashes attached a full month out to ensure your eyes don’t have an adverse reaction, and to give you a chance to get the length and volume just right. Then, a few days before the event, have them touched up.
Practice Good Skin Maintenance
To boost your pre-ceremony glow, have your dermatologist do a gentle exfoliation, like a light chemical peel or a gentle laser treatment, says MacGregor. Compound the effects by drinking loads of water, getting adequate sleep, exercising, and maintaining a well-balanced diet. She also cautions against trying any new products or aggressive in-office treatments. Instead, stick to wearing extra sun protection, using a mild exfoliator, and applying moisturizer regularly to your face and body.
Three Weeks Prior
Brighten Your Smile There will be a photographer documenting the occasion so it pays to ensure that your smile is camera-ready. For a subtle upgrade, New York City cosmetic dentist Marc Lowenberg suggests booking a professional cleaning to remove surface stains and plaque. Then, one day later, go back for an in-office whitening procedure like Philips Zoom QuickPro. To maintain the brightness, using over-the-counter whitening strips up until a day before the wedding can help.
Wake up Your Face
To fake a good night’s sleep in the home stretch (which planning the ultimate party most likely won’t afford you), skin guru Joanna Vargas recommends booking a series of three micro-current facials—one for each week leading up to the wedding. “It de-puffs you and makes eyes look less tired,” says Vargas, who suggests doubling up with a combination of a potent peel, like her signature Power Peel, and LED treatment. “It makes your skin completely resurfaced, clear and glowing.”
Two Weeks Prior
Evaluate Your Hair Needs If you are wearing your hair down or half up, you’ll need to get it looking as healthy as possible—especially the ends. Cotton suggests getting an in-salon deep conditioning treatment. “But if you’re planning on an updo, skip the treatments. Hair is easier to work with when it’s more textured, rather than sleek and overly conditioned,” he says.
Fine-Tune Your Color
Perfecting your color, whether it’s a root touch-up or subtle highlights, at this point is smart for two reasons: It gives the dye a chance to settle while still looking fresh, but doesn’t leave enough time for your roots to start growing in, says Aura Friedman, colorist at Sally Hershberger. She cautions that you need to sort out what shade works best for you as far in advance as possible. “I think that it’s best to be the color that makes you feel most like yourself,” says Friedman.
One Week Prior
Practice Restraint “Try to avoid salty foods, excessive carbohydrates, and do not overdo your exercise in the week before your wedding as all of these things cause your body to retain water and can result in a puffy face and eyes,” says Dr. MacGregor. If you get a last-minute blemish, she recommends booking an emergency cortisone injection at your derm’s office, rather than relying on potentially drying topical remedies. One last LED treatment plus oxygen, says Vargas, will help shrink pores plus boost radiance, which is key when pre-wedding jitters can make skin stressed.
Go for a Final Trim
“I would never recommend someone make a drastic change right before they get married. It’s an emotional time, and too much change can tip a fragile scale,” says Cotton. But he does recommend having a trusted stylist (i.e. not a new person at a salon near your destination wedding locale) do a light trimming of the ends and bangs.
Three Days Prior
Time Your Waxing Carefully To ensure your skin is smooth but not irritated, get waxed no later than 72 hours before the wedding day, says Czech. (If you’re a waxing novice, she suggests having an aesthetician test it a few months ahead of time to see how skin reacts.) Then, to reduce redness or swelling immediately following hair removal, smooth on a calming cream containing colostrum, a reparative treatment, or Czech’s tried-and-true Polish remedy. Now is not the time to mess with your brows, but you can take a moment to tweeze any stray hairs, says Czech.
Two Days Prior
Book a Depuffing Facial “As much as you should avoid it, many brides end up trying to manage stress with wine that last week, which leads to puffiness,” says Vargas. One last microcurrent facial, which Vargas says is her favorite way to prep clients for any big event, will help deflate your face, thus making your cheekbones and jaw appear more defined.
Prep Your Hands and Feet
Between statement sandals and close-up shots of the wedding band exchange, feet and hands need to look picture perfect. Your best bet is to get a manicure and pedicure a couple of days earlier to ensure chip-free lacquer, says Sarah Gibson Tuttle, owner of Beverly Hills’s Olive & June nail salon. While Tuttle is a fan of gel polish’s staying power, which will last through the honeymoon, she says regular polish can also work—provided you have it on hand in case you need a last-minute touch-up.
The Day of the Wedding
Prime Your Skin For a last-minute boost on the morning of your wedding, apply a gentle exfoliating mask in the shower. Right before makeup, Vargas suggests smoothing a hydrating serum onto your face, neck and décolleté to enhance your glow before heading into hair and makeup. Then, remember to remain calm, breathe, and, most importantly, have fun.
Source: www.vogue.com and Katie Dickens
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