We've heard it said enough times that the wedding day is the most important day in the life of any girl/ woman, so I will refrain from saying that! But this is also the day when you have to look your ravishing best for the shutterbugs, because, 40 years down the line, you still want the oohs and aahs to flow, when your children and grandchildren see you in all your glorious beauty.
These pictures are supposed to represent one of the happiest times of your life, so how would you like it if you saw your pictures with a big pimple on your cheek?! Or your hair a mess? Will not do! So, let's see what all things must you take care of, to look your best on your wedding day, so that the photos will do what they are supposed to do in a few years time - make you smile, and wistful, and remember the magic and love and help you live it again, without any blemishes.
Areas to Cover...
Your inner health will affect your outer appearance. Eat healthy, and you will have a blemish free skin and a glowing complexion. Avoid all junk food and soft drinks and eat healthy, balanced meals leading up to your wedding. Follow a detox program, to clean up your system from the inside out. Get your teeth leveled and whitened if you so wish, but do that a month prior to the day. If you are taking some medicines, consult your doctor before you stop the course. My pre-wedding diet advice would be, sleep and eat well, so that you look great and the chances of you falling ill are reduced.
Depending on the gown you choose, decide your hair length, style and cut at least 2 - 3 months prior to your wedding. Get regular hair spa treatments to give your hair that shine, and make them luxurious. If you are planning to straighten out your hair, or put them through any other permanent treatment, it is advisable to do so a month before the wedding. If you want to color it/ add highlights then do it a week after getting them straightened, so that there is some time for the hair to get used to new things.
If you put your hair through treatments in quick succession, you may end up damaging it, making it look dry and limp on your wedding day. Decide the hairstyle you are going to wear on the day, and see if it suits the type of gown you have chosen. Consult with your hairdresser, as to which style will suit your face structure best.
Skin and Nail Care
Your skin is an indicator of your health, so it has to be at its glowing best on your day! Remember to moisturize your skin daily after your bath. One of the best pre-wedding beauty tips that I can share with you is, apply the moisturizer within a minute of having your bath/ shower, so that it locks the moisture in your skin and makes it look healthy, young and gives it a glow. It works much better than applying the moisturizer on dry skin.
Also, clean your face, hands and feet thoroughly before sleeping, and apply a good overnight cream. Hands, feet and nails are equally important, specially if you are going to take close up shots of your rings, hands held, and the like. Also, if you are going to wear heels, you do not want to display chipped, and unkempt nails. If you are going with clear nails, good for you, but if you are going to have them painted, best to do so two days prior to the wedding.
Body care is of equal importance in the pre-wedding beauty regime. If you are prone to acne on your back, then get a scrubbing brush/ loofah and exfoliate your body regularly, maybe every alternate day. Exfoliate all the exposed as well as most covered parts, like your hands, legs, armpits, etc. It helps in reducing the tan, and also exposes the healthy and plump cells by getting rid of all the dead cells, to give you a fresh and glowing look. This is especially important if you are planning to wear a backless/ strapless gown.
Facials are top ranking in pre-wedding beauty care checklist. Start getting regular facials around six months prior to the big day, and get one every three weeks if you can. Don't overdo it though, or you may end up looking like you had a layer of skin taken off your face. Facials will help your tired and tanned skin look cleaner and fresher, and give your face a glow. Also, they will remove the layers of dirt that have accumulated on your face over time. Strictly stop facials a week before your wedding. And stick to products that suit you. Don't test any new tempting products, anytime shortly before your wedding.
Waxing and Threading
Waxing and threading should be done regularly. If you haven't tried either of these things before, but want to do it for your wedding, then I suggest that you start early, to let your skin get used to all the pulling it will be subjected to. Wax four days before the wedding. The redness and rash, if any, will take a day to settle down, and you would not like your photos to look like you had a bad rash or sunburn. Threading your eyebrows and upper lips should ideally be done a week before the actual date of the wedding, so that in case you need to correct the shape of your brows, you have time to do it.
Manicures and Pedicures
Get manicures and pedicures monthly, for a few months before your wedding. It will take care of the dryness and tanning of your hands and feet, and make them soft and beautiful. Getting manicures and pedicures on a regular basis will help in moisturizing your hands and feet, and will get rid of dry, scaly skin, specially from your heels, and tips of your fingers and toes. Get your final pedicure and manicure a couple of days before your wedding, and you will surely notice the change. If you are not comfortable with long nails, then a french manicure will not please you. Go for the simple shaping of short nails, and apply a clear coat of polish over it, to make them shine.
Whatever makeup you choose to do, make sure it suits your skin type and skin tone. Do not try new products, as you do not know whether they will suit your skin or not. Also, keep in mind your outfit and the shades in it, and see that the makeup doesn't clash with the outfit. Make it subtle, highlight your best features and leave the rest as natural as possible.
Do not go over the top in an attempt to look ravishing, as you may end up looking like an overdone doll. Try to keep the makeup as neutral, subtle and light as possible. Use waterproof makeup, to avoid smudging and running in case you tend you sweat a lot. You are happy, and that in itself is going you make you look pretty and gorgeous. The makeup is just to complement your natural looks, not alter them.
When, What, How...? The Checklist
...12-14 Weeks Before
This is when your facials, detox diet, and waxing/ pedicures and manicures should start. Get the facials every 3 weeks, and the waxing, manicures and pedicures monthly. Start exfoliating.
...8-10 Weeks Before
Choose your hairstyle, makeup, and jewelry according to your wedding gown, and see that they match and complement each other. If you have doubts about any of them, now is the time to change it. Don't put it off for later.
...6 Weeks Before
Opt for massages and hair spa treatments and indulge yourself. Get your teeth whitened if you'd like and the Botox. Do not leave these things for later or you may end up regretting it.
...4-5 Weeks Before
If you want to straighten your hair and color/ highlight it, now is the time. This is also the best time to get your hair trimmed, so that the split ends are taken care of, and your hair looks fuller and healthier.
...1-2 Weeks Before
Whatever treatments you had started, this is when you should stop almost all of them. In the last couple of weeks, do not try any new cosmetics. Make sure the dress fits perfectly and there are no tucks required, and the jewelry is polished and shining.
...2-3 Days Before
Time for the spray tan, as well as the final waxing, pedicure and manicure. No more facials. Also, have a dress rehearsal with the hairstyle and makeup, so that you know exactly how you are going to look when you walk down that aisle, to the love of your life.
...On the Wedding Day
Exfoliate gently with a face scrub and moisturize. Do not do anything else or try anything new, in your last minute panic. Leave the beauty care in the hands of your beautician and stylist. Just relax, be ready a couple of hours before the wedding, and enjoy your day.
Important DOs and DON'Ts
- If you are thinking about including Botox in your pre-wedding beauty regime, I'd recommend you do it at least a month before the wedding, so that your muscles get used to it, and settle down. Also, that will help in case of wrong placement of the Botox - stiff and droopy lips on the D-Day? Oh, the horror!
- If you can pay for it, laser treatments to get rid of body hair are better than waxing regularly. Start 6 - 8 months prior to your wedding and get monthly sessions. This way, you will not have to worry about your hair growing back constantly, besides which you won't be required to shave or wax on your honeymoon!
- If your skin is very much acne prone, then you may want to start the facials a little earlier, say 9 months before the wedding. The microdermabrasion facials help reduce acne to a great extent.
- If you have been using any contraceptive, consult the doctor before going off it. It may cause hormonal changes, and you may break out in acne or suffer some other side effects, if you do it a month or two before the wedding. Ask your doctor the effects of going off the contraceptive, and also when you should do it.
- If and when you are buying your own makeup instead of using the professional's, try on the makeup on makeup-free skin before you buy it.
- Do not get any facials in the week leading up to your wedding. In fact, do not try anything new a week before the wedding.
- If you want a fake tan, then do not try to get one at home, lest you turn out looking orange, or black on your wedding day. Go to a tanning parlor at least 3 - 4 days prior to your wedding.
- Make sure you match your makeup with your dress, and that it is not clashing with your outfit.
- Do not try any new hair or face products for a week before your wedding. Also, do not get a haircut within the month leading to your wedding. Remember, if you do not like it, there is no way you can grow out your hair again by the time you walk down the aisle.
- Do not go on any crash diets in the months leading up to your wedding, specially if you have already chosen your outfit. If your weight rises or drops, then alternately, you will either be gasping for breath (and not in a nice way!) or clutching your dress so that it doesn't slip. So, no diets please.
- Drink plenty of water. It helps. It's good for your health, skin, hair, complexion, etc.
- And of course, a couple of days before your wedding, put on your dress, to see that it still fits perfectly, and that no tucks and stitches are required. If it doesn't fit on the day, you'll end up feeling really hassled.
- If you happen to wake up on the big day with a zit beginning to peep out from your face, don't panic and try to pick it. LEAVE IT ALONE. Apply a concealer or makeup and cover it up as much as you can. If you tease it, the entire area around it will turn red, and it will be tougher to cover with makeup.
- Get your hair and makeup in place, two hours before the photo sessions start, so that there is no last minute hurry.
Lastly, it's your wedding, so obviously there is going to be a mad rush heading to the D-Day! But if you can, then try out those weekend or weeklong spa treatments, or the various massage packages a month or so before you're due to get married. You'll get time to yourself, and it'll help you relax. Remember, no stress plus good health equals glowing skin. Wish you all the luck for the future!