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You want to look gorgeous and radiant on your wedding day, and your focus may have been on your gown. But it’s your smile, your skin, your makeup and hair that make any bride of any size, wearing the gown she loves, truly beautiful. So get out your scheduling book or PDA and make appointments with yourself and with beauty experts to design your most beautiful wedding day look. Here is your countdown, and of course you’re free to start on your beauty plan way in advance…like now!
6 Months Before The Wedding
· Determine your style – elegant, natural, sophisticated, dramatic, etc so that you can convey your wishes to your beauty experts.
· Start collecting photos of your ideal hair and makeup looks.
· Look at your gown’s neckline and details to determine if you’ll wear your hair up or down. You can bring a photo of your gown to a hairstylist for advice, but the decision is ultimately yours.
· If you’d like to grow out your hair, or change your color or style, now is the time to talk with your hairstylist about possibilities that work with your coloring and face shape.
· Need a new hairstylist? Start interviewing possible candidates. Your regular stylist might not do the updo’s you have in mind (many brides forget to ask about this specialty!) so ask if he or she can refer you to anyone with supreme artistry in upsweeps.
· Refresh your skincare routine. Visit a dermatologist or esthetician to begin treatments on your skin, such as eliminating acne or getting facials. Know that if you haven’t had facials before, your skin may be sensitive to the treatment. Luckily, it’s early enough for any redness to clear up.
· Invest in high-quality cleansers and moisturizers for your skin, and look into potassium creams or gels to remove dark circles under your eyes.
· Start a program for whitening your teeth. Whether you need treatments from a dentist using hi-tech laser light or bleach tooth strips would work for your level of tooth shading, now is the time to start whitening your smile.
· Start a program for self-tanning. Since self-applied tanners are safe, this is the perfect distance from your wedding day to make some mistakes before you perfect your system. Or, find a great salon that does tanning spray applications.
· Get plenty of sleep and eat nutritiously for your energy levels as well as your looks. When you’re eating healthy foods, your skin, hair, nails – and weight – will benefit. See a doctor or nutritionist to make some healthier choices, no matter how much weight (if any) you’d like to lose before the big day.
· Start or jumpstart your fitness plan. Join a gym, get a personal trainer, or join with friends for evening runs, bike rides or walks. Exercise relieves stress and improves your physique, so this is a top beauty and well-being choice to implement as soon as possible. Yoga and meditation can be part of your wellness arsenal as well.
· Create a stress-relief plan. Perhaps a walk in the evening, gratitude journaling, reading a great book, planning regular nights out with friends, giving and receiving massages with your partner…whatever you know works best for you.
3-4 Months Before Your Wedding Day
· Schedule a practice hairstyle session with your stylist. Bring in photos of your gown, headpiece and veil, and photos of hairstyles you’ve found online or in magazines. Try out 3-4 different hairstyles – updo’s or loose and natural – and get advice and products for conditioning your hair. Your stylist can schedule you for regular deep-conditioning treatments. Bring a friend along for an objective opinion on your hairstyles, or use your camera phone to capture images of you to share with your most trusted advisors.
· Schedule a practice makeup appointment with your makeup artist, or interview different potential makeup artists if you haven’t found one you love. Bring a friend along for an objective opinion on your face.
· Start looking for a great waxing specialist if you don’t already have one, and figure out the perfect timing for your pre-wedding waxing.
· Book your hair and makeup artists for your wedding day, as well as a team of hair and makeup artists for your bridal party, mothers, kids, and others.
· Book your hair, makeup and skin experts for any bridal showers or bachelorette spa days you’ll plan before the wedding day.
· Book massages for regular intervals before the wedding, perhaps once a week or once every two weeks. You’ll need them, and even 10-minute sessions can unwind you.
· Get regular manicures and pedicures to feel pampered as the wedding approaches.
1-2 Months Before Your Wedding Day
· Start your teeth whitening system if you haven’t already.
· Start your skincare and hair moisturizing care routines if you haven’t already.
· Schedule a practice hair style session with your stylist, this time bringing your headpiece and veil along for the full, wedding day look.
· Continue with your beauty routines.
2 Weeks Before Your Wedding
· Go for your pre-wedding hair trim, coloring or highlighting. You’ve already decided on your style, length and color, so don’t tempt fate by ‘trying’ anything new or extreme now.
· Take extra care to drink plenty of water, eat well, get plenty of sleep and rest, and reduce stress. You don’t want breakouts before your wedding day.
· Maintain your regular deep-conditioning treatments for your hair.
· Maintain your regular skin cleansing and moisturizing treatments. Add exfoliation treatments to your routine, paying special attention to exfoliants for your feet, hands, elbows and even your lips (but be gentle with products for your lips…they’re best used delicately).
· Play with beauty possibilities, like false eyelashes, to get the hang of them.
· Maintain your fitness and stress relief routines.
· Confirm all of your wedding day beauty appointments. If a mistake has been made, it will be easier to find other experts two weeks out.
1 Week Before Your Wedding
· Get your eyebrows shaped and your bikini, underarms and upper lip waxed, if that’s your routine. 1 week advance time on these treatments is usually enough to ensure smoothness without redness, and bumps can be treated before the wedding day.
· Get a facial or mask application.
· Drink plenty of water, and limit your salt and alcohol intake to avoid weight gain or bloating.
· Have your nails done for pre-wedding parties, surprises and gatherings.
· Exercise and practice good stress relief, and get plenty of sleep.
The Day Before Your Wedding
· Maintain your beauty regimen, taking extra care to pamper yourself.
· Pack your wedding day beauty bag with your makeup, lip gloss, blotting papers and other necessary items.
· Get your nails professionally done.
· Deep-condition your hair (Don’t condition on the wedding day, since some styles don’t take to freshly-conditioned hair)
· Have a brow shaper perfect your arches.
On Your Wedding Day
· Start your day with relaxation, perhaps a walk, and have a good breakfast for energy. Don’t jump out of bed frantic, or your scattered state will come through in your appearance.
· Go to the salon, or set up a space in your home, for your professional hair and makeup applications. Experts advise you to wear a white button-down shirt if your gown is white, so that the makeup artist can adjust the hues of your makeup.
· Touch up your makeup after you take pre-wedding photos, and appoint someone to be your beauty touch-up reminder person during the wedding day.
Sharon Naylor is the author of 30 wedding books, including 1000 Best Secrets For Your Perfect Wedding and 1000 Best Wedding Bargains, www.sharonnaylor.net