When planning your bridal beauty timeline, keep in mind that timing is everything. Getting a spray tan before you wax, for example…otherwise you will look like a zebra. Having a major facial the day before your wedding? You’ll be phoning your dermatologist right before you say, “I do.” We all know that wedding workouts and teeth whitening don’t result in miracles overnight, so why expect that your skin care regiment would be any different?
In light of this delicate planning process, we have put together a wedding beauty timeline to follow as you prepare for the big day whether you are the bride, her maid of honor, or mother to the bride or groom…
If you have 8 months or less until you head down the aisle, simply follow the general order of our timeline and tailor it to your specific needs. Not everything in this timeline is absolutely necessary, so it’s up to you to decide what is important and what isn’t based on your skin type.
Makeup: Lashes and primer—don’t skimp on either!
Molly Brown, our favorite professional makeup artist, always recommends to our brides Urban Decay's All Day All Night followed up by a setting spray. She also prefers to use Becca, a primer that will give you a lovely glow while correcting any unwanted skin tones. She also recommends a MAC Paint Pot called Painterly to prime eyelids. With Molly's expertise your makeup won't smudge or run one bit. As for lashes, we cannot possibly say enough good things about Chelsea Vigouroux with Angel Face Skin Care & Lashes. Eyelash by single eyelash she will expertly add lash extensions that will last not only through your wedding day but your honeymoon as well. They won't lift a single bit. Unlike strip lashes, these look and feel like natural eyelashes leaving no one the wiser! You can even shed a few tears and they won't be dislodged.
Hair: Wear the hair that got you there.
On your wedding day you want to be the best version of yourself. You also want to look like yourself as well. This is why we believe day-of wedding hair should be reminiscent of your favorite go-to hairstyle…after all, its the one your fiancee fell in love with you wearing. On your actual wedding day, give that everyday ‘do a special update or unique spin. Daina Glisson with Team Glisson Events is truly the best with this. She can take a look at your standard do and give it some real pizzaz!
For example, if you always wear your hair in long, wild, beachy waves she can refine those waves. Make them smoother with a bit more curl and bounce. She can give you a deep side part to revealed a special pair of heirloom earrings, for example or a beautiful necklace that your grandmother may have given to you. Something different enough from your basic style, but also something that will leave you feeling like your most confident self. Trust us, Daina Glisson with Team Glisson Events can also go totally glam…bring her an image and she can recreate anything at all for your wedding day! However if you are a ponytail kind of girl, she can still amp it up for you with a sleek side pony with a delicate twist or braids. Love messy topknots? Daina Glisson with Team Glisson Events can create a romantic look with a ballerina bun adding a few wispy pieces, curled and pulled out around your face.
Nails: Gel ‘em.
Most brides attend a rehearsal dinner the evening before their wedding, which means manicured hands are a must. We don’t know about you, but within hours of a standard manicure our nails inevitably chip. That said, the last thing we want our brides to worry about throughout the rehearsal and wedding is my mani/pedi. We recommend booking a pampering appointment at Luxy Nail Spa. Select a pale pink—almost nude—shade and tell them that you want gels. This will give you a classic and complimentary neutral look as well as providing a color that doesn’t distract from your new ring! And remember, the same way flesh colored heels elongate legs, nail paint of the same shade works similar wonders for those of us with stubby fingers.
If you are looking for something a bit more specific and regimented, we can help you there as well.
6-8 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING:
Find a reputable skin care professional. We highly recommend esthetician and lovely lash expert Chelsea Vigouroux with Angel Face Skin Care & Lashes and professional makeup artist & cosmetologist Molly Brown. By beginning to work with Chelsea or Molly six months out, this gives you the perfect amount of time to ensure that your skin is clear, smooth and glowing for the big day. Both Chelsea from Angel Face Skin Care & Lashes as well as Molly Brown Cosmetology offer a wide range of skin care services to give your skin everything it needs to get your skin glowing for your wedding day.
Schedule a consultation. What may be fabulous for your friend may not be right for you. Be sure to ask a lot of questions; particularly the cost of treatments, side-effects and the results they can guarantee. Chelsea and Molly are both absolutely wonderful and would be delighted to walk you through the process whether you are simply getting a microdermabrasion facial or if you want to begin with eyelash extensions…a beautiful addiction we can pretty much guarantee you won’t want to shake!
Fit it in the budget. Generally, a good skin care plan (both professional and home-care products) can range from $500-$1000. Tip: If the budget is tight, let your maid of honor know that getting your skin in good condition for your wedding day is a priority and she may plan a shower where everyone pitches in to give your skin care services as a gift. Both Angel Face Skin Care and Lashes & Molly Brown Cosmetology offer gift certificates!
Patch test your skin. When starting a new skin care program, be sure to do a patch test if you’re trying out new skin care products as allergic reactions can take up to four weeks to heal. Rub a small amount of product on the side of your neck and wait 24 hours. If redness or irritation occurs, avoid using the product. Wedding day blotches just won’t do!
Follow the plan set forth by your skin care professional. A variety of skin care procedures such as ultrasonic exfoliation, facials, microdermabrasion, light therapy, oxygen, micro current and chemical peels will all be beneficial in getting your bridal glow.
IF YOU HAVE BREAKOUTS:
-Exfoliate well. This will keep off dry skin cells to lessen clogged pores and blemishes, and help fade post-breakout scars. Look for products with exfoliating acids and enzymes.
-Keep the skin clear of bacteria. Products using ingredients such as salicylic acid and tee tree oil help to naturally eliminate bacteria and prevent the spread of breakouts.
-Be sure to keep the skin hydrated. If you’re prone to blemishes, your skin needs water-based moisture to keep cells healthy to discourage dead skin cell buildup. Always make sure you are using an oil free lotion or moisturizer.
IF YOU HAVE DISCOLORATION AND BROWN SPOTS:
-Use a skin lightener. By combining exfoliation, skin lighteners and daily use of sunscreen, the pigmented cells will slowly start break down and fade their color. Exfoliation is beneficial for breaking up the pigmented cells while a skin-lightening agent like vitamin C or Kojic Acid will suppress the melanin cells and accelerate the fading process. By adding this to your skin care regiment you can fade those stubborn brown spots and promote an even-toned complexion.
IF YOU HAVE REDNESS AND ROSACEA:
–Avoid washing your skin with hot water. Cooler temperatures will keep reduce redness and keep the skin calm.
–Use soothing ingredients in your products such as chamomile, azulene and sea whip. These will all go a long way to help to comfort the skin and reduce redness.
-Make sure you get facials that cater to sensitive skin. Although facials can be extremely calming for red skin, you must make sure that your esthetician has experience in caring for this very delicate type of skin. Avoid strong chemical peels as they will only exacerbate redness. Chelsea Vigouroux with Angel Face Skin Care and Lashes and Molly Brown Cosmetology are both masters at dealing with calming redness and delicate skin types.
3-4 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
Make a commitment to not pick at your skin. Acne breakouts usually last just 3-5 days, but when you pick at a blemish, the red mark that lingers can be there for three months and in some cases can even scar! We know it’s tempting, but you can make problem skin much worse by forcing bacteria deeper into the skin, resulting in scarring and further break outs. A better solution for problem skin is a regular facial schedule, where your pores can be deep cleaned professionally.
Cut back on the invasive skin treatments. If you have been having laser treatments or a series of skin peels, now is the time to start cutting back on those. You need to start going into maintenance mode. Hopefully, those aggressive procedures helped to clear up break outs, post-breakout acne scars and discoloration and now the focus is on maintaining your amazing results. We recommend getting a professional facial every 3-4 weeks for the remaining three months from Chelsea Vigouroux with Angel Face Skin Care and Lashes or Molly Brown Cosmetology.
1-2 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
Go easy. Now that you’re in the home stretch, it is absolutely not the time to be experimenting with new products or services. Simply keep everything gentle by backing off any aggressive professional treatments.
Avoid dairy products if you’re prone to acne cysts. Many people have heard that greasy foods and chocolate cause breakouts. Breakouts, especially those that are cyst-like in the chin and jaw line area, most often are related to too much ice cream, yogurt, milk and cheese. Try cutting back and watch your skin clear right up!
Get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Sleep is not only important to keep dark circles at bay, but it is also the time when your body is most metabolically active, allowing you to loose weight while ridding itself of harmful toxins which would otherwise wreak havoc with your skin. Sleep also reduces stress, the top cause of acne!
Keep your skin care products cold. When nerves are at their highest, it can cause increased blood flow to the skin. Try keeping your skin care products in the refrigerator. Cleansing, toning and moisturizing with cool temperature products will keep you and your skin calm and soothed.
3 DAYS BEFORE THE WEDDING
Get your final facial. The facial should focus on skin smoothing with exfoliation and hydration. It is most important to keep extractions to a minimum to avoid any unnecessary redness.
Don’t experiment with any new products. Once again, we cannot stress this enough. You don’t want to risk having an adverse reaction to anything. Simply stick with what is tried and true.
Avoid shell fish. Especially if you are traveling to a tropical island for your destination wedding! We know you will be tempted with all the wonderful seafood that is there, but many people are allergic to iodine which is commonly found in shell fish. This can result in very serious skin and body reactions. Now is not the time to be eating foods you have not tried before.
Limit your intake of alcohol. Alcohol leads to skin and under eye puffiness, so for every alcoholic drink, follow it with an 8 oz glass of water. This will help prevent unnecessary morning puffiness ensuring that you are picture perfect in every snap!
Avoid crying (if possible). With all of the celebratory speeches that are given, it’s only normal that a few tears may be shed. If at all possible, try to avoid crying since it causes the eyes to swell resulting in excessive under eye puffiness and redness.
Apply a gel mask. Gel masks are water-based so they won’t add any oil to your skin and interfere with your wedding day makeup. They calm you and your skin from any wedding day nerves, and gives your skin a smooth, healthy glow.
Drink a lot of water. To prevent skin from puffiness due to shedding tears or alcohol intake the night before, drink cold ice water throughout the day. This will also help prevent your mouth from getting dry due to nerves. We recommend using a straw once the makeup goes on. This will minimize the number of times your lipstick will need to be reapplied.
Practice deep breathing. There is nothing better to calm the nerves than frequent deep breathing. Relax. Enjoy. Your day is here. To best prepare for that deep relaxing breathing, we recommend yoga with Nila Gober from Simply Yoga. She can help you handle any wedding stress you may encounter.
Don’t have the money for facials and spa treatments? Perhaps consider a sheet mask to soothe your skin and pamper your wedding nerves.
Sheet masks are all the rage with brides these days. By laying a serum-soaked mask on your face, you're locking those skin-loving ingredients onto your face for what is basically an at home customized facial.
If you have Shiny Skin:
There's a big difference between glowing skin and shiny skin, so keep that excess oil production at bay with Boscia's Green Tea Mattifying Hydrogel Mask ($8, Boscia). The Japanese green tea reduces sebum production, bacteria, and inflammation, leaving beautiful, matte skin in their place.
If you have Irritated Skin:
Soothe away any wedding planning stress or product-irritated skin with BioRepublic Aloe Rescue Revitalizing Sheet Mask ($4.99, BioRepublic) aloe vera, collagen and vitamin E love your skin back to a healthier place.
If you have Aging Skin:
Masque Bar by Look Beauty Wrinkle Reducing Sheet Mask ($9.99, available at Target) reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles with a healthy dose of collagen, so your skin is smooth and fresh for your big wedding day.
If you have Dull Skin:
The licorice and grapefruit seed extracts in Patchology's Illuminate FlashMasque Facial Sheets ($50, Patchology) help tone and brighten dull skin — giving you that perfect bridal glow!
If you have Acne-Prone Skin:
Ease your mind from visions of huge break-outs the day before your wedding with Karuna's Clarifying+ Face Mask ($28, available at Sephora). Japanese green leaf, ginger, honey, and peptides help kill bacteria, prevent break-outs, and soothe skin.
If you have Dry Skin:
Tatcha's Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask ($95, available at Sephora) was originally developed to speed healing for burn victims if that tells you anything about the intense hydration it offers!
If you have Red Skin:
Red skin can be hard to soothe, but Dr. Jart+ Water Replenishment Cotton Sheet Mask ($7.50, available at Sephora) combats a wealth of irritants with chamomile, witch hazel, and marine collagen, to leave skin calm, clean and moisturized.