"You look beautiful!"
Certainly, that's one of the most common utterances of wedding guests. So common, in fact, it seems as if beauty comes naturally to every bride.
Love's glow may be a force of nature, but experts stress that a stunning bridal look is due to a carefully planned pre-wedding beauty regime. The best plan starts months before the event, and ends with the admiring looks of your groom and guests:
6 MONTHS OUT
Book the pros
If you don't have a regular hair stylist you love, and if you think you could use a professional hand to apply your make-up, start asking friends whose look you like for recommendations, suggests Vince Smith, owner of The Vince Smith Hair Experience in New York.
Selecting a dress and headpiece also are early priorities, and you should book a 'trial' makeup application as soon as you know what you'll be wearing, Smith advises.
“Choosing photos from magazines or googling hair and makeup styles [you like] and giving them to the stylist will help them understand what your vision is,” explains makeup artist Ana Baidet, who’s based in
If you’re planning on a tan for the wedding, apply
Should you be dissatisfied with the trial run, there's still time to book another. Ideally, "hair and makeup should be done on the same day, so you can see the total look," Baidet says.
Launch healthy habits
Exercise, a nutritious diet and sleep are beauty treatments you give yourself, and the longer these habits are maintained, the better the effects, notes Dr. Tanya Kormeili, a Santa Monica
3 to 4 MONTHS OUT
Establish a cleansing ritual
It's the mundane daily routine of cleansing your face, gently exfoliating, and moisturizing with SPF that primes skin to be at its peak.
Find a group of products that accomplish these basic tasks and are geared to your skin type – and then stick to them, advises Kormeili. And you’ll avoid bad reactions (
Treat special problems
If you suffer from skin imperfections caused by
It's also possible to inject pimples with cortisone to rid them quickly, but try the treatment in advance of the days just preceding the wedding, Kormeili advises.
1 MONTH to 2 WEEKS OUT
Trim your tresses
"Most brides grow their hair for their wedding, so they have more options for hairstyles," Smith says. "This is great, but definitely get a trim within the month before your wedding. Split ends make your gorgeous up-do look a little frizzy and the hair doesn't hold the curl as well.
1 WEEK OUT
Allow recovery time
"Do not schedule a facial close to your wedding; a week or more is safer if your skin needs some recovery time," advises Liz Washer, a Northampton, Mass., makeup artist. And, facial waxing can leave redness and prevent make-up from adhering well for the days immediately after the treatment, Washer adds.
1 DAY OUT
Relax with mani/pedi
The day before the event is perfect for relaxing in the salon. "This way you are not in a rush to dry your nails, but you don't have enough time to mess them up," Robinson adds.