Play it Safe
If you're considering making a drastic change (i.e. lightening brows, changing hair color, doing an intense tan), think twice. Changing your look so significantly before such a big event can be a big mistake. Instead, aim to look like yourselfjust enhanced.
Add Some Va-Va-Voom
Who needs a wedding gown when you're wearing this shimmering, scented body powder, post-reception of course.
Give Your Hairstylist a Head's Up
Let your hairstylist know if you're planning on using any type of hair accessory or scarf. Take cues (and recommendations) from friends who've worn similar styles.
If you have small red bumps on the back of your arms, chances are it's not acne. Keratosis Pilaris is a very common skin condition that occurs when dead skin cells don't shed as they should. Use lotions and washes with lactic acid to help unclog pores leading up to the big day.
Thanks to certain celebs (ahem, the Kardashians) mega-lashes are one of the most popular bridal beauty looks. If you opt to get lash extensions, use falsies, try a semi-permanent tint like Lash Dip, or even just buy a new mascara, road-test the look a few months out. Though rare, reactions to the glues and dyes can happen.
Stop a Sweat Emergency
Prep Like a Pro
Celebrity facialists swear by this electric eye-enhancing serum applicator (it uses sonic motion to help ingredients absorb faster and better). Splurge on one for yourself for eye-enhancing results that will last for many anniversaries.
Be Ready to Be on Full-Circle Display
When prepping for beauty that spans 360 degrees, treat the skin on your chest, arms, and back like you would the skin on your face. Use glycolic washes to prevent blemishes and rich emollients to improve tone.
Take a Time-Out
Staring at your Blackberry and frowning at caterers will only give you wedding-day creases. In the middle of your party-planning hoopla, take a moment for yourself and unwind.
Have a Game Plan for Reapplications
Most brides hardly have a chance to eat, let alone precisely reapply lip gloss and other makeup. Go over your touch-up strategy with your makeup artist or MOH to ensure that they're on-board with your plan.
Troubleshoot Like a Celebrity
Expect the Worst
Murphy's Law applies to weddings (and bridal beauty) too. Troubleshoot as much as possible by packing back-up makeup (in case the makeup artist doesn't have your shade), pins and hair elastics (should you suddenly decide you want a different updo), and clear nail polish (for tears in your veil).
Get Your Glow On
Get your faux glow two days before the big day. A salon spray tan or at-home self-tanner will look its best 24-48 hours after application. Try out different formulas for the months leading up to your wedding to find the one that suits you and your skintone best.
Exercising and eating well to trim down for the big day is one thing. Not eating to look as slender as possible is just silly—and it will backfire. When blood sugar levels drop, your skin can get pale and clammy.
Avoid Bug Bites
Because no bride should have to deal with mosquito welts at her wedding, stock up on natural insect repellent.
We like Intelligent Nutrients Bug Repellent Serum and Spray, $26 and $28; intelligentnutrients.com.
Brighten Your Smile
Avoid coffee, tea, and dark soda to prevent staining your pearly whites. Discuss tooth-whitening options with your dentist if you'd prefer more noticeable results.
Sculpt Away Those Final Five Pounds
Treat In-Grown Hairs
The days leading up to your wedding should not be filled with DIY skin experiments, like extracting an in-grown hair (inflammation and irritation are all but certain). Instead, make an appointment with your dermatologist, who can make a tiny incision to extricate the ingrown hair.
Use a Hi-Tech Deodorant
Go Boho if You're Wearing A Lot of Bling
Balance statement pieces (like big necklaces) with soft, natural hair and makeup.
Protect Your Color
Get a touch-up two weeks before the big day and use color-preserving shampoos and conditioners to maintain results.
Give Blemishes TLC
Just don't pop them. Squeezing only irritates skin, making it redder and more swollen. Instead, ice the pimple for a few minutes before covering it with a liquid concealer. The cold temps help reduce inflammation.
Don't Risk a Reaction
It might seem a little paranoid, but skin allergies caused by dyes and artificial fragrances can happeneven at the most inopportune times. Reduce your risk of an outbreak (also known as contact dermatitis) and stick to laundry detergents formulated for sensitive skin for the month before your wedding.
Pamper Your Paws
If your wedding band is a different color than your engagement ring, ask your manicurist what nail polish shades best match the other metal.
Master the Bridal Blush
Shimmer to Look Slimmer
Don't let your face have all the fun. Use shimmering powders and creams to accent your collarbone and shoulders. Highlighting the curvature of your bone structure will also have a slimming effect.
Primer for Eye Shadow
Consider Climate Before Applying Makeup
Especially for brides getting married in warmer climates, consider using as many oil-free products as possible primer, moisturizer, foundation, etc. and keeping oil-free blotting sheets on hand.
We like these ones.
Get Some Zen
Wax It Off
Whether you have an appointment with a professional or you're going the DIY route, make sure that the hair is at least 1/4 inch long when you go in for your session and avoid extreme heat or exercise for 24 hours post-wax to prevent irritation.
Be Prepared to Cry
Whether you're fighting hot temperatures (or tears of happiness) accept that your bridal makeup will melt or smudge. Use waterproof mascara (you can condition lashes before and after to prevent drying) and keep makeup-removing cotton swabs on hand, like these ones.