Regardless of how long your engagement is going to last (a few months, a year, or even longer), it’s never too late to start a beauty regimen to look your best on your wedding day! Regardless of how far out your wedding is, here are some habits and practices that you’ll want to start as soon as you can.
• Diet and Exercise: The age-old axiom is true! Find an exercise routine that you’ll stick with, and you’ll find exercise combined with healthy eating will make you feel better all around. Your waistline will shrink, your skin will get healthier, even your hair benefits. And don’t forget to give your diet that extra boost with a multivitamin (consult with a doctor first). Vitamin B improves your hair and nails; Vitamin E improves your skin; Vitamin D will improve your overall attitude (especially if you live in a rainy climate like Portland or Seattle), and Vitamin C boosts your immune system.
• Drink fluids: Coffee and Pepsi don’t count as fluids! Avoid drinks with sugar or fructose, and cut back on your caffeine intake. Whether you follow the rule of eight 8-oz glasses a day or half-your-body-weight-in-ounces, up your daily water intake to somewhere around 70-90oz daily. Your exact amount will vary depending on your weight, exercise, diet, and even the climate that you live in, so drink lots and listen to your body; you’ll know when you’ve had too much, and soon you’ll learn when you need more. Just remember, your body can only absorb 8oz every 15 minutes, so chugging a 16-oz bottle in 5 minutes means you’re absorbing 8oz and passing 8oz through. Not only will you have to drink more, but you’ll be running to the bathroom more!
• Skin treatments: Start working on your skin as early as you can. Don’t swap cleansers or moisturizers within two months of the wedding, but if you’ve got some time to experiment it can’t hurt. If your skin reacts poorly or doesn’t improve within two weeks, ditch it. However if you’ve used the same cleanser for five years and it’s always worked fine for you, there’s no reason to change it! Additional tips? Pay attention to your ‘problem areas.’ Do you break out along your hairline? Change the hair products you use. Do your cheeks break out? Clean your cell phone with an alcohol wipe weekly. Is your chin-line a problem area? Stop resting your head in your hands! Remember to wash your face every morning and every night, and follow up with moisturizer. Apply moisturizer with an upward stroke, and use your middle finger; it’s the least dexterous of your fingers, and will apply the least amount of pressure. And don’t stop at your chin line! Most likely your neck, chest and back are going to be visible on your wedding day, so extend your skin care to these areas too.
• Tanning: Brides love to look tan and healthy, we get that, but we strongly encourage spray tanning. Tanning booths can give you an orange tint in your photographs, and home treatments can look streaky. Exposure to the sun can bring out old scars and dark spots (whereas the spray tan covers ‘em right up), so during the summer months apply sunscreen regularly.
• Dermatology: If you can spring for a dermatologist it’s a great option, especially if you struggle with acne or skin rashes. They can prescribe topical creams or oral remedies, and can also help you find routines, tricks and over-the-counter approaches to help you out long term. If you’re going to spring for a dermatologist, find out what you can do to improve your skin’s health for life, not just for the wedding!
• Lips: Don’t forget these! You’ll want to exfoliate your lips along with your skin (either use the same method you use on your face, or gently brush your lips with warm water and your toothbrush). Start applying lip balm that with sunscreen and Vitamin E to ensure your lips are soft and kissable on the big day.
• Hair: It may seem early to start thinking about your hair, but you want to make sure the hairdo you want for your wedding is possible with your hair; if you dream of a sweeping up-do, make sure your hair will be long enough!. Your regular stylist can tell you how to grow and care for your hair to so you can get your dream wedding day ‘do. If you’re planning a drastic change in color, do it now; it’ll leave time for adjusting it if it doesn’t turn out right, and will give your family and loved ones (not to mention your groom) time to get used to your new look! If you wash your hair daily, now is the time to stop. You should only wash it every other day at most—the oils are good for your hair’s health and sheen. When you DO shampoo, focus on the roots—the ends will just dry out. The reverse is true of conditioner; if you put too much on your roots, your hair will be flat and oily, and it’s your tips that need the moisture and attention. You’ll also want to give your hair a deep-conditioning treatment on a regular basis (but the last one should be at least four weeks out from the wedding), and cut back on blow drying, curling, and using products as much as you can.
• Hands: Start prepping your nails and hands now (no doubt your hands are already receiving a lot of attention from folks oohing and aahing at your ring). Start to moisturize religiously (especially your cuticles), use nail-strengthening polish, and either get professional manicures regularly leading up to the wedding, or DIY at home. Don’t forget your toenails too if you anticipate open-toe shoes.