It's finally here: your wedding day. It's a day you'll always remember and your time to shine - preferably with a radiant glow that should be apparent to everyone invited. Every bride wants to look her ultimate best on her wedding day but the preparations should start well in advance. It’s a good idea to have a timeline of beauty treatments scheduled, all leading up to the big day. Here’s some ideas for getting prepared in advance. Not that I’m necessarily recommending it, but if you do decide to get any professional treatments done, such as fillers or Botox, be sure to do this well in advance - at least 3 months or so ahead of the big day. I recently had a client who had an allergic reaction to fillers provided by a professional dermatologist. Luckily it wasn’t her wedding day, but it was an important photo shoot. Her face completely swelled up, and her doctor had to be flown in from New York to Paris to correct the treatment. If the work is done well you should still be looking great for your actual wedding day.
A MONTH BEFORE
A deep cleansing facial should be done about a month before to give time for any issues to repair. A gentler, soothing facial with lymphatic drainage and blood circulation for a glowing complexion can be done a week before. Don’t be tempted to do any special or intense treatments the night before! Simply use your regular cleanser and night cream to avoid any last-minute reactions.
3 WEEKS BEFORE
Once you've settled on your hair and make-up artist, schedule tests two - three weeks before the wedding to experiment with different looks, styles and products and see what works best for you. Try to imitate the environment you will get married in, including a similar temperature if possible, to know how your hair and makeup will react. If you're getting married on a tropical beach you need to take into account the humidity (and the hair that will inevitably fall flat!). Take photos in different lighting and test the products for wearability. Wear the hair and make-up looks all day and into the evening, so you can be aware of what touch-ups need doing and have any products you might need to hand.
10 DAYS BEFORE
Stephane Pous, a Parisian hair colourist with a celebrity clientele, recommends colouring hair 10 days prior to the wedding. He says the colour becomes more beautiful after two or three shampoos, once the pigment's oxidant has settled and the colour becomes more natural. Stephane also discourages deep conditioning just before the wedding as it makes hair too soft and harder to style. Try to leave it alone as much as possible.
4 DAYS BEFORE
Have your eyebrows groomed and/or tinted four days before the wedding. Keep the shape close to your natural brow contour, with added grooming and definition. Any waxing, exfoliating and tanning can be done at this time too.
1 DAY BEFORE
Time for your manicure and pedicure. Nude with a hint of silver or gold at the tips will bring a little sparkle to the hands.
Bridal makeup can be classic or iconic, but at the end of the day it should be authentic to the person who’s wearing it. Whether you opt for glossy skin with a metallic eye make-up, a classic smoky eye and red lips, or keep things nude and natural - whatever the look, it should be customised to you. For big events like this you should focus on bringing out your best features, so that you can confidently feel your most beautiful self.
Here are a couple of tips that should help your wedding make-up last all day, and a few of my favourite products for future brides:
Use a primer on eyelids and lips to help prevent creasing and improve wear.
Glowing skin is in. To get this look, my foundation of choice is Guerlain Lingerie de Peau, which uses special correcting pigments and powders to get a flawless finish without looking heavy. It’s wearability is good and it doesn’t really need powder. Available in 18 shades with 3 different undertones - cool, neutral and warm - it has quite an extensive range which should suit most skin tones.
Cream blush seamlessly blends into foundation for a more natural finish. I love the all natural ILIA Cosmetics Illuminator and Multi-sticks to warm up and flatter a range of skin tones. Run some colour across your décolleté if you're wearing something a little lower to tie everything together.
Waterproof eyeliner and mascara that you know will last throughout the day - happy tears included. Dior's On Stage Liner comes in a multitude of matte shades, is waterproof and easy to apply. Pair with the Dior Pump ’N’ Volume Waterproof mascara for naturally voluminous lashes.
Choose a long-lasting lipstick or stain which will fade naturally throughout the day. The last thing you want to worry about is touching up your lipstick through dinner and kisses!
Don't forget a setting spray to lock everything in - you can't go far wrong with the All Nighter Setting Spray from Urban Decay.
Give a small see-through make-up bag with your essentials to a person you can rely on for any touch-ups throughout the day. Include blotting paper from Mai Couture to help control oil and minimise shine. These are compact and easy to use.
Most importantly, have fun and enjoy your wedding!
Tracey Gray Mann