Countdown to Beauty: All Eyes on You

Planning a wedding can be a hectic, crazy process that might leave you stressed out and not exactly looking your best, but here is an essential beauty timeline that will ensure you’ll be gorgeous for your wedding day, just in time for all eyes to be on you.

6 Months Prior
Six months away might seem pretty far off, but it’s better to start getting into some good habits now.
• It might seem hard to imagine, but the stress of wedding planning can really take a toll on you. Start doing yoga, getting massages, going on long walks – anything to get your mind off the stress of planning. You would be surprised how quickly stress can appear on your face and can affect your body.
• Do you have a solid skin care routine that you always stick to? If not, now’s the time to start one. Begin a good cleansing and moisturizing routine. If you haven’t had a facial in a while, it might be time to have one and ask the aesthetician what products she recommends. You could also consult a dermatologist if you’re concerned about problem skin.
• Start thinking about your weight. If you’re happy where you are, keep up your exercise and nutrition routine. If you’d like to lose a few pounds before the big day, start consulting with a nutritionist and a trainer, or search the Internet for ways to get fit by yourself. Make sure to start as soon as possible before the dress fittings begin, because you don’t want to have to spend more money on alterations than you have to.
• Do a few extra things for yourself while you still have the time. Go shopping, have lunch with girlfriends or get a manicure – just get away from your stress.

3 Months Prior
• Start going through hairstyles that you like and make a decision about how you want your hair to look on your wedding day. Begin scheduling appointments with potential hairdressers or stylists to get your look just right. Decide on a professional and book them as soon as you can.
• Also make consultations with makeup artists. Test a few out by taking photos of yourself and looking them over, because they’ll be a good representation of how your makeup will appear in your wedding photos. As soon as you decide on an artist, book them immediately.
• Want pearly whites for all your pictures? Consider having your teeth professionally whitened by a dentist or try using an at-home teeth-whitening system. Also cut back on coffee and soda, which can stain your teeth.
• Start thinking about what else you need to get done, i.e. eyebrow grooming, bikini waxing, manicure, pedicure, spray tan, bleaching and maybe even Botox. Start looking at salons and spas where you might want to get these procedures performed and price them.

1 Month Prior

• Get a facial so your skin can get used to the products; you don’t want an allergic reaction any closer to your wedding day.
• Have a consultation to get your eyebrows professionally shaped. Make sure you’ve been growing them out beforehand. The end result will be worth it.
• Go through trial runs with both your makeup artist and your hairstylist. Have them do your hair and makeup as if it was your wedding day. Now is the time to find what’s not working and this will allow you the chance to really see what you’ll look like on the big day. For your hair trial run, don’t forget to bring your veil!

2 Weeks Prior
• Now is the time to get your final hair touch-ups. Get your
final haircut or trim and touch-up those roots or highlights. Don’t do anything too drastic or your hair might not have time to recover.
• Cut back on fat, salt and heavy carbs, such as pasta. You want to look your best so cutting back on these “bloat-inducing” foods will help your body look the way you want it to in
your dress.  
• Keep up that exercise routine, but maybe tie in some de-stressing elements. Do some yoga or pilates … nothing too high-impact.
• Start exfoliating and moisturizing everywhere. You want that gown to just slide right over your smooth skin.
• And of course, start guzzling water. It will help your skin clear up and give it that “glow.”

1 Week Before
• Keep cutting back on fat, salt, carbs and especially alcohol. It might be difficult, but your belly will thank you.
• Do not forget waxing! Get your final bikini wax and final eyebrow shaping. You might also think about waxing your legs if you’re planning on wearing a bikini on your honeymoon.
• If your budget isn’t too over the limit, schedule a massage. Your stress level will be through the roof, so make sure to take at least an hour to relax and get those knots out.
• Get your final facial but don’t try any different products, and keep drinking that water!

The Day Before
• Get a manicure to show off that ring and get a pedicure, even if you’re wearing close-toed shoes. You might need to kick them off on the dance floor!
• Exfoliate your skin with a favorite product you’ve used before, as to not get an unwanted allergic reaction or breakout. This will make your skin glow for the big day.
• Pack your 9-1-1 kit, i.e. anything you might need from home in case of any mishaps. Chapstick, toothpaste, tissue, oil-blotting papers, club soda, lotion and breath mints are a few ideas.
• If your hair isn’t naturally oily, deep condition your hair to make it silky smooth.

On Your Wedding Day

• Breathe.
• Do not forget to eat! You will need your energy.
• Make sure to wear a button-down shirt (preferably, the color of your gown) so it can be easily removed after your hair and makeup are done.
• Take a minute to realize what’s about to happen. It is your wedding day – you’re about to marry the love of your life!

The day has finally come!
It is finally time to exchange vows, eat cake and take photos. Make sure you look your best in front of all your family and friends and in your wedding photos with these tips from Makeup Artist and St. Charles Avenue magazine’s Beauty Editor, Cat Wall Aschaffenburg:

“Test drive your wedding day makeup a few weeks before the big day to make sure you don’t end up with any unexpected mishaps,” Aschaffenburg says. “Some foundations change color after a few hours and not all longwearing lipsticks are created equal.”

Aschaffenburg recommends putting yourself in all your possible wedding day scenarios to see how your makeup will hold up, such as “spraying your face with water, hanging out in the sun (if your wedding will be outdoors), drinking and hugging someone with a white shirt.”

Tips on your Wedding Day
Remember to use a water-resistant eyeliner and mascara. It will prevent smudging during crying or sweating. If you know you might cry during the ceremony, don’t apply mascara to your lower lashes.

For a long-lasting, natural-looking flush, try a cheek stain stick or gel.

It’s perfectly fine to wear a foundation with SPF in it on an everyday basis, but on your wedding day, opt for one without SPF because ingredients in sunscreen can reflect the photographer’s flash, making you look washed out in your photos.

Set your concealer and foundation with sheer, loose oil-free powder to keep your face from getting shiny. Oil-blotting papers are also great to keep handy.

Exfoliate your lips with a wet washcloth before applying any lipstick. Line and fill your lips with a liner that closely matches your natural lip color and choose a longwearing lipstick that has a decent moisture content, so it won’t dry out your lips.

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