You're engaged! Engagements are an exciting and sometimes overwhelming time. There are many decisions to be made, such as the venue to pick, the photographer to hire and the perfect caterer. One thing that always pops into a new bride-to-be's head is wanting to look her best on her wedding day.
I have put together a bridal beauty timeline to make sure you do certain things at the appropriate times to avoid any major beauty mishaps! So here it is, my bridal beauty countdown to the wedding day.
8 months - 1 year
- Don't just look around for makeup artists and hair stylists; start to collect pictures of hair styles and makeup looks that you like.
- Start regular manicures as soon as possible; after all everyone will be looking at your hands now that you are engaged. This gives you an excuse to try different nail looks to find your perfect one for your wedding day.
- Start a weekly workout regime. A personal trainer once a week can be a great way to keep you on track. Another great option these days are fitness apps; my recommendations are myfitnesspal, moves, pocket yoga and runkeeper. Don't leave this one until last minute. A regular work out routine will also help keep you calm through the stress of wedding-planning!
- Clean up your diet. It doesn't matter what beauty products you have if what you put into your body isn't good for you. A well-balanced diet is always the first step in healthy looking skin.
- Get into the habit of drinking plenty of water, 6-8 glasses a day. This helps fight bloating and eliminates toxins from your body.
- If you are thinking of any laser hair removal, now is the time to look in to procedures. Make sure you research this properly and ask a dermatologist or doctor for recommendations. This step is not a must and will not work for everyone. Also, avoid if you have fair coloured hair.
- If you are not already following one, now is a great time to start a skincare routine for face and body. If you have any skin care concerns, make an appointment with a dermatologist to address them.
- Inquire now with your dentist if teeth-whitening or any dental procedures are something you are considering.
- Freshen up your makeup bag. There will be plenty of occasions in the upcoming months when you will want to look camera-ready. Take a makeup lesson or inquire with your wedding makeup artist about product recommendations. It is always fun to treat yourself to a shopping trip to Sephora or your local beauty department!
- Start looking for hair accessories. You will want to have this for your hair trial.
- Book a Makeup and hair trial. (See my makeup and hair-trial prep page). Book your makeup artist and hair stylist as soon as you have a successful trial.
- Make sure to get enough sleep. Logging 6-8 hours of sleep a night will help fight off colds, stress and assist in weight management.
- Don't skimp on SPF. Depending where you live or what time of year it is, you do not want to get caught in the sun wearing a halter if you are planning on wearing a strapless wedding dress. Covering dark tan lines can be tricky! Always carry some SPF in your purse and make sure to use sunscreen on your face every morning. With so many daily moisturizers with SPF added to them and BB creams on the market now, there is no excuse not to!
- Plan ahead now for beauty appointments (waxing, facials, etc.) You don't want to be stuck with your favourite hair colourist being unavailable or having to test out a new brow girl before your wedding day.
- Start doing regular masks on your locks. Ask your hair dresser for a recommendation for your hair type.
- If not already done, finalize Makeup and Hair consult. You will need to have this booked very soon in order to secure the makeup artist and hair stylist of your choice.
- Mix up your work-out routine to make sure you see results. Try out a new fitness class or add new exercises to your current weight routine.
- Re-assess your eating plan. If you feel you are not getting the results you want, make some more changes. A nutritionist can always give you a 3 month plan to get you to your goal for your wedding day!
- Pick out Jewelry.
- Start at-home exfoliation treatments if this has not already been apart of your skin-care routine. Exfoliating 1 - 2 times per week will help achieve glowing skin. Start with a mild exfoliation to avoid any reaction or sensitivity.
- Test your spray tan; doing this now allows you to try out a few places if your first choice isn't great. Don't forget to exfoliate beforehand.
- Get your hair trimmed. It is best to do this 6 - 8 weeks before the big day.
- Get a pre-wedding day pedi to make sure your feet are in good shape.
- Talk with your wedding-day hair and makeup consultants about the look you would like for your bridal party and come up with a timeline for yourself and the bridal party. This is also a great task to have your MOH work on for you.
- Take a fun work-out class. Set up some fun activities for you and your bridesmaids to do. These are great ways to show off your fitness and break any workout slumps. I recently tried a Zumba class and loved it!
- Get your hair coloured. Best to go for your usual colour treatment, now isn't the right time for a new hair colour!
- Your skin should be in top condition now that you have been taking such good care of it. Now isn't the time to try any new skin-care routines or treatments. Keep up with your regular routine and exfoliation. Also now is a good time to pick up a spot cream for unwanted breakouts that may pop up. One of my favourite's is Kiehl's Blue Herbal Spot Treatment. Be sure to test on your wrist for allergies before applying to your face.
- Go for brunch with your bridesmaids. Hopefully the bulk of the planning is over and you can enjoy a mimosa or two with your closest girlfriends.
- Reconfirm time with your makeup artist and hair stylist.
- Get brows touched up. Steer clear of any makeup 24 hours after waxing or plucking since pores can be particularly susceptible to breakouts.
- Try not to overdo caffeine, salt or alcohol.
- Spray tan. Make sure to exfoliate well before spay tanning.
- Breathe. Go for a walk or do some light yoga to help ease any pre-wedding-day stress.
- Mani/pedi time! Sit back and relax with your bridal party!
- Hydrate and most importantly sleep.
- Enjoy every moment!
If you have more than a year, you can certainly start the earlier steps as soon as the engagement happens. Alternatively if you have less than 8 months, you can adjust the timeline to better fit yours. Every bride needs to decide what is most important in the beauty department. I hope these recommendations are helpful and give a rough guideline to get you started towards your most beautiful self on your wedding day.
Katie is a makeup artist based in Vancouver BC, represented by Lizbell Agency. She has been in the Vancouver beauty scene for 10 years, and in love with makeup for most of her life. When she is not painting faces she writes for her blog and is a contributor for Fashion Magazine.