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 + bridal trial preparation check list to make sure you do certain things at the appropriate times to avoid any major beauty mishaps!
Bridal Trial Preparation Tips
- Exfoliate lips & skin gently the night before.
- Clean up brows 3-5 days before the trial.
- Drink plenty of water leading up to the trial to keep hydrated.
- Come with freshly washed & moisturized skin.
- Come with clean & completely dry hair.
- Let your makeup artist know of any allergies to products prior to the trial.
- Bring photos of desired hair & makeup looks. Tip: When looking for photos of hair try to find photos of front, back and sides of the style. If you are having a hard time finding photos you like, bring a few that you don't like. That can be just as helpful when deciding your final style.
- Bring all accessories you are interested in trying (veil, head pieces and jewellery). Talk with your stylist at the beginning of the trial about placement for your veil and hair accessories. This will help your stylist style your hair to compliment your accessories.
- Ask your hair stylist ahead of time if the style you want will require extensions.
- Wear a cream or white blouse or shirt. This is optional but will help you envision what you will look like in your wedding dress!
Bridal Beauty Timeline
8 months - 1 year before
Start to look for your makeup artist and hairstylist. Create a pinterest board for hair and makeup inspiration.
Start regular manicures; 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. Racinne's Lady S device, (pictured above) is a great at home spa treatment for those of you who don't have the time to go for regular facials or treatments. It boosts collagen and helps to promote good circulation. Adding this, a serum or even a mask once a week depending on your skin needs will make a big difference in how your skin feels and looks. It may just be a very small change that you need to make or maybe you don't need to do anything at all, but it is good to address any skin concerns now.
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. 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 tank top 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 hair. 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.
Pick out Jewelry and finalize any other wedding day accessories you might want.
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.
If you will be having one, make sure to test your spray tan. 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.
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. Be sure to test on your wrist for allergies before applying to your face.
Pick up any wedding-day essentials you may need. Pressed powder, tissue, blotting paper, etc.
Reconfirm bridal beauty start 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, which can dehydrate the skin.
Do your spray tan now if you will be getting one. Make sure to exfoliate well before spray tanning.
Mani/pedi time! Sit back and relax with your bridal party!
Hydrate and most importantly sleep.
Wash Hair (day old hair is best for styling).
Sit back and let your artist + stylist get you and all of your girls all dolled up!
Would there be anything you would add/take out from this list? Sound off in the comment section below!
Note: This is a guideline to reference, not everyone will need or want to follow all of these steps! 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 when and what steps you should be doing leading up to your wedding day.
Thank you to Bride-to-be Jen Tam for allowing me to use her bridal trial photos for this post. Thank you to Racinne for providing me with the skincare used in this post.
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.