Here are a week's worth of beauty tips to insure you look gorgeous when you say "I will."
Brides-to-be: Print this out and clip in onto your calendar so you can plan ahead to set aside the time for a 7-day beauty countdown to your wedding day.
It's a week before the big day. Everything's set. Expect the inevitable last-minute mini-crises, but in the meantime turn to... you. Use the upcoming days to get your glow going.
Here's a path to looking utterly wonderful as you say "I will."
Seven days before
Rehearse your hair and makeup. Set aside the whole day to practice, practice, practice. Trying out new makeup shades? A special updo? Have a gentle cleanser and eye makeup remover on hand for "erasing."
Ask a co-conspirator to photograph you in the makeup and hair looks you love (wear your bridal headpiece) so you can see how each comes off in pictures. (Digital photos are great for fast feedback.)
Start to prep your nails.
Treat ragged or dry cuticles by massaging in moisturizer or a cuticle-specific treatment product. If your nails are weakened, use a protein treatment today and again three or four days before the wedding to strengthen them.
Is your skin as stressed as you are?
Organizing a wedding can feel like a full-time job, on top of the one you already have. Visit your favorite spa for a facial massage if your skin is looking tired and dull; it restores radiance and protects your skin from free radicals.
• Even if you're wearing your hair down for the wedding, build in some height at the crown with blow-drying. Ultra-sleeked hair can look flat in photos.
• Matte finish makeup on your face and eyes will photograph better than heavy shimmer. Plan to keep loose powder handy on the big day for dusting down shine.
• Make long-wearing makeup the last one you try today, so you can leave it on all day and put its staying power to the test. Try airbrush makeup for an all day look. It also doesn't rub off on clothing if you would also like your shoulders done.
• You'll want to pay attention to your nails every day starting now: cuticles, shape, maybe experimenting with color in the next few days.
Six days before
Sleep. Really. Once the week's momentum picks up, you'll be too busy and excited to get the rest you need. Put some in the sleep bank now.
Five days before
Do a facial. Plan at least an hour for this revitalizing, glow-inducing, three-step facial or better yet, have it done professionally.
1. Cleanse using a product formulated for your skin type whether it be oily, normal or dry. Lightly pat skin to dry.
2. Exfoliate your skin with a quick, 10-minute mask. Wet some cotton pads with cool water and put them over the eyes and relax.
3. Moisturize as usual with lotion for oily skin and cream for dry skin, adding sunscreen if your moisturizer doesn't contain it.
Four days before
Pamper your body. Get a massage today and follow it with a dreamy bath at home. (It's time to start softening up your feet for a pedicure, anyway.) How about a fabulous aromatherapy scent for your bath-maybe. Check out some of the great scents on the market. You'll want a body-polishing gel or scrub as part of your bath, too, to smooth your skin to perfection. Another treat: a big bath brush, to stimulate skin and reach every last inch.
Do a foot check.
How bad are they? Get an idea of what your feet will require in terms of time to get them looking honeymoon-ready and build that time into your two-day-before schedule.
Three days before
Take a deep breath, things are heating up. Fine-tune. Now may be the moment to make a withdrawal from your sleep bank: things are getting hectic. If your eyes are looking weary, soothe on your favorite eye gel. It should work on contact to minimize puffiness. (Store it in the fridge for extra oomph.)
This is the day to get a bikini wax if you need one, and the best moment to deep-condition or condition-gloss your hair, so the treatment will have a couple of days to get settled.
Two days before
Perfect your pedicure. Apply your tan. Try an all over even and very safe airbrush tan.
If doing self tanning try these tips:
• For only the barest hint of color from your self-tanner, mix it with a little moisturizer to dilute the shade.
• Color from self-tanner deepens with each application.
Gather your pedicure tools: foot file, soak, sloughing cream. Don't forget clippers, an emery board and nail color, too. The steps to sexy feet? Soak; file down calluses and rough spots; apply sloughing cream; soak again to rinse; moisturize; clip and file; color.
The day before
Bathe, luxuriously. Do your nails. Shape your brows. Gleam your skin. Aim to have all your running around finished by today, so you can fully enjoy getting into the bridal spirit. (Delegate last-minute fixes to bridesmaids, family or friends.) Come noon, you should be soaking in a bubble-rich tub! Let the warm water steam your face; do a quick exfoliation afterwards.
The big day!
Eeeek! Is that a blemish??
A little thing like a wedding can sure stress your face. No big deal. Have a cover up concealer ready. Keep it in your wedding-day survival kit.
Congratulations, you look gorgeous! Have a magical day.