Health and Beauty Articles
Looking and feeling your best for your wedding
You’ve decided on the venue. You’ve set the date. You’ve started tearing each other’s hair out about guest lists, who’s sitting next to who at the dinner and whether to opt for the chicken or the beef on the menu. It’s now time to CALM DOWN and make sure that the most important day of your life isn’t going to be responsible for your beauty and health suffering!
After my own recent engagement I found myself having my thoughts consumed of the wedding daily to the point of over load – i.e. my first attempt at this column found me researching wedding photography as opposed to skincare, then it was onto wedding dresses and eventually landing me on a far, far away website swooning over honeymoons in the Maldives!
Your number one thing to keep tabs on with the wedding approaching is your stress levels. Stress is time consuming in itself, as you tend to feel irritable, fatigued and generally unhappy (“I can and I will do this wedding all by myself! Honest, I can cope! Nope, no help needed here!”) It shows in the skin, your hair and your personality. And a combination of stress, poor diet and poor fluid intake will cause chemical reactions in your body that will ensure you’re highly-strung and on edge daily. As you want to be care-free, vibrant and looking effortlessly fabulous on the day a few tips will help you to keep your cool.
Stress can often be defined by what you put in your body. Try and avoid high caffeine drinks including coffee and energy drinks, as well as maintaining a healthy balanced diet with minimal salt and sugar while upping the antioxidant rich foods such as berries, spinach and avocados. It’s incredibly beneficial to drink 2 litres of water a day to eliminate toxins and stay hydrated; whereas it’s equally beneficial to avoid alcohol during the week as this gets in the way of sleeping patterns, alertness and your ability to plan your big day with a clear mind! Avoid smoking as it dulls the skin, promotes wrinkles and reduces your ability to exercise. Also, make sure your television is switched off a good half hour before you go to sleep to help zone out to get a sound night’s sleep.
Another stress zapper is exercise. Try doing gentle exercises such as swimming or yoga daily on the run up to the wedding; and at least 2-3 times a week it’s a good idea to do a more intensive work out, be it jogging around the castle grounds, going to the gym or cycling around your village. It’s a fact that the more energy you burn the more stress is eliminated from the body.
Manage your time effectively as well to avoid last minute dilemmas on the run up to the wedding. Start as early as possible and arrange things bit by bit, WITH the help of your male companion, they do have more to do than just show up on the day!
My favourite thing to rant and rave about is the importance of a good skin care routine! As your face and smile will be the main focus of the day both should be as hydrated, clean and clear as possible. Cleansing, toning and moisturising daily is a give in, but up the routine to include a suitable face mask weekly and a serum. Also apply a gentle lip balm daily to make sure they too are hydrated. It’s highly advisably to visit a professional a good year in advance to get the appropriate advice on what to do at home and how many facials are advisable on the run up to the wedding.
The same goes for your teeth. Visit the dentist and hygienist in good time before the wedding and discuss what your aims for your big day are (A deep clean the day before? Teeth whitening?)
If you’re going for the natural nail look on the day then your nails must be in the best possible condition to ensure ease of nail varnish application; also so any dry patches don’t show in the photos. This doesn’t necessarily have to be as vigorous as skin care but using the correct product can be as routine as rubbing on moisturiser at the end of the night. I find nail oils fantastic for hydrating them and ridding the nail of cracks and stopping them from splitting. Jessica Nails have a lovely ‘Phenomenon oil’ which consists of a natural blend of ingredients to nourish and heal cuticles which promotes strong natural nail growth.
Trials and tribulations
6 months to go...
Space out your trials and professional treatments so you’re not hit with large beauty payments at the one time. It’s a good idea to have your hair trials underway from as early as possible to see what make up to do to compliment the hair i.e. a French up-do combined with French flicks using eyeliner on the eyes? But what can commonly happen is that the bridesmaids and mother of the bride/groom are forgotten about when it comes to trials, leaving the professionals with little choice but to do what they think will look best on the day, which can lead to disappointment and frustration on both sides. Also, an adverse skin reaction is every bride’s nightmare for either herself or her bridal party.
Once the hairs decided on then book in with a beautician to discuss make up for the day or if your opting to do it yourself then to pick up useful tips. It’s recommended to have make up trials for anyone getting make up on the day to avoid any confusion on the day as to what colours and shades are being used.
If you’re opting for a fake tan then a tan trial is advised for this as well to see if the tan will compliment the makeup, skin tone and dress.
3 months to go...
Up all of your routines so you’re targeting all areas of the body that will be on show – focus on toning your arms and décolleté area using bench presses and free weights. Also, avoid sunning yourself unless you’re very careful, as strap lines on the shoulders and watch straps on the wrists are simply not a good look!
Wear rubber gloves on the hands when possible if you’re cleaning to help with conditioning the hands and avoiding harsh chemicals on them.
1 month to go...
Detox time! Up the fruit and water intake and cut out alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine altogether. Get plenty early nights and go for stress-reducing walks.
1 week to go...
Any last minute hair highlights or colours should be done now and just wash and condition it after this as opposed to trying any deep conditioning or chemical treatments. Book in for a deeply hydrating facial and massage to relax your mind.
3 days to go...
Have your tan either 2 or 3 days before to allow it to settle, but make sure any waxing or tinting is done prior to this. Then have a manicure and pedicure the day before to avoid chipping and to allow the polish to settle.
On the day...
The only treatments you should be having on your big day are your makeup and hair. With your trials done well in advance you should be able to sit back and relax with your first glass of champers! But make sure you wear a hoodie with a zip to avoid your hair getting messed up when getting changed into your dress. Play some upbeat music to get you and your bridal party into the spirit of the day and take plenty personal photos for memories that will last you a lifetime!
And voila! You’re pampered, relaxed and ready to enjoy your big day!