Weddings

Your ultimate pre-wedding beauty countdown

How to get your beauty regimen in tiptop shape.

By Alexis Teasdale

Everyone knows the bride looks ah-mazing no matter what (trust us, the bridal glow is a thing!) but if you want to get your beauty regimen in tiptop shape, here’s how.

12-9 months before

The big day is still ages away, and you probably don’t even have a venue or dress, but there’s no harm in looking into any long-term beauty treatments you’ll want to try, such as teeth straightening and laser hair removal — anything to look your absolute best. Start it now.

TEETH

You’ll be doing a lot of smiling on the big day, so teeth are often a newly engaged bride-to-be’s top priority. If you’re considering straightening or perfecting your smile, look into Invisalign. Instead of braces you wear sets of clear plates that fit super-snug to your teeth, making them barely noticeable. You can go about your normal life (without slightly awkward train tracks) and as the plates gradually get straighter, so do your teeth! Visit invisalign.com for more information.

HAIR REMOVAL

Forget timing your shaving around fake tans before the day or risking any badly timed ingrown or cuts — just book in now for permanent laser hair removal, you’ll be totally done by the day. Plus you’ll be fuzz-free for the honeymoon — winning! Visit cynosureaustralia.com for more information.

HAIR STYLING

Considering a new cut-and-colour sitch? Do it now, so that if you don’t love it there’s time to grow it out or gradually change the colour. If you’re going lighter you’ll also give yourself time to get back the original condition of your hair. Spend this time super-hydrating with moisture masks so you’re not dealing with damaged, dry strands coming wedding time and don’t forget to ask your colourist for Olaplex. Our tip? Don’t be messing with your style too much before the big day.

9-6 months before

With your wedding day inching closer, it’s the perfect opportunity to start working on areas that take time to perfect, such as your brows.

BROWS

You’d be surprised how long it can take to grow those bad boys out! Make an appointment with a professional who can tell you the most flattering shape for your face (trust us – this can change everything), and if yours are a touch thin, you can start gradually growing them out with the help of regular waxing or tweezing appointments. If you need a little help in that area start using a brow serum that will encourage growth, such as Ardell Brow and Lash Growth Accelerator, $11.99 at RY.com.au. if things are really looking dire (read: you plucked the hell out of your brows in the early noughties) look into eyebrow feather tattooing to add the volume and colour you’re after.

TONE UP

Listen, you are beautiful no matter WHAT! Got it? You shouldn’t feel pressure to lose weight — you’re going to look stunning on your wedding day. If you want to tone up any areas to feel good then look into an exercise routine you’ll really love. Try a body blasting barre class for a little dance, start working on that core in a pilates session or start pumping iron with a strengthening class. The more you enjoy it, the more likely you’ll actually do it (as opposed to other exercise plans you’ve abandoned), and you’ll get great mood-boosting benefits too.

SKINCARE

How organised is your skincare routine? Do you have a hardworking cleanser, serum, moisturiser and mask? If not, it’s time to get serious about your skincare, and invest in high-quality products with ingredients that will really nourish your skin. This doesn’t mean spending wads — there are tons of products on the market that are super-effective without a crazy price tag. If you can, spend a little on a quality facial from a beautician, who can recommend a regimen for you in the lead-up, so there’s plenty of time to implement it before the big day. Ask the beautician for tips on which ingredients suit your skin type best, so you can source your own products to suit your budget.

6-4 months before

With the clock ticking, you need to lock in the details of your beauty regimen, and enlist the professionals who’ll be helping you on the day.

HAIR TRIAL

Start collecting inspiration pics of hairstyles you like, and before you book in a hair trial, lock in any accessories, such as a veil or crown. When you make an appointment with a stylist, bring these pieces along for your trial. Bear in mind, this is the time to experiment. You may not like the first look so leave enough time for multiple hair trials — or book a longer appointment in case you want to switch up your style.

MAKEUP TRIAL

Look for beautiful makeup inspiration but remember that your wedding makeup needs to last all day and withstand the elements (and the tears!) so it may be a little more than you’re used to wearing. Chat with your makeup artist to find a happy medium between the kind of makeup you would normally wear, and the kind that’ll last and look amaze in photos. If your bridal look will include a spray tan, it’s a great idea to also have one for your makeup trial. Spray tans can make your makeup look and sit completely different (don’t stress — it’s usually better!), plus your makeup artist will have a chance to trial how different colours and shades look on your skin tone.

The best fancy serums for your skin type

1-2 months before

This is the time to experiment with some of the finer details, such as spray tans and lash extensions.

FAKE TAN

Whether you’re booking in a spray tan or going DIY, it’s essential you try the formulas now. Things to consider when tanning:

  • How long before the wedding you want to tan. Thursday for a Saturday wedding? The night before? Try these options to get the colour right.
  • If it’s a summer wedding, you could sweat or stain your dress. After a trial tan wear something white to check this.
  • If you don’t want to tan your face, you may have to compensate with a darker foundation to match your body.

LASHES

If you’re thinking of trying lash extensions for the first time, now’s your opportunity to give them a go. They can take a month or so to get used to, and also to find a length that suits you best. If you would rather attempt to boost your own lashes instead, try a specific lash pen that can boost growth, such as Freezeframe Lash Prescription, $69 at Chemist Warehouse.

TEETH

It’s time to start boosting those pearly whites with a whitening toothpaste and maybe even a whitening treatment at your dentist too. Don’t forget to ease up on coffee and tea! Try Colgate Optic White High Impact White, $9.99 at Priceline.

DEODORANT

Try your regular deodorant post-tan and wearing white to make sure it won’t affect your skin in any weird ways, or rub onto clothing.

2 weeks before

As the pressure starts to build, make sure you don’t neglect your health. This is the time to refine the last details.

HAIR

Book in for your final colour touch-ups or a trim to get those ends neat and tidy. Emphasise to them it’s just a trim — now’s not the time for a big cut.

EAT UP

And not just junk! It’s common for brides to get stressed in the final weeks, which can affect things such as weight, skin and hair. Try to remember, your loved ones will be surrounding you on the day, and really, as long as you’re all there for love, nothing else matters! Make sure you eat well in the next two weeks — no starving and stressing allowed! Think healthy, filling and nourishing foods plus lots of water.

CONFIRMATIONS

Take a few minutes to confirm your beauty appointments — the more organised you are, the better you’ll sleep at night.

WAXING

Book in appointments for your brows, bikini and legs

1 week before

It’s the final countdown! You should have everything locked into place, with just a few items to complete.

LASHES

If you have extensions, make an appointment for infill this week. It’s a must that you don’t get them wet in the first 24 hours to make sure the glue really adheres properly.

MASSAGE

Now is the perfect time to book in for a relaxing massage. Treat yourself and let any stress melt away. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water afterwards though, as massages can release toxins in the body.

PACK YOUR BEAUTY BAG

This is the one with your lipstick, concealer, wipes, cotton tips, mini dry shampoo and mini hairspray. You can give it to your maid of honour on the day, and ask her to keep it in the care in case last-minute touch-ups are needed.

NAILS AND TAN

Consider using a gel-mani on your nails so you can do it on the Thursday before a Saturday wedding, without having to worry about any chips. Then book in for a spray tan after that. Make sure you give your skin a serious scrub before you tan, paying extra attention to elbows, knees and ankles.

The best budget masks for your skin type

On the day

You’re getting married today — woohoo! Follow these final tips to get yourself totally aisle-ready.

  • Wake up and take a moment – before the craziness begins – to soak in the love and gratitude you feel for the day.
  • When you have your shower, use a soap-free, fragrance-free wash and a lightweight moisturiser (that doesn’t leave any residue). This means you won’t mess with your tan (if you have one) and nothing will clash with your big-day scent. Try QV Gentle Wash, from $29.99 at Amcal or Aveeno Active Naturals Daily Moisturising Sheer Hydration Lotion, $12.99 at Chemist Warehouse.
  • Eat a healthy brekkie and whatever you do, DON’T SKIP IT. You don’t want any lightheadedness later.
  • Wear a top that buttons down, or a dressing gown when you get your hair and makeup done. This will make it a cinch to change into your dress.