Experts reveal how to look and feel your best just in time for the big day.
Find a hair and makeup artist—and stick to that team.
“Consult a skin-care professional at least three months before the big day to discuss skin-care goals, timeline, and a treatment plan,” says Anita Chan, esthetician for StyleSeat, an online database of beauty and wellness professionals. Once you settle on a team, stick with it: People who are not familiar with your established beauty routine may recommend treatments that interfere with what you’re already doing, she says.
Establish a skin-care routine.
“Great skin is the foundation to gorgeous makeup on the special day,” says Chan. “Don't seek help one week before the wedding date—professionals are not miracle workers.” If you want to try intensive beauty products or treatments—like retinols, lasers, or Botox—do so with plenty of time to spare: “They should be administered at least three-to-six months before the wedding date,” says Chan.
Schedule trial runs.
Hair and makeup trials ensure that products used on the day of the wedding won’t cause irritations or allergic reactions. “The last thing a bride needs to worry about on her wedding day is redness or hives making a surprise appearance on her face,” says Chan. And, if you want to wear fake eyelashes, ask your makeup artist for a few extra pairs and wear them a couple of times before the big day to avoid feeling uncomfortable, she says.
Lay off the tweezers.
“Bushy brows are much more workable than no brows,” says Chan. Rather than risk over-plucking, grow out your brows and talk to your makeup artist about how you want them to look. A professional will make sure they don’t end up too thin or misshapen, she says.
Wax with caution.
To avoid any unpleasant reactions or—worse—unsightly burns, don’t try waxing for the first time near your wedding day, says Misty Spinney, makeup artist and hairstylist for StyleSeat. “The more time you spend waxing leading up to your big day, the better your chances are at having finer, fewer hairs,” she says. “This will make waxing the week before your wedding day much easier and will eliminate any chances of ingrown hairs or bruised, irritated skin.”
Be careful changing your birth control.
Consult with your doctor if you decide to stop taking or change birth control. “The hormonal fluctuations can cause major breakouts for some,” says Chan.
“Dehydration will cause makeup to separate from the skin and lips and dry out,” says Chan. The Institute of Medicine recommends women drink about nine cups of water every day to avoid dehydration, which—in addition to messing with your makeup—can drain energy and make you tired. Trouble remembering to hydrate? Spinney recommends keeping a drinking bottle within arm’s reach and setting a daily reminder on your phone to help reinforce the habit.
Take care of your emotional health.
“[Diet and rest] are often what brides lack leading up to the big event, but even a magician can't fix nature,” says Chan. “Everybody needs to nourish the body from within. If we don't feel healthy and beautiful, we won't look healthy or beautiful.”
Do some last-minute primping.
“I always recommend my brides use a facial mask the night before the wedding,” says Chan, adding one big disclaimer: Brides should only use a product that they have tried before. “Many new products can cause a little bit of redness or flakiness while the skin is getting used to the change,” she says.