This second edition within the series is devoted to helping you feel as confident as possible and look as beautiful as ever on your wedding day as well as each of the smaller celebrations leading up to it. Regardless of what this time is like for you, please treasure it. If you have not yet read Edition I: The “Almost Married” Life, I recommend doing so before continuing with this edition.
You may currently be experiencing a vast range of emotions, which vary from hour to hour and certainly day to day. This is an often chaotic, emotional time. Fears may surface. You may feel as though your heart will surely burst from all of the excitement. You may even be flooded with feelings of doubt and anticipation, simultaneously. This is normal, so please support yourself in the process. Surround yourself with others who support you as well. This time in your life races by at such a rapid speed that you will soon find yourself shocked to realize you are no longer a bride, but a newlywed. You will likely find yourself mourning the whirlwind of happy distractions, however that is a subject I will cover next in the final edition of the series.
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. Here is to you feeling your most beautiful on this unforgettable day!
The Months Before…
How You Move Is How You Are Becoming
You are sculpting and designing your body every day by how you sit, how you walk and truly in all of your movement patterns. You are, in part, how you move. If you desire to look your best in your wedding dress, exercise is key. If you are currently a couch potato or are unsure of where to begin, refer to this article for assistance.
The bad news is, in terms of fitness, there are no “quick fixes”. The good news is there are a few semi-quick fixes. My favorite fitness method of all time is the Tracy Anderson Method. I consider her to be a little body magician. I relied on Tracy to sculpt my body for one hour, four days a week in the months leading up to my wedding. Although I realize I could have done more, I experienced a “shrinking” effect as well as subtle, yet lovely, lines and tone in my abs, arms and legs solely from those four weekly sessions.
Her approach truly works to tightly knit and design the muscles to reveal feminine definition while creating balance and avoiding bulk. The program is effective and significant changes are often noticed within the first few weeks. I have experimented with almost all of her available products and if you are a person seeking quick results, I recommend either her Metamorphosis system or her 30-Day Bootcamp series. I did not follow her diet plan or the system exactly in sequence, but opted to create my own rotation alternating the Metamorphosis workouts with Tracy’s other material, depending upon my mood on each given day.
Note: I cannot recall ever having met a bride who did not desire to change something about her appearance prior to her wedding day. I understand the logic of desiring to look your best, however it is important to consider that your husband-to-be did not request your hand in marriage with a contingency that you would lose weight or alter your appearance prior to being married. He asked to marry the person you are right now. He deems you as beautiful the way you are. If he doesn’t, no offense, but you may want to reconsider marrying him. You should be making efforts to improve yourself because you love and celebrate yourself; not because you feel inadequate, ugly or pressured to do so.
Tip: Thou Shalt Not Go To Extremes
Do not overdo it in the beginning, especially while your body is adjusting to a new fitness routine. It is not wise to go from being a couch potato seven days a week to a hard core fitness enthusiast seven days a week. If you are new to exercising, ease into it and move at your own pace. Do not assume you need to compete with the pace of the instructor, silly.
If you do not heed this warning, you are at risk of injuring yourself. If you seriously injure yourself, you will be forced to refrain from exercise entirely, which will result in you having achieved none of your fitness goals. So, please begin moving and find a form of fitness your body loves, however do not be an extremist. Create your goals within a reasonable time frame and listen to your body.
The Weeks Before…
Eat Your Greens
Nothing provides my skin with an authentic glow like the daily consumption of greens. Juice them, blend them, munch on them… just consume them. You should be eating your greens daily, however this period of time is pertinent. It will absolutely make a difference in terms of your appearance on your wedding day. The more nutrients you provide to your body, the better you will look.
This matters. Immensely. Refer to this for evidence. Hydrate all day long and do not be excessive with caffeine during this time. You want to be a juicy grape on your wedding day; not a wrinkly raisin. Right?
If you desire smooth, evenly textured, flake-free facial skin, you must at least purchase a sample size of this product. It is inexpensive yet incredibly effective.
Arcona The Solution
The is a transformative product, which I have raved about multiple times prior. For a full review, refer to this article.
For the softest, smoothest arms and décolletage of your life, which are likely to be on full display in your wedding dress, do not skip this product. It produces both shocking and heavenly results. My full review of it can be found here.
The health and vanity-related benefits of dry brushing are countless. Most importantly, dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system, which is responsible for the removal of cellular waste and toxins. The less toxic your body is, the better the appearance of your skin. If cellulite is a concern for you, continue reading…
The majority of individuals concerned with cellulite do not realize the existence of it is related to the body’s connective tissues, therefore no amount of dieting alone has the ability to eradicate it entirely. The combination of exercise and dry brushing is brilliant for eradicating cellulite because of the removal of toxins from the connective tissues. I practiced dry brushing several days per week leading up to my wedding day and honeymoon, and my lower body was smoother and tighter than ever before while frolicking on the beaches of Sint Maarten. I also noticed a reduction in bloating, even while on my period. I can attest it is an effective and worthwhile practice.
My absolute favorite brush for dry brushing is by Sublime Beauty. It feels pleasant on my skin, it easy to grip and produces excellent results every time.
For instructions on how to do it effectively, here is an excellent step-by-step guide.
Hair is A Big Deal
If your hair is over-processed or nearly beaten to death, you must find a salon which offers the Olaplex service. The Daily Doll’s most popular article thus far, Oh Holy Hair, Hail To The Olaplex, will tell you everything you need to know about this magnificent product. It is fairy dust even for the most unfortunate heads of hair.
Ion Clarifying Treatment
This is one of my most beloved products of all time. Oftentimes, particularly for those who enjoy hair-related experimentation (as I do), our hair strands begin to appear more damaged than they actually are. We use silicone-based products and undergo multiple chemical services which cause our hair strands to become layered and weighed down to such a degree that the hair is left looking flat, dull and, for lack of a more appropriate word, funky. It is important to use this clarifying treatment prior to a color service, however. Immediately prior to a color service is ideal. Read my detail review of this product here.
The Days Before…
Getting A Camera-Ready Face
I realize the majority of you will have your makeup professionally done (which I highly recommend) for your wedding day. However, the following product recommendations will help you in regards to other pre-wedding festivities (engagement photos, bridal shower and rehearsal dinner, etc.) where you will be taking a great deal of pictures. Or, perhaps you are great at applying your own makeup and feel most comfortable going that route. The following products are excellent choices to ensure you (and your makeup) photographs beautifully.
Hypnose Drama Waterproof Mascara
This is the most waterproof of all waterproof mascaras. I applied it to my lashes on my wedding day because I was confident it would not move regardless of how many tears I shed.
“Noir Fairy” False Lashes By House of Lashes
When I was a makeup artist, one of the most common questions I received when working with brides-to-be was, “Should I wear false lashes?” My answer was always an emphatic “yes”. I chose to wear false eyelashes on my wedding day even though I rarely, if ever, do otherwise. My lashes are blonde, yet are long and full. I am often asked if they are false, even with just a couple of coats of mascara. Still, I desired a soft, whimsical and clean look for my wedding day. Therefore, I knew applying multiple layers of mascara was not ideal. Waterproof mascara is a “must” for wedding day makeup. However, waterproof formulas, when layered, tend to appear less natural and clump more easily than traditional formulas. I opted for natural-looking false eyelashes with only one strong coat of Hypnose Drama Waterproof mascara (mentioned above).
These style of lashes in particular are ideal to complete bridal makeup because they are feminine, make the eyes appear larger and are not overly dramatic.
Smashbox Photo Primer
This product perfects the texture of the skin prior to foundation application. Approach foundation primer using the same concept as you would priming before painting a wall or a piece of furniture. If you opt not to prime first, the the finish will not be as smooth nor as even, and the paint is likely to chip much sooner. Do not skip primer on your wedding day.
YSL Touche Eclat Foundation
This foundation never ceases to amaze me with its ability to provide a stunning glow to even the dullest skin. It perfects the skin and photographs beautifully. It is an exceptional foundation for the majority of brides, however it is not appropriate for all. I did not wear it on my wedding day, for they had only recently launched it in the United States and I had little knowledge of it at the time. Also, I am especially oily and my outdoor wedding required something with optimal staying power. This formula is slightly emollient and provides a dewy finish, therefore is most ideal for those with normal and dry skin types. Perhaps a bride with only slight oil issues would be able to wear it with no problem. Also, it is important to keep in mind the coverage is firmly moderate. Unless your skin is as oily as mine or you require a product with full coverage, I highly recommend this one. For other recommendations, refer here.
Silk Naturals Sheer & Gorgeous Perfecting Powder
This product is a hidden jewel, and is less expensive than many other setting powders on the market. Its silky, lightweight formula sets any foundation perfectly and creates a “soft focus” effect. However, I ask that you NOT “touch up” with this product. Simply prime, apply your foundation, wait a few minutes and finally set using this (or a similar) powder. If you are in a hot, humid environment, I recommend you keep plenty of tissues handy for blotting. I have purchased the most highly recommended blotting papers and expensive products for touching up, however nothing works as well as applying gentle pressure with simple tissue paper. Applying layers of powder for the purposes of “touching up” will often create a “cakey” mess which will not look attractive in person or photographs.
Tip #1: Schedule Thee A Trial Run If Having Your Makeup Professionally Done!
Tip #2: Just Because A Person Works At A Makeup Counter In The Mall Does Not Mean They Are A Makeup Artist. Period.
There is an immense amount of hidden talent employed at the makeup counters in department stores, however they are not all created (or skilled) equally. I cannot stress this enough. Many talented celebrity makeup artists began their careers at makeup counters. However, for many others currently employed, it means nothing more to them than a part-time gig. Also, just because every person you see is dressed similarly does not mean they all have the same position or even similar levels of experience. Some may be trainers, some traveling artists, some top sales performers and some new advisors with almost no knowledge of the products they are working with. Some are brilliant with product knowledge and sales expertise, yet lack artistry skills. Some possess all strengths.
Do not assume every smiling and uniformed salesperson at a makeup counter is suitable for applying your wedding day makeup. Many will be, but certainly not all. I worked as a regional makeup artist for five years and frequented many malls, therefore I can assure you of this. If you choose to go the makeup counter route, please either select an artist based upon recommendation from a trusted source or call the makeup counter weeks prior and request an appointment with one of their artists specifically.
Tip #3: Beware of Glitter
Glitter does not photograph well. It often appears to be debris or dirt on the skin.
Fake A Glow Whatever The Weather
Caribbean Solutions Self-Tanner
This is a deliciously scented, non-toxic self-tanner which produces a natural-looking golden glow every time. I recommend applying the first coat two days prior to your wedding day, followed by a second coat the evening prior. My full review of this product can be found here.
A few tips: Apply a small amount of lotion to your hands, fingers, toes, knees, elbows and neckline immediately prior to applying self-tanner. These dryer areas of the body tend to “grab” the pigment of the tanner, therefore resulting in an artificial and uneven appearance. Dark orange elbows are never a good look for any day. Also, holding a soft towel with both hands, use it to gently blend the self-tanner evenly onto your back. This will prevent you from having to contort your body and potentially pull your arm out of socket in an attempt to blend the product with your hands. Additionally, sponge wedges are great for applying and blending the the product evenly onto your hands and fingers. Lastly, have some makeup removal wipes handy to thoroughly clean your fingernails and the palms of your hands once you have applied the product to your entire body.
Note: If you are unfamiliar with using sunless tanners, it would be wise to practice experimenting with it, more than once, a few weeks prior.
Tip #1: Thou Shalt Not Experiment With Thy Appearance
I get bored. I have a restless, curious spirit which randomly compels me to conduct vanity-related scientific experiments in my bathroom late at night. Perhaps I was a chemist in another life. I’ve been known to get a “wild hair” and mix odd, random color combinations together in an effort to experiment with my hair color. I create my own serums and body scrubs with household items. Some efforts have been pleasant surprises, whereas some have been disastrous, epic failures. I’ve ended up with glowing skin and I’ve ended up with facial texture resembling sandpaper. Once I concocted a facial scrub using turbinado sugar and, for a full week after, I appeared to have been attacked by an angry cat. Regardless, the week prior to my wedding, I forced myself to suppress my appetite for experimentation.
The week prior to your wedding is not the ideal time to try anything new with your appearance. Thou shalt not experiment with a new hair color or hair cut. Thou shalt not try a new chemical service of any kind. Thou shalt not be a pseudo-chemist in your bathroom. Thou shalt make all vanity-related changes at least seven days prior to your wedding date. This will allow adequate time for damage control, if necessary. Trust me on this.
Tip #2: Thou Shalt Not Wear Your Stress
The stress will show on your face, so process it and allow it to flow out of you. Do not wear it! Smile with your heart at all times.
Tip #3 Thou Shalt Hold The Salt
Tip #4 Remember In Series I When I Advised You To Meditate? Yeah…
Read the third and final edition of this series, The Wedding, The Memories & The Aftermath.
©TheDailyDoll.com/Lacey Johnson 2015