Facing Auckland’s four seasons in one day is hard enough on my skin, but last week I added to the battle with a whirlwind trip to Buenos Aires (24 hours of dehydrating plane-time on top of acclimatisation and jetlag). My skin was craving moisture, and I was craving relaxation – so a trip to the Spa this weekend was the perfect response, and it got me thinking…
While I’d like to say I have no regrets about my wedding, and I almost don’t, but one thing I wish I’d had is a bridesmaids’ spa date. If I could have, I would have loved to have all my girls together to totally relax and be pampered a few days before the wedding.
Amid the potential stress of wedding planning, especially in that last week where you know you’ll be needing a massage and a manicure, why wouldn’t you indulge in a calming, zen spa day with your bridesmaids? If you’re still not convinced, let me twist your arm.
- Relax: wedding planning can be stressful, and no matter how organised you are, the final week before the wedding is an absolute minefield of tasks and to-do’s. You’ll be greeting guests who have travelled to attend, finalising favours, calling vendors to check arrival times and confirm details, … An afternoon at a day spa, sans cell phones, checklists and ? might be just what you need to relax. Start with a neck, shoulder and head massage and feel any tension and worries melt away.
- Glow: of course, you’ve been diligently looking after your skin for the last three months (water intake, SPF and early nights, right?), but a final boost of hydration and circulation might make all the difference to your on-the-day glow. I recommend a hydrating and radiance boosting treatment for the week before the big day – skin is smoothed, plumped and perfectly moisturised in 30 blissful minutes.
- Beautify: there’s no other day in your life that your hands will be more photographed – holding the bouquet, cutting the cake, and of course the all-important exchange of rings. Don’t let dry cuticles, bad nail polish or rough hands ruin those photos, indulge your hands in a hydrating mask, a soothing oil massage and shellac nails which will remain flawless through the big day and well into your first couple of weeks as a newlywed. Wearing peep-toes? Add a pedicure, and benefit from reflexology healing or a foot massage.
- Sunkissed: if you plan to tan, whether by a spray tan or an instant bronzer, it’s vital to exfoliate and hydrate your skin first (or be at risk of patchy, streaky skin – eek). Coconut sugar scrub, hydrating honey wrap and dry-brush exfoliation with warm milk bath or coconut rub and vanilla creme whip ritual… not just good enough to eat, but ever so good for your skin.
- Lush lashes: if you’re worried about your eye make-up running down your face on the big day, or you want to set off on your honeymoon sans mascara, consider lash extensions for instant intensity and va-va-voom volume. Yes, my lashes were extensions, which paid off on our wedding day as we went swimming at 4am!
- Bonding: you’ve got your best girlfriends together to celebrate the best day of your life, but between everything else to do in the week before the wedding, when do you get to just sit and chill with them? The atmosphere of a spa, without distraction of phones or other people, is so perfect a place to just indulge in the company of your favourite people. Of course, you can always head out for Champagne afterwards too.
- Honeymoon-ready: yes, waxing hurts, but it’s worth it to be totally fuzz free for your honeymoon, and I feel certain it hurts less in the beautiful surrounds of a luxurious spa, and a post-wax aromatherapy or hot stone back massage certainly ‘softens the blow’.
P.S. Recently engaged?
Don’t let the quest for perfect skin become an afterthought. During my engagement I had regular facials to ensure I’d be glowing on the big day. Having a skin consultation at least a few months before your wedding ensures you’re doing the best for your skin in the lead up, and are aware of any imbalance or congestion. My facialist identified that my skin was dehydrated, but that I’ve been overusing eye moisturiser and if I’m not careful will cause whiteheads around my eyes. She also suggested I return for an extraction for around my nose (exactly the kind of information you want to have well in advance of your wedding date!). Of course, always ensure you’re cleansing properly – I use skin sonic vibrating silicone facial cleanser – and applying plenty of good moisturiser too (I’m a Dermalogica addict).