The cold snap of Winter means mulled wine and warm Mohair blankets by the fire, but it also signals just six months til Wedding Season begins in New Zealand too! If you’re planning summer nuptials, your six month wedding countdown is officially on (or it will be soon) and now is definitely the time to get your beauty routine organised!
It might seem excessive to plan out your beauty routine so far in advance but you’re much better off to get prepared now to ensure you achieve the bridal look you want and avoid last minute stress . To help you out, I’ve broken down your 6 month bridal beauty “must-do’s” into an easy countdown timeline:
Bridal Beauty Timeline
6 Months to Go – Beauty and Wedding Budgets
Allocate a wedding beauty budget: While every bride wants to look and feel a million dollars on her big day, unfortunately sometimes it can feel like it does, in fact, cost that much. From hair stylists, makeup artists and manicures, to facials, beauty appointments and so forth, the list goes on and on and so do the costs (you only need to look at Nicole Warne’s Bridal Beauty Routine to see just how much it’s possible to spend). Plenty of time in advance (6 months out from the wedding is ideal), work out a beauty budget that works within your overall wedding budget. As much as you can, allocate funds to specific steps in your beauty routine so you don’t get caught out by unexpected appointments and costs.
Invest in skincare: Skincare was absolutely the most important part of my beauty routine in the lead up to my big day. I wanted healthy, glowing skin, and that is not an overnight demand! The best way to achieve this, especially if you really want to improve your skin, is to visit a dermatologist or facialist, at least 6 months before your big day. They will talk through your skincare needs, products you should be using and book you in for facials and skin treatments along the way. A consultation is a great way to identify skincare concerns and will help you to work out a skincare routine that will help you get the bridal glow. If it’s something you’re considering, also be aware that any botox or filler treatments need to be booked in well in advance (See Should You Have Botox Before Your Wedding).
For my facial needs I see Louise Gray Skincare in Orakei, and can’t recommend her enough. Lou personally prescribes all my Dermalogica products according to what my skin is craving. My most recent addiction is the new Vitamin C Biolumin Serum, I’m absolutely obsessed.
Research: Now is also the optimum time to think about your wedding look. Pore over magazines, Pinterest and Instagram and get inspired. Once you know the look you want, you can research hairdressers, makeup artists, beauticians and nail salons, get quotes and work them into your budget. Though you don’t need to finalise your look this far out, doing so does give you the luxury of choice of the best artists and technicians.
4-6 Months Before the Wedding
Book in Beauty Appointments: Once your research is done, now’s the time to lock in your favorite makeup artists and stylists for both the lead-up and the big day. As well as booking your trial date and wedding date with your make up artist and hair stylist, also book regular appointments with your hairdresser for trims and color touch ups. Stylists and artists book out extremely quickly so it pays to be proactive and book appointments well before the big day. If you’re thinking about having hair extensions for your big day, you definitely want to trial them a few months out from the wedding, too. I can’t recommend Loxy’s enough – Kate’s team always look after me!
Groom your brows: For me, I had to grow out my brows before the could be groomed. I knew the shape I wanted for my big day and I knew my brows needed some TLC to get me there. Envision your bridal look and if needed, seek the help of a professional to get you there. I had to put down the tweezers and picked up the Revitalash serum to help nourish my brow hairs in certain areas to achieve my vision of a perfectly full, arched brow. Now is also a great time to book appointments for brow and lash tinting if this is something you are considering. I’ve recently had my brows micro-bladed at Emco Studio, and can’t believe I waited so long to do so!
Stay vigilant with skincare: In the months counting down to your wedding, it’s pretty normal to go through periods of stress, as well as a change of season or two, which can impact your skin if you’re not careful. Take your facialist’s advice and skin prescriptions in mind, and stay vigilant with your daily skincare, these last few months will make the most difference to your skin on your big day.
Start facial massage: As well as cleansing and exfoliating, skin sonic promotes skin cell turnover, lymphatic drainage and essential blood flow, circulation and collagen production. Use sonic with your cleanser every morning and encourage your skin to glow from the inside out with its gentle facial massage.
2-4 Months Before the Wedding
Manicures: If you can, treat yourself to a manicure fortnightly or weekly, either in salon or at home. I opted to do this at home and found as well as making my nails look good, it also gave me a chance to nourish my cuticles, use strengthening treatments and it was a great way to try different nail shapes and to test different colours in the lead up to the big day. If you have particularly weak nails, consider a hair, skin and nails supplement as well as using a nail strengthening polish. For a special treat before your engagement party or hens do, you might like to see a professional, I can never get over my friend Heather Vette’s incredible talent.
Teeth Whitening: The perfect accessory for a white wedding dress is pearly white teeth to match. If teeth whitening is going to make up part of your routine, now is the time to implement it. Opt for at home whitening strips, charcoal toothpaste or a professional trip to the dentist to achieve that picture-perfect smile. I’ve been seeing Dentspa for the last few months and can honestly say I’ve never looked forward to seeing the Dentist before now.
Facials: Planning a wedding can be stressful, so now is the perfect time to treat yourself with a facial, or ideally, to book in for regular treatments. Not only are facial treatments the ultimate way to unwind and destress but they also have the benefit of making your skin look and feel amazing. Opt for a facial that targets problem areas or a general facial for a radiant glow.
Eyelashes: If you’re considering having eyelash extensions for your wedding day, I strongly suggest trying them out a couple of months before the wedding, to ensure you don’t have any adverse reaction, and that you actually like having them on. I find them very comfortable, but for some, they take a little bit of getting used to. Of course, ensure you’re seeing the absolute experts when it comes to something as important as your eyes. I love seeing Ashley Allen’s team at St Lukes.
One Month to the Wedding!
Makeup Trial: Let the fun begin! Now is the time for your final makeup trial. Take notes, look at your makeup in the both daylight and dim light, and take photos. Be critical and honest, what do you like? What don’t you like? This is your chance to make changes so you are 100% happy with your makeup on the big day. Consider whether you want to make any changes to your look from day to night, and if so, discuss with your make-up artist what changes will be the easiest to implement.
Maintain Brows: Having spent 5 months nourishing your brows, shaping them and making sure they look perfect for the big day, see a professional a week out from the wedding and have them looking their best for the Big Day. I go to Benefit Cosmetics on Ponsonby Road for mine (but not as often as I should)
Facials: Of course, now is the chance for another facial or two if you can afford to do so, because you’re a bride-to-be and deserve to treat yourself, of course. Opt for a facial that you have tried before to avoid any skin reactions and preferably, an option that brings out your best skin. I personally opt for facials that leave my skin smooth and glowing.
The final week
Beauty Emergency Kit: Be prepared and organize a beauty emergency kit for yourself and your bridal party on the big day. This is a task that is easily delegated and one worth completing. Pack the kit with eyelash glue, makeup for touch-ups, deodorant, bobby pins, hairspray, plasters, tweezers, sewing kits and any other essentials you may need for the big day. You may also like to set up bathroom baskets for the wedding guests.
Manicure and Pedicure: It’s time to get you final manicure as a ‘Miss’ and it’s best to do this one or two days out from the wedding to ensure they are looking neat and polished for the big day. Opt for gel or shellac nails to ensure low maintenance nails which will stay gorgeous throughout your big day, and even though the honeymoon too (see my gorgeous friend Heather Vette for the most luxe-worthy wedding nails).
Wax On, Wax Off: Smooth skin from head to toe really can make you feel a million dollars. Waxing can leave your skin smooth for up to three weeks so don’t leave it til the last minute, get your waxing done at least a few days out from the wedding. It means you will enjoy a week of smooth legs as well as the feeling of knowing you have one less thing to do.
Spray Tan: If you are wanting the golden glow for the big day, a professional spray tan is the most foolproof way. Do not do this the day before the wedding, but opt for a mid-week treatment (after your wax) to allow time for the tan to settle and for your skin to have a natural sun-kissed look.
Final Eyelash Appointment: Especially if you’re heading away on your honeymoon, eyelash extensions are a great option. I had lash extensions for the first time before my wedding, and loved being able to spend the entire week without putting on or taking off Mascara (as well as not worrying about teary eyes on the big day). I see Ashley Allen at St Lukes.
The basics: I know, drinking water is a basic of life but when you are busy and have 1,000 things going, its easy to become dehydrated and that isn’t good for your beauty routine or your health. Sleep is also a big one, we all know beauty sleep is an essential ingredient to looking and feeling good but wedding stress and last minute errands can make it hard to get some shut-eye. Try to get 8 hours a night and keep a bottle of water with you at all times to remind yourself to stay hydrated.
Wake up bright and early and hop into the shower, exfoliate and take a moment to yourself. Now you can slip into your bridal robe and relax. All the hard work is done and you can sip champagne, and enjoy being pampered!