Countdown to Wedding Day Beauty

I found a great article at about.com/weddings on some beauty tips any bride can start doing 5-6 months before their wedding day! Enjoy!

1.) Skin Care

Now is the time to start working on your skin. On your wedding day, you'll be having your picture taken close-up and many people getting close to your skin as they hug and kiss you. Even a relatively nice complexion can benefit from six months of stress-relief, proper nutrition, and added water-drinking.

First, start a good cleansing program. You should be using a multi-step system including

* a good cleanser appropriate for your skin-type in the mornings
* make-up remover and cleanser at night
* daily moisturizer
* an exfoliant once to several times a week.

If you can afford it, this is a great time to consult a professional dermatologist. Tell them your wedding date, and your skin-care goals. They may recommend treatments such as glycolic peels or regular facials that will help you have picture-perfect skin. Prescription medicine may also be helpful. Also, if you take birth-control medication, talk to your doctor about which kind is best for your skin and body. Switching birth-control brands may make a dramatic difference in your skin.

Examine how much water you drink daily. Drinking 8 to 10 glasses daily will help clear up blemishes and make your skin more luminous. I suggest filling a water bottle and keeping it on your desk at work. Have another water bottle in the TV room (or wherever you tend to hang out at night). While drinking this much water may be a challenge at first, keep at it, and it will get easier and easier.

While you're increasing your water consumption, it's a great time to be decreasing your caffeine consumption. Not only will less caffeine help your skin, it will also help you to be less stressed out! You know if you're better off going cold turkey or decreasing gradually.

2.) Hair

If you want to grow out your hair for your wedding, or try a different color or style, now is the time to talk to your hairstylist. Those on a budget can try some drugstore coloring experiments. You'll still have the chance to correct any mistakes! It's also the time to start your search for a wedding day hairstylist and makeup artist. Even if you aren't planning on using professionals, you'll want to ask your friend or family member for their help now to make sure they are available and willing.

Start thinking about the overall health of your hair. You may want to start applying a deep conditioning treatment (available inexpensively at drugstores) once a week. If your hair is dry, consider changing to a moisturizing shampoo and/or shampooing less often. And stop diving headlong into that chlorinated water if you have light blonde hair.

3.) Makeup

While some brides hire a professional makeup artist for their big day, it's certainly possible to do your own wedding day makeup as long as you take some time to practice. And even if you do hire someone for your wedding day, you also need to look your best for your bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, bachelorette party, and engagement photos.

At least a month before the first wedding-related event, visit a makeup counter or store and ask for a free makeover. If you like the results, consider which of the products you truly need and purchase them. If you don't, speak up! And if they can't give you a look you're happy with, walk away. There's no reason to purchase things you don't need. Instead, try again with a different store or brand of cosmetics.

Then, peruse the online makeup tutorials and advice at Makeup.about.com, Makeupgeek and YouTube and practice until you get a look you're happy with. Consider how you'll tweak your look for daytime and evening events, and then for the wedding day itself. Take photos under a variety of lighting, with and without the flash, and make sure that you don't look washed out or overdone. The camera often makes you look like you're wearing less makeup than you are, and you're sure to have many photos taken of you over the next few months.

Most importantly, make sure you feel confident and radiant in your makeup look, so that you can truly be the blushing bride.

4.) Stress

It's hard to be beautiful when you're tearing your hair out. Start out by dealing with the people who stress you out, then read my tips for relaxation. Exercise, yoga, and other physical activities will help build strength, energy, and relieve tension while you're at it. You might want to talk to your doctor about good nutrition and exercise routines.


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