Pre-Wedding Beauty Routine and Tips
They say that planning a wedding is one of the most stressful times in a woman’s life. Between managing a budget, finding the “perfect” dress, and planning everything down to the tiniest of details, there’s really no wonder why skincare is a hot topic among brides-to-be. I have always cared for my skin (ya’ll know I love a good sheet mask), but as I mentioned in my Q&A this Summer, I have never had a major routine or “rules” I lived by.
One of the things I knew to be true was that every time I would travel (or feel super stressed), I would get bloated and my skin would break out. Fun combo, right? As Lauryn from The Skinny Confidential would say, “There’s nothing worse than walking down the (plane) runway like a contoured vixen and walking off looking like a SLOTH.” Amen, girl.
As you know, we planned a destination wedding, so I was fully aware that if I didn’t change anything, my skin would be a definite problem. Problems add to stress, stress leads to bigger problems, ok? So, I wanted to nip the idea of this in the butt as quickly as I could. I did my research and decided to invest in a few, key products about 1 month before our big day. Honestly, I could have done this way sooner, but I was just a little too wrapped up with, you know, planning a wedding in a different country.
I had a set amount budgeted out for my pre-beauty prep and I was between this option, or doing 2 professional facials before the day. Now, I cannot say this enough: I’m SO glad I went with option A. I invested in products that have changed my skin in the long-term as opposed to doing the more glamorous “quick fix”.
The first product I knew I needed to invest in was the Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel Packettes. I know it’s pricey, but it is truly the best skin product I have ever invested in. Tip: to make the product last longer (aka more budget-friendly), you can cut the pads into 2 or 4 uses, or you can do it every other day as opposed to every day. Not to be dramatic, but I feel like it changed my life overnight. My overall skin tone was brighter, more even, and after one month it totally erased the wrinkle that was forming around my smile. Sam and I both used the pads leading up to our big day and it was easy to add into our routine at night. This is the #1 thing I have attributed to the best skin of my life. Obviously I’m still using them and will probably never stop. Another tip: If you get gel manicures, make sure you use a rubber glove when using the wipes so it does not come in contact with your polish. I learned the hard way that the acid in the peel will cause chipping.
One of the items that came with my purchase of the Dr Dennis Gross Peel Packettes was a free sample bottle of the Ferulic + Retinol Brightening Solution which I used every night leading up to the wedding. After I finished with the peel pads, I would dab a few drops of the oil onto my finger tip and rub it all over my face. If I was really feeling fancy, I would finish my beauty routine with a layer of the Aveeno Positively Radiant Overnight Hydrating Facial. Whenever I did these 3 steps, I woke up with the most beautiful, dewy skin. As someone who hits “snooze” on her alarm clock almost every morning until she has to sprint out the door, it was heaven to wake up to. It made me not even want to put makeup on for the day, if I’m being honest.
I’ve also mentioned on the blog before that I shave my face with a little thing called the Tinkle Razor. It is a tiny razor specifically designed for women shaving their face. It scrapes away dead skin cells, brightens your skin tone, helps your makeup go on smoother, AND if you shave your face before using your skin products, the products are able to soak in deeper assisting in how quickly they can transform your skin. Before the wedding, I was shaving about 3 times per week, just to make sure my products weren’t being blocked out by the hair on my face. When you’re investing in high-end products, you don’t want a penny of it to go to waste.
Before we move on, let’s complete my evening routine for the weeks leading up to the wedding. To recap: shave face, peel packettes, brightening oil, hydrating facial, and then I would finish with a swipe of Rodan and Fields Lash Boost on the top of my lids. I’ve been using this product for almost 6 months now after coming to the realization that lash extensions weren’t the right long-term fit for me. I don’t sell this product, but I have some friends who do and I’ll admit even I was skeptical to try it out at first. Once I saw the results over the first month however, I was hooked. Now, generally I’ll use the Lash Boost every other night during the week. But, before the wedding, I knew that I wanted the length to be as dramatic as possible (which they were). So, I swiped a little layer on my lids every night for the few weeks leading up to our big day.
Moving onto teeth! I am a huge coffee and tea drinker, so ya’ll know I have tried out many different whitening services in the past. About a year ago, I partnered with Smile Brilliant on the blog for their at-home whitening kit and I’ve been using it ever since. I reorder their whitening gel about once every 4 months and it is the only one that doesn’t cause major sensitivity with my teeth afterwards. I usually keep my trays in for about an hour while writing or watching TV, and I swear that after just one use it looks like I went and got them professionally whitened. So, obviously I used this leading up to our wedding day. I think that I whitened my teeth about 4 times within the month before our wedding.
Now, I know what ya’ll really came to this post for - hair. Right? A lot of prep went into my hair pre-wedding at home and at my stylist’s salon. I have been using Olaplex for the past couple years: No. 1 and 2 in my color at the salon, No. 3 at home for an extra conditioning treatment (aka mask) and, before the wedding, I added in No. 4 (Shampoo) and No. 5 (Conditioner).
Keeping my hair healthy as it grows out is extremely important to me, especially because of how often we color it. I knew that I did not want to use any hair extensions or clip-ins for my wedding day, so I needed my hair to be as full and long as possible. In order to do this, my stylist, Megan from Honeycomb Hair Artistry, suggested that we do a couple of small trims throughout the year leading up, Joico revitaluxe treatment/protein deep conditioning every visit, and add dimension into my color to accentuate my day-of style.
To reduce inflammation after traveling, I used my ice roller on my face to drain any excess fluid. You can also use a Jade quartz roller for this as well. Here is a diagram of what direction to roll it in.
I have linked all of these products in the order that they were mentioned at the bottom of this post to shop!
p.s. I’ll be sharing a whole separate post on my pre-wedding diet and exercise routine, and tips for reducing inflammation while traveling*
Other Important Beauty Tips:
Change sheets, pillowcases, and towels every 4-5 days
Clean makeup brushes every week
Keep hair away from face and neck (I mostly kept mine pulled up in a bun for the couple weeks leading up to the day)
Do not pop pimples (it is way easier to cover up a white head than an irritated popped pimple)
Hydrate your skin even if it’s breaking out
Avoid waxing (opt for plucking your eyebrows instead to avoid irritation)
Drink tons of water with lemon (like, TONS; I did at least 1 lemon per day in my obnoxiously large water bottle and filled it up as many times as I could fit in)
Drink peppermint and green tea (helps reduce bloating)
Load up on fresh fruit, veggies, and fish
Avoid greasy or processed foods
Workout without moisturizer (make sure you have a clean dry face so your pores don’t get clogged when sweating)
Minimize heat use to hair, wash about 3 times per week
Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night
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xo Anna Elizabeth