Today marks my two month wedding anniversary and what a perfect way to celebrate by posting my first This June article; how to get your skin and hair looking it’s best for the big day and finding the right hair and make-up artist.
Walking down the aisle can be a very daunting thought for a bride. Hundreds of eyes fixated on you, a pair of heels that you're most likely walking in for the first time in a dress that restricts your breathing, the repetitive sound of a photographer’s shutter capturing every move you make and the likely chances of your emotions taking over and turning you into a blubbering mess. You want to feel good; you want to look your best.
If you're anything like I used to be and tick off your daily exercise after the first set of sit-up’s followed by inhaling an entire block of chocolate with a glass of wine while watching Netflix then try to remember, beauty truly does start from the inside. I kicked some bad habits to the curb prior to my wedding and felt so much better for it.
Regular exercise promotes better blood circulation creating a healthier and more vibrant exterior. Clean eating eradicates toxins, enhancing the whites of your eyes, the glow in your skin and the appearance of teeth and gums.
· Practice at least 30min of physical activity every day. Going for a walk is an obvious one but if you have the benefits of living by water, this can be something as enjoyable as hiring a canoe on the weekend and going for a paddle with your fiancé.
· Find a form of exercise to do at least three times a week. For some it’s the fast paced adrenaline of boot camp or kickboxing, for others it’s to be more in a state of meditation with yoga or laps in a pool. Whatever the sport, you need to be enjoying it otherwise you won’t stick to it.
· Eat a healthy diet high in vegetables, fruit and drink plenty of water. Try to also find a great Naturopath in your local area. I promise you, you’ll never regret it. Naturopath’s study each individual and their specific needs and focus on treating a problem’s underlying causes with natural approaches such as herbs, nutrition and acupuncture.
PREPARING YOUR SKIN
It’s very easy to become an overwhelmed bride with what’s available out there for skincare but remember not to over do it. Excessive use of serums, treatments and the introduction of new products to your skin can cause it to go into a state of shock. You should simply enhance your already existing daily skin regime by adding some extra love. Continue doing what you normally do and slowly introduce these step
· You should already be cleansing, toning and moisturizing twice a day, exfoliating up to twice a week (depending on your skin type) and using a night serum for extra hydration. Add to this a weekly facemask. One of my favourites is the Facial treatment mask by SK-II
· Have a consultation with your local beauticians or skincare clinic to find out what treatment is best for you. My issue was constant dryness and general dullness so I had a series of microdermabrasions paired with several skin rejuvenation treatments. Even if your skin is problem free, going for a facial once a month in the lead up will give you more radiant skin. Leave a space of two weeks after the final appointment and wedding day
· Drink 8 glasses of water a day (2 litres) more if you are exercising
PREPARING YOUR HAIR
Moving to a new country carries with it the joys of finding your new dentist, doctor and hairdresser. It was 3 months until the wedding and I hadn’t yet been in Paris all that long so I needed to trial someone for the first time. I didn’t need much, just a re-fresh of my already existing balayage with a trim. After following a recommendation to a salon that seemed professional enough, I sat in the chair completely unaware of the experience I was about to have. The hairdresser juggled myself and two other clients at the same time with no assistant. She painted my entire head peroxide blonde burning the ends of my hair because the chemicals were left on for too long and then topped it all off with a 2 minute haircut. Escaping the salon as quickly as I could, I ran to meet my fiancé Lucas as we had planned to grab a coffee afterwards. The look of absolute shock engulfed his face and as tears began to blur my vision I buried my head into his chest hoping not to offend the perfectly groomed waiter next to us. After comforting me in silence for quite some time Lucas bravely whispered ‘darling, you’re just like a prettier version of Christina Aguilera’. I exploded and had my only ‘bridezilla’ moment right there on a bustling Parisian street.
· Go to your regular hairdresser who knows you well. If this isn’t possible because you’re having a destination wedding or you have newly moved overseas, then make sure you leave enough time before the wedding day incase, like me, your hauntingly transformed.
· Keep your ends healthy by having trims every 6 weeks, timing your last to be 2-3 weeks before the wedding day.
· Do a monthly hair mask at home and have a deep conditioning mask with your hairdresser during your final appointment. I had a completely new head of hair after doing the Tokio Inkarami treatment. Created in Japan, this hair technology launched in France in 2013 and contains a relatively new chemical element ‘Fullerene’ which as of now is the world’s best antioxidant. This revolutionary molecule was discovered in 1996 and was even recognized for a Nobel Prize in chemistry. The treatment has four stages and during 30 minutes each hair follicle is deeply penetrated, restoring the strength and health of your hair.
· Take a daily Vitamin that stimulates and improves your hair, nails and skin. I started to take SOLGAR Vitamins in the months prior to my wedding and noticed a huge difference. The formula in these vitamins supports collagen and delivers nutrients like Vitamin C and Copper.
FINDING YOUR HAIR & MAKE-UP ARTIST
After all of your hard work and self control with eating extra greens, doing weekly face masks and taking daily vitamins, you want to then find the right hair and make-up artist who can compliment all of these efforts and execute exactly what style you want for the day.
· Find a H&M artist who is not only good at what they do but someone you get along with and who understands your vision. They are with you most of the morning while your nerves are racing and they can’t help but be in your face so chemistry is important.
· Ensure the above by having a hair and make-up trial. This is something I recommend all of my brides to do so you can test out various styles and meet your artist before the big day. A good H&M artist should also advise you on what suits your colouring, face shape and hair type.
· Do your trial 3-4 months before the day. Leaving it too late is risky incase you want a second trial and when it’s too far in advance things such as your dress, veil, jewellery and flowers may not yet be concrete. These details should compliment your hair and make-up and vice versa.
· A little tip from me (who’s not at all a heavy handed make-up artist) you need to have enough on. It can sometimes feel a little heavy after sitting in a chair for an hour having someone else apply your make-up but remember almost 20% absorbs within the first hour and a lot of it is lost in photography. You still want to feel like you but it’s also not just another ordinary day so find the right balance.
Knowing my luck I was sure to wake with a volcanic pimple or a colossal sized cold sore on my lip for my wedding. Both of these glorious lesions strike me several times a year when stress levels are high. I was extremely nervous by the steep stairs I needed to descend before walking down the aisle followed by a bilingual ceremony. I’m also an extremely ugly crier and ball my eyes out watching Qantas adds so all in all I didn’t hold much hope for myself for the 2nd September 2016. Fortunately I didn’t fall on my face, the blistex cream remained on standby and I surprised myself at how civilized my tears fell.
But not everything ran smoothly. My mum and two aunties managed to be involved in a three-car accident the day before the wedding and it just so happened that my manicurist was in the car behind them. She had her young son with her in the car at the time and with the shock of it all she closed her boutique for the week. In a small French country town in the middle of nowhere this meant DIY manicures and pedicures for all!
Things will go wrong but if you use this guide and keep your eyes on the end of the aisle, the central reason you are there, your love, then you will feel more beautiful then you have ever felt before.