Originally published on AEDIT. Written by Kate Kasbee.
Sitting outdoors at a busy sidewalk café in New York, Natalie is on her second cup of coffee. She just got engaged and has a million to-dos on her list. Beyond finding a venue and setting a date, she has not done any wedding planning.
Like many brides-to-be, Natalie has a specific vision for what her rehearsal dinner, ceremony, and reception will look like. As she stresses over whether to serve chicken or fish and wonders if peonies will be in season next June, she reveals that she wants to get some work done before her wedding day. “How will I find the time to wedding prep and beauty plan?” she says as she closes her eyes and presses her fingers to her temples.
Every bride wants to look and feel her best on the biggest day of her life. It is the start of a new chapter – and one you will have captured in photos forever. Luckily, there are many treatments available that can give you a glowing complexion, perfect eyebrows, and the bikini body you have always wanted. A wedding beauty timeline can help you space out your treatments and see the best results the day you say, “I do.”
Here is a look at the most common bridal beauty treatments and when to get them.
One year before your wedding
Cosmetic surgery If you are hoping for a major transformation, one year out from your wedding day is the best time to consider a surgical procedure like breast augmentation. This is an invasive procedure that involves sedation or anesthesia, downtime, and recovery.
Breast augmentation involves making an incision under each breast, along the nipples, or in the armpits and inserting implants under the pectoral muscles or behind the breast tissue, depending on the type of implant. Recovery for breast augmentation typically includes pain for up to five days and soreness and swelling for several weeks. After six weeks you should be able to resume workouts and feel back to yourself.
If you are planning to undergo breast augmentation before your wedding, plan to do so a year out. This will allow plenty of time for the swelling to go down before your final dress fitting.
Laser hair removal No bride wants to wake up the day of her wedding and shave her legs. Laser hair removal is the best way to get smooth, sexy legs and stubble-free underarms for your wedding night and beyond. It is recommended to get laser hair removal a year to six months in advance of your wedding because it can take at least six months to see results. After your initial session, plan for three to six additional treatments spaced every four weeks. Seek out a board certified dermatologist for your laser hair removal treatments for the best results.
Six months before your wedding
Skin rejuvenation To get a smooth, glowing complexion for your wedding photos, it is best to enhance your skincare routine six months before walking down the aisle. This is the time to ask your facialist for recommendations on eye serums, creams, retinols, and exfoliants. Why start so early? It takes about two to three months for new skincare products to make a noticeable difference. If your skin becomes irritated or does not respond to a new product, you still have time to talk with a professional to figure out the best treatment plan.
Speaking of your facialist, you will want to see her a lot more leading up to your wedding day. Getting a monthly facial increases blood circulation to the face, which promotes skin cell renewal. More so, regular extractions help safely get rid of impurities that cause blackheads and can lead to overall clearer skin.
Six months pre-wedding is also a good time to undergo any chemical peels or laser treatments. This includes fractional laser resurfacing – a procedure that causes micro-injuries to the skin to boost collagen production. The controlled damage caused by a fractional laser treatment results in reduced appearance of age spots, smoothed fine lines, and a more even skin tone.
After a fractional laser treatment your skin will look red and blotchy and will be followed by a week of mild peeling and flaking. The full, gorgeous results of a fractional laser treatment set in at the six-month mark. To maintain your results beyond the honeymoon, keep up with treatments every five to six months.
For the best results, get your last facial or peel one to two weeks before your wedding. Only do this if you have been seeing your aesthetician regularly and know the treatments will not cause skin irritation.
Three months before your wedding
Microblading Every bride wants perfect brows on her wedding day. Microblading is a tattoo technique that uses a special pen with tiny needles to create the illusion of thicker, more defined eyebrows. The brow shaping procedure is fast and relatively low maintenance. At your initial appointment, your technician will shape and style your brows and help you select a pigment that matches your hair color before beginning the procedure. If your eyebrows look super dark following your microblading appointment, do not panic. The color will fade by up to 40 percent as it heals. You will see the full color set in about a month after your appointment.
Four to six weeks later, you will have a follow-up appointment to take care of any necessary touch-ups. The results of a microblading session typically last between one and three years.
To wake up with gorgeous brows the morning of your wedding, it is best to book your microblading appointment at least 3 months before your big day. This will allow time for a touch-up and give your eyebrows plenty of time to heal – a process that can involve swelling, redness, dryness, and minor scabbing. Remember not to pick or rub your eyebrows as they heal. This could mess with the pigment and affect your results.
One month before your wedding
With one month left before your wedding day, it is important keep up with your skincare routine.
SaltFacial™ Skin Renewal Therapy If you are looking for something beyond your standard facial, the SaltFacial™ Skin Renewal Therapy System is a breakthrough in improving skin tone and texture. The three-step process starts with exfoliating your skin with natural sea salt. Then, your technician will use ultrasound technology to send hydrating antioxidants into the skin to help stimulate collagen production. Finally, high-intensity, multi-wavelength LED light therapy rejuvenates the skin, removing redness, reducing inflammation, and treating acne. With the SaltFacial™ there is no irritability and zero downtime, making it perfect for a last minute treatment before your wedding day.
Eyelash extensions If you are worried about your makeup smudging after a tearful ceremony, eyelash extensions offer an ideal solution. They make your eyes appear bigger and brighter without mascara. Plus, they last for three weeks so you will look refreshed and rested on your honeymoon in St. Tropez, too.
At your first appointment, your technician will ask about your goals. Whether you are going for a subtle look or something more dramatic, you will be able to select your ideal length, color, material, and curl. Then, your eyelash extensions will be professionally applied to each natural lash using semi-permanent glue. The entire process usually takes about 90 minutes, but it can last up to two hours.
Afterwards, avoid getting your eyelashes wet for 24 hours so the glue has time to dry. This includes sweat, so you may want to skip your workout post-application. To ensure your lashes look full and fresh on your wedding day, schedule your touch-up appointment a couple of days beforehand. During your makeup trial, be sure to let your makeup artist know you have eyelash extensions and to skip the mascara. If you must use mascara, make sure it is oil-free and non-waterproof to maintain the integrity of your beautiful lashes.
One week before your wedding
Hair removal The countdown is on. With just a week before you say, “I do,” it is time to complete your hair removal – down there. If you have gotten a Brazilian wax before, two days before your wedding is the best time to book your appointment. Brides-to-be who are new to hair removal should get a Brazilian wax 10 days before the wedding and go back for a touch-up appointment two days out. The best length for the hair to be when getting waxed is one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch, so keep your razor away from your bikini line leading up to your appointment.
Spray tan It is important to wait 24 hours in between waxing and getting a spray tan. This buffer period will ensure the hair follicles have settled to create a flawless finish. When scheduling your professional spray tan, book it for a few days ahead of your wedding. Do not forget to exfoliate dead skin cells the night beforehand for even, gorgeous results. There is no need to go in for extra sessions to “build up” your color. Your skin naturally sheds over a period of 10 days, so consider applying a light self-tan at home to touch up your golden glow.
This is the biggest day of your life – make it about you!
Featured image: Unsplash