Bridal Beauty: Countdown to the Big Day

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Updated: 3/04/2004 9:50 am

We know you're busy choosing invitations, florists, bridesmaids dresses, and honeymoon hot spots, but don't forget about one of the most important things of all -- keeping yourself looking and feeling great. A few short months is plenty of time.

Here's our step-by-step beauty timeline to have you looking your wedding-day best:


  • Begin a stress-relief regimen. Make a date with yourself one night a week for some non-wedding fun or quiet time to regroup.
  • Want to grow out your hair or try a new color or cut? Talk to your stylist and start experimenting.
  • Get serious about skin care: Start a good cleansing program and consider consulting a dermatologist.
  • Start paying attention to your nutrition. Not eating right and too much caffeine mixed with wedding planning stress can transform a bride-to-be into Bridezilla.
  • If you don't already, start exercising. A few sessions with a trainer may help to jump-start your routine. Try practicing yoga; the postures build strength and are great tension relievers as well. You'll look great, feel better, and be less stressed out.
  • If you'd like to lose weight before your wedding, consult your doctor to develop a nutrition and fitness plan. Set a weight-loss goal and meet it before your dress fittings begin. Once fittings are underway, you'll need to maintain your weight. (Or consider reconsidering losing weight. Obviously your guy thinks you look great just the way you are.)


  • If you don't plan on using your regular hairdresser, make consultation appointments with potential candidates. Bring along pictures of hairstyles you like, even a picture of your veil and headpiece. Consi der whether you want to wear your hair in a updo; discuss with the hairdresser about how long it will take to grow out your hair if it's too short for your desired look.
  • Make consultation appointments with potential makeup artists. Be sure to take pictures, then analyze them. Do your feat ures stand out? Do you look like you're wearing a mask?
  • Decide on a makeup artist and book him/her for your wedding date. Set up a day-of-wedding schedule.
  • Decide on a hairdresser and book him/her for your wedding date. Set up a day-of-wedding schedule.
  • Want to experiment with self-tanners? Now's the time. Consider the neckline of your gown, and whether you have existing tan lines you'll need to cover.


  • Meet with your makeup artist for a trial run. Or get a makeover at a department store counter and purchase anything you need now (so you have time to practice).
  • Bring your veil to your hair stylist for a trial run of potential big day 'dos. (If you're not happy, now's the time to speak up.)
  • Ever consider having your eyebrows professionally shaped? Why not? It's your wedding. Now's the time to try it.
  • Test out at-home masks or a salon facial. (Don't risk an allergic reaction closer to your wedding day.) Exfoliate and moisturize. Soft and silky elbows, hands, and feet are marriage musts.
  • Want a sparkling big-day smile? Cut down on tea and coffee now and try whitening toothpaste. You may also want to consider a professional bleaching by a dentist, or using an over-the-counter whitening system.


  • Get your final haircut or trim. No experimenting here, just keep up your great look.
  • Remember to eat right. (Load up on fruits and veggies for energy, and nix the salt and fat.)
  • Drink lots of water to help keep your skin clear.
  • Keep up the exercise, exercise, exercise.
  • Touch up your hair color or perm.
  • Confirm big-day beauty appointments.
  • Remind your man to get his final trim if he hasn't already done so.


  • Avoid overindulging in salty snacks and alcohol at those fab pre-wedding parties.
  • Get a bikini wax, a final eyebrow shaping, and shave those legs. You want to be prepared for that honeymoon lingerie.
  • Splurge on a massage or reflexology. (If your budget's already stretched to the limit, ask your fiance to do the deed, and give him one too.) You both deserve it.
  • Get a final facial. Don't wait until the day before to do this. (Your face may need a day or two to adjust.)


  • Drink lots of water. Have we made ourselves perfectly clear?
  • Pack an emergency beauty kit of items you shouldn't leave home without.
  • Deep-condition your hair.
  • Exfoliate your skin (with a favorite product you've used is NOT the time to try something new) so it gleams on your wedding day.
  • Have a professional pedicure and manicure (especially since everyone's going to be looking at that ring on your finger).
  • Take a long, relaxing bath .


  • Be sure to eat something. This is not a day to operate on an empty stomach.
  • Get your hair and makeup done. Wear a robe or button-down shirt (one that matches the color of your gown, if possible, to get the right makeup color application) that can be easily removed.
  • Take a few moments to reflect on the meaning of the day before giving yourself one last once-over in the mirror. Now get going!

    Copyright 2003
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