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The A-Z of bridal beauty (from acids to zinc via K-water and quartz powder)

From your nails to your supplements.

02 Aug 2019

Venue, sorted; flowers, check; cake, ordered – everything is going to according to plan - but have you thought about your big day beauty regime? From facials, scent consultations, concealer and even blotting tissues. Sophie Cullen decodes the world of bridal beauty and puts together her guide to everything you need to know.

A: Acids

Fear not – these sound a lot scarier than they actually are but should 100% be a part of your bridal skincare routine. My fave? Hyaluronic acid, which retains over 1,000 times its weight in water within the cells of skin, making it an excellent moisturiser for parched skin. The gel-like water-holding molecule is a moisture-binding ingredients that helps keep everything plump and hydrated. My current go-to’s:

  1. Drunk Elephant, Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum, www.cultbeauty.co.uk
  2. Tata Harper, Hyaluronic Gel Moisturizer, www.cultbeauty.co.uk
  3. Dr Sebagh, Repair Serum, www.drsebagh.com

B: Blotting tissues
Keep these close on the day, they’re super discreet and fit into any clutch. They absorb any excessive oil keeping you shine free for your photos.

C: Concealer, of course

Banish dark circles, brighten complexions, hide blemishesand even out your complexion – when it comes to your wedding day, you’ll need one that will say put from the aisle to the dance floor. Here are my top picks:

  1. Estee Lauder, Double Wear Instant Fix Concealer 24H Concealer + Hydra Prep www.esteelauder.co.uk
  2. Nars, radiant creamy concealer, narscosmetics.co.uk
  3. Charlotte Tilbury, magic away concealer, charlottetilbury.com
  4. Bobbi Brown, instant full cover concealer
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D: Dab away!

You’re bound to have happy tears on the day, make sure you dab away and upwards. Rather than down and across. You’ll run the risk of tear lines through your foundation and blusher, which are harder to blend away.

E: Eyelashes

Wanting to add instant volume to eyes? False lashes are your answer. Start wearing them a couple of weeks before, the application process can be quite fiddly and you’ll want as much time as possible to practice. You’ll also want to get used the feel, they’re not for everyone. I’d recommend watching a sad movie to assess the tear damage!

F: Facials

Looking for an excuse to get preened and pampered? Your wedding day is the best reason you'll ever have. When to book? A good few months in advance, this ensures your skin will be in its best condition and it also allows you to test a couple to see what works and what doesn’t for you. Nichola Joss, aka the skin queen who’s responsible for Meghan Markle’s glowing complexion, says: "Facials are a great way to help release stress and tension from the face which can build up due to wedding organisation stress or anxiety. I have spent many years talking about the benefits of massage - not only for the body but also for the face. When you massage the skin on the face you immediately bring blood to the surface feeding the skin cells with oxygen and nutrition distressing the muscle tissue which when releasing tension lifts and tones the muscles giving better facial contours. Plus, helps to eliminate puffiness toxins which when stored in the muscle and skin tissue can cause congestion breakouts and more importantly will escalate the ageing process of the skin."

G: Glowing complexions

It’s a classic, timeless bridal look – that works for almost all weddings. The key to this is - light layers, let the products dry and set before applying more. Avoid shimmering highlighters, they create flashback in photos. Go for an illuminating base before applying foundation. My favourites:

  1. Becca, Backlight priming filter
  2. Bobbi Brown, Bobbi Brown Primer Plus Radiance
  3. Erborian, CC cream in violet
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H: Hair

It’s a big decision. Up, down, half-up-half-down, plaited, fish tail, veils, flower crowns… Whatever your chosen hairstyle may be, make sure you book in for a trail with plenty of time to spare. This allows you to try lots of looks and decide what works for you. I highly recommend brining photographs of your dress and if you’re planning on changing in the evening then bringing those along too so that you can get advice on what might complement it best. The morning of, allow at least an hour for your hair – the last thing you want is to be rushing.

I: IV drips

These are no longer limited to hospital rooms. Reset, refresh and hydrate from the inside out. Some of my fave ingredients to transform skin include Glutathione, a powerful antioxidant which detoxifies the liver, vitamin C, which helps with blemishes, as well as vitamins B12, B3 and B6. Too much wine at the wine pairing? They’re also great at fixing hangovers.

J: Jade rollers

Woken up the morning of the big day a little swollen and puffy? Fear not, these nifty little tools will iron out wrinkles, sculpt out cheekbones and encouraging draining and toning of the muscles. Use your jade roller with any facial oils and serums to work into the skin – pop in the fridge for benefit and thank me later!

K: K- Water from the hair gods, Kerastase

Which is what you may ask? The new innovation treatment available in salons across the UK will 100% change your life and hair forever. A bold statement, yes, but it’s true. Unlike traditional conditioner, this is a doesn’t add weight to the hair, meaning it stays shiny for up to a week thanks for the wheat extract. Perfect for those going on honeymoon or mini moon straight after the big day.

L: Lympathic drainage massage

Who doesn’t want a 60-minute break from all the wed-min? Book into Santi Spa www.santilondon.com for full body massage to soothe muscles and help with puffiness. The technique used helps remove waste and toxins from the bodily tissue.

M: Masks, Masks, Masks!

Face masks offer instant results that help plump up skin even if you’ve had a sleepless night thanks to those big day nerves. With 1000’s on the market you will be able to find one that’s suitable for you. My fave? Charlotte Tilbury’s Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Face Mask, apply this before or after makeup, the mask doesn’t leave any residue on the skin but does tighten and plump. For under-eyes, try Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Eye Masks – pop them in the fridge 15 minutes before applying for an ultra-cooling effect and say goodbye to puffiness. Thank me later!

N: Nails

With so much choice, it’s hard to know what to go for. Gel or regular? Matching pedi, nail art? The list endless. I always think go for something timeless and that suits your style. Book into Dry By who have a dedicated bridal menu that I help design, we came up with six different designs that suited all brides and not forgetting the mother of the bride or bridesmaids. From gorgeous milky whites, to soft pearly whites with accents of gold foil, delicate lace and vibrant reds. When to book? A couple of days before to ensure it looks it best – use cuticle oil regularly in the run up to ensure dry cuticle stay at bay.

O: Organic beauty

We’re all about living clean, naturally and organically. Beauty brands have such as Aveda and Aurelia only use the purest ingredients that are both natural and highly effective. This has also filtered down to wedding styles and themes – from the flowers and the food to the venues.

P: Perfume

Finding your wedding fragrance is probably the most important scent you’ll ever wear thanks to the close link of scent and memories; one spritz and you’ll instantly be transported back to the big day. So no pressure when choosing.... I’m not saying you have to change your current tried-and-trusted scent if you’re happy with it, keep it – why not try the matching body crème to enhance the smell and longevity? If you’re in the market for something new – book in for a fragrance fitting at either Jo Malone or Diptyque. They’ll take you on a scenery journey and work out what scent is right for you through a number of questions.

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Q: Quartz powder

Because who doesn’t want to me showered with diamonds the morning of their wedding (literally)?! Also, quartz rollers are another great investment, unlike the Jade roller, Rose quartz stays cool and is known for its wrinkle-reducing benefits – a great de-stressor tool in the lead up to the big day. I’ll take two please.

R: Retinol

If you’re worried about fine lines, crow’s feet or wrinkles then introduce this powerhouse ingredient into your skincare regime at home and start to see results in 12-weeks of use, ‘they’re the most likely effective long term at-home treatment to maintain collagen and skin’s firmness says Dr Natalia Spierings, Consultant Dermatologist, about retinols. Always start with a low percentage every couple of days and work up. I love:

  1. Sunday Riley, Luna www.harveynichols.com
  2. Indeed Labs, Retinol Reface www.boots.com
  3. Beauty Pie Super Retinol Series www.beautypie.com

S: Supplements

What bride doesn’t want shinier hair, stronger nails and smoother skin?. One of the biggest concerns for brides-to-be is attaining and maintain beautiful skin and smooth complexions for their wedding day. But pre-wedding stress, alcohol (hello, hen party) and testing new makeup and skincare can cause havoc for you body. Make sure you start taking supplements a good 8-10 months to get the full effects. Ingredients to look out for: Vitamin D, Biotin and Vitamin E

T: Tanning

We all love a spray tan and who doesn’t want to look like a bronze goddess on their wedding day? Make sure you get a spray tan three days before – it gives it time to develop and wash off any excess. Book in for a couple of trials so you can test different formulas and brands and most importantly the colour. Always ask if its transfer-free, the last thing we want is tan on your gorgeous wedding dress.

U: UV protection

It’s important to always wear an SPF under makeup to protect you from harmful UV rays even on your wedding day, no one wants red cheeks! I know brides worry about flashback and looking like they’ve been dipped in a pot of baby powder. The solution? Avoid products with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide they contain high levels of active minerals that add to flashback. Try these:

  1. Ren, Clean screen mineral SPF 30, www.lookfantastic.com
  2. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Face Mist SPF 50, www.lookfantastic.com
  3. Caudalie Anti-Wrinkle Face Suncare SPF 50, www.johnlewis.com

V: Vitamin C

Vitamin C is packed with immune-boosting benefits so it’s a great one to take when you’re feeling a little meh. Dr. Luiza Petre says: "After hugging all those relatives and friends, vitamin C will keep you protected against any common colds and aid in improving iron absorption for energy and increasing immunity. It also helps block free radicals and heal acne so you will have no blemishes in wedding pictures."

W: Water!

Try and drink at least 8 pints a day – it’s the secret to all beauty editors perfect skin. Not only does it flush out all your toxins, it keeps skin looking youthful, supple and hydrated.

X: Ximenia Oil aka the Latin name for plum oil

This is found in most of our skincare and haircare, who knew? If you’re prone to dry breakouts through stress (looking at you wedmin) and dry skin in general, this is a super nourishing oil packed with fatty acids that helps soothe skin whilst keeping it hydrated and supple. It’s on my big day beauty list. I love Ouai, Hair oil, Selfridges.com and Drunk Elephant, Virgin Marula Luxury facial oil, cultbeauty.co.uk.

Y: You shouldn’t try anything different last minute

It may sound a little obvious but it’s so important – believe me I’ve seen the horror stories. Bright orange tans or spider lashes anyone? Try something new three to four months in advance, this allows time to fix anything.

Z: Zinc

Trying every new spin, Pilates and Hiit class to get the ultimate bridal bod? Make sure you’re take zinc supplements, it enables you to bounce back from work out quicker and prevents cramping. Supplements not your thing? Add egg yolks, nuts, beef and lamb to your diet – all of these are high in Zinc.