Photo: Olli Studio
Naturally, you want to look your best on your wedding day. But to get that coveted bridal glow, you might be considering one (or a few) treatments, some of which you might be trying for the first time. Before you pull the trigger, we’ve compiled a quick guide (with the help of experts, of course) to help you decide what to say “I do” (or “I don’t want to”) to.
Table of Contents
Learn about some of the pros (and cons) of the most popular pre-wedding hair and beauty treatments.
For those who are getting married in hot or humid places, a keratin treatment can seem like a godsend. They can not only help straighten hair, but also eliminate the dreaded frizz. The disadvantage? Keratin frequently shrinks the body in general. “Most of the brides I see want more volume in their hair on their wedding day,” explains Paul Labrecque, owner and stylist of his eponymous salon in New York City. “This is not something that I recommend to brides specifically before the wedding date, but if you have problems with the above and want to wear your hair down and straight for your wedding day, do it!
Like any chemical treatment, you want to make sure you see a qualified professional. Now is not the time to DIY or go for the cheapest stylist. “Make sure your stylist is able to differentiate and choose the right keratin formula for you by analyzing your locks (ie if you have virgin hair, if it has been colored or bleached, what is the level of damage, etc.)”, Labrecque shares. “It is also very important that this person chooses the right temperature because their hair could burn.”
Think beyond your face – scrubs are also a great option for the neck, décolleté, arms, and legs. “I recommend that our patients try the chemical peel six to eight weeks before their wedding day and then do another two-week peel,” explains plastic surgeon David M. Shafer of Shafer Plastic Surgery. “On average, our patients have no downtime from work and social downtime is minimal, if at all. In a few days the skin becomes smoother, smoother and firmer. Stronger chemical peels can dramatically reduce the amount of sun damage and fine lines and wrinkles. I recommend Oxygenetix to our patients as it has aloe vera and soothing peptides that decrease downtime and improve healing times. “
Products that are a no-no after a peel are anything that includes alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids, or retina-a (tretinoin). “These active ingredients are great a week or two sooner or later, but they are too harsh on sensitive, scarring skin during the exfoliation process,” he explains. It also suggests that avoiding harsh scrubs is also contraindicated after a peel, such as scrubs that include abrasive ingredients like crushed nuts, crushed seeds, sea salt, or even polished puffs. “Using mild cleaners and products is the best way to get good results. Also, use your sunscreen liberally!
Photo: The Big Affair
Teeth whitening + veneers
We all want a brilliant photo to show off in our photos for years to come. “Teeth whitening is one of the most requested cosmetic dental treatments, especially before a wedding,” explains dentist Dr. Steven Davidowitz. “I strongly suggest that you don’t wait until the last minute to decide to whiten your teeth before your big day! Some whitening treatments can last at least a week or two, depending on the desired results, so it is important that you allow yourself enough time.
Dr. Davidowitz notes that some whitening procedures can cause mild gum tissue irritation, sensitive teeth, and dry, stained teeth can occur within the first few days. “First things first, a few months before the wedding, schedule a cleaning and review with your dentist to determine the whitening option that is best for you,” he advises.
Those looking to make a bigger (and more permanent) change can consider veneers. “Depending on what you want to do with your teeth, it is important to start the process early so that you don’t find yourself struggling just before the wedding,” warns Dr. Davidowitz. Veneers can take two to three months from start to finish. “Natural-looking teeth will have different shades and translucency for each tooth. While false-looking veneers tend to be very monochromatic, with a solid shade on each tooth, ”he further explains.
Hair color and highlights
Do you want to make a great color change for your hair on the wedding day? Get rid of a last-minute decision and plan at least three months in advance, especially for anything drastic. “This way, you’ll have plenty of time to make adjustments or go back to your original color if you change your mind,” says Labrecque. However, if you’ve consistently achieved the highlights, the later you wait, the better. “All the coloring absolutely must be done the week before your big day so that the perfect amount of roots show or not show,” says Labrecque.
Wave your hands in the air like you don’t care, and make sure you don’t have to worry about annoying underarm hair. “We generally suggest at least six to nine months before the wedding, as you may need at least four sessions in areas such as bikini, armpits, and legs to get noticeable permanent hair reduction,” explains Christian. Karavolas, owner of Romeo & Juliette Laser Hair Removal Spa.
“We are not suggesting that laser hair removal be done too close to the wedding date as there could be irritation that would take a little time to heal,” shares Karavolas. “We suggest at least two weeks before the wedding date to receive the final treatment.” Before undergoing their service, opt for a short initial consultation to ask any questions and obtain advice from your technician on treatment options. According to Karavolas, full bikini sessions last about 20 minutes, armpits five to ten minutes, and full legs about 30 to 40 minutes.
Photo: HannaMonika’s wedding photography
Gel manicures (and pedicures)
Frequent gel and acrylic manicures will absolutely compromise the health of your natural nail. “If you intend to wear yours natural on your wedding day, I highly recommend that you skip the gels and acrylics a few months before the big day for maximum nail health,” explains manicurist Stephanie Stone, who works with Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus and Shay Mitchell.
While we’re on the topic, when it comes to soft, honeymoon-ready feet, it’s all about home maintenance. Stone recommends keeping up with your regular pedicure schedule, but being super generous with hydrations. “After the shower, one trick I love is to hydrate my feet with cocoa butter lotion and then put furry socks over the lotion instead of rubbing it all the way in,” she shares. “The lotion will soak into your feet keeping your rough spots regular like heels feeling soft and smooth.”
Looking for a quick update with minimal downtime? Injectables have become a popular choice for brides (and mothers-in-law) before the altar. After Botox injections, results will be seen within three to five days and will last three to five months. In terms of frequency, most patients repeat their Botox injections every three to four months. “If a patient is getting married and has never had Botox, I generally recommend that she undergo a treatment about five months before the wedding so that you can see how she likes the treatments and then do her next treatment a month before the wedding. ”Explains Dr. Shafer.
“The most common, but very rare, side effects are swelling (which lasts about 20 minutes) and the low probability of bruising: less than 3% of people bruise after Botox. Some other rare side effects include drooping of the eyebrows if the patient had pre-existing brow ptosis (drooping) combined with too much Botox on the forehead ”.