As Beauty Editor of Brides magazine some years ago, I spent months offering useful advice to brides-to-be. So, Miss Middleton – should you be perusing Belle About Town for beauty tips – we proudly present the Belle Bridal Beauty Guide.
Your wedding day is one day on which all the cliches ring true. There’s nothing more important than glowing skin. It sounds boring, but for at least a month before the nuptials try to rest as much as possible and rein in that Bridezilla stress. Bear in mind that on the day even should something go wrong
a. You won’t care as you’ll be so blissfully happy and
b. (more pragmatically) There’s nothing you can do about it! Whether it’s in Westminster Cathedral or Skegness Registry Office.
Drink water, don’t drink too much alcohol, eat as many fruit and vegetables as possible and if you still smoke – give up right now. There is nothing less attractive than a smoking bride.
Product wise, exfoliate your skin regularly – sluicing off those dead skin cells will leave your skin glowing. I recommend a duo by mene&moy. Their Facial Masque C10, (£48, beautyisskindeep) is a silky peel off mask which literally tightens on your face so you look as though you’re covered in a layer of clingfilm. It removes dead skin cells, provides intense hydration and brightens your complexion. Follow it with the C Silk Touch, £40 – which contains high levels of vitamins A, C and E. I’ve just started using these products and I swear my skin looks plumped up and glowing – rather than exhausted and pasty – my usual November look.
Another brilliant exfoliator is from the strangely named French range AR457, (46 Euros, ar457). Containing Vitamin E charged argan oil, it leaves skin healthily flushed and clear.
If you can afford it – microdermabrasion is an excellent quick fix for dull skin. It’s probably best had a month before your big day as you’ll need to use sun protection for a while.
Use an anti-oxidant cream or serum on your face daily – I swear by Skinceuticals Phloretin – super expensive but well worth it, (£137, call 01209 617 146). Clarins offer an excellent one – Creme Solaire, SPF30, £16, clarins.com is excellent, as is MagC Peptide Serum by Agera, (£48, Agera Online)
If you’ve got the time, energy and any money left, beauty treatments are a fantastic way to relax as well as helping give your skin an extra glow. “Don’t have a facial less than a week before the wedding,” says Helena Cotton, spa director of Danesfield House Hotel near Marlow. “There’s always a risk of break-outs as impurities are drawn out of the skin.” Helena suggests that the final week before the big day is used for finishing touches. “Have your legs waxed, your manicure and pedicure done and your eyelashes tinted. It’s a lovely idea to have a relaxing aromatherapy massage the day before to help you sleep that night.”
It’s worth having a fake tan, but obviously don’t have a deep one – you don’t want to look as though you’ve been tango-ed in your dress. Make sure you have it a couple of days before the day (check with your therapist as to their recommendation) so that it has time to settle down. Vita Liberata, from £25, is an excellent choice as it has different shades – which means you can look incredibly natural. The product doesn’t stain clothes, so there’s no risk of marks on white dresses.
If you’re having your make-up done professionally, have a try-out. Don’t be afraid to say exactly what you want – and if you have a favourite product or lipstick shade, do use it. Basically, you want to look just like yourself, but slightly glossier – this is not a time to change your entire look. The advantage of professional make-up is that it should last all day long without even having to think about it.
A compromise suggested by top wedding make-up artist Lina Cameron is make-up lessons, if not for the bride, then certainly for the maid-of-honour. “I always suggest that the bride books a professional make-up artist but that the maid of honour has a make-up class with me so that I can teach her how to do the make-up of the other bridesmaids, it is really cost effective and a great skill you can have all of your life.”
Traditionally, brides are reasonably natural and pretty rather than vampish, but if red lipstick is your thing, then wear it with pride. This is also a good time to invest in waterproof mascara, for those tear-jerking moments as you gaze lovingly at your new husband, whether he be a prince or a plumber.
And don’t panic if you’re doing it yourself – at least you will get it exactly how you like it. Ask a close girlfriend to help – and also get a grown-up bridesmaid or girlfriend to hold onto a lipgloss and any other top-up products you may think you need during the day. You don’t want to be lugging a handbag around, but you will probably want to touch up at some point.
If you want to source some new products – an excellent idea is to go to the high end make-up counters and ask them to perform a make-over. Explain why and they’ll recommend brilliant products or suggest different shades. Dior at Harvey Nichols are brilliant for doing this – they kindly moved me away from a berry lipstick (‘ageing’) to a brown/orange colour, and most department stores (think how quiet they are during the week) have so many make-up counters packed with trained make-up artists just itching to get their hands on willing listeners.
Most of all, remember that you will look absolutely beautiful no matter what you do. Again, it’s a cliche – but your wedding day really is a day when the glow comes from within. Even if aren’t a real princess, you will feel like one.
By Alice Smellie
[picture credit: esther1616; lauren.heavner]