Health & Beauty
The Ultimate 12-Step Bride Beauty Guide
Most of us have indulged in a beauty treatment, whether it’s a facial or a manicure, and some of us visit our favourite beauty salon regularly, staying up-to-date with the latest treatments on offer.
That said, even Brides who know the difference between LVL Lashes and SVS Lashes can feel overwhelmed by the vast range of treatments available pre-wedding, and feel completely unsure of which ones to go for.
Here’s our 12-step guide to Bridal Beauty, to help you figure out which treatments you need, and which you can forget about:
Step 1 – Beauty from the Inside Out
Yes, it’s time for the boring step first. The one that everyone knows, but struggles to abide by.
Eating and drinking your way to healthy skin, hair, and nails is the first step of any beauty regime. Up your water intake to flush toxins out of your system, and help clear up any pesky break-outs.
Increase your intake of fruit and vegetables (especially leafy greens) to boost your nail strength and hair shine, and avoid over-processed foods and alcohol for at least 4 weeks before the big day to prevent bloating, dehydration, and eye bags!
Step 2 – Get Glossy
Hair extensions aren’t just for length, they can be used to add volume, height, and depth to a hair style. So whether you’re opting for a classy up-do, bohemian-chic, or tousled curls, it’s worth the investment in some quality clip-in hair extensions (that match the colour of your own hair), and that are properly cut-in by your stylist.
You may not think of this as a beauty treatment, but this level of prep takes time, so get your appointments scheduled in.
If you’re happy to work with your locks au naturel, then consider a salon conditioning or gloss treatment around two weeks before the big day, to tame any unwanted frizz and boost your shine!
Check out Shaunagh’s Hair & Beauty Boutique in Omagh
Step 3 – Dazzle Them with a Smile
Boost your pearly whites in the run-up to the big day with a teeth whitening treatment. There are various options available, and smokers or coffee drinkers may have to go for one of the more expensive ones to get the same results.
At-home whitening strips and toothpastes can give your teeth a subtle boost, and are the most purse-friendly option, while at-home bleaching trays are custom-made to fit your teeth and are used over 10 days. The bleaching solution is stronger than kits available over the counter, but weaker than what’s used by a Dentist, which is reflected in the cost. Professional bleaching delivers the strongest results in just 1 hour. A strong concentration of hydrogen peroxide gel is applied to the teeth, protecting gums and lips, and a high intensity light is used to activate it.
Get this done at least three to four weeks before the wedding in case you experience any sensitivity. The most extreme (and expensive) option is veneers – great for Brides who want to correct issues with their teeth, in addition to whitening them.
Check out Murray Dental in Omagh
Step 4 – De-fuzz and Get Silky Smooth
If you normally shave, you may want to consider waxing before the big day. The results last longer (so should take you through the honeymoon too), and should help avoid any potential shaving rashes, especially in the underarm region if you are wearing a sleeveless dress.
Alternatively, Brides with darker hair and lighter skin may want to opt for laser hair removal. A beam of light is absorbed by the pigment located in the hair follicles, heating it up and reducing its ability to re-grow.
This treatment needs to be carried out at least six months before the wedding, as you will need around five treatments per area, and they are usually spaced at 1-2 month intervals. While the most expensive option, it’s also the longest lasting, with most patients seeing a reduction of 90% in regrowth.
Check out Therapie Clinic in Derry/Londonderry
Step 5 – Get Glowing Skin
There are a wide range of facial treatments available to get your skin in top shape before the close-ups at the wedding. Whether you opt for a treatment course of three/four facials carried out fortnightly for two months or so before the wedding, or have a more significant treatment such as a glycolic peel or microdermabrasion, there is something suitable for every skin type, so you can get your glow on.
Chemical peels can have great results, but if you have sensitive skin, microdermabrasion could be the way to go. In addition to intense exfoliation, some salons also offer a Light Treatment Facial, which uses LED light pulses of different colours to target spots, fine lines and wrinkles, and pigmentation, depending on your skin’s needs.
Don’t forget to keep a great spot treatment on-hand for those last minute break-outs! We love Northern Ireland brand eléni’s BlemishLess Cream.
Check out Skin Deep Aesthetics in Derry/Londonderry
Step 6 – Wrap Me Up
There are a range of full-body treatments that can help exfoliate and intensely moisturise the skin, and even some that can help with a little inch-loss before the big day. Full body exfoliation and intense moisturisation will not only make you feel like a million bucks, but will act like a massage treatment to help you relax as well.
New inch-loss treatments such as the Mini-Mi Body Wraps claim to help you loose inches within an hour treatment, as well as using an anti-cellulite formula. The treatment continues working for up-to 72 hours after your leave the salon, resulting in even more inches lost.
While the inch-loss isn’t permanent, a course of treatments before the wedding can result in a slimmer silhouette, and make you feel that little bit more slinky and svelte.
Check out Finesse Health and Beauty in Derry/Londonderry
Step 7 – Get a Strong Brow Game
While a makeup trial, and getting your makeup done for the big day are considered routine, what you might not have thought of is the latest craze, Microblading. In years gone by, you may have heard of people getting their eyebrows tattooed. This isn’t recommended, as tattooed brows are typically very flat and blocky, and the colour of the pigmentation usually looks fake.
Microblading on the other hand uses fine hair-like brush strokes, and colour-matched pigment, to make your brows look fabulous. Just think, no more filling them in with gels, powders, and pencils, and they won’t come off in the pool!
Microblading is ideal for anyone wanting to enhance the look of their brows, redefine their brows, or even have brows where there were none before! If you’ve been a victim of over-plucking, Microblading can come to the rescue.
Check out Aura Beauty & Wellbeing in Strabane
Step 8 – Flutter Those Lashes
LVL Lashes or Eyelash Extensions can work wonders, and add a touch of glam to any Bridal look. If you prefer something more natural, you can’t go wrong with LVL Lashes.
Unlike a traditional lash perm, LVL Enhance straightens your natural lashes at the root, creating the appearance of longer, thicker lashes. Plus, the added lash tint creates a mascara-like effect, so you’re lash perfect from the moment you wake up.
Amp up the “wow” factor by applying a few coats of mascara, or opt for eyelash extensions. While more damaging to your natural lashes if used for long periods of time, eyelash extensions are a fantastic way to make the most of your eyes for a special event.
Check out Bliss Beauty Boutique in Omagh
Step 9 – De-fuzz the Peach Fuzz
If you suffer from the dreaded “peach fuzz” on your face, and especially if it’s dark, you might want to opt for Facial Threading or Dermaplaning. Dermaplaning is the more ominous of the two, with a qualified Beautician using a thin blade to super-exfoliate the top layer of your skin.
Facial Threading focuses on hair removal only. Peach fuzz can show up in photos, and your makeup application will be 100% improved after its removal.
Check out Velvet Lounge in Omagh
Step 10 – Botox, But Not As We Know It
Everyone is individual when it comes to their beauty needs before the wedding day, so a popular choice is usually a botox treatment.
If you are opting for this treatment, get it well in advance of the big day, as it can take up to three weeks for the injection to settle, which can greatly vary the results. This is especially important if you have never had it before, and you don’t know how you will react to it. However, there is a unique way to use this cosmetic procedure that you might not have thought of.
Botox treatments are available for your underarms to help prevent excess sweating, and it can also be used on the balls of your feet to reduce pain from wearing heels.
Originally made famous by the likes of Victoria Beckham, the Stiletto Lift treatment adds cushioning, which can help you tolerate those heels and celebrate all night with friends and family.
Check out Hylagen in Derry/Londonderry
Step 11 – Add a Touch of Colour
Nothing compliments a white dress quite like a healthy, glowing tan. To make sure you get the perfect colour, test-run a few different salons that use different products, well in advance of the wedding day, so you can see how your skin reacts to each, which one gives you the most natural tan or darkest colour (depending on what look you want to go for), and which one transfers the least.
No one wants tan transfer on their perfect white gown! Get your spray tan two days before the wedding, rather than one, and shower twice before the big day rather than once. This will help to reduce any potential transfer, while maintaining your golden glow.
Check out The Beauty Lounge in Dungannon
Step 12 – Perfection, From Top to Toe
Finish off your treatments with a perfect Shellac Gel Polish mani and pedi before the big day. Many Brides wear open-toe shoes, so just before the wedding, chill out with a relaxing pedicure (which is also handy for getting your feet honeymoon ready!), and make sure those claws are ready for the close-ups of the bouquet and rings with a classic gel French polish. The perfect finishing touches.
Check out The Beauty Retreat in Cookstown
By Rachel Doherty, Excalibur Press