All eyes are upon you as you glide gracefully up the center aisle. Your handsome groom gazes at you with love and adoration. Everyone wants to take your picture. Once you combine your special sense of style with a few tricks of the beauty trade, you’ll look your absolute best.

Makeup, hair, nails… every blushing bride wants these to be in top form on the big day. We’ve done the research, reflected, and compiled our best tips to help you look completely fabulous for your wedding day!

What to DO

Now is a great time to focus on healthy, glowing skin. If you’re concerned about the health and appearance of your skin, then consider a visit to a dermatologist (for bigger problems) or an aesthetician (for minor issues.) Depending on the severity of your skin problems, start six to 12 months before your wedding day so you have time to treat, heal and achieve good results. After proper analysis and treatment, professionals can assist you in selecting skin care products that will enable you to maintain treatments in the privacy and convenience of your own home.

Facials are a must for all skin types. Facial treatments use deep cleansing, masks and exfoliation to penetrate deep into the skin, killing blemish-causing bacteria, rebalancing the skin hormonal system and stimulating circulation. Regular treatment results in refined pores, smoother facial lines, healed blemishes and a more radiant complexion.

When choosing your hairstyle consider your gown, the level of formality of your wedding, your personal style, your hair and your face shape. Generally speaking, the more elaborate the gown, the simpler your hair should be, or it all simply becomes “too much of a good thing.” Strapless gowns show off their dramatic neckline with up-dos, but this isn’t a rule set in stone. Work with your hair stylist four to six weeks before the wedding to find the right style for you – and bring a photo of your gown with you!

Whether you use a pro for your makeup, have a friend do it or do it yourself, do a trial run before the wedding. In addition to looking in the mirror and getting feedback from close friends and/or family, take photos and evaluate those. Do you like what you see? Do you want to make any changes? Now is the time to practice – not the day of your wedding! Keep it on throughout the day and see how it lasts. How does it look two, five or eight hours later? It is easy enough to touch up?

Regular manicures in the one or two months before your wedding day will get your nails in perfect shape. You can probably avoid using acrylic nails this way, and enjoy the beauty of your own strong, healthy nails.

Have your eyebrows professionally shaped at least two weeks before the wedding. If you’ve never done this before, you’ll be amazed at how different you look with well groomed brows! Some people may experience a red, rash-like reaction, so doing this early enough gives you time to recover if that happens to you. You will probably need to freshen them up a day or two before the wedding with a tweezers.

If you use a professional for your makeup, be sure to have the same colors available to take with you for touch-ups during the day.

Do use waterproof mascara and eye makeup, just in case you shed a tear or two… And use primers underneath your foundation, lipstick and eye shadow, so that your makeup lasts longer. You want your makeup to last!

To take care of the skin and make your whole body beautiful, try a body wrap and waxing. Body wraps detoxify and soften the skin using minerals or other natural substances to help to heal acne problems on the back and chest. Body wraps may include a full body massage to encourage circulation, toning and relaxation. Body waxing is one of smoothest and longest lasting forms of hair removal. Your legs will be smooth and free of razor stubble and, you can even try bikini waxing to get rid of hair on a longer-term basis.

What NOT to do

Don’t alter your style too dramatically for your wedding day look. You want to look like yourself, your best self, and “polished” enough to honor the fact that this is a very special occasion.

Avoid really trendy looks in makeup, nail color and hairstyle. 10 to 20 years from now, these styles will glaringly stand out and look distractingly outdated. One bride who wore a dark trendy color on her nails said she cringes now every time she sees her wedding photos, and wishes she went with a classic, neutral color.

If you’re considering any drastic hair changes, do it a couple months before the wedding. This way, if you don’t like it, you have plenty of time to make changes. If you do like it, just maintain it!

Don’t go too light with your makeup, or you’ll look pale and washed out, especially in photos. Don’t go too dark, or it will be distracting and overpowering. Experiment and practice before the wedding to find the right balance.

Avoid facials for two or three days before your wedding, in case it causes any kind of undesirable reaction.

Don’t overdo the blush. You’ll be emotional, happy, nervous, busy and showing off your groovy moves on the dance floor… So there’s a good chance you’ll have some natural color of your own, and combined with too much blush you could look too red.

Our final, and best, advice

DO strongly consider using beauty professionals for your wedding day hair, makeup and nails. This is one simple way to shorten the list of wedding-day worries! A true makeup artist will know trade secrets not only for fashioning a longer-lasting look, but also for accentuating your features. They will also provide you with great information, advice and tips that will last a lifetime – a beauty investment. A great hair stylist can help you create a look that complements your facial features, headpiece and veil, and do it in a way designed to hold through the last dance. When you go pro, the end result is a relaxed, picture-perfect bride.

Finally, don’t forget your most beautiful accessory: your radiant, love-filled smile.

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