Bridal Beauty: 7 Things I Learned From My Own Wedding

Bridal Beauty: 7 Things I Learned From My Own Wedding

Wash your hair the night before, be extremely careful with spray tans and wear your own foundation. What InStyle's Lucy Pavia learned about wedding beauty from her own big day.

1) If you do one thing before your wedding, have a facial

I was told by married friends that I'd really need one of these pre-wedding. They were right - in the weeks before the big day I kept waking up with mad thoughts at 3am like 'have I ordered the right sort of tiny luggage labels?' and my skin had begun to take on a sallow zombie bride look. Sexy. 

The Monday before my wedding I had an ESPA Advanced Skin Radiance Facial at the Corinthia Hotel. This is nicknamed the 'red carpet' facial because it doesn't make your skin break out into a patchy mess so you could (in theory) walk a red carpet / down the aisle the next day. The facial uses all-natural ESPA products which smell like heaven and lull you into a state of half-sleep while the facialist exfoliates your skin with a Clarisonic brush, massages in a rose quartz crystal potion and slathers on a cool, skin lifting mask which hardens on your face like warm wax. The facialist said my skin would look the best four days after the treatment, but the tone was even and clear until the end of my honeymoon two weeks later. I liked it so much I spent a small fortune afterwards on ESPA skin products, which smell so nice my new husband has taken to using them too. 

2) Wear your own foundation

A lot of brides shy away from having their make-up done professionally on their wedding day because they're worried they won't feel or look like themselves, but I was very happy to leave the beauty side of things to a professional. My make-up artist Arabella Hewitt advised me to have a facial pre-wedding to make sure my skin was a nice smooth canvas (see above, tick) and we also did a trial - needless to say this is pretty essential - to work out the right look.

If your aim is to look like you but on an amazing day then I think using your own foundation is pretty key. Nothing is more personal to you, and anything else (even if it's better quality) will sit weirdly on your skin if you're not used to it. Do make sure the shade you're wearing is the right one, though. I did a No.7 colour matching trial a month before my wedding and it turned out the foundation I was wearing was a shade too dark. 

3) Get your eyebrows waxed

If you don't do it normally, I'd recommend swapping the tweezers for an eyebrow wax. You'll get a cleaner shape than you would from plucking and it'll give your face extra definition for the close-up photos. Just make sure you go to a beautician you trust…

4) Weave all your beauty appointments into the wedding planning

All the waxes / facials / pedis take up a ridiculous amount of pre-wedding headspace. I would recommend booking everything way in advance and all in one go so you avoid the panic I had the week before when I couldn't find anywhere in the West Sussex area with any available manicure slots - never underestimate the oversubscribed services of countryside beauticians, especially during peak holiday season. 

5) Beware the spray tan (unless it's rich tea biscuit) 

Around 80% of all the spray tans I've ever had have made me look radioactive, but then I'm very pale and have always tried to do it on the cheap. If you're going to have one for your wedding then go for a trial and prepare to spend more than you usually would. My InStyle colleagues swear by the brilliant Celebrity Tanning Ambassador for Sienna X James Harknett, the W Hotel's 'Tom Ford of tanning' who gives even very pale skin a lovely glowy, rich tea biscuit tan. 

6) Wash your hair the night before

I have dry, thick hair which frizzes up unless it's bone dry. My hairdresser advised me to wash and blow dry it the night before the wedding and it was way more manageable as a result - overly fluffy, soft hair is much harder to style. 

7) Employ a designated 'make-up bridesmaid'

I stupidly forgot that I wouldn't have any kind of bag with me on the day itself, so make sure you ask a reliable friend to carry a bit of your make-up around in their clutch on the day in case you want to do any pre-photo touch ups. Though by the time you've had your second glass of fizz you'll be too wrapped up in the day to care... 

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