There’s no such thing as looking ‘too beautiful’ on your wedding day. Not only will all eyes be on you, but there will be a photographer documenting every moment of the event you’ll look back on for the rest of your life. Make the most of your big-day beauty preparations by bringing together the best in the business to ensure you look and feel your most beautiful.
If you’ve spent your adult life hairdresser-hopping, there’s no better time than your wedding to settle down and commit. The best way to do that? ‘Do your research,’ says Julianne McGuigan, Editorial Stylist for Oribe haircare. ‘If you’ve seen a bride in the past whose hair you adored, contact her – word of mouth is the best recommendation. Checking the credits on photo shoots that feature hair you like is another good way to track down a stylist.’
If you’re growing your hair out for a particular style, try to establish a regular schedule of trims to keep split ends at bay – every six to eight weeks should cover it. And once you’ve found the stylist you click with, stay loyal. ‘If you like them, stick with them as they not only understand your hair – they know you and everything you are into,’ Julianne says. ‘It can be a very rewarding relationship all round!’
Your idea of ‘warm blonde’ may be dramatically different from your colourist’s, so it’s worth bringing a reference picture (or two) to ensure you’re both heading in the same direction. ‘Use photographic references of colour and shape as it’s a non-verbal communication that is very valuable,’ says Julianne. Also, give yourself a decent lead time if you’re planning to introduce a significantly different colour before the big day.
‘If you’re having a colour change I recommend you commence the change six months out so it is gradual, you feel comfortable with it and you keep the integrity of the hair,’ Julianne explains. ‘Use Oribe’s Masque for beautiful colour as it will protect against fading and give you ultra-glossy, lustrous hair.’
The best base for flawless make-up is good skin, so it’s worth building a relationship with the right facialist. ‘Most brides want active skincare, as opposed to just being pampered,’ says Emma Hobson, Education Manager for Dermalogica Australia (dermalogica.com.au). ‘You don’t just want to go to a relaxation expert, you need someone who is focused on tangible results. See someone who goes to regular training, and ask to see their certificates. You need someone who is up to speed with all the latest ingredients and products.’ What you don’t necessarily need? A full year of treatments to prep your skin for the wedding. ‘Usually about six weeks before you get married is a good time to start,’ Emma advises. ‘That said, if you have any major challenges like bad acne, pigmentation or breakouts, start twelve weeks in advance. Either way, have your final treatment one week before the wedding.’
A talented make-up professional is a non-negotiable asset for most brides – after all, this is the person who has the power to make you the most beautiful you’ve ever looked. ‘I can’t stress enough how important it is to find a good make-up artist,’ says bridal make-up artist Amelia Axton (ameliaaxton.com). ‘Have a look through wedding magazines or blogs, and if there are any real brides that you see with beautiful make-up, see if you can find out who did it. Just make sure they use images which aren’t overly retouched-looking. If it’s possible to connect to their Instagram and see unedited, behind-the-scenes shots, then you can get a true idea of the quality of their work. Recommendations from friends are always good, too!’ Once you’ve narrowed down the artists whose work you like, set up a face-to-face meeting. ‘It’s important to pick a personality that you get along with,’ says Amelia. ‘Finding a make-up artist with a calm and positive energy will help your wedding day nerves.’ And definitely budget for at least one trial. ‘It’s important,’ says Amelia. ‘People’s skin reacts differently to products – one person may look shiny with one foundation but for someone else it adds the perfect coverage and glow. When you ask for natural-looking make-up, your version of natural may be different to your artist’s version. It’s good to get on the same page.’
Of all the professionals to have in your little black book, an expert spray tanner is one of the most important. Since there’s very little room for error with a treatment that takes place a day or two before the wedding, finding someone you have absolute confidence in is essential. The best way to track one downis often by word of mouth. ‘Referral, referral, referral,’ says celebrity tanner Stacey McPherson, who consulted with Jen Hawkins on her JBronze tanning range. ‘Use Instagram or Facebook to look them up and view their work.’ If you can, book in two days before the wedding. ‘Tans can keep developing for up to 12 hours after application,’ Stacey explains. ‘It’s best to allow the tan to fully develop and settle in, with no residue left over that may mark your dress on the day.’
The last thing you want before you head off on your honeymoon is a nasty rash, so make sure you have a reputable specialist looking after your bikini area. ‘Don’t just jump on the latest online deal website – ask your friends and family for recommendations,’ says Svetlana Burkhardt, creator of the 7-minute Brazilian and author of Confessions of a Waxing Queen. ‘And read online reviews as there are some not-so-great operators out there. The room should also be immaculate and private, there should always be a fresh towel or paper protector on the bed, and your waxer should never double dip the wax stick.’ Most of all, make sure you’re completely at ease. ‘Waxing can be quite awkward and uncomfortable; you want to put yourself in the hands of someone you trust and you can have a laugh with during the more ouchy bits,’ says Svetlana. ‘You wouldn’t trust the hair on your head to just anyone, so the same should go for the rest of your hair!’
‘Finding the right brow expert is like finding the perfect man – tricky to find, yet once you do you can’t imagine your life without them,’ says Benefit Australia’s National Brow Artist, Hannah Terrett. That’s because the right set of brows will frame your face, create definition and even take years off your appearance. ‘Depending on your brow needs, make a date for 6-12 months prior to the big day,’ says Hannah. ‘This allows plenty of time for your brows to grow in to the desired shape and thickness, allowing your arch expert to work their grooming magic.’
Everyone (including your photographer) will be looking at your hands – your left one, at least! – so bitten-off nails and ragged cuticles are an embarrassing no-no. ‘In an ideal world, everyone would have a regular manicure and that would be every two weeks,’ says Jocelyn Petroni, official manicurist for Chanel. ‘Then you’re always going to have perfect nails.’ And while it’s easy to find a nail bar, ‘it’s actually very hard to find a good manicurist,’ she adds. ‘My clients all come to me through word of mouth. I definitely think it’s worth getting a verbal recommendation from a friend who’s had success.’