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A Bride’s Guide

17 Mar

Every bride wants to look perfect on her special day, and that takes a lot of hard work and preparation (or so I hear…)… I thought I’d be a big help for all those brides (and their bridal parties!) with a little bit of information you might find helpful!

Actually… I think any time anyone attends a wedding they want to look good. Weddings = Pictures. And now-a-days, pictures – the good, the bad, and the ugly – wind up on Facebook! So if you’re at the age where you will be attending lots of weddings in the near future (i.e. my age) you might want to take some notes…


Spray Tan

Spray tan’s typically last 7-14 days.  If your thinking of spraying (which I highly recommend), do it as close to your big day as possible!  You can’t shower for 6 hours after a spray, and you can smell a little bit sugary post-spray, so keep this in mind.  For the best results, spray the day before. As it wears off, it can sometimes look a little patchy. Make sure you exfoliate prior to your appointment (and shave).

Also, I hear there is a new spray out, that has glitter in it (OMG RIGHT!), but it’s only good for 24 hours I think? Maybe someone else knows more about this? I would also like to note here, that if you are not the bride, you should NOT be shining. That’s rude.


A plain old facial can be done anywhere from a few days to a month before a special date. Healthy skin is essential for a beautiful face. I recommend everyone see an aesthetician and purchasing some products that will keep your skin healthy.

Weddings are super stressful, and your skin responds to stress. Facials will keep break-outs at bay, not only by cleaning your skin, but by giving you some quality relaxation time. Spa days are great to do with your friends, mother, and future mother in law!

*Note: if you are planning on doing Botox or fillers, a facial should be done either immediately before or 5 days after any facial treatments.

Chemical Peel

Degree of peeling can vary, so talk to the aesthetician performing your peel and be CLEAR if you have any wedding events (or any events for that matter) that you don’t want to be shedding for. ‘Tis the Season for Chemical Peels!.  For a real good, deep peel, expect about a week to two of down time. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Very Important:  moisturize often with a pharmaceutical or cosmeceutical grade product after a peel.  Many places have post-treatment kits.  Do NOT pick at your skin!  Stay out of the sun! Do not use Retin-A prior to or post treatment for about 7 days.


Waxing your brows or lip shouldn’t be done the day of an event.  The process can irritate your skin, leaving it a little red.  Icing the area helps.  Or an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen.  Make sure to keep the area clean to keep bacteria out of your pores, and causing break outs.


Often done during the same time as a facial, and can cause some minor redness.  Protect your skin after this treatment. Again, stay out of the sun, and do not use Retin-A prior to or post treatment for 7 days.

Laser Skin Rejuvenation Treatments

Depending on the laser, and the treatment, there can be some downtime with this (discoloration and flaking), anywhere from a day to a week.  Ask your practitioner what to expect with the treatment you are receiving.  These treatments really make your skin look great!  Never heard of laser skin rejuvenation?  There will be blog posts to come!

Teeth Whitening

It depends on the number of treatments you will need to decide when you should start. Some treatments take a few sessions, some are one and done. Go for a consult. At the very least, do the Crest White Strips.

Long Lashes

A lot of brides ask me about eye-lash extensions. Although a little expensive, they look great for a wedding.  They should be done about a week before your big event.  They take some getting used to! Lovely Lashes!. They also don’t last very long… usually about a month, so don’t do them too soon unless you are going to keep up on them. If you are having your make-up professionally done, the make-up artist will probably offer you some sort of fake-eyelash. If you are doing your own make-up and you want that lashed out look, practice a few times before the big day. I am a master of the strip lash… but it took me about a year to perfect my technique!

Minimally Invasive Procedures

These can be tricky to time.  If you are planning on doing any non-invasive procedures, they should be done either immediately before Botox and Fillers, or 5 days after.  This is because you don’t want Botox to travel into the wrong muscle group, or fillers to be moved into the wrong area.  Use good judgment with timing your treatments!

A lot of women do Botox and fillers before a big wedding!

Check out this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/24/fashion/24skin.html?pagewanted=all

(I’m the bridesmaid all the way to the left. I would like to add a disclaimer: The bride here is naturally beautiful. And has not let me tempt her into Botox—yet).


If you are new to Botox, I suggest trying it out 4-6 months prior to the wedding date for a couple of reasons. First, this way you can decide if you like it (which you will, but I still recommend trying it). Second, Botox is a dose dependant medication (your results depend on how large or small a dose you receive). Six months gives you plenty of time to work out with your injector the perfect dose for you! Last, you will not be able to look angry for 3-6 months. This might be helpful to any Bridezilla’s out there. So, when you are in witch mode, at least you won’t look like it. J

If you don’t have six months to do a trial run, if you are a Botox Pro, or if you just want to go for it, you should have your treatment AT LEAST 1 month prior to the big day, and NO MORE than 2 months prior. Anything more than 2 months, it might start wearing off, anything less than a month you might not have the result you desire.

Another interesting use of Botox with Brides: It is becoming popular to be treated for hyperhydrosis (sweating) in the underarm. I recommend this to brides who will be getting married outside in 100 degree weather. Sweating profusely is pretty gross. You’re already going to be nervous, and when you add your layers of dress (which I’m sure is not air conditioned), and all the dancing you’re going to do… might be a good idea. Plus, you didn’t spend all that money on a dress to have pit-stains on it. This procedure requires a pretty big dose of Botox, and is therefore pretty expensive. It’s not for every bride.

(Remember don’t go overboard either!)

Fillers (Radiesse, Juvéderm… Perlene, Restyline, ect. ect.)

Depending on the area of injection, there can be some minor bruising (or major depending on the injector).  Invest in some Arnica cream, and expect the worst (2 weeks).  Cheek augmentation bruises the least, while lip augmentation and nasal labial folds tend to bruise the most.  Gosh, I hate it when I have dental work 😉 The average bruise lasts a few days.

Usually older brides are doing facial fillers, while younger brides might want to plump their lips.

As for the rest of the wedding participants, the mothers of the bride and groom are usually also very interested in fillers (and Botox). After all, they have been looking forward to this day since the days BEFORE their children gave them premature wrinkles. Whether she is interested in a facial or Botox treatment, moms deserve to be asked “is this your sister?”

Things to Do 6 Months or More before a Wedding (or wait until after):

–  Bioenhancers like Sculptra Aesthetic (it can take up to 6 weeks to see a difference)

–  Plastic Surgery. Remember that crazy reality show on TV that brides were competing with each other trying to win plastic surgery procedures so they could be perfect for their big day? Those women were … appalling. Plastic surgery should never be taken lightly. Or have a competitive reality show. Leave competitive reality to “Survivor!”

–  Changing your hair color or cutting it short (stick to what you know looks good on you!)


Great Gifts for the Women in Your Life

7 Dec
Having a hard time finding the perfect gift?  Here’s a few things every female fancies (you can’t go wrong)! 
Gift Certificates For:
  • a manicure/pedicure ($15-$50)
  • a facial ($45-$150)
  • Her Favorite Hair Salon (be sure not to get just ANY salon)
  • a massage ($60-$100)
  • a day at the Spa
  • A nice robe/winter gloves/hat/scarf.  We all wear them… we can always use a new one.

A Little More Thoughtful:

  • A New Flat Iron (some good names: GHD, CHI, and BaByliss) ($150-$350)
  • Magnetic nail polish (from Nails Inc.)
  • Good Shampoo (like Matrix $13-$22/bottle)
  • a subscription to New Beauty Magazine (www.newbeauty.com) LOVE IT! $9.99/issue
  • NARS Turkish Delight Lip Gloss–looks good on literally everyone (Sephora $22)
  • Along the lines of Sephora (which is at every mall) there are some really cool, easy gifts in there.  My friend Allegra told me she wants some vibrating lip gloss (I have no idea WHY it vibrates)… and they have sample kits of things like “mascara’s” and “lip glosses.”
  • New Make-up Brushes (check out Sephora again)
  • Jewelry- but beware– jewelry is a very personalized gift.  Diamonds and pearls are always classy… but is she a diamond girl?  bling bling? or more subtle? like classy pearls?  Does she usually wear gold? or silver?  I once broke up with a guy who bought me aquamarines for an anniversary gift (not because I’m shallow, but because after dating someone for a year, you should know what kind of jewelry that person wears.  I realized it was a dead end relationship.)
  • Lululemon.  For your sporty chick.  (Has anyone seen the commercial where the chick is talking all about why she wears yoga clothes–she bikes, she does yoga, she hits the gym– and then she says “Who am I kidding, I wear Yoga pants because I’m lazy” ahahaha)

Just So You Know…

Bags–A crash course

  • Dooney and Bourke (otherwise known as D&B) $$
  • Coach $$$
  • Chanel/Gucci/Burberry/Louis Vuitton $$$$$$$$$

Don’t even think about buying her shoes. — however the book “100 Shoes: the Costume Institute/the Metropolitan Museum of Art” with intro by Sarah Jessica Parker… that’s a great gift!

100 Shoes: The Costume Institute / The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Ask a Chick!

My friend Megan swears by “asking Steph at Nordstrom’s in Natick;” all you need is a size and she can style you up (remember to check the tag of your girls clothes… and also keep in mind every brand is different, confusing and annoying–yea we know!).  If you can’t make it to Natick, that’s ok.  A lot of the high end stores have staff that are MORE than helpful.  I know you don’t like to ask for directions… but the perfect gift can gift is the gift that keeps on giving… when the kids are sleeping.  Just never NEVER mention that the chick at the desk was cute.  In any way. Ever.

Wrap It Up. 

Gifts should come in an exciting box.  You’ve heard this saying before.  Wrap it up.  In something nice.

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