Seeing as my wedding was six months ago and it’s still relatively fresh in my mind, I wanted to talk about everything I did preparation wise before the wedding day and write a blog post on it. I was typically known to spend my days racing around after a newborn/infant and collapsing into bed in an exhausted heap with my blankets pulled up over my face.
As a result, I didn’t really spend that much time nor effect into dedicating several hours a day on a strict and very thorough skincare routine or regime. However, there were a few extra tweaks I added to my normal skincare routine. Tips I came across and a few ‘luxe’ treatments I felt were necessary and also, worth sharing for soon to-be brides. Or, those who’ve got a big event coming up and you want to be a knockout. Here’s the run up of my wedding beauty guide….
I made the decision when I began planning that signing up for a drastic, life-altering and hormonally changing diet wasn’t something I wasn’t interested in. Nor did I have the time to count calories or skip meals. My postpartum diet revolved around naturally losing the small amount of baby weight gained while pregnant by breastfeeding and pumping exclusively for an unlimited amount of months and sleep deprivation (this killed any idea of a 3 am snack).
With my body depleted of its stored minerals and vitamins, I increased my dairy intake to five servings a day and continued taking my prenatal tablets and the occasional fenugreek tablet when my milk supply dropped. Having had a caesarean, I chose not to drastically alter my body by extreme dieting and increased workout sessions at gym. Instead, I walked nearly everywhere that I didn’t need to drive and threw in some good ol’ squats when needing to pick something up off the floor. At the end of the day, my firm belief of wanting to look, feel and act like a happy and healthy bride subsequently lead to a few kilograms gained and a much healthier, laid back attitude regarding my body and its looks.
In terms of extracurricular activities like self-tanning, I couldn’t wrap my head around the procedures of exfoliating, moisturising and knowing me, I’d look like a streaky zebra caught in the headlights. I wanted to have a natural skin complexion because I was getting married the first week of spring (hello vampire-winter skin) and there was a limitation of time as a new parent. Plus, I’ve never fake-tanned in my life and have no idea where I’d begin or what products to use. Instead, I focused heavily upon my skin and this is where I spent a majority of my time and energy.
Have to admit, this is going to be possibly the quickest paragraph I have typed in my life. Simply being, I hadn’t bothered too much with my hair until I started experiencing postpartum hair loss and cue my inner insecurity about being potentially bald on my wedding day. Once my postpartum hair shedding ceased, I visited the fabulous Annie and the girls at Legends (a salon my sister religiously attends for a regular buzz) for a trim in late April. Shortly afterwards, my hair went through a strange phase resulting in having to use hair treatments two or three times a week to not only tame the frizz but also bring moisture back to the roots and ends of my hair.
My go-to choices were virgin coconut oil or Garnier Fructis Hair Treat in banana or macadamia. I often opted for the later as it was easier to apply (no digging out of a jar for me!) as either a hair treatment or leave-in conditioner when pressed for time. I applied a generous amount and put my hair up into a mum-bun (my common hairstyle these days) or I’d leave my hair out if I was mentally insane. Few days prior to the wedding, I revisited Annie and the girls for my hair to be recoloured as I had outgrown my ‘summer’ look and opted for a vibrant semi-permanent auburn colour and contrasting medium-toned brunette underneath.
My main tip for any upcoming bride or someone with a big event is to find a routine that works for you and your time management, three or four months before the event and stick to it.
A year from my wedding date, I researched the myths about increasing water intake and the affect it had upon the body. But more importantly, the skin. Even though I was breastfeeding my son and therefore had to increase my water intake for adequate breastmilk supply, I started drinking a minimum of 2 litres (your recommended amount of water) per day. After a week, I noticed small and subtle changes about the texture and appearance of my skin. However, I still wanted more in relation to moisture, hydration and increasing my skins plumpness.
Six months until I said ‘I Do’, I began doing research on the up and coming products on the market and what would be suitable for my sensitive and combination skin. My newest luxury brands that would be integrated into my routine were The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG and Nivea Q Q10 + C Energy Night Sleep Cream.
If I had makeup to remove, I’d remove it with Garnier Micellar Water and a couple of cotton pads. Then cleanse with a couple of pumps of Simple Kind to Skin Vital Vitamin Foaming Cleanser and I would leisurely lather this into my skin, in a circular motion, for a few minutes before rinsing and patting dry with a muslin face cloth. Two or three times a week, I would exfoliate my face, neck and décolletage with Garnier SkinActive Pure Active 3 in 1 Charcoal or I would use it as a face mask (which you can do with this product. Amazing!) I’d follow this up by using Simple Kind to Skin Soothing Facial Toner and apply this with a cotton pad or I’d pat it into my skin with my fingers.
My morning routine and evening routines varied slightly. My morning routine consisted of washing my face with cold water as it promoted blood supply to the skin and dermal tissues before patting it dry. Before following up with a toner soaked cotton pad and focusing on the area around my nostrils and I’d finish my morning routine with a few big dollops of Neutrogena Hydro Boost gel-cream and a few drops of The Ordinary’s Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG to my under-eyes.
In the evenings, I would follow my morning routine and layer big dollops of Neutrogena Hydro Boost Night Concrete and Nivea Q10 + C Energy Night Sleep Cream. Before finishing off with The Ordinary’s Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG. On the day of the wedding, I stuck to the usual routine but eliminated The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG as my concealer and foundation would’ve moved and creased. I also doubled up on Nivea Q10 + C Energy Night Sleep Cream for an extra hydration boost.
In the month leading up to the wedding, I really ramped up on products promoting moisturisation whilst hydrating and plumping the skin. A few nights of the week, I would lounge around on the couch with a face mask and my go-to masks were Formula 10.0.6 Sea Side Glow Skin Hydrating Peel Mask and Get Your Glow On Brightening Peel Off Face Mask. Every Sunday after cleansing in the evening, I’d apply a thick layer of my all-time favourite Palmer’s Coconut Oil Body Lotion to every square inch of my body and double up on the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Night Concentrate. Often concentrating around my nostrils, in between my eyebrows and jaw line as they’re the driest parts of my face. The day before the wedding, I marinated for an hour with Garnier’s SkinActive Hydra Bomb Green Tea Tissue Mask and Hydra Bomb Eye Tissue Mask with Orange Juice & Hyaluronic Acid. The morning of the wedding, I looked pretty darn radiant, youthful and not a dark shopping bag in sight (PHEW!).
It’s time to buckle down because the shit is about to get real. Especially when it comes to prepping and finalising a wedding beauty skincare routine. A week leading up to the wedding, I booked myself a few luxurious and highly pampering treatments. Which made the prep I needed to do at home basically nothing and helped me unwind. I started with an hour and a half long relaxation massage at Coolum Beach Massage and Beauty (this wonderful little company is no longer open). Not only was I able to mentally unwind while clearing the brain of any thoughts regarding my child; the 16 months’ worth of knots and tension slowly disappeared from my neck, shoulders and lower back. With a few pops, groans and moans as my soul floated back into my body, I thanked Melanie Lindsay for an amazing massage and promised I would return for more.
I also booked Lois and myself a morning of pamper at at Nature’s Nails & Beauty. We spent close to an hour or more picking out the nail colours for our gel manicure and while Lois was being pampered, I had my first E V E R pedicure in my life. While I tried not to squirm and squeal as my highly sensitive feet were lathered, smothered in a delicious smelling mango concoction (if it were edible, I’d be having the lot!), we left with sparkly nails and toes. As for me, I limped away with a smile on my face because my legs had turned to jelly from the wonderful massage given to me during my pedicure. I can now understand why my brother gets a pedicure every month!
For any soon to-be bride or that gal with the upcoming event, I definitely recommend taking a few minutes out of your busy schedule and dedicating it to yourself.
Because its one day but a lifetime of memories, right?