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3 months prior to your wedding day
Starting your preparations this early will allow you to decide exactly how your body, hair, nails and skin will look on your wedding day, and as importantly, in your photos and/or on film, for the rest of your life!
You should know by now what your dress looks like, the colour of the bridesmaids dresses, flowers, and other decorations. Therefore, it is time to focus on you! Do you want to loose a little weight for the big day? If so, there are a few things you need to consider; you do not want your dress hanging off you! So, try to achieve your target weight about 2-4 weeks before the wedding and then maintain it, this will give you adequate time to have the dress fitted perfectly to your new shape.
Keep your target weight realistic, even if you are very committed and focused in your diet and exercise regimen, a fat loss of 2 pounds per week is the most that you should aim for. Any more than this is unlikely to be just fat, and water and glycogen will be replaced very quickly once you ease off on your diet.
If your weight has been stable for the last couple of months, then a reduction in calorie intake of 500 calories per day will result in a loss of 1 pound per week. This coupled with an exercise routine of 500 calories burned per day, will take care of the other pound per week.
A 2 pound per week weight loss for 8 weeks is 16 pounds or about 8 Kilos! This is very significant in terms of inches.
Three months is a perfect period of time within which to make your hair your crowning glory.
If you currently have oily hair or dandruff don't despair, this may be a blessing in disguise!
People with oily hair tend to wash their hair everyday and as a result of this it may appear that the hair needs very regular conditioning treatments. This is in fact an unfortunate cycle. The more you wash and condition your hair the more problems you will have with it. Try using your body's own natural oils to do the conditioning! The sebum from your skin (your scalp) is not only nature's perfect conditioner but is also your best cleanser.
If you suffer from dandruff, this treatment, may also work for you by allowing your own oils to condition your scalp and cure your flakes.
Simply begin tying your hair back in a bun (do not pull the hair too tightly) and stop washing it!
This conserves the essential oils in your hair, keeps it neat and tidy throughout the day and it also reduces the amount of brushing and combing you need to do. Not only does this condition your hair over about 6 weeks, but it will also lead to less breakage, which will help it grow without split ends.
This type of hair tends to be brittle and flyaway. A course of intensive conditioning and a reduction in the number of washes with shampoo can produce great results. Remember that the ends have been exposed to extremes of temperature a lot longer than the roots. Care for them well, and your hair will be strong and shine.
Growing your hair
Hair grows an average of 6 inches a year. Nothing can change what your genes dictate. The hair grows slower in winter and faster in summer. When growing your hair take care of the ends as well as the roots, the ends have been exposed to extremes of temperature a lot longer than the roots. Care for them well, and your hair will be strong and shine. Tying your hair back in a bun (do not pull the hair too tightly), reducing the number of times you wash it, and using leave-in or spray conditioners can help keep the ends in good condition.
In some ways the skin of the face is less of a problem than other areas, this is because blemishes and imperfections can be concealed with expertly applied make-up. However the better the skin is in its natural state, the better the finished look will be.
Dry patchy skin, black heads, white heads and oily patches will all benefit from a daily routine of skin care using quality products.
Cleansing, toning, moisturising daily, and the application of a good night-cream before bed will produce excellent results over a 3-month period. Combine this daily routine with a weekly regimen of exfoliating: dry areas three times per week and oily areas no more than once per week.
Use a cleansing mask for your skin type once or twice a week. This will round off your facial skin care routine perfectly.
If you have deep wrinkles, severely dry skin, scar tissue such as old acne marks etc. you should consider a course of micro-dermabrasion or alternatively, an acid peel.
Skin is an indicator of overall health and lifestyle and is adversely affected by stimulants and toxins such as alcohol, tobacco, saturated fats and refined sugars. Illness will also make lines deeper and skin dryer.
Try to reduce alcohol intake to less than 10 units per week and reduce consumption of tea, coffee, fatty foods and deserts.
If you are a smoker this is a great time to quit. Smoker's skin tends to appear 15 years older than that of non-smokers! Try to stay out of smoky environments, as even passive smoking has a bad effect on skin.
A course of multi-vitamins and minerals will ensure you are receiving everything you need for healthy skin and may help boost your immune system to avoid a cold or flu spoiling your big day.
The skin on the rest of your body will benefit from regular exfoliation and moisturising. Any psoriasis, very dry or patchy areas may benefit from a short course of sun-bed treatments. If this is not effective, consult your GP, who may be able to prescribe a suitable medication.
Active acne will be helped by regular skin care routines and medicated cleansing products; however, consulting your GP as early as possible will ensure you have enough time to receive the best results from any possible treatment.
Nails grow fast enough to ensure that you can go from ratty to perfect within 3 months if you give them the attention they deserve.
On your wedding day your hands will constantly be on show and captured in photo close-ups of the exchange of rings and registry signing. If you want them to look their best, you need to start preparing them now.
Your hands are the backdrop against which your nails are presented, a regimen of moisturising and protection should be started now. Hand cream should always be close to you and should be used before you go outdoors, after you wash your hands, and before you go to bed. You should use gloves for washing up, gardening or any manual task. Also, use a sun block or gloves when outdoors.
If you bite your nails or cuticles, you need to stop now. It will take time for the damage to grow out. There are many products on the market that can help you to stop, or you could try hypnosis or acupuncture.
A weekly professional manicure started now will ensure your nails are at their best on your wedding day.
Even if you plan on having false nails on your big day, remember that the better the condition of your own nails the better the false nails will look. So start looking after them now with regular manicures.
If you suffer from brittle nails, consider one of the paint-on treatment options available. Alternatively you can have gel nails applied, which will help to strengthen the nail while protecting it from damage. Remember to use gloves for washing up, gardening and manual work, and do not use your nails for opening things!
Foods that can help nails stay healthy are; onions, garlic, and leafy vegetables such as broccoli.
Feet and toenails
Your toenails and feet need some attention, especially if you plan to honeymoon in the sun!
Basic foot care is the key to perfect toenails. Your feet take a lot of abuse, between supporting you in all of your activities and being forced into pointed fashion shoes, high heels or sweaty trainers. "It is a wonder they manage to last a lifetime!"
Good foot care starts with good hygiene; wash your feet everyday, and ensure that the vulnerable areas between the toes are thoroughly clean and completely dried. Remember to clean under the nails also.
Check regularly for any sign of infection and if you find any treat early. Use your foot washing routine as an opportunity to check for the beginning of hard skin or calluses and use a foot file to remove any you may find. Make sure your toenails are cut square and that they do not rub against another toe.
Moisturise your feet after you wash them and spend as much time as you can barefoot to allow them to breath.
Only wear shoes that fit you and are appropriate for the activity.
Aim to have a professional pedicure about once every three weeks. As with fingernails the correct care of the cuticles and nail plate will help to keep the toenails looking perfect. Your therapist will let you know if a visit to the chiropodist is needed.
If you are going to have an Underarm, Bikini, Brazilian or Hollywood wax for your wedding and have never had one before, you need to have a trial now. Your first waxing may leave you with some bruising, redness or swelling, so you are better off getting this out of the way now. Your next waxing, closer to the day, will be less painful and you will know exactly how long any discomfort or redness will last, so you can plan it perfectly.
2 months prior to your wedding
If you plan on having an eyebrow, lip, chin, leg or arm wax for your wedding and it is your the first time, having a trial now makes sense. This will allow you to identify any adverse reactions and make the next time easier.
1 month prior to your wedding day
If you are planning on having false nails for your wedding day now is the time to give them a test run!
You will have time to get used to the feel of them and to play with various lengths and colours. Closer to the day you can get infills and have them filed to the perfect length and shape.
If you are planning on having a tan on your big day you need to start your course now. You can choose from a range of UV tanning systems, but remember to start early and build up slowly.
You can also opt for a false tan using sprays or manual application. If this is what you decide on, have trial a month before, so that you can be sure you get the result you want.
If you are planning on having hair extensions, colouring, or both, then you need to be consulting with your hair stylist now. This will give you time to make any changes without stress.
If you are wearing a headdress remember to take this along so that you can see the whole effect.
2 -3 weeks prior to your wedding day
If you have pale skin you need to start sunbathing at least three weeks before the big day, building up your exposure time very gradually from about 5 minutes. If you only have a few days to get your perfect tan then you can speed up the process by cheating a little before you arrive. You can start using an after sun auto bronzer as a moisturiser after your shower for 3 weeks or so before you arrive in Spain. This is a great way of building colour as well as preparing your skin for sunbathing when you come over. Your tan will be deeper and will last longer.
Directions: By now, you should be in a routine of scrubbing your skin in the shower or bath. Use a back brush for your back and a loofah or sponge for the rest of the body along with your favorite shower or bath lotion, or soap. Concentrate on your knees, elbows, and any dry skin.
After the shower pat your skin dry and whilst still warm apply your after-sun auto bronzing lotion like you would a body lotion. Don't worry about applying too much. This only contains a small amount of tanning lotion and a gradual build up over two to three weeks will amount to a beautiful covering.
Try this every other night to begin with to see the colouring this produces on your skin. Keep using some form of exfoliation in the shower and re-applying the after-sun auto bronzing lotion right up to the night before your wedding.
Do be careful, the sun here in Spain is strong. To prevent burning use a high protection factor and limit your exposure according to your skin type. You can also sunbathe in the shade as the sun reflects off the ground and will still reach your skin.
For more information on SPF ratings and sunbathing visit the FDA website
1 week prior to your wedding.
If you have coloured hair this is when you need to look at topping up your root colour and get your final trim.
Make sure you have the lipstick that you will be wearing on the day. You may need to top up your lip colour throughout the day and you do not want to be in a panic looking for it at short notice.
This is the time to get your waxing done. If this was going to be your first time you would have had your trial run 2-3 months ago and will know exactly how far in advance you need to have it done, so that any reaction has time to settle down. Reactions can be as little as redness but even this can vary from person to person. In some, it takes only an hour to reduce, on others as much as twelve hours. For those with sensitive skin there are special waxes and/or formulations that can be applied to the skin immediately after treatment to reduce redness and sensitivity, and improve healing of the skin. The further in advance you have your waxing trial the more prepared you will be.
Please remember for those who wish to try a Brazilian or Hollywood for the first time, you must have a trial treatment at least 2 months before.
A few days prior to your wedding day.
By now, everything should be organised down to the last detail. You are probably now over in Spain. Your wedding is only a few days away.
Now you can sunbathe if you wish, but do be careful. The sun's heat may be delightful on your skin but it can be very strong and damaging. The heat on the Costa del Sol is a dry heat, even in the shade you can tan. It is best to use a high factor protection and drink lots of iced water.
Spraying water on the surface of your skin before applying sun oil or sun cream can help deepen your tan and maintain the moisture level of your skin leaving it soft, smooth and radiant.
Avoid drinking too much alcohol in the few days before the wedding as this can undermine all of the preparation you have done! The measures in Spain are much larger than other countries in Europe, so even a small number of drinks can add up to many units. Alcohol can be very dehydrating on its own and coupled with the Spanish heat it will undo all of the wonderful work you have done to your skin through the facials you have had over the past few months. If you do drink alcohol, try to drink an equal volume of water to replace the fluids lost.
The day before.
The most important task for you today is to get plenty of rest and a good night's sleep. Lack of sleep can produce darkness or puffiness under your eyes, redness to the whites of your eyes and can make you nervous.
Try not to wear any make-up today to give your skin a good rest. If you must wear make-up, then be sure you are extra diligent tonight with your cleansing, toning and moisturising.
If you are having special nail art for your big day, now is when it should be done.
If you are having a hair up style on your wedding day then you will need to wash your hair the night before, as freshly washed hair will tend to slide out. Keep your hair dry when showering the next morning.
If you are stressed or excited tonight then try a relaxing aromatherapy massage in your room before going to sleep.
On your wedding day
You have prepared everything in advance and the only thing you have to do is to relax and let your make-up artist and hair stylist make you look like the princess you are.