The Final Countdown

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We go from our first day of Kindergarten to our sweet 16, our high school graduation to college and our first job rather effortlessly. However, when our wedding day is on the horizon, all heck breaks loose. A tight zip, a loose lock or an overenthusiastic photographer is enough to throw us off the cliff. We are here to lighten your load just a tad, molded both for your feminine needs and your frazzled attention span. Here is our bridal beauty timeline for the year before the biggest day of your life. Madhurya Manohar assimilates a practical beauty regimen with a dash of help from renowned experts

ONE YEAR

Understandably, your wedding plans are swirling in your eyes like a terrifying nightmare. Start out by deciding areas that need improvement.

If you have been slacking on the flossing or pre-bedtime brushing, start it up again twice a day to avoid the yellowed pearlies.

Some brides can contour in their sleep, some can’t tell a bronzer and concealer apart. Think about a look, start exploring new products and consult makeup experts. But first, throw those expired makeup products.

Your skin should be the star of the show. If you are prone to skin problems, like acne, consult a dermatologist first and get them treated to avoid any aggravation, says Dr. Marian Coutinho of Kaya Skin Clinic. If you are cleared, figure out your skin type to indulge in skin-compatible products and treatments. For oily skin, use oil-free products and if you have normal skin or dry skin, any product will do.

Alas, the glow comes from feeling centered and healthy. If you want to shed some flab, consult a fitness expert and a dietician to create the perfect weight-loss program. Prepare to fight more with your willpower than your wedding organizers on a daily basis.

SIX MONTHS

Your treatments and appointments should be tended to in full swing. Start focusing on your hair, feet and hands. They may seem trivial but you can’t run from the powers of photography.

There is nothing like mane power. Consult a hair expert and plan treatments out now. At home, take simple precautions as not over-combing your hair or vigorously rubbing it with a towel, which can lead to split-ends, says Sakshi Nath, our hair care expert.

If you are impatient with your dental hygiene, then perhaps some quick fixes are in order. Whitening strips or good whitening toothpaste has become increasingly popular nowadays. For permanent whitewash, consult a dentist.

Outside of clinical skincare, Dr. Coutinho suggests a simple routine of washing and moisturizing your face twice a day. Be religious with your use of sunscreen—the SPF has to be above 30. It comes in oil-free and normal types so make sure you are using the right one.

You want to avoid those scaly hands and feet. Invest in good hand and feet creams to keep them moisturized and schedule regular manicures and pedicures.

THREE MONTHS

If you bypassed the past six months in a whirl of pre-wedding chaos, you can fast forward your beauty regime with some consistent home applications.

Sakshi suggests regular oil massages and using reputable products from a professional hair care expert. Tying your hair back in a bun is said to preserve oils and induce natural conditioning. For brides who have frequent hair tantrums, she says: “Remove knots by applying conditioner, comb your hair, and rinse off the conditioner. Do not comb your hair after because it increases the frizz.”

At home, amplify your cleansing and moisturizing routine. “Exfoliate at least once a week with a face wash with micro beads to calm blackheads and whiteheads but make sure you do not overdo it as this make the skin dry,” says Dr. Coutinho.

Dark circles are caused by multiple lifestyle and health factors, if not a genetic predisposition. Start using eye gels or creams derived from Vitamin A. For really dark circles, consult a dermatologist to discuss using injectables. Ultimately, Dr. Coutinho says, a change in lifestyle is important for such treatments to work faster and effectively.

ONE MONTH

You may choose to compromise your beauty regime for the countless other wedding preparations you have to oversee in this last month. But don’t—this now is when you have to clean up best.

For the ‘stache and brows, start threading touch ups early so you get used to the pain and any rashes or bruising can disappear. If you have low pain tolerance, resort to laser removal—again, plan early because laser takes time and requires a certain amount of hair to grow out before wiping it off. Dr. Coutinho is strongly against waxing on the face because it can lead to breakouts and rashes.

If you are looking for a change of hair color and want to experiment, start consulting a hair expert now. If you are doing it for the first time, Sakshi suggests you choose a color that is not as light as your natural shade. Visit a recommended stylist and use good color care products.

Four weeks to go! Hopefully, you haven’t had too many midnight ice cream binges lately but if you have, then it is time for a nice detox.

TWO WEEKS

365 to 14 days already! Keep the week before your wedding free of hassles and plan your final treatments and touch-ups this week.

Your hair will certainly be manhandled on doomsday. Counter the damage by deep conditioning to preserve shine and reinvigorate your hair if you have recently colored it. Do not forget to retouch your hair coloring too if it seems faded.

If your skin bruises from threading and waxing, plan your final session for the end of this week so that you are manicured and clean for your wedding day and the honeymoon after. If you are confident of not breaking out, put off the appointment to two days before—you’ll be clean for longer.

For the next two weeks, make sure to get in your recommended hours and you will feel energized to run through the madness of the upcoming weeks. Also, make sure to keep hydrated.

ONE WEEK

Wrap up all your appointments in this final stretch and be prepared for the biggest day of your life.

Sakshi suggests a final quick conditioning treatment before the wedding because moisture from an intensive treatment can flatten a nice hairstyle.

If you haven’t already, get your eyebrows plucked and make sure to tell your beautician to watch the bruising—sometimes more than sensitive skin, bruising can be a result of rough handling.

Stay off some teeth-staining food items such as coffee, blueberries, beetroot, red wine, pickles and tea. Avoid alcohol and processed foods to reduce bloating and puffiness.

Do one final facial early in the week so those with sensitive skin can avoid unwanted side effects. Plan well, get a relaxing facial and massage to soothe those nerves and walk down the aisle a figure of radiance.

Planning and consistency is key in a bridal beauty regime and so is picking up if you slack off. Your lifestyle will call for some major changes so be prepared. Congratulations, bride!

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