MAKEUP: Strive for balance and soft lines
Why: Super-smoky eyes, glossy, fire-engine red lips and bushy, Cara Delevingne-esque brows might be a slam-dunk for your Vegas bachelorette, but they have no business at your wedding. “My biggest piece of advice for brides is to stay away from extremes of any kind,” Kashuk notes. “Nothing should jump, so that means no overly strong anything. It’s about balance, and softness. You want to rock a red lip for your wedding? Okay. But keep the lip line soft and undefined.”
BROWS: Put your tweezer in the deep freezer
Why: Sabah Feroz, Blink Brow Bar expert and shaper of celeb eyebrow icons like Emma Watson, has seen her fair share of mega-tweezed brides-to-be. “When you over-pluck, you lose all of your natural arch shape, which can change your facial expression altogether,” she says. Start promoting re-growth as soon as possible with a nourisher like BBROWBAR Brow Oil (available at Net-a-Porter, $28, which is laced with soothing, sweet almond oil. While you line up a brow pro in your area, stop tweezing. Seriously, stop. DIY shaping is definitely a case of “less is more.”
When: 1 year out
BROWS: Want a fresh new look? give your pro time
Wedding Day Beauty Regimen: Make drastic brow changes in advance
Why: Unlike a haircut or color, you can’t just snap your way into a new brow shape in the space of an hour. According to Feroz, arch changes can take up to a half-year of regular pro appointments. “That gives your brows time to grow,” she says, “and your therapist time to work toward your desired shape.”
When: 6 months out for an initial shaping; Every 2— 3 weeks afterward for maintenance; Final shaping, 3 days out
BROWS: Go for health, not just shape
Why: It’s easy to forget brows are made of hair and can start to look less than lush if we don’t give them a little love. “We spend so much time enhancing our brows with pencils, powders and gels, but often neglect the hairs themselves and the skin underneath,” says Feroz. While it means adding another step to your pre-bed beauty ritual, she suggests dabbing on BBROWBAR Brow Conditioning Night Balm (available at Net-a-Porter (part of the new Conditioning Duo, $45,) to pamper brows while you sleep.
When: 6 months out
BROWS: Use color as enhancer — and sparingly
Why: Wanna pull a Gwen Stefani or a Suki Waterhouse and pair dark brows with super-light hair? Unless you have brown eyes, like they do, it’s better to avoid such a big color-disconnect. Merely piling on the brow tint is no ticket to big day beauty. “Using the wrong shade of brow products is a big no-no,” says Feroz. “Always choose a shade that’s closest to your natural brow tone or hair color. If you’re looking for a bolder brow look, you can go one shade darker.”
TEETH: Splurge at the dentist
Why: If you’re super bummed about your smile, consider splurging on professional grade teeth whitening. These days a series of whitening treatments won’t break the bank and can be done in office or with convenient take-home whitening trays, depending on the level of stains.
A crooked smile got you down? The wedding might be a good excuse to pony up for Invisalign and finally get those pearly whites straightened out. Invisalign Express gets you the perfect smile in 6 months and will run you up to $4000.
When: 1 year to 6 months out
TEETH: Either drink red wine through a straw, or ditch it altogether
Why: You might love Merlot, but Merlot doesn’t love you. Or at least it doesn’t like your choppers very much. “If you want white teeth for your wedding, you have to give up red wine,” says Lowenberg. “Because it’s a liquid, it seeps into your enamel and darkens your teeth in a way that, even if you get them cleaned, they’re not going to get lighter. You’ll have to get them bleached. And if you’re a wine addict, you need to drink it through a straw, as ridiculous as that sounds.”
When: 6 months out, or after your first in-office bleaching
TEETH: Give yourself space between your last in-office bleaching and your wedding
Why: Ever heard the phrase “Beauty is pain?” If you’ve ever had your teeth professionally bleached, you’ve undoubtedly suffered from one of those sinister post-procedure pain zaps. “Sometimes you do get sensitivity in your gums,” says Lowenberg. “And you wouldn’t want to be walking down the aisle and get one of those zingers.” Understatement of the century.
When: 1 month out
TEETH: Slip in a last-minute cleaning, the “danger” foods and drinks
Why: Unlike red wine, which gives your teeth a nice little bath of hard-to-dislodge color, most food and drink stains fall into the “surface” category and are easily scrubbed-off in an appointment with your hygienist. Be it berries, coffee or marinara sauce, says Lowenberg, “anything that will stain a white blouse will stain your teeth.”
When: 2 weeks out
NAILS: Bounce brittleness with your favorite face oil
Why: Next to boosting your overall health by eating well and exercising, L’Oréal Paris Global Nail Artist Tom Bachik says the best thing you can do for your nails is to keep them hydrated. “When they dry out they become brittle, leading to chips and cracks,” he says. “Keep nails flexible and strong by using an oil on your cuticles nightly before bed.” For A-list clients like Jennifer Lopez and Julianne Moore, Bachik relies on L’Oréal Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Facial Oil, $20. Bonus: It helps keep color bright and shiny too.
When: 1 year out