Amping Up Your Beauty Routine for the Wedding

by Jenny Ford

First, let me begin by saying, you are beautiful as you are and don't need to change a thing, darlin'! As a beautiful, strong and independent woman, you may feel a tinge silly about holding to an emotion that inspires a need to feel more beautiful than you’ve ever felt before on the day you marry your best friend.

I’ll let you in on a little-known secret, almost every bride, no matter her theme or interests, tends to have this one thing in common, they all want to feel more beautiful than ever on their wedding day. So, if you happen to be one of those brides-to-be who wants to go the extra mile, you may want to consider taking up a more intense beauty regimen.

So, here are a few things, products, tips and tricks I have for you engaged ladies who are interested in a pre-wedding beauty regimen to get you feeling beyond your normal level of pretty on the big day.


Cut damaged and dead locks EARLY

If you have a long enough engagement, and your hair is in need, you may want to consider getting a major haircut near after your engagement. Cutting off any damaged hair and beginning to treat it more nicely (keep reading) is a really great step toward having beautiful hair on your wedding day.

Get Regular Trims

Trim your hair every 6-8 weeks to keep it healthy.

Don’t Wash Every Day

Washing your hair every day strips it of its natural oils and dries it out. Dry hair becomes brittle, damaged, and broken easily. If you can, try washing your hair only 2-3 times a week. Showering with a hair cap and using a great dry shampoo can add volume and freshness to 2nd and 3rd day hair.

The Drybar dry shampoo for brunettes is a great if you have darker hair, since I've heard a few complaints from my brunettes friends that many dry shampoos leave behind white blotches. My personal favorite, however, is the Klorane gentle dry shampoo with Oat Milk. And while I highly prefer aerated dry shampoos, because they are lighter and more manageable, a cheaper alternate is baby powder. Put a little bit on your finger tips and work it into your roots to make you hair less oily.

Use Natural Shampoos and Conditioners

When you do shampoo consider using natural products like Lush or Aveda to keep harsh chemicals away.

Some of my new favorite products include pretty much anything created by Lush, a london based company that really lives up to it's luscious branding. I'm also a big fan of Aveda products, which is an oldie but a goodie for me. I've highlighted a few of their products for dry or damaged hair, but both brands offer many products to suite the individuals needs.

Use Ultra Moisturizing Treatments

When you get a chance, give your hair a little extra TLC with an ultra moisturizing treatment. Again, I love my Lush products (thanks to my bestie who introduced them to me) and this H'suan Wen Hua treatment is wonderful for making locks soft, strong, and shiny. Apply it to dry hair and left in 20-30 minutes.

Avoid Heat Treating Your Hair When Possible

Try washing your hair when you get home from work, instead of before. Finding a time that you can let your hair air-dry (without having to sleep on in while wet) and adding the right products is one way to avoid constant heat treatments.

 If You Want Length

To grow your hair as long as possible, I still recommend that early cut (If you need it, mind you!) Your hair will look much more attractive and be much healthier. To make your hair grow faster, take Extra Potent Biotin every day. It REALLY works. I swear it at least doubles my hair growth rate.

 Remember You Can Use Extensions for Extra Length

You may end up opting for them if you want extra body and thickness as well. Talk to your hair stylist about the best options for you. 

As you can see above, the extensions can not only add length, but also a lot of fullness. The price range widely varies based on on what the extensions are made of. The model on the far left is wearing relatively inexpensive synthetic extensions from Love Culture, where as the model on the right is wearing extensions from Cashmere Hair, that are made of real human hair. I believe you can also purchase extensions made from animal hair. Below is a video of someone explaining hair extensions with far more authority and knowledge than I personally have:)  (Check out and her youtube channel, dwkstyling)


See a dermatologist

Probably the best advice I can give you for your skin, is to go ahead and book an appointment with a dermatologist as soon as possible following your engagement. Trying a million different products off-the-shelf can be frustrating and expensive. A dermatologist will be able to assess and prescribe what your skin needs to be healthy.


My favorite skincare product right now is retrin-A. Prescribed by a dermatologist, it works by increasing your skin cell turn over rate, reducing pore size, and retaining you skin collagen levels. You can read about it here.  Don't lose courage and stop using it though, it took me about 14 weeks before I began to see it's benefits, and now it is undeniable. Not only is it clearing up my acne, but it definitely gives my skin a healthy glow.


Tea Tree Oil

I recently started using tree tree oil, and I've had great success with it. As you may have guessed, I have issues with acne, and I  am amazed I didn't try this remedy earlier. Somehow the oil simultaneously works to dry up pimples, and keep my skin feeling smooth and moisturized.  I was worried about the product leaving a filmy oily residue, but it doesn't at all. I really like the Jason brand below.

non comedogenic moisturizer with spf

Every skin type needs to be well moisturizer and protected from the sun. This is even more true for fair skin types and most individuals on treatments from a derm. Products such as retrin-A can make skin more sensitive to the suns rays. Try Cerva Ve Facial Moisturizing lotion with 30 SPF. ( I also love the Burt's Bees Radiance day cream, though it isn't "non-comedogenic" and doesn't have SPF.)


This is a new product that I am trying to help out with my "hormonal" acne. My derm told me that this acne is caused by an over production of estrogen. I've read a lot of great reviews from customers who have tried this product who swear it has FINALLY cleared up their skin or helped them drop a few lbs. I'll update on this product later.

Consider starting a facial regimen suited to your needs with an esthetician

There are approximately one million different types of facials offered by salons these days. Just like all of my advice thus far, it's up to you to meet with an expert and figure out a good route for your skin type. Giving your skin a little extra TLC in the form  of a facial, or a monthly facial leading up to your wedding can work magic. 


Below is a great looking one with my new fav product "Retinol A" that I'm dying to try for one of my monthly facials. In my area, it is offered at Highland Oaks Spa in Winston- Salem, NC.

Retrin-A Peels, peels, facials

Timeless™ - $214

This “Overnight” peel is safe but very effective. The chirally corrected L-retinol A™ peel stimulates significant cell turnover and protein synthesis resulting in smoother, denser, more hydrating skin. This peel works well for treating fine lines, wrinkles, photo damage and acne. Warning: Not safe for pregnant or lactating women.


 Get Your Teeth Professionally Whitened if You Choose

This one is pretty straight forward. If you have the cash to shell out for some professional teeth whitening, you probably won't regret it when you are looking at those photos you plan on cherishing for the remainder of your life.

DIY whitening Tricks

If professional teeth whitening falls out of your price range, there are a whole bunch of DIY tricks you can use to brighten up your smile.

Or, you can try this trick with Activated Charcoal. 


I’m not an expert on fitness, but here is my experience. I don’t want to be skinny; I just want to be the best possible version of myself. I already regularly do cardio to ward of the extra fat calories from my more indulgent food choices. But in trying to prepare for my dress, I’ve started really incorporating a callisthenic routine, and I can tell that my body looks a lot better. The best advice I can give you here, is be less concerned with the scale and more concerned with psychical progress. Noticing where you are a little firmer, less flabby, more shapely, and healthier looking is a much better goal than say, lose 5 pounds, drop 3 dress sizes, whatever.  But that is just my opinion after many many many years of yo-yo dieting on that exact mindset.


Start a solid cardio + Calisthenics routine.  Here is my routine. You may want to see a personal trainer, lifestyle expert, or something of that nature to get a custom plan that will work best for you. A simple article explaining why BOTH cardio and strength training are important, and you should do both.

Mon-Fri: 30-45 walking and/or jogging

Mon: 30 minutes legs

Tues: 30 minutes arms

Weds: 30 minutes abs/core

Thurs:  Hips and back

Fri: Booty

Sat or Sun: Lifting weights. 

Eat Well

Again, I’m not an expert here, so I recommend researching and finding what is best for you. For me, going on too strict of a diet usually end with sadness and despair, and gets me in worse shape than I was to begin with. So I keep it super simple, I try to eat less processed junk food, and eat fresh ingredients. I have found that the little efforts, like snacking on baby carrots when I get hungry mid-meal, helps me to stay full and eat less of whatever else I eat that day, be it and salmon salad or a pizza. The little efforts DO ADD UP.


Be aware of your calorie intake

This is a big one. I hate doing it, but this is where you really learn how to eat correctly. If you count your calories for even a month, you can begin to learn what unhealthy choices you make the most and you can learn how to correct them. But let me emphasis that I believe calorie counting is best used as a tool to help you fine-tune your food consumption for even when you are not counting your calories. Again, if you get TOO caught upon this, and get too inside of your head about it, it can make you feel like it is impossible and you will give up. Just try to remember that health is an every day practice, not a race or competition. Going over your goal calorie intake is inevitable. It really doesn’t matter. What matters is the efforts you are making, do in fact help you live a much healthier lifestyle. HURRAH.

Try downloading a great app like My Fitness Pal for your smartphone.

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