The pressure's on to look your best on your wedding day. That's why you need to pay special attention to your overall look, including your hair, makeup and skin care. Still, all your best efforts could go awry if you don't do all the right things to avoid bridal beauty blunders.
*Don't Overthink It
Pulling your bridal style together can be overwhelming, but it's important to focus on what you want.
"Listen to yourself," says celebrity makeup artist and hairstylist Amanda Shackleton of NYBridalBeauty.com. "Don't listen to your mom or a friend. Don't give in to pressure for a certain look," she says. "Don't overthink it. You'll know the style."
It may be tempting to try out a new haircut or color before the wedding, but think again.
"Stay away from trying a new color or hairstyle too close to your wedding day," says Shackleton, who suggests settling on a cut and color about four months before the big day. After that, freshen the cut and color about three weeks before the wedding.
Getting bridal-ready skin takes time and work, starting with properly washing your face.
"Most patients over-cleanse -- either in the frequency that they're cleansing or in the type of cleansers they're using," explains dermatologist Oscar Hevia. "They tend to use very harsh cleansers that their skin really can't tolerate, creating more dryness and more irritation that makes them have to use more products to compensate for that."
Hevia advises brides to skip the sun, too.
"Nothing accelerates aging like ultraviolet rays," he says. "No matter how much we try to repair/protect our skin, it's much better to not damage it in the first place."
To protect against sun damage, Hevia suggests using a sunscreen that's labeled "broad-spectrum," which means "it protects against the tanning, or UVA, rays, as well as the UVB rays."
He says that with a broad-spectrum SPF 15 or SPF 20, "you'll probably get as much anti-aging protection as you would if you were using a non-broad-spectrum 40 or 50."
Many brides want to glow for their wedding, but tanning before the big day can be risky.
"If you are in the sun, avoid strap marks by wearing a strapless top," suggests Shackleton, who explains that makeup can't hide a bad tan. Still, a burn is even worse than tan lines.
"Be careful and wear sunscreen, as you don't want to get burned and end up with dry, peeling skin, especially on your chest and face," she says.
A spray tan can be a better option.
"I love spray tans," Hevia says. "It's amazing how natural they look. They're so much better for your skin than what you're doing in the sun."
Though spray tans may give you a skin-safe glow, they also can be patchy or orange if not applied properly. Try out a few spray tans in the months leading up to the wedding so you know what to expect.
*Be Wary of Wax
From sculpted eyebrows to a smooth upper lip to hairless arms, brides often rely on waxing to be camera-ready. But waxing can have disastrous results if you're not careful.
"You can end up with red patches on your skin," Shackleton says. "It can be very difficult to cover up with makeup."
To avoid waxing mistakes, be sure to wax about 10 days before the wedding. "If anything happens, it gives it a chance to heal," says Shackleton, who also advises brides not to try a new waxing provider before the wedding. "Stick with someone you trust and have used before."
Another wax warning: "Avoid retinol products one week prior to waxing," says Hevia, who explains that retinols and prescription Retin-A "stimulate exfoliation, or shedding" of the skin's top layer. If you use retinol products and wax, your skin may end up irritated and red.
*Blemishes and Breakouts
Flawless skin is the ideal for every bride, but it's not always the reality. Start preparing your skin months before the ceremony.
Shackleton urges brides to avoid getting facials a few days before the wedding. Instead, she suggests doing facials and other skin procedures about 10 days to two weeks before you say, "I do."
*Pack a Beauty Bag
You're sure to be busy on your wedding day, but make sure you have the essentials to touch up your look.
"Carry pressed powder and lipstick," Shackleton says. The powder keeps skin from looking shiny, and the lipstick keeps your smile camera-ready.