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5 Beauty Routines That Can Ruin Your Wedding Day Look

On Location Wedding Makeup in Marin and On Location Wedding Makeup in Sonoma
Sunday, May 27, 2012

By: Kristin Kane

Your middle name is Prepared. Well, ok, it's probably something more like Lee or Ann, but you know what I mean. You're taking steps to ensure that  nothing  is going to ruin any aspect of your wedding day -- especially your wedding look. You have all your pre-event facials, tanning, and hair appointments perfectly planned. There's one word for how you're going to look -- amazing. You've made sure of it!

However, here's a little secret: The one thing that may end up ruining your wedding day look is... you. Harsh (and probably unbelievable), I know, but let me explain. Every beauty action has a positive -- or negative -- reaction. And if you're not conscious of them from the get-go, these seemingly innocent beauty routines may sabotage your photos before you even slip into your dress.

Sharon Elizabeth, a California-based skin care expert and freelance makeup artist who has worked with brides for more than 20 years, has seen it all and offers these tips for getting most-beautiful-day-of-your-life ready without how-did-it-go-so-wrong worry. Follow her rules of the road and the only thing left to possibly ruin your wedding day will be your dad's threat to wear his powder blue tux.

Saboteur No. 1: Over-exfoliating

Dirt, oil, makeup -- watch out. There's no way any of that is staying on your face with all the scrubbing you're doing. While you're working to make your skin squeaky clean, you may not just be removing dead skin cells but abrading healthy ones as well, causing a duller appearance and ultimately making it harder for makeup to be applied and have staying power (not exactly what you were after).

Elizabeth recommends staying away from facial exfoliants that feel gritty to the touch. Instead, use a milder exfoliating product, like Decleor Phytopeel Natural Exfoliating Cream, $40, which helps remove impurities without the scrub. Facials can be helpful in your quest for glowing skin, though any that involve extractions should be done a week ahead of time, as all that dredging up of deep-down crud can sometimes result in blemishes.

Saboteur No. 2: Waxing

A fresh wax will keep those stray hairs away, but it could also cause redness or breakouts (same goes for threading). Depending on how quickly your hair grows back, get your lip and/or eyebrow wax done one to two weeks before your wedding day and no sooner. "Make sure your technician applies a prewax oil to your skin before waxing," Elizabeth says. "It prevents burns and skin pulls far better than the baby powder many people use."

Saboteur No. 3: Tanning

Countless brides have gone on the quest to become a bronzed bombshell and ended up looking more like a lava-colored lobster. If you live in an area where you can still soak in the rays this time of year, apply adequate sunblock and beware of tan lines. "I just worked with a bride that needed me to cover her strap marks with makeup. It wasn't pretty or easy," says Elizabeth. Opt for a sunscreen with at least SPF 40 -- whether you're lying out or just walking around town.

Spray tan lovers should schedule their session for about three days before their wedding day. "This will give the solution time to settle on the skin, reducing the chances that it could end up sweating onto your gown," she says. "And if the shade is too bold, this lead time will give you a chance to subdue it." If you are looking too orange, try scrubbing your body with a loofah and your face, more gently, with a wash cloth.

Saboteur No. 4: Deep conditioning

There's nothing hairstylists love less than hair that won't stay put. Using a deep conditioning treatment can improve the texture and luster of your hair, but if you'd like to give one a go, do it at least a week before your wedding day. (If you have thick, coarse hair, you're the exception -- condition away.) Hair that's too soft can be hard to manipulate and too slippery to hold a style.

Saboteur No. 5: Straightening treatments

Addicted to straightening treatments? You may be tempted to book your appointment close to the wedding day so that it's "fresh," but doing so can make it stiff-as-a-board straight and lifeless. To get the look you are after without looking like you had a close encounter with an ironing board, give yourself a two-week window between the treatment and showtime.