6 MONTHS BEFORE:
Visit your hairstylist. Even though you're sitting in your stylist's chair, try not to chop off your length. Do not do anything drastic to your hair, especially if you're trying to grow it out for your wedding day. Instead, have your mane man/woman give you a trim to keep your hair looking its best, and then schedule a dusting — when your hairstylist literally removes any split ends without losing any length — to keep the shape intact.
Go for laser hair removal. This isn't a must by any means, but if you want to be fuzz-free on your wedding day (or for your honeymoon!), you'll have to start treatments about eight months out, since you'll need about four to six weeks in between each treatment and you'll probably need five to six treatment to get smooth skin, says Dr. King.
Get serious about your skin care regimen. Cleansing, toning, and moisturizing your skin twice a day — and exfoliating twice a week! — will help keep your skin under control when/if you get stressed out from planning. Try one like Clinique's Three-Step System or, if you're acne-prone, use AcneFree 24 Hour Acne Clearing System with skin-clearing micro-benzoyl peroxide.
4 MONTHS BEFORE:
Lengthen your lashes. If you don't want to get lash extensions before your wedding, but you want them to be looooong, ask your dermatologist about Latisse, which will run you about $120 for a 30-day supply. Can't swing this prescription-only solution? Start using a lash conditioning formula or a mascara that contains peptides, which strengthen your lash and keep it in the growth period longer. Try Physicians Formula Eye Booster Instant Lash Extension Kit.
Get an even complexion. If you spent a good part of your teens and 20s basking in the sun, chances are you have sun damage that's showing up as freckling and even larger patches of pigmentation. So, if you want to remove your brown spots for a crystal clear complexion, see your aesthetician or dermatologist four months before your wedding for Intense Pulse Light (IPL) Photofacial treatments for a more even complexion, says Jolie Martin skin expert and lead aesthetician at Skinney MedSpa + Wellness Also, appointments need to be made four weeks apart from each other, so getting your first one four months out will give you enough time if you need additional sessions. Cost ranges from $200 to $800 per visit, depending on the area you live in.
Schedule your hair and makeup trial. By now, you should know who's doing your hair and makeup for your wedding, so nail down a time when you can try out a few styles (Bring your veil!) and test makeup looks. Bring inspiration shots of hairstyles and makeup looks (take a picture of your makeup with the flash on to make sure you like what you look like) and don't be afraid to voice when you don't like something. That's the point of the trial: to try out as many different looks as you can so you're happy with your appearance! After all, pictures are forever.
THREE MONTHS BEFORE:
Give yourself (or get!) a monthly glycolic peel starting now. Exfoliate your face twice a week with a gentle-exfoliating formula that contains microbeads, like Olay Fresh Effects Bead Me Up! Exfoliating Cleanser. It's also important to deeply clean your pores with a chemical exfoliant like glycolic acid. This ingredient not only dissolves dead skin cells, dirt, bacteria, and oil that's stuck in your pores, but it boosts radiance, leaving you with gorgeous, glowing clear skin, says Martin. Give yourself a monthly peel at home using Beauty Rx by Dr. Neal Schultz The Progressive Peel or visit your derm to get a more potent version.
Get your brows shaped. You want natural-looking, full brows, so don't let the brow tech go to town. Just shape them so they suit your face shape and tweeze any stray hairs. If you like how she or he does them, you'll want to go back the week of your wedding. If you didn't like the shape, you'll still have time for them to grow back in for your wedding day.
2 MONTHS BEFORE:
Test-drive a spray tan. If you want to look like you have a subtle glow on your wedding day, book a trial spray tan with an aesthetician or spray tan expert. You'll know exactly what shade your skin will turn when you get it done again two days before your wedding. If you'd rather use self-tanner and DIY, start incorporating it into your routine now, so it looks flawless later. Regardless of the way you choose to get your glow, be sure to thoroughly exfoliate your skin before getting spray-tanned or applying the faux glow yourself to eliminate dead skin cells that can cause an uneven finish. Try Jergens Color Primer In-Shower Scrub and Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer.
Brighten your smile. On top of cutting down on teeth-staining drinks like coffee and tea, start using an at-home teeth whitening kit, like Crest 3D White Luxe Whitestrips Supreme FlexFit, and brushing with a whitening toothpaste daily, like Colgate Optic White Platinum Whiten and Protect Cool Mint Toothpaste, now. Both can help remove surface stains and lighten up to two shades. If you want to go the professional route, you can always make an appointment with your dentist for a professional bleaching treatment, like Zoom, which will be effective but more expensive (average cost is $500).
ONE MONTH BEFORE:
Go for a facial. Do this four weeks before your wedding because you don't want to get your skin probed and prodded too close to your wedding day. Other than getting a facial four weeks out, "don't do anything else to your face," dermatologist Doris Day, M.D. says. "The last thing you want to do is stir bacteria beneath the skin that results in a blemish."
See your stylist and colorist for a refresher. Two weeks before your wedding, make an appointment with the hairstylist and colorist you've been seeing to freshen up your cut and colour.
Clean up your brows. If you liked the brow expert who groomed your arches three months ago, go back to him or her, and have them tweeze or thread any stray hairs — don't get any waxing done on your face this close to your wedding day, since you don't want to run the risk of prolonged redness or worse: ripped skin.
ONE WEEK BEFORE:
Schedule an appointment for lash extensions. If you opted out of using Latisse and have been dreaming of getting lash extensions, now's the time. Be warned: You're going to be lying down on a table with your eyes closed for two hours, but you probably need this downtime at this point, so enjoy it!
TWO DAYS BEFORE:
Go in for a wax job. You'll want to book a bikini wax so you're all set for your wedding night (Hi, new lingerie!) and honeymoon, but you'll want to do it 48 hours before you get hitched so redness has a chance to subside. Just make sure to schedule your wax before your spray tan, so your faux glow remains even.
Get your spray tan. Go in for the real-deal glow two days before walking down the aisle. This will give the tan time to evolve so it looks perfect on an actual day. Don't forget to exfoliate beforehand for an even glow, making sure to use a gentler exfoliator on your face than what you use on your body. You can even use a glycolic pad to wipe down your face and neck skin since glycolic acid isn't a new ingredient you'd be introducing to your skin if you've been using it for the past couple of months. Try Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial Pads, which contain 10 percent of the skin-sloughing ingredient.
Polish your fingers and toes. If you're going for a gel mani, make an appointment one to three days before your big day, says Julie Kandalec creative director and lead manicurist at Paintbox Salon in NYC. That way it'll look fresh, you'll have it done for your rehearsal dinner, and it will last through your honeymoon. If you're doing regular polish, opt for the day before and have your nail technician use an extending top coat, like Qtica Extending Top Coat (you might want to buy this to take it to the salon with you just in case they don't have it), to prevent chips.
Use an at-home gloss on your hair. Applying a colour-enhancing gloss treatment on your hair two days before your wedding will leave your strands super-shiny. Try a clear or coloured gloss from John Frieda.
THE DAY/NIGHT BEFORE:
See your derm for an emergency visit if a blemish crops up unexpectedly. The stress of a wedding can stir up bacteria that can lead to a deep cyst. If this occurs, call up your derm for an injection of cortisone, which is anti-inflammatory and can help shrink the problem fast. "Take a picture and text it to your derm if you're not sure if it's a cyst or not," says Dr. Day. The quick and semi-painful shot usually costs $75 and $125 but will keep your skin bump-free on your big day. Having a destination wedding? Ask your derm in advance for a sample of a topical prescription of cortisone to help shrink a problem spot in a pinch. "If you feel something starting to form, apply it as soon as you feel it helps to melt it down," she adds.
Sleep on your back. The night before your wedding, make sure you sleep on your back and slightly elevated. This keeps lymphatic drainage flowing, so pools of liquid don't get caught in your under-eye trough.
THE DAY OF:
Throw on an under-eye patch to minimize puffiness. Chances are you didn't sleep the night before. If that's the case, press on an under-eye patch help reduce inflammation, puffiness, and minimize any dark shadows. Try Talika Eye Therapy Patches.
Use your usual skin care regimen. Again, you don't want to rock the boat with your skin!
Try to relax with a calming scent. If you're feeling anxious, take in a few whiffs of a scent that relaxes you, like vanilla or lavender. Tata Harper's Aromatic Stress Treatment, which has a blend of calming oils, can also help!