Health and Beauty

If you want to look gorgeous from top to toe when you walk down the aisle, and do justice to all the work that has gone into building a dream wedding, you need to dedicate enough time to your own health and well-being. Regrettably, running around in an effort to get everything done can disturb your normal healthy diet and exercise plan and the additional stress and tension can deplete energy reserves and play havoc with your skin and weight.
Looking and feeling good on your Wedding day

It’s a good idea to get into the habit of eating sensibly and exercising regularly, a few months before your wedding. It is best not to skip breakfast and take a healthy lunch to work. Eat a cooked supper of lean meat, fish or chicken with lots of veggies. Try cut right down on red meat, animal fats, wheat based products, sugar, processed foods and take aways and limit your caffeine and alcohol intake as much as you can.

Drink lots of water and replace the odd cup of tea and coffee with herbal or green tea or rooibos tea.

If you’re looking to boost your metabolism, get rid of unwanted kilos and have plenty of extra get up and go in the months leading up to your wedding, here are some simple things to try.

Keep your metabolism strong by eating several small meals through the day instead of having three heavy meals or junk food followed by a huge evening meal. This is because your body has to work constantly to process the food.

Substitute high maintenance, high intensity workouts with walking, whether outside or on a treadmill at the gym. Just 30 minutes a day is sufficient. Moderately gentle exercise burns more fat than carbohydrates, while vigorous exercise does the opposite.

Taking the stairs or parking as far away from the entrance to the mall as you can, will keep your metabolism permanently raised.

Research shows that those who exercise early in the morning usually stick to their exercise programs. It might be an effort at first but it will have become a habit after three weeks.

Make your body and mind work harder by learning to dance or trying something you haven’t done before like the tango or salsa as well as belly dancing which is a great body and tummy workout that is certain to get you into shape.

Give your mind and body a break and take some time out, especially if the thought of all the things on your ‘to-do’ list becomes overwhelming. The way you breathe is directly linked to your thoughts, emotions and behaviour. Most people breathe between 12 and 18 times a minute, more when we are stressed, but if you reduce your breaths to nine or less per minute, this increases your feeling of self control. Start by finding a serene place and take ten slow deep breaths. This can be useful whenever you feel nervous or apprehensive and is also a helpful way of controlling an over emotional reaction.
Below is a suggested countdown to bridal health, beauty and happiness:

Eight months

Start a diet and fitness plan. Bear in mind that it is safe to lose about two kilograms per month over a six month period. Aim to reach your ideal weight in time for your dress fitting two months before your wedding. Join a gym, enroll for yoga or dance classes or sign up with a weight loss organization with a good reputation.

If you don’t have a hairdresser, you’ll need to find one now as well as a makeup artist so you have more than enough time for trials and experiments. Find out if these professionals will do hair and makeup at home or come to the wedding venue itself.

Five months

Start taking care of your skin now and you’ll reap the rewards on your wedding day and your honeymoon. Exfoliate every morning with exfoliating gloves before you shower and apply moisturiser afterwards.

Begin a course of facials as just one treatment per month will have your skin looking smoother, clearer and give it a healthy glow. Stick to the same therapist, so they will be able to monitor your skins progress and advise you on the products that are best for your particular skin type.

Two months

Book appointments for your pre wedding beauty treatments such as waxing, eyebrow shaping, a professional fake tan and the all important detoxing lymph drainage massage as well as a manicure and pedicure. Reflexology is also a great way to rejuvenate your body if you’re tired and stressed.

A manicure is essential as you’ll be showing off your ring on the day and the photographer will be taking photo’s of your hands. At home you should care for your hands daily with a pampering hand cream.

One Month

Give your skin a boost with an intensive course of skin perfecting serum underneath your everyday moisturiser designed to smooth out fine lines while rejuvenating and replenishing your skin.

If possible try to relax in a bubble bath every evening surrounded by candles and soak away your wedding organising tensions.

Two weeks before your wedding, file your nails down to two millimeters above the fingertips so they grow to an equal length for your wedding. If necessary have your hair trimmed and colour touched up ten days before your wedding.

Your wedding Day

No matter how nervous you are it’s important to eat breakfast, it will line your stomach so the first sip of bubbly doesn’t make you feel tipsy. Try some herbal tea and a fruit smoothie or some fresh fruit with plain yogurt followed by a big bowl of oat porridge.

Before everyone arrives, take some time out for yourself and escape for a quick walk, listen to some uplifting music or some meditation.

It is very important to get your beauty sleep. Having about the same amount of sleep every night will make you feel less stressed as well as giving you a brighter and clearer complexion on your wedding day.

Your wedding gown is perfectly beautiful but standing up straight in it will make all the difference. The correct posture shows off your inner grace and strength making you look confident when you walk down the aisle. Practice the correct body alignment by imagining that you are drawing a straight line through your body’s central axis (ankles, knees, pelvis and shoulders). Then turn your knees slightly outward to activate the muscles that lift your arches, thinking of your legs as vertical pillars of support. Your spine should now be aligned. Bow your head slightly to look at your feet then lift your face slightly keeping your chin down. When you walk, lead with your head and your arms will swing naturally.

When it comes to your make up, how do you choose a look that’s right for you on your wedding day? Start with some research, look at magazines and file pictures of bridal makeup looks that you like. Do you prefer a dramatic look or a natural beauty look? Consider your dress and décor as well as the theme of your wedding. Your makeup should complement both.

A timeless effect is best, so when you look at your photos in years to come they won’t look dated. Makeup should emphasize your natural beauty and a good makeup artist will be able to use makeup to bring out your best features and perhaps downplay areas you are less happy with. The make up needs to be suitable for your skin type.

Makeup for daytime weddings should be subtle and look good in natural light. If your wedding starts in the day and goes into evening your makeup should also be able to transform well in artificial lighting. Your makeup needs to last the entire ceremony, photo shoot and reception. A professional makeup artist can accomplish cover girl results and help you feel on top of the world.

The bridal makeup gurus have this to say:

  • Let the makeup enhance your natural beauty, not overpower it
  • You should be completely comfortable with your overall look
  • Do your research both on the makeup and the artist
  • Choose a reputable and reliable makeup artist who is able to provide current references and book a trial
  • The makeup chosen should be suitable for your skin type
  • Know your like’s and dislike’s
  • You should look like yourself only better and not like a completely different person
  • The makeup should be soft and flattering not harsh
  • The staying power of your makeup is important, it should last through the ceremony and reception
  • Choose a classic look

Experts suggest that the bride and bridal party use a professional makeup artist. You may think you’re not too bad with your own makeup but a professional makeup artist has been specifically taught to make you look even more astounding and knows how to work with the photographer to show you in your best light. Your spending a lot of money on professional photographs so make sure that you look your best.

Again, be sure to do your research. Word of mouth often seems best. Have a trial run with a makeup artist and if you’re not happy then don’t book them. Use your time at the trial sensibly and communicate with your makeup artist. Remember that they are qualified to make you look your best in photos so it may be a good idea to let them show you what needs to be done. Once you’ve had your trial, wear the makeup for a few hours to see how it wears and you could also take some photo’s too see what it looks like on camera.

If you do decide to do your own makeup, remember to practice and use the correct products for your skin type. Here is some advice from beauty consultants with a few tricks of the trade.

“Applying a thick layer of foundation doesn’t make it last longer and thicker bases tend to accentuate rather than conceal lines and wrinkles. A liquid foundation has better staying power than a stick or compact and looks more natural in photographs.”

“When applying blush go for a natural look (like the colour you would have in your cheeks after a brisk walk). Pinks work well on fair skin, reddish browns on medium and cinnamon or plum tones on dark. Layer powders over creams to make the blush last longer it will also create a more intense look that’s good for photographs. If you’ve chosen the right shade for your skin tone, it shouldn’t appear too bright.”

“Make your skin look lustrous on the day by dabbing highlighter on the top of your cheekbones and ridge of your nose. If you are wearing a low-cut, strapless or backless dress you can also use it along collar bones, around your cleavage, on top of your shoulders and on your back. Pink and warm shades are perfect and can even be worn under foundation to add dewiness to dry skin.”