With just a few days left before the big day, you already have a mile-long checklist of to-dos—now meet the don’ts! From impromptu skin treatments to all-night movie marathons, here are 6 things to avoid at all costs.Don’t let these beauty blunders and bad-for-you habits get in the way of looking your absolute best.
Changing Up Your Makeup
“Sometimes brides panic at the last minute that they’ve got too much or too little makeup on,” says Jodie Hazlewood, a London-based makeup artist who does more than 70 weddings a year and teaches professional bridal makeup artist courses at the Jemma Kidd Makeup School in Notting Hill. “That’s why during the trial—when they’re in a much more rational state of mind—I give brides a chance to try out different looks.” At the end of the day, trust in your makeup artist, who takes your skin type, age, hairstyle, wedding color palette, and the time, location, and style of your day into consideration when designing your look. “Modern bridal makeup is a little like red carpet makeup,” says Hazlewood. “It needs to look good on HD video cameras, professional cameras, personal camera phones, in bright light and candle light, as well as last for hours.”
How do you make sure your skin is the perfect canvas for your wedding day makeup? “Water, water, water! Sleep, sleep, sleep!” says Hazlewood. “Stay away from sun beds and major tanning. And don’t worry too much about breakouts! They can be easily be covered by a good makeup artist—as long as you don’t touch or pick at the blemishes.”
New Hair Color
“Even if your colorist is the absolute best, avoid making changes to your hair within a week of your wedding,” says Paul Labrecque, hairstylist and owner of Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa in New York City. “You never know how the color could oxidize or how it will look with your skin tone.” If you want to refresh your hue without endangering your look, ask your colorist to put a clear gloss on your strands. “This will add a lot of shine and sheen,” says Labrecque. But if you do get mixed up with some bad color before the big day, you wont do too much damage to your hair by getting it re-colored right away—as long as there weren’t high levels of bleach involved in the process, says Labrecque.
For something you sip, alcohol carries a ton of extra calories, so you may want to cut back even earlier than the week before your wedding. As for immediate effects, alcohol can make you look and feel puffy due its sulfur-bearing gases and other qualities that weaken your digestive system. (And who wants to say “I do” feeling like a marshmallow? We thought not.) What’s more, alcohol dilates your blood vessels, which can lead to wedding picture-compromising redness, says Debra Jaliman, MD, author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist
A New Workout
“Stick to the routine you’ve been doing,” says Melissa Paris, a certified group exercise instructor and Lululemon ambassador. “Now is not the time for new moves.” Pulled muscles can take weeks to heal and you definitely don’t want to be too sore to get down on the dance floor. If your goal is to lose weight, make sure to start a new fitness program well before your dress fittings. And if you’re just looking for an amazing way to relieve pre-wedding stress grab a friend for a quick walk or run in the park. “There is something about being outside with a friend that is so helpful,” says Paris.
“Wedding trials and consultations start about three months prior to the actual day, and you should keep the same hairstyle throughout the process,” says Labrecque. “Not only will the texture and style of your hair change if you get it chopped, but keep in mind something drastic may not look right with your dress’s neckline, veil, or wedding day jewelry.” Brides own beauty director Dana Wood suggests only going in for a quarter-inch “micro trim” a month before your big day to snip off any fried ends. But other than that, steer clear of the shears! “No matter how well you plan ahead there seems to always be something left to the last minute—hair should not be one of them,” says Stephanie Bork, senior stylist at the Josè Eber Salon. “The closer you get to the big day, the more stressed and emotional you’ll be. You want to make all of these preparations and decisions while you’re still clear headed and calm.”
Spray Tan Booths
“Spray tanning in a booth may be a budget-friendly option for a safe, sunless glow, but there’s a good chance the color you get won’t match your skin tone as well as other fake tanning alternatives,” says Nina Patino, an aesthetician at Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa. Rather than stepping into a box—which can result in uneven color if you don’t hold your body just so—it’s best to have a specialist expertly apply the tanning solution so it’s evenly distributed and complements your skin color, says Patino. And don’t forget to lightly exfoliate beforehand. “The color will last longer and you’ll literally glow as you walk down the aisle,” says Patino.