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ELLE Canada - Your pre-wedding beauty timeline: May 3, 2015

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Wondering the best times to book nail, hair and facial appointments before your wedding? We break down your bridal beauty timeline.

By Victoria DiPlacido


The first rule of bridal beauty prep is to schedule your appointments in advance. Use the below timeline to determine the dates you should book appointments for, but – trust us on this – do all the scheduling now. Because you will not be the only bride asking your hairstylist/manicurist/facialist if they can "just squeeze you in" pre-wedding day.

6 to 8 months before

Address any major skin concerns. There are certain skin conditions that will not clear up overnight. "Treatments for acne, laser hair and tattoo removal, scarring and/or leg veins should begin 6 to 8 months before the wedding," recommends dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett of Toronto's DLK on Avenue.

2 to 3 months before

Address any minor skin concerns. Brown spots and spider veins can be treated with Diamond Peels and Lumenis One laser treatments, respectively – which have little to no down time – once every couple of weeks before the wedding says Dr. Kellett. "If you have frown lines and want to do some Botox or some fillers," she adds, "you should start around the same time - a couple of months before."

Figure out how you want to wear your hair. "Hair tests should start two to three months before the wedding – any further out and you'll change your mind a thousand times," recommends Pantene Pro-V Consulting Stylist Justin German of Bang Salon, Toronto. "That said, I suggest doing more than one hair test in that time frame to ensure you've perfected the look before the big day. The last thing you'll want to be worrying about on the morning of your wedding is finding time to redo your hair."

Improve your at-home hair care regime. In addition to hair tests, German says that this is the time to get serious about at-home hair treatments. He recommends adding a hair masque, like the Pantene Intensely Hydrated Masque, to your hair care routine once a week.

6 weeks before

Get waxed. Schedule your second to final pre-wedding wax 4 to 6 weeks prior to your wedding day. "This allows for the hair to be at an ideal length for waxing [a few days before your wedding]," as well as ensures that your eyebrows are shaped the way you want them to be, says Lexi Miles, founder of WAXON Waxbar.

Try out eyelash extensions. "If it's a bride's first time getting lash extensions, we recommend a trial appointment at least 2 weeks before the wedding day," says Pretty in the City Founder Veronica Tran. "However, we do think that one month prior to the wedding is best to determine the desired lash style and to rule out any chances of allergic reaction."

Test out your tan. If you have never before ventured into spray tan territory, Alyson Hogg, founder and CEO of Vita Liberata, suggets getting your first tan more than two weeks before your wedding to see if the look is right for you/your wedding day. Even if you are a frequent spray tanner, book an appointment two weeks before your wedding to ensure you and the person applying your tan are on the same page about the shade you want to achieve.

1 to 2 weeks before

Schedule an appointment with your colourist. Vanessa Bianchi, Master Colourist at Civello Queen St., says the best time for a bride to colour her hair is 1 to 2 weeks before the wedding. "This will give any staining time to vanish and the colour time to settle," says Bianchi. "It also allows a bit of a buffer in case things didn't turn out exactly how you imagined." Note that this timeline doesn't allow for any drastic changes (from black to bleach blond, for instance): "Have a plan for your colour and stick to it," she says. "Look like the best version of you!"

Get a trim. German recommends brides visit their stylist two weeks prior to the wedding for a final trim to keep bangs and layers looking fresh, as well as to clean up any split ends.

2 days before

Remove unwanted hair. Two days before the wedding is the best time to schedule any hair removal services to ensure everything stays smooth on your honeymoon. Pro tip: "We recommend threading for facial services because makeup doesn't always apply well to the skin when freshly waxed," says Miles. "This also ensures you avoid any potential risk of skin irritation."

Apply eyelash extensions. Now is the time to get a full-set of lashes applied. They should look in top form for at least two and a half weeks before they begin to lose fullness, says Tran.

Get a spray tan. Your final spray tan should be applied one or two days before the wedding. "This is when your tan will be at its optimal depth and finish," says Hogg. "If you choose to do it this way, then you can book a touch-up appointment in case any nerves (perspiration) have affected the quality and tone of the finish of your luxury tan."

Tackle any last minute skin issues. If you feel cystic acne coming on, a cortisone treatment can help – but try to see your dermatologist in the days leading up to your wedding. "It usually takes about 36 hours to kick in," says Dr. Kellett, "so even coming in the day before, or a couple days before, would be better [than the day of your wedding]."

DLK on Avenue