Brush up on your ABC's ahead of W-Day with these bridal beauty must-knows:
A is for Acid
Sounds like we’re starting with the heavy stuff, doesn’t it? Truth is, most “acids” that appear in skin treatments – glycolic, hyaluronic and the likes – are an effective type of face exfoliation. The ingredients remove the outermost layers from the complexion to reveal brighter, more youthful-looking skin.
B for Buffing
Using a buffing tool (or hey even pumice, if you find some at the beach this summer) and gently rubbing away the hard and dry layers of skin from places like elbows and feet can reveal a softer and healthier appearance.
Scholl Express Pedi Tool, $49
C for Cuticle
This is the area of skin closest to your nail bed; its job is to protect the nail ‘root’ underneath. Keep your cuticles in great condition with cuticle oil, and try to not bite or pick around this area – it spreads bacteria.
D for Detox
Dietary detoxes will certainly help your skin and hair, and skin expert David Whyte confirms that good eating habits are essential! “Foods that are rich in water, antioxidants and fibre are ideal,” he says.
Murad City Skin Overnight Detox Moisturiser, $139
E for Extensions
Whether it’s eyelashes or your locks, extending hair with faux or natural fibres is a common wish on the list for many brides wanting to take their glam to the next level.
F for Facial
Facials are popular in the lead up to your wedding (ideally one per month) to thoroughly cleanse and nourish your skin. An hour facial from a pro will give you time to relax, or opt for an at-home flawless face device.
Environ DF Mobile Device, $991
G for Gel Nails
A type of toe and finger nail polish finish that is applied the same as normal nail polish, but is ‘cured’ with a UV light and dries instantly. The high-shine glossy finish should last around two weeks due to it being more hardy than standard nail polish.
H for Hydration
Fresh water and lots of it is the fastest way to hydrate your skin and your brain; it helps flush toxins from your body and aids in concentration. Hydrating serums and boosters can target dehydrated skin from the outside in.
I for Inflammation
“Inflammation appears as redness, swelling and pain on the skin and can lead to considerable damage to the skin, such as scarring, if untreated,” warn the skin experts at Neutrogena.
J for Jojoba
A classic fave, and for good reason. Jojoba oil is a bride’s best friend and can be used in the evening as an overnight skin treatment, or in your hair to tame any flyaways.
Linden Leaves Skin Refining Cream Cleanser, $40
K for Keratin
Keratin protein is key to restoring your hair’s health by controlling tangles, frizz and breakage.
L for Light Therapy
“Light Therapy (also LED therapy) works by gently penetrating the skin using red and blue wavelengths to target acne-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation,” say Neutrogena skincare experts.
Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask, $80
M for Micro-blading
The term used for eyebrow tattooing, micro-blading is a modern cosmetic tattoo which is almost indistinguishable from your natural brows. With professional pigments and a perfect technique, it’ll take your brows to wow – and lasts about six months.
N for Nail Art
Nail art is much more than a simple polish or French manicure, it’s the addition of artistic expressions in the way of colour, designs, and/or texture. While nail art on every finger can be a little distracting for most, one simple feature nail is a pretty option.
O for Omnilux Treatment
A pain-free and non-invasive skin treatment using light of different wavelengths (how sciencey), Omnilux stimulates the skin cells natural processes to treat skin concerns like acne, ageing and psoriasis. More Than Skin offers Revive Treatments and Ultimate Omnilux packages, which include a Joyce Blok skin peel, to reveal the most radiant skin you’ve ever had.
Joyce Blok Alpha-Beta Radiance Tonic Lotion, $50
P for Pores
Pores are the tiny dots on your face, usually seen around your nose. They are actually the openings of hair follicles and each one contains a sebaceous gland which produces oils.
Q for Qi Gong
This form of Chinese exercise is composed of movements that are repeated numerous times, stretching the body, increasing fluid movement. It’s been reported to tighten skin and tone muscles.
R for Retinol
Each day, our skin is depleted from vitamin A (thanks, sun exposure). By replenishing vitamin A levels in skin, we can minimise fine lines, wrinkles and overall tone – make sure you slather on that SPF too!
Environ Retinol 1, $77
S for Serum
Undoubtedly a beauty buzz word in the past year, serums are more nourishing and targeted than moisturisers and will take aim at skin issues deep into the cells.
Natural Instinct Plump & Renew Serum, $30
T for Teeth Whitening
Your wedding will be a day full of smiles; seek professional whitening or an at-home whitening kit to gently remove stains from your teeth and whiten them a few shades.
U for UV
It’s hot out there, and while you're slappin’ on the sunscreen spare a thought for your hair, which takes as much of the brunt from UV as skin does, making it dehydrated, dull and dry. Seek out hydrating and protective products to lock in moisture and reduce frizz.
Joico Blonde Life Brightening Veil, $38
V for Vitamins
Vitamins in the way of oral supplements can certainly enhance your bridal glow, but look for nourishing vitamins in beauty and hair treatments as well.
W for Wax
The most popular of the longer forms of hair removal – waxing a few days prior to your wedding will give you hair-free skin for up to three weeks. (Learn more on page 108).
X for eXfoliation
Keep a scrub in your shower to exfoliate your body on the regular in the lead-up to your special day. Consistent exfoliation keeps skin looking vibrant and is a non-negotiable prior to fake-tan application.
Pure Fiji Exfoliating Scrub, $50
Y for Yumi Lash Lift
For the lash lover looking for something a little more natural than extensions, the famous Yumi Lash Lift at Auckland’s Lash Noir (lashnoir.co.nz) is just the thing. This eye-opening treatment utilises your own lashes creating a lift, lasting up to eight weeks no maintenance. Add a tint & you’re set.
Z is for Zen
Staying calm keeps your body’s stress hormones (hello cortisol) in check, and we all know that stress affects our skin, our scalp (flakiness) and our mind. The fastest way to get zen? “Meditate,” says Whyte. “There are many websites that offer you guided meditations that you can do for yourself at home, and most yoga classes incorporate meditation.”