BEAUTY BRIDAL count­down

Your ul­ti­mate bridal beauty count­down to en­sure you look (and feel) flaw­less on your big day.

True Love Bride - - Beauty Notes - By Candice-Lee Kan­nemeyer

12 MONTHS Get your teeth sorted

Dr Ge­orge Botha, a cos­metic den­tist at De Waterkant Health in Cape Town, rec­om­mends you visit a cos­metic den­tist at least a year be­fore your big day. “This gives us time to ad­dress any ma­jor or­thodon­tic is­sues,” he says.

He ex­plains that there are a few ways to get straighter teeth, such as us­ing short-term orthodontics like white braces, which have a white wire that other peo­ple can barely see from two me­tres away. These would typ­i­cally be worn for six to 12 months.

You could also opt for clear align­ers. These are sets of small re­tain­ers that move your teeth into the cor­rect po­si­tion. This tech­nol­ogy can straighten teeth that are crowded, ro­tated or tilted for­wards or back­wards. But it is case spe­cific, and may not be suit­able for ev­ery­one.

Porce­lain ve­neers are another op­tion. They are a new front sur­face for a tooth, cus­tom made from porce­lain, and are used to cor­rect bro­ken, dis­coloured and mis­aligned teeth. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit De­wa­

MONTHS Visit your der­ma­tol­o­gist

“Ev­ery bride has a dif­fer­ent skin type, and a treat­ment plan should be specif­i­cally tai­lored,” says Cape Town-based der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr Dil­shaad As­mal.

“If you’re suf­fer­ing with acne or pig­men­ta­tion, start see­ing a der­ma­tol­o­gist nine months prior to the big day, as some treat­ments take three or four months be­fore you start see­ing re­sults,” says As­mal.

As­mal’s tips for brides-to-be

Get into the habit of us­ing a good cleanser, ex­fo­lia­tor and mois­turiser that is ap­pro­pri­ate for your skin type. An­tiox­i­dant serums are also good for skin prepa­ra­tion. Don’t go for a fa­cial a few days be­fore your wed­ding; it could cause a break­out. Cos­metic pro­ce­dures such as chem­i­cal peels, mi­cro­der­mabra­sion, laser treat­ments like IPL, and skin peels should be done three to six months be­fore the wed­ding. If you have any last-minute break­outs, a der­ma­tol­o­gist can in­ject some hy­dro­cor­ti­sone into the le­sions to make them dis­ap­pear.

MONTHS Peel to re­veal gor­geous skin

Sonette Donker, a skin­care ther­a­pist and owner of Skin ID in Johannesburg, sug­gests you book a course of peels at least six months be­fore the big day. “The skin just gets bet­ter over time with reg­u­lar chem­i­cal peels,” she says. Donker ex­plains that a peel pen­e­trates into the deeper lay­ers of the skin, re­gen­er­at­ing it from the in­side. Be­cause of this, it takes time to see proper re­sults. “If you have six months, one peel a month should suf­fice. But if plan­ning your wed­ding has man­aged to take up all your time and you only have three months, I sug­gest an in­ten­sive course of bi-weekly peels; four to six peels should do the trick,” says Donker.

She ex­plains that most peels are safe to use on dark skin, but cau­tion should be taken with “medium-depth” peels be­cause of the risk of post-in­flam­ma­tory hy­per­pig­men­ta­tion. “Su­per­fi­cial and very su­per­fi­cial peels are ideal for dark skin as they don’t cause as much in­flam­ma­tion as the medium-depth peels, and there­fore elim­i­nate the risk of post-in­flam­ma­tory hy­per­pig­men­ta­tion,” says Donker.

Pay at­ten­tion to what you eat

A diet of pro­cessed food and caf­feine is not good for your skin or your stress lev­els. Aim to eat a healthy mix of fresh fruit and veg cou­pled with lean pro­tein like chicken and fish. Not only will your skin glow, you’re also likely to lose a few ki­los.

Start an ex­er­cise rou­tine

If you aren’t al­ready ex­er­cis­ing, now is the time to find a rou­tine that works for you. Six months is plenty of time to get your body look­ing its very best. A few ses­sions with a per­sonal trainer, although ex­pen­sive, is some­times just what’s needed to jump start an ef­fec­tive rou­tine. Yoga and pi­lates are also great op­tions, as they help you build core strength while re­liev­ing ten­sion.

Think­ing of wear­ing your hair nat­u­ral for the big day? Start car­ing for it now

Thank­fully, nat­u­ral hair­styles are fi­nally get­ting the at­ten­tion they de­serve. If you want to rock nat­u­ral locks on the day, start car­ing for your hair now. Avoid heat and chem­i­cal treat­ments, cut off your dead ends, and try prod­ucts that im­prove the con­di­tion of your hair and scalp.

MONTHS Start body main­te­nance

If you’re bat­tling with cel­lulite or stub­born fatty de­posits, try a course of Car­boxyther­apy, avail­able at Skin Re­newal clin­ics coun­try­wide. The ther­apy in­volves in­ject­ing tiny amounts of car­bon diox­ide (CO2) be­neath the skin to break down fatty de­posits and stim­u­late the pro­duc­tion of col­la­gen. The treat­ment has no down­time, and a sin­gle ses­sion can take any­where from be­tween 15 min­utes to an hour. Car­boxyther­apy can also be used to treat love han­dles, sad­dle­bags, tummy rolls, but­tocks, and flabby arms. Eight to 12 ses­sions are usu­ally re­quired to treat cel­lulite ef­fec­tively.

If the thought of nee­dles scares you, you could try Lipo­mas­sage by En­der­molo­gie, which is also avail­able at Skin Re­newal clin­ics coun­try­wide. The treat­ment in­volves mas­sag­ing your body with mo­torised rollers that lift up and knead the skin in dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions, which stim­u­lates a bi­o­log­i­cal re­sponse that elim­i­nates fat cells, re­duces cel­lulite, firms the skin, im­proves lym­phatic drainage, and re­shapes con­tours. A min­i­mum of eight ses­sions is rec­om­mended, but a course of 20 is sug­gested to see max­i­mum re­sults.

To keep your body look­ing good, in­vest in a home-care prod­uct that tar­gets stub­born fat while firm­ing and re­fin­ing the skin. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit Sk­in­re­ TRY: Clar­ins Body Ex­tra Firm­ing Cream, R530.

Book your hair and make-up artist

“Se­cure your make-up and hair per­son three months be­fore the big day,” ad­vises Cape Town-based make-up artist Lisa Bai­ley. “That way, you’ll have plenty of time to chat through and think about var­i­ous looks you feel may work.”



Your hands will be on show be­cause ev­ery­one will want to see your wed­ding ring. En­sure they look their best by ap­ply­ing hand cream af­ter ev­ery wash. Get one cream with an SPF to use dur­ing the day, and one with ac­tive in­gre­di­ents that ex­fo­li­ate for night-time. TRY: Estée Lauder Re-Nutriv In­ten­sive Smooth­ing Hand Crème, R955, the crème de la crème of hand lo­tions. It con­tains anti-spot tech­nol­ogy and in­gre­di­ents that smooth and hy­drate skin.

Eyelash ex­ten­sions

Eyelash ex­ten­sions are a great op­tion for the big day. But to en­sure you don’t have an ad­verse re­ac­tion to the semiper­ma­nent glue that’s used, you should try them at least a month be­fore, which will also give you a chance to get used to the length and vol­ume. Have them touched up a few days be­fore the wed­ding. TRY: Clar­ins In­stant Def­i­ni­tion Mas­cara, R285, which works re­ally well to lengthen and add vol­ume to lashes.

Sort out your braids

If you plan to wear braids, have them done at least two weeks be­fore the big day. This al­lows you enough time to get used to the ten­sion.


Do your weave

Have your weave done at least a week be­fore your wed­ding day. You want it to look fresh, but not so fresh that it doesn’t look nat­u­ral.

Have a trial run with your make-up artist and hair­styl­ist

Chat to your make-up artist about which prod­ucts you should pur­chase for touch-ups (get your brides­maids to carry them) on the day. As a gen­eral rule, you should have: Pressed pow­der for ex­cess shine Long­wear­ing lip­stick Eye drops to elim­i­nate any red­ness Fra­grance TRY: MAC Prep + Prime Trans­par­ent Fin­ish­ing Pow­der, R340, to set makeup while re­duc­ing shine and min­imis­ing pore size and fine lines. TRY: El­iz­a­beth Ar­den Beau­ti­ful Color Mois­tur­iz­ing Lip­stick matte, R220, to coat lips in long­wear­ing colour. TRY: Narciso EDT by Narciso Ro­driguez, R1 130 for 50ml (per­fect to carry around). It’s a gor­geous mix of Bul­gar­ian rose, peony, musk and cedar wood.

Get your brows shaped

Eye­brows frame the face and en­hance the shape of the eyes. Per­fectly shaped brows have the power to make you look

rested and youth­ful. Avoid tweez­ing your brows too much, which will leave you look­ing like an overex­cited clown.

Book an ap­point­ment at one of the newly opened Ben­e­fit Brow Bars at se­lected Edgars stores, and learn how to put the wow back into your brows. TRY: Ey­lure Brow Sten­cils, R64,99, avail­able at Dis-Chem. These re­us­able sten­cils al­low you to de­ter­mine your ideal brow shape. Have a mani and pedi the day be­fore your wed­ding. Hands and feet need to look per­fect, and you’re not go­ing to be pa­tient enough to sit and let pol­ish dry for 30 min­utes on your wed­ding day.

A gel pol­ish is great as it’s long­wear­ing and is likely to last for your hon­ey­moon as well. Reg­u­lar nail pol­ish can also work; just en­sure you have it on hand for any last-minute touch-ups. TRY: Sally Hansen Mir­a­cle Gel Pol­ish and Top Coat, R110 each, for a lon­glast­ing and chip-free mani or pedi.

Get a bikini and leg wax

“To avoid pos­si­ble ir­ri­ta­tion, get waxed no later than 72 hours be­fore your wed­ding day,” ad­vises Su­san Vaz, owner of Legs Eleven in Green Point, Cape Town. “Also, the beauty of leg wax­ing is that it leaves the skin with a gor­geous sheen,” says Vaz.

THE DAY BE­FORE Get your mani and pedi


Give your skin a boost by ap­ply­ing a gen­tle ex­fo­li­at­ing mask in the shower. Be­fore you have your make-up done, prep your skin with a hy­drat­ing serum.

Should you wake up with a blem­ish on your wed­ding day, dab a small amount of rub­bing al­co­hol (you can buy it at your phar­macy) on to the spot sev­eral times through­out the day. It will help to dry and shrink the spot.

Wear a robe while hav­ing your hair and make-up done to pre­vent creas­ing your dress, or worse, mess­ing make-up on it!

If you’re get­ting mar­ried out­doors, don’t for­get to pro­tect your skin with an SPF. Fi­nally, re­mem­ber that fra­grance and hair­spray can at­tract bees, so if you’re al­ler­gic, keep these to a min­i­mum

“To en­sure any bruis­ing or scab­bing dis­ap­pears, aes­thetic pro­ce­dures like Bo­tox and fillers should be ad­min­is­tered a month to three weeks be­fore your big day,” says Dr As­mal. “Don’t try new cos­metic brands the month be­fore your wed­ding as you may have an al­ler­gic re­sponse. Rather stick with what your

skin knows and likes.”

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