This is good advice for all brides and grooms (yes, grooms, you too): the day you finally set the date for your wedding should be the day you begin to think about how you want to look at your wedding.
"Stress over your big day can affect your hormonal balance, which may lead to pesky breakouts, rashes and even overly oily or dry skin," says Dr Deepali Bhardwaj, a Delhi-based dermatologist. "To avoid such trouble, set a proper routine that encompasses everything from your skin to your diet to your body."
Here’s a five-week countdown to your big day. Week 1 - Diet
If you want beautifully youthful skin, you need to switch to a healthy and clean diet. "The diet I put brides- and grooms-to-be on is strict but really effective: no caffeine, alcohol, sugar, dairy, and processed foods," says Dr Bhardwaj.
"But you can have plenty of vegetables as they are high in fibre, help blood circulation, support the skin’s elasticity and give you the antioxidants to kill free radicals in the body for that feel-good factor."
Don’t forget hydration: Four to five litres of water a day, especially if you’re doing killer workouts.
Week 2- Exercise
A variety of cardio workouts are an absolute must. Exercise tightens the skin, creates muscle tone and stimulates hormonal mood enhancers which make us feel good, says fitness expert Neeraj Mehta. And when we feel good, we look good too.
Great ways to lose body fat and bring out muscle mass include running, boxing, skipping, swimming (preferably in saltwater pools) and biking.
"To gauge whether you are in the fat-burning zone, do the 'talk test'. Talking should be difficult as you need to breathe heavily. Do 45-60 minutes of cardio and strength training at least 5-6 days a week," says Dr Bhardwaj.
Week 3 and 4- Body brushing
"A really important part of this skin-beautiful plan is body brushing as it stimulates the lymphatic system, exfoliates the surface of the skin and prevents ingrown hairs," says Dr Bhardwaj.
To help the body get rid of toxins, fatigue and water retention, use a firm natural bristle brush once a day first thing in the morning before having a shower. "Start at the toes and work your way up the legs, concentrating on the pelvic area where there are a lot of lymph nodes. Move up to the tummy area with clockwise circular movements, up around the chest and then from the hands to the heart area," says Dr Bhardwaj.
Alternatively, do the same routine with a full body massage. Use coconut oil, olive oil, sesame oil or almond oil. "The oil will ensure that your body remains well-hydrated, especially with the winter season starting now," recommends Richa Aggarwal, beauty expert and owner of the Cleopatra chain of spas and salons.
Week 5- Deep cleansing facial
A facial can do wonders for skin clarity and tone, says Dr Bhardwaj. But it's best to do it two weeks before your wedding day, to allow for pimples and toxins that are just underneath the epidermis layer to come out and clear up.
"Opt for a facial that suits your skin type," says Sushma Khan, national creative director - skin and makeup, Lakme Salons. "People with sensitive skin must choose a hydrating, moisturising facial. The skin's level of heat needs to be reduced, and it needs to be lubricated too. So use serums or moisturising lotions rather than creams. Rich creams should be used at night."
Make sure you're having your facial at a place that is hygienic, quality conscious and, if possible, chemical free. Ideally, there should be a dermatologist too. Hydrafacials, oxygen facials, organic facials or glow vitamin C facials are best as they are minus bleach, steam and chemicals.
Don't rush around in the last few days before the wedding. Relax. Let the stress seep away.
Hair's the way to do it!
TONI&GUY's global hair ambassador Mark Hampton firmly believes in the Hair Meet Wardrobe philosophy and shares tips on tackling three wedding occasions.
Create Waves at the Cocktail Party
One look in particular that I think works for this glamorous night is opulent and outward waves. With thick, dark hair, Indian women pull off this gorgeous look with maximum aplomb!
Tying the knot at the Sangeet
Messy up-do braids really work for any outfit or any look you want to carry off - it's an evergreen trend and works even better when the braid has some added texture for impact.
Classic yet contemporary at the reception
At the reception, you dress in your most beautiful traditional outfits and jewellery. Depending on the length of your hair, a classic low bun or smooth pony are elegant, sophisticated and match the solemnity of this occasion.
Makeup this season
"Gloss finishes are trending internationally and will define the bridal look this year," says Purnima Lamba, head of innovation, Lakme. "Our Gloss Collection has lip colours in festive shades of plum and wine and eyeliners in shades of teal blue and metallic bronze, complementing the Indian skin tone with some high-gloss."
"It is crucial to choose products that lasting long without looking patchy or oily. So if a heavy base with prominent colours is not your thing, use a thick, well-defined gel eyeliner along with a glossy lip colour in red or plum (Lakme Absolute Gloss Addict)," recommends Cory Walia, Lakme Makeup Expert.
According to fashion designer Manish Malhotra, part of lakme's bridal team, this season is all about being young, fun and open to experimenting with tradition. "I would like to see more blues - powder or electric - and perhaps even lime greens. The quintessential red will be revised as more vintage red. Not to forget metallic silver, copper and thread work."
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From HT Brunch, November 16
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