When it comes to planning a wedding, picking a date and dress can be the least of your worries. After all, looking radiant and picture-perfect on your special day takes some work and planning—months of work and planning. To help you avoid any last-minute beauty fiascos (assuming you don’t want to look orange in any of your wedding photos), we’ve put together the ultimate wedding beauty timeline for every type of bride. From when to get waxed to when to schedule your hair appointments, this checklist will ensure you look every bit the (attractively) blushing, glowing, beautiful bride when the big day arrives.
Keep scrolling through the slideshow below for your wedding beauty timeline.
8 months before…
Fitness and nutrition plan: Avoid crash dieting before your wedding by starting a fitness and nutrition plan now. You’ll look healthy and glowing on the big day, instead of exhausted and weak.
Hair-color appointment: Thinking about a dramatic change for your wedding? Now is the time to try it out—if you hate it, there’s still plenty of time for you to grow it out or change the color without frying your locks. In case you need some ideas, here are the best hair colors for your skin tone.
Skincare regimen: If you’ve been slacking on your skincare routine, now is the time to start incorporating a stricter regimen. Cleanse, tone, target, and moisturize every morning and night—and don’t forget to exfoliate two or three times a week. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the exact skincare routine you should be following for your skin type.
Beauty vitamins: Start taking beauty vitamins or eating foods for longer, shinier hair and glowing skin. Don’t know where to start? Here are 11 supplements beauty editors can’t stop raving about.
Laser hair removal: It takes more than one session for lasers to fully remove your hair. Since you have to wait four to six weeks between sessions, make sure to start early.
4 months before…
Hair and makeup trials: Start experimenting with different hair and makeup styles as well as different artists. Book them right after you’ve made up your mind—you don’t want to run the risk of conflicting schedules or last-minute changes. Not sure where to start? Here’s how four real brides chose makeup artists for their weddings.
2 months before…
Fitness regimen: Take your fitness regimen to the next level at the two-month mark—add an extra 30 minutes of gym time each day, or start a weekend yoga class. Make no mistake: The key isn’t to look a certain way or weigh a certain amount by your wedding, but rather to feel like your healthiest, happiest self.
Self-tanning: If you want a bronzy glow on your wedding day, decide exactly how you’d like to achieve it. If you’re going to get a spray tan, book one now, rather than a few days before your wedding, as a test run—and make sure to avoid these common mistakes. If you’d rather use a gradual self-tanner, we highly recommend Kate Somerville Somerville360° Tanning Towelettes ($48)—it’s 100% mistake-proof.
Beauty accessories: Select any beauty accessories, like hair accessories or customized lipstick colors, now.
Teeth whitening: Most professional teeth-whitening sessions take more than one appointment. Book your first appointment now, and use an at-home whitening kit after your last session to maintain your pearly whites. The last thing you want to worry about on your wedding day is sensitive teeth.
Botox: Botox takes a few days to kick in and usually lasts a few months. If you’re considering it, do it now to make sure you can correct any potential issues. If you’re curious about the procedure, here’s everything you need to know.
2 weeks before…
Hair gloss, trim, and subtle color: Get a color-enhancing gloss treatment at your salon for shiny locks on your wedding day, and trim any split ends while you’re there. If you’d like a subtle color change, like balayage or babylights, now is the time to get them done.
Exfoliate: If you haven’t already, start exfoliating your entire body at least two to three times a week. Try a gentle body scrub, like Rituals Sakura Scrub ($29), which sloughs off dead skin cells without stripping your skin of moisture.
Brows: Get your brows waxed, threaded, or shaped at the two-week mark—tweeze any stray hairs at least one day before your wedding to avoid redness.
1 week before…
2 days before…
Manicure/Pedicure: Request a gel polish to avoid any chips and cracks on your big day. Pink and neutral shades like Essie Nail Polish in Romper Room ($9) are popular, but wear whatever makes you feel most beautiful (here are some ideas).
Spray tan: Get your spray tan two days before your wedding—the extra time will allow the tan to fade in and look more natural.
1 day before…
Beauty sleep: The best thing you can do at this point is to get some shut-eye—you’ve done your work, now take some time to relax (or at least try to). A soothing eye mask, like Iluminage Skin Rejuvenating Eye Mask ($35), will help sleep easy.
Hydrate: Drink plenty of water the day before to ensure you and your skin are hydrated.
The day of…
Congratulations—you’ve made it to the big day! Now all you have to do is smile and try not to cry (and if you do, your waterproof mascara’s got you covered).
Want more wedding beauty? Click here to see 17 stunning bridal makeup looks.
This story was originally published on May 13, 2014.