How does a beauty expert prepare for her own wedding? With access to the best dermatologists, treatments and products, Gemma Watts knows what she's doing. She shares her bridal beauty prep, 18 months out.
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While I do think there is a lot to be discussed surrounding the pressure placed upon brides to look a certain way on their wedding day, I personally see no issue with wanting your skin to look as healthy as possible on a day when all eyes are on you (and you’re likely to be photographed more than you have, and ever will be, in your entire life).
Call me superficial (seriously- I work in beauty and am entirely unperturbed), but I want my skin to look the best it has ever looked on my wedding day.
As a beauty writer, “How should I prepare my skin for my wedding day?” has long been one of my most frequently asked questions.
As a now bride-to-be, the enquiries have doubled.
I am getting married in the spring of 2023, so I have quite some time to really map out my own bridal skin prep.
I’ve spent years interviewing dermatologists, clinicians and skin specialists on wedding and event skin prep, so I’ve learnt a few tips and tricks that I intend to work into my own wedding skin journey.
This is a rough plan, and it’s likely to change - and we will document that! But, for now, here’s what I’m thinking…
This is where we’re at. Admittedly I hadn’t really thought too much about the specifics of my own wedding skin preparation until recently, and I think this is because I already do more for my skin than the average beauty consumer needs to due to the very nature of my job.
My skin, touch wood, is already very healthy, so at this stage my primary skin goals are to achieve a complexion that visibly glows, and to prevent any surprise breakouts.
While I’m not looking to treat anything too specific, I intend to begin ramping up my skincare and clinical treatments at the 12 month mark.
At this stage, I intend to start trialling different treatments to get a better idea of what will deliver the results I’m looking for. I already have a list of treatments that I love, but I want to try as much as I can so I can pass plenty of recommendations on to my community (that means you!).
Given that, as mentioned, I’m not looking to treat anything super specific, I imagine I’ll still be in the trial and planning phase of my bridal beauty at the 12 month mark.
The risk with trialling something new, be it a product or a treatment, too close to the wedding is that the skin may react and your focus will then have to turn to treating that reaction rather than actually achieving those skin goals, but 12 months still feels like enough of a lead time to be taking a risk like that.
It’s at this point, however, that I intend to draft a pretty thorough plan for myself including monthly treatments. I will share that plan here, so watch this space.
I’m fortunate in that I’ve worked with some of the country’s very best in hair and makeup so I already have a shortlist, but great talent tends to book out quickly so I want to get in there nice and early.
With six months to the wedding day, I intend to be a few months into what I predict will be a really thorough skin regime encompassing both clinical treatments and home care.
I already have a lot of skin-tech-devices on hand to maintain results in between clinical treatments, and I anticipate that, at around the 6 to 9 month mark, I’ll be in clinic roughly once every 6 weeks for a combination of more intense treatments, like my beloved PicoWay Resolve laser facials, and more hydrating, soothing treatments.
It’s at around the three month mark that I intend to pull right back on intensive clinical treatments, as these are the sorts of facials that require downtime and can leave the skin a bit red.
I’ll also likely halt any product trials that could cause the skin to purge or breakout, instead only using products that I know work for my skin.
It’s also at this stage that I’ll ensure I’ve booked at least one trial with my makeup artist and hair stylist, as well as making sure other treatments like manicures and spray tans are booked.
I have been visiting the same nail and tanning salons for years, so I don’t intend to try somewhere new. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it- especially this close to an important event.
When speaking to skin specialists about what to do the month of your wedding, I have received the same piece of advice across the board- do NOT try anything new.
It is absolutely not worth the risk. As tempting as it may be to pop on a fresh new sheet mask with your bridesmaids the night before the wedding, but do not put one single thing on your face that you have not used before.
The goal at this point is maintenance, not change.
That said, this entire plan is subject to exactly that - change. I'll keep you updated here. Watch this space!