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Who doesn’t want to look their best when they walk down the aisle? But some beauty routines can do more harm than good if followed too close to the big day. Think twice before moving forward with these popular fix-me-ups.
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Searching for that sun-kissed glow? Aside from the obvious health risks, baking under UV lights in a tanning bed can actually be counterproductive. “Tanning creates dead cells,” says Rhea Souhleris, owner of La Suite Spa in Greenwich, Connecticut. “Your skin will look flat and it’s hard to re-create life with makeup.” Skip the harmful rays and keep the radiance with Bobbi Brown’s cult favorite Bronzing Powder ($40, bobbibrowncosmetics.com) and Clinique’s tinted body lotion ($23, clinique.com) for a luminous glow from head to toe.
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There is nothing worse than waking up and finding a brand new whitehead staring back at you in the mirror. Don’t even think about popping it! First try drying it out overnight with Mario Badescu Drying Lotion ($17, mariobadescu.com). If that doesn’t solve the problem, New York City dermatologist David Colbert advises to “treat them as (mini) medical procedures … and have a doctor remove it.”
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No big-day beauty look is complete without a pearly smile, but remember that professional teeth-whitening treatments leave teeth highly sensitive. Schedule the sessions too close to your wedding day and you’ll be “owing” and “ouching” through every sip of champagne. Avoid the pain (and enjoy your reception feast!) by instead scheduling them for a couple of weeks beforehand.
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Changing Your Hair Color
It may be tempting to go for a total beauty transformation, but it comes with risks, particularly if the hair color doesn’t come out the way you wished. Even if you want to freshen up highlights, keep in mind that their tone will adjust and they may look slightly different after the first few washes. To play it safe, arrange any salon appointment two to three weeks prior to your wedding, giving you ample time to make any needed adjustments and for your color to chill out. You can also pamper recently dyed locks with a smoothing treatment at the salon or an ultra-conditioning hair mask, like Fekkai PRX Reparative Fortifying Masque ($25, fekkai.com), at home.
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Getting a Haircut
Now’s not the time to test out a pixie cut or choppy layers. A radically different look could clash with your dress and veil or impact the plans you have already made with your hairstylist for your day-of ’do. Instead, stick to a similar look throughout the final steps of your planning process and visit the salon for a refreshing 1/4-inch trim prior to the celebration.
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Whether it’s a chemical peel, injectable, or abrasive facial, avoid invasive treatments as your big day approaches. Chemical peels typically can leave skin red and irritated. Additionally, deep cleansing facials often lead to unwanted breakouts as they bring impurities to the surface. Try gentler exfoliation instead with the Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush ($89.50, clinique.com), which supercharges your current skincare routine. And if you do take a relaxing spa day, go for a mild hydrating facial and pass on the extractions.
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It’s tough to resist the promise of anything that will melt away those last pre-wedding pounds. If losing 6 to 20 inches sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. Body wraps (no matter what they’re soaked in) are only a temporary fix that can leave you feeling dehydrated.
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A Juice Cleanse
Whether they’re cold-pressed or all veggie, juice cleanses can leave even the best-intentioned feeling zapped of energy and irritable. Skip the liquid diet and stick with a well-balanced, nutritious one that will keep you satisfied, alert, and energized.