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How to Be Big-Day Beautiful From Every Angle

Your face isn't the only area that needs attention.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Aaron Delesie

Every bride wants to look stunning on her big day. Most women get wedding ready by adopting a skin-enhancing regimen that focuses on the face, but that's not the only area that should get a little extra attention. Your neck, back, arms, and legs will also be in the spotlight, so don't they deserve a little love, too? "This is the time brides should focus on taking care of the whole body," says Laura Benge, National Director of Exhale Spa. "Think about your wedding photos. There are going to be close-ups of more than just your face." To make sure these co-starring areas are also on point, check out the products and treatments proven to work wonders on every inch of your body.

 

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The Neck

This neglected area has recently garnered some serious beauty buzz. Super sensitive, the neck showcases sun damage and aging much faster than the face. "This is why it should be treated the same way you would your face," says Gina Mari, owner of Gina Mari Skincare, a renowned beauty enclave in Beverly Hills.  "Subtle changes—fine lines, dryness, a loss of elasticity—often occur here first." The secret to enhancing a less than stellar neck? Doing things that give the skin cells in that area a boost.

 

Go to a Pro 
Mari suggests booking a treatment that uses radio frequency or LED (aka Color Light Therapy) to stimulate the collagen in your neck for a firmer, smoother appearance. And if you're worried about pain, fear not. "Both of these procedures don't hurt in least," she promises. "Actually, they can be quite relaxing."

 

Try This at Home 
In the sea of toning and tightening creams on the market, IS Clinical distinguishes itself with NeckPerfect Complex. This magical product is infused with powerful botanical hydrators and antioxidants, which gently exfoliate and smooth skin. Don't just use it under your chin—NeckPerfect will have your décolleté glowing, too.

 

 

The Back

Even if you're not going backless or strapless, your rear view should still be radiant. After all, people will be seeing you from behind during the ceremony—and there's the honeymoon (hello, bikini) to consider. "The back needs attention because it can be prone to the same skin issues as the face, like clogged pores and dryness," says Benge, who recommends getting a pro-treatment designed to cleanse, exfoliate, and smooth your back. "It's an area that's hard to access yourself, so initially it's good to have a therapist do these things for you."

 

Go to a Pro
Exhale Spas offer a Back + Face facial, a gloriously multi-tasking treatment that gives equal deep cleansing love to both areas. Your back will benefit from the herbal antioxidants and hydrating products that leave a radiant surface. Bonus: You'll get a soothing massage during your treatment.

 

Try This at Home
Neutrogena has got your back. Slather away scaly skin with the brand's Body Clear Body Scrub. Infused with a hint of salicylic acid, this wash gently exfoliates while banishing any bacne. Add a moisturizing finish with Caudalie Divine Oil, a lightweight formula that promotes suppleness.

 

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The Hands

The ring may be the main attraction, but don't think for a moment that your fingers and nails won't be scrutinized, too. Make sure they pass muster by taking things into your own hands—literally. You should be using a moisturizing hand lotion regularly, including immediately after you wash your hands. Sunscreen is another must as the hands are just as susceptible to sun damage as the face. You can use the same product you use on your face or body—just make sure it has an SPF of at least 15.

 

Go to a Pro
Move beyond a basic manicure with a spa upgrade that includes a paraffin treatment. There is nothing like warm wax to soften skin, increase circulation, and open pores. If you're struggling with more serious skin issues (sun spots, fine lines) try a dermatologist-approved treatment. Infrared lights, laser resurfacing, and synthetic fillers like Juvéderm or Perlane are known to be effective.

 

Try This at Home
To score a perfect 10 on the home front, Mari is all about doing your own deep moisturizing treatment. Start with an exfoliating product (we like L'Occitane One Minute Hand Scrub); slather on a rich moisturizer, and then stick your hands in warming mitts. "These gloves help the product penetrate for deeper hydration." Try Conair True Glow Heated Beauty Mitts.

 

 

 

The Parts Unknown

If you're wondering how to handle your arms, belly, butt, and legs, wonder no more. We've got two words for you: Dry brushing. It’s the practice of scrubbing down your skin with a soft but firm brush. "Stimulating your lymphatic system and circulation are the main benefits of dry brushing," explains Mari. "This increases blood flow and helps the body better rid itself of toxins and excess water." Gentle brushing also acts as an exfoliant, sloughing off dead skin cells to result in softer, glowing skin.

 

Go to a Pro
A wrap is a relaxing way to give forgotten areas a little beauty focus. Think of it as a massage with lots of bells and whistles. Your body will be rubbed, exfoliated, and slathered with luxuriously rich creams. Spas like Viva Day Spa in Austin incorporate dry brushing into its signature hydrating treatments.

 

Try This at Home
Invest in your own dry brush. Hint: A brush with a long handle comes in handy for hard-to-reach areas like the lower back. Start at your feet and work upward, using firm, long strokes. For your stomach and butt, brush in a circular motion. The entire process can take three to five minutes. Like most pros Benge and Mari both recommend dry brushing in the morning before you shower. Finish with a moisturizing super cream like Body Complex by IS Clinical or Coco Luxe Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.

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