Your Perfect Skin Diet

Who doesn't want perfect skin for their wedding? Moisturizers, scrubs, and treatments will help you get it, of course, but that's not the only way. To really take your skin to the next level you must eat the right foods — and avoiding the wrong ones. Foods that are rapidly converted to sugar, such as bread, pasta, fruit juices, soda, candy, and French fries, cause inflammation because they make your blood sugar quickly rise. Inflammation is at the root of many diseases including acne, aging, large pores, oily skin, dry skin, and rosacea. To combat the inflammation, add these glow-getting foods below into your diet, stat.

HIGH-QUALITY PROTEIN
Prevent a rise in blood sugar and curb your appetite by adding foods such as organic eggs, poultry, fish, shellfish, and tofu that release energy gradually.

LOW-GLYCEMIC CARBOHYDRATES
Go for beans, lentils, old-fashioned oatmeal (not instant!), and fresh fruits—avoid those loaded with sugar—and vegetables since they're low in sugar and packed with antioxidants.

HEALTHY FATS
Dramatically reduce the body's production of inflammatory compounds, and make your complexion supple and radiant by including foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids in your meal plan. Omega-3s are found in wild Alaskan salmon, halibut, sardines, herring, anchovies, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseed, and olive oil.

ANTIOXIDANT-RICH BEVERAGES
Ditch coffee (or at least limit it) and switch to loose-leaf green tea, which has anti-inflammatory properties. If you're having trouble making the switch, opt for black tea first — it has more caffeine than green.

SPICES
The anti-inflammatory benefits of ginger, turmeric root, and curry powder are infinite. Try incorporating them into every meal.

PURE SPRING WATER
Even slight dehydration can cause our skin to lose its radiance. Drinking at least 10 glasses of pure spring water helps the body flush out toxins and stay hydrated, supple, and healthy.

Radiant Skin for Your Picture Perfect Day

HOW TO GET YOUR SKIN IN TOP-NOTCH SHAPE BEFORE THE WEDDING
Beautiful bridal make-up starts with good skin – no foundation will look perfect if your skin is not in good condition, it will show through. A good skin care routine is something you cannot ignore. It will spare you from the trouble of layered foundation and concealers on the wedding day, as well as the events leading up to it. Here are some useful bridal skincare tips to keep in mind for achieving that flawless and glowing skin.

ASSESS EARLY
If you really want to get your skin in top form for the big day, don’t leave it until the last minute. The longer you have to correct any skin issues, the better! Ideally, preparing your skin should begin at least 6 months in advance of your wedding. If you don’t have that long before the wedding day don’t worry – just adopt good skincare habits as soon as possible.    

REDUCE STRESS
Skincare doesn’t stop at the surface. Stress is often the culprit of breakouts, and unfortunately, the months, weeks and days leading up to your wedding day can be an extremely stressful time! The good news is that there are many ways you can keep your stress levels low during this time – take a walk, stay organized, communicate clearly and don’t hold things in, take deep slow breaths often, or incorporate yoga into your weekly gym routine. For more ideas on staying stress free check out ‘30 Days to Less Stress’ (link to April Challenge blog)

STAY HYDRATED
If your skin is not getting the sufficient amount of water, the lack of hydration will lead to dry, tight, and flaky skin. Dry skin is less resilient and leaves you prone to wrinkling. To add water to your skin you should drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. And, by applying a hydrating moisturizer to your skin within 2 minutes of leaving the bath or shower when your pores are open and prone to absorption.

"SHRINK" YOUR PORES
The deeper a pore is, the bigger it looks on the skin's surface. So, even though you can't actually change the size of your pores, you can minimize the depth of your pores to make them seem smaller. Microdermabrasion, glycolic acid and other chemical peels are the most effective options for exfoliating layers of bad skin and minimize pore surface.

DON’T FORGET YOUR LIPS
It's easier to prevent your lips from getting chapped than it is to repair them if they're already dry and cracked. Wear a good quality lip balm and re-apply regularly throughout the day, especially before bed. Do this for at least a week before your wedding and your lips will be beautifully soft and smooth, and ready for your first kiss as man and wife!

REVITALIZE WITH A PEEL
Peels are designed to slough off dead skin cells, which tend to build up and leave your complexions looking dull and lifeless. Removing the dead layers will bring new, fresh skin to the surface and leave your complexion looking fresher and more vibrant. To make the most of these spa treatments, you'll want to book a series of peels. Start with six different sessions, each two weeks apart (so skin has time to recover).

ELIMINATE ZITS WITH BENZOYL PEROXIDE
There are several options for taking care of problem spots on your face. And no, popping it isn't one of them. If you have a pimple first try dabbing benzoyl peroxide gel directly on the blemish. This will help dry it out (sometimes overnight). If that doesn’t work, and you are limited on time consult your doctor and ask about an anti-inflammatory steroid injection. If you have a problem with blackheads or hormonal spots on your chin, try using a salicylic acid product as part of your skincare regime. This will help to gently exfoliate the skin and clear out pores.

SHAMPOO YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES
Every time you apply makeup with a dirty brush, you add a layer of acne-causing bacteria to your skin. Cleaning your brushes is easy and should be done at least once a week. To wash them suds them up with shampoo, rinse them and hang them to air-dry with the bristles facing down. It will make your makeup colors truer too.

AVOID NEW PRODUCTS
It may be tempting to, but don’t try any new products up to three weeks before your wedding – this includes skincare, hair care, make-up, and even body wash! Any kind of a reaction, it could take a couple of weeks to calm down, which the last thing you need before your big day!

Getting the Most Out of Your Stylist & Makeup Artist

When it comes to wedding preparations, a lot of brides choose to forgo hiring a professional makeup artist & stylist for their wedding, as they see it as an added expense that they could do without. Although hiring a professional isn’t for everyone, there are certain types of brides that it could be most beneficial for. If you’re the type of bride who gets riddled with nerves easily or has little experience with makeup applications and up-do’s, hiring a professional for your wedding would not only make your special day less stressful, but sitting in a chair and getting pampered helps you totally relax so that you can focus on walking down the aisle, and finally be married to the one you love!

So, how on earth do you pick a stylist and makeup artist for what is arguably the biggest day of your life? Since you most likely want to be able to look back at pictures and not see smudged eye makeup, a shiny forehead, hair out of place, or any of the many other beauty blunders that could happen on your wedding day, we have put together a guide on how to get the most out of what you are paying for.

PICKING THE RIGHT PERSON FOR THE JOB
You may be lucky enough to have a hairstylist or makeup artist who you trust completely, and knows your hair or skin better than anyone else. If you don't, well, you'll simply need do some research. Ask other brides whose hairstyles you've admired. Check with your bridal salon. Once you've garnered a list of options, it's time to set up consultations: the only way to determine if a hair stylist is right for you.

DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT AHEAD OF TIME
Before you hire a stylist you need to decide a few things: Do you want her to come to you on your wedding day or would you rather go to the salon? Will she only do you hair or the bridal party's as well? Do you want her to come and stay with you throughout the day to do touch-ups before the photo session and the ceremony? Discuss these options with your stylist. Of course, how long you hire a professional to stay with you depend on your budget and her time limitations.

CHOOSE SOMEONE WHO’S WORK YOU LOVE
Viewing a professional stylist or makeup artist’s work and researching them is so important. You want to make sure they have a top quality portfolio and that their work matches the quality you are expecting to receive for your wedding. Don’t be afraid to ask for references. There is absolutely nothing wrong with checking to make sure you are making the best decision for you, for the most important day of your life. Ask for names, numbers, or emails that you check in with, and personally ask how that client liked their experience with this specific professional.

CHOOSE SOMEONE YOU CLICK WITH
You will also be spending a significant amount of time with the stylist and makeup artist leading up to your wedding day, so it is super important that you get along with her / him. They should make you feel comfortable enough around them that you don’t feel awkward, ashamed, or embarrassed to ask them to change or add anything when they’re done with a makeup application. You should feel like you can ask the, about anything. They are there to help you carry the load! Schedule your trial run for at least two months before the big day in case you don't work well together and you need to find a different hairstylist or makeup artist.

CHOOSE SOMEONE THAT HAS THE EXPERIENCE YOU NEED
If you have sensitive skin, super curly hair, or any other beauty quirks that require a skilled professional, mention them to your hairstylist or makeup artist before booking a trial run. You’ll want to work with someone who knows their way around your hair or skin type.

THE TRIAL RUN
A trial run is basically a preview of what you will look like on your wedding day. Doing this well in advance ensures that you have time to adjust anything that you weren’t 100% happy with before the big day.

GO IN PREPARED
Be sure you find out what kind of preparation you need to do before your trial run and before your wedding, as they sometimes differ. Your hairstylist may want you to have freshly washed hair; your makeup artist may want you to prime or moisturize your skin, or may want you to come fresh-faced.

Also, wear white to your trial — it'll help you get an idea of what your makeup will really look like on the wedding day. And, if you've already picked out your big-day accessories, you'll want to bring them to your trials to find out how they fit in with your beauty look. If you plan to purchase a headpiece but don't have it yet, ask your hairstylist if they have accessories you can borrow to get an idea of the overall look.

BRING REFERENCES
Prior to your trial appointments look through magazines or Pinterest for women with similar coloring to yours whose makeup or hairstyles you love. Relying solely on verbal descriptions often turn into wedding day disasters. To help them get a sense of the style you want to achieve, also come prepared to show them pictures of your dress, venue, and décor style as well. After you've shown the photos, discuss them. Make sure they see what you're seeing.

EXAMINE MAKEUP TECHNIQUES
A true professional has a keen eye for art, viewing every clients as their blank canvas to create a beautiful masterpiece. They should be equipped with the proper tools and knowledge to use the correct colors and techniques that are needed to bring out your best features for your wedding day. You want someone that has both the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure you look flawless on your big day.

DOCUMENT IT
Don’t forget to take pictures! Sometimes people like the look in person but not in photos, or vice versa. Ask the stylist or artist to photograph each finished look from different angles, that way, you'll be able to see how you look from all views, and you'll get an idea of how their work translates to photographs. During the trial they should be writing EVERYTHING down to ensure that you will look exactly the way you did for your trial. They should also time themselves so that they can make a set schedule for you the day of the wedding, that coincides with the photographers schedule as well as your wedding coordinators (if you have one).

LOOKING FLAWLESS ON THE BIG DAY

PREPARING FOR THE STYLIST & ARTIST
When the wedding day arrives, put your undergarments on under a button-front shirt or robe so you'll be ready to slip on your dress when your hair is done and your headpiece and veil are in place. If your stylist is coming to you, make a place for him next to a low table and sit in a chair with a low back so he will have easy access to your head. And make sure there are electrical outlets nearby for appliances like hair dryers, curling irons, and electric rollers. If necessary, have an extension cord handy.

STAYING STRESS FREE
If you begin to become alarmed about the way the stylist is handling your tresses, calmly and respectfully suggest an alternative. You need expert help -- that is why you hired a professional -- but that expert must be willing to help you achieve your objective. She should also give you tips for keeping those luscious locks in place throughout the reception. Also, if your veil needs to be removed after the ceremony, ask for a lesson on how to do it. After all, you want to show off that wonderful mane, don't you?