Your big day is just a month away – maybe less! Whether we are talking about your wedding, your daughter’s wedding, your 25-year high school reunion (where you are sure you will see the one that got away) or another notable occasion, you want to look as fresh and fabulous as possible– and who can blame you?
But what can you do to get flawless fast?
A lot! We have made it easy for you with our new expert-approved, fool-proof Four Weeks to Flawless Plan.
Jumpstart your four weeks to flawless program with an evaluation by a skilled dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Everyone’s skin is different and we all have different needs and aesthetic goals, a personalized evaluation is the best way to chart your course.
Your options may include laser skin resurfacing with fractionated lasers such as the Fraxel. “These lasers also tighten pores and minimize pigmentation,” says Gail Humble, MD, a plastic surgeon in Hermosa Beach, CA. They target a fraction of the skin’s surface, and essentially create tiny wounds in the deeper layer of your skin to stimulate a controlled wound-healing process. Your top layer remains untouched, while your skin’s deeper layer begin to heal. There is less downtime with these lasers than older ablative lasers because they refresh your skin from the inside out. Multiple treatments may be needed.
New York Plastic Surgeon Z. Paul Lorenc says that a series of treatments with Laser Genesis can also help treat any hyperpigmentation issues a month out. Laser genesis also targets the deeper layer of the skin, and stimulates new collagen production. Collagen is a protein that gives our skin its structure, and its supply dwindles with advancing age. IPL uses broad-spectrum pulses of light, which are absorbed into the skin to get rid of enlarged blood vessels and unflattering brown marks, says Sachdev, also an ambassador for Olay’s Regenerist skincare line.
Now also is the time to consider injectables including Botox, Dysport and fillers like Radiesse, Restylane, Perlane, Belotero and Juvederm. Surgery is too risky this close to an important event.
Hermosa Beach, CA-based plastic surgeon Doug Mest, MD, suggests a liquid facelift.“ We can use Botox or Dysport to mold the brows and erase crow’s feet, Radiesse can add volume to your mid-face and hyaluronic acid-fillers can plump your lips and add volume to your nasolabial folds,“ he says. “This combo can reshape a face in less than one month and all the bruising will be gone by your big day.” There is no one-size-fits all cocktail. Injectables can be personalized based on your aesthetic goals.
Raccoon eyes also can mar your otherwise flawless appearance. “Treatment depends upon why you have dark circles,” Mest says. “If it is due to a lack of volume, we can fill in your under eye hollows with hyaluronic acid or fat injections,” he says.
One month before your event is also time to start working on your smile, says Bruno Sharp, DDS, prosthodontist in Coconut Grove, FL. “A good cleaning makes a big difference,” he says.
Given a month, Sharp says he would focus on whitening and brightening. “I recommend an in-office whitening that is followed up with take home bleaching trays,” he says. Implants are out, but there is ample time to address other dental issues including crooked or missing teeth.
Week three is the time to focus on your body and get plenty of sleep. Stay hydrated by drinking six to eight glasses of water a day and keep this up all the way to your big day and beyond. “Well-hydrated skin looks younger and fresher,” says Dr. Lorenc.
You may be getting a little anxious as your day draws nearer. Stress is not good for you physically or mentally. Yoga and meditation twice a week along with regular cardiovascular exercise and resistance training can help decrease your stress levels.
Eating right also helps reduce stress and improve your appearance. The traditional nutrient-rich Mediterranean diet, which includes healthy fats like olive oil, fruits, vegetables and lean protein (and is often topped off with a glass of wine). If you are trying to lose a few lbs before the big event (and who isn’t), avoid refined carbohydrates including chips, crackers, pasta or coffee drinks that can contain over 500 calories, and go for things that are loaded with nutrients, but low in calories, says Junelle Lupiani, RD, a nutritionist at the Miraval Resort & Spa in Tucson, AZ.
Some good-for-you-foods are also delicious. Dark chocolate may help put the brakes on wrinkles and some of the other visible signs of aging. Rich in epicatechins and catechins, dark chocolate protects your skin from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays and also may improve blood flow to the proteins and other structures that support your skin. They also boost levels of the mood chemicals serotonin and endorphin. “These chemicals help keep us calm and relaxed,” Lupiani says. Her Chocolate Rx? “Find a comfortable space, relax, take a deep breath and eat an ounce of chocolate every day.”
Chemical peels come in a variety of strengths, and can help restore a rosy, healthful glow. Deeper, industrial-strength peels offer more dramatic results than superficial peels, but they come at a cost — more downtime. The closer you are to your big day, the lighter the peel should be to avoid any irritation. According to New Haven, CT Dermatologist, Lisa Donofrio, M.D., “Superficial alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) peels such as glycolic or lactic acid are good options this week.”
This also is the time to start thinking about your hair. If you need highlights, lowlights, color or any other treatments, do it now to avoid any hair disasters on your big day.
Of course, keep up with your diet and exercise regimens as the big day gets closer.
Take some me-time and treat yourself. Schedule a relaxing sugar body scrub to soften your skin, and a Swedish massage to work all the knots out.
Now also is the time to kick your diet up a notch by boosting your antioxidant intake by drinking green tea, and eating blueberries, raspberries and pomegranates, she says. Supplements of mercury- and pesticide-free omega-3 fatty acids will help decrease inflammation and help give you a great glow from the inside out. Follow the instructions on the bottle.
Your Big Day
It’s finally here. No doubt all your efforts have paid off. Today is a good time to get your pre-event manicure and pedicure. Remember make-up counts too especially since there likely will be photographers buzzing about. “For longer lasting makeup, skip using a moisturizer and instead, use a face primer,” says New York City-based make-up artist Kimara Ahnert. “If you are very dry, use a moisturizer and face primer on top.”
Face primer or foundation primer gives skin a smooth surface, allowing other products to glide on more evenly and stay on longer, she says. “You can’t be flawless without foundation,” Ahnert says. “Choose a foundation that is water-based and matte for long lasting coverage.”
Apply it with a damp sponge for better blending and a sheer but covered finish. And one more thing: “Carry a pressed powder that matches your face makeup and apply throughout event if more coverage is needed or to keep shine under control.”
Knock ’em dead!