The Ultimate Bride Guide

ariane poole picture
Bridal Make-up Artist Ariane Poole

A Beauty Count Down to Your Big Day!

Congratulations, you’ve just got engaged! Now is the time to start planning your wedding. And I don’t just mean the dress and flowers. In order to look radiant on your big day you need to put a beauty plan into action.

Over the next few months I will guide you through all you need to do to look stunning on your wedding day…and it doesn’t have to cost a bomb!
Just follow this simple guide and you will look GREAT on your Wedding Day.

9 – 12 Months before

– If you want to loose weight or just tone up this is the time to start. By doing it gradually you will have the best long term results. Don’t want to invest in a personal trainer and can’t stand the gym then do it at home I love Yogalosophy DVD by Mandy Ingber. She’s the one that helped Jennifer Aniston get a great bod!

– Make an appointment with your hairdresser to discuss and try out hair styles. If you’re planning a big change such as colour or a cut this is the time to do it. If you are thinking of growing your hair for your wedding style now would be the time to start. But check with your hairdresser you may not need to. They have great hair pieces that are called hair wefts. These are not weaves. They simply attach to your head and you can remove them at the end of the day or keep them in for a couple of days.
If you are not planning to use your usual hairdresser shop around and ask friends and fellow brides for their recommendations.

7 – 8 Months before

– If you are considering any laser hair removal, this is the time to do it as you may find that it takes several appointments for the best results. Or you could do it your self with Boots’ Smooth Skin Intense Pulsed Light Permanente Hair Reduction.
Beautiful brows are a must whether you wear lots or make-up or prefer a natural look.
– Brows draw focus to the face and if they aren’t looking as good as they should you may not be looking as picture perfect as you could. Consult a brow specialist; there are ones all over the country. They will help shape or reshape your brows and even help you fill in over plucked ones, what ever is needed to look great.


5 – 6 Months before:

– If you are a glasses wearer and are either planning to swap frames or change to lenses do it now so you get use to them.
– You should be into a good skin care routine but if you are not then start. There are lots of good skin care ranges that don’t cost the earth. I love Ren, Balance Me & Liz Earle. Please Please Please do not use wipes as your only skin care!
– Get your complexion looking its best with monthly or bimonthly facials depending on your skin type. Don’t have a facial during the week leading up to your wedding.
– I know this sounds boring but try to up your water in take. Not only will it make your skin look great but it will make your eyes sparkle too.
– Embrace nutrition. Getting your 5 a day and eating healthy will improve your skin, your body and your mind. Helping you cope with any wedding stresses that come your way.

3 – 4 Months before:

– A bride’s smile is so important. It is the one thing you will be doing all day along. So if your teeth aren’t looking as dazzling as you would you should consider teeth whitening. You can go to your dentist or you can opt for an over the counter at home kits, but make sure you keep them looking great by using a whitening tooth paste. There are also whitening strips available.

– This is the time to try out a false tan to see how you like it, how it looks with your dress and how it will affect your make-up. I have been using St Tropez Self Tan Intensifier applied using a mitt. The mitt makes the tan go on fabulously…no streaks!
– Unless you are doing your own make-up it’s time to book a make-up artist. The best way of finding one is by recommendation (from a friend who has recently got married or your from your hairdresser) or at a wedding show. You can try out make-up artists at wedding shows to see who you like.
– If you are going to do your make-up yourself and many brides do Think Kate Middleton then now is the time to start to practice.
– This is the time to start experimenting with different make-up looks, you definitely don’t want to leave it to your Wedding Day and don’t do it any earlier unless you are certain your skin tone won’t change.
– Check out the different bridal magazines or even look to your favourite celeb for ideas.
– Remember you should look like you only better. So, if you don’t wear much make-up don’t be tempted to pile it on and if you like your make-up strong don’t opt for a soft natural look, you won’t feel right on the day.


1 – 2 Months Before:

– If you are using a professional make-up artist and hairdresser on the Big Day have a trial run so you feel confident and comfortable with your look. Now is the time for any fine tuning. I always ask my brides to bring as many pictures of make-up looks as possible. I know hairdressers like this as well. The pics can come from anywhere Bridal Mags, Celebrity Mags, Adverts etc. I also like to see my bride in the make-up she normally wears so I know her level of comfort. I want you to look the way you want and feel great.
– Confirm that the hair and make-up are booked for the actual day! And make sure all of you have the timing right.
– Make sure to take a picture of the trial make-up so that you can check if the makeup and hair looks how you want it to look. You must be happy how you look will in the photos.
– If you decide to do it yourself, why not take advantage of the many cosmetic companies who offer free bridal makeovers. That way you can pick and choose colours, products and ideas that are best for you. This is a great way of fine tuning your look. Again make sure to take pictures. If you are getting married somewhere hot and humid please mention this to the make-up artist so that they can advise you on which products to choose to avoid make-up melt down.
– If you have decided to do your own hair then don’t go for anything too radical or complicated. As with your make-up keep it like you but more perfected. Have a couple of lessons with your hairdresser when going for your normal cut and colour. Keep your hair in tip top condition with at home treatments.
– If you’re doing your own makeup/hair arrange a girlie afternoon with your bridesmaids to practice the looks each of you will be wearing on the day. This includes the mother of the bride. You need to be sure that everyone is looking how you want them to and are feeling happy. Remember to take photos to get a real idea of how it will look on the actual day.

– Get a pedicure even if your toes aren’t on show for on the day they will be on the honeymoon.
– Your hands are going to be on show non stop on your wedding…signing the register, showing off your ring need I say more, so if your nails and hands aren’t looking as good as you’d like them to start having regular manicures. You can do this yourself. I am a big fan of Sally Hansen Nail Care products. To get your hands super soft apply a rich hand cream and pop your hands into white cotton gloves over night.


2 Weeks Before:

– Have your hair colour & cut refreshed.
– Get any body treatments.
– Keep up your good skin care routine.
– Make sure your lips are kissabley smooth, use a lip balm regularly.

– Keep up the good work with your strict skincare regime, you’re so close! In the meantime, keep a facial mist atop your desk or handy in your handbag to sooth, hydrate and refresh tired, thirsty skin throughout the day – especially if you work in an air-conditioned office.
– Try to cut down on alcohol and caffeine not only will that help your hair and skin look good but it will help with any stress or nerves that you might be starting to feel.

One week before:

– Get final facial or do one at home. 7 days before not any closer to the day.

– Get your brow shape checked.

– Top up your false tan. Be careful with your false tan as stress can change the way your tan takes. 4 days before the day.

– Have your eyelashes tinted in preparation for your honeymoon, so you won’t need to worry with mascara on the beach. 4 days before the day.
– Get your legs and bikini line waxed if needed 4 days before the day.
– Book a manicure and pedicure for the day before the wedding.
– If you are having lash extensions have them put on 4 days before the day.




1 Day Before:

– Get a manicure and pedicure. If you want your mani/pedi to last (2 weeks) try Gels. So many great brands now do them. I love these because no matter how hard you are on your nails they look great.

– If you doing your own make-up make sure that you have everything you need. Check my list below.
– Wash your hair the day before especially if you are wearing it up. Hair washed on the day is just too soft and won’t hold a do. If you are doing your own hair washing it the morning of it will make it more difficult to handle.


On the Day:

– Allow plenty of time to do your hair & make-up, you don’t want to feel rushed.
– Wear a dressing gown or button-down shirt that can be easily removed so not to disturb your hair & makeup.
– Make sure you do your hair and make-up before you put on your dress.
– Have a light bite to eat. It will help you not feel lightheaded especially if you have been up early.
– Have a clean towel handy to cover your dress for last minute hair & make-up touch ups before you head out the door. You don’t want anything to fall on the dress.
– Breath long deep breaths. Nerves may be giving you butterflies and deep breathing can help calm you down.
– All you’ll need to take with you for touch ups – shine absorbing sheets to blot up shine, lip colour and concealer.

– Above all enjoy the moment.

Don’t forget to visit our Wedding Theatre and get even more advice and inspiration from our wedding specialists.