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My big confession: I'm a total control freak. For those of you like me and in the midst of planning a wedding, you know it's not a good combination. And even though I knew I couldn't control the weather, or even the last-minute RSVPs, I took comfort in knowing I could control the health of my skin and hair. I didn't want to totally revamp my low-key, everyday regimen (only one Microdermabrasion a few months before the big day) but I took greater care in keeping a schedule and never missing a step. The reward: shiny hair and even, clear skin to give me confidence down the aisle (the handsome man meeting me at the other end didn't hurt either!).—Esther Hahn
1. I swear by Peter Thomas Roth facial masks. With pure, clean ingredients that work gentle magic, these masks give results especially when used consistently. I alternated between the soothing Cucumber Gel Masque and the exfoliating Pumpkin Enzyme Peel weekly for about nine months, and my skin never glowed as it did following this schedule. Fair warning: give yourself plenty of time to experiment with the peel -- it may not be suitable for very sensitive or very dry skin types.
2. I fell hard for Laura Mercier skincare during my wedding beauty prep. Already a long-time devotee of the makeup, I decided to test run the Perfecting Water Moisture Mist and the Tone Perfecting Crème upon my makeup artist's recommendation. I never looked back after a week's trial resulted in vastly improved skin hydration. The mist also aids absorption of other treatments like acne serums to accelerate the effects.
3. The perfect tan is a risky art to practice ahead of the wedding day. A couple months before mine, I took a quick surf trip to Kauai only to come home with some redness and uneven color. Fully realizing how poorly sunburns photograph, I chose to stay indoors and opt for the Kate Somerville Body Tanning Towlettes. A quick swipe over the face and body (especially the chest and shoulders) ensured a sun-kissed glow that didn't rub off onto my white dress.
4. The bride-to-be's ultimate secret weapon is the New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Vitamin—no, not for preparing for a honeymoon baby (although that can be an added bonus) but for the hair growth and the nail strengthening that result from regularly taking the supplement. I especially like this brand because it uses non-GMO, organic ingredients and the pills are easy to digest. My hair grew at an incredible rate with a healthy shine, which also meant a quick color touch up a few days out—so plan accordingly.