Real Bride Beauty Diary: How This Beauty Editor Prepped for Her Wedding

Follow her six-month bridal beauty regimen for editorial-worthy results

Updated 03/22/18
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When Alicia Cesaro and Kyle Henry tied the knot in the picturesque Andalusian hills of Spain, the bride donned a beauty look that evoked effortless glamour: a sleek low bun paired with a modern take on romantic makeup, with a nude manicure to match. Alicia, the former senior beauty editor at Coveteur.com, admits she stuffed more than half of her suitcase with beauty essentials and followed a strict skin-care routine leading up to the July nuptials. She also knew precisely what her hair and makeup would consist of on the big day—from her coif down to her nail-polish shade. And it all began with a six-month bridal beauty regimen, leading up to her walk down the aisle.

"I'm a beauty editor and skin-care obsessive, so my skin was my number-one priority when it came to wedding prep," says the bride. "To be honest, I cared a lot less about pretty much everything else wedding related." Thanks to her job, she was able to test out the latest and greatest in the beauty world, including the model-favorite microcurrent facial with Shamara Bondaroff of SB Skin, which she recommends doing in the days before the wedding. "Ultimately, though, Lauren Abramowitz of Park Ave Skin Solutions was my absolute saving grace when it came to wedding prep." Alicia combined in-office treatments, like Botox and Lumecca Laser sessions, with a meticulous 10-plus-step nightly skin-care routine to achieve skin so glowy, she hardly wore makeup for her rehearsal dinner.

Six months before the wedding, the bride started going in once a month for what she calls "baby Botox," a microdroplet technique Abramowitz used around her brows and forehead to smooth fine lines, and a series of three Lumecca Laser treatments. "I saw the biggest results after the first [laser treatment], and the next two definitely cleared up lingering discoloration, sun damage, and scarring," she says. She also adds that staying ahead of any potential skin damage was key: "I also suffer from hormonal and cystic acne, so any cysts that formed in the months leading up to the wedding I had immediately injected with cortisone shots at my dermatologist." By doing so, the breakout would have time to heal without leaving behind a scar.

In the midst of a regimented skin-care routine, Alicia paid extra attention to her long, flowy hair, trimming it only as needed to maintain the length necessary to achieve the updo she had in mind for the wedding. "I always knew I wanted a middle part and a slicked back, low bun for the ceremony, and that became even more obvious once we settled on a destination in the south of Spain during the height of summer," she explains. "I never wear my hair up or do anything to it besides keep it long, wavy, and down—but I just knew I wanted it pulled back and classic looking. Having it in a bun with the veil felt more formal and special." Before taking off to Spain for the wedding, the bride visited Rita Hazan Salon in New York City to erase any trace of balayage left in her hair. "I had my color dyed back to as close to my natural dark brunette as possible," she says. "I always knew for my wedding that I wanted my hair to be classic, all one color, and my natural color." The rest of Alicia's beauty routine checklist in the weeks before the wedding included getting her teeth whitened, brows shaped, and lash extensions placed. Her very last stop before jetting off for the festivities was a trip to Drybar. "I wanted a fresh blowout for the days before the ceremony. I didn't have to worry about washing my hair until right before the wedding!"

Alicia landed in Spain a week before the wedding and used that time to do her hair trial with her hairstylist from Oui Novias and refresh her CND Shellac manicure in the shade Romantique ($19.50, available at Macy's). When the big day arrived, the bride was up at sunrise for her 6 p.m. ceremony and reception, and she knew exactly how to kill some time. "I spent most of the morning with an SK-II face mask ($135, available at Sephora) and Elemis gel patches ($76, available at Nordstrom), using Charlotte Tilbury magic cream ($100, available at Nordstrom) and obsessively applying Tom Ford Radiant Moisture Souffle ($98, available at Sephora) and Clé de Peau Beauté Concentrated Brightening Body Serum ($125, available at Sephora) before even beginning hair and makeup.

Makeup artist Cassandra Garcia (who also happens to be a close friend) mixed up a custom lip color similar to Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Color in Rose Petal ($29, available at Lord & Taylor) and enhanced her glowy skin with Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick ($46, available at Sephora). "We did a smoky eye too—but no mascara because of the eyelash extensions, which was clutch because I was so nervous about crying my makeup off," recalls the bride.

Her modern take on romantic wedding makeup looked gorgeous from every angle, and at around midnight when she slipped into her reception dress, she decided it was time to refresh her hairstyle. The bride let her hair loose, rocking her signature laid-back long wavy hair, and topped it off with a festive gold Jennifer Behr headpiece, natch.

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