The Night-Before-the-Wedding Hair and Beauty Routine You Didn't Know You Needed

Here's how to perfectly prep your skin and hair for the day ahead

Updated 04/16/19
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We wouldn't blame you if your thoughts have already drifted to your wedding night (wink wink), but what about the night before your wedding? That wedding hair and beauty routine you've been keeping up—right?—should extend to the night before the big day, too. But if you’ve been envisioning an evening of peel-off masks and deep conditioning treatments while Netflix plays in the background, think again. Because when it comes to the night before your wedding, less is evidently more.

To learn more about the dos and don’ts of last-minute bridal beauty prep, Brides spoke with Meredith Morris and Danai Schulte, the brilliant hair stylists behind Maven Beverly Hills. We also chatted with Dr. Ashley Magovern, medical director at DermStore.com and a board-certified dermatologist with her own skin-care line and practice, Manhattan Dermatology of Manhattan Beach, California.

3-6 Months Before Your Wedding:

Dr. Magovern says she tells all of her brides to start prepping their skin a few months before their wedding, beginning with a series of peels, broadband light treatments, and/or microneedling treatments. “We want the skin to be clear of blemishes and have a smooth, bright, radiant texture. That’s what these treatments will accomplish,” she explains. Dr. Magovern also suggests Hydrafacial MD for her brides, and says Botox can be helpful as well. “A little Botox will always help the lines that move and is usually a home-run, but don’t just rely on Botox to make your skin shine.”

Dr. Magovern is also a huge proponent of home skin-care routines, so no worries if in-office treatments aren’t for you; just be sure you’re taking your daily skin-care regimen seriously. “Make sure you consult with a skin-care expert and get on a good home routine—you’ll be amazed by what well-formulated products can do for your skin,” Dr. Magovern says. She recommends including the Weekly Resurfacing Pads by glowMD in your home routine. “They contain urea, lactic and malic acids—I haven’t seen anything similar on the market.”

Not unlike Dr. Magovern, the women of Maven Beverly Hills tell their brides to spend months preparing for the wedding hair of their dreams. “With our clients, we recommend mapping out a plan as soon as they get engaged,” Morris says. “We take into consideration the dress, the location, the weather. We map out a schedule of color appointments and trial runs, and what sort of hair accessories or veil will be included in the look.” Morris says haircuts and color treatments should be done 10-14 days before your wedding.

The Night Before Your Wedding:

1. Don't try anything new. Now is not the time to experiment. If you skin isn't already used to these products, don't them out on your wedding eve!
2. Don't irritate your skin. Dr. Magovern stresses that using a super-active product—like a scrub or a product with retinol or glycolic acid—is the worst skin-care mistake a bride could make the night before their wedding. “Irritated skin is prone to acne breakouts and, as you probably know, makeup does not go on well over dry skin,” she points out. “It’s too late for these [products] to really make a difference the night before anyway!”
3. Cleanse with an extra-gentle brush. Instead of a harsh scrub that can irritate your complexion, cleanse with a super-soft sonic cleansing brush to gently buff away dead skin. We love the Sonic System Extra Gentle Cleansing Brush Head from Clinique. (Shop it here!)
4. Moisturize, moisturize! As Dr. Magovern says, your wedding-day makeup will go on best over well-hydrated skin so quench your complexion with an oil-free and nutrient-rich moisturizer. Try Tatcha's The Water Cream —well ahead of your wedding, of course! (Shop it here!)
5. Follow up with a lightweight sleeping mask. You of course don't want to clog your pores the night before your wedding, but if your skin could use a little extra moisture, try a breathable sleeping mask. The Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask by Glow Recipe is lightweight and packed with hyaluronic acid to leave you with bouncy, radiant skin come morning. (Shop it here!)
6. Prep your pout. In preparation for that kiss at the altar, give your lips a little TLC. Invest in Laneige's Lip Sleeping Mask (another sleeping mask!) to smooth and moisturize your pout as you slumber. (Shop it here!)
7. Top off your nails. If you've opted for a traditional nail lacquer in lieu of a gel manicure, top off your mani with a coat of clear polish to help seal in the color and prevent any chips between now and your walk down the aisle.<br/>8. Drink a ton of water. It's always best to hydrate from the inside-out, so the night before your wedding, prep with some extra H2O.
9. Get a blowout. For brides with longer hair, the women of Maven suggest getting a blowout the day before your wedding—especially if your rehearsal dinner is scheduled for that evening. “A professional blowout will not only take you through the evening, it will also set a bride up for success on her big day,” Morris says. “Hair that’s one-day dirty is always easier to work with for the wedding day.” To prep tresses for a good blowout, Meredith and Danai both love the O&M Atonic Mist, which creates volume and serves as a weightless heat protector. “This sort of product is clutch for a long-lasting blowout.” Morris says. (Shop it here!)
10. Don't overload your tresses. Morris says brides should avoid weighing their hair down with tons of products the night before their big day.
11. Invest in a silk pillowcase. Blowout or not, sleeping on a silk (or satin) pillowcase is essential. “This will help prevent frizz,” Morris says. “It’s beneficial to sleep on a silk pillowcase every night. It's great for your skin and hair."
12. Choose a timeless style. Perhaps most importantly, Morris says brides should choose timeless hairstyles that they already know they’re comfortable wearing—whether that means braids, barrel curls, or an elegant twist. “The last thing you want on your big day is to not have done the proper prep work,” she says. “Enough things can go wrong on your wedding day, and your beauty and glam shouldn’t be one of those things left to chance.”

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