The Wedding Beauty Routine You Need to Start 6 Months Before the Big Day

The countdown is on.

Kat Borchart/

Bridal gown? Check. Venue? Check. Glowy skin and shiny hair? Coming right up. You’ve set the date, and—admit it!—you have a countdown clock that scrolls in your head every single day (or maybe minute). The trick to not getting stressed out is using your time wisely and knowing when to tackle different projects—like getting your hair and skin right where you want it. That’s why we’ve created this easy-to-follow schedule for your bridal beauty lewk. Here's when you need to cut and color, primp and prep, ahead of your big day.

You're almost there! Six months from the big day, and it's time to kick your beauty routine into high gear.

Is your skin freaking out? Hit up your dermatologist and splurge on a facial. Looking to recruit the perfect hair and makeup team for the big day? You'll want to get on that, stat.

The clock is ticking, and there's no time to waste! Here's your beauty checklist to kick off six months from your wedding day.

Set a Goal

Discuss your biggest concerns with a pro “so you can come up with a plan that works for your time and budget,” says New York City dermatologist Dendy Engelman. To get your bridal glow on, “start a diligent routine now and you’ll see a great improvement in your texture and tone by your wedding,” says Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, a dermatologist in New York City. Most important: Use sunscreen and antioxidants (like Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart, which has both), and a retinol. Underneath your daily sunscreen (sing along with us: broad spectrum, SPF 30-plus), she says “an antioxidant serum with vitamin C protects against environmental damage and helps brighten your skin.” A prescription retinoid (or OTC retinol, like the one from SkinCeuticals) will combat spots as well as treat acne. And if you have rosacea, a derm can start you on a topical medication to get it under control.

Some procedures can require several sessions over many months, and scheduling is key.

Courtesy of Elizabeth Arden

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Courtesy of SkinCeuticals

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Glam Squad Auditions

It's time to make your Pinterest hair and makeup dreams a reality for the upcoming event. If you're not going the DIY route, ask friends for recommendations and see if your venue has a preferred vendor list of hair and makeup pros. If you have a trusted, go-to hairstylist you've seen for years, ask if they would be up for doing your hair on the most important of days. Another popular way of stumbling upon talented hair and makeup pros is social media—check geo-tags and scroll through your favorite bridal feeds to see what catches your eye. Who knows, you might find your dream glam squad on the 'gram! Either way, it's time to start searching because time's ticking and hair and makeup trials are coming up soon.

Start Growing Out Your Locks

The time to start making those big hair decisions is now. Do you want to grow out your locks? Hit up your salon and talk it out with your stylist. If you're thinking of rocking a wedding-day updo, consider letting your hair grow as long as possible, before going in for a simple, clean-up trim close to the wedding date.

Laser Away (Unwanted) Hair

Imagine never shaving again. Laser hair removal, especially under the arms, can be life-changing. Granted, it requires patience: To effectively eliminate all hairs, Engelman says to do four to six treatments, at least a month apart. (For the safest, most reliable results, have your laser procedure done at a dermatologist’s office.)

Treat Skin to a Facial

Whether your skin is freaking out or you need a mental break from wedding planning, this is the perfect time to indulge in a trip to the spa. Something as simple as a traditional facial, which includes cleansing, exfoliation, and extractions, can make all the difference in your skin. Think of it as a refresh of sorts—you'll squeeze in some much-needed relaxation while achieving clear, brighter skin all at once. And when time is of the essence, a two for one deal is always a good idea.

Consider Tiny Tweaks

It’s the excuse your self-consciousness has been waiting for.... Injecting a tiny amount of hyaluronic acid–based filler can minimize dark hollows under the eyes or plump up thin lips (you may now kiss...the derm!). For the most natural look, Engelman recommends tiny amounts of a lighter-weight filler, like Juvederm Volbella. She likes a thicker filler like Restylane Defyne to add a subtle lift to cheekbones. Also, a drop of filler in drooping earlobes helps earrings sit up straight, and a trace can even straighten the bridge of a crooked or bumpy nose. “Tiny tweaks make a major difference for photos,” Engelman says. Results last up to a year; if you’re new to it, get it six months ahead of time. “You want to be sure you’re happy with the results,” says Lara Devgan, a plastic surgeon in New York City. If you don’t love it, “fillers can be dissolved with an [eraser] enzyme,” she says.

Hit Those Weights

If you want to tone your arms for that strapless wedding dress, there's no better way to sculpt your muscles to perfection than a little weight lifting. "Training six months out from the wedding is important because it gives your body time to strengthen and condition, ultimately giving the body time to see the changes that brides ultimately want to achieve," says Andrea Fornarola Hunsberger founder of Elements Fitness. To tone the upper arms, Fornarola recommends doubling-down on moves like push-ups, under arm presses, and armpit twists. "Physical exercises work in conjunction with healthy eating habits to increase the metabolic rate, burn fat, and sculpt and tone the body."

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