Few of us have time for a complicated beauty routine, least of all when we have a wedding to plan. So when you see those lengthy lists of beauty rituals to get into ahead of your wedding, I understand it can look intimidating - especially if you’re been a soap and water kind of person your whole life and suddenly a seven-step skincare routine is thrown into the mix.
Luckily, your pre-wedding beauty regime needn’t be a faff. Take it from me, I’m a beauty editor and these are the steps I never miss (trust me, they’ll only add three and a half minutes in total to your routine but will make you feel so much better come W-day).
The 10 Beauty Habits You Should Never Skip
1. Take A Hair Supplement
Adds five seconds to your routine
If you’re dreaming of long, thick, swishy hair for your big day, a hair growth supplement is the way to go. All of the nourishing hair masks in the world won’t make your hair any longer, but a supplement truly will help you grow your hair for your wedding.
My hair supplement of choice is Hair Gain Gummies, £25.45 for 60. Not only do they taste like apples (delicious), I’m yet to meet a beauty editor who doesn't swear by them. They contain 400% of your daily recommended amount of biotin, as well as 100% of your recommended zinc, B3 and vitamin C, all of which are known to support hair growth.
The secret ingredient that these have that other hair supplements are missing is pea shoot powder. This ingredient supports the hair in the new hair growth stage, so your hair will begin to look fuller.
2. Start Using Hair Oil
Adds 10 seconds to your routine
While a hair oil will make zero difference to how long your hair is for your wedding, it will ensure your mane is in tip-top condition which makes it look ultra-healthy. If you’ve got fine hair you might have been wary of hair oils, fretful that they’ll weigh your hair down and make it greasy. Granted, if you apply too much that is likely to happen, but just a few drops added to the ends of towel dried hair will help keep your locks in princess-worthy condition.
My hair oil of choice comes courtesy of honey-infused brand Gisou. The texture of the brand’s Honey Infused Hair Oil, from £35, feels more like an oil-serum hybrid than the greasy, heavy oils you might be imagining.
I have fine, curly hair and this smooths flyaways, sinking in like a dream for a glossy, shiny mane. A fellow beauty industry friend of mine has afro hair and she swears this got her hair to its longest length ever by keeping it in gorgeous condition.
Apply to towel-dried hair each time you wash it and your hair will look shinier in no time.
3. Use A Heat Protector Spray
Adds 10 seconds to your routine
If you use heat styling tools (hair dryers, curlers, straighteners, hot brushes, I’m looking at you), you’re basically committing a beauty crime if you don’t use a heat protecting spray every single time you wash your hair.
Heat protecting sprays create a shield against damage caused by hair styling - another essential step if you want healthy, full hair for your wedding.
I’ve been using Pureology’s Colour Fanatic Spray, £16.05, for as long as I can remember. It keeps my colour looking fresh, works magic on tangles and stops my straightener habit from ruining my hair.
4. Double Cleanse
Adds 30 seconds to your routine
Being told to double cleanse your face in the evening is boring, I know. But it is an essential step in any pre-wedding beauty routine. Cleanse one removes makeup, while cleanse two removes dirt and grime. Not wearing makeup? Still double cleanse! It’s easier to get into the habit that way and it’ll soon become second nature.
Everyone you ask will have different products they use for their two cleanses, but for me, I start with a cleansing balm - I like Bad Habit’s Omzzz Acai Nightly cleansing balm, £18, then follow with a gel cleanser to make my face feel fresh. You can’t go wrong with Avene’s Cleanance Cleansing Gel, £12. It’s a no fuss, refreshing cleanser that you can feel working hard. I also use it for my one-step morning cleanse because it’s the perfect in-shower cleanser.
READ MORE:The Best Facial Cleansing Brushes for a Fresh Face
5. Use A Face Exfoliator
Adds 15 seconds to your routine
There’s no quicker route to glowing wedding skin than a facial exfoliator. A quick swipe of one of these exfoliating liquids over your face of an evening adds 15 seconds to your routine, and takes years of dirt and grime away for a radiant, clear complexion.
I recommend Ren’s Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic, £28. It uses a combination of AHAs and BHAs to resurface and exfoliate, making skin smoother as well as glowier. Lactic acid works to break down the cells that can cause dullness, while salicin from willow bark helps to dissolve grime inside your pores to make them look smaller. It’s gentle enough to use every day if you’re worried about irritating your skin, plus it’s so simple to use that even a skincare novice will get the hang of it after one day.
6. SPF Every Day. No Excuses
Adds 20 seconds to your routine
There’s no point lavishing your skin with exfoliators and hydrating moisturisers if you’re going to expose it to the sun without protection. Adding a facial SPF to your daily skincare routine is an essential step to protect your complexion from pigmentation and wrinkles later in life.
Facial SPFs have long had a bad rep for being sticky and heavy and causing breakouts. Not anymore though. The latest wave protects the skin from UVA, UVB and any HEV (that’s the blue light omitted from our screens which can cause premature ageing). Add The Body Shop’s Skin Defence Multi- Protection Light Essence SPF 50 PA +++, £17.60, as the last step in your skincare routine. It’s lightweight and absorbs easily with no white cast.
If you want to speed up your skincare routine, try Supergoop’s Glow Screen, £32, instead. It has a glowy tinted moisturiser hue to it, so not only does it protect your skin, it negates the need for foundation, imparting a healthy glow as well as SPF 30 protection.
READ MORE:The Best Wedding Day Perfumes to Shop Now
7. Exfoliate Your Body
Adds 30 seconds to your routine
This one may not apply to everyone, but if you suffer with keratosis pilaris like I do (also known as chicken skin, i.e. the little bumps on the back of your arms), it’s a step to consider adding to your routine.
Obviously nobody else in the world will notice (or care) about minute bumps on your skin, but if they bother you like they do me, I recommend adding Sunday Riley’s Charcoal Smoothie Jelly Body Scrub, £32, into your shower routine. Not only will the holographic packaging make you smile, the thick grains make light work of sloughing away at the dead skin cells that create the bumps, leaving you with ultra smooth, soft arms - ideal if you're going for a sexy wedding dress that shows off some skin.
8. Moisturise Your Whole Body Every Day
Adds 60 seconds to your routine
This is the beauty habit that I imagine will have most nearlyweds sighing. But it’s actually my favourite step in my routine. Without fail, morning and night I moisturise my full body. Sometimes with different lotions for each body part (hey, I’m a beauty editor for a reason), other times with the same body cream all over.
Moisturising your body isn’t only a great way to reconnect with yourself at the end of the day and show yourself a bit of self-love, it also ensures your skin is soft all over, even dry elbows don’t stand a chance against daily moisturising. You could even ask your partner to participate in the moisturising - it's a great way to build intimacy.
Obviously your partner loves you, silky skin or not, but for me, having soft skin is the ultimate confidence booster and if you have areas you’re anxious about being on show in your wedding outfit, I guarantee if you’ve been showing the neglected areas loves for months leading up to the day, you’ll feel a whole lot more comfortable when they’re on show.
The Body Shop’s Body Yogurts, £11, are a fail safe moisturiser option - they have a lighter texture than the brand’s classic Body Butter formula, so rub in easily for a quicker addition to your routine, plus they smell divine.
READ MORE:16 Kiss-Proof Wedding Lipsticks
9. Use A Nail Strengthener
Adds 30 seconds to your routine
If you’re hoping to wear your nails long and polished on your wedding day (all those hand photos!) using a nail strengthener is a wise step to add into your daily beauty habits to ensure perfect wedding nails.
I’m a slave to gel nails, so can’t apply traditional paint on nail strengtheners, so instead use a cuticle oil each night before bed, namely CND Solar Oil Nail and Cuticle Conditioner, £13.95. It has vitamin E in the mix, which penetrates deep into the nail bed to keep nails flexible and strong.
It comes in an addictive click-to-activate pen that I’m addicted to applying. It smells of sweet almond oil and helps my manicure last longer as well as helping my nails to stay strong.
10. Prioritise Sleep
This doesn’t really add any time onto your daily routine, unless you count the five seconds it takes to spritz a pillow spray…
Aside from making you irritable and tired, a lack of slumber can wreak havoc on your complexion. Sleep deprivation leads to higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol causes inflammation which will make skin conditions such as eczema and acne worse, and speed up the ageing process.
Being told to get a good night’s sleep is annoying - it’s not that simple. But retiring to bed with a book and spraying a pillow spray is an easy way to soothe you into a better sleep routine. The ritual lets your body know it’s beddy-byes and the scent is soothing. My personal favourite is Aromatherapy Associates’ Deep Relax Sleep Mist, £29. It bottles the scent of the brand’s iconic Deep Relax bath oil into a bedroom friendly spray to mist over your pillows.
I appreciate it’s expensive, so for the budget-conscious, I recommend Avon’s Aromatherapy Beauty Sleep Pillow Mist: Lavender & Chamomile, £3.50. I have been using this from school and always go back to it when times are tight!
Now you've got your pre-wedding beauty habits all sorted, what about your wedding hairstyle?