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One month before walking down the aisle, it’s time for brides-to-be to start making salon appointments. Between massages and makeup, hair treatments and facials, here is a timeline of when to fit in both essential and optional beauty treatments before the big day.

One month to go
Of course, it’s the last-minute beauty rituals – namely hair and makeup – that truly make or break a bridal look. And this is exactly why future brides should try out their wedding hairstyle and makeup well ahead of the big day.

As soon as the dress has been chosen, make an appointment with a hairdresser and/or makeup artist (many salons offer both services). Bring a picture of your gown, which can inspire a certain look. During this dress rehearsal, you and your hairdresser will determine exactly how you will wear your locks, and whether you want to add certain accessories.

Makeup looks can also be tried out during this appointment, but note that if you plan on getting a tan for the wedding, you may need to adjust the colors accordingly.

Two weeks to go
Stress can start to build up during this period, so there is no better time to take a day off to relax at a spa, alone, as a couple or with friends. Choose treatments that will help you to relax as well as offer esthetic benefits. Among the options: a full-body massage with an exfoliating scrub to relieve muscle tension and remove dead skin cells, a sauna or steam room session, or a dip in the jacuzzi.

Another optional beauty ritual to fit in two weeks before the wedding is tanning. Of course, UV beds have fallen out of fashion due to the skin damage associated with prolonged use. But for those who are self-conscious of their pale skin, a few exceptional sessions may be in order ahead of the big day. Above all else, avoid overdoing it.

One week left
Take advantage of the excuse to pamper yourself while it lasts, finding time where you can for spa treatments during the busy few days leading up to your wedding. As the bride you’ll be in the spotlight all day long, and you’ll want to make sure your skin is flawless for photos. A complete facial is in order: with exfoliation, steam treatment, blackhead removal, serums adapted to your skin type, and a moisturizing mask.

Another essential step is waxing, which should be done two to eight days before the wedding so that any red spots have time to heal. You’ll want to frame your face with perfect brows, and the legs, armpits and bikini line should be smooth and hairless. Even if you plan on wearing a long gown, you’ll likely end up showing a little leg on the dance floor, or at least on your wedding night.

One last detail not to neglect: Your hands and feet. The bride’s nails should match her gown or the color scheme chosen for the wedding, although a classic French manicure is often the best option. Don’t forget that even if your feet are hidden in a pair of bridal slippers, your hands will be the center of attention, especially during the exchange of the rings. – AFP RELAXNEWS