With wedding season now in full flow, GTG expert Emily Kent gives us the definitive dos and don'ts of bridal hair and beauty
GTG Expert and bridal hair and makeup maestro Emily Kent is practically fully booked all year round and knows a thing or two about perfect bridal prep and planning. Whether you have a year to go, mere months or just weeks until wedlock, Ms Kent can help. Get The Gloss teamed up with her to devise ten commandments that will ensure that you dazzle on your Big Day. No regrets, no nervous breakdowns and definitely no poodle hair.
Thou shalt not dabble in new products in the week leading up to your wedding
This is NOT the time to develop an allergy if you can help it - do not book in for a facial with unfamiliar products the day before. Instead establish a well-balanced and informed skin care regime in the 2-3 months prior to the big day. Balancing the moisture level of the skin is arguably the most important step; a peachy, hydrated complexion will ensure that makeup goes on like a dream. Plenty of hyaluronic acid-filled products is always a good idea.
Thou shalt endeavour to find your ultimate lipstick shade
No matter how good the makeup artist, nothing can weld lipstick on to the busy lips of a kissing, talking, eating, drinking…drinking….drinking bride. The first coat will be immaculate but discuss with your makeup artist the best product to have with you during the day for touch-ups.
Thou shalt retain your own identity
Just because the W word is rearing its head certainly does not mean that you should stop looking like you, no matter what look you decide on. Don't let every cousin or aunt air his or her input unless you are seeking it. Too many cooks spoil the broth; turn to your most trusted advisors only and let everyone else enjoy the surprise on the day.
"One of the most common things I say when advising clients is that when wedding hair and makeup is done well you just look like the best version of yourself. Don't fall into obvious and outdated bridal traps (stiff ringlets anyone?) and just do what feels right for you. There are no rules, so don’t feel like you have to conform to expectations of what a bride should look like."
Thou shalt guzzle water
Never underestimate the power of water. It hydrates your skin and flushes out impurities; offense is the best form of defense, so get guzzling. It will also keep headaches at bay and make you feel more energised, helping you to focus on the task in hand.
Thou shalt remember that your body is a temple
A glowing tan works wonders! The same rules apply; do NOT try a new product in the days before the wedding. Aim to get some practice in. Read our dos and don'ts of bridal tanning here before you start.
Scrub and moisturize the skin on your body and face religiously for three days to prep, then on the day of application do not moisturise overzealously, just apply a light lotion to parched areas such as elbows, knees and heels.
"My ultimate pre-tan scrub is Kiehls Creme de Corps Soy Milk and Honey Body Polish , £24.50. It’s non-oily, has a satisfying lather and smells glorious. It also leaves skin silky smooth; you’ll be more ready than you’ve ever been for the fake stuff."
"My current must-have self-tan is St Tropez Gradual Tan Everyday Mousse , £14.50. It’s light, non-streaky and could fool even the most seasoned south of France sunbathers. It can be built up over a few applications and will still look totally natural. It also wears off very evenly so there’s no giveaway scaly skin on day three. I even use this product on the face; it’s a great all-rounder and popular for a reason."
"I have two golden rules – firstly, use a tanning mitt to ensure streak-free results, just be meticulous and methodical and there will be no tell-tale tidemarks to speak of. Secondly, ensure that you wipe over eyebrows prior to tanning with a dab of moisturiser on a cotton bud to prevent tan clinging to the brow area."
If the prospect of donning the gloves yourself is too daunting, book an appointment with one of our faux glow experts .
Thou shalt use Pinterest as a guide book
"Pinterest really comes into its own on the subject of weddings; visit whenever you’re looking for inspiration. We often make boards for clients after consultations with them or their wedding planner so that we are all on the same page (quite literally)." Try these gorgeous messy bridal updos here .
Thou shalt take care of your hair
Great wedding hair starts with great hair full stop. Use the looming nuptials as an opportunity to nurture your locks and attain your idea of heavenly hair; you have the advantage of all that planning time (decisions regarding crockery and chair covers can wait). Schedule any colour changes well in advance but give split ends the chop when The Big Day begins to draw nearer.
"The earlier that I can organise a consultation with a client, the better. In the past I have structured entire skincare and haircare regimes for brides who really mean business. Colour is of vital importance to the final wedding look. The right technique, whether we’re talking highlights, balayage, full head, or toning can make or break a style."
Thou shalt accessorise with aplomb
Hair accessories require careful consideration. Devote as much time and money to any hair adornments as you would to jewellery.
"The market is absolutely saturated with hair accessories ranging from the very cheap to the very overpriced. Unfortunately quality varies greatly too, pieces often look incredible online and then are a little underwhelming once they arrive. Consider the entire look when forking out for a headpiece. Does it match the dress? Does it complement your earrings? Is it overshadowing your necklace? If at any point you’re concerned that it’s overshadowing YOU - ditch immediately."
"Real flowers are a favourite option of mine. They’re cheap, tasteful and add an ethereal edge. If blooms aren’t your bag, consider a vintage brooch; perhaps something from within the family - that ticks old and borrowed in one."
Thou shalt boost your natural assets
"Hair extensions and padding are both materials I work with very regularly; they are my trump cards. Brides a little lacking in natural volume or length can experience a total hair transformation, which is really exciting. I would strongly advise against permanent hair extensions for a wedding, a £450 + investment does not merit mistreatment by heat styling, teasing or backcombing. Trust me, your budget is better spent elsewhere. Temporary extensions typically cost up to £150, and a good stylist will be able to both source quality pieces and match them to your natural hair colour."
If you’re considering adding to your God-given tresses, keep it subtle and ensure that any extensions blend seamlessly with your hair colour and texture. Padding should be invisible to the eye - a bit like flashing a chicken fillet from your bra; any hair upholstery should be your little secret (and in this case, you hairdressers). NO ONE needs to know about undercover bosom boosters.
Thou shalt not panic
Your husband-to-be got down on one knee as he wanted to spend the rest of his life with you. Yes you, the woman who dances into her jogging bottoms as soon as she gets home. Yes, you, the lady who scoffs a load of cheddar from the fridge when you get home tipsy. And yes, you, the girl he sees in all of her unwashed, unmade up, natural glory. Chances are your family and friends know you as this woman too - don’t feel compelled to change every ‘imperfection’ before you walk down the aisle. What you consider faults; other people will adore as quirky ‘you-isms’. By throwing money, time and mental energy into looking flawless, you will only feel exhausted and/or defeated. Make the most of what you have, but don’t change what you have. This is all getting a bit Bridget Jones, but you’re marrying a Darcy, not a Daniel Cleaver. He loves you for you.