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A complete guide to bridal beauty preparation

The best treatments to book before your wedding day – and when to do so

bridal beauty prep
Amie Milne for Harper's Bazaar

Wedding day beauty is synonymous with hair styling and make-up done on the morning of a bride and groom's nuptials (if you're looking to book pros for this, see Bazaar's guide to the best wedding hair and make-up artists in the UK). But there’s plenty of beauty preparation that can be done in advance of the Big Day, too.

Whether you’re looking to get your skin into its glowiest state, nail a photogenic manicure, plan the best time for lash extensions or hair removal, this guide has you covered.

Brows

If you want to completely overhaul the shape of your brows, you'll need up to a year to grow them out and start afresh. For perfecting your shape and tidying stray hairs, book an appointment three days before the wedding to avoid regrowth while allowing enough time for any redness to settle. We recommend Blink Brow Bar for threading, or Benefit stores for waxing appointments. Both are available nationwide and offer consultations so you can discuss a personalised plan of action in advance.

Nails

There is nothing like perfectly polished nails to make you feel groomed, plus your wedding day manicure will feature forever in the photography capturing your wedding rings. When considering the perfect colour and shape for your style see our tips for nailing the perfect wedding day manicure here and if you're searching for chic bridal nail art, be inspired by this guide. Generally speaking, experts recommend gel treatments for brides – done one or two days before the wedding to ensure no accidental smudging or chipping. We love manicures using Jessica nail products (available at spas and salons nationwide) for a flawless and long-lasting finish. If you're London-based see our guide to the best nail bars below.

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Waxing

If time is on your side consider IPL or laser hair removal for smooth skin ahead of the wedding day – and well beyond. Both treatments usually require around six to eight treatments to see a complete removal of hair in an area. If waxing is your preferred hair removal method, commence a course of monthly waxing around 12 weeks before your wedding, which will result in finer hair and reduced overall growth. Plan your final wax for two to three days in advance of the wedding to give enough time for any soreness to pass.

Tan

If you want an even skin tone and all-over glow, without risking any streaky disasters, start experimenting with self-tan a few months before the wedding (keeping the shape of your dress in mind). While there are some brilliant, DIY glow-giving products out there – find the very best fake tans here – it's ideal to visit a professional for a spray tan, with a consultation and practice run before having the wedding tan itself. We recommend James Harknett at London's W Hotel Away Spa, who never fails to deliver the perfect bespoke tan that's subtle and even, whatever your natural colourings.

Facials

For brides-to-be, clear, glowing skin is the ultimate wedding day asset. A course of professional facials will make sure your skin is at its best, but book in for your first at least three months in advance to allow for a few treatments (skin adjusts over time, so you'll need more than one session to reap the benefits) and give plenty of time for any unexpected reactions to settle. Try the new Sarah Chapman Wedding Glow Facial (£100) for brides and grooms at the facialist's Sloane Square clinic, or the Wedding Glow package at Skinwork in London's Soho (three facials for £360). For a holistic pick-me up at home, try skin pro Abigail James' facial massage technique for brides in our video below:

In addition to facials, if you're considering injectable treatments before your wedding, first read these dos and don'ts of bridal Botox and our guide explaining the most popular bridal aesthetic tweakments.

Lash extensions

There are numerous reasons to invest in eyelash extensions for your wedding, not least the promise of a perfect, smudge-free flutter in your photographs. But Bridezilla or not, they have to be flawless. We recommend Edyta Kurowska (known as Edy London), who is based at 28 Market Place in central London. Her brilliant bespoke lashes are the most natural-looking we've seen. It's best to get them done in the week leading up to your wedding (ideally three days before), although if you're a first-timer it's also worth trialling them a couple of months beforehand too.

Massage

Between all the prep, prioritise relaxation. A good massage has the power to relieve any unwelcome tension, leaving you soothed, rejuvenated and more prepared for the big day. Whether you're searching for a spa treat or for a home visit from an expert therapist, see our guide to the best massage treatments to find what works for you.

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