photo by Andy Stenz

The week before your wedding, you’ll probably be checking, re-checking and confirming every last painstaking detail to ensure a perfect day; hotel, transportation, seating chart, centerpieces, music…even the weather! As you’re rounding third and entering the the home stretch, you realize the stress of planning the wedding has shown itself on your face, and now you’re feeling less than fabulous right before your big day. What to do? Relax! Keep track of these basic steps, and you’ll have a beautiful day ahead.

1. Start with your skin.
It will be your most important concern. It doesn’t matter how fantastic your makeup is; if your skin is having problems, people will be able to see it. As a makeup artist, I always suggest caring for your skin religiously, especially leading up to your wedding. A great way to do that is getting a regular facial in the months leading up to your wedding.

“The facial will address any issues to correct the in time for the big day,” says Tammy Astrup, esthetician at the Luxe Spa in Shorewood. “Regular exfoliation and hydration will ensure your skin has clarity and great texture so your makeup goes on smooth.” Although the facial won’t be your quick fix, it is an extra step to make the taxing days before your wedding easier, so start now! If you do, your quick fix will be maintaining that smooth, hydrated skin.

2. Same goes for your eyebrows. 
Your eyebrows frame your entire face, making it the utmost of importance to have them groomed. Some of us go in every couple weeks, but I have also worked with brides who have never touched their brows! If this is the case, Astrup says, “Make an appointment about six months in advance. That way, if you need to grow them in at all, you have time to grow and shape them.” Plucking hours or even days before the big day can have garish consequences on your brows, so the quick fix here is to put a waxing or threading appointment on the top of your week-before to-do list.

3. Brighten that smile.
Teeth whitening is an often overlooked step, but important for pictures! Get those pearly whites photo-ready. Here, you have a couple of options. The quickest—and most affordable—fix would be to stop at a drugstore and purchase a product like Crest 3D White 2-Hour Express Whitestrips for under $50. Don’t like the DIY stuff? Dentists will typically offer the service starting at around $100. It takes less than an hour, and technicians mostly perform the speedy procedure.

4. Go for the perfect 10.
Now it’s time for a mani-pedi. The vigorous exfoliation you get from a mani-pedi will definitely affect an airbrush tan, so make sure you get your fingers and toes done beforehand. If you’re worried the spray tan will affect your nails, don’t—the technician will have products to keep your nails protected and covered.

You can typically get into a nail salon the same day. Places like Polished Nail Boutique in Elm Grove suggest making an appointment a week or so in advance, but will take walk-ins. Gloss Nail Spa on Brady St. also offers a wide variety of services with little booking hassle. Last-minute quick fix: Buy a bottle of the polish to have on hand in case of chips.

5. Get your glow on.
Now that you have a fresh face, white teeth and flawless nails, what’s next? A beautiful and healthy tan. Booth tanning is so out—skip the wrinkles, increased risk of skin cancer and numerous appointments. There are safer and quicker ways to get a healthy glow without posing hazards to your health and wallet.

Your quick solution? Fake your tan! People associate a fake tan with being orange, and with good reason. It’s very easy to overdo it. Airbrush tanning has come a long way since the days of stepping out and looking like a carrot. I have been organically airbrush tanning my clients for about a year now, and I have yet to produce an Oompa Loompa (well, besides myself when testing products). If you are worried about what you will look like, book a tan a month before and try out the color and product to make sure it’s what you want. Come see me at Naturally You Organic or head to Glow Salon & Spa to take care of all your tanning needs.

Another safe alternative is the “tan in a can.” Beware of this product, though; you defiantly get what you pay for. I’m a fan of St. Tropez products. Although it requires more work, the lab has just about perfected this take-home tan with spray-on or foam options available. You can buy them at places like Sephora, where a full bottle will run you about $35.

6. Relax!
Booking your massage a day or two before the wedding would be your best bet for a quick fix. There are so many different places to go nowadays. Options like Massage Envy offer tons of different massage choices, several area locations and a wide variety of hours. Ask about massages at your own salon, too. Chances are they do massages or are partnered with someone whom they can recommend. A locally owned salon and spa, such as Actaea in Bay View, offers most of the beauty services you’ll want, all in one place. This is another great option. From the moment you walk in, it will feel like home.

Sure, beauty can be hard work, but I’m here to take the hassle out of picking and choosing products and services. Now that you have these quick fixes in mind, you can focus on more important things: the biggest party you’ll ever throw, the man of your dreams and your happily ever after.

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Amanda Shallow Amanda Shallow (5 Posts)

With a passion for fashion, makeup and all things beauty, proud Milwaukee native Amanda Shallow strives to not only make people look good on the outside, but also to help them feel their very best on the inside. Opening Naturally You—based at LUXE The Salon in Shorewood and on location across the Midwest—has given Amanda the chance to harness the creativity that has always come naturally to her. Eager to learn and willing to teach, she wants to give everyone the opportunity to look and feel their very best. From runways and weddings to film, portrait and print, Amanda is excited to share her beauty expertise on Wed In Milwaukee.



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