Big-day beauty advice

How to lose weight, get glowing skin, hot hair, perfect make-up and a great body for your wedding day. Our experts have you covered!

Big day main new



My number one rule is to keep your make-up look timeless and classic so as not to date. You want to look like yourself – just better, more radiant and glowing.

We always tell our brides to drink lots of water before their wedding so the skin is hydrated and fine lines are plumped up.

Every bride should spend time hunting for her favourite shade of lipstick that complements her complexion and dress tone, then keep it with her for touch-ups. That’s something a make-up artist can’t leave with you!

Skin serums work wonders in helping you look your best. They penetrate deeper and are full of active ingredients to get your skin glowing.


Don’t try a drastic new look on your wedding day. Fashion looks belong in magazines, rather than on you at the altar.

Never use glitter – it looks cheap and tacky. Rather go for a shimmer cream for the décolletage and arms.

On the day

Moisturise your entire body to give an all-over healthy glow.

Avoid false lashes. Individual lashes give a more natural result than a full set of falsies and the bonus is that they’ll last into your honeymoon.

Use skin illuminators to highlight cheekbones, collarbones and shoulders.




Start thinking about how you’d like your hair to look at least six months before the big day.

Arrange to see your hairdresser four weeks leading up to the date, so you can book in for weekly treatments if need be, and diarise when is best to touch up your colour and have a trial styling session.

Once you’ve made the decision, show your stylist a photograph of your wedding dress and jewellery. A good stylist will recommend a hairstyle that will complement your whole look and personality.

Use a treatment at least once a week.


Never over-style your hair with heated tools like irons that can cause a lot of breakage. Be gentle with your locks in the months leading up to your day.

Don’t let your hair colour fade and become dull. Look after it with the right colour-saving shampoo, conditioner and treatment and you’ll see the results.

On the day

Right now the look is more about clean, natural and soft hairstyles, rather than the complicated, stiff updos of the past.



How to avoid fat gain…

Cut down on alcohol
When out at parties, ensure your first drink is a low energy, non-alcoholic one. Then alternate a lower kilojoule alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic one. For a non-alcoholic option try lime cordial mixed with water. For a lower kilojoule alcoholic drink, ask for a wine spritzer made with half a glass of dry wine topped up with soda water. A dry wine spritzer contains only 245 kilojoules compared with a large glass of sweet wine, which contains 690 kilojoules.

Get off the gravy train
A ladle of meat gravy contains up to 680 kilojoules. Skip the gravy and have mint sauce, which has only 55 kilojoules per dessertspoon. Alternatively, opt for a small amount of cranberry or apple sauce.

Don’t arrive hungry
You are less likely to binge on fattening hors d’oeuvres if you have had a light meal before. Keep healthy snacks like fruit, pretzels and lean biltong in your handbag or car for when there isn’t time for a meal before the party; otherwise make yourself a light tuna sandwich, which is full of protein.

Make your dessert a healthy one
Go for fruit, or if you must have a richer dessert, share it with someone. You can have your cake and eat it.

Don’t despair
Compensate any overindulgence by getting back on track the following day. Drink plenty of water, eat vegetables and salads and step up the physical activity! One day off is better than an entire off season.

skin toner


Face first
Start preparing your skin for your big day at least six months before. Skin can’t be fixed or improved overnight and there’s always something you can improve, whether it’s pigmentation, ageing or acne. I’d recommend a comprehensive skin analysis by a skincare therapist, who can then provide a personalised treatment plan. It’s also best to stick with one therapist throughout your treatments.

A helping hand
If you’re concerned about lines and are considering Botox or filler treatments, do not leave these too late. Your first treatment should be done at least five months before the wedding so that you can see what the results are like and how your skin and face react. If you love the results and want another treatment before the day, don’t do it any later than four weeks before to give it time to settle completely.

It’s all in the eyes
Two to three months leading up to the wedding you should start looking at your lashes and brows. Maintain your brows with a professional shaping every three weeks and start using an eyelash serum like Rapid Lash. Lash extensions can be done about two weeks before your wedding.

Body Beautiful

To blast pre-bridal fat and hone that honeymoon body, work out at least three times a week and increase your weights every two weeks.

For great arms, try three sets of 15 repetitions of these moves:
Bicep curls. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing in, keeping your arms straight. With your elbows to your side, raise one dumbbell until your palm faces your shoulder. Lower the dumbbell to the original position and continue to alternate between your left and right sides. Try two to three sets of 15 repetitions.

Tricep dips. Position your hands shoulder width apart on a secured bench or stable chair. Bend your legs and place feet hip width on the floor. Slowly bend at your elbows and lower your upper body down towards the floor until your arms are at about a 90 degree angle, then slowly press off with your hands, and push yourself straight back up to the starting position.

Seated dumbbell shoulder press. In a seated position, hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing outward at shoulder height. Raise your arms above your head with the dumbbells almost touching and return to the original position. Try two to three sets of 15 repetitions.

@home helpers

Make use of any steps, a bench or the edge of a chair to do tricep dips.

Elastic therabands can be used to work out the whole body with resistance moves. You can even pack the theraband into your handbag and take it wherever you go.

If you don’t have dumbbells, fill old pillow cases with sand or beans and use them as weights. You can also use two-litre bottles by filling them with sand or water.

Grab a skipping rope and skip for a few minutes. It’s one of the best fat-burners there is.

How to slim down without breaking down during the countdown…

Keep hydrated. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day for glowing skin. If drinking water is a drag, add a few sprigs of mint, sliced lemon or chopped fruit to a jug of water to give it a subtle flavour. Choose herbal tea and decaffeinated coffee over caffeine-laden Ceylon tea, cola drinks and coffee. Caffeine and alcohol have a dehydrating effect and can make skin look tired, while exacerbating wrinkles.

Choose healthy fats for glossy hair and glowing skin. Healthy hair and skin need both omega-3 and omega-6 essential fats for radiance and to prevent dryness. Most people get enough omega-6 fatty acids from grains and vegetable oil, but omega-3 fatty acids are often lacking. Eat fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, kippers, sardines and anchovies two to three times per week to get enough omega-3. Add crushed linseed and walnuts to your cereal to contribute to your daily omega-3 intake.

Keep your blood sugar constant and you won’t become bridezilla. The key to avoiding cravings and mood swings is to keep your blood sugar levels constant. A drop in blood sugar leaves you craving sweets, chocolates and other fattening foods. Keep levels consistent by eating small, frequent, balanced meals, every 3-4 hours. Include low-GI bread, oats, basmati rice, sweet potato and whole-wheat pasta at each main meal for sustained energy and concentration.

Plan your meals, then plan your wedding. Eat breakfast followed by small frequent meals to ensure a steady supply of energy to your brain. Choose lean protein like skim milk, skinless chicken and fish, as well as slow-release carbohydrates at each meal. Include healthy fats like avocado, mixed seeds or a spoon of olive oil and then fill up your plate with nutrient-rich vegetables. Stay away from caffeine, sugary foods and energy drinks which provide a quick “pick me up” but leave you tired and drained shortly afterwards.

There’s no quick fix. When slimming down for your wedding, avoid fad diets that promise rapid weight loss. Weight loss with quick-fix diets is not sustainable, as you lose body protein and water instead of fat – and you often regain the weight as soon as the diet is over. The last thing you want is to begin bulking up on your honeymoon! Start a healthy weight-loss diet well in advance of your big day. A registered dietician can help you reach your wedding day goal weight, the sustainable way, and keep you motivated to get there.


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