The Big Day Beauty Countdown

From facials to hair treatments, our big day beauty countdowns lets you know when to kick-start each aspect of your bridal beauty regime


From facials to fake tan, brides need to plan ahead to look their very best. As you prepare for your wedding, use our expert beauty calendar to make your pre-wedding routine easier and more successful.


9 — 12 months to go…

Expert nail technician Claire McAndrew of Medusa Hair advises brides to start strengthening their nails with a protein-rich diet and vitamin D, slathering hands and feet in moisturiser every night before bed. She also recommends rubbing solar oil into nails and cuticles daily to avoid rough or split skin.

Hairdresser Leo Bancroft, suggests using a nourishing hair treatment once a week, wrapping a warm towel around your hair after applying the masque and leaving it to work for 15 minutes.

Facial guru Georgia Louise says that now is the time to have any non-surgical treatments to tackle pigmentation, spots or soften fine facial lines: ‘Chemical peels and derma-rolling treatments require up to three sessions and it takes up to six months to see significant changes,’ she advises.

Let naturally thick brows start to grow now, so they can be waxed or threaded closer to the wedding. If your eyebrows are sparse, consider a boosting treatment.

6 — 8 months to go…

Leo says colour is just as important as your hairstyle, so if you’re thinking of drastically changing or lightening your hair, book two or three appointments now (six to eight weeks apart) to get your perfect shade in time for the wedding.

If you can’t afford regular spa facials, Georgia recommends doing your own. Start by cleansing and then massaging your face and neck for thirty seconds with a facial scrub. Open your pores by steaming your face for a minute or two over a bowl of hot water. Then apply a face masque suited to your skin type and leave for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with cool water to tighten pores before applying toner and massaging your moisturiser into skin to encourage new cell growth and circulation.

If you want to permanently remove unwanted facial hair before the big day, Georgia points out that IPL and laser treatment require up to six sessions over an eight month period, costing around £30 per session.

To help you relax, Georgia recommends a full body massage. ‘You’re halfway through the most stressful period and need to reward yourself,’ she says.

2 — 5 months to go…

Now the wedding is getting closer, Claire says a regular spa manicure will soften hands and add moisture and shine to your nails. If you’re considering nail extensions, have a trial run so you get used to them.

The Ministry of Waxing says that ‘waxing virgins’ — or brides who have had a long break from waxing — should start treatment around three months before the big day.

If you want a spray tan, Rachael Stone from Tantruth urges brides-to-be to research good, local salons. ‘It’s important to know and trust them,’ she says. ‘If you’re self-tanning, start experimenting with products until you find one that suits your skin tone perfectly.’

To get your skin in peak condition, Georgia rates dry-brushing your body with a natural bristle brush once a week. Start at your feet and work upwards in long, firm strokes, then apply a moisturising body lotion.

Finally, Leo advises brides to get their hair in top condition by booking regular appointments for trims in the last few weeks before the wedding.

1 month to go…

Get your eyebrows professionally shaped and book your last facial appointment — Georgia recommends asking for a gentle and hydrating facial, no steaming or deep cleansing.

So that your gorgeous hands and feet will last throughout your honeymoon, Claire says you should book your pedicure, nail extensions and/or manicure a day or two before the wedding.


The Ministry of Waxing suggests making a final appointment three days before the wedding in order to give skin time to recover, and Rachael advises having your final spray tan two days before. Finally, ask your hair stylist for a clear gloss treatment the day before your wedding. ‘It leaves hair super-shiny and really reflects the light,’ says Leo.