These expert beauty tips will have you looking a million dollars on your big day

Want achievable new year’s resolutions to get you wedding-ready? Nicole Conner seeks out brilliant advice from top beauty and wellness professionals

A bride wearing an off shoulder lace gown and groom wearing kilt smile at each other as they walk hand in hand over grass
This bride’s tumbling locks and immaculate makeup were the work of Stirling’s HV Wedding Specialists. (Photo: Karol Makula)

Hair we go

We’ve all had bad hair days when our tresses refuse to co-operate no matter what we do, and we have to fight the temptation to hide them under a hat. But making good haircare the focus of your new year’s resolutions in preparation for the big day will go a long way to helping avoid such disasters.

Megan from Megan Lindsay Bridal Hair has no doubts that looking after your hair before the wedding is key. “Using good-quality products makes a world of difference,” she says. “Stay away from sulphates and parabens – they coat your hair and make it very unmanageable and static, which can be a nightmare for us stylists.”

She also recommends looking after your hair from the inside: “High-quality vegan collagen supplements and Biotin get the hair strong and healthy,” she promises. “They work wonders on your skin and nails too, so that’s a bonus!”

Maintaining your locks should be high on any bride-to-be’s self-care list, and makes all the difference, according to Kirstie Notman from Signature Hair by Kirstie. “Regular appointments for a haircut and blow-dry ensure the hair is kept healthy and free from split ends to give a beautiful finish to any style,” she tells us.

Bride holding colourful bouquet smiles for the camera on left, the image on right is of her fishtail braid and loose waves
Glamorous but subtle waves with a fishtail braid by Signature Hair by Kirstie

However, if you’re worried about the condition of your hair and want to improve it before the big day, Sheilanne from HV Wedding Specialists suggests booking a consultation with your stylist.

“They’ll be able to recommend products to suit your specific needs,” she explains. “For example, for thinning concerns, we advise Nioxin; for strength and repair, we’d recommend Wella Professionals.”

When it comes to colouring hair before the big day, Kirstie warns us to stay away from chunky highlights and go with a soft and natural colour instead. That’s a view shared by Sheilanne: “If you get your colour done and are thinking about extensions, ask your hairdresser to colour-match you at your appointment.”

Planning any wedding day takes great organisation, so your goal for 2022 might be to be more on the ball. A methodical approach will certainly be useful when it comes to booking hair trials – Sheilanne, for one, recommends doing this as soon as you have your dress so there is plenty of time to perfect your look.

What if you’re not even sure where to start with your hair? Megan Lindsay says her biggest tip for brides who are working out how to style their locks is always to have the dress first – and be realistic. “A bride’s hair should complement the dress, not compete with it,” she suggests.

Picture on left shows blonde hair in loose waves with florals added, picture on right is of a brunette up do
Left: Strong and glowing with health, these soft flowing waves are beautiful. Right: This less-formal version of an updo would take you from altar to party, both by Megan Lindsay Bridal Hair

Beauty basics

If there is one thing that all makeup artists agree on, it’s that a good skincare routine is a woman’s best friend.

Faith of Faith Hayes Makeup Artist advises brides to consider their skin type and what concerns they have, before seeking out products to target key areas. “Ideally, use products containing high-performance active ingredients to get the best results for your skin type,” she suggests.

Mairi of Mairi MacDonald Makeup seconds this, adding that keeping skin in good condition throughout the year will help your makeup to sit on top beautifully come the big day.

If fine lines around your eye area are a cause for concern, she suggests investing in a good eye cream to reduce their appearance. “I recommend Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, which can be used as an eye mask too.”

And even if we only get five sunny days a year, Mairi’s top new year’s resolution is to use SPF every single day for its help with fine lines and anti-ageing powers.

“SPF is something that I wear daily even when it’s cloudy, and I always encourage my brides and clients to add this to their routine,” says the makeup artist. “I recommend La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid in particular.”

Another thing worth adding to your list of resolutions to help your skin is to drink more – but not, sadly, another glass of wine. “Drinking plenty of water will keep the skin hydrated from within,” explains Georgina of I Do Makeup by Geo Kane. “Avoid too much alcohol leading up to big day as this can dehydrate your skin like nothing else.”

A brunette bride gets her makeup done in left picture, red headed bride smiles with make up on in right image
Left: A perfect soft glam look, courtesy of I Do Makeup by Geo Kane. Right: A blushing bridal look by Mairi MacDonald Makeup

Skin within

A skincare routine is essential, no doubt, but even if your bathroom cabinet is stocked with the very best the beauty world has to offer, sometimes it’s worth turning to the professionals.

If your budget allows, suggests Faith Hayes, you might be interested in trying some facial treatments in the months leading up to the big day. “This will ensure your skin is in tip-top condition,” she says. “Not only can treatments instantly boost the appearance of the skin, in many cases they’ll also have long-term anti-ageing benefits.”

One of her clients’ favourites is dermaplaning, which removes the outermost layers of dead skin cells and vellus hair, leaving you with a youthful glow. “It immediately rejuvenates the skin and can reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and acne scarring, creating the perfect canvas for makeup application,” she promises.

Linda Baird from The Inside Out with Linda also recommends dermaplaning, which she says brides should undergo roughly three days before the wedding.

“Any skin concerns should be addressed at least eight weeks prior to the big day, but I would recommend brides and grooms start preparing their skin at least three to four months in advance,” she adds, so it’s important to start thinking about your visage early on to give you the best glow as you approach the altar.

Although facials will help keep your skin glowing in the long run, Georgina Kane advises against new treatments or deep cleansing too close to the wedding date: “Skin can react, especially if you’re stressed.”

A woman's forehead after botox
Results from the anti-wrinkle injections at The Inside Out With Linda

She also warns against facial waxing up to a week before (makeup won’t adhere to freshly waxed skin) and against sunbeds – sunburn is not a good look and makeup won’t be able to disguise it. “No picking at blemishes either,” she adds. “Let spots dry over and flake off naturally.”

And sometimes, skincare alone simply will not do the trick, and brides may be after some tweakments to get them looking wedding ready. For the best results, Linda advises getting botox or dermal fillers three weeks prior to the wedding.

Work it out

I can’t be the only one whose new year’s resolutions nearly always revolve around getting into shape. After pigging out over the Christmas period, I buy new workout gear and sign up to the gym in early January, only to see my enthusiasm wane before the Easter eggs have arrived in the shops.

“If you want to make sure you see the results of your resolutions or achieve what you’re after, you need to take it slowly and go one step at a time,” recommends Carla of Carla Crossan Fitness. “Most of us throw ourselves into the deep end too fast, hoping for results.”

Her advice for anyone wanting to kickstart a fitness regime is to give yourself small focus points, such as starting off by going to the gym three times in the first two weeks. In your third and fourth week, try adding another focus point, like eating a healthier breakfast as well as sticking to your workout routines.

In the weeks after that, aim to change your lunch and dinner to healthier options, while keeping up your exercise goals. “By slowing down and taking things one step at a time,” she says, “you learn to incorporate healthy habits into your routine without becoming completely overwhelmed.”

Two girls work out in the gym in left picture, in right picture, the results of dermaplaning facial
Left: “I can help you feel strong and empowered,” says personal trainer Megan Osborne, aka The Female’s Fitness Coach; Right: Results of a dermaplaning facial, from £30, by Faith Hayes

Mapping out your fitness regime will help you to reach your goals, agrees Megan of Megan Osborne – The Female’s Fitness Coach. “It’ll give you a clear understanding of what is required and provide full accountability along the way.”

It is also important to be realistic and kind to yourself, as you might not be feeling up to working out every time. “I fully understand that and can relate to why we may feel more sluggish or hungry at certain times of the month than others,” she adds.

So, overall, consistency is key. “Just like a wedding needs planning, so do your goals,” is how Carla puts it. “Guesswork and dropping in and out will get you nowhere. Make sure you set realistic goals that you know are achievable.”

However, if the motivation to keep going is still not fully there, the personal trainer says that she will be by your side through the full journey. “I’ll be there for the highs and lows. Together we can make positive life changes, not just in the first few weeks of January, but – with the right guidance – for the rest of your life.”