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This year, I married my best friend in a gothic fairytale ceremony. The wedding took place over Halloween weekend, but, as any fellow bride will attest, preparations started much, much earlier. Location, flowers, menu, cake, choir, DJ, theme, seating plan, the dress (or three dresses, in my case)… there was so much to think about. Last but not least, the beauty prep. Long Pulse Nd Yag Hair Removal Laser
Having written my fair share of wedding prep pieces, I knew that when it comes to beauty, the sooner you start the better. But, well, summer rolled around and I ate, drank, smoked and reclined my way through Europe. On top of that, given the nightmare flight situation of summer 2022, I was forced to travel for a month using hand luggage only. As someone who follows a rigorous multi-step hair and skincare routine, having to whittle down to the travel-sized bare essentials (this included make-up, too) was a process akin to Sophie’s choice. Things were not looking good.
I arrived back in London at the end of August, my skin dry, hair frazzled, and my body slightly swollen from copious amounts of wine, cheese and cured meat. Usually, I would take my time and ease back into a regular routine, but with autumn around the corner, time was of the essence. I realised I needed to put an urgent plan in place – not just to ensure I felt my best physically, but mentally and spiritually too.
Here’s how I got prepped.
By Tish Weinstock and Lauren Murdoch-Smith
After a summer of sun and sea, by the start of September, my hair was looking a little on the crispy side. A quick trip to trichologist Hannah Gaboardi was exactly what the doctor ordered. Approaching the scalp in much the same way as one might approach their skin, Gaboardi’s philosophy is all about hydration and nourishment.
To give my lacklustre locks some love, Gaboardi injected a special cocktail of vitamins, amino acids and other growth factors across my scalp to activate the hair follicles, and in turn, help promote healthy-looking hair. Think of it as mesotherapy, but for the head.
With my scalp well and truly boosted, attention turned to my split ends. While I knew I wanted to have XXL Rosalía-inspired extensions for the big day, it was important to ensure my own hair looked its best, and that meant putting together a schedule with a hairstylist (I see Maisie Tomkins at Josh Wood), for weekly nourishing hair masks and regular micro trims in the lead up to the wedding. The result? Full-bodied hair with a healthy glow.
With the brilliant Isamaya Ffrench in charge of make-up on the actual wedding day I knew I was in good hands. So all that was left in terms of prep was a good brow shape and a lash curl and lift, which meant a quick pitstop at the nearest Blink Brow Bar.
For me, beauty isn’t just about looking your best, but feeling it too, which is why I’m a total vitamin drip convert. Having an autumnal wedding meant exposing ourselves to colder temperatures and all the colds, flu and other respiratory illnesses that come with it. There’s nothing worse than getting ill before a big event, which is why my drip of choice was the Effect Doctors Immunity Drip. Packed with high-dose vitamin C, selenium and zinc, it is designed to fight bacterial and viral infection, boost your body’s defence system and fight inflammation. As the wedding drew closer, we also added some glutathione in to promote collagen production and improve complexion, giving my skin a glow from within. I am such a convert that I even had a drip on the morning of my wedding, which handily helped to nip any hangover from the previous night in the bud.
As a criminally lazy individual, I assumed the fitness part of my wedding prep would be my least favourite, but the wonderful thing about exercise is that it isn’t just about honing your body, but sharpening the mind, too.
To kick off my fitness journey, I signed up for a course of Pilates with Form Studios in Notting Hill. Designed to activate your core muscles, Pilates is an excellent way to strengthen the body and improve your balance (a necessity when you have an aisle to get down, although I ended up trading in my heels last minute for some white satin Miu Miu ballet flats), while its emphasis on breathing techniques and mindfulness helps to reduce the inevitable stress, anxiety and disrupted sleep that comes with planning a wedding.
As the big day drew closer, I also embarked on a series of quick pit stops at E-Pulsive, an Electrical Muscle Stimulation training studio. Using electrical impulses to contract the muscles with targeted precision, these intense 20-minute EMS workouts are a great way to shape and strengthen the body as well as tighten the skin ahead of a big event. With a wedding wardrobe made up largely of naked dresses, this last-minute touch of toning would prove invaluable.
For the ultimate bridal glow, skin expert Teresa Tarmey was my first port of call. Results-driven, brightening and rejuvenating, her Signature Facial includes a double pore-purifying cleanse, bespoke lactic acid peel, some much-needed extractions, cool cryo-ball sculpting (for the ultimate snatched look), and some LED light therapy. It’s worth it for the LED alone – 30 minutes spent under Teresa’s magic light machine not only did wonders for skin, but my racing mind too.
Now for the tweakments. While following a consistent skincare regime combined with regular facials is the foundation of plump, juicy skin, a special occasion calls for special treatments. First up: Profhilo and a bit of baby Botox courtesy of Dr Marco Nicoloso at Ouronyx, and Dr Ahmed El Muntasar, AKA the Aesthetics Doctor. A hyaluronic acid treatment, Profhilo is an excellent way to boost and hydrate the skin, targeting laxity and restoring firmness, while baby Botox, which involves small strategically-placed injections of toxin, is a very natural way of minimising the appearance of lines, compared to the over-frozen Botox faces of generations past.
Other treatments I was keen to try were Nucleadyn and Potenza, both of which are offered at 111Harley Street. Composed of polymerised polynucleotides, Nucleadyn is an injectable treatment designed to promote tissue regeneration, as well as restore skin firmness and elasticity, target free radicals and prolong the activity of hyaluronic acid by 40 per cent. Unlike dermal filler, it doesn’t change the structure or volume of your face, but rather focuses on boosting skin health.
Potenza was something I had wanted to try for a while. Combining microneedling and radio frequency, the treatment works by triggering your body’s natural healing process, which in turn encourages the production of collagen and elastin. The only thing you need to be mindful of is the downtime, as you will be red for a couple of days. In fact, as a rule of thumb, avoid any kind of treatment directly before a big event as there may be peeling, bruising, or redness.
To go with the rest of the deliciously gothic aesthetic, I knew I needed to go dark on the nails – a beautiful contrast to the delicate white of my lace wedding dress. Enter Pinotage by Bio Sculpture, lovingly applied by Maria from the on-demand beauty app, Ruuby. Because what’s more luxurious than getting your dream manicure in the comfort of your own home?
By Tish Weinstock and Lauren Murdoch-Smith
q switch nd yag laser machine By Hannah Coates and Lauren Murdoch-Smith