So, you’ve reached the phase of wedding planning where you have a checklist that you’re working from, your venue is booked, and you’ve maybe even bought your dream dress. Fun! Depending on the checklist you use (we recommend this one), you might see some things like: “get 10 facials, one/week leading up to the wedding” or “get a personal trainer” (umm, rude). Honestly, some of these lists will straight up overwhelm you with over-the-top, inappropriate, and totally off-base extras they include. At APW, we’re big believers that you should do, and look, and be exactly yourself on your wedding day and every other day. So, if that includes facials and gym memberships, fantastic. If it includes just waking up on wedding day, wearing the same makeup you do other days, and doing your own hair, good for you. We always suggest that you immediately cross out anything on a wedding planning checklist that isn’t right for you. Seriously. But, if you’re looking for some tips and tricks for DIY/at-home self-care, you know, things you can pick and choose from to create your own pre-wedding self-care routine… this is the list for you.
I don’t know if it was the stress (hi, pandemic bride!), or just a random occurrence, but in the months before my wedding, I suddenly started having massive skin breakouts on my cheekbones (a place I had never had a single breakout before). Constant facials weren’t in my budget, so I did some deep diving on the internet to figure out a plan to beat this new unwelcome guest that had taken up residency on my face. Because, while I’m a generally laid back human and I don’t do a whole lot of caring about my makeup routine or personal trainers, for that matter… I did feel like I wanted my face to look like the face I had always known myself to have on my wedding day. I initiated a few self-care things that were game-changers, and I wanted to share my not-so-secret secrets with all of you.
Just like with our wedding planning checklist, or anything else in life, take only what you think might work for you and fit in your budget and leave the rest (or heck, leave all of it). These are just some fun suggestions and things that I love that I hope might help if you’re in need of a little self-care. Plus, new skincare items are much more fun to shop for and use than a lot of other wedding and life expenses, so treat yourself!
Pre-Wedding Face Self-Care
This is a splurge, for sure. But, listen… with all the research I did as I figured out how deal with my upset skin, I just kept seeing folks talking about red and blue light therapy for acne (local estheticians were offering it, but a regimen of facials felt out of reach for me). I love this tool. Omnilux CLEAR is red and blue light therapy at home. It’s so easy to use (just put it on a clean face and turn it on), it’s powerful, it’s clinically proven… basically it’s magic. So if you’re dealing with skin that just won’t quit… consider this splurge… it just might change your life.
Okay, as for everyday use… this thing is worth its weight in gold. Please trust me on this. For so many years, I used one of those electric brushes for your face—the ones that were super popular circa 2004-ish. And I loved it. But then, I got myself this tool. Angels sang. Even my wife, who likes to say “can’t we just have skin, and let our skin just be?” is obsessed with stealing and using my Foreo Luna 3.
The icy face roller is a new thing, one I definitely wasn’t sure about. Until I used it. This roller lives in my freezer and comes out daily. The website promises “a mini au naturel facelift”, and while that may be true… my favorite part is how it helps chill me out (literally) and brings my anxiety down. I often use it right before bed as a way to just sort of settle in, calm down, and get ready for sleep. I love my Ice Kit, and the oil is honestly perfect.
Speaking of products for your face. Have you ever walked into a Sephora or Target beauty department and almost passed out from the sheer overwhelm? I sure have. Let me introduce you to HEYDAY. They are a one-stop skincare shop. Via their website, you can chat with a real esthetician, or search for products based on your main skin concerns. Don’t roam the aisles aimlessly, let HEYDAY help you figure out skincare without second-guessing.
If you aren’t already, begin wearing SPF daily immediately. Please. You might be thinking, ‘oh, but I work from home in my house all day.’ Do you have windows? You need SPF. This one from Supergoop feels absolutely invisible on your skin, it’s my favorite.
Pre-Wedding HAIR Self-Care
Kristin Ess Reconstructive Hair Mask
Y’all, this lives in my shower always. I try to use it once every week or two, and it truly makes a difference. I put it on instead of conditioner, tie my hair up, and go on about my shower for 5-10 minutes before I rinse it out. When I’m done, my hair feels completely refreshed and revitalized.
Amika Reset Scalp Cleansing Oil
I used to think that caring for my hair was only about my hair itself… plot twist, it’s not. This detoxifying product starts at the root, literally, and is a really great weekly addition to your hair care routine to get it in tip-top shape.
We all know that blowdrying and heat styling our hair is… well… not the best for it. This hair towel has cut down any dry time for my hair by a lot. Start now using this smarter solution for drying your hair. Thank me later.
Pre-Wedding teeth Self-Care
Snow Wireless Teeth Whitening Kit
My teeth are super sensitive to teeth whitening products. If I use those stick-on strips, I will be in pain for a few days… it’s awful. But Snow has made a teeth whitening system that doesn’t cause me pain. Yay! And, it works. This is definitely a self-care step you can start anytime, you’ll never regret starting early.
Waterpik Cordless Water Flosser
Life-changing. That’s what I have to say about this. My best friend is a dental hygienist and says it can’t totally replace flossing, but almost. I keep my Waterpik in the shower for mess-free dental hygiene that is quick, painless, and totally worth it.
Pre-Wedding fingernail Self-Care
Ask anyone with nice nails (not me usually, ha), and they’ll tell you that the secret is daily cuticle oil. Seriously, daily. Grab this one from Essie, swipe it on and rub it in once a day, and watch the transformation.
If your nails are struggling—dry, brittle, broken. This stuff will fix that. Grab the NailTek 4 Strengthener (and really any of NailTek’s products) and you’ll be ring pic ready in no time.
I bet you’ve never thought of sunscreen for your hands. Supergoop knows that moisture isn’t enough, so they made this amazing hand cream that will also prevent sun damage on your hands. Win-win.
A quick, easy way to have salon-quality nails from home. This set is perfect for a wedding. Meg tried Ohora nail strips earlier this year and loved them.
Pre-Wedding mind and body Self-Care
I know, this might feel a little odd. But in the heat of wedding planning (and, hey, life in general), I found that my anxiety was overwhelming at times. Recess is sparkling water that has high-quality ingredients that are meant to help you chill out. Plus, they’re delicious! Blood orange is my favorite.
We all know meditation is good for us, for our stress and anxiety. For me, it’s also somehow more stressful because I feel like I don’t know how to do it right, and I struggle to do it regularly. Here comes Headspace to save the day. This app makes a world of difference for me and my meditation consistency. Give it a shot!
What did we miss? What is part of your pre-wedding self-care routine that you just love? Or what sort of self-care / beauty are you looking for… maybe we can help!