According to my wedding planning app I should have begun a beauty regime two weeks ago, allowing myself 6 months of grooming and pruning to turn me into The Most Beautiful Bride of All Time or, at the very least, The Most Beautiful I Have Ever Looked.
I should already be upping my vitamins, supplements and greens (ideally juiced in an £100 piece of equipment) so that my hair, skin and nails glow (glowy nails, really?) on The Big Day. I also should already be inhaling raspberry ketones and going to the gym 5 times a week with a trainer shouting at me. And that hair of mine? I should have decided on the colour/length/style it will be for the wedding and be making every hair-related decision based on that.
I’m refusing to buy into this because, as I’ve written about before, I want to focus on other things – like planning a wedding that is ethical and that people will enjoy, like building a strong foundation for marriage, like being a kind person or doing well at my job in the next few months. Also though, for the reasons I’ll look at in this post particularly.
The wedding beauty industry, as I suggested before, is a blown-up version of the normal beauty industry which is funded by and founded on the lie that ‘you are not enough’ but that you will be if you do/buy such-and-such a thing…only until, however, you come across another part of you that is not enough and realise you have become a hamster in a spinning wheel. Knowing myself and the difficulty I already find in refusing to see myself as a project to work on, I’m working extra hard to now allow myself to see myself and my physical appearance on our wedding day as a project.
This is also a good idea because of the money involved in working on myself as a 6-month project. Teeth whitening, personal trainers, regular manicures, trims at the salon every month, a new skin-care regimen, testing expensive make-up so I know what I want…sheesh. We’d like to have some money for groceries when we get back from honeymoon, thankyouverymuch.
The possible paradox in this is that OF COURSE I want to look good for our wedding and I really enjoy make-up, thinking about hair, etc… Wedding aside, I’m a total “girly-girl”. I’m super excited about picking a hair style and getting my make-up done by a pro. I have been working out more because I know I feel and look better when I’m active. My dress is the bee’s knees and the shoes my bridal party & I are wearing will be so fetch.
I’m convinced though that there’s a way to be excited about these things without making myself into a project, and I think a lot of it has to do with being literate in how the wedding industry communicates. And also in keeping an eye on my purse.
On that particular topic, here are three verrry cheap, verrry effective beauty solutions that I have found work well and that I think brides (and everyone else) should get in on to combat this crazy monster (Bridezilla?! How about WeddingIndustryIlla? I know it doesn’t sound as good, but…)
1. Teeth whitening
Yep, we are all slightly nervous about the amount of time we’ll be spending posing. I’m anticipating a Miss Congeniality “let me unscrew my smile” moment. And white teeth are lovely, obviously. The main ingredient in most of the whitening products you’ll find on the shelves or in the dentist’s chair is hydrogen peroxide.
Get yourself some. 3% maximum. Put a tbsp of it in your mouth, swish it around for a minute, and spit it out. (Don’t swallow, it’s gross – but the 3% isn’t enough to poison you.) Do this once a week and you’ll notice your pearly whites and pearlier and whiter than ever. Add bicarbonate of soda to the mix (make it into a paste and put it onto your teeth with a cotton bud) for an extra boost, but don’t get it on your gums.
I had problematic skin for a few years (surprisingly, after I turned 19) and didn’t feel comfortable without a good dose of Estee Lauder’s DoubleWear. No more, hooray! This little miracle saved my skin. It’s Dead Sea mud that lathers up into a nice white chemical-free foam that will make your skin feel like it’s being given a big warm hug. It restored my oil balance, cleared my pores and gives me a lovely glow that means I’m OK on my own, Estee, and I’m not worried about wedding day skin problems!
3. Getting buff
Ok, that’s misleading. I don’t want to be buff, today or when I get married or ever, really. But there is MUCHO chat about glowy skin for weddings (because apparently we all want people to say ‘the bride was glowing’ – that’s the number one comment we’re aiming for, brides…remember that but also remember that no one likes a shiny forehead so why have you not bought your face blotting sheets yet?!) Instead of investing in the Clarisonic Face Brush that beauty gurus love or going for countless spa treatments before your big day (or just ever), have a wee poke around your kitchen cupboard and pull out the bicarb/baking powder. Mix it in with some coconut oil and rub it onto your skin (this works really well on your face as well as your body). Bye-bye dead skin cells, hello bright smooth skin, thanks for staying £20 note!
Over to you: how do we get excited about wedding days, enjoy sparkly things, take care of ourselves however we see fit without buying into the beauty industry’s lie that we are not enough as we are (and that we should be ready to spend whatever it takes on making us enough)?