When To Start Beauty Prepping For A Big Event, According To The Experts

When it comes to prepping for a big event, it’s not just the choice of treatments that count, but when to have them. From achieving a megawatt smile to a camera-ready golden glow, here, our experts reveal easy tips to ensure you’re suitably ready for your big event…

TEETH TWEAKS –Dr. Krystyna Wilczynski, Cosmetic Dental Surgeon

Want a megawatt smile? Dr Krystyna is the go-to for teeth whitening, straightening and veneers. 

Remember, Teeth Treatments Need A Lot Of Prep
 “Unlike some treatments, when it comes to teeth, you need to start early and consider what you really want to achieve. If you’ve never experienced a whitening treatment, I would recommend beginning your process around seven to eight weeks before any event. This allows time to take moulds of the teeth and have custom bespoke trays manufactured in time. Two to three weeks of home bleaching would give ideal results, and then finally, I recommend a 45 minute in-office bleach appointment a week before your big event. If you’re after straightening (which has become increasingly popular among brides) you need to be considering a treatment a year in advance, depending on how severely crowded your teeth are – you may even need to start 18 months before.”
Be Realistic With Your Goals
“Not everyone will benefit from whitening. Those that have had veneers or crowns will find whitening doesn’t help or make any colour changes. And if you’re someone that suffers from excessive gum recession, you definitely need to speak to your dentist in advance, as whitening is so well-known for the hyper sensitive reaction it can create. Whitening works best on those with minimal fillings and crowns.”
Don’t Underestimate A Visit To The Hygienist
“It’s important to be vigilant with oral hygiene at all times, but especially before a big event. No one is better than a hygienist at removing superficial stains and keeping your smile looking and feeling healthy. The best bit is you don’t need to book super far in advance either to yield results. A good hygienist appointment can take place anywhere from the day before your event to the week before – the results will be as impressive either way, and it’s a great option if you’re on a budget or seeking a quick-fix.”

BROW THREADING & WAXING – Jaimineey Patel, Head Of Training At Blink Brow Bar

Whether it's a brow shape, texture or colour, Jaimineey has got your brows covered...

Book In Just Before Your Big Event
“If you’re after a simple shape and tint, we recommend booking in two to three days before your event. But we do recommend seeking out an expert six weeks before that too, for example, as this will give you time to grow out and prep your brows if they’re slightly on the thinner side. Depending on your rate of hair growth, we would then suggest seeing that same therapist just before your event. You don’t need to wait weeks in advance as downtime in minimal, and you’ll usually be given a massage to soothe and calm the skin, plus any redness always subsides within a few hours. If you find you need to help irritation clear quicker, try a cold compress. If you’ve chosen a tint with your shape, you can expect it to last you up to two to three weeks too, but we always recommend getting a tint done as close to the event as possible so as there’s minimal fade, especially on fairer brows.”
Avoid Irritating Your Skin Post-Threading
“This counts for those having threading, it’s really important to avoid touching the area post-treatment. Your pores will be wide open to irritation, so for the next 24hrs we would suggest avoiding swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms and hot temperatures – even direct sunlight if possible. As well, spray tans can clog the pores, as can certain make-up so be careful and avoid applying anything to the brows altogether for a day or so just to be sure.”
Remember Microblading Will Need More Prep And Downtime
“While a shape and tint is doable last-minute, microblading isn’t. It’s a great treatment though for anyone wanting to define brows, cover gaps, or fill-in over-plucked brows. You can use it as a tool to add a slight arch and accentuate brows if needed, and the results are completely natural and undetectable. But the treatment is lengthy and comes in a 3-step process. Firstly, the consultation to discuss your desired look with a thorough patch test. Then you’ll return after 48hrs to start treatment. Finally, you’ll go back after four to six weeks for any touch-ups, but you must then leave them be for 30 days to see the full effect, so if you want to try this, make sure you allow yourself time.”

HAIR COLOUR & CUT – Joanthan Soons, Creative Ambassador At Headmasters

Renowned for his precision cutting and flawless blowouts, Jonathan has a roster of clever hacks and tricks up his sleeve you'll want to commit to memory...

Consider When You Colour
“It all depends on how quickly your hair grows when it comes to highlights and balayage, but I would usually suggest getting your colour done two to four weeks prior to your big event to give it time to settle. You can always get a few touch-ups done closer to the time if needed. If you’re covering greys however, a week before the event is best to make sure the colour is even and absolutely perfect. I recommend a blow out and toner too to keep the colour looking as fresh as possible and camera ready.”
A Trim Is Absolutely Essential
“Booking in appointments regularly in the run-up to your event is crucial to looking after your hair health, especially with a regular trim. Many places offer quick trims, and Headmasters now have a brand-new service, ‘The Healthy Hair Micro Trim’ which is ideal for anyone trying to maintain a set length. It’s a maintenance cut that removes minimal length from the ends while maintain optimum hair health for strands that look longer, fuller and healthier over time. As well, I always suggest my clients book in for a L’Oréal Professionnel Smart Bond treatment and take home the aftercare to help maintain results. It will protect and strengthen hair as well as maintaining shine and colour. Invest in a Manta brush too. It’s the first hairbrush to mold to the shape of your hand and scalp, creating less tension on each strand with every stroke, while stimulating the scalp to promote hair growth.”
Know When To Wash And Condition
“I’m always asked whether you should wash on the day of the big event or before. It really depends on your hair type, so definitely discuss it with your stylist, but usually I recommend washing it the day before so as it has some day-old texture and weight. In a similar vein, mask treatments are great leading up to your event, but just before the day opt for a spray ritual treatment instead, they are instant and so light that they won’t cause a slippery texture on the hair.”

SKINCARE TREATMENTS – Sarah Chapman, Expert & Celebrity Facialist

One of London's most sought-after facialists, Sarah Chapman's skin-savvy products and hard-working treatments are coveted by celebrities and editors alike...

Make Facials Part Of Your Skin Routine
“I always advise clients to start having regular facials three to six months before a big event - regular being every four weeks. Jumping into a technical facial last minute would be very risky, especially if you have never had one before. If your skin is not used to the professional-strength products, it could become reactive and take time to settle. Additionally, while the benefits of a facial can be felt instantly, there is are also cumulative benefits that come from having regular treatments, so three to six months is ideal to transform the skin. Especially with peels, when done little and often, these will resurface the skin, effectively diminishing age spots and reducing fine lines, without causing stress to the skin. Even if you can’t make regular treatments, it is worth investing in one initial appointment to kick-start your beauty regime, get a good skin diagnosis and receive recommendations for a thorough home skincare routine. Your facialist will be able to recommend the appropriate treatment programme and follow-up homecare.”
Tailor Your Skincare
“While treatments are brilliant, a thorough home skincare routine is the surest way to achieve healthy and naturally radiant skin. Start with a cleanse, massaging your formula deep into the pores to lift away any dirt, pollution and other impurities. Then follow up with a bespoke combination of exfoliations, serums, boosters and moisturisers tailored to your skin concerns. You will certainly see an instant visible difference, but you can achieve an amazing transformation in your skin within just two weeks by introducing a targeted skincare routine.”
Try LED For A Serious Skin Pick-Me-Up
“Non-invasive treatments such as LED are a fantastic pick-me-up for your skin, especially if you’re seeking something last-minute. A course of LED Light Therapy (£40 for 30 mins) in my Skinesis boutique is a great way to promote instant radiance. Another option is Radio Frequency Tightening, which again, delivers both instant and long-term results. The technique uses radio frequency energy to heat the tissue in the skin and stimulate collagen production, achieving impressive lifting and contouring. This reduces the appearance of fine lines and crepiness, leaving skin feeling tighter and more toned. There is no downtime, but you can expect a little redness, so leave a few days between your appointment and event.
Avoid Attacking Your Pimples
“The most important thing to remember in the run-up to your big event is to avoid squeezing spots as this can cause permanent damage to the outer dermal layer. As well, before doing any spot treatments, make sure the area and your hands are sterilised and clean. There are some sticker options available now which are especially designed to prevent picking and accelerate healing. These small, almost invisible patches are infused with pimple-purging scientific actives that release over time to help calm redness, soothe and decongest the affected area.”

TANNING TRICKS – James Harknett, Expert & Celebrity Tanner

Dubbed as 'The Tom Ford of Tan,' James is one of the UK's leading tanning experts. It's safe to say that what he doesn't know about self-tan, isn't worth knowing...

Don’t Underestimate A Trial
“Many of us Brits have what’s known as a Fitzpatrick type one and two skin tone. Which is a pallete that’s pale and can burn rapidly when exposed to the sun. Because of this, I recommend everyone has tanning trials, and in advance, especially brides. It gives you the opportunity to test the colour, but also see what day it settles and looks best on your skin. I advise all brides to take a picture of their skin in daylight, with perhaps their shoulders, arms and back exposed for three days simultaneously. This allows you to gage the colour and decide what day you like the look of it the most.”
Use A Two-Day Rule
“Generally, most people getting their spray before a big event decide that two days beforehand is the ideal situation. In this time, you have had around three cool showers on the tan, which ensure all guide colour has been washed away. This gives peace of mind that nothing will rub onto the inside of your clothes. Also, having a day or two of gentle cleansing settles the colour on the face. As a tanner, I gently dust the face, which gives my clients the opportunity to wear minimal make-up if they want to. If you’re getting married, I recommend having your make-up trial a day or so after your tan as this really helps you gain confidence with the look you will have for the wedding.”
Make Sure Hair Removal Is Done In Advance
“It’s said time and time again, but many people don’t take notice. Any waxing or hair removal needs to be done well in advance of your tan. Not only does this allow the pores to close, but it gives the skin time to renew too. Tanning straight after waxing is a disaster, so make sure you do it 2/3 days before you spray. Shaving can be done 24 hours before if need be.”
Care For Your Tan
“Once the tan is on the skin, it’s your job to cherish it. This will allow longevity and a natural fade off, as if it were real. So first, avoid the bath and keep showering quick and on a cooler temperature. Remember fake tan dyes our dead skin cells, so we need to keep them intact for the longest time possible. Hot water just encourages it to wear away faster. Another trick is to gently dry the skin with quick patting motions, then use your hair dryer on the coolest setting. Keep skin moisturised twice a day too, Aesop’s Geranium Leaf Body Balm works wonders and leaves a beautiful sheen to the tan that reflects on the skin. Finally, to maintain your tan, steer clear of chlorine. In the states, especially, chlorine content is very high, but it strips the skin, in turn, peeling away the tan. The ocean seems much better but try to wear flip flops or sandals on the sand as this quickly rubs out colour on the feet.”

BOTOX & MORE ADVANCED TREATMENTS – Dr. Richard Sibthorpe, The Smart Clinics

Specialising in non-surgical and anti-ageing treatments, Dr.Richard Sibthorpe is the man to visit for tiny tweakments that are subtle and effective...

Allow Yourself Plenty Of Time
“If you’re looking to get Botox (which is one of the most popular treatments pre-big event), I recommend booking a treatment a month to six weeks in advance of your big event. This will give you time for a follow-up review after two weeks to ensure you’re happy with the result. If there is still too much movement, you can get some more Botox injected where needed. The effects will last you three to four months, but with ongoing treatments and top-ups, the results will last much longer. If you’re seeking dermal or lip fillers, book in about three months in advance instead. Not only does this give you plenty of time to make adjustments if necessary, it also allows bruising to settle. It also goes without saying, but do your homework before you book in. Make sure you choose a registered professional; most reputable practitioners are registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) or The British College of Aesthetic Medicine (BCAM).”
Consider All Your Options
“There are so many tweakments you can do that are subtle but make a difference. For starters, ‘Straighten, Define & Correct Your Nose,’ is an option that allows you to make adjustments, without going under the knife. Instead, it’s an injectable into the nose with dermal fillers, which corrects anything from slight bumps, to a depressed bridge (saddle nose), a beak-like nose or a droopy tip. The treatment takes 30 minutes and can last up to 18 months with no downtime. Another option is treating dark circles and saggy eyebrows. I use hyaluronic acid fillers to plump up dark circles with a precise amount of specifically-designed dermal filler. It allows you to add volume and structure to the tear trough, while avoiding the puffy, overdone look. As for brows, I use botox to temporarily raise slightly sagging eyebrows and restore a lost arch. Both last for months on end with no downtime. Similarly, with lips, I’ll use the same type of filler to lift a downturned smile and add volume to create a more defined, less lined smile. A little applied to the chin also has the effect of lifting the smile.”
Check You’re Eligible
“While most people can seek treatment, Botox isn’t recommended during pregnancy or while you’re breastfeeding, or if you suffer from a neuromuscular disorder, but your medical history will always be discussed prior to treatment. Make sure you avoid anti-inflammatory drugs before you have injectables too, such as aspirin, Nurofen, omega 3 and vitamin E – it will help to avoid bruising.”

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