(Pictured is my sister Elaine on her wedding day, with the proper care & attention prior to her wedding day, She achieved the perfect skin base for her bridal make up application. Her skin was perfectly hydrated & radiant on her wedding day.)
(Make up by Karen Maher, Hair by Anna Molly Brennan)
One of the most common questions I am asked by clients and bride to be’s is how to take care of their skin in the lead up to their wedding day. I am going to outline below my top tips to help you achieve beautiful, hydrated skin that I find have worked best for both my clients and myself.
Firstly it is never to early or to late to start a good skin care regime but even more so it is vital to get into a good routine in the months leading up to your wedding day or a big occasion. I feel It is important to have a healthy hydrated skin base to start with and this in itself will help your make up to last longer and feel & look better on the day.
For Healthy, glowing skin it is essential to start good habits with a regular daily routine and simply making the time for yourself. Trust me your skin will thank you for it in the long run.
WATER, WATER, WATER
This is one you will all know already but I really cannot stress the importance of drinking plenty of water on a daily basis, Try to drink at least 2 litres of water every day. When your skin is hydrated it instantly looks more radiant, youthful and brighter. This is especially important during the colder, harsher months when we are exposed to open fires, central heating, air conditioning etc which all play a part in dehydrating our skin. When you start drinking water more frequent throughout the day you will instantly notice a difference in the appearance of your skin.
A good Daily Skincare Routine is essential for healthy glowing skin.
I have outlined below a step by step guide to the perfect skincare routine, I have also recommended skincare products in each category. I have tried to mention easy to find and affordable products. No.7 features a lot as I find this brand fantastic value & quality especially as they do 3 for 2 offers and discount vouchers regularly which makes it more affordable especially if you have a number of products to purchase. I have tried, tested and loved each one of the products mentioned.
Tip 2: A good Daily Routine AM & PM
The first step to beautiful skin is effective cleansing. It is so important to cleanse every morning & evening regardless of whether you are wearing make up or not. Our skin is exposed to harsh elements such as air pollution all day long which need to be removed at night before applying any creams. If you wear make up on a daily basis this is so important, never ever remove make up with make up wipes, these can be very harsh on our skin and very dehydrating.
Make up removal:
I recommend using a micellar water first followed by a deep cleanse.
I recently discovered this wonder product for make up removal. This product does exactly what it says it will do, efficiently cleanses away all make up even the blackest most waterproof, while being gentle to the skin and leaves skin feeling nourished. It is suitable for the dry & sensitive skin also. To use apply to a wet cotton pad and wipe across the eyes, and face. No need to rinse. I have put this to the test with even the most stubborn long lasting make up and I am amazed by the results.
I Love the feeling of freshly cleansed skin, If you are not wearing any make up then it is effective just to do a cleanse with the products below. However if wearing make up it is important to remove the top layer as outlined above and then use a cleanser afterwards for a deep clean and to ensure skin is properly clean, this will help to prevent breakouts, blocked pores and impurities.
No.7 Soft & Soothed gentle Cleanser €11 www.boots.ie
Another one of my favourites, This Cleanser is ideal for Normal to Dry Skin. It cleans, comforts and hydrates your skin, it works in harmony with your skin to leave your face clean, comfortable and radiant.
I personally love this as I like the feeling of a wash and use it daily as a deep cleanse along with my clarisonic.
This product is Specially formulated to effectively clear away dirt and impurities. No7 Beautiful Skin Melting Gel Cleanser leaves skin feeling as soft and supple.
Apply to damp skin, work into skin with finger tips and rinse with water for a deep cleanse.
Facial cleansing washes are ideal for acne prone or oily skin.
The next item is not essential and I am just adding it in as I have been asked a lot about this product in the Past by clients.
Clarisonic Skin Cleansing System
I have the clarisonic Mia 2 €149 www.brownthomas.com
The clarisonic is something I have been using as part of my cleansing routine for over 2 years now. I love it, I did a lot of research before I purchased it as it is expensive and I have used it daily ever since. I love how it leaves my skin feeling and also it gives me 100% confidence that I have removed all of my make up from my skin. It is also super easy to use and clean.
I describe this to people as an electric toothbrush for your face if that makes sense. Key benefits of this is that it Cleanses 6X better than manual cleansing, it Cleanses so thoroughly, skin care products absorb better.
So now you have beautifully clean skin, what next?
Using a toner is optional it is not essential, a splash of cold water will be effective to close pores. Splash your face with cold water, and dry with a clean towel.
If you like to use a toner two of my favourites are:
La Roche Posay Thermal Spring water spray €8.99 www.boots.ie
This is lightly sprayed onto clean skin after cleansing and it acts as a toner. It can also be used throughout the day to hydrate skin.
Eve Taylor Soothing Toner www.evetaylor.com
I have been using this for about 5 years and I love it, clients always comment on the refreshing scent and how this feels on the skin, after I apply it.
A Fine mist of water with essential oils to help freshen and soothe the skin, This toner has a Hydrating and soothing formula which perfectly prepares the skin for moisturising.
Using a moisturiser every morning & evening as part of your skin care routine is key to how your skin will look and feel. The range of moisturisers available is very broad, so it really depends on your skin type and the type of product you like as to which one will suit your skin & needs. With the use of a good moisturiser skin can go from feeling dry & harsh to soft and supple in an instant.
I will outline below a select few moisturisers that I use and love, and ones which my clients comment on when I use them during prior to make ups.
€48 available from www.pestleandmortar.com
use code: karenmaher for a discount if purchasing online.
I have been using this lightweight hydrating moisturiser since it first launched and I absolutely love it. I find This moisturiser works so well on my clients pre make up. It instantly gives a softer feel and glow to the skin, the cream is anti-ageing and reduces the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles. Clients always comment on how it feels on the skin and the lovely smell after I apply this on them. The airless container works really well for hygiene and helps to make sure the cream stays active with every use, one press down and the perfect amount comes out, so there is no waste.
That little something extra
Next up a little treat for our skin, when we need that extra pick me up. Now for any of my regular clients you will instantly recognise the next product. I love serums and the way they make the skin feel. Face oils are Ideal to use once or twice a week for an added treat to our skin, or when the skin needs that little something extra. Applied under your moisturiser at night to work its magic while we sleep. Use a treatment serum like the one mentioned below, the night before a big occasion and your skin will be beautifully hydrated and glowing the next day.
Pestle & Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum
€43 available from www.pestleandmortar.com
Use code: karenmaher for a discount if purchasing online.
Another one of my favourites a real multitasker product, which you might have read about on my blog previously. I absolutely love using this under my clients make up as it provides the perfect smooth base to prime the skin. I always notice an instant brightening to the skin and it helps to get rid of any dullness and dehydration restoring a healthy glow, plumpness and radiance to the skin. One thing I love most is it has a lightweight formula which helps it absorb quickly into the skin.
To read a previous blog post I wrote with details about this product click here.
Client insight: I recommended this serum to my sister, and advised her to use it nightly in the weeks leading up to her wedding day along with her usual skincare routine. On her special day her skin was flawless & radiant, so much so that after I put up photos on my Facebook page I got some messages asking me what base I had used on her skin to achieve such a healthy glow.
I personally like to use an eye cream every evening as part of my skincare routine, I apply my eye cream after my cleansing routine and before my moisturiser. Always apply your eye cream gently with your ring finger and along the orbital bone, dot around the eyes and gently blend around the eye contour, do not apply directly to the eye lid, apply just under the brow bone, a pea size amount should be sufficient for both eyes.
No 7 Early defence Eye cream €18.50 www.boots.ie
There are various eye creams available in the No. 7 range to suit all skin types and ages.
This eye cream offers Powerful protection to help skin look younger for longer. It helps to Chase away dark shadows and puffiness and gives skin a brightening boost.
Tip 3: Exfoliating
To me this is an essential part of any skincare routine. It is advisable that you exfoliate one or twice a week, is efficient. There are so many benefits to regular exfoliation in particular if you suffer with dry dull skin. By removing that layer of dead skin cells that forms on our the top layer of skin we in turn enable our moisturiser to work better as it can get down deeper and it won’t just sit on top of our dead skin cells.
I have two favourites when it comes to exfoliation:
No 7 Total renewal Microdermabrasion face exfoliator €15 www.boots.ie
I love this No7 Total Renewal Micro-dermabrasion Face Exfoliator it gives you smoother, more radiant skin in an instant, it is quick and easy to use. After using this my skin always feels so squeaky clean and soft.
However I wouldn’t use this if your skin is very sensitive or reactive.
€33.50 Available from any Lancome Counter
Exfoliance Confort has a soft, creamy formula, I find this really gentle and not in any way harsh or abrasive on the skin. It is packed with gently exfoliating micro-spheres to remove dull skin layers and impurities, while respecting the needs of dry skin. This really helps diminish dehydration to leave skin feeling smooth, comfortable and clean. Love how my skin feels after I use this. So gentle yet effective.
Tip 4: Weekly Facial at home
These days everyone is more budget aware especially when saving for a wedding so I am not going to tell you to book in for expensive facials once a month for the next year to have your skin glowing for your wedding day. I feel you can achieve good skincare results with the right products and a good routine at home. I recommend to all of my brides that they form a habit of doing a facial at home every week. This is simply the regular cleansing routine, followed by exfoliation and then applying a face mask once a week and if at all possible twice a week and your skin will thank you for it.
In 4 simple steps you can have a mini facial in the comfort of your own home:
I love a good face mask, I love how it makes my skin feel and look afterwards. I do my regular routine, exfoliate and then pop a face mask on for a couple of hours while watching tv in the evening. I always get compliments the next day about how healthy my skin looks.
No 7 Beautiful Skin Hydration Mask €17.50 www.boots.ie
This mask gives skin an intense moisture boost. I love anything that hydrates the skin as it adds an instant glow and radiance to the skin. Treat your skin to a little luxury with this delicately soft hydration mask which will leave your skin feeling beautifully soft and smooth.
I know you are all going to be hooked on this mask, it is that good. This is the perfect skin pick me up for the night before that special occasion.
Lancome Hydra- Intense Masque €39.50
If your skin looks dehydrated, and feels dull then this is the pick me up it needs. This face gel mask soaks into the skin and instantly restores the moisture balance, helps to eliminate the appearance of dry lines. I always find it Leaves my skin looking smooth and perfectly hydrated. I love how my skin feels when I use this. I tend to leave this on my face for about 30 minutes before washing off.
So there you have it my highly requested blog post with all my top tips for glowing, hydrated skin for your wedding day or that very special occasion. It might seem like a chore at the end of the day, but trust me your skin will thank you for it and once you start seeing results, you will be hooked.
I hope you all enjoyed this blog post and if you have any further questions please ask.
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Until next time,
Featured Bride Elaine Giltinan, photos by Ross Costigan Photography