Congratulations! You're getting married or you are in a friends wedding! Either way, it is going to be a lot of fun, a lot of work, some stress, and very rewarding. The day of the special event you want to look as good when the reception is winding down (no easy task after a glass of wine or five) as you did when the procession music started playing. I am more than happy to share some tips with you to make your make-up stay all day and all night! Over the next several days I will tackle each step. We will prep the skin, prime the skin, choose all day wear cosmetics (and ones you will feel comfortable wearing all day), and set your make-up; Moreover, I'll share some tips from not accidentally damaging your face during the event to how to remove all of it in the end. This is too much to cover in just one article as you will see.
First, we need to prep the skin. This will do two things for you: 1. It will allow you make-up to lie as flat to your skin as possible giving better cohesion and looking far more beautiful than skin that hasn't been prepped (this also helps to prevent the "caked-on" look). 2. This will allow your make-up's most maximized wear-ability and breathe-ability. So how do we achieve all of this fabulousness? Exfoliate the skin.
If you are pregnant, please, check with your doctor and read ingredients carefully. Exfoliation is a category where a lot of those ingredients you are recommended to avoid-- sneak in.
Exfoliate the skin? You are either groaning or asking yourself 'what does that mean?' or 'why does everyone tell me this?' Exfoliating the skin means to encourage dead skin cells on the surface that should be making their way to their final resting place, to go ahead and pack up and leave. The dead skin cells on the surface are little dead sponges that like to absorb your make-up and then leave you at exactly the wrong time. Also, dead skin cells are very "cliquish"-- they like to hang out in odd groups in random places and ignore everyone else. This creates a blotchy or "caked-on" look (Imagine if you covered your shower loofah in make-up how uneven it would appear). So, already, we know we don't like them. Let's tell them to get gone! Let's exfoliate! This doesn't have to be an arduous task or an irritating one either. Plus, your skin will feel and look so much better you'll have less need of actual make-up.
When is the best time to exfoliate? Well, this depends on your skin. If you have very sensitive skin you may want to exfoliate 4 days out from the event and perform a sensitivity patch test a month out. This will give any residual irritation time to subside or give you time to find another medium of exfoliation that suits your delicate skin. Sensitive skin also should choose the most gentile form of exfoliation possible and you may want to experiment ahead of time to find out what works best for you. If you don't have sensitive skin choosing a way to exfoliate is as easy as choosing your favorite medium. Regular skins should exfoliate 2 nights out from the event. This way we know it has been done and is not interfering with our event preparations. It may only take a few minutes; However, it is amazing how busy you will be those last few days.
If you do have sensitive skin may I make the following recommendations?
Philosophy Detox (Oxygen Peel). What? Are you crazy? A peel for sensitive skin? This isn't a peel in the traditional sense. This peel is not using an acid to burn off dead (and sometimes living) tissue. In fact this particular treatment is great for just about anyone (men and women). It is detoxifying, hydrating, antiseptic, gentle, and it exfoliates by "suggesting" dead skin cells find a new place to live. As the oxygen and the hydration benefits are accepted by the skin the skin's keratin bonds (these hold the skin cells in place) are gently broken and the skin cells fall off naturally. I still recommend a patch test as with any sensitive skin, but I think you'll love the results. This method takes about 10 minutes of dedicated "ME TIME". Everything you need is in the box and you'll get enough for 10-15 treatments. If it's just you open one of the capsules and pour half of it into the little test-tube like jar provided and replace the top of the capsule to save for next time. If you and some friends are doing it together or you are doing more than just your face (this works on the back of hands, elbows, and the décolleté too, use a whole capsule. If you are using half a capsule, fill the jar 1 quarter of the way with gently warm water, if you are using a whole capsule, fill it nearly half way. Snap down the lid and shake vigorous for a few seconds (don't try to get the texture smooth it should be lumpy like pancake batter). Apply this gel to the area you wish to treat and then follow with the cream foam in the large jar also provided. The oxygen and water start to separate out and to work... Yes, you're are going to bubble up! This is kind of fun. The treatment needs 3 to 5 minutes to work, so enjoy and relax. Do not worry this isn't an acid, it will not burn you if you leave it on too long. In fact, this treatment shuts itself off. Now, if you have very sensitive skin, splash what's left of the mixture off of your face and notice how bright and smooth your face looks and feels! If you do not have very sensitive skin remove the mixture with the provided spatula. This will help encourage those dead skin cells to leave! Then splash off the remainder with warm water. You will love this!
Check it out! http://www.philosophy.com/skin-treatments/00602015,en_US,pd.html
Peter Thomas Roth Botanical Buffing Beads are fantastic way to get great physical exfoliation for any skin even sensitive and delicate, simply take a small frozen pea size amount and GENTLY (this is not a race ladies and gentlemen) buff damp (make-up free) skin for 90 seconds (sing your alphabet three times if you are not a person who likes to count). The beads will dissolve as you buff releasing nourishing agents into the skin; Thus, assuring you don't over exfoliate the skin and the botanicals calm the skin. You'll notice this product has won several awards in a lot of magazines.
Check them out! http://peterthomasroth.com/p-105-botanical-buffing-beads.aspx
Now, if your skin isn't sensitive or delicate, well then you have a wide array of ways to choose your medium of exfoliation. I would suggest doing your exfoliation 2-3 nights out from your event. And you may want to practice once or twice a month or a few weeks out from the event to make sure you don't experience any surprise sensitivity. We all know what happened to Samantha on "Sex And the City". I recommend rethinking-- Over-The-Counter nonprofessional products that contain ground up shells or nuts or anything that may contain shards of something to cut the dead skin cells off. I am in no way inferring that there aren't some great way to exfoliate inexpensively from the drug store; However, I don't recommend the use of shards of anything to improve anyone's health of anything. One to try might be L'Oreal's Derma Genesis Skin Daily Exfoliating Wash. I have not tried this product yet and I have not been able to see the ingredients yet; However, I do like the fact that says it uses beads and is gentle. http://www.loreal-paris.co.uk/skincare/face-care/derma-genesis-cleansing/exfoliating-wash.aspx
My favorite ways to exfoliate and pamper myself are:
Philosophy's microdelivery peel, this is great for getting the best of both chemical and physical exfoliation and you also get the benefits of anti-aging peptides and brightening vitamin C. This smells and feels fantastic to those of us Veteran exfoliaters.
Check it out: http://www.philosophy.com/in-home-vitamin-c-peptide-skin-peel/microdelivery-peel,en_US,pd.html
Peter Thomas Roth's Clinical Peel & Reveal Dermal Resurfacer. This gives the best of physical and enzymatic exfoliation. The pumpkin enzyme smells delicious.
Check it out: http://www.peterthomasroth.com/p-233-clinical-peel-reveal-dermal-resurfacer.aspx
Kate Somerville's ExfoliKate gives enzymatic and physical exfoliation as well. Also, there are varying formulas depending on surface skin type. You can choose the one that works best for your skin for that time of year. Sephora clients rave about this product.
Check it out! http://www.katesomerville.com/exfolikate-intensive-exfoliating-treatment/
Glamglow is a great way to get exfoliation out of a mask. The mud purifies and detoxifies the skin while the 6 acid blend, green tea and other exciting ingredients exfoliate and protect the skin. Sephora cast members are raving about his product.
Check it out: http://www.glamglowmud.com/
Once you have experienced all of the many benefits exfoliation can provide not only for your special event, but also for the overall health of your skin, you may find yourself seemingly addicted to it. Please, keep in mind over-exfoliation of the skin is just as bad, if not worse than not exfoliating it enough. Do what's best for your skin and remember your skin changes, listen to what it has to say!
If you have any questions, suggestions or comments I would love to hear them.