June 19, 2014 at 1:04 PM ET
The countdown to a wedding is one of the most magical times in a woman’s life, but it can also be the most stressful. Gowns and jewelry, venues and shoes…between all those items and the decision on whether to sit your two aunts who haven’t spoken since The Great Thanksgiving Disaster two years ago anywhere near each other, you have a lot to think about. Which means that decisions around your hair, makeup, nails and skin can feel utterly overwhelming.
To save you some of that stress this wedding season, we reached out to beauty industry insiders to get their best big-day tips and tricks and things they wished they’d known when they walked down the aisle.
DIY your skin and hair fixes
Jenny Studenroth-Gerson, founder of Born To Be A Bride, has two tips — one made famous in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding".
“I woke up the morning of my wedding with a huge pimple emerging. I gently washed the inflamed area with cool water and foaming cleanser, patted it dry, and iced it to reduce swelling. Then, I broke out the Windex, sprayed it onto my fingertip, and gently patted it onto the affected area. If you repeat the ice and glass cleaner trick every hour until makeup time, no one will see a thing."
Summer humidity is an enemy of coiffed hair, she adds, so "no matter how perfect your hair looks when your stylist sends you down the aisle, keep a tube of thick, clear lip gloss in your clutch or with your bridal attendant. When applied to fly-aways, the gloss holds hair without the stiffness of a full-on hairspray.”
Plan for emergencies
“I can't stress enough how important it is to keep two things with you at all times: adhesive bandages and petroleum jelly," says Bryce Gruber of The Luxury Spot. Bandages applied over blister-prone spots will prevent chafing, while plain old Vaseline, "is perfect for creating a barrier between heels and good-looking (but perpetually evil) satin shoes," she explains of a lesson she learned the hard way. "I know at my own wedding my shoes looked beautiful, but by the end of the night they’d caused painful blisters. I was nearly limping as I gave hugs and kisses goodbye to my family and friends."
Give your pout extra staying power
"It's so easy to do it, but don't let yourself get buried in a sea of white,” advises Julia DiNardo, editor of Fashion Pulse Daily, who balanced a classic bridal gown with crimson lips. “I agonized whether I could pull off a red lip on my wedding day — it could have been too high maintenance to deal with — but it wasn't at all and was totally worth it for what turned out to be spectacular photos!" Her tip: "Avoid lip stains, since the main lip layer can crack and dry out, and find a long-wear lipstick that you love. Set it with a bit of powder, and then just remember to reapply before photos and after dinner!"
Pack your own polish
“Chip happens — so for my wedding manicure, I plan to take my own polish to the salon," says bride-to-be Annie Tomlin of The Glowhow. "That way, if the lacquer gets nicked before the big day, I can touch it up. Also, because I'm going with a sheer pink, a chip might not even be that noticeable in the first place. One less detail to worry about!”
To thine own self…
“Women often think their wedding day should be their Hollywood Princess moment. I think it's better to look in the mirror and see you staring back, rather than a stranger," Nadine Jolie Courtney, the blogger behind the namesake site. "Whatever makeup and hair look you choose, make sure it reflects you, rather than feeling like a mask or costume. I did my own makeup for my wedding (although I did let a hair pro take over!) and it was the best beauty decision I made. I didn't feel like I was wearing heavy war paint, and my husband loved seeing me — not a red-carpet-ready stranger — walk down the aisle.”
Trust your gut
Jeannine Morris, founder of Beauty Sweet Spot, was literally heading off to her wedding day as she was giving her tip. “When doing hair and makeup trials, pay attention to the energy of the stylist or artist. Of course, they have to be talented and understand your vision, but their personality is just as important. You want to work with people who are positive and calm on your wedding day. I did my homework and am excited to work with my glam squad, because they're a triple threat: talented, creative and cool.”