The amount of time, money, and attention to detail required when it comes to planning a wedding is nothing to bat your lashes at. One survey revealed that brides spend between 120 and 900 hours planning their weddings (florals and tablescapes and entertainment—oh my!). And while you may be thinking about your venue and guest-list far enough in advance, are you sufficiently prepping for your wedding-day beauty goals?
Just as you would with seating arrangements and food, so should you with haircare and eyebrow planning. From skin to hair to brows, these aspects can take months (or honestly, even years) to get to your exact dream liking. This is exactly why we asked a handful of beauty experts on how to plan ahead for your most perfect day. (But even if you don’t have a wedding coming up, these tips can be easily incorporated into your regime, big event or not.)
We all want to look back on our wedding scrapbook (or Instagram hashtag) and feel both timeless, as well as flawless. To make that a sure thing, we chatted with the coolest of cool girl hair extraordinaire: Ashley Streicher of STRIIIKE, and Teddi Cranford of White Rose Collective on all things wedding day prep and hair. Both ladies are revolutionizing hair, while simultaneously shaking up the traditional concepts of wedding day hair. (Streicher is located in LA, and Cranford in New York.)
Find a stylist that you love, and collaborate with them on your vision—ideally months in advance so you can plan hair color and the cut especially. “[The bride] should have a style in mind for the big day, and carefully (and slowly) work to achieve the end goal with her stylist,” says Streicher. “Whether it be getting the color right or growing out your hair, it’s important to be on the same page as your stylist, so you can both be working towards that goal.”
Cranford agrees, mentioning it’s good to reconnect with your stylist a month or so ahead of time, especially if you’ve booked them long in advance, to assure you’re both on the same page with all details and vision.
Three to 2 weeks before your big day, you could refresh your hair color if you’re getting consistent highlights or color. “Three weeks prior, I would refresh your hairline, or any sort of highlights you have, so everything looks super fresh,” says Cranford. “At White Rose, we call that a “mini light”, it’s just kinda adding that extra sun-kissed look.”
For a cut, Cranford suggests a baby trim one month out, so your ends are fresh. If you have shorter hair, maybe 2 to 3 weeks out is better.
Why are you perfecting cut and color weeks in advance, and not just right before a big event? Your hair basically needs time to re-adjust. “I do feel like sometime people’s hair goes into a little bit of shock right after a cut, it takes a couple days for your hair to lay perfect and settle in,” says Streicher. “Color is the same for me, getting a couple weeks of growth looks most natural to me.”
While it’s important to hydrate hair, be conscious of what products you’re using directly prior to your wedding day. Cranford suggests not doing a hair mask a few days before because you don’t want your hair to be weighed down from a moisturizing formula.
Night Before/Morning Of
Check with your stylist ahead of time to see exact how clean or dirty they’d like your hair to be—some updos hold much, much better with grit and a little texture in the hair. If you’re going to wash your hair yourself, Cranford suggests using a good shampoo and conditioner the night before or morning, especially one that gives volume but weightlessly, so hair isn’t weighed down. She recommends Apothecare Essentials Booster shampoo and condition ($10.99 each) for shiny, but voluminous hair.
This conversation with your stylist would hopefully happen months or weeks in advance, but be sure to be very clear with your dream hairstyle direction for day-of. “You basically want to look like the best version of yourself, whatever that may be,” says Streicher. “You want to look like yourself, and something you would wear. That’s my best advice for brides, especially years from now with those wedding photos.”
“You want to look like yourself, and something you would wear.”
Makeup is arguably the most vital thing to assure you look like your truest self on the big day. It also does tend to be one of those tasks most brides leave to a professional or even a skilled friend. But it’s also one of the tasks that can make you look least like yourself when done to extremes. Regardless of whether it’s you, or someone else in charge of your makeup, we’ve got tips. We chatted wedding day makeup tips with two lovely celebrity makeup artists: Jenn Streicher of STRIIIKE (yep, Ashley’s sister!) and Rosie Johnston, founder of By Rosie Jane.
What to Ask Beforehand
“I always think that a bride should ask to look like the best version of herself—don’t change your whole look, just create the best, freshest version,” says Johnston.
Not sure what you want to look like? Streicher suggests bringing in a lot of pictures—both of what you imagine your makeup could look like day-of, and also pictures of yourself where you really liked the way you looked. This will visually tell a story much more vibrantly and decisively than words could.
What about trendy makeup? Our artists think you should avoid anything overly trend-driven. “Stay away from trends for your wedding day 100 percent,” says Johnston. “You don’t want to look back at your wedding album, and regret a trend that may not be around five years from now.” Streicher agrees, saying she loves keeping things traditional for brides. “But ultimately it’s the bride’s decision,” she says.
“You don’t want to look back at your wedding album, and regret a trend that may not be around five years from now.”
Use These Products
Okay, so you found your artist, and love your makeup, but your wedding day is a hectic, long event, how do you assure your makeup lasts all day and night long?
Also, “I like to layer eyeshadows (a powder on top of a cream), this really helps with the longevity of the look,” says Streicher. And, of course, it’s ideal to do little touch-ups throughout the day, if you can.
Brows may feel like a bit of an afterthought, but the modern resurgence of bigger, bolder brows can very much take game planning and thought. We asked the brow expert, Kristie Streicher of STRIIIKE (yep, Ashley and Jenn’s sister!), and Christina Zeigler, the co-founder of Vegamour, a natural brow and lash growth serum brand, for all their tips on game planning for the brows of your dreams (it’s possible!). After all, brows really can transform your look: “Brows frame our features, balance our look, and add a youthful touch,” says Zeigler.
“Brows frame our features, balance our look, and add a youthful touch.”
The lush, full brows you desire really can take months, even years to grow—no, really. “If possible I always have clients start a growth program a year in advance, as it can take up to a year to grow every hair in your brow,” says Streicher. (Wow, who knew?!) “We have a strategic tweezing growth plan that really works!”
Yep, as Streicher previously told us, tweezing brows can actually stimulate the hairs around the removed hair to grow. A brow master can gameplan to assure you achieve your brown dreams over time.
An at-home option is brow growth treatments. Zeigler suggests starting by using your new lash and brow routine a few months prior to the wedding to ensure full results. (But if you’re in a rush, she said most users see results within 30 days of using Vegamour.)
The all-natural brand is especially great because they are 100 percent plant-based, vegan, cruelty- and toxin-free, but are still incredibly potent and powerful. There are both eyelash and eyebrow-focused treatments, both with ingredients like red clover to stimulate follicles, and mung bean to strengthen hair. The trick to using these types of treatments is consistency—make sure you use them daily for best results.
There are eyebrow treatments that can give a major boost to brows, and you ideally want to dive into this a week or two before the big event. Like Streicher’s signature treatment, the Feathered Brow, which can dramatically change your eyebrows in under an hour.
If only doing at-home treatments or in addition to professional treatments, keep maintaining your at-home brow treatment usage, or start at least 4 weeks out if you’re just starting out.
When your brows are fuller, it really can affect and enhance the entire look, says Streicher. You’ll probably even see you can wear less makeup then, she says, and you’ll look more natural too.
We’ll follow up with Wedding Beauty—Part Two, diving deep into skincare for naturally glowing skin on your big day.
Keep on tying the knot: