Your 6 Month Bridal Beauty Timeline

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wedding planning is stressful to say the least, and to any of you brides out there who are currently planning your own wedding, I say best of luck and stay sane! If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent way more time focusing on catering and invitation details than you have on how you’re going to prep yourself for the big day. But as I near my own wedding, I’ve really been honing in on how I’m going to look and feel my very best for my wedding.

After doing a ton of research after the past few weeks and months, I think I’ve come up with the perfect “bridal beauty timeline.” I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me!

6 Months Before

Decide on your beauty budget. You know you’re going to be spending some extra money to make sure you look great for the big day, of course, but those costs can really add up fast. The hair and makeup artists, hair and makeup trials, manicure and pedicure, spray tan, facials, skincare, new hair and makeup products...the list goes on and on. Decide what you’re comfortable with spending from the get-go so those bridal beauty costs don’t sneak up on you later. (After doing this I actually ended up choosing to do my own hair and makeup—it gets that expensive.)

Book your hair and makeup artists. If you’re going to hire professional hair and makeup artists for the big day, be sure to book them as soon as possible—even before the 6 month mark if you can. Artists get snatched up quickly, and you want to end up with someone you absolutely love. Tip: If you need help finding artists, you should know that many of them hang out on social media, as this article points out. I recommend searching local hashtags on Instagram like #bostonmakeupartist.

Start getting laser hair removal treatments. Obviously this one doesn’t apply to everyone, but if you’ve been wanting to do laser hair removal, now is a good time to consider it. You’ll need to start at least six months out in order to get multiple treatments in before your wedding. (Maybe this is TMI, but I was originally planning on getting my usual monthly bikini waxes leading up to the wedding until I priced it out and realized that laser would be about the same price as waxing!)

Get on birth control. Obviously birth control is a personal decision, but if you are planning on going on birth control at all, I highly recommend getting started about six months before the wedding. This will give your body plenty of time to adjust (it can take about three months), and it will allow for any preliminary symptoms like spotting and acne to subside well before the wedding.

Start some good skincare habits. Now is a good time to start putting a little extra effort into caring for your skin. Personally, I started exfoliating my face and body once a week, applying moisturizer daily, and using toner on my face after cleansing. This article has some great skincare tips. Visit a dermatologist if you need some advice.

Start working on your fitness goals. If you have any particular fitness goals for your wedding, now is a good time to start working on them. Just be realistic here and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to “lose weight” or “tone up.” You’re going to look beautiful!

2–1 Months Before

Spray tan trial run. If you’re planning to get a spray tan done before the wedding, do at least one trial run. Now is a good time to master your self-tanner skills if you’re taking that route. I myself am opting for a custom spray tan because I’ve never had great results from a tanning booth.

Makeup and hair trial run. If you’ve hired professional hair and makeup artists for the wedding, now is a good time to do a trial run with them. Be very clear about what you want and make sure you’re happy with the results. Note: Because I am planning to do my own hair and makeup, this is when I went to Sephora and had them work with me to “create a look.” If you commit to buying a certain amount of product from a store like Sephora or MAC, they’ll usually do a free makeover with you. Try to schedule your makeover for after you tan so you know what your complexion will be.

Whiten your teeth. You’ll be wearing a white dress, so you’ll want whiter teeth to match! One to two months out should give you enough time to go through as many treatments as you need.

3–2 Weeks Before

Hair trim. Now is not the time to experiment with a different haircut or color, but I do recommend getting a trim at this point. You want your hair to look natural, yet polished. If your existing color needs a touch-up, now is a good time for that too.

7–5 Days Before

Drink plenty of water from here on out. Plan on drinking at least a half gallon of water every day from here on out. It will work wonders on your complexion.

Get plenty of rest from here on out. The same thing applies to sleep—make sure you’re getting at least 7 or 8 hours a night.

Teeth whitening touch up. Double check your teeth at this point and do an extra at home treatment or two if necessary.

Waxing. If you’re getting anything waxed, a week before or just under is best. This will give you ample recovery time while also ensuring that your skin is nice and smooth before the wedding. Plus, you need to do this before getting a spray tan—the hot wax can remove the color!

4–3 Days Before

Hair gloss treatment. I love getting a clear gloss treatment on my hair before an important event. It makes your hair shinier and enriches the color. You can go to a salon for this or do an at-home treatment. Just be sure to do this before eyelash extensions because it involves water.

Eyelash extensions. Eyelash extensions aren’t necessary, of course, if you’re planning to use falsies or pile on the waterproof mascara. I chose to invest in them, however, since I am doing my own hair and makeup for the big day—less pressure for me! Just keep in mind with eyelash extensions that you can’t get them wet for 24 hours after application. So if you’re getting a spray tan, for example, you’ll need to schedule that for at least 24 hours after getting your lashes done.

2 Days Before

This day is tricky and almost scientific, so pay attention!

Manicure and pedicure. You want to get your nails done before getting a spray tan. Getting your nails done first will 1) prevent the spray tan from sinking into your nails and cuticles, and 2) ensure that no manicure chemicals ruin your fresh spray tan. Tip #1: Do not, I repeat, do not let them use any lotion on you. It will interfere with the spray tan. In fact, I’d hop in the shower after your nails are dry and before getting your spray tan to make sure there isn’t any chemical residue left on you. Tip #2: Purchase your nail polish and bring it with you to the salon so you’ll have it on your wedding day just in case. Note: I’m personally doing my own nails because I do a better job than any salon I’ve ever gone to. Plus it simplifies the whole problem of getting your nails done around a spray tan.

Spray tan. As you already know at this point, you should schedule your spray at least 24 hours after eyelash extensions and also after your manicure and pedicure. Book it two days before the wedding so that you have time for a couple of showers before the big day (which is important for getting rid of the tan smell and any excess tan.) If you’re opting for self-tanner instead, make sure this is the last day you apply any.

Wedding Day

Don’t stress—you’re going to look beautiful!

So, there it is! Pretty detailed, huh? Obviously you should tweak this to suit your own schedule and needs, as this timeline isn’t gospel by any means. Got any bridal beauty tips for us? Share them below!

Baking with Fresh Fruit 101

Friday, March 24, 2017

If you’ve ever visited the “recipes” section on this blog, then you know that I love to get creative with cake recipes! I love thinking up creative flavors for cakes and then finding the right recipe to make them a reality. I have kind of a system when it comes to creating new cake recipes. If I want a nut flavored cake, for example, I will add ground nuts and alter the flour proportions accordingly in order to let that nutty flavor shine through the cake. If I want a citrus flavored cake, on the other hand, I will incorporate fresh lemon, lime, or orange zest into the recipe.

There’s one type of ingredient that I’ve found is incredibly difficult to bake with, and that’s fresh fruit. There’s just something about fresh fruit that really throws off the chemistry of a cake recipe—especially berries and apples. Most of my attempts to bake with fresh strawberries, blueberries, apples, pears, etc. have ended in cake that is much too moist, won’t rise, and hardly light and fluffy the way cake should be. It’s gotten to the point before where I was almost tempted to bake with extracts rather than the real thing. (But doesn’t that take half the fun out of it?)

So as I’ve begun to figure out how to bake with fresh fruit (and how not to bake with fresh fruit), I thought I’d share my best tips with you! Here are some tips for baking with fresh fruit, while still maintaining the integrity of your cake or other baked good.

Bake with what’s in season.

First, I think it’s important to plan your baking around what’s in season. This helps you get the highest quality fruit for your baked goods—not to mention you can enjoy picking out your fresh fruit at a farmer’s market or roadside fruit stand. This list can give you a quick look at which fruits are at their peak by season.

Start with bananas.

If you’re looking to bake with more fresh fruit and raw ingredients, I think baking with bananas is a great place to start! Bananas are pretty much always in season, and the overripe ones that we are frequently left with are perfect for baking. In fact, feel like bananas are kind of this magical fruit that was almost made for baking. You’ll find recipes that use it as a substitute for eggs (which are almost irreplaceable, in my book), and often bananas serve as a foundational ingredient in cake, muffin, and bread recipes. This article mentions that you can even make donuts with bananas!

Cut large pieces of fruit into smaller pieces.

It might be tempting to leave larger fruit chunks in your cake or bread, but fruit is heavier than batter and will therefore sink to the bottom during baking. For this reason, it’s a good idea to cut larger pieces of fruit, like strawberries and pineapple, into smaller pieces before adding them to your batter.

When dicing fruit, use a sharp knife.

If you need to dice fruit for cake, bread, muffins, or anything else, don’t reach for just any knife. I highly recommend using an extra sharp knife to dice your berries, apples, pineapple, etc. This will help you actually dice your fruit without juicing it as you go, keeping the juice inside the fruit where it should be.

Pat freshly cut fruit dry.

Too much fruit juice is what can really throw off a recipe, making your cake or bread oddly moist and sticky. So whenever you’re working with freshly cut fruit, be sure to pat it dry as much as you can before adding it to your batter.

Roll fruit in flour or cocoa powder.

This might be my top tip here. Whenever you’re adding fruit pieces and berries to batter, be sure to roll them in flour or cocoa powder first! This helps keep them from sinking once they’re in the batter, and I think it also helps keep seeping fruit juices from interfering with the rest of the batter. Use flour when working with most recipes, and use cocoa powder whenever you’re working with a chocolate based recipe.

Reserve some of your fruit for the very end.

This tip comes in handy whenever you’re baking any sort of cake, bread, or muffin where you want to see the individual fruit pieces. Whenever you’re preparing a batter that includes small pieces of fruit, save a few pieces of fruit for adding to the batter right before you put it in the oven. For example, if you are making blueberry muffins, save a few small blueberries and set them on top of the batter once it’s already distributed between the wells in the muffin pan. This will give you muffins that actually have fresh blueberries right on top, where you want to see them.

How to Save Money on Your Wedding (without DIYing Everything)

Friday, February 17, 2017

So...I happen to be in the midst of wedding planning right now. (I guess that’s the first time I’ve mentioned that on the blog??) And I have to say, the expenses add up fast! Nate and I are getting married in Boston, which is a pretty expensive area wedding-wise. Plus, it’s a destination wedding for everyone, including us. So the DIY options are slim, and Nate and I (okay, mostly I) have had to jump through some hoops to keep costs down while still ending up with an elegant Boston wedding. So while I definitely can’t say that I’m a wedding planning expert, I can say that I’ve put a lot of thought and research into how you can cut costs when hiring local vendors for your wedding.

Free Printable: Redbox Movie Christmas Gift Tags

Friday, December 9, 2016

Today I have an easy DIY gift idea that literally everyone on your Christmas gifting list will love! It's an especially great idea for neighbors. My roommate back in Utah decided to do this for her neighbors, and she enlisted my help for the design portion. I present...Redbox movie code gift tags!

I made this on Canva, by the way, so don't think I'm that amazing of a designer or anything :)

Just have these printed on 4x6 photo paper at any photo printing center, like Walmart, Target, or Costco. I recommend choosing the matte option for your photos so that writing on them later is easier. Then purchase Redbox promo codes over here on Redbox's site. Then write each unique code on a gift tag, pair the tag with some popcorn and other fun treats, and gift it. Everyone on your list will get a fun movie night to enjoy with their family.

This post probably seems sponsored, but it's not haha. I just loved the idea and wanted to share it with you.

Hope you're having a lovely Christmas season so far!

Love, Maurine