Look Your Bridal Best
Before the ceremony site is selected, the menu is finalized and the honeymoon is planned—perhaps even before a date is set — a bride-to-be knows one thing for sure; she wants to look absolutely beautiful on her wedding day. And, while the task at hand may seem overwhelming (My hair, my skin, my toes, oh my!), remember there are alternatives to experimenting with homemade remedies and miracle products. There are a variety of trusted and skilled consultants ready and waiting to solve your beauty dilemmas and help you reveal the beauty within.
Use this guide to get you on track to looking your bridal best from head to toe:
MANE MATTERS. If taming your mane is your top concern, chances are Pamela Hays will know exactly how to deal with your do. Founder of Pamela the Salon, a renowned beauty haven near River Oaks, Hays specializes in pampering the bride-to-be.
From advanced color design, delightful updo’s and styles to permanents and straightening, Hays works with brides one-on-one to devise a plan for perfectly placed hair.
“Your wedding day hairstyle should be special but not too dramatically different,” she says, adding that brides should choose looks for their celebration that complement the theme itself; soft and romantic for a casual affair or super sleek for a formal affair.
TIP #1: Whichever style suits you, Hays says regular maintenance keeps hair in tip top shape for the big day. “Brides-to-be should get a trim every six weeks until the wedding,” she says. “And, more complex treatments like perms and hair coloring should be done several months before the event to ensure that hair is healthy by the time you greet your groom at the altar.”
THE EYEBROWS HAVE IT. When it comes to highlighting a bride’s face, Shainy Coats knows just where to start. For over 16 years, the beauty expert, known in the industry simply as Shainy, has beautified the brows of hundreds of brides from her Just Brows salon on Heights Boulevard.
“Beautifully shaped eyebrows can make you look youthful and more attractive,” she says. “And, who doesn’t want that?”
Coats warns that shaping your brows is much more than plucking. Instead, she perfectly sculpts the brows according to face shape and eye contour utilizing a variety of techniques such as waxing, threading (an ancient Middle Eastern technique) and tweezing. So adept at the task, in fact, Shainy is known as the city’s “Eyebrow Queen,” and retains a long list of clients, many of whom fly in from around the country just to see her.
TIP #2: To ensure that all eyes are on you on your wedding day, Shainy suggests rubbing almond oil twice daily on your brows. “The natural protein will produce brows that are thick, strong and gorgeous,” she says.
SKIN IS IN. Brides who want to uncover their skin’s potential will be thrilled with the tantalizing treats at Josephine’s Day Spa & Salon. A full service Aveda lifestyle salon, Josephine’s has simplified the spa experience and made it easier than ever for a bride to be indulged.
“Our menu of facial and body treatments is not an exhaustive list,” says Vivian Hsing, who serves as operations manager. “Instead, we concentrate on core treatments that can be personalized for each client and completed in 30, 60 or 90 minutes.”
Among the favorites for brides-to-be are stress relieving facials that bring out the luminosity of the skin; a treatment that prepares your back for a strapless gown, and the Aqua Polish, a full body treatment that exfoliates and refines the skin.
TIP #3: Whichever treatment you find enticing, Hsing reminds brides to pay attention to timing when it comes to beauty visits since your skin needs time to adjust to a new regimen, a process that can take several days to several weeks. She says the benefits will be evident. “Your skin will be rejuvenated just in time for your walk down the aisle.”
ALL DOLLED UP. For Danielle Doyle, owner of The Perfect Face, bridal beauty is enhanced by great make-up. The former model, who now applies a pretty palette of colors to Miss USA® participants, TV and movie stars as well as brides, says those who want radiance on their wedding day should trust experts like her to create a luminous look.
The artist prides herself on getting to know her clients well and considers a number of factors to choose the hues used, including the formality of the event, the colors of the wedding and the details of the bridal gown as well as the comfort level of the bride. “Instead of relying on trends, I help brides look like themselves but even better,” she says.
TIP #4: Doyle stresses the value of only using wedding day make-up that can withstand the pressure of all-day wear. “Professional make-up contains a high concentration of pigment, a characteristic that ensures the make-up will read well on camera and stay put,” she says.
PRETTY PEARLY WHITES. While a stunning gown and sparkling jewelry are showstoppers, Dr. Michael Landry, a cosmetic dentist at Consultants in Dental Aesthetics in northwest Houston, says brides should not forget about the most important accessory on their wedding day—their smile.
“Your smile has a major influence on your self image,” he says. “It shouldn’t be a source of embarrassment.”
The good news is that state-of the-art technology has made cosmetic dentistry a fast, safe and beautiful option for bridal clients who want to look their best in every photograph.
Among the popular treatments for brides, grooms and family members he’s seen are teeth whitening systems designed to improve discoloration, porcelain veneers which camouflage problem teeth, and complete smile design which utilizes a number of solutions to create a brand new, bright smile. Best of all, Dr. Landry says many of the solutions can be achieved in a few hours during a single or few visits.
TIP #5: While many over-the-counter dental products work well for some people, Dr. Landry says nothing beats a consultation with a dentist to determine the best treatment for less than picture perfect teeth. “We’re here to help you achieve long-term benefits for everyday life, not just your wedding day,” he says.
SMOOTH AND SILKY. For gals who find shaving a less than pleasant experience, Cleopatra’s Secret has a remedy that will get everyone talking. Located in Bunker Hill, this savvy salon promises to make you soft and smooth just in time to say “I do.”
Using an ancient technique rumored to have been a favorite of the Egyptian queen called body sugaring, salon owner Ati Shafik says brides and her maidens will love this sugar, water and lemon concoction. Perfect for unruly hairs in a particular area or as a total body solution, the paste makes hair removal easier, faster, less irritating and longer lasting (up to 6 weeks) than other methods.
“Brides initially come here because they want us to solve their problem for their wedding,” laughs Shafik. “But, it’s the husbands that keep them coming back.”
TIP #6: To stay super-smooth between treatments, Shafik recommends her clients hydrate and exfoliate regularly. Doing so “will keep your skin healthy,” she says.
TEMPTING TIPS AND TOES. Any bride looking to tempt her new husband with great-looking tips and toes will love the decadent services at Roula’s Nail Spa. Located in River Oaks, the salon, owned by Roula Nassar, is known for hand and foot treatments that make them totally beautiful. Brides can choose from classic, signature or therapeutic treatments that include total care for nails and skin.
And, it doesn’t end there. Roula’s includes true ambiance by making treatments part of a party experience that can include specialty beverages (many flavors coincide with the aromatic scents used in lotions and scrubs) and favors that include mini versions of products needed for touch-ups on the wedding day.
“A wedding is a wonderful occasion,” says Nassar, “we’re happy to be part of the celebration and help brides look beautiful.”
TIP #7: Whenever you visit a salon for a manicure or pedicure, Nassar says safety should be your number one priority. “To ensure that you and your bridal party are safe from infections, make it a point to ask about the sterilization of instruments, disposal of implements intended for single use and the disinfection of stations and other equipment,” she says. Finally, though weeks of treatments and consultations may seem like “work” to you, just remember that this beauty adventure will be worth it. Remember, after all is said and done, when you make your nuptial debut, everyone will agree that a confident bride is truly a beautiful bride!