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GUIDE FOR THE BRIDE

Your wedding day. The day when you will be expected to look your best. You will be required to smile through all those demanding ceremonies, be pleasant and calm while all around you are in a tizzy, look as fresh as a daisy despite not having slept due to that late night telephone call to your beau or all-night festivities led by excited and noisy relatives staying in your home….

Before the exhaustive roller coaster ride has swept you away, make yourself equal to it all with a pamper regimen. If you find that expenses are mounting in direct proportion to stress levels and going to the parlour for your every little need is stretching the wedding budget beyond what you can manage, dig into your beauty bag to find the ingredients for some do-it-yourself remedies.

Here are 30 handy hints that should tip the beauty balance outrageously in your favour...

1. Evaluate yourself. Your skin. Your hair. Your teeth. Your nails. Calmly. Don’t let pre-wedding jitters colour your view of yourself.

Some girls who visit our salon imagine dark circles and falling hair when neither of the two exists!

2. Start within. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can help you look your best if you don’t eat well. Visit a nutritionist if you must.

3. Exercise. Physical activity gets the blood flowing, your skin glowing and gets the nutrients to reach all neglected extremities. Get a regimen charted to suit your body type.

4. Detox. Give your skin, hair and nails room to breathe. Cut back on make-up application and nail varnish — don’t wear them unless you have to.

The use of liners and kajal should be kept to a minimum as often, these can make those with a propensity for dark circles look worse.

5. Your CTM (cleansing, toning, moisturising) routine is a must now, more than ever.

Be very aware of your skin type and design a skin care regimen around it. Don’t be tempted to try any and every product that hits the market.

6. For acne-prone skin, use gel-based cleansers that don’t strip the skin. Use very light moisturisers, applying them on every third day only.

7. If you have dry skin, use a cream-based cleanser and moisturiser.

8. For normal skin, try an emollient-based product as the upcoming winter will make your skin more dry than usual.

9. If you have tanned skin, apply aloe vera on sunburnt areas. Use a sunscreen with SPF 20 before going out in the sun, to prevent further sunburn.

10. To minimise your large pores, mix two tsp of tomato juice with two tsp curd and apply on affected area. Leave for 10 minutes and wash off with cool water.

11. Banish those dark circles. Slices of potato or cucumber applied to the affected areas work wonders.

Under-eye creams specially designed for this problem are also available for the more stubborn circles.

12. Zap that zit. If your skin breaks out in stress zits, apply cool cotton pads soaked in milk or chamomile tea, followed by toothpaste on the pimple head. Then wipe with warm water.

13. Try this brightening pack: Mix one tbsp oatmeal, one tbsp buttermilk, one tbsp honey. Apply on skin and leave for 10 minutes. Wash with cool water.

14. If your skin is oily, mix the beaten yolk of one egg with four drops of lemon. Leave for 10 minutes. A good dry skin pack can be made with two tbsp fresh cream, one tbsp honey. Mix well and leave on face for 10 minutes.

15. The neck is a seriously neglected area of the body, which will suddenly be the cynosure of all eyes as it will flaunt your wedding jewellery, as well as the mangalsutra. Take care of it by not only including it in your facial CTM routine, but by also using a moisturiser with cocoa butter at night.

16. Eyebrow alert! Make sure you don’t take the grooming of your pair of framers too lightly — badly shaped eyebrows can ruin your facial expression and the make-up plans you have mapped out for your eyes.

Having your eyebrows done can cause swelling, sometimes even a little bleeding, and you don’t want to have to address these minor irritations the day before your wedding. Shape your brows one week before the big day.

17. Eyelashes are everything. Your peepers need all the support they can get, so ensure that your lashes look their most lustrous.

Lightly oil them if they are scanty — the application of a light layer of castor oil on them every night works to make them look fuller.

18. Your smile can make you or break you. To help whiten teeth naturally and remove surface stains, eat raw veggies such as carrots and celery, or rub your teeth with a halved lime. Rinse with cool water.

Avoid drinking coffee, dark sodas and red wine in the weeks preceding your wedding as these cause stains.

19. Blackheads can be battled at home, too. Steam face very lightly. Mix one tbsp of powdered almonds and one tsp of fuller’s earth made to a paste with the juice of a cucumber. Rub extremely gently over affected area. Wash thoroughly.

20. Do not go in for a haircut/colour/straightening two days before your big day as there will be no time for any rectifications should anything go wrong.

21. Trim your dry and split ends. Go in for conditioning treatments to prevent them.

22. Oily scalp? You can wash your hair every day provided you use a conditioner on the ends and a shampoo that’s pH balanced.

23. If you have coloured hair, use a shampoo and conditioner meant for chemically treated tresses.

24. For normal hair, use a curd and egg yolk protein pack. One egg yolk mixed with 50 g curd and a little almond oil applied and left on for an hour will work wonders. Shampoo thoroughly after application.

25. Dandruff must be treated before it turns into an infected and itchy scalp. Take one tbsp fenugreek seeds, soak overnight and grind to a paste. Apply to the scalp. The ground paste can also be added to coconut oil and used as a massage treatment. Wash hair with a good dandruff shampoo.

26.Oil massages are therapeutic and anything that decreases your stress levels now has to be a good thing!

27. For strong nails, avoid too much contact with detergent. Dip nails in olive oil every night and rub over with lime juice to remove residual nail varnish stains. If you need to use polish, use a lighter shade or opt for a French manicure.

28. Get that bridal glow with brightening body packs.

29. For dark knees and elbows, rest the point of your elbow on or gently rub your knee with a halved lemon for about five minutes everyday. Clean area with cotton wool dipped in milk.

30. Sleep. Much has been written about the benefits of eight hours daily, mostly by people who realise how sorry they are for not having followed such good counsel themselves!

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