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Essential Bridal Beauty Countdown

Brides undoubtedly look their best on their wedding day. Indeed, it's partially attributed to feelings of joy, nerves and sheer glee. But, that glow also comes from following a beauty-care regimen months before the big day. Everything from hair to nails to skin needs advance maintenance to get that flawless look. No need to fret. Here's a checklist to follow as your beauty countdown begins.

FIVE MONTHS BEFORE

  • Begin to get monthly manicures and pedicures, if you can afford them.
  • If you want longer nails, begin getting artificial nails or grow out your own nails. If you want to address problems like brittle nails or dry cuticles, chat with your manicurist.

FOUR MONTHS BEFORE

  • Work out areas of your body that will be prominently displayed in your dress -- chest, arms and waist.

THREE MONTHS BEFORE

  • Book your makeup artist and hair stylist for the wedding date. Discuss a wedding-day schedule.
  • Begin to have your hair trimmed every four to six weeks..
  • Test-run your makeup and hair. Mimic the wedding day. Use the same cosmetics; wear your veil and headpiece.
  • Make an appointment for a tooth cleaning for one to two weeks before the wedding day.
  • Consider having your eyebrows shaped professionally. Get them waxed or tweezed monthly.

ONE TO T O MONTHS BEFORE

  • Get your teeth professionally whitened, if you can afford it.
  • Start drinking at least eight glasses of water a day.

ONE TO TWO WEEKS BEFORE

  • Get your final haircut or coloring. That way, the cut and color will have time to adjust.
  • Go for final eyebrow shaping. Get any other waxing you'd like, such as your upper lip or bikini area.
  • Get your last facial if you've been having them regularly. It will give your face time to tone down if it looks red or puffy.
  • Start getting enough sleep.
  • Avoid the sun, or wear sunblock to prevent tan lines or redness.
  • Get teeth cleaned by your dentist.

ONE DAY BEFORE

  • Avoid salty foods and alcohol, which can promote bloating, puffy eyes or other conditions.
  • If you get last-minute breakouts, visit your dermatologist. He or she can give you an injection to reduce the swelling.
  • Get a manicure and pedicure.
  • Go for a massage.
  • Take a nap and go to bed early.
  • Put your skin in gear. Exfoliate your skin with a body wash. Apply lots of moisturizer all over your body. Use only products that you're familiar with.
  • Drink two extra glasses of water.

WEDDING DAY

  • Eat! No one wants a bride to faint.
  • Get your hair and makeup done. Wear a robe or button-down shirt so you don't ruin your face or hair. Relax and smile! It's your wedding day, so enjoy it!

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