With red carpet clients including Madmen star Elisabeth Moss, the Director of Oscar-nominated film Ladybird, Greta Gerwig, and model Riley Keough, you’d expect Joanna Vargas to know what she’s doing. And she certainly does, because many of her star customers book her months ahead, so that they’ll look perfect for the year’s most important events and awards ceremonies. So, what would she say to a bride-to-be? What would her advice be for prepping your skin ahead of the big day? Brides asked one of the world’s most successful facialists to reveal all: how can you get perfect skin for your wedding day? Read on to discover her best tips – some, so affordable, quick and/or easy, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it before!
FIRST OF ALL, EXFOLIATE!
Exfoliation is my secret weapon. It's the most frequently skipped step in people's home routine but, it makes a huge difference in the way your skin looks and feels. Think of exfoliation as your path to creating a perfect canvas for products and make-up. You could be investing in the most expensive and reputable skincare products but, if you don't exfoliate, those ingredients won't ever penetrate to make any difference at all.
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, £16.50
Twice a week
Joanna Vargas exfoliating mask, £54 at net-a-porter.com
Also, add dry brushing to your routine right before the shower. Dry brushing is my favorite method of body exfoliation because it’s actually multi-tasking. You’ll be pleased to hear that it’s incredible as a cellulite reduction treatment and increases your skin’s elasticity.
Start at the tops of the feet and brush upwards towards the heart. Spend extra time on areas that tend to be more stagnant, like the inner thigh, and don't forget to include the backs of the arms and the back. Dry brushing immediately increases circulation, so you’ll feel warmer when you’re done. It also increases blood flow, which is healthy, but its main purpose is to stimulate collagen production which will help thicken the skin and lessen the appearance of fat cells. It dramatically increases elasticity, as well, so it's great for lifting and toning a problem area. Try it and you’ll see a difference in your skin quality and cellulite in days. It’s a miracle at-home technique.
Botanics Detox Brush, £6.50
ONE MONTH TO GO
Typically, a month before the wedding, the bride is stressed and everything she’s so carefully planned is finally coming together. I’d recommend a deep pore cleansing facial to get your face nice and smooth for the big day. Having one four weeks out will give the skin time to heal. I would follow with a LED Light Bed session, so the pores start to shrink and you can get the skin even toned and perfect for the big day.
The House of Elemis in Mayfair, London, offers a BIOTEC Skin Resurfacer treatment, which reduces pore visibility through an ultrasonic skin peel and LED light therapy, £125
At this point, I would also tell any client to start adding supplement shakes and salads with lots of avocado to your diet, as well as green juices. This will help hydrate your skin from the inside.
And this should go without saying: don’t try too many new products in the lead-up to the day. Or else you’ll risk having confused and unhappy skin on the day.
THREE WEEKS TO GO
Three weeks out, the bride should have the first of three microcurrent facials. For example, my Triple Crown Facial (unfortunately, only currently available at my New York and LA salons) de-puffs you and takes the tired out of your eyes, no matter how much sleep you’ve missed.
TWO WEEKS TO GO
Two weeks before the wedding, I would do a LED Light treatment, plus oxygen. LED works best in a series. The more you do, the more the pores shrink and the better your skin looks. The oxygen is awesome for bringing a great glow to the skin, which is so important with all the stress and pollution we subject it to.
A FEW DAYS TO GO
I’d recommend getting a another microcurrent treatment a few days before the wedding. As much as you should avoid it, many brides end up trying to manage stress with wine this last week, which leads to puffiness. Microcurrent will make you look de-puffed and will heighten your cheekbones, jaw and neck, which is ideal for big day photos. This is my favorite facial to give to anyone before a special occasion like a wedding or red carpet.
The Lisa Franklin spa in Knightsbridge, London, offers microcurrent, LED Light and oxygen facials, from £100 for 1 hour
ALSO: Don't drink alcohol the week of the wedding. Most brides are stressed – and relatives arriving daily doesn't help. Remember, drinking will make you dehydrated and tired-looking, so try and skip it!
THE NIGHT BEFORE
Lymphatic drainage massage is a lost art and certainly a tool that anyone can use to make the face look instantly rejuvenated and glowing. For dry skin, massage the skin in circular motions upward. Start at the base of the neck on the sides where your arteries are. Massage in gentle circles upwards, towards the jaw, up the sides of the face and around the eyes. This will help coax nutrients into the tissue. And you want to do the opposite motion and start on the top of the face by the eyes if you are prone to breakouts – this will draw the waste away.
Furthermore, wearing my Instant Lift sheet mask the night before your nuptials will help reduce the appearance of fine lines, while boosting your face's radiance and plumpness. Olive Leaf and Cherry Blossom Extracts are amazing for soothing redness, while hydrating and brightening your skin. It's all-natural magic!
Joanna Vargas Eden Instant Lift Mask, £54 for a pack of 5 at net-a-porter.com
THE MORNING OF
Today is the day! When the bride wakes up (after getting plenty of beauty sleep – hopefully), I recommend using my Exfoliating Mask in the shower (pictured above). It’ll brighten your skin instantly. Before applying your make-up, pop on the Daily Serum. It's great for oxygenating the skin and giving you a rosy glow. It's handy, too, because you should use it on your face, neck and eyes! All bases covered.
Joanna Vargas daily serum, £60 at net-a-porter.com