Planning: Mind, Body, Beauty
Portland experts share their best tips for looking good and feeling even better on your big day
Fresh ideas for traditional-with-a-twist nail color or rocking on-trend showier hues:
Modern Classic Ombré glitter over pale polish, a matte black French mani, and white “caviar” nails with pearlescent beads. Or try a chip-free CND Shellac manicure with a custom blend that matches your dress, says Dosha Salon Spa’s wedding specialist Ashly Hoss.
Future Perfect “A glossy manicure in a vibrant color like aqua or purple with your ring finger left matte is classy and edgy and draws attention to your new rock,” Hoss says. Also try blue tarnished copper or mixed metal tips.
Even if you’ve opted for lace sleeves, Michelle Obama’d arms are the ideal accessory for your wedding attire. Get great guns with this snappy routine from Honest Personal Training’s Paisley Meekin. (Do all moves twice for 30 seconds each, three times a week.) First, step up and curl to jack your heart rate and tone your biceps, followed by “good ol’ push-ups,” says Meekin. “Your arms should carry the weight, not your shoulders.” Follow with mountain climbers, a lunge-to-row with dumbbells, and side-shuffles.
Raise the Barre
Get great gams for that reception mini with Barre3’s Balanced Bride package. You’ll save $175 on three months of ballet, yoga, and Pilates-inspired workouts and nab a wedding-day prep bag.
Want teeth that twinkle? Used daily for one to three weeks, gel strips or trays that contain carbamide (gentler) or hydrogen (more effective) peroxides are your best at-home bet for whitening chompers five shades or more. (Get your dentist’s approval first.) In-office treatments with customized trays of a stronger bleaching solution, often paired with light or heat, are more expensive, but also ideal for sensitive teeth or faster, better results. “Either way, make sure to avoid blueberries, raspberries, red wine, coffee, and black tea that can stain your porous teeth after whitening,” says Bling Dental’s Dr. Raymond Frye. Get an additional lift from your lipstick—blue undertones counteract yellowed enamel, while a glossy neutral reflects against graying teeth, creating the illusion of a megawatt mug.
Sure, cat eyes or a crimson kisser are a glam slam, but the latest beauty trend is a clean, fresh, best-version-of-yourself “naked face.” Take these minimalist tips from makeup artist Kirstie Wight:
• Choose a foundation that matches your skin tone and use only where needed.
• Apply a neutral crème eye shadow (such as Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear products) to your lower lid and crease; pick a hue one to two shades darker than your skin tone that has a bit of subtle shimmer.
• Swipe on Nars Orgasm powder blush, a universally flattering sheer peachy-pink that provides that lit-from-within look.
• Wear a nude lipstick one shade darker than your natural lip color.
Want to look spectacular in that slinky silk number? Work out with your main squeeze—you’ll practice teamwork and get quality time together amid the wedding-planning craziness. Try setting a goal like running a 10k, or check out FitBride NW’s 12-week couples’ personal training program. Customized 60-minute sessions generally include strength training, cardio, and core exercises, says owner Gwen Gannon. “We do a lot of partner drills that keep it fun, like weighted medicine-ball tosses and push-ups with high fives.”
For a flawless-looking visage, try airbrush foundation. An air compressor sprays thousands of tiny makeup particles onto the face, producing visual coverage that feels weightless, explains Cassandra Kennedy of Cassandra Kennedy Beauty. She uses a long-lasting, sweat- and tear-proof water-based product with a matte finish, perfect for oily complexions. Silicone versions are better for dry skin and fine lines.
Belly bloat isn’t exactly bridal-gown-friendly. Brittany Sandoval, a holistic nutritionist at Root Whole Body, says the key to prevention is proper digestion. Here’s her advice:
• Chug H2O—dehydration actually makes you retain water. Add cucumber or lemon for more de-puffing minerals.
• Eat fiber-rich fare to stay regular, but amp it up slowly or you’ll feel even gassier.
• Drink gas-inducing carbonated beverages. Sip anti-inflammatory green or ginger tea instead.
• Consume lots of sodium—it traps water.
Happily Ever After
Photo-friendly, long-lasting beauty can take hours to put in place, so how do you quickly clean up when you’re beat and the wedding night awaits? For hair: “Remove bobby pins from the bottom up so falling locks don’t get in the way, and condition first to break up the hairspray,” says hair and makeup artist Austie Eckley. She also advises using MAC wipes on heavy-duty makeup, starting with your eyes.
My Only Sunshine
Two ways to get your faux glow on:
Makeup “Lightly apply a neutral bronzer in a C shape from your temples to the apples of your cheeks, and blend outward—you never want to see a line were the bronzer ends,” says eco-makeup artist Jessica Belknap. Try Ecco Bella FlowerColor Bronzing Powder in Hibiscus for a natural flush.
Spray tan Shower, exfoliate, shave, and nix perfume, lotion, and deodorant before your visit to ensure the solution goes on evenly, says Organic Bronze Bar manager Brynndle Sterling. Make an appointment for two days pre-wedding to allow the color to settle.
Minor alterations are common, but impractical dieting goals can wreak havoc when you’re ordering the dress months in advance:
Lose too much It might mess with how the neckline or seams lie, the corset ties, and the gown hangs, as well as complicate heavy beading. That said, a clever seamstress can fix most too-big issues, says bridal designer Elizabeth Dye. It just won’t come cheap.
Not lose enough “Order a dress that fits and flatters you now; otherwise you’re risking your options for profoundly beautiful tailoring later,” Dye says. It’s much harder to add fabric than remove it, and letting out certain materials, like satin, could lead to “track marks” from the original seams.
Three healthy ways to keep calm and marry on:
Spa services Detoxify and firm up with River’s Edge Hotel & Spa’s caffeine-injected Café Borgia Body Treatment, or find your inner bridal Buddha in Sisters with Shibui Spa’s Tension Tamer Massage or gown-friendly Shoulder Facial.
Meditation Robert Beatty, founder of Portland Insight Meditation Community (he’s also an officiant), recommends guided meditations on “love, compassion, sympathetic joy, equanimity, and, of course, forgiveness.” The Movement Center and Shambhala Meditation Center also offer classes.
Counseling Schedule a sit-down à deux with your clergyperson, or add a Couples Workshop with the Gottman Institute’s relationship gurus to your registry!
Dr. Rachel Graves, a family physician with Providence Medical Group–Glisan, shares solutions for five unromantic but realistic big-day ailments:
BO Test deodorants to find one that’s effective but doesn’t gum up. Also: strong food odors (curry, garlic) can seep out of your pores.
Bad breath Brush, floss, and use a tongue scraper to eliminate bacteria. In a pinch, mouth rinses with peppermint, clove, or tea tree oil may help.
Pimples No popping! The ensuing inflammation will be worse than the zit. Instead, top it with benzoyl peroxide (10 percent) and a green-tinted concealer.
PMS Aerobic exercise and a low-fat, fiber-rich diet improve hormone metabolism. Daily calcium, magnesium, and evening primrose oil may also help minimize mood swings and bloating.
Hangovers If you must imbibe the night before, drink slowly and on a full stomach. Too late? Eat small, protein-rich meals every few hours and try vitamin B6 or papaya enzymes to combat nausea.