I confess: I spent more money on skin care and cosmetics than I did on my wedding dress. Before the big day, I couldn't pass a drugstore skin care display or department-store cosmetics counter without picking up some version of what a doyenne of beauty once called "hope in a jar."
The habit got so expensive, I probably should have registered for skin care and cosmetics at the Chanel counter instead of sheets and towels at Bed Bath & Beyond.
And on my wedding day, I was wearing so much eye makeup (they tell you to glop it on for the wedding photos), I could barely blink without stinging tears falling to my cheeks. Fortunately, everyone assumed it was the emotion of the moment, rather than the irritants in the mascara, that choked me up.
In a way, this obsession made sense. After all, I was only going to wear the wedding gown once and then store it away in a box. But I'm hoping to wear this skin every day for many years to come. If you're planning a wedding and honeymoon -- especially one in the sun -- keep the following in mind to ensure your skin looks its best on the big day and all the days that follow.
1. Visit a dermatologist if you have acne or dark spots on your body. Even if your skin breaks out the day before your wedding, something (a cortisone shot) can be done to bring down the swelling almost immediately. This is the place to address wrinkles, unwanted hair, skin tags, and tattoo removal. You dermatologist should also check for skin cancer.
(For a two-in-one remedy, ask your gynecologist to prescribe one of the birth control pills which also help to clear up blemishes.)
2. Yes, a glowing tan may make you look healthier... but it's terrible for your skin. Spending time in a tanning salon is no healthier than exposing your skin to the sun's damaging UVA and UVB rays. So don't think short-term when it comes to skin care.
3. To get the look, use a sunless tanning product on your skin. There are specialized products formulated for the face or body. Experiment with different brands way before the wedding to make sure you don't select one that gives you an orange, rather than a tan, glow. The newer ones are quite subtle.
4. Stock up on SPF 25 products for both of you, and take care to cover every area of your skin that will be exposed to the sun. Apply at least 20-30 minutes before going out. That includes ears, lips, neck, hands, and arms. And don't wear SPF skin protection just on holiday; use it every day. Sun damage is cumulative.
5. On vacation, avoid the sun's strongest rays, which shine between 10 am and 4 pm.
6. Pack protective cover-ups, and wear them. A wide-brimmed hat and pareo belong on your list. Some companies also make sun-protective bathing suits and clothing. And you can find a chemical additive that increases your regular clothing's SPF when used in a washing machine.
7. Sun isn't the only outdoor skin danger. Insect bites and allergic skin reactions can turn an eagerly awaited honeymoon trip into a miserable memory. Planning on hiking in wooded areas? Carry an insect repellent with DEET with you if ticks are prevalent.
8. Avoid wearing perfume, scented cosmetics and hair products outdoors. They attract insects.
9. Neutral clothing shades are less likely to lure wasps and bees.
10. If you are allergic to insect stings, ask your doctor to prescribe a self-administered adrenaline kit, and remember to pack it.
Destination Wedding Makeup
Interview with Estée Lauder's Global Makeup Specialist