Wedding skin care routine

Wedding season is upon us! Only three short months until we are in the thick of it. This means that, for the brides and grooms to be, now is the time to implement a pre-wedding skin care routine if you don’t have one already! Most skin care products will start to show some results after about a month, so with three months to go until wedding peak season there is no time to lose!

On my wedding day, I knew I wanted my make-up to remain minimal. I am not one to contour or lip-line. I like my makeup to be simple yet effective, like most French women. This meant that I needed my skin to be in the best possible shape so there would be not much to hide. Therefore, I introduced new products ahead of the big day which really helped my skin and fixed some problems I had, and I think I looked quite alright on the day.

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Below are the key products I introduced into my bridal beauty routine. I have started using that skincare regimen in late 2014 and I still follow it today! I think four years of testing should be enough to prove that it works.

The pleasant, the efficient and the ugly, I am sharing it all!

Exfoliate your skin with acids

A first step is to stop exfoliating your face with physical scrubs! Those are very aggressive to the skin and can potentially scratch and damage it. Also, microbeads are destroying marine life so you may as well bin them now. Instead, start using acids, the name may be scary but these will gently exfoliate your skin.

Make sure to also pick the right acid for your skin! Beta hydroxy acids (BHA) are great for oily and acne-prone skin. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) are great to exfoliate and reduce fine lines.

I have combination skin, my T-zone can get oily, my pores are fairly visible. Yet I am starting to show first signs of ageing and the rest of my face can get dry, so I had to find the right balance between AHA and BHA. My favourite AHA is REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask, it is a fantastic mask which will get rid of dead skin and give you a lovely glow in only 10 minutes once a week. For my T-zone, I use CosRx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid each morning as a serum after washing my face. It has done wonder to my large pores which look clearer (yum! I told you I would share all the details!) and therefore appear smaller (pores don’t shrink). My occasional acne spots have also almost completely disappeared since starting using it.

REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask and CosRx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid

Start using a retinol

If you haven’t already, make sure to start using retinol as soon as possible. This ingredient will do wonder for your skin as it is the only proven efficient anti-ageing skincare product. Be aware that the first few weeks of using retinol, your skin may break out a lot more than usual and start peeling a bit. This is completely normal as the cell renewal process is accelerating and your skin is purging all the nasties out. Make sure to introduce the retinol gently into your routine, using it once a week and increasing usage to every other night over a month.

A great retinol to start with is La Roche Posay Redermic R, it is gentle and efficient. This was the first retinol product I used, and I could see real improvement in the texture of my skin without any breakout or peeling. As I have been using retinol for four years, I have increased the strength, first with SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3, and now with The Ordinary Retinol 1%. I even converted Andrew to retinol and he is using The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% which is very gentle for beginners.

The Ordinary Retinol 1% and Granactive Retinoid 2%

Vitamin C will give you the glow

As I mentioned above, I use retinol every other night as an evening serum, which means that on the alternative nights I use a Vitamin C serum. Vitamin C is a fantastic antioxidant which will help your skin fight pollution and UVs. It can be used in the morning too but needs to be followed with an SPF.

My favourite vitamin C serum is the outrageously expensive SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic. The price tag would make anyone cry but the results are really worth it, IF you can afford it. If you cannot justify spending such an amount of money on skincare, I am currently testing Vichy Liftactiv Fresh Shot Anti-fatigue Concentrate which is new on the market but so far has done the job well! Plus it smells a little like the Skinceuticals serum (it stinks!) which I assume is a good sign!

Vichy Liftactiv Fresh Shot Anti-fatigue Concentrate

Use sunscreen every day

Seriously, do wear sunscreen every day! I haven’t been without SPF since 2014 and I have to say my forehead lines are less deep than a lot of people my age, or even younger! Sunscreen is all you really need to keep your youthful glow a little longer.

I use sunscreen as a day cream after my CosRx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid serum and a hydrating serum. My favourite SPF day cream in the winter is Avene Hydrance Optimale Light UV SPF20 which hydrates while protecting. In the summer, I like to use Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel SPF50+ which I get in Japan, but you can find it on Amazon too. Finally, if it gets really hot or if I am on vacation somewhere exotic, I use Avene Cleanance High Protection Emulsion SPF30 to combat the oily glow on my forehead.

Avene and Biore sunscreens

Get rid of all the spots

Now, this is a little embarrassing to share, but we are all friends here, and I promised to be honest and open. I get small pimples on my chest very easily when it is hot or if I am stressed. I am not sure why but my cleavage can look like a teenager’s forehead at times. My wedding was at the end of May, in Alsace. It was 28 degrees Celsius that week, and with the added stress my chest was covered with teeny-tiny pimples by Wednesday, and I was getting married on Saturday. My dress had a deep V-neck at the front and was backless which meant that these little red-dots could have been on full display. Not really the type of necklace I was planning to wear…

Luckily, knowing my skin, I knew this could happen and I had tested products to fight this issue in the months leading up to the wedding. On the big pimples, I used a sulfur paste and left it on overnight. My favourites are Mario Badescu Drying Lotion and Malin + Goetz 10% Sulfur Paste. In a couple of nights, the spots went from ugly to flat fainted marks easy to cover with a bit of concealer. For my chest and shoulders, I thoroughly applied Boots Back Spray after each shower, the Tea Tree oil worked like magic and kept my skin fresh preventing other pimples to show up to the party.

Boots Tea Tree back spray and

Dry brush your body

I suffer from keratosis pilaris, also known as ‘chicken skin’, on the back of my arms and my thighs. It is a very common condition yet it is impossible to get rid of it. The only treatments available help manage the condition but won’t cure it. I knew that regular exfoliation and hydration were my only options to reduce it enough so it would be barely visible.

Dry brushing is known to be really good for the skin, helping the vascular blood circulation, lymphatic drainage, and – in my case – reducing keratosis pilaris. I did it thoroughly before each shower during the month leading up to the wedding and my skin looked really good on the day, including my arms! I use one of the basic body brushes from Boots, but you can find some fancy ones on Amazon too!

Boots body brush

So brides and grooms to be, follow these six principles and I can guarantee you will be glowing on your wedding day, and long after if you keep using these products!

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Our wedding

Something different on the blog today, as I have never shared that type of content with you but I thought that some of you may find it useful!

On the 28th of May 2016, Andrew and I got married. It was the loveliest day full of laughter, dancing, hugging, kissing, eating and drinking. I briefly mentioned it in the past on the blog, but because I wasn’t as active at the time I never shared anything about the day with you. 2018 wedding season is upon us, and a lot of couples are making key decisions for their wedding in the Spring and Summer, so I thought I could show you how I styled my wedding to give you a little bit of inspiration!

The colours we picked were grey and pink. I wanted the day to feel like a nice summer garden party and these two colours fitted well with the theme.

Hopefully, all the information below will help you plan your very special day!

Hair and makeup

It was done by Marie Nebinger at Marc Fabian in Strasbourg. We got very lucky as she privatised the salon the entire morning for us!

Marc Fabian Strasbourg

For my hair, I went for a bohemian updo, the best way to keep my curls under control yet embrace them! I also wanted flowers in my hair. The florist create pins which Marie put into place to look like a flower crown, she also made sure to leave some space for my veil.

Wedding updo

For the makeup, I wanted to look like me but better. We kept it very simple with a subtle eye makeup, rosy lips and a bit of foundation and bronzer. And I think it turned alright.

Natual wedding make up

The dress

I knew exactly what dress I wanted, the Jenny Packham Dentelle. However this dress was just too expensive for me, so I had to look for a cheaper alternative. Luckily, after hours online, I found the perfect dupe! Martina Liana was doing a very similar dress and I was able to source it via Angelica Bridal in London.

Martina Liana wedding dress

I loved the light fabric, the natural A-line waist, the delicate lace details and the touch of sparkle with the embellished belt. It was flattering, comfortable and quite unique.

Martina Liana wedding dress

I styled it with a simple veil I bought off eBay (cheap!) and rose gold shoes from Dune.

Dune rose gold shoes

The groom’s outfit

Andrew decided to wear a white tie suit which I absolutely loved! He looked very handsome!

Groom white tie outfit

He wore it with personalised initials cuff links that I got for him on Not On The High Street.

Groom white tie outfit

We almost looked like we were out of Downton Abbey, don’t you think?

Groom and ride

The venue

Our reception took place at the Chateau d’Osthoffen, 20 minutes outside of Strasbourg. The venue is gorgeous and has a marquee which can fit up to 200 people.

Chateau d'OsthoffenChateau d'Osthoffen marquee

The grounds are also beautiful offering plenty of photo opportunities!

Chateau d'Osthoffen wedding picture

The flowers

I didn’t go completely crazy with the flowers (it’s expensive!). I selected a mixture of white and pale pink flowers and worked with Une Histoire Une Fleur who understood my countryside/rustic/garden party vibe and created the most beautiful arrangements.

My bouquet was round, not huge and a little messy which I wanted

White pink bridal bouquet

In the church, we had some small arrangements at the end of each bench.

Church bench flowers

And the table centrepieces were composed of small floral arrangements in jam jars (saving money again!).

Wedding pink and grey table flowers

Table decorations

Talking about table decorations, again I was quite decisive and knew what I wanted pretty much from the start. My aunt, who couldn’t have been more helpful, sourced some wood slices to create the base for the floral arrangements. I also picked grey tablecloths rather than white which I think made all the difference.

Grey and pink wedding table decorations

On the wood slices, we placed three small bouquets in old jam jars and a few candles.

Wedding pink and grey centre piece

The theme for the tables was London’s tube and each table was named after a line, so I created signs using the TFL logo with the colours of our wedding.

Wedding table signs

The sitting plan

As I mentioned above I decided to name each table after a London tube line. This was a nice way to bring a bit of Andrew’s city to our wedding. It took me hours to design it but I was really happy with the results!

London tube sitting plan

I used Printed.com for most of our wedding impressions.

The wedding favours

We took a controversial approach with our wedding favours, we basically had none on the tables. I just don’t really see the point of them, to be honest, most we received over the years have either been lost, broken or forgotten in a drawer (sorry friends!).

Wedding candy bar

So instead of giving our guests a favour, we had a candy bar set up where people could help themselves to whatever they’d like and I did some personalised bag so they could take the sweets with them.

Wedding candy barWedding candy bar

Sweet, good and recyclable!

The guest book

Again, with the guest book I didn’t want to do something too creative that we would never use, so we went for the good old paper guest book. The only difference was that we had a picture of each of our guests in it, and they had to find their page and sign under it, so we would know exactly who wrote what!

Wedding guest book table

Around it, I framed the wedding pictures of our parents and grandparents and we also had a Royal Mail box for cards.

Wedding guest book tableRoyal mail box wedding

The small touches

A few other things we did was a signpost with our two cities.

Wedding London Strasbourg sign post

Some paper pompoms on the ceiling of the marquee.

Wedding grey and pink paper pompoms

The car

We wanted a vintage car and opted for a Citroen Traction (very French!) which we booked with RJ Car.

Citroen TractionCitroen Traction

Our driver was lovely and helped me calm my nerves on our way to the church. He even served us a glass of champagne after the ceremony!

Bride and groom drinking champagne

The invitations

Our wedding stationery was probably one of the most difficult things to find. I disliked almost everything I could find as I wanted something simple, not boring and in keeping with our theme. We looked and looked, and when we found it there was no doubt! We both looked at each other – this was the one!

L'Art Du Papier wedding invitation

Our invites where from L’Art Du Papier in Paris. We then recycled the design to create the menu, church book, placement cards, etc.

It was a beautiful day and we had an amazing time, even when it started raining!

Rainy wedding

I really hope your big day is as special as ours!

Bride and groom laughing

All pictures were taken by the lovely Claude Masselot!

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Wedding car

It’s almost the end of wedding season! One last ride!

Brazil – 2013

VW Beattle wedding car

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The flower girl

This little flower girl at my cousin’s wedding was adorable. She was really trying to behave like an adult and pay attention to the whole ceremony, but her playful little mind couldn’t help but playing hide and seek with me and my camera.

Brazil – 2013

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Wedding day

In France for a weeding today! What are you guys up to this weekend?

Ravello – 2013

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The bride

This weekend will be all about love as I am heading to one of my best friends’ wedding in France. Nothing like celebrations, wine, cheese and seeing all my Uni friends!

Also the lovely bride on the picture below is my cousin’s wife. Isn’t she beautiful?

Brazil – 2013

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Wedding season

Happy Friday beautiful people!

I am heading to France for my uncle wedding. What are you up to this weekend?

Brazil – 2013

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People of Brazil

This is an entire village waiting to greet a bride and groom (my cousin) at the end of their ceremony. A group of total strangers genuinely happy to celebrate and make the couple feel very special. Brazilians have big hearts!

Brazil – 2013

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