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Monique Lhuillier’s Countdown to the Big Day

Sara Bliss

 Monique Lhuillier’s Countdown to the Big Day

Photo: Vincent Peters/Trunk Archive

From weddings to red carpets, Drew Barrymore to Kristen Stewart, designer Monique Lhuillier knows how to make any woman look gorgeous pretty much anywhere. Those showstopping dresses, however, are only one part of the equation. There’s hair, makeup, and the need to stay zen throughout the lead up to a big event like, say, your wedding, so we asked Lhuillier what kind of advice she gives brides. 

Four Weeks Before: Lhuillier tells her brides to indulge in wellness-related activities to help counter the inevitable stress that comes with planning a wedding. “Yoga and meditation channel energy to help you relax,” Lhuillier says. A full body deep tissue massage, or reflexology, is a great de-stressor toward which she steers brides.

Three Weeks Before: Lhuillier believes that fitness plays a crucial role in looking your best, along with countering stress, and she encourages her brides to stay active every day starting three weeks prior. “Beauty is not just makeup, it is about fitness and energy, too,” she says. “It all works together.”

Two Week Before: “More water, less carbs,” is Lhuillier’s pre-wedding diet advice. She also suggests minimizing alcohol consumption and taking out dairy to keep your skin clear and minimize puffiness. On a more fun note, this is the time to focus on your hair. “It will look more natural and ethereal for your wedding day if you cut it two weeks prior and give it time to grow in a bit,” Lhuillier says. You also want to do a test run of your wedding day hairstyle. “Stay true to your personal style with hair. This isn’t the time to try a totally different look.”

10 Days Before:  “You never want to do a facial tooclose to the wedding because it might peel or be red which isn’t exactly ideal,” says Lhuillier.  Instead she advises booking your facialist with plenty of time for the skin to recover and look its best.

One Week Before:  If you normally color or highlight your hair, Lhuillier says this is the optimal time to see your colorist. It looks too done straight from the salon,” she says. “After a week the color washes out a little and it looks more natural.”

Day Of: Lhuillier’s bridal beauty philosophy is that less is more. “You are so happy and glowing on your wedding day. That is something to embrace, rather than hide underneath layers of foundation,” she says. “It looks very dated when brides wear too much makeup.” Instead, she recommends highlighting the eye and keeping the rest of your makeup soft. “A pretty eye, and soft lip is how I like to see my brides.”