Getting hitched this year? Then make sure you look your best with this pre-wedding checklist from grooming guru Lee Kynaston.
If there's one day in your life when you really do need to look your best it's your wedding day. Not only will you have the world and her mother-in-law gawping at you, there'll be permanent photographic proof of how good (or bad) you looked.
So if you don't want an ever-lasting reminder of that shaving rash, bird's-nest barnet or tombstone teeth, make sure you maximise your looks with our pre-wedding grooming countdown.
Tackle your tombstones
If you're after a megawatt smile now's the time to get yourself a professional whitening treatment for your teeth. Get it done a month before the big date so any sensitivity will settle and the colour will look more natural. Dr Uchenna Okoye, clinical director of Smiling Dental Group, suggests laser whitening which lightens teeth by around 12 shades and doesn't involve faffing around with fiddly trays.
If money's tight, though, the next best thing is a 'jet wash', courtesy of your dental hygienist. This uses bicarb of soda to blast away surface stains. "It can lighten teeth by a couple of shades and is best done the week of the wedding so it stays fresh," says Okoye.
Have a few facials
Facials are great for improving the overall look of skin before an important event, especially as they help remove grease and grime and polish skin so it looks smoother and younger. Now's a good time to book in a short course of them to ensure your skin is tip-top on the big day.
They are potent treatments that can trigger spots, rashes and redness, particularly if you're unaccustomed to them, so don't have one the day before the wedding.
"This has been especially designed to leave skin looking clear, youthful and renewed but without any redness or shine," says Noella Gabriel, Elemis' director of product and treatment development.
Get a haircut
"If you're thinking of going for a different style consult your hairdresser three months prior to the wedding to ensure you get the right look for you," advises Bruce Masefield, creative director for Sassoon Salon. If you're just having a trim, though, he recommends having it 10 days before the big day to give your style enough time to settle.
"I'd also suggest using a dry or matt product like Sassoon Professional Texture Refine, when styling your hair on the day so your hair doesn't look oily in the photos," he says. One final piece of advice make sure any unwanted neck hair is removed and the nape is tidy on the day. This is the bit of you most people in the church will have a view of!"
Treat yourself to a decent manicure
If you're only shelling out on one professional 'treatment' for your wedding, make it a manicure. Not only are they the least scary (you don't have to slip into paper pants to have one) but they're also one of the cheapest.
"A man's hands are on display all day at a wedding so there's no better time to get a professional manicure," says nail technician Leighton Denny.
If you're not having one, though, at least invest in a nail buffer. "It's a great tool to have to hand, as buffing nails not only adds a bit of shine it helps strengthen them too."
Dodge razor burn
Of all your wedding day grooming preparations, the morning shave is the one fraught with most danger. Mess it up and you'll be left with more than egg on your face you'll have a rash on your neck too. To minimise the risks, soften the stubble with hot water and shave cream for a full two minutes before shaving (it'll be fully softened then). always shave in the direction of hair growth and use short, gentle strokes.
Don't sweat it
Next to spilling David Haye's drink or having to sit through an entire Sex and The City
box set, getting hitched is just about the scariest situation you'll ever be in.
To avoid kicking up a stink at the altar, protect your pits with a product designed to work with your body's natural cooling mechanism and increase its protection the more you sweat. Trimming your armpit hair can drastically minimise nasty wiffs too because the bacteria that cause BO thrive on body hair.
Sort out the shine
Men's skin is naturally oilier than women's. That's the first bit of bad news. The second is that stress is known to fire-up the production of this natural oil, called sebum.
Of course, the last thing you want your bride to see when she gazes lovingly at you at the altar is her own reflection. Counteract the shine with a mattifying product like Givenchy's Mister Mat. Simply apply before leaving for the ceremony, focusing on problem areas like the chin, nose and forehead. In emergencies you can also blot off excess grease with toilet paper but it's not nearly so metrosexual a solution.
Give yourself some colour
When it comes to looking healthy, most grooms are stuck between a rock and a hard place sunbeds (which can elevate your risk of developing malignant melanoma by up to 75%) or fake tans (which increase your chance of being labelled a wanker by, oh, about 89%). There is a third way though a product like Jean Paul Gaultier Monsieur Powder Bronzer.
Before you baulk, let me point out they're miles better than liquid bronzers, are easier to control, wash off in seconds and will add instant, natural-looking colour to your mush. "Apply with broad stokes on areas hit by sun like the cheekbones, nose and forehead," advises make-up artist Kenneth Soh. "Then, using fingers, blend into skin." Simple.
Avoid sweaty hands
If you've ever wondered why hands and feet sweat when we're nervous, it's because the sweat glands on them are primarily activated by stress. The reason? Back in our caveman days a damp sole or palm improved our grip when we had to flee from angry woolly mammoths a sight no less frightening than that queue lining up to do meet 'n' greet at your wedding.
To make sure that guests' lasting impression of you isn't a wet-fish handshake, you need an anti-perspirant with a minimum of 20% aluminium chloride like Driclor Solution. Specially formulated for excessive sweating, it's the perfect way to keep hands dry and shakeable and it'll last all day. Just apply a little to the palms and rub together.
Keep breath fresh
It's a cruel irony that if you're ever going to have breath to rival a cat's after a plate of prawns, it's going to be at your wedding. Nerves, dehydration and champagne (notorious for giving drinkers halitosis) all conspire to give you breath that could fell a bridesmaid at 50 paces.
The solution? Skip the sugar-free gum usually recommended (where are you gonna stick it come the vows?) and try sugar-free mints instead. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration and think about popping an Oral Spray in your suit pocket it doesn't just freshen breath, but kills the bacteria that cause the problem in the first place.
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