Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pre-Wedding Beauty Boot Camp

Wedding season.

There was a time when I was oblivious to such a thing. Actually, for most of my life I could say that I had never even been to a wedding, let alone be involved in one. 

Then I turned about 23 and came to realize the alleged phase of life where everyone you know will start getting married and having babies is really, truly a thing.
I do love weddings, especially those of close friends. I mean, what is better than being served delicious food and drinks, dancing all night, and being surrounded by people you love? (Having an excuse to buy a new dress and get a mani/pedi?...okay, so maybe not better, but definitely an added bonus).

Even when I'm working a wedding as a member of the catering crew, there is still so much positive energy that comes from being around a bunch of happy (and maybe sometimes also intoxicated) people that I feel more energized than I do exhausted at the end of a long shift.

This year it seems that wedding season is going out with a bang for me and my friends. I am going to 3 weddings in the month of October - one of which I'm a bridesmaid for, and another of which will have me flying out to Pasadena California. The next couple of weeks are going to be a bit insane for me with all of these festivities and their necessary preparations, but I really couldn't be more excited!

In an effort to look and feel my best for the next month's worth of celebrations, I've decided to throw myself into a Pre-Wedding Beauty Boot Camp. I really need to crack the whip and kick my own butt into gear so that I'll be looking my absolute best for the millions of pictures that are bound to ensue in the coming weeks. I'm not always the best at staying disciplined when trying to implement a new routine, but I really want to try and stick with things this time around! Here's my plan of attack:

Lauren's Pre-Wedding Beauty Boot Camp

1. Dairy Detox
This one really should be a no-brainer. I'm lactose intolerant, so I really should be avoiding dairy as it is. But it tastes soooo delicious, and I usually am willing to trade off a little digestive upset for creamy milk-imbibed goodness. However, I read an article lately about dairy products and their potential to exacerbate acne, and started to wonder if maybe it'd be worth my while to put down the cheese for a few weeks and see if it makes any improvement in the situation that's happening on my face. I've decided I'm going to cut out all dairy for the next month (...wish me luck) with the ONLY exception being that which is served at the actual wedding events I'm attending.

2. Cut Out the Caffeine 
Cutting out dairy is bad enough as it is, but I'm going to torture myself even more by saying goodbye to my morning cup o' Joe (just at the start of Pumpkin Spice Latte season...why do I do these things to myself?!). Large amounts of caffeine can make you dehydrated, which will wreak havoc on your skin. I do really love tea, though, and I kind of need an excuse to make a dent in my current stash. The plan is to switch out coffee for tea in the morning and to stick to low or no low caffeine varieties.

3. Hydrate
Must drink more water. Enough said.

4. Ramp Up My Skincare Routine
I have amassed more skincare products than I think I'll ever know what to do with, but I'm really REALLY bad about creating a regimen for myself and sticking to it consistently. Now more than ever, though, I've decided that I need to be diligent about taking care of my skin from head to toe. When I decide on what exactly that regimen is, I think I'll write a more detailed post to go over it. I did also just pick up some new skincare from Mario Badescu last weekend (another post in the making I need to finish...ahhh!), so I am really excited to incorporate them into my weekly routine.

5. Embrace the Floss
It's a bad habit, being lazy about flossing. But a yellowing smile is unattractive on even the most beautiful of faces, so I need to give my pearly whites some serious love. Maybe I'll even try one of the DIY whitening treatments I've pinned on Pinterest. I suppose with my impending 6 month cleaning in November, it's probably not such a bad idea to perfect my oral hygiene now anyway.

6. Love Thy Hair
I also have a really bad habit of constantly pulling my hair back. I get really lazy about styling it on a day to day basis, mostly from the fact that I know it'll probably end up in a ponytail anyway. But constant ponytails can damage and weaken your hair, causing it to break off. And since I've been trying to let my hair grow out a bit, the last thing I need is to have it constantly thinning and breaking. I'd like to try and wear my hair down as much as physically possible over the next couple of weeks, and to incorporate some deep conditioning treatments to get my hair as healthy and happy as possible.

7. Stock Up on Supplements
Now that I'm a legitimate grown up and have a mortgage and such I know that I should be better about taking vitamins. This is as good an excuse as any to start taking them every day consistently. Moreso, since I'm planning on nixing the dairy, I know that I'll need to start taking calcium supplements. I picked up a bottle of Vitafusion Calcium + D gummies at Walmart earlier today. Vitafusion makes the best gummy vitamins (for those of us who are wimps and can't swallow horse pills) in my humble opinion. I highly recommend them!

8. Mind my Manis
I've never been a fake-nail kind of girl, so I definitely need to keep my real ones in tip-top shape over the next couple of weeks. My current polish (OPI Incognito in Sausalito) is definitely ready to be changed, especially because I (of course) broke a nail earlier today. I've got a whole bin full of lotions and scrubs and other fun manicure and pedicure related products, so I think now is the time more than ever to make use of them.

9. Get a Faux Glow
Oh sunless our love/hate relationship continues. You make me look much less pasty and pale, and yet you make me smell so very awful. Wedding-wear often will involve exposed legs, arms, and backs and I'd like to try to keep my summer color going as long as possible. I'm not one for tanning beds, though, so self tanners are my usual go-to for looking bronzed in the cooler months. I've got quite a collection of different tanning products from my ballroom days, so I think I may pull a few out of the cabinet in the next couple of days to get the process started.

10. De-Stress
Although it sounds simple, this might be the most difficult thing on my boot camp list to accomplish. With how hectic my day-to-day life has been it sometimes seems impossible to relax. A little stress can keep us motivated, but overwhelming stress doesn't do good to anyone. Whether it be taking a few minutes in the morning to do some yoga, or reminding myself to take a deep breath, I think I really need to remember to have a moment of zen whenever possible amid the craziness that's about to ensue.

And there you have it. My 10-step plan to looking and feeling my best through one of quite possibly the most craziest months I've ever had (or at least had in recent times). I hope to be able to keep you updated and maybe elaborate on my progress or thoughts on each of these individual goals as I can, but considering my general failure to post regularly lately I can't wholeheartedly make any promises. Tomorrow I am working a half-day and then heading off to Boston for a housewarming party for friends I'm long overdue to see, Saturday holds an 11 hour catering job, and Sunday will involve putting the finishing touches on 6 bouquets for a wedding on the 5th... I'm hoping there will be some blogging time somewhere in there, but I may be being overly optimistic.

Regardless, I hope you all have a fabulous weekend, and I will definitely try to post again as soon as I can.

Until then, stay gorgeous!