No need to juggle appointments. No running from place to place quietly melting down on your cell phone when you want to be comfortably wrapped in a robe sipping something sparkly. An entire budget that’s suddenly free as a bird flying on the hundred dollar bills you didn’t spend. The opportunity to do your own bridal beauty is a gift in itself. You can truly have a sense of control over your own day. And with the help of industry pros that are doling out tips they use on high-profile clients and red carpet celebs alike, you’re given a picture-window view of ways to upgrade your personal technique that can be useful in perpetuity.
Below, our second volume in the At-Home Bridal Beauty Series: Hair Removal
DAY-OF FACE: DERMAPLANING
A celeb-approved shortcut to creating an ultra-smooth canvas for makeup and skincare that dates back to the camera-ready tricks of screen stars like Marilyn Monroe? Removing the peach fuzz from your face for a glass-like finish. It’s a process that sweeps away a surface layer of dull cells for enhanced exfoliation. “Light absorbs into dull, fuzzy skin. When you remove the peach fuzz, light can bounce off the planes of a woman’s face. First and foremost, DermaFlash Luxe is an exfoliating device,” explains founder Dara Levy of reimagining in-office dermaplaning treatments (performed with a scalpel) into an at-home tool. “If you use the device weekly, your peach fuzz will stay at bay. If you stop using DermaFlash, your peach fuzz will come back exactly as it was. It removes the hair above the surface of the skin and never interferes with the follicle.”
And while it works for all skin types, she shares straightforward safety guidelines. “As with most things in life, common sense must prevail. You should not use if you are windburned or sunburned, and it should not be used on open acne or facial lesions. Additionally, retinol should be avoided the day before and immediately after use. Finally, those on Accutane should avoid dermaplaning of any kind entirely.” Her how-to tips for beginners are as follows:
- The morning of, prepare with perfectly dry skin. Preflash cleanser is the essential first step as it perfectly prepares the skin for the treatment–it is specially formulated to remove surface oil and leaves the skin squeaky clean.
- There is truly no wrong way to Flash. Our proprietary stainless-steel Edge was specifically designed to gently dance along the surface of a woman’s face removing the oldest layer of dead skin cells, built up debris as well as the peach fuzz, safely and gently. It is double-sided and protected by a safety cage, allowing it to glide effortlessly in any direction. The device takes its inspiration not only from dermaplaning, but also from the majesty of the hummingbird–sonic vibration mimics the flutter of the hummingbirds wings.
- After, apply a layer of Postflash moisturizer. Dermaflash also removes the barrier to product penetration, which allows all of your skin care to work more effectively, and make-up glides on beautifully to a flawless canvas.
DAY-OF BODY: THE RAZORS’ EDGE
When Maria Markina, co-founder of Athena Club, studied the numbers, she found a clear winner: “90%+ of women shave vs. other hair removal techniques,” she notes, which is why the reusable, plastic-free razors she helped design are a sustainable choice for a five-blade razor that’s still priced in the single digits. “Our Razor Kit allows for the closest possible shave, so you can use it during your morning shower on your big day and trust that your skin will stay stubble-free. The hydrating, water-activated serum on our blades soothes your skin and fends off any razor burn. If you feel like doing a little extra, we recommend exfoliating beforehand, using a shave foam during, and moisturizing after to ensure your skin is super soft and to nicely wrap up your shower routine.”
For a level-up on luxury, The Art of Shaving offers two razors that may require an update on your traditional methods. Their chrome Safety Razor is built to last, and only requires a single straight blade refill. Alternatively, micro pulses from their Lexington Power Razor reduce friction to guard against razor burn. Below, Genevieve Bochanty, Director of Brand Experience, offers her personal tips-down to her DIY exfoliating scrub recipe:
- First, start with prep. I like to start with a sugar scrub. This helps remove dead skin and help release any trapped hairs you might have. I like to make my own scrub with equal parts (usually ½ cup) of coconut oil, white sugar, and 1-2 drops of an essential oil. I like lavender & lemon or grapefruit & rosemary. You can substitute olive oil if you want as well. I do this in the shower and make sure to scrub everywhere I will be shaving. Avoiding overly sensitive parts, but I do scrub my bikini area and underarms. Once done, I rinse thoroughly. If you have very sensitive skin, you may do this the day before shaving. For me, I do it right before shaving.
- Next, I place Pre-Shave Oil in the delicate areas such as knees, ankles and my underarms. This helps provide glide and places a protective layer on your skin. You only need a little bit as it should be a thin layer.
- Now, you’ll lather up. The type of shaving cream you use makes a difference. Cans that go from gel to foam, most likely have some sort of chemical in them to do that. Creating a more traditional lather is easy and well worth the time. I use our Shaving Cream in lavender and a shaving brush. Run the Shaving Brush under warm water and place a finger full of shaving cream at the top of the brush. Place directly on your skin and use circular motions to create a rich, warm lather. This helps further exfoliate your skin and create a cushion for your razor to glide. Only lather up one area at a time. This way you don’t have to worry about it drying before you are able to shave that area.
- Now it’s time to shave. Use a quality razor here! Imagine cutting a tomato with a plastic knife… It will eventually do it, but the results are less than clean. I use a Lexington Power Razor which has micropulsations and a flex ball. Many people say cartridge razors tug and pull at hair, but there have been many technological advancements that have helped eliminate that issue. There is a blade stabilizer at the back of the blade which keeps the blade steady and the flexball keeps the blade in contact with skin as you navigate the planes of your body.
- Safety Razors are also a good option. Many people have turned to them as an alternative for sensitivity to multiple blades. Safety Razors take a slightly different technique. They have one exposed blade that is not in a cartridge like other razors. This means you need to be careful as you find the angle on your skin and never press into the skin. You should let the weight of the razor do the work for you. I recommend a progressive handle razor that allows you to set the aggression at different levels. Starting at one is the lowest level of blade exposure and good for your first time shaving. You can then move up to 2-5 depending on what aggression feels best for you and gives you the smoothest shave without irritation.
- When using the safety razor, it is important to stretch the skin smooth so the razor can easily move over the skin. You will most likely need to stretch the skin on the knee and near the ankle. You want the blade to be at an approximate 30 degree angle to the skin. Too flat and you will just be scraping off shaving cream. Too much angle and you’ll cut the skin versus the hair. Practicing on your calf is a good way to feel the right angle you’ll need. Use short, slightly choppy strokes. When you use short strokes you can correct your technique faster if needed.
- Once out of the shower, I make sure to moisturize my body, especially the areas I shaved. Depending on the type of skin you have, you may choose a lightweight lotion or a heavier weighted cream. If you’ve chosen a signature scent for your day, I’d recommend choosing an oil that is part of the notes of the fragrance so they complement each other (like Tom Ford’s Soleil Blanc Rose Gold Shimmering Body Oil).
THE DAYS BEFORE: HEAD-TO-TOE WAXING
The rumors of French women preferring wax for its long-game results have circulated for decades. For brides who would rather remove a to-do on their day-of list could lean into the lore. “It won’t feel amazing, but it won’t be too bad!” says Flamingo’s Allie Melnick of setting your expectations. “Our wax kits are a salon-grade experience for a fraction of the cost, without the technician. We visited factories around the world in search of our winning formula, and found it in Spain; we’re the first to bring it to the U.S.,” she notes. “It’s a soft gel formula, which means the strips are ready to use and you don’t have to heat them up. It also means they can grab shorter hair, so the wait time between waxes is less.” Her tips are as follows:
- Hair should be somewhere between 2-6mm long. Too short, the wax might not be able to fully grab onto it. Too long, it’s harder to be accurate with what areas your waxing, and hair mats down into the wax, making it less effective.
- Skin should be clean and dry. A swipe of toner or micellar water (like Inissfree’s Hydrating Micellar Water with Green Tea) on a cotton pad can help make sure any excess oils are off.
- You can also do a patch test to make sure your skin doesn’t react poorly to anything in the formulas you’re using before fully diving in. The inside of your arm is a good spot for this.
- Wax strips are ready to be used from the box (no heating required). Slowly peel apart the two sides of the strip to make sure there’s an even distribution of wax on each side. Then look at your hair the direction it grows; apply the wax strip in that same direction. Smooth the wax down a few times from root to end to make sure it grabs hold of your hair.
- Stretch and hold your skin so it’s taut, grip the wavy edge of the strip, and pull swiftly in the opposite direction of hair growth. Pulling parallel and close to the skin will help minimize tension (and make it less painful!). A wax aesthetician once suggested to take a deep breath, then breathe out as I pull, which seems to magically help with pain.
- Taking care of your skin and exfoliating regularly will make for a better all-around experience (and fewer ingrowns). Our body lotion has white willow bark in it, a natural form of salicylic acid, so it’s an easy way to add exfoliation into your routine.