No pressure, brides-to-be, but all eyes are about to be on you — and the photos will last a lifetime. But an upcoming wedding is the best inspiration to look and feel your best. To help, we’ve rounded up a few Splash-approved beauty experts to get you in top form for the big day. Cue the wedding belles.
There are endless ways to slim down for your wedding, thanks to the multitude of gyms and fitness studios that have taken hold across the city. Burn maximum calories at stadium cycling studio Flywheel (Chicago.flywheelsports.com) — check out the puddle of sweat under your bike after 45 minutes of hyper-intense riding — or at a Shred415 session, where great soundtracks and cheerleader-esque instructors make the treadmill and weight-pumping intervals much less intimidating (Shred415.com). If high decibels and boot-camp-style encouragement aren’t your thing, we love the serene workouts at barre studios like The Dailey Method (Thedaileymethod.com), which helps achieve a willowy physique with light weights and conditioning techniques that refine muscles without adding bulk. (TDM offers a bridal package that costs $450 for three months of unlimited classes.) For fast, tailored-to-you results, a personal trainer can keep tabs on progress and help you avoid injury by monitoring your form every step of the way. Equinox coach Nicole Kupish recommends starting approximately 18 weeks ahead of your wedding if you want to lose 15 to 20 pounds. With a trainer, “hitting a plateau is not an option,” says Kupish, who advises at least two sessions per week combined with a cardio component you do on your own. (High-level trainers at Equinox cost $130 per hour; Equinox.com.) Separate consultations are scheduled to address nutrition — the most important component in weight loss. “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet, no matter how hard you try,” Kupish says.
You’re working out and eating right, but you don’t want to take any chances on that Oscar de la Renta confection fitting like a dream. “Yes, you can go down a full dress size,” with liposuction, says Chicago plastic surgeon Dr. Julius Few (875 N. Michigan, Fewinstitute.com). According to Few, brides who are candidates for the fat-removal surgery should schedule it at least six months ahead of the wedding. (If you’re already thin, the results will be subtle.) Worried your arms might jiggle in that strapless dress? Try laser-assisted liposuction to the upper arms — a newer technology with a shorter, two-day recovery time — followed by several post-op radio frequency treatments to speed healing and help reduce swelling ($5,000-$6,000).
If your skin is in good shape — no serious breakouts, redness or dryness — Dr. Amy Forman Taub of Advanced Dermatology (275 Parkway, suite 521, Lincolnshire, Advdermatology.com) suggests starting on wedding-ready skincare two to three months before the event. For a healthy glow, adopt a regimen that includes what Dr. Taub calls the “Core 4”: sunscreen, an antioxidant formula, an exfoliant and a product that promotes the growth of new skin cells. If skin needs a more extensive overhaul, Taub recommends five to seven months of treatments like Photorejuvenation ($350-$500 per session) to reduce redness, pore size or pigmentation, or Sublative Rejuvenation ($750 per session) to diminish scarring. Or, address all issues in one fell swoop with a laser resurfacing treatment that helps with scarring, fine lines and wrinkles and starts at $2,500 — though it’ll necessitate up to two weeks of post-procedure downtime. Whatever your skin strategy, don’t underestimate the positive effects of de-stressing activities — like exercise — on your skin. “Try to relax,” says Taub. “Don’t worry over every last detail.”
If you don’t have patience for nightly prescription treatments (with no guarantee of results), there are more immediate ways to get lush lashes before you bat them at the altar. At Johnathan Breitung salon and spa (3226 N. Lincoln, Johnathanbreitungsalon.com), the Butterfly Kisses Lash Lift ($100) perms your lashes into a pretty curl and tints them darker for added drama. Results last about four to six weeks — schedule your appointment two weeks before your wedding so the curl has time to settle in. And though lying on a table as someone fiddles with your eyes for an hour isn’t exactly glamorous, the fact that you can skip the eyelash curler — and maybe even the mascara — for the wedding and honeymoon is well worth it.
Wedding photos last forever — so your smile should radiate more than any centerpiece or chandelier. Try Zoom White Speed treatments, available at Weller Dental and Whitening Center (1050 N. State, Wellerdental.com). Treatments run about $400, but check for seasonal specials, which can sometimes lower the price to as little as $250. Dr. Jeffrey Weller recommends brides have the 90-minute procedure done about two weeks before the wedding so any “balancing of color” has time to occur. Porcelain veneers are another option, but they can be costly (up to $1,700 per tooth); for a less-expensive approach, Dr. Weller can perform simple tooth and soft tissue re-contouring treatments ($150 to $1,200) to give your smile better symmetry.
Story by Amalie Drury