Natural Wonder

by Sylvie Baggett

Self-care rituals for a (seemingly) effortless wedding look

When it comes to the big day, most brides aim to capture that elusive “my- self-but-better” countenance: radiant skin, enhanced features and no-fuss hair. Although the final, natural aesthetic may seem effortless, it’s no secret that it takes some work (read: pamper time) to help brides radiate their most beautiful, confident look to date.

No-Makeup Makeup

According to Rose-Marie Swift, founder of obsession-worthy clean makeup and skincare brand RMS Beauty, a minimal approach is the biggest statement a bride can make with her makeup.

“The most important thing for a bride is to be herself,” Swift says. “The second is to have radiant skin.”

RMS Beauty uses raw, organic ingredients like vitamin E and castor seed oil to nurture the skin, and, according to Swift, achieving a lit-from-within glow is as easy as 1, 2, 3: “The secret to beautiful skin is using the RMS Luminizer, never over-powdering and remembering that less is more.”

Natural beauty wedding look
RMS Beauty Living Luminizer

We’ll take her word for it — Swift has beautified the faces of Gisele Bündchen, Miranda Kerr, Zoe Saldana and Tilda Swinton, to name a few.

While products play a crucial role in a natural beauty look, the application is just as important.

Natural beauty wedding look
RMS Beauty’s Savannah Peach Collection

“As a seasoned make-up artist, it really just becomes intuitive,” says Jules De Jesus Fritz, owner and founder of Dollface by Jules. “Achieving natural-looking makeup isn’t necessarily about wearing less product, but rather being strategic about product placement.”

For example, opt for a lighter coverage foundation, and spot-conceal any blemishes with a more heavy-duty concealer to keep makeup undetectable. “The goal of wedding makeup,” De Jesus Fritz says, “is to make sure the bride feels like the best version of herself.”

Natural beauty wedding look
RMS Beauty Daily Lip Balm in Peacock Lane

Pearly Whites

If there’s one thing you’re guaranteed to do on your wedding day (besides cry happy tears), it’s smile. But if your smile isn’t your favorite feature, Savannah Dental’s Dr. Stephanie Sweeney recommends Invisalign aligners for a clear, no-nonsense way to straighten your teeth.

Invisalign uses 3D imagery to fit your teeth and gum line exactly, Sweeney says. Every one to two weeks, with guidance from your dentist, you’ll receive new trays to keep your teeth on track with full results in as little as six months — without having to compromise your day-to-day routine.

Simply take them out when you’re at your cake tasting or being treated to bachelorette cocktails. The best part? Even when they’re in, they’re hardly noticeable.

Natural beauty wedding look
Enhance your smile with straightening and brightening treatments

If you have a “gummy” smile, you may have a hyperactive lip, Sweeney says, where the upper lip elevator muscles noticeably contract to reveal more of your gums than perhaps you’d like.

A tiny injection of Botox can help relax the lip and frame your newly straightened teeth. This non-surgical procedure provides natural results within a matter of days and lasts for months.

And, of course, there’s teeth whitening. Book your in-office appointment for Zoom — the teeth-whitening procedure, not the video-conferencing app — about two weeks in advance for up to eight shades of lift. The process takes about an hour, and all you have to do is sit back and relax.

That Wedding Glow

It’s best to start incorporating facials and other skincare treats into your regimen six months before the wedding day to ensure any problem areas have been taken care of and that skin is prepped for any last-minute treatments.

At Vitali Medspa, the Radiance HydraFacial is a favorite among bridal clients, thanks to its brightening ingredients alpha-arbutin and ascorbic acid (otherwise known as vitamin C). These are used in combination with LED light therapy to help reduce dark spots and even skin tone.

To intensify results, Vitali Medspa recommends pairing the HydraFacial with a session of dermaplaning — a manual exfoliation using a medical-grade sterile blade to remove peach fuzz and dead skin cells — to help products penetrate deeper. Dr. Corrinne Howington of Low Country Dermatology shares that dermaplaning has an added benefit: makeup goes on much smoother.

Two weeks before you say “I do,” consider a Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) plus microneedling treatment. PRP therapy involves drawing a small amount of blood, then isolating the nutrient-dense platelets for use with microneedles.

Microneedling allows for controlled stimulation of the skin’s self-repair process by creating precise, micro-injuries in the skin, triggering new collagen formation without causing scar tissue or damage. The PRP is applied where the skin has been opened to boost healing properties and catalyze the collagen production process.

Locks of Love

Natural beauty wedding look
Kevin Murphy Session Spray Flex Hairspray

Lowcountry humidity practically begs for you to embrace your hair’s natural texture. To combat any frizzy flyaways, Hannah Mills, owner of Hustle and Blow Dry Bar (a certified sustainable salon), recommends a keratin smoothing treatment. “The smoothing treatment is ultra-fast and brings hair to its ideal, most beautiful condition without damaging it or using dangerous chemicals, like formaldehyde, that are common in other treatments.”

Once the hair has been prepped with a smoothing treatment, day-of styling is a breeze. Most brides opt for a half-up, half-down hairstyle that complements natural texture or added waves. No fussy updos to worry about here.

For Black brides, hair stylist Jasmin Hunt of Laidbyjay recommends that a stylist and bride collaborate on the type of hair a bride selects well before the big day, ensuring the bride’s vision can be achieved.

To help keep stress levels low, Hunt styles the bridal party’s hair in the week leading up to the wedding with finishing touches on the day of to keep everything looking polished. Popular wedding styles are typically updos or sew-ins that are styled into low buns with face-framing curls or pin curls and big waves.

As for the one hair product a bride should keep in her touch-up kit? “Hairspray,” Mills says. Not only does it hold your style in place but it can also double as a volumizer if rubbed gently toward the root. Hunt concurs — to maintain your style, prep and pin the curls before giving them a hefty dose of hairspray, leaving them to set until just before you walk down the aisle.