Before I begin, I must confess that I am not a particularly glamorous person. As an early years teacher, I’m surrounded by playdough, paint and snotty noses all day, and the early morning starts mean that any form of beauty regime is out of the question, unless I get up at ridiculous o’clock! Don’t get me wrong I like to look nice and really enjoy getting dolled up for a big night out but I’ve never been especially high maintenance.

(Except if you count the awkward, insecure teenage years when I spent hours getting ready because I hated the way I looked…ahhh good times!)

I have been stuck in the same make up rut for years. In fact, Boots recently discontinued my favourite No. 7 lipstick, which I’ve worn every single day since ‘the awkward, insecure teenage years’. So I am now desperately searching Ebay for it and hoping to stock pile it so I never run out…

Until last year, I’d had one facial in all of my 27 years and I hadn’t ever had a manicure. Unless my friends and I painting each other’s nails some garish shade when we were 11 counts as a manicure? Which I suspect it doesn’t.

BUT all that changed as soon as Zee asked me to marry him and I had that pretty, sparkly ring on my finger…

The Ring Was So Pretty, it Deserved a Pretty Canvas

I started to scrutinise my hands. They were simply not pretty enough for my ring and, let’s face it, I wanted to show it off with pride at every opportunity!  The problem was that I was a life long nail biter and no matter what I did I just couldn’t kick the habit. I even started to like the taste of that bitter, chemically ‘anti bite’ polish! Something had to be done…

I had 8 months to prepare, surely I could go from beauty school drop out to beauty queen before the big day?!

Manicures

That’s where Chantal of ‘Prim and Polished’ (beauty therapist and all round lovely lady) came in. I arranged an appointment with her, explained that I was a serious nail biter and wanted to see if enhancements were the way forward. Turns out Biosculpture gel nails were a stepping stone to achieving picture perfect nails worthy of my engagement and my wedding ring!

Even better than that, I’ve kicked the habit completely and have managed to grow my own nails! Now I can put my arms around Zee/friends/family in photos and not look like I have a stumpy gnawed off little hand. Hurrah!

But manicures were just the beginning-it’s not just hands that brides have on show. So in addition to my regular manicures, I embarked on a journey of facials, brushing, buffing, polishing, moisturizing, conditioning, healthy eating, exercise and obsessively reading the ‘weight loss for your wedding’ thread on a wedding forum…

Mrs Motivator?

However, truth be told, I’m not the most motivated person in the world (that title’s already taken by Madonna and she’s welcome to it) and I LOVE food so I did indulge in junk food and missed out many a workout thinking ‘sod it Zee loves me as I am!’ After all, I was in a bikini, without make up on and with windswept hair like a wild woman when he asked me to spend the rest of my life with him…so he’s easily pleased! (see photo!)

I must admit I did feel absolutely beautiful on my wedding day. Was that because of my (slight) weight loss, long nails and pretty hairstyle? I’m sure all that helped BUT I think the reason I felt beautiful, and the reason ALL brides are beautiful in my eyes, is that it feels so AMAZING marrying the man you love surrounded by the people you love! Happiness was radiating out of my every pore…and there’s nothing more beautiful than that.

Elizabeth x

How are you preparing for the big day?

Please do send me your hair, beauty, health and fitness questions…you could leave a comment below or email me and I’ll get the Beauty School experts on the case!

Coming up next week…

Picture Perfect Skin: why you should start preparing your skin for the big day months in advance.