A little over two weeks ago, I got married in front of 37 of my nearest and dearest in the Bahamas. It was a truly magical weekend—one I’ll be reporting on in my next ITG post, once the pictures come in.
The real story, seeing as though this is a beauty website and I’m a beauty editor, is in the prep. Months of prep! So much prep. Not of the venue, guest list, or seating chart—that was fairly easy—but of my limbs, skin, wanted hair, unwanted hair, nails, muscles, digestive tract, lashes and brows. Did I go overboard? Perhaps. Was it high maintenance? Maybe. I did spend an inordinate amount of the fall on my back. But, it worked. I was 8/10 happy with how I looked…pretty good!
The Clean Program. I’d taken Dr. Alejandro Junger’s 21 day challenge five or six years ago, and came back for more on the first day of November 2015. I can’t say it enough—I love this detox/overall good-common-sense program. No dairy, gluten, sugar, alcohol, coffee, or pretty much any of my other favorite foods…but, let’s put it this way: What cleanse have you actually wanted to continue at the end? I’m eating 75% clean still, because it feels so damn good.
Hydrocolon therapy: Yes, you guessed it, colonics. It’s recommended during the Clean Program. Tracy Piper and/or any of the ladies at the Piper Wellness Center have your back.
Trainer. Key Son. I started weekly training sessions with Daria Werbowy’s former trainer Key Son about 3 months out. The focus is on tiny movements to elongate and tone. In between our meet-ups, Key suggests daily hour-long walks. In the end, I did not look like Daria (shocker), but I was in way better shape than when we started.
Gym. A month out, I jumped on board the Physique 57 barre method bandwagon. At the Soho location, I took three or four of their signature and mat classes. This place is legit: They guarantee results in seven to eight classes; I saw them after one.
Massage. I like a semi-stressful massage—one where I can really feel something being worked out. After an hour-long session with private practitioner LouLou Piscatore, complete with aromatherapy and acupuncture, you will basically melt off of the table. Highly recommended to do bi-weekly before the wedding.
Microcurrent. It’s been around forever—one of those things that was invented for serious medical reasons and then reappropriated for vanity purposes (see: Botox). Shamara Bondaroff is NYC’s cool-girl practitioner; at her studio SB Skin, she uses a combination of wands and pads to jolt sluggish face and body muscles into action and stimulate collagen production, thereby lifting and sculpting. It’s not uncomfortable, it takes roughly an hour and a half, and I believe in it. Body is where I noticed the biggest difference after our six sessions. Butt = higher.
Facial. Several years after our initial encounter and my subsequent fan-girling out, I went back to Isabelle Bellis two weeks before the wedding. This woman is a goddess and I only wish she were half as expensive and available again before July 2016. This is a must-try facial for brides/anyone who wants a holistic total-package experience.
Laser Hair Removal. I’ve had some not-great experiences with laser hair removal, probably because I haven’t done what they told me. Anyway. Myriam Vasicka’s office is very Park Avenue, her demeanor is very soothing grandmother, and, most importantly, her technique/machines/what have you are swift and painless. My upper lip is on the road to permanent smoothness, at last.
Gels. Paintbox, for me, lives up to the hype. I only see Julie Kandalec who is incredibly precise and focused. Gels aren’t a forever jam, but they definitely help those looking to grow their nails. CND’s Powder My Nose is my perfect nude. Shout out to Annie Kreighbaum for turning me on to that shade.
Mani/Pedi. Iris Nails on University Place is my jam for a quick in-and-out. I specifically ask for Lisa. Also, kudos to Florence for giving the best 10-minute-chair-massage this side of Houston Street.
My pal Celia Ellenberg at Vogue told me about Soul Lee, who runs her own operation, Beautiful Soul Makeup Studio in Flatiron for lash extensions and brow jobs. I showed her an Instagram selfie of west coast babe Caroline Vreeland who gets super subtle extensions that make her eyes look like anime almonds, and said I wanted less “glam hooker” and more of the Vreeland look. Nailed it! Warning: Soul is more expensive than the competition like JJ or Ebenezer. But she is good.
A week before the big day, I spent 30 minutes with Jimena Garcia who has a residency at another one of my trusty nail haunts, Tenoverten. Jimena creates a slightly more trim, tailored look than my West Coast favorite, Kristie Streicher of Striiike.
You know what? I didn’t do a thing! It’s the first time since middle school that I’ve been my natural color, and I wasn’t going to fuck with that before the wedding. Jon Reyman at Spoke and Weal gave my now-husband and I bang-up haircuts several months ago, and I’ve just been letting it grow. Save for a test with my wedding-weekend stylist, Teddi Cranford of White Rose Collective, the hairs on my head were largely spared from bridal preparation. I swear they grew two inches to thank me.
Edited to add (by popular demand!):
I wasn't planning on doing anything, because too much whitening can look cheesy, but then I saw Supersmile's Toothpaste Duo at the office and decided to give it a go. At $36, you see subtle but noticeable results after about two weeks of brushing.
Photo courtesy of the author. Emily is wearing a robe by Olivia von Halle.