The Essential 4 Week Wedding Countdown

As the summer sun begins to heat up, we’re partnering with our favorite style bloggers to show us how they wear the season’s hottest trends. From fashion tips to makeup trends to home décor, we’re excited to see how these fashionistas gear up their wardrobes for warm weather styles.

This week we’re welcoming Jess of The Golden Girl to share exactly what you need to do to prepare for an upcoming wedding – whether you’re the bride or a guest! – with a four week prep countdown covering everything from the perfect skin routine to picking out necessary undergarments.

So, you’re tying the knot this year? Congratulations! As a fellow bride-to-be, I can honestly say that being engaged has been one of the most exciting experiences in life thus far! However, it has also been one of the most stressful times as well.

The biggest piece advice I can give as your wedding date nears? Make a plan!

meijer style wedding prep countdown beauty skincare hair makeup accessories bridesmaid bride

Of course, you’ve already got the flowers, the dress and the décor taken care of. But what about the little personal details – the steps necessary to get glowing skin, shiny hair, that sun-kissed glow, and more? The good news is, it’s not overly complicated! All it takes is a little planning ahead, and a few key products from Meijer.

Follow this four week countdown plan, and you’ll be smooth sailing!

Four Weeks Out: Glowing Skin Routine

Why start with skin? Because you’ll want to allow as much time for it to soak up the benefits of your new skincare routine! Keep it simple with a few key products to brighten, smooth and moisturize, and you’ll have a beautiful, healthy glow on your big day!

meijer style wedding prep countdown beauty skincare hair makeup accessories bridesmaid bride

Start with a detoxifying and brightening face wash.

As you already know, the struggle to manage wedding stress is real, which can lead to a dull, uneven complexion. To combat this, I love using this L’Oreal clay cleanser, which turns into a luxurious mousse as you rub it into your skin. It’s comprised of charcoal – which is a magnet for oil and toxins – and, with regular use, leaves you with a much brighter, even complexion.

Clear pores.

I’ve used these strips from Biore for years, but I love them even more now that they’ve come out with a charcoal version! As mentioned above, charcoal is one of the most effective ingredients in ridding your pores of toxins and impurities, and these strips are essential for clearing pores! Plus, they reduce oil by up to 3X, which is key to making your makeup last on your big day! Apply one to wet skin after washing your face once per week.

meijer style wedding prep countdown beauty skincare hair makeup accessories bridesmaid bride

Hydrate, balance and minimize pores with a mask.

Sheet masks are everywhere right now, for good reason, and this sheet mask from L’Oreal does not disappoint. It packs so many powerful benefits into one little 10 minute mask session! Another added benefit of sheet masks: you have to lie down to apply them. So you can think of it as a small moment of required relaxation.

diffuser in bathroom

Turn on your essential oil diffuser for an added treat as you let your mask do its magic! Afterword, your skin is super hydrated, your pores are minimized and your complexion is buttery smooth, allowing for a much smoother makeup application! Do this at least once per week.

Other tips: Remember, you are what you eat! Munch on as many dark, leafy greens as you can, as well as berries and grapes – all are chock full of vitamins and antioxidants that will make your skin glow from within! Meijer has an awesome selection of organic produce to choose from to make grocery shopping before your big day a lot easier.

meijer style wedding prep countdown beauty skincare hair makeup accessories bridesmaid bride

Three Weeks Out: Strong, Shiny Hair

Another unfortunate side effect of wedding stress? Dull hair. Yikes! Three weeks out, start applying a hair mask after you shampoo. I love Garnier’s “Whole Blends” masks, which target different problem areas depending on your individual needs. My hair tends to be on the dry side, so I chose the Hydrating Blends Mask with Coconut Water and Vanilla Milk. The entire line is made of natural ingredients without harmful parabens that are found in a lot of other hair products!

meijer style wedding prep countdown beauty skincare hair makeup accessories bridesmaid bride

To apply, shampoo your hair right away when you get in the shower, then follow with the mask. If you can, apply a shower cap over the top and let the hot shower steam amplify the benefits of the mask. Leave on for at least three minutes, but preferably longer. Rinse right before you get out, and style as usual.

Two Weeks Out: The Right Accessories

As your wedding nears closer, it’s time to start thinking about a few different accessories you’ll need to stock up on to prepare for the big day!

The “under” accessories

meijer style wedding prep countdown beauty skincare hair makeup accessories bridesmaid bride

You’ve been thinking about the dress for months, but what about what you’re wearing under the dress? With so many backless and strapless dress styles now, it can be tough to find the right bra!

I have two favorites, both made by a brand called “Lingerie Solutions” which can be found in Meijer’s lingerie department. There are individual “adhesive bra” cups which are the best “barely there” solution. I also love the “Shantina Lite” molded adhesive cups, that will also give you a lot of “cinch” and “oomph” if you so please! The bra is also washable and reusable, so you’ll get a ton of wear out of it!

meijer style wedding prep countdown beauty skincare hair makeup accessories bridesmaid bride

For underwear, go with something comfortable and nude colored, so you can ensure there won’t be any show through your white dress! Meijer has quite a few options, like this thong by Simple Pleasures – and a ton of shape wear too, if that’s more your style!

Hair + makeup accessories

meijer style wedding prep countdown beauty skincare hair makeup accessories bridesmaid bride

Be prepared for hair and makeup mishaps and pack your MOH’s purse or makeup bag with extra bobby pins and hair ties (I love the Goody’s kind!) There will inevitably be hair snafus on the dance floor, and if you plan ahead, you can fix them in only a few seconds! (Because not jumping to “Shout” just because you’re afraid of your hair falling out would be an utter travesty).

meijer style wedding prep countdown beauty skincare hair makeup accessories bridesmaid bride

I also love ELF’s duo lip primer and plumping stick, to ensure your lipstick stays on all night!

One Week Out: Polished Hands + Feet

Eeek! 7 days away! Time to start polishing those hands and feet!

By now, hopefully everything is planned out to a T, and you can really start to sit back and relax!

meijer style wedding prep countdown beauty skincare hair makeup accessories bridesmaid bride

There’s no better way to do that than soaking in a warm bath and applying a luxurious salt scrub like Tree Hut’s Shea Sugar Scrub. Whole sugar grains will make your skin insanely smooth (especially the problem areas, like your feet!) and it’s made with Shea Nut Oil to lock in moisture. Plus, it’s made with all-natural extracts and is also paraben-free!

meijer style wedding prep countdown beauty skincare hair makeup accessories bridesmaid bride

After applying the scrub, I like to rinse off and follow up with Jergens Natural Glow Firming lotion! It only takes a few days to start seeing a nice, natural-looking hint of glow. If you don’t want to opt for a spray tan on your big day, this is a really great natural-looking and budget-friendly way to get some color.

meijer style wedding prep countdown beauty skincare hair makeup accessories bridesmaid bride

For a great DIY pedicure and manicure, apply Cutex Moisture Rich foot cream to feet and paint nails with a pretty ballet pink color, which is the perfect neutral for your nuptials! My favorite is Essie’s Gel Couture no-chip nail polish in Fairy Tailor. It’s by far the longest lasting nail polish I’ve ever used, so you won’t have to worry about chipping as you’re stepping into your dress!

That’s it! Congratulations! You are officially ready for your big day!

Jess is the fashionista behind The Golden Girl, a Chicago blog aimed at providing a daily dose of attainable life, style, beauty and décor. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Self-Tanner 101: How to Get a Streak-Free Faux Glow

As the summer sun begins to heat up, we’re partnering with our favorite style bloggers to show us how they wear the season’s hottest trends. From fashion tips to makeup trends to home décor, we’re excited to see how these fashionistas gear up their wardrobes for warm weather styles.

This week we’re welcoming Lisa of LMP Collections to review all the top sunless tanning options and find the ideal product for the perfect faux glow.

sunless self tanner tan tanning blogger approved summer jergens neutrogena l'oreal lotion

Summer is here are hotter than ever! As much as I’d love to spend all my time outside during the sunny days, I just don’t have the free time during the weeks. There is nothing that makes me feel more confident in the summer while wearing dresses and swimsuits than having a nice tan to pair with them. I try to take advantage of the natural Vitamin D whenever I have the chance. Lately, however, I’ve been testing out some self-tanners from Meijer to give my skin that extra glow (and avoid some of the sun’s harmful rays).

I’ve tried out five different self-tanners (three brands) and am so excited to share with you all my honest and truthful opinion on each. Since I have more sensitive skin, I made it my goal to find a self-tanner that a) doesn’t make me orange, (b) is gentle on my skin, and (c) looks natural (no streaks or blotchiness). Below I breakdown each product and let you all know my personal experience with them, as well as which one of these five I will be re-purchasing again and again!

sunless self tanner tan tanning blogger approved summer jergens neutrogena l'oreal lotion

Jergens

When I was young, I remember seeing my older sister use Jergens. While shopping at Meijer, I went ahead and purchased these first, knowing it was a familiar brand.

When testing them out, I started with the lotion because who doesn’t want to “reduce the appearance of cellulite in as little as 7 days”!? That definitely was the selling factor for me. After being pretty excited to try this one, I made the mistake of using this lotion not too long after shaving my legs. Although it did happen to irritate my skin, the irritation went away after a few hours.

As for the foam version, a little goes a long way. I felt this one dries more saturated and works quicker than the squeeze bottle, so I would definitely use the foam again. They both smell amazing, too!

sunless self tanner tan tanning blogger approved summer jergens neutrogena l'oreal lotion

Orange? These definitely did not make me orange – which I liked! Both do take a few days to see a noticeable color transformation, but that’s nice because you can control your color at a slower rate – love.

Gentle? Honestly, I would say these ones were the most irritating on my sensitive skin. However, my arms felt much more gentle than my legs – so just watch recently-shaved skin!

Natural? Overall, I would say both of these were very natural-looking.

sunless self tanner tan tanning blogger approved summer jergens neutrogena l'oreal lotion

L’Oreal

Now this stuff is summer in a bottle! One of my friends recommended a try out L’Oreal for a darker summer glow, and she was not kidding around. The lotion is a rich brown color, and you can definitely see major results in less than 24 hours. Initially, this one scared me a bit since the lotion is so dark, but it goes on pretty smooth and even.

Of all the options, L’Oreal was my least favorite smell – not bad by all means, it’s just that the other four are much more appealing. Lastly, the L’Oreal tanner has a noticeable shimmer to it, so this would probably be the best fit for specific occasions or a night out with the girls.

sunless self tanner tan tanning blogger approved summer jergens neutrogena l'oreal lotion

Orange? I would not say this one gives off an “orange” tint but it is definitely the most saturated of the bunch.

Gentle? Surprising yes! I wasn’t sure that would be true because of the shimmer, but overall this was very gentle.

Natural? Yes! Like the others, apply this one as evenly as possible and you won’t see any streaks.

sunless self tanner tan tanning blogger approved summer jergens neutrogena l'oreal lotion

Neutrogena

And here we have it, my favorite brand out of the three! I was incredibly impressed with these products, and my absolute favorite was the spray bottle version.

sunless self tanner tan tanning blogger approved summer jergens neutrogena l'oreal lotion

Neutrogena is my overall pick because of how gentle it felt on my skin. I didn’t once feel any irritation and could see glowy, natural-looking results in less than 24 hours. The only reason I liked the spray version better is simply because it’s a bit easier to apply. But though it sprays pretty evenly, I would still recommend rubbing everything in just to be safe. I also definitely recommend spraying this in a well-ventilated area because, since it’s a spray, it tends to travel.

sunless self tanner tan tanning blogger approved summer jergens neutrogena l'oreal lotion

Orange? None whatsoever.

Natural? YES YES YES! I was so impressed and can’t wait to continue using this product.

Gentle? Definitely. I always know it’s a product for me when it doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin. And I feel like Neutrogena has always been known as a gentler brand!

sunless self tanner tan tanning blogger approved summer jergens neutrogena l'oreal lotion

No matter which self-tanner you go with, some things will always apply. So here are my top “must-do” tips!

  • Rub in the product as evenly as possible
  • After applying, wear baggy clothing until lotion, foam or spray is completely soaked in and dry
  • Ask someone to help do your back if it’s hard to reach – you’d hate to leave an untouched spot!
  • Apply once a day for a few days (or for special occasions) for an even, glowy look

sunless self tanner tan tanning blogger approved summer jergens neutrogena l'oreal lotion

Lisa is the fashionista behind LMP Collections, an editorial style, fashion and lifestyle blog taking inspiration from current and past trends. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.