How To

How to prepare for every bridal beauty emergency

It’s the one day when you can expect nothing to go as planned

In bridal proportions, emergencies tend to feel like the end of the world—a wine spill is perceived as a blood bath and a zit can feel like Mount Vesuvius. Understandably, after all that planning for absolute perfection, it is frustrating to see anything fall out of line. But things will go haywire—that’s a given—so stay prepared with some handy advice from experts who have been there, done that.

Bridal beauty emergency hacks

Puffy eyes

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So you want to stay up late to party with the girls, but can’t let those puffy eyes give your plan away? Start preparing the night before, suggests dermatologist Dr Rashmi Shetty. “Use a gentle make-up remover and never rub your eyes.” Douse a cotton pad in cleanser and place it on your eyes for a minute to melt the make-up before wiping it off—rubbing causes inflammation that leads to puffiness.

“Keep a few wet cloths in the refrigerator; they can be used to calm a rash or swollen eyes,” she says. You can use this technique after applying eye cream and even the morning after. Dr Shetty also recommends sleeping without a pillow to avoid water retention. If you still wake up looking sleepy, shut your eyes tight and open them wide. Then follow this up with a cold pack and a round of cardio to help drain the excess fluid. If your eyes are bloodshot, a few drops of Clearine will help immediately.

Botched brows

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Your tweezer-happy aesthetician left you with lopsided brows? Before you hit the panic button, arm yourself with castor oil and rub a few drops along your brows to speed up the growth. If you’ve not hit your ideal thickness by the big day, Delhi-based make-up artist Deepa Verma suggests, “Use a matte eyebrow pencil to draw strands of hair using upward strokes as opposed to a lined-and-filled finish.” Use a touch of brow powder to soften the look.

Irritated skin

Turmeric, clay, herbs — traditional ubtans have tonnes of botanicals. While these concoctions are supposed to transform you into a radiant bride, they could also cause breakouts and unsightly rashes. In the days leading up to your wedding, Dr Shetty recommends keeping a mild steroid cream (ask your dermat beforehand) and chilled calamine lotion handy at all times. “At the sight of a rash, just mix the calamine with the steroid cream to get rid of the inflammation, stat.” 

Bloated midriff

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Even if you’ve been militant about your diet for months before the wedding, those pre-wedding parties are enough to add a few inches. The reason: water retention from alcohol paired with salty snacks. Even salads and alcohol can cause that puffy feeling, says Delhi-based clinical nutritionist Dr Lovneet Batra.

“Most brides avoid carbs just a few days before the wedding in the hope of losing weight, but fibre on an empty stomach also causes bloating.” Thankfully, you can fix this the morning after a bender. “Drink a lot of water with lemon and mint, followed by some coconut or a banana to soothe the stomach.” She recommends eating soothing foods (yoghurt, poha, chapatti, scrambled eggs) through the day to keep the stomach calm.

Stress zits

This has to be a bride’s biggest nightmare, primarily because it is not unusual for one of these to appear even after you have pampered your skin with all the right products. Sometimes, just the stress of it all can cause a breakout. For a minor zit, apply a benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid cream. You can also ask your dermatologist for an antibiotic. “If you have a deep, stubborn spot, ask your doctor for a steroid shot that will immediately flatten the zit,” advises Dr Shetty.

Make-up mishap

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Let’s assume that everything goes perfectly well and when you finally have all your ducks in a row, your make-up artist makes you resemble a cross between Morticia Addams and Boy George. The best way to avoid such a scenario is to conduct a thorough background check on the make-up artist’s work beforehand. “I always suggest a couple of meetings, so that there is a better understanding,” says Verma. “Try to get your make-up done for a party or smaller event before you decide.”

But if you’re still stuck with foundation that is too white or eyelids that look like tiny rainbows, there are hacks you can fall back on. To fix a ghostly pale base, Verma recommends that you wipe off just the top layer with a tissue and use a matte-finish bronzer to lightly dust your face and neck until you are happy with the shade. To correct a rainbow shadow disaster, gently clean your upper eyelid with a wet wipe and apply a bronze or soft-gold shadow all over it—make sure you blend the edges well. “Reapply the liner, mascara and kajal. This is a classic look you can’t go wrong with.”