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top flight:

PRE-wedding
beauty SECRETS

Christine Whitney petitions Hollywood’s top beauty experts for their aisle-centric advice.

Written By CHRISTINE WHITNEY

As a proud member of team VIOLET GREY, it’s fair to say I have an acute obsession with beauty. So it’s no surprise that “planning” my wedding this past year involved much more than just choosing the perfect linens and the right dress (La Tavola and Balenciaga, in case you were wondering). It was also about trying (and sometimes failing) to achieve washboard abs, a never-been-sunburned complexion, Selena Gomez–esque white teeth, and other pursuits of perfection. Another full-time job? Yes. Insane? Probably.

For help, I turned to a council of LA’s best beauty experts—such as hairstylist Leanne Citrone and facialist Vanessa Hernandez—for tips every bride-to-be should know. Here, an A-list grooming team troubleshoots common bridal concerns, from abs to acne.

THE GOAL: GROW OUT AN AWKWARD HAIRCUT

THE EXPERT: LEANNE CITRONE, HAIR STYLIST


The Andy Lecompte salon co-founder happens to specialize in helping clients grow out short or bad cuts. Some of her suggestions? Viviscal supplements for a healthier mane (starting at least three months before your big day), extending the time between coloring appointments for as long as possible, shortening your time behind the blow-dryer to minimize damage, and getting regular trims to encourage growth. At-home masking (she likes Wella’s Keratin Restore mask) also goes a long way toward preserving strands. And should all else fail, there are always extensions. “You can cheat it,” says Citrone, noting her strong preference for the tape-in versions, which minimize damage.

THE GOAL: TONE ABS

THE EXPERT: CINDY LEOS, PILATES INSTRUCTOR


Enviably framed Pilates instructor (and former Pussycat Doll) Cindy Leos encourages setting realistic fitness goals. If you already work out, say, five times a week, your regimen should look different than that of your sedentary sister. That said, a nearly universal receipe for success is five workouts per week, including two to three sessions of cardio, topped off with a plant-based diet. For core strengthening, Leos prescribes the following exercise, which she says you can do anywhere and everywhere, but especially while driving. (Just imagine your steering wheel is a Pilates circle when you’re stuck in rush-hour traffic on the 405.)


“Sit up nice and tall to create space between the vertebrae. Keep the shoulders stacked right above the hips and really try to draw the belly button in and up toward the spine, wrapping the rib cage around, as if you’re creating your own corset. As you inhale, expand the breathing, pushing your rib cage out laterally; exhaling, we close it all, wrapping the rib cage around the spine, and drawing your belly button deep, in and up to the spine. The more you keep pulling in and in, the more you work your core.”

THE GOAL: GET BLINDINGLY WHITE TEETH

THE EXPERT: DR. SAM SALEH, DDS 


For a smile that rivals Selena Gomez’s, Dr. Saleh of Ora Dentistry Spa on Rodeo often suggests a program of in-office and at-home whitening treatments (that is, if you’re not going for full veneers). A word to the wise before you whiten: Be prepared to cease and desist consuming any staining beverages (read: coffee, tea, wine) for at least 48 hours après treatment. “The whole philosophy behind teeth whitening is you’re opening up the pores to allow the whitening agent to get in. By virtue of that, you don’t want stains to get in afterward and counteract the treatment,” he explains. If you aren’t careful, stains can actually get worse. If you simply can’t forgo your morning coffee, Dr. Saleh recommends adding milk to reduce tannins and drinking through a straw, then brushing immediately after that last sip. Another tip? Swish with hydrogen peroxide diluted with water for 30 seconds, like you would a mouthwash, after coffee or at the end of the day for additional stain-busting powers.

THE GOAL: BANISH ACNE AND FINE LINES

THE EXPERT: VANESSA HERNANDEZ, AESTHETICIAN


Monthly full facials with extractions, a touch of micro, and light peels comprising Retin-A and hydrocortisone will keep the acne at bay. Hernandez also offers super-soothing treatments with blue, red, and infrared lights, which respectively “kill bacteria, fight acne and tighten the pores; stimulate collagen and elasticity; and help with healing and reducing swelling, and inflammation.” (She also encourages a quick “checkup” visit between appointments to nip any new breakouts or congestion in the bud.) An extra boost of O2 a few days before the wedding, courtesy of Hernandez’s magical Intraceuticals Oxygen treatment—which floods skin with hyaluronic acid, vitamins A, C, and E, and peptides—will leave skin plump and radiant. She may supply a gold collagen mask (you look like an Oscar statue during and shine like one after) to go to work on any fine lines.

THE GOAL: ERASE SUN SPOTS

THE EXPERT: DRS. RAY JALIAN & REBECCA FITZGERALD, DERMATOLOGISTS


To banish sun spots, Dr. Jalian suggests at least three rounds of Clear + Brilliant, a mild fractional laser, alternating with IPL (a spot-reducing pulsed light treatment Dr. Fitzgerald likens to “detailing your car”) and Laser Genesis, a YAG laser coveted for plumping and maintenance. Start the program early for best results, as you’ll need multiple sessions to see results. Laser Genesis has no downtime but takes a while to show results, so start at least six months out, Dr. Fitzgerald advises. A word to the wise if you’re also concerned with spots on the hands: If your arms also have sun spots, you’ll have to treat them as well as the hands or, as Dr. Jalian says, “it will look like you’re wearing gloves.”

*If wrinkle-freezing Botox is what you desire, go see Dr. Fitzgerald, who recommends a test run six months in advance in case you’re not enamored with the results. Botox lasts only about three months, so if something goes awry you’ll be back to normal by wedding time. If you love it, the sweet spot for your last injection is about a month before the wedding.