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The Ultimate Wedding Photo Checklist

Image: weddingsbeautiful.com

In any woman’s life, that beautiful fairy tale moment where the doors open and we are finally the princess of the story, is one most of us have dreamed about since we were young: As we walk down the aisle to join the one we love.

Any wedding is a chance to glam up and find a new sophisticated style, but for our own wedding, it’s more important than ever. With the day evolving around you and your partner, there’s so much to prep in the weeks prior to the big day. Which is why we’ve created a prepping checklist to make it easier to get those perfect wedding photos: From prepping to posing!

Pre-wedding Pampering

Unlike any other occasion, your wedding is a day completely focused on you and your fiancé. Having a pampering regime in place will help keep you looking beautiful and fresh for any sneaky, raw emotion pictures the photographer takes.

Skin
For a fresh, ivory dress, elegant flower arrangements and adoring onlookers, it’d be a shame to have stressed and tired skin to co-ordinate.

The inevitable stress of wedding planning actually stops our pores from absorbing as much water – leaving it feeling dry, and ultimately stressing us out more! Using a hypoallergenic or fragrance-free moisturizer – like Burt’s Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturizer Cream - will correct this, and stop pores being built up with any unwanted grease, skin and perfumes.

With that in mind, be sure to keep topped up with water too; keeping those fluids up will also help energise your body - leaving you feeling a lot less tired, stressed and under eyes bag-free. Speaking of those bags, treat yourself to breather between seating plans and cake tasting and relax with mini cucumber ice packs! Acting as a way to stop red blood vessels from bringing blood to the area, you’ll be left with smooth and brighter skin all round. And whilst there’s a tonne of celebrating and catching up with family from out of town, be sure to keep a strict sleeping schedule. This is the easiest, and cheapest way to assure picture-perfect skin.

As for foods: Vitamin E and C are your pre-wedding cravings. Grains, vegetable oils and nuts offer the wonder-woman Vitamin E, whilst C can be found in citrus fruits and veg. Basically, a structured, healthy balanced diet will do the world of good. Another tip: Use a daily cream with an SPF factor to help prevent sun marks and dark spots when out and about.

Hair

Image: Bridalpulse

 

Depending on your choice of hairstyle, you’ll want to plan accordingly: Some up-dos will need dirtier hair in order to keep their shape throughout the day, or a little BB Surf Spray (salt spray) rinsed through.

For anything where most of your hair is down, a deep cleanse on the day or night before is crucial for that natural shine.

Teeth 

Teeth whitening is an absolute must to ensure that perfect white smile in your wedding photographs, and this goes for both you and your beloved. An at home whitening kit is just the thing to get that bright smile, and don’t forget some pearl drops to whip out of your bag before any photo opportunity and so that your breath is kissing sweet for that all important ‘I do’ moment.

Feet and Nails

There’s very few of us who’ll be sensible enough to opt for a flat footed shoe for our wedding day. So keeping skin soft, smooth and pain-free is the key to success. Massages, exfoliators and a pedicure are in store for the pre-wedding week of pampering, along with a mad dash to the shops for heel grips and Compeed blister plasters! Don’t let those sores take you down!

Image: Letsgetweddy.com

As for your nails, remember everyone will be getting a close up look at your hands and wedding during the ceremony and after, so go for a manicure to ensure the perfect, glossy look. You can opt for the classic French manicure, or go for some more personalised nail art for your big day.

Make-Up

There’s nothing more cringe-worthy than looking at old photos from your angsty teenage years to see the wonderful fashion and makeup choices you made. Don’t let the same happen when looking back at your wedding photos…

Your wedding makeup should be as natural as can be: A few products to lighten your complexion, and lippy to suit your coloring. Other than that, it’s all about highlighting the brows, eyes and cheeks to brighten the whole face; offering beautiful shading for any prime photo opps. In your huge box of concealers – ranging from Tango to Paper shades, scout for the perfect coverage, two shades lighter than your skin tone. Smudging across the cheek bones will highlight the areas, and offers additional structure your face.

Image: Collection Illuminating Touch

Add a little highlighter or rose gold bronzer to the cheeks, browns and inner eyes to add a dewy look that stays fresh all day long. NARS The Multiple – Copacabana uses gold and pink shades adds a blush to the colour, whilst a terracotta bronzer will look a little too harsh contrasted with the bride’s dress. Lastly, make those eyes a little larger with a nude, eyeliner pencil to add definition.

Photography Planning

With all the prepping involved, it’s time to discuss the perfect scrapbook style wedding photos you’ll want to have taken, so that you can cherish the day forever.

Just Married

 

Whether it’s riding away in a convertible, roof down, tin cans traipsing behind like all the films, or an adorable ‘first kiss’ bride and groom photo, the Just Married pic is the first of many to come for you and your new partner.

Confetti Throw

Image: Guidesforbrides.com

The cheerful confetti photo is a perfect choice for remembering the joyful day. Whether it’s a complete disaster, or a captured-in-one moment, the confetti pic shows a wonderful amount of emotion and fun.

Bridesmaids and Ushers

Image: Topweddingquestions.com

Both the bride and groom will need individual – or together – photos with their bridesmaids and ushers. The best buds and family members of the party that have kept everything flowing nicely: The ones who offer those #squadgoals for the Instagram fans.

Parents

Image: Apentertainment.com

The hopefully not so awkward parent photos are always a blissful memory to look back on. When both families combine together for the monumental day, it might be the only time the two are together. So it’s important to remember the unity!

Backdrops

But whilst there’s a few group photos that need taking, the photographer will have a keen eye out for romantic moments between the new couple, so with that in mind, take a look for picturesque backdrops around the wedding venue that you want to escape to for some Newly Wed photos!

Backdrops are easy to find, especially in any wedding venue – whether it’s a country field gate, a Church door, or somewhere that means a lot to you both, there’s a tonne of places to pose with your new bride or groom. Finding those little, secret places will offer you the best photos.

Poses

Anyone who’s been to a wedding knows full well how awkward posing can feel. Being directed to ‘act natural’ or cheer, smile, look away from the camera, can get a little uncomfortable after the 45th shot… but prep yourself for some awkward poses by practising beforehand a few you definitely want to incorporate into the photoshoot.

Double Look

Image: insideweddings.com
Whether you opt for a photo where you’re both looking lovingly into each other’s eyes, or choose to have one of you smiling to the camera, this simple pose is perfect for showing your adoration on your ceremonious day.

Up in the air

Image: BridalGuide

This is an adorable photo showing you as a couple who can trust and depend on one another to stay strong when you need a little help.

The Wrap Around

Image: Whimsiephoto.com

The wrap around is a classical pose, which can be brought into any group photo or romantic and caring moment. It shows a connection and unity between the two of you.

I Do

Image: Pinterest

Capturing the first kiss is the ultimate goal for any good wedding photographer, so think about how you want to approach it!

And with all that to think about – and hopefully not adding too much stress – it’s time to slip away into a calming sleep, dreaming of the big day under a cucumber ice mask whilst wait for your nails to dry.

To ensure you and your bridal party are camera-ready for the big day, start planning your beauty regimen with a beauty bootcamp for the bridal party.

Congratulations on your wedding day!

 

 

 

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Does Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Really Work?

Have you heard about the activated charcoal teeth whitening craze? It is rapidly becoming one of the most popular ways to whiten teeth, but why? It seem counterintuitive, how can rubbing a black powder over your pearly whites actually take away stains instead of leaving them black as coal? People are often shocked when they first see activated charcoal being used in this way, but the truth is it has been a component of dental care for a lot longer than you think. Let’s take a closer look at activated charcoal, how it might whiten your teeth, and everything else you need to know about this huge beauty trend.

What Is Activated Charcoal?

Don’t just run out and get regular charcoal to start brushing with, activated charcoal is special and you need to get this variety to potentially reap the whitening benefits. According to WebMD, activated charcoal is formed after regular charcoal’s surface area is expanded through a combination of increased heat and gas or some other activating agent. These complex chemical changes give you what is popularly known as activated charcoal.

The History Behind Activated Charcoal and Teeth Whitening

Charcoal has been significant for centuries, and has been used for everything from treating water to combatting toxic poisonings. In fact, early versions of toothpaste including the one that the Romans used, often called for ground charcoal as one of the ingredients. While these uses were not specific to teeth whitening, they do prove that charcoal has been important to many societies for a very long time. It isn’t surprising that people are still discovering new uses for it.

How Do People Whiten with Activated Charcoal?

Whitening with activated charcoal looks a little strange, which is probably why it has gotten so much attention on the web recently. You’ve probably scrolled through one of your social feeds and noticed a video of someone brushing their teeth with something black. That’s how it looks when you brush with activated charcoal, like you are using a black toothpaste. First, obtain activated charcoal (not regular) that will be safe for you to brush your teeth with to get them white. Then, get a special toothbrush that is just for your charcoal brushing. Mix the powder with some water to make a paste, and put the paste on the brush. Then, brush the paste on your teeth for a few minutes (typically just two or three). Now comes a very important part, spit out the charcoal carefully. You don’t want to get it all over your outfit or bathroom. Then, rinse out your mouth with water and spit it out. Repeat the rinse and spit steps several times until you do not see any more charcoal powder on your teeth, gums, or anywhere else in your mouth. Otherwise it might migrate back to your teeth making your smile look unappealing and black.

The Dentist Verdict on Activated Charcoal for Whitening

Dentist Joseph Banker told Prevention that it did look like it had improved the whiteness of his teeth, but he also noted it wasn’t the neatest option. Blogger xoJane looked into the reason behind why activated charcoal seems to have a whitening effect, and her doctor Dr. Jessica Emery said it’s because the activated charcoal is attracted to tannins. Tannins are those things that lurk in your favorite dark colored drinks and leave behind ugly stains on your teeth. So if you are seeing lots of tannin stains from drinking red wine or something similar, it stands to reason that activated charcoal brushing might be able to help.

Alternative to Whitening with Activated Charcoal Powder

Not convinced that activated charcoal is right for you? Whitening strips that contain activated charcoal are an excellent alternative. For one thing, they are not nearly as messy as brushing with charcoal. The powder can get everywhere, not to mention how dark it is on your teeth while you use it. You have to be really careful and rinse thoroughly when you use activated charcoal to whiten your teeth. Otherwise you risk flashing people a smile that’s covered in black paste, which pretty much defeats the purpose of whitening.

Whitening your teeth with activated charcoal is a natural way to get rid of some of the unsightly surface stains that might be lingering on your teeth. It is a trade-off, because the process can be a bit messy and has varying results depending on the person and how stained their teeth look when they start the process. Talk to your dentist and get their take on using activated charcoal in your whitening routine. It never hurts to ask!

Learn more about what your smile says about you and your health.  

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OTC Whitening Kits and Dentist Teeth Whitening: What’s the Difference?

Photo of pearly whites after using a dental bleaching kitImage: Oasisdentalcare

When you smile, do you like what you see? Everyone wants to have stunningly white teeth, but for some of us it can be tougher to achieve that perfect smile. Thankfully, there is help out there in the form of teeth whitening products and treatments. Turning your dull, stained, or yellow teeth into a brilliant shade of white can be just a few treatments away!

If you're looking to brighten up your smile you might be wondering what is the safest way to whiten your teeth.  We understand that looking into the various types teeth bleaching products available on the market can be a little overwhelming. There are tons of options out there, and sometimes the choices can all blend together.

The main options available are:

  1. Dental whitening procedure - offered in-chair by your dentist; or
  2. Over the counter, at-home teeth whitening kits.

One especially big distinction that people want to understand is what the difference is between an over the counter teeth whitening kit, compared to bleaching by a dental professional. 

What Is a Dental Whitening Procedure?

Photo of dental bleaching procedure at the dentist, not a kitImage: kreativedentalclinic

Professional dental (in-chair) treatments

When you go to the dentist, you can ask if the office provides professional bleaching treatments. These treatments involve the dentist painting a bleaching gel on each tooth. As the Colgate Oral Care Center explains, this gel is pretty powerful, “in-office whitening procedures are carefully monitored and contain a higher concentration of bleaching gel.” The bleach is left on for a specific amount of time, and much like a kit, a light may be used to help increase the results you see. A professional whitening session typically lasts between 30 and 60 minutes depending on the type of bleaching agent used. The molds used for the procedure are made by the dentist to mold perfectly to your teeth, offering a very precise procedure. 

The benefits of a professional whitening treatment: 

  1. A dental professional knows your teeth and your enamel, so they can judge whether it will work for you; 
  2. Unlike with a kit, the process is fully monitored, as is the progress of the teeth whitening treatment while you're in the chair; and 
  3. The gel used to whiten your teeth can be stronger that you might find in a kit as it is closely monitored by a dental professional. 

We'll go into further detail about these benefits vs a kit to help you choose the best option for your individual needs.

What Are Over the Counter Whitening Kits?

Pearly Whites professional kit

There is a wide range of teeth whitening products available both online and in your local pharmacy. One type that has been growing in popularity is teeth whitening kits. A kit typically comes with special trays that will fit snugly over your teeth. When you open the kit, you will find the trays, a specific type of whitening gel, and in some cases, a portable LED light. The purpose of the light is to increase the power by activating the bleaching ingredients. However, some kits do not use the light method, and rely on the active ingredients to complete the treatment.

Each kit comes with specific instructions, but you will typically need to place a designated amount of gel in each tray. You will then place the tray over your teeth to hold the gel closely against each tooth and ensure they all are exposed to the bleaching agents. You will generally need to wear the trays for a specific amount of time (usually under an hour) for a few days to a few weeks in order to see the full results.

What is included in the kit?

An over the counter whitening kit will generally (but not always) contain: 

  • a set of moldable mouth trays for use on your top and bottom teeth;
  • bleaching gel;
  • a LED light is offered by some companies; and
  • a set of clear instructions to ensure the safest treatment for you at home. 

Which Type Is Right for Me?

First, it is important to talk to your dentist. They will be able to give you helpful advice about which products will work best while keeping your pearly whites nice and healthy. Your dentist can also check your teeth to make sure they are in good shape and will be good candidates for the procedure.

Beyond a dental consultation, the choice of which type of whitening you get is up to you. There are a few important factors you should consider when deciding whether to use a kit or get it done at the dentist:

  1. How much do you want to spend? This is an important question because teeth whitening costs can vary greatly. Kits can range from close to $100 and up, while most professional in-chair dental treatments cost around $650.
  2. How discolored are your teeth? Check out your current smile, is it just a bit dull or does it need a lot of work? The type of treatment you choose depends heavily on how much improvement you want to see. If you just want your teeth to be a few shades lighter, you might want to do a less intense treatment, like you would get with a kit. If you suffer from  extreme tooth staining or discoloration, you should probably consider a professional treatment as the agents used are more aggressive. Professional treatments are especially popular with people who drink a lot of red wine or coffee, and people who smoke heavily.
  3. Where do you want to receive your treatment? Some people aren’t big fans of going to the dentist, and would much prefer to do their treatments using a kit at home. Other people find it tough to remember to use the kit consistently, so they prefer to go to the dentist and get it done quickly.

There are people who absolutely love both the in-chair and kit methods. We recommend you do your research and consider your options when choosing which type of teeth whitening will be best for you.  We recommend you consider how safe it is to whiten your teeth and the cost of teeth whitening when making your decision.

Please do note that some people report an increase in tooth sensitivity after treatments, so it is extremely important to make sure your teeth are very healthy when you start. Whether you choose to use a kit or go for in-chair dental bleaching, you can look forward to a brighter smile in your future!

 

 

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DIY Bridal Beauty Tips for the Budget Savvy Bride

DIY Bridal Beauty Tips for the Budget Savvy Bride

 

Feel like using some of your creative energy? Use it to DIY your perfect wedding right from your own home. You can make everything from decor and invitations to custom fashion pieces and accessories all by yourself. The cost of a wedding can quickly spiral out of control and become overwhelming, so if there are ways to cut down on the budget for the big day then we recommend trying it. It’s true that DIY takes some extra time and effort, but there’s a huge payoff. You’ll be saving money and your wedding will have a unique, one-of-a-kind feel that you can’t buy in a store. Even brides who aren’t very craft-inclined can make DIY wedding magic using our tips.

Do Your Own Makeup

We’re sure you have masses of amazing makeup already stashed around your bathroom, so why not utilize what you’ve already got rather than hiring a makeup artist? We live in the age of the internet, and you can learn how to do literally any beauty or makeup look from YouTube tutorials. Test-drive your look before your big day to make sure you have everything you need and master the techniques you’ll be using. Otherwise, enlist a makeup savvy bridesmaid or girlfriend to help you out. After all, no one can say no to the bride!

  

 

Do Your Own Hair

DIY bridal hair styles

If you’re a simple type of gal, we recommend doing your own hair and saving money on an expensive stylist. After all, you’ve done your own hair thousands of times before, so why not today? As long as you have a flat iron, a curler, and plenty of hairspray and bobby pins, you cannot go wrong with doing your own ‘do’. Obviously, the easiest bridal hairstyle to do at home is loose, simple curls which you can achieve with a curling wand. We love this look with middle parted hair and perhaps even two small braids pulled back on each side. You can also learn how to do a variety of ornate looking braids and up dos online. Again, do a test drive before the big day to make sure you have all the products and techniques down. Remember, practice makes perfect.

Whiten Your Teeth At Home

Weddings are all about the details. We know you’ve got your beauty routine planned out to the very last detail, but don’t scrimp on the small stuff. You absolutely must whiten your teeth before the big day. Since professional teeth whitening can be super expensive and it can take months to get an appointment, why not try an effective, at-home teeth whitening system kit, or try some teeth whitening strips?

 

A Store-bought Dress Isn’t Always the Best Dress

Recycle a wedding dress

If your mom, grandma, aunt, or friend is handy with a needle and thread, enlist them to make you a custom, one-of-a-kind wedding dress. Since most people aren’t lucky enough to have a friend who knows how to sew couture-level wedding gowns, check out the wedding pictures from the women in your family and see if any of them would be willing to gift you their vintage wedding dress. Vintage is always a yes, and we’re sure one of your female relatives would be honored to loan you their retired wedding gown. If their gowns are outdated, never fear. Even with minimal sewing skills, you can rework an old dress to create a modern, magical gown. It’s just a matter of getting rid of those shoulder pads, tailoring the silhouette, and perhaps letting out a hem or two. Get creative!

Raid your grandma’s jewelry box

As the old adage goes, you need something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue to ensure a happy marriage. With vintage accessories from your mother, aunts, or grandma, you can knock out both borrowed and old. We love vintage gold jewelry, especially when it comes to earrings and necklaces. They’re funky and unique. If the jewelry you find at your grandma’s house is a little worse for the wear, never fear. Pick up some polish at your local craft store and get scrubbing. Those pieces will be restored to their former glory in no time. 

Create a Fresh Hair Piece

Get crafty with hair accessories

Flower crowns are just so perfectly lovely for a garden wedding. They look wonderful holding down a veil and they give you that magical, fairy princess look. Who isn’t on board for that? A fresh flower crown is actually one of the easiest DIY accessories. You can use the same flowers from your bouquet to keep with your color scheme and avoid a trip to the backyard or to a florist. Simply select three flowers to begin and loosely braid the stems together, adding more flowers along the way, the same way you would with a French braid. Once the flower string is long enough, pin the ends together into a crown shape, and finish off the crown by sticking leaves, flowers, and ribbons into the braid. Easy, classic, and gorgeous.

So there you have some top tips for brides on a budget looking to get creative and add that personal touch to the most important day of your life. Whether you want a mix of DIY and store bought for your big day, see the bride’s one year guide to planning a wedding for some excellent planning tips. We wish you all the happiness in the world as you plan your perfect day!

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The Ultimate Father’s Day Gift Guide

With Father’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to start looking around and finding the perfect gift to celebrate your dad. Although there are endless generic gift ideas, you don’t have to stick with the traditional white shirt and “Best Dad in the World” mug combination – we’ve got your back with a list of creative ideas from sporty and casual to elegant and luxurious.

The Classy Dad

image via tumblr.com

If your dad is absolutely obsessed with collecting vintage treasures and has a more elegant wardrobe than most dads, he is probably a true gentleman at heart. Whether is a collector or just generally enjoys looking elegant and classy, surprise him with something truly unique. Visit an antique boutique for inspiration: paintings, notebooks, small collectibles, special edition books and little vintage décor items and classic fragrances are all great gift ideas that he will surely love. To stick with the antique theme, choose gold, bronze, crystal or wooden décor items that have a vintage flare, and for clothes, pick out a special pair of cufflinks or tie that he couldn’t find anywhere else. Personalize your gift with a small note (especially if it’s a notebook or book) and don’t be afraid to get a bit emotional and thank him for all he’s done in the past years.

The Adventurous Dad

image via health.com

He’s always either in the park, on a backpack tour with his friends or on a vacation? For an adventurous dad, the most fitting gift idea is probably a whole new experience. Take him to somewhere new…and don’t worry, you don’t have to rob a bank and take him to Hawaii to make your gift personal and unique. Discover a new place together in your hometown or go to a small village nearby and spend the day there exploring the place. You will not only gift him the adventure of exploring something new, but you also give him your free time and the opportunity to spend a whole day with you and catch up.

The Chef Dad

image via Bloomberg.com

If your dad could watch cooking shows and talk about recipes for ages, we’ve got the perfect gift ideas for him. An impromptu cooking class with his daughter sounds perfect, right? If you’d like to surprise him with a learning session, make sure you find something special, such as an Asian cuisine guide or a baking class. If he wouldn’t really enjoy a cooking class, take him out to eat (choose a small, hidden restaurant instead of the obvious choices) or cook dinner for him. 

The Well-Groomed Dad

image via etsy.com

Gift your dad that luxurious extra with an elegant fragrance, a grooming set or a teeth whitening kit. Instead of the regular choices, try to do your research and choose something limited edition or outstanding that still fits his taste and personality. For example, if he has a specific fragrance note preference, search for colognes that have that top note with a unique blend of other ingredients, or dive into the grooming section of Etsy to find one of a kind, natural treasures. Even if your dad does not seem to be very invested in the world of grooming, he will surely appreciate a grooming or pampering gift set. Introduce him to skincare essentials with a high-quality men’s skincare brand, such as Gentlemen Floris or Nurse Jamie for Men.

The Tech-Addict Dad

image via etsy.com

Wireless headphones, waterproof phones and all that other tech stuff you don’t even know about…I know, finding a gift for a tech-addict dad might be a challenge, but there is no need to spend hours in an electronic store, trying to figure out the newest tech trends (if you’re not familiar with the topic –  you’re just like your dad, go for it and pick out something he’ll love!). Instead, stick with the fun side of technology and gift him something that is practical and shows his love for technology (such as a new laptop case).

Don’t Forget To Say Thank You

image via pinterest.com

No matter what gift you choose, ensure you include a Thank you letter or note. It doesn’t have be too long, but expressing your feelings and gratefulness will make your present a lot more personalized and will probably make him happier than any gift that you can buy.

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