Pre Wedding Journals | Beauty - My routine then, and what I’d do now

My beauty routine was turned sideways in the lead up to my our wedding, despite having perfect skin until I was 25 I fell victim to what can be best described as ‘adult acne’ - and yes, it really is a thing. I’d been through a whole year of being unhappy with my skin, and of course I left it until four months out from the biggest day of my life to do anything about it (read: DO NOT recommend).  But it was needed. On top of having put up with horrid, stubborn acne which just looked like white spots all over my forehead, I developed painful hormonal craters along my jawline that always decided to appear at the time of the month you’re clearly feeling the best about yourself… not.

I got on the phone and literally begged Christchurch Dermatologist Dr Victoria Scott Lang to take me on as a client, and found myself taking Oratane from that December, through until June the next year. The money side of things was what put me off for soooooo long, but once I got to the counter after my first appointment, I found my medical insurance covered my problem - you could probably read what was going through my mind in that moment! If you’re interested in reading about this drug more commonly known as Roaccutane (Isotretinoin), check it here. If not, the low down is that it turns your skin into and unpredictable, scaly mess - and oh boy it got worse before it got better! After a lot of experimentation I learnt that simple is best, but not before I endured a couple of days so bad I didn’t want to face the world with my skin the way it was. Personally, I found that the drug definitely cleared up the more hormonal type spots, but it didn’t give me the results I was after on my forehead.

Sharing this story with you all has been sitting in the back of my mind literally as long as I have had my wedding images back, but I didn’t just want to write this post specifically for acne sufferers. Every bride and groom deserve to look and feel their best EVER on their wedding day, so what you will find as you read this ginormous blog are the things I did for my skin in the lead up to my wedding along with things I would do differently, or incorporate now - Oratane or not.


November 2016, Just as I started Oratane

November 2016, Just as I started Oratane

Our Wedding Day, March 2017 - Captured by Willams Photography

Our Wedding Day, March 2017 - Captured by Willams Photography

March 2018 - Unedited image

March 2018 - Unedited image



My wedding build up Facials became so hit and miss so I put them to bed and invested in a Clarisonic which I paired with a Lancome cleanser for dry skin. For the nights I was feeling lazy, Tailor Oil Cleanse came to the rescue. I used the Tailor Mud Mask every week to spot treat any nasties, and slathered my face morning and night with Linden Leaves Miraculous Facial Oil - it was truly a saving grace finding this bottle of magic. Makeup wise, my routine didn’t change too much other than swapping foundation for tinted moisturiser which i found to help let my skin breathe, along with makeup setting sprays, and a hydrating primer for the really bad days.

If I was to do it now, Oratane or not I would be doing the same routine, just with some different products. My holy grail cleanser without a doubt is the Oxygen Skincare Creme Cleanser which is half the cost and does a far better job at taking off your makeup, and every couple of nights I will double cleanse with Institut L-Lactic Cleanser which is available from The Cosmetic Clinic. I jump out of the shower, take off any excess grime with a cotton pad and micellar water, then pop on an oil. My absolute favourite is Zoe and Bios Deluxe Botanical Beauty Oil. It’s a serious splurge, but hey, in the lead up to your wedding a certain phrase comes to mind and that my friends is #treatyoself. Otherwise, Linden Leaves Miraculous Facial Oil is still a close second, followed by Oxygen’s Ultimate Botanical Serum. If I’m feeling particularly dry, I’ll follow that up with Oxygen’s Night Creme Moisturiser, and every morning with their Refreshing Moisture before makeup.

While we were on honeymoon, I decided to stop taking Oratane. I was blocked up, feeling down all the time and my liver function was starting to *very* slowly decline. When we got home I saw Victoria again and decided to start trying topical treatments now I had the big event behind me. I invested in an Ocosmedics O-Biotics B3 Plus Serum and could honestly swear that on my forehead that product alone made more difference in two weeks than six weeks on Oratane ever did! Backing up that step, I started visiting The Cosmetic Clinic every three weeks for their 9-step Microdermabrasion to get on top of things. These steps would be incorporated into my routine if I was to get hitched all over again - A thousand times over!



My hair routine was easy with regular trips to the goddesses at Pure Hair, weekly Olaplex masks and plenty of EVO Fabuloso toner, combined with a couple of pumps of Moroccan Oil every time my mane got wet. On my last trip to visit Pure pre wedding I got the most amazing shine treatment, my hair has never felt more luxurious - 10/10 it’s amazing and you need it for any event!

If I was to do it again, I hand on heart wouldn’t change a thing now!



Fact - After 24 years on this earth, I only started to grow my nails because Nick told me he wouldn’t marry a woman with nasty fingers... So I stopped biting! I’m not the most regular visitor to the nail salon, and I do think it’s nice to give your nails a break now and then, however four months out from the wedding I scheduled three weekly visits to get my talons primed and perfected by the most insanely talented Chantelle who now runs Blush, and it also gave me time to pick the colour for our big day.

There is no ‘if I was to do it again’ here, I’m telling you that you need Chantelle in your life.


Hair Removal

Well, lets just say $1,900 of IPL treatments has pretty much gone down the gurgler thanks to Oratane. A side effect of the drug is that your skin becomes more sensitive to sun, so needless to say putting a laser could be likened to frying your pink bits. Not good for me, or hubby to-be! Waxing is one thing to be careful of too, as your skin is much more sensitive and can be prone to ripping off in some cases, but I started seeing a fab waxer and never looked back.

If I was to do it again, I definitely think I wouldn’t have jumped on skin meds which would have totally opened up my options. With that in mind I would have definitely continued getting laser treatment through The Cosmetic Clinic.

There’s two things I have trust issues over - I’ve been burnt before! The hair on my head, and the hair on my face and I have totally converted to using Eilish from Eilish Rose Beauty Therapy to look after my brows. I’d definitely throw a lash lift in the mix if I was to get married again, something the ladies at The Pamper Bar introduced me to and holy WOW it was amazing!



Who doesn’t want a sun kissed glow, I mean come on! A bottle of Loving Tan is perfection for home jobs, but for those special occasions I can’t go past The Tan Bar and their gorgeously looking natural tans to even out my skin tone. You can check out a previous post on my experience with The Tan Bar, including tanning tips and tricks here.  Regular exfoliation and moisturising is the secret, and it's such a beautiful experience now thanks to Sugar Cube Co and their sugar scrubs which I use daily. The ingredients keep your skin supple and smooth, as well as help remove your tan gradually, and unlike coffee scrubs. it won't turn your shower into a mess! Tempted to try it? Use the code CHCHWEDDINGS for 15% off your Sugar Cube Co purchase.


My favourite products for the job

My favourite products for the job


I have the loveliest, most caring massage therapist in the world who I absolutely love visiting and letting the magic happen. Nami from Healing Space is based in Hornby and is a master of her craft. If you prefer a relaxation massage, she won’t be for you, but with my gym training her techniques are perfect. No matter how hard she is on my body, I always leave feeling relaxed and supple - just how a Bride should be. I’m terrible keeping up with regular massage, although I highly recommend it to everyone, but I made sure to get one a week out from our big day to put the tension at bay.


Food and Drink

Inner nourishment equals outer beauty, it’s as simple as that. There’s a few words I don’t like on this planet, and one of those is “diet” - It’s just so restrictive! In the lead up to your wedding you have so much time to try eating different types of food and see how your body reacts to it. I had exactly that in the lead up to our wedding when it came to being competition fit. Each time I would try eating a different way and see how my body reacted. By the end, I knew what worked best for me to feel, and look the best I could be and I replicated that a few weeks out from the big day. And don’t forget to hydrate, kids! The difference between hydrated and dehydrated skin is so phenomenal and it really makes a difference to the results of any makeup application. Three litres a day is a great measure for me when I’m training so you may find yourself drinking slightly less but it’s so important to get that water down you! We’re so lucky to have some of the most delicious water in the country (well, until the council doused our water supply over the last week) so make the most of it, and if it’s really not your style try infusing it with some fresh fruit, or a scoop of flavoured aminos.



Abs might be made in the kitchen, but the gym sure helps! Not only is exercise fab for getting your wedding ready bod, but it’s a great stress outlet too - something all brides need a bit of from time to time! We have so many amazing facilities around town now, and you can often trial a place for a week or two to see if it’s for you before committing. Some of my favourites are Crossfit, F45 and Olympic Weightlifting. I’d love to try Zuu one day soon!


When it comes to the crunch, your wedding is the one day you want to be looking and feeling a million dollars inside and out. Use the months in the lead up to the big day to spoil yourself, and take time out to relax and unwind, however that may be. I literally cannot stress enough how important it is to take care of your skin and body, and if you’re as unhappy about something as I was with my skin, please don’t leave it to chance; Take the plunge and do something about it when time is on your side. Oratane was a drastic measure for me which I believed was necessary given the time frames, but if I’d just started my skin journey a year prior I honestly believe that I could have combated the problem topically instead of putting such a nasty drug into my system.


Until next,

With love, Lucy_4 Grey.png