Mom’s Big Event Countdown: A 7-Day Beauty Prep Plan

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Manic:  When a big event like a wedding, graduation or party is scheduled, many times moms spend all week getting everyone else in the family ready, but what about mom?  I know that I’ve made sure that my family had hair cuts, shoes that fit and clean clothes to wear for the special occasion, only to realize that I failed to get myself ready.  So, I end up with chipped nails and a dress that I forgot to dry clean!

Managed:  So when our show producer, Stephanie, shared an idea with me to put together a beauty timeline for prepping for a big event, I agreed that it would be a fun and helpful segment.  Here is a 7-day plan that will have you looking and feeling great, along with your family, when the big day arrives. 

7 Days Before Big Event—Schedule Stuff & Be Healthy
If you really want to treat yourself, do what the celebrities do, schedule yourself with a makeup artist the day of the event.  I’ve done this and several of my gal pals have also scheduled a makeup session with Celebrity Makeup Artist Karen Hall, who is also our show’s makeup pro.  She will do your makeup and your hair and you will leave looking and feeling like a million bucks!  For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit

Be sure to also make any other appointments that you are going to need in the next 7 days, such as hair appointments, nails, etc. 

One full week before the big event, take the time to check in with your healthy habits.  Get your sleep this week or else you will be tired on the big day and it will show under your eyes.  Parent yourself and get to bed at a decent hour every night leading up the special day.

Drink a ton of water.  Stay hydrated and eat well for your health and for your skin.  Plus all of that water will help to flush out toxins and keep your metabolism moving.

For breakfast all week, I recommend eating lots of plain, non-fat yogurt mixed with fresh berries that provide beneficial antioxidants.  Plus the plain low-fat yogurt gives your body a good dose of protein that benefits hair and nails, as well as the beneficial live culture bacteria that is good for the intestinal tract. 

Check out the book, “The Beauty Diet” by Lisa Drayer, M.A., R.D. ( for more on beauty foods and healthy recipes.

6 Days Before Big Event—Wardrobe Dry Run
Today is all about your wardrobe.  Try on your complete planned outfit.  From head to toe, put on your outfit, jewelry, shoes and even a hair accessory that you plan to wear that day.  Also match a purse to your ensemble.  Put on a little fashion show for yourself.  This way if you need shoes, that perfect necklace or matching purse, you have time to shop.  Imagine that?  Shopping for yourself for once!  Go for it! 

Also be sure to check the Sunday paper and your emails for fashion sales and coupons.  Just this last Sunday, I found great sales in the Kohl’s and JC Penney inserts, plus some dresses that intrigued me as well.  So, if I don’t have a lot of time, I can take that catalog in the shop and ask an employee where to look for my size in the store. 

To save money, shop your own closet.  Do you have a suitable outfit that fits the way you want it to?  Does it need to be dry cleaned or altered?  Trying it on 6 days in advance gives you time to do these things, if needed.
5 Days Before Big Event—Waxing, Hair Color & Makeup Check
If you plan to have waxing done on your eyebrows or the skin above the upper lip, give yourself five days in advance, just in case your skin has a reaction.  Years ago, I made the mistake of having a wax the day before my wedding and on the way to our honeymoon, my new husband wanted to know why I had a Kool-Aid mustache!  Oops!  My skin reacted, but at least it didn’t happen until after the wedding!  So, take it from me and do this five days before the big day.

Celebrity Makeup Artist Karen Hall recommends getting your hair colored the week of the event because she says the color looks best the first week on most women.  Since I’ve never colored or even highlighted my hair, I would only do this if it is a color that you have prior experience with, so you don’t end up with any unexpected color surprises just days before your event. 

Do a makeup check.  Are you about to run out of that perfect lip shade that you looking forward to wearing that day?  Is your mascara getting clumpy?  Check all that now, so you can replace what you need the next time you are at the grocery or drug store.
4 Days Before Big Event–Pedicure
Pamper yourself with a pedi.  Since nail polish lasts longer on toes, five days in advance works fine.  Remember to refrain from shaving your legs before you go in for a pedicure because using a razor that day may leave behind nicks and open pores, making it easier for possible bacteria to enter your body.

If you are having gel nail polish applied, then you can get away with doing a gel manicure five days out, too.  However, recent research suggests that the UV light that is used in the nail lamps to dry the gel product, may be a skin cancer risk, so either save gel manis for special occasions and/or wear sunscreen on your hands.  Gel polish will last about two weeks without chipping, so it is a nice option for a big event that may last over several days.
3 Days Before Big Event—A Spray Tan?  I Tried One!
If you want to tan, don’t lay out in the sun.  We now know just how dangerous it is for our bodies to sunbathe.  Because I was curious about spray tanning, I had one done for this column.  A spray tan only lasts 5 to 7 days, so you want to have it done just a few days before the event.  I went to Dolce Salon & Spa ( and I was impressed with the result.  For $25, my body was completely spray-tanned in less than 3 minutes.  Quick and easy. 

Spray tanning is FDA approved, but keep in mind that you are spraying chemicals on your body, so for me personally, I only do it for special occasions. 

One thing I’ll do differently if I do another spray tan, is to skip my face.  The jury is still out on how harmful inhaling the chemicals that spray your body may be.  When my face was being sprayed, I held my breath and closed my eyes, but at one point, I breathed in at the wrong time and inhaled the stuff!  I didn’t like or mean to do that!  My face also looked noticeably sun-burned the rest of the day, which welcomed curious questions from family and friends, so don’t get spray-tanned the day of your big event.  Thankfully, my face looked good the next day!

I plan to post a follow-up article about how I did as the spray tan wore up, so stay tuned for that in the next day or two.

2 Days Before Big Event – Purse Packing Check
When I wait until right before it’s time to go to pack my purse, I usually leave something behind because I’m rushing.  Since you may change purses to one that matches the occasion, pack it now.  Remember to put in the lip gloss, lip stick and powder that you’ll wear that day.  If you plan to take a camera, charge it and put it in your handbag today.  Remember to throw in your phone (and cell car charger), a couple of band aids and a nail clipper just in case.  If you need to buy anything like chap stick, mints, or the miniature flossers disposable toothbrush pack (I recommend these to quickly get food out of your teeth in time for event pictures!), doing this exercise two days before gives you time to buy what you need.  You may also want to throw in your reader glasses to read menus in dark restaurants. 

1 Day Before Big Event – Hair Plan & Nails
If you did not do gel nails, then get your nails done today to decrease the probability of chipping.  Professional nail tech, Roxie, from Dolce Salon & Spa ( recommends a protective top coat by CNDC called Super Shiney.  This product is a super-hard, high-gloss top coat that seals and protects nail color. 

Have a hair plan.  If you are planning on wearing an up do, wash your hair today, not the day of the event.  Hair with a little oil stays up better and this is one time when not having freshly-washed hair will help your stylist and you when it comes to having your hair put up. 

Fill up the tank so you’re car is ready to go tomorrow, too.  Go ahead and get it washed as well, in case you are driving guests or use a valet service. 

Woo Hoo Event Day!
If you scheduled that makeup session with a makeup artist, go enjoy and be stress-free while she works her magic on you!  It’s the best!

When my regular stylist is out of town, I like to go to Great Clips for a blow-out and style or same-day up do.  I’ve had great luck with their different locations, here and in other cities.  And now you can check-in online with Great Clips (, so that when you arrive, you are already checked in and probably won’t have to wait.  Plus the website tells you what the current wait is when you check the location nearest to you.  Simply go to for more information and to check in.

Now that you and your family look great and are ready to go, have a blast!  And if you are having cocktails, remember to drink water in between every sip!  This is a trick that will help you drink less alcohol and feel better the next day.

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