Big Primpin': Part I

So about one year from my big day, I decided that I needed to start making some changes to my personal habits in order to look and feel my best for the big day. One thing I knew I needed to get working on immediately was my skin—particularly my face. Now my skin overall is in pretty decent shape—sure I get the occasional breakouts and my skin sometimes gets a little too oily in the summer and dry in the winter, but otherwise it’s OK. However, I have a terrible habit of picking at my face (I know, I know—so gross!!), which has subsequently lead to some dark spots on my skin. It’s something that I just do mindlessly (particularly when I’m stressed or bored), so I decided it was time to STOP with the bad habits and start the yearlong process of beautifying my skin. So here’s what I’m doing to get my skin looking fabulous for my wedding day.


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Getting monthly facials.

I figured this was my best shot at evening out my skin tone, so I’ve been getting monthly facials for the past eight months and have gone to the same esthetician each time. This has worked WONDERS on my face so far, so make sure you 1) go to someone professional who takes the time to analyze exactly what your skin needs and 2) steers clear of products that contain too many chemicals. The spa I go to for facials uses Eminence Organic Skincare products (100% organic).

I even started getting peels as part of my facials (it took me a while to get comfortable with this—who doesn’t remember that episode of Sex and the City when Samantha gets a chemical peel and her face ends up looking like raw ground beef??), but like all of Eminence’s products, the peels are completely organic. Now because I had a few things I needed to improve on my skin, I felt I needed to start the process a year in advance. But if you don’t have too many skin issues or if paying for monthly facials is simply out of the question (I actually get a really good deal for mine so they aren’t as expensive), scaling this back to every other month should work as well, as long as you continue to maintain good skincare habits at home between each session.


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Replacing all my regular skincare products with organic products.

I feel like I’ve tried nearly every skincare product under the sun. I’ve tried drugstore brands and fancy brands, and I can say with 100% certainty that nothing has worked as well on my face as Eminence’s products. I didn’t buy them right away because they were expensive at the spa and I figured it was probably a gimmick to get you to spend more money. But after my first three months of getting facials, my skin reacted so well to the products that I decided to get a few products of my own for daily upkeep at home. So I initially bought two products (on Amazon, as they were much cheaper than at the spa) and used them regularly for a few weeks…and started noticing that I wasn’t breaking out as much and my skin was starting to even out. Then a month ago, I bought two more products and saw that my skin was starting to glow. I am absolutely obsessed with this brand now!


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Exfoliating with Olay ProX.

The drugstore version of the insanely expensive Clarisonic, this is a wonderful product to use a few nights a week to slough off dead skin, pollution, and all the other yucky things that mess with your face on a daily basis. Use for at least 60 seconds (max two minutes), and your face actually feels deeply cleansed down to the pore. This will run you about $20–$40 at the drugstore and it comes with Olay’s own exfoliation cleanser wash (afterward, you will just need to replace the brush head a few times a year). Just make sure to clean the brush with antibacterial soap every few days so you’re not putting the stuff you clean off right back on your face.

Part II to follow!


Mrs. Mongoose

New Haven, CT
Wedding Date:
May 2013
Gallery of the Day
Walking on Sunshine: We Dance!

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  1. graywolf Member
    graywolf 725 posts, Busy bee @ 10:09 am

    great tips! have you used the clarisonic – does the olay version work just as well? i’ve been thinking of splurging on a clarisonic but maybe this would be a better idea..

  2. Member
    ecjohnson 157 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:13 am

    I just got a brush similar to the Clarisonic (thanks Groupon!) and I can’t wait to see/hope it improves my skin!

  3. Member
    jilleeann 409 posts, Helper bee @ 10:24 am

    Oh goodness, I do that too! I never even realize it until its too late and already done. Props to you for sharing this, and know you are not alone. I’m terrible with keeping up with my daily beauty habits, its so hard when there are things to do/make/read/watch/read. Also, something my makeup guy reminds me to do is wash your makeup brushes. He said to use dawn (yes the dish-washing liquid soup) to clean them and keep them bacteria free.

  4. Member
    mkelove 666 posts, Busy bee @ 10:25 am

    I have the same exact issues with my skin! Now that it’s a new year I should really start taking better care of my skin so it will look a lot better come my September wedding.

  5. mswallaby Member
    mswallaby 2070 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:44 am

    Baha I love the blog title! You are such a good bride! I didn’t change any of my skincare before our wedding. I have annoying adult acne – it’s not THAT bad but it is noticeable and Mr. W always harangues me about going to a dermatologist for some powerful stuff. I’ve been curious about Clarisonic vs. Olay brushes (I already use Olay for moisturizer), I think you’ve persuaded me to spring for the Olay brush!

  6. msmongoose Member
    msmongoose 264 posts, Helper bee @ 12:24 pm

    @Miss Gray Wolf: I can’t speak for the Clarisonic because I haven’t tried it, but I think the Olay brush works very well. When your face is particularly grimy, you can see all the dirt collected on the brush that’s been scrubbed off your face. Gross to look at, but I take that as a sign of it working!

    @ecjohnson: Good luck!

    @jilleeann: & @mkelove: Glad I’m not alone in my bad habits 😉

    @Mrs. Wallaby: Hahaha when I look at the blog title I hear Jay-Z in my head. I say go for the brush and see how you like it!

  7. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:22 pm

    I wish I had gotten in the habit of getting facials. I still have never had one!

    I, too, stepped up my skin care routine during planning. I became a Sephora VIB in an alarming hurry last year as a result! Oops!

  8. panda Member
    Mrs. Panda 1359 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:08 pm

    wow you are dedicated… such a smart move to do it so early, I should figure out a routine…

  9. Member
    shortbread 290 posts, Helper bee @ 7:56 pm

    I love my Olay ProX it really does a great job. I’m not sure what the Clarisonic would do differently than this does. I bought my Olay ProX at Costco and it was a really good deal. I read your post and immediately called to make my microderm abrasion appointment that I have a Groupon for. My poor fiance will now be getting on a skincare routine..he doesn’t know it yet :). We have five months to get our faces in the best shape possible. I’m also working on gradually whitening my teeth for the big day as well.

  10. Member
    shortbread 290 posts, Helper bee @ 7:58 pm

    @Miss Mongoose: I also wanted to add that drinking water is really good for your skin. I know I’m making more of an effort to drink tons of water throughout the day! Not sure if you covered this somewhere and I missed it.

  11. Member
    ChicagoDreamer 509 posts, Busy bee @ 8:11 pm

    I very much want to use the Olay ProX. I think that will be a New Years resolution item!

  12. msmongoose Member
    msmongoose 264 posts, Helper bee @ 8:32 pm

    @Shortbread: Absolutely! That’s actually in part two of my post–you didn’t miss it, I think it goes live tomorrow :)

  13. Member
    ahigg396 67 posts, Worker bee @ 8:59 am

    AH! Can we see before and after pictures?!

  14. msmongoose Member
    msmongoose 264 posts, Helper bee @ 11:12 am

    @ahigg396: Oh man I’m the worst–I totally forgot to take “before” pictures haha.

  15. Member
    shida_girl 32 posts, Newbee @ 9:29 pm

    I LOVE Eminence products! They have awesome products for the blemishes. I actually use the Stone Crop Whipped Moisturizer. It actually has a blemish/peel product in it and it removed a spot on my forehead (of course they always come on your forehead!) They make a ton of items that I love for the skin, both face and body. As a brown girl, finding products that work for my skin AND are organic can be a challenge. Sounds like you have a great regimen!

  16. msmongoose Member
    msmongoose 264 posts, Helper bee @ 7:14 am

    @shida_girl: YES, love the Stone Crop line! I have the face wash and the masque–I’m going to order the moisturizer soon, so I’m glad to hear that it works well for you. And they smell amazing :)

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