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Bluemercury founder Marla Beck developed an easy-to-follow bridal beauty routine for Washingtonian readers, guaranteed to leave you with radiant skin By Samantha Miller

The last thing any bride wants to think about on her wedding day is how to conceal a monstrous blemish. Luckily, we chatted with Marla Beck, the blond bombshell behind one of Washington’s most luxurious skin care stores, Bluemercury.

“The whole goal of a bride is to have smooth, healthy, glowing skin,” Beck says. And to achieve that enviable I-just-woke-up-looking-this-way effect, she recommends adopting a beauty routine five months before the big day.

First thing’s first: See a specialist. “I would advise going to see a spa esthetician that can get you on a regular routine to treat any issues,” she says. That way, reoccurring problems like acne or hyperpigmentation can be treated with prescription-grade creams. After that, it’s time to embrace the big “e”—exfoliation.

“Exfoliating gets rid of the dead surface cells and brings out the new skin. And if you do that three times a week for the five months—or even three months—before your wedding, you’ll see new skin.” To start, Beck recommends using (1) Cane + Austin’s Retexturizing Treatment Pads, a one-step, at-home glycolic treatment that gently sweeps away dead skin. The pads are gentle enough to use three times a week—every day if your skin is a bit tougher. But if chemical exfoliants make you nervous, (2) REN’s Micro Polish Cleanser is a popular alternative.

On the down side, glycolic treatments and exfoliants can make your skin more susceptible to burning, so be sure to slather on the sunscreen (which you should be doing anyway—ahem). Beck suggests (3) ReVive’s SPF 45, an emollient lotion that protects against UVA and UBA rays.

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Posted at 11:19 AM/ET, 09/21/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()

Did I fall off the bridal-boot-camp wagon? Sort of—figuring out I would be gone almost every weekend in May (Mother’s Day in Wisconsin, trips to Philadelphia and Delaware) made me swap out my eight-week, two-session commitment for a four-week, one-session stint.

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Posted at 11:51 AM/ET, 05/28/2008 | Permalink | Comments ()

You can sort of see me in the mirror, struggling along!
I’ve done some crazy things in the name of journalism before (hopping a fence at a John Kerry rally to get an interview; trick-or-treating at Maureen Dowd’s house), but nothing comes close to this one: Eight weeks of “bridal boot camp”—an exercise class geared toward brides-to-be—at Sport & Health in McLean (1800 Old Meadow Rd.; 703-556-6550). On Saturday mornings. At 7 AM.

The Fit-Brides program—there’s also a resistance class on Tuesdays and a Pilates class on Thursdays, both at 6:30 PM—attracts brides such as Michelle Pycior, who started the first four-week session on Saturday and is getting married in October at Raspberry Plain in Leesburg. “I’m pretty healthy already as far as exercise and food,” she says, “but I just want to be a little more toned all over.” Her wedding dress is sleeveless with thick straps—perfect for showing off defined arms.

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Posted at 01:44 PM/ET, 04/24/2008 | Permalink | Comments ()

Michelle and her fiancé, Mike, at their engagement party.
If you subscribe to this blog’s e-newsletter (and if you don’t, you should probably get on that), you read two weeks ago that I’ve pulled the (crazy? awesome?) move of joining a 7 AM Saturday workout class for brides. Yes, that means waking up at 6. I, however, am not as crazy or awesome as most of the women in the Fit-Brides program, who also have committed to Tuesday and Thursday evening classes.   

So how are things going? Michelle, who’s getting married in October, is one for two on her goals so far:

“The first week of class was tough. I was sore every day! I’m glad I committed to the program though. Now I’m not as sore, but the classes are still a challenge. Keeping the commitment to attend each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday is even more challenging. Since high school I have always made a point to get some kind of exercise, but I’ve been a yo-yo about it at best. That’s my first goal—to develop a habit of exercising regularly—and it’s going really well.

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Posted at 11:42 AM/ET, 04/23/2008 | Permalink | Comments ()