Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.
Guest list? Check. Décor? Check. Menu? Check. You have all the event details covered, but what about your beauty prep? Looking your best requires a “run of show” all its own. That’s why we turned to renowned dermatologist and Dr. Brandt protégée, Dr. Robert Anolik of the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York, and Janice Worth, founder of Anushka Spa Salon and Cosmedical Centre in West Palm Beach, Florida, to help us figure out what beauty treatments to do when, so we can make sure we look our fête-fabulous best on party day. So stir up a Pretty Lady, read on, and start scheduling your appointments.
Three Months Before: Body Contouring
If you have “an inch (or more) to pinch,” it could be gone before the big event if your timing is right. There are a variety of non-invasive fat-melting treatments that can eliminate stubborn fat without changing your diet or stepping up your fitness regimen. Worth is a fan of SculpSure, which can permanently reduce 25% of the fat in treated areas—but it takes 12 weeks to see the full results. “Most clients are pleased with one treatment, but others come back for a second to reduce even more fat,” explains Worth. “This is a wonderful non-surgical option with no downtime at all.”
One Month Before: Fraxel Restore Dual
If you want to minimize fine lines, wrinkles, dullness and discoloration, and improve skin texture, a non-ablative fractional laser treatment, such as Fraxel Restore Dual, is the way to go—but you’ll need about a week of downtime before you can debut your newfound lit-from-within glow. “You can expect skin to look a bit pink and puffy for the first few days and then very dry and flaky until five or so days after treatment,” explains Dr. Anolik. Although it takes only a week to recover, he recommends scheduling fractional resurfacing one month before an event so you can show off the additional benefits that can take a few weeks to become apparent. “In addition to dramatic skin-brightening, these treatments also promote collagen-building that improves skin texture.”
One to Two Weeks Before: Injectables
Proper timing is crucial when it comes to any injectable treatment, whether it’s filler, Botox/Dysport/Xeomin, or Kybella. Dr. Anolik says that filler injections can be performed up to the day of an event since results are visible instantly, but he advises scheduling treatment one to two weeks before because of the risk of bruising. “If necessary, we can use a pulsed dye laser to make a bruise all but disappear within a matter of hours,” but the ideal timing for treating these bruises is two to three days after they occur. In addition to potential bruising, injectable fillers can lead to some degree of swelling, especially when more is used and when injected in certain areas, such as the lips.
Dr. Anolik recommends the same scheduling guidelines for Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin. These can also cause bruising, but more importantly, it can take up to one week for the effects of these wrinkle-relaxing toxins to become visible.
One injectable treatment to avoid for at least two weeks before an event is Kybella. Though extremely effective for permanently reducing a double chin over a series of treatments, Kybella results in post-treatment swelling that can persist for a week or longer. “I wouldn’t plan this right before an important social engagement, but if you have one a few months down the road and this is a cosmetic issue for you, the results that can be achieved without surgery are impressive,” says Dr. Anolik.
Three to Four Days Before: Facial
Your skin needs time to calm down after a facial, so it’s best to schedule these treatments a few days before an event. “There’s always the potential for redness, flaking, or a breakout, so you want to have a little wiggle room in case you have a reaction,” explains Worth, who also recommends a pre-party enzyme mask or lactic acid peel to smooth and polish the skin’s surface. Worth’s number-one piece of advice: “Stick with treatments you’ve already experienced. If you want to try a new peel, do it a month before the event to make sure your skin tolerates it and you like the results.”
One to Two Days Before: Clear & Brilliant
If you can’t afford any downtime or have just a few days before an event, Dr. Anolik recommends a mild non-ablative fractional resurfacing treatment such as Clear & Brilliant, which counts Jennifer Aniston among its devotees. “I have many patients—including models and celebrities—who come in for this treatment a few days before key events because it has a nice brightening effect on the skin.”
The Day Before: Venus Freeze MP2
Worth refers to a pre-event Venus Freeze MP2 radiofrequency skin-tightening treatment as the Palm Beach Party Lift because it offers a 48-hour “Cinderella effect” that enhances the definition of facial contours. No, you won’t turn into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight, but a series of Venus treatments is recommended for longer-lasting results.
The Day Of: Haircut
Odds are you’re getting a blowout for the big event, so why not take care of your regular maintenance at the same time? But there’s a major caveat here: Don’t do anything drastic in case you’re unhappy with the result. Sure, an event is a great opportunity to debut a new ‘do to friends and family, but you don’t want your hair to be the topic of cocktail-hour conversation—and you do want time to disguise a bad cut with extensions, a hat/fascinator or, worst-case scenario, a wig.
Beauty Story Welcome Photo and Quote Mashup
Welcome photo: Joan Blondell
Welcome quote: The African Queen, 1951