Sep 5th, 2013 by Katie
This week we welcome new blogger, Megan McAuliffe who has some tips for us on getting ready for your wedding in slow style. Over to Megan…
5 slow beauty steps to get you down the aisle looking, and feeling, amazing
There is an ironic twist to our well mapped out wedding plans: in order to get to the big day radiating the joy of a blissful bride, we have to march through an onslaught of stress and tension. Then, worn out, we flop into our wedding dress, put on a big smile, knock back a Bloody Mary and fall down the aisle.
Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but we understand, it is exhausting.
So, how do we make it to the chapel all in one piece, and drop dead gorgeous at the same time?
Here’s a liberating concept: Slow down, take time off the grid, throw away all those quick fixes and transform your beauty routine into a meaningful, holistic practice.
‘Slow beauty’ is a philosophy and an inner-outer fusion which takes time and dedication. We all know that when we feel good, we look good. Which is, in essence, the key to true beauty.
1. Slow rituals
We could all take a leaf out of the Ancients’ book. They worshipped rituals, performing daily practices of love for ourselves and reverence for life. And, with our bodies, minds and spirits so overloaded by our fast-paced lifestyles, rituals help us feel alive, calm and content.
Light candles, draw a fragrant bath of jojoba oil and frankincense and give your skin a thorough body brush. Dry skin brushing helps shed dead skin cells and encourages your body to discard metabolic waste. Gently heat massage-grade sesame, coconut or sweet almond oil and massage it into your skin from head to toe.
Take some time out to sit and daydream, read a book, or get away to the country and walk amongst nature. Whatever your ritual, do not underestimate these subtle, restful respites. We need these moments to experience regeneration on a cellular level.
Close your day with a meditation. Even ten minutes a day of silent breathing has been proven to make you feel younger, improve health and longevity and keep your brain sharper, for longer. Deep breathing slows down brain waves and releases endorphins into the bloodstream; a regular practice strengthens the immune system, helps to maintain a youthful appearance and calms the nervous system.
2. Slow treatments
Whether it’s monthly sessions at a spa for beautification or the realignment of your teeth in preparation for those wedding photos, beauty isn’t about being stuck on a conveyor belt of quick fixes and pre-packaged wonder creams.
According to research, 45% of adults are unhappy with their teeth, but most feel that braces are for children. Invisible braces or Lingual braces are a gentle, slow, yet effective way to straighten the teeth and a socially acceptable way for adults to feel happy about their teeth.
After all, smiling is good for us, studies have shown that when we smile a real ‘Duchenne’ smile, endorphins are released that result in feelings of euphoria and relaxation.
3. Slow food
The Slow Food movement has caught on fast, a welcome counter to the fast food movement that wreaks havoc on our bodies. We are enjoying better quality food which has been produced in its natural state, harvested in the right season and baked with loving care. Eating is a ritual in itself, take time to sip and savour, rather than eating on the run.
And if our ancestors could knock back six pounds of dark green leafy vegetables a day, a salad or two and a green juice in the morning would be a perfect way to get your pre-wedding beauty regime off to a satisfying start. Green veggies are packed full of vitamins B, C and E which protect our cells from damage, and small amounts of Omega 3s which gobble up fat and cleanse the blood.
4. Slow skincare
For too long, the beauty industry has been churning out products that fail to nourish our body. Products full of harmful synthetic chemicals, which over the long haul do indelible damage to our cells. Natural skincare products use safer and kinder alternatives to keep our skin healthy and youthful. Natural Wisdom Organic Skincare and balance Me have beautiful products and strong ethical and eco values.
If it’s consumer information you want, there is a fantastic US-based resource called www.truthinaging.com which has unbiased reviews on all sorts of chemical-free beauty products.
Your kitchen probably has a handful of items you can use for skincare. Mashed up fruit such as papaya, grape, lemon or lime work well as natural cleansers. So do yoghurt, milk, honey and coconut oil. Here are five homemade recipes to kickstart a natural beauty regime.
4. Slow medicine
The slow medicine concept is gaining momentum even among the medical community, which is increasingly promoting alternative therapies such as Reiki, acupuncture, herbalism and aromatherapy. Breathing exercises and therapies such as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) are being offered as a way to release hypertension and stress. Weddings are notorious for causing anxiety, slow medicine is an effective way to promote wellbeing and relaxation.
5. Slow Movement
More and more people are turning their bodies and minds to slower forms of exercise such as yoga, tai chi and even superslow weightlifting for muscle strength.
It has been acknowledged that slow exercise is smarter as it uses precise, careful movements to push the muscles to become fully fatigued. Slower movements increases strength without placing unnecessary wear and tear on the body. In other words, you get all the benefits of a hearty jog, without having to wear a knee brace as a bridal accessory.
I hope you’ve found these 5 slow steps to becoming that blissful bride helpful. If you have more ways to slow down in the run up to your wedding, we’d love to hear them.
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