C California Style

Prep Work

by C California Style

For brides-to-be with a targeted beauty mission, three experts divulge their secret formulas.


To get ready for the big day, Craig Balcom, senior program guide at The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu, devises a step-by-step regimen.

BEFORE YOU BEGIN: Get weighed and measured. Write your numbers down and your goal, and post on your refrigerator, then update your progress monthly. 1 YEAR: Start walking: 45 minutes after lunch and 30 minutes after dinner. 9 MONTHS: Simple is good-—think: push-ups, sit-ups and squats. Pick one for Monday, one for Tuesday and one for Wednesday. Rest a day, then repeat. Set a goal of 100 reps per day. 6 MONTHS: Try tennis, racquetball, basketball, swimming, hiking, biking, cross-country skiing or surfing. Plan on at least an hour or two of being an athlete four to six times a week. 3 MONTHS: Invest in a pedometer: Aim to take between 14,000 to 20,000 steps a day. Make sure to incorporate vertical steps (up hills or stairs) to get your heart rate up. 1 MONTH: Stress will bulk you up, so try five minutes of deep breathing each morning, or yoga classes or meditation training. Find daily time for something you enjoy: Play music, read, write, paint or garden. 1 WEEK: The wedding is all about you, so find balance and get grounded by doing something for others less fortunate. A good deed or two will do more for you than everything you have done thus far. DAY BEFORE: Do as little as possible, and rest and laugh with friends. theranchmalibu.com.


Joanna Czech, the specialist behind some of Hollywood’s most radiant complexions (Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet are regulars) and La Mer’s global skincare adviser, offers tips on how to achieve a flawless visage from the inside out.

1 YEAR: Purify your diet. Incorporate dark leafy greens and drink at least eight glasses of water per day. I like to follow Dr. Junger’s Clean Program. In six weeks you’ll see a dramatic difference in your skin and body, so keep it up until the big day. Begin a deep pore-cleansing facial (four treatments in the next month). I also recommend my diamond and sapphire peel married with LED light therapy. Use Biologique Recherche’s balancing exfoliators P50, P50V or P50W (depending on skin sensitivity) twice daily to maintain the epidermis’s acid pH. 11 MONTHS: Schedule six to eight treatments of LED light therapy targeting hyperpigmentation, rosacea, dehydration and fine lines. 6 MONTHS: Continue with monthly LED light therapy sessions combined with a hydrating facial massage [Czech favors La Mer’s The Concentrate]. At home, try Protective Nourishment’s Pumpkin Peel for its brightening qualities (it’s also great for breakouts and won’t irritate). For a body treatment, use Environ’s Derma-Lac Lotion and Vitamin A, C and E Body Oil after your shower at night for a youthful, toned glow. DAY BEFORE: To reduce puffiness, drink water and snack on foods like apples and tomatoes to drain fluid from tissue. After getting a collagen or algae mask, get some sleep! joannaczech.com.


Sisters and cookbook authors Heather Goldberg and Jenny Engel, founders of L.A.–based gourmet vegan food company Spork Foods, offer tips for healthy eating and provide a foolproof plan.

1 YEAR: Ditch processed foods and incorporate cooked lentils or other beans into your diet (they have been shown to reduce belly fat). Choose whole grains like brown rice, instead of processed bread. Drink water throughout the day. It helps remove waste and maintain a healthy metabolism—spruce it up with some cucumber rings, fresh mint or berries. 9 MONTHS: Increase the fat-burning foods in your diet. We make a spicy dressing with a few hot chilies, some olive oil, lemon juice, a dash of sea salt and pepper, and a touch of maple syrup to balance the heat. Blend and serve the mixture over your greens. 6 MONTHS: Try a natural remedy for relaxation. Ours is kuzu pudding—kuzu is a root starch that is a known stress reducer. Whisk it into a pot with your favorite juice or some chocolate almond milk, and make a pudding by cooking it on medium heat for about three minutes. 3 MONTHS: Now is the time to commit to the cleansing portion of your wedding prep. If you cut out dairy at this stage, chances are you’ll drop a few pounds. Almond milk is a delicious alternative, and the unsweetened variety has 30 calories per cup and no cholesterol. 1 MONTH: Try eating more natural forms of healthy fats like avocado. 1 WEEK: The week before the wedding can come with a lot of stress. Drink fresh peppermint tea. Peppermint relaxes you both through the aroma and the antioxidants in the mint. For a savory remedy, try basil oil to relieve a headache from strained or tense muscles. DAY OF: Have a good breakfast such as oatmeal. Be sure to keep a lot of small, well-balanced snacks on hand, like hummus and veggies, mixed nuts or a small avocado roll to help regulate blood sugar. sporkfoods.com.

As told to Caroline Cagney and Jennie Nunn.