The wedding date is drawing near and you are filled with a terrific panic. Nothing appears right! You spend a greater part of your walking hours examining yourself in front of the mirror. Every small blemish appears magnified. Take a deep breath and relax! First of all, plan out your skin and hair care routine two months in advance. Begin by consulting a beauty expert as to what treatment you should routinely follow. Make a chart of your daily beauty regime and hand it up where you will not miss it.

Whatever the cost, go for quality treatment only. You cannot afford to compromise on the quality of cosmetics, creams, lotions, oils, shampoos and such other beauty aids that you will be using. Start your daily care right away by acting upon all the advice you are getting from the experts. You cannot turn into a stunning beauty overnight. And remember, a stitch in time does save nine more !

BODY : Anointing the bride's body with scented oils and pastes for several days before the weddings has been an age-old custom in Indian marriages. Scented oils obtained from flowers, roots leaves, spices and different types of wood was usually used. Arrange to have a body message once a week. It will tone up your skin, ease tired muscles and rejuvenate you - a perfect start to the hectic schedule ahead of you. However, if a regular body massage is not possible, then the next option is to add 1/4 cup of olive oil to your bucket of daily bath. Use it as a last rinse, after you have washed off all the soap from your body.

FACE : A perfect face means a healthy, glowing skin. So rather than camouflaging the dark circles and pimples with make-up, it is better to begin by improving the condition of your skin naturally. No amount of make-up will ever be able to replace the natural glow on a bride's face and no amount of blusher can be a substitute for a blushing bride. Clean, tone and moisturize your skin regularly and above all, know your skin type before you start a skin treatment regime. Do not go by what suits your best friend or your sister, for all skin type are different and hence, must be treated differently.

SKIN: The skin must be exfoliated regularly, but never scrub your face with such force or else you will graze your skin. Scrubbing must always be done in rotating movements but very gently. If you have under eye dark circles, massage the area tenderly with pure almond oil to which you have added an equal quantity of coconut oil and a few drops of lemon juice. Leave this on for about an hour and wipe off with a moist cotton wool pad that has been dipped in milk. If you follow this remedy every day for about two weeks, it will fade away the most stubborn of dark circles. However, for this treatment to be effective, you must avoid late night parties and have your complete beauty sleep without fail. At the same time, increase your water intake to at least ten glasses a day and also ensure that you are taking plenty of green vegetables and fruits in your daily diet.

EYES : The eyes are the most sensuous and expressive part of the face. It is a good idea to experiment with different colors and type of eye make-up till you find the right ones to suit your face. Do not base your judgment on what you have seen the latest model wearing. For the Indian bride, no amount of eye make-up is complete without the use of kohl for kohl enhances and brings a sparkle even to the most dull pair of eyes. Take care to use a kohl of good quality only, for the eyes are delicate organs and can react adversely to foreign objects.

HAIR : The hair should be well conditioned. Lustrous hair, short or long tresses and well-cut, are a woman's delight. Oil your hair regularly with almond oil or bhringraj oil which if pure may smell quite medicine but works wonders for the scalp. Always steam your hair after the oiling by wrapping your head with a towel from which hot water has been squeezed out. You may use henna on your hari for that extra bounce and shine. But, if you do not particularly like the color of henna, then you may try a hair pack with the following ingredients in it : 2 eggs, 2 tsps shikakai powder, 2 tsps amla powder, 2 tsps reetha powder, 2 tsps powdered fenugreek. Mix all these together and apply from the root of the hair onto the scalp, up till the hair ends. Leave on for about half an hour and wash off with a mild shampoo. This pack should be applied once a week. It is effective for strengthening and conditioning the hair as it acts as food for the hair.

Hair rinses are also excellent for the hair. If you have dry hair, then after shampooing, rinse out the hair with a litre of water to which you have added 1tsp pure honey, if you have oil and limp hair use stale beer as a last rinse or a glass of strained tea water to which you have added the juice of one lemon. Since these can be made very easily at home, you can use it regularly.

HAND & FEET : Do not ignore your hands and feet. The bride's feet and ankles are often adorned with intricate designs of henna, so start taking precautionary treatment to heal cracks and yellow nails right away. Go in for regular pedicures. At home you can massage your feet with sesame seed oil every night to keep them soft and protected from developing cracks. If you have a hectic lifestyle, then at night before preparing for bed, soak your feet in half a bucket of warm water in which you have added cup sesame oil, 2 tbs sandalwood oil, 2 tsb milk powder, 2 tsp oatmeal and 1tsp powdered camphor. Soak your feet for about ten minutes then scrub then with a pumice stone on which you have taken the oatmeal. Your feet will feel petal soft and the camphor will help relieve tiredness and improve blood circulation.

Avoid nail polish on both hands and feet for a least four weeks before the wedding. This will allow your nails to breathe as well as prevent them from becoming yellow. A regular manicure is a must, for the hands will be adorned with bracelets and rings. Apply almond oil onto the hands every night before sleeping and twice a week apply the following : Melted was from a candle, 4 tsb sesame oil, 4 tsb sandal oil, 2 tsb milk. Mix well in a saucepan. Paint it on the hands using a broad dye brush and leave on until it solidifies. Be careful that you do no apply the wax on too hot otherwise you could end up burning yourself. Once it has solidified, peel off the wax. Your hands will feel like new! To protect long nails from becoming brittle, have a teaspoon of gelating every day with half a glass of water for two weeks. You will find that your nails do not break anymore.

Remember, no beauty expert can achieve any of the above for your overnight. To weave that magic spell over your groom, you must put together all the ingredients for your beauty treatment well in advance and follow the procedures diligently. So pamper your body and watch yourself glow with beauty, good health and happiness when the big day dawns. The admiration in your groom's eyes will be reward enough!