Bridal Beauty Countdown with Karen Cummings-Palmer

Time for part two of our bridal blog series with the jaw-droppingly beautiful Karen Cummings-Palmer (she's the very definition of 'lit-from-within'). She stopped by our offices to chat supplements, skin care, exercise and stress-relief... and left us all feeling serene, inspired (and more than a little bit jealous of her genes (and leather jeans)).

{Cult Beauty} Karen, your skin looks flawless (absolutely flawless). Please tell us your secrets!

{Karen Cummings-Palmer} I'm practising wearing foundation - I've decided to do my own wedding make up, to ensure I feel like 'myself' on the day. It means a lot of trial and error - I want the perfect dewy base, that won't slide off or look too 'shiny' on camera. It's not an easy task, so I'm testing things out in rotation - base one day, lips the next... (I'm keeping the overall 'look' under wraps). I'd definitely advise fellow brides-to-be to do their research - wedding days are long and emotional, so you have to look beautiful and feel confident. It's well worth putting some products through their paces, and now is a good time to start.

{CB} But that 'glow' can't be purely superficial...

{K C-P} Well, I have upped the supplements a little... I'm taking {Youth} religiously, which is brilliant for all-round wellness. It sounds bizarre, but it just makes everything more 'juicy' - my skin looks plumper, and I feel more energised and optimistic. Emotionally - it adds a bit of sparkle - and the effects kick-in quite quickly (within around four weeks).

I've also been loving the Foreo {LUNA}. Even my facialist has noticed an improvement (which means it's not just my imagination). It's definitely softened my lines (although we aren't convinced that there were any to begin with), and I'm sure there's a definite 'lifting' effect. I also love the ritual of it - it's a really easy way to dedicate 2 - 3 minutes to yourself every morning (or evening) - something so many of us neglect to do, but that's really important for emotional wellbeing - especially during times of stress. Buy a pink one and indulge in the femininity of the whole skin care experience. It's sensual and relaxing and a wonderful way to find much-needed 'me time'.

{CB} And dare we mention the 'e' word...?

{K C-P} Haha! Yes - although I am definitely not a gym person. I actually found the whole "I must push myself three times a week" fixation quite detrimental; I was ravenous after a long gym session, and didn't do anything physical in between work outs. I've since developed a routine that works with my lifestyle - I do ten minutes every day, without fail. A mixture of weights, stretches (there's a pilates influence), dips and crunches - quick bursts of intensity, that I can space out (and do in the kitchen) if need be. Never watch a kettle boil - do some push-ups against the kitchen counter - and try to factor some exercise into your normal routine, so it quickly becomes automatic (and non-negotiable).

If you're going strapless on the big day, concentrate on toning your arms - keep some weights by your desk, or the TV, and do a few repetitions as often as possible. Little chunks of exercise are just as good (if not better) than one loooong, punishing stint on the cross-trainer - just remember not to sacrifice 'good' in pursuit of perfection. A small effort can make a big impact!

{CB} And stress?

{K C-P} I'm lucky that my wedding will be fairly low-key - but that said, there's no escaping a degree of stress. Most women could benefit from increasing their vitamin B intake - I swear by Strong Nutrients' {Chill Pill} - and a lot of us forget to breathe... as ludicrous as that might sound. If you feel yourself getting worked up, make a conscious effort to control your breathing; relax your shoulders and use your diaphragm. Inhale slowly through your nose, for the count of ten - expanding your tummy as you do so. Then exhale through your mouth, again to the count of ten. This forces you to focus on one thing, and helps regain perspective when everything's getting too much.