Beauty

A life with a singular path can be a fruitful one—even if that path is a Mad Max-ian death race to possess the softest skin humanly possible. In part, it inspired me to study and understand products, which is useful knowledge when your job requires you to study and understand products.

Call it an occupational hazard; call it destiny.

When my now-fiancé cooed at my skin’s softness, it was easy to think: This is the one. Late last year and after seven years of dating, he slid a ring onto the world’s softest finger—it went on as easily as melted butter across hot toast.

Now, with our engagement party on the horizon, I knew this was my time to shine. You know: take my velvety limbs to even softer levels. I decided to take Olay’s two-week challenge, a skincare journey based on incorporating Olay Ribbons Body Wash into your routine two weeks out from a big event.

Our party, the first in what I’m sure will be many wedding-related events, was an obvious event worthy of the challenge. With body wash in hand, I created a to-do list of all the things I needed to get done before my big day. Here’s how it all went down—and how my skin looked.

(Spoiler: Real good.)

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Hanna Hillier

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Hanna Hillier

The first thing I changed when starting to think about the party was kicking things up in my skincare world. Olay’s two-week challenge is all about getting your limbs glowy and ready-for-my-closeup status, so it was a no-brainer. I promptly poured a bubble bath and started treating myself.

I soaked, sipped some rosé, and lathered up (I picked the lavender scented option). It was relaxing me-time that was also achieving a purpose: I knew whatever I decided to wear would show off my arms, chest, and legs and that, as the star of the evening, the spotlight would be mine. I needed my skin to look its best ever.

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Hanna Hillier

A certain royal couple made a custom drink for their wedding, called the “When Harry Met Meghan” (ginger and rum, get it?). Taking a page from the couple’s playbook, my fiancé and I decided to create a signature drink for my, I mean, our engagement party. I went to a great local bar, The James, near my house to do some research on what my less-royal version of the “When Harry Met Meghan” might taste like.

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Hanna Hillier

I’m the sort of woman who searches the drink menu for a beverage that will put some hair on my chest, and he’s more interested in sampling what’s on tap from the local brewery (don’t worry: Not all of his habits have a way of loudly broadcasting that he lives in Brooklyn). Finding a balance of our two distinct tastes—and personalities—wasn’t the easiest thing, but if anything could bring us closer together it’s day drinking.

The first drink we sampled had notes of lemon, cinnamon, and honey; my skin had notes of lavender, shimmer, moisture.

Oh, sorry, did I get distracted?

I was only a few days into my 2-week challenge, but I was already feeling the Olay effects. Blame the alcohol or blame my new comes-in-a-bottle best friend, but I was already well on my way to nurturing the glowing, radiant skin I wanted for my party.

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Hanna Hillier

I had my friend and coworker Leah come over for a tour of the space we planned to use for the big event. We’re having people over to the common area in my apartment building, which is super convenient, but also means it doesn’t have the natural flow you’d get in a restaurant or lounge.

My biggest struggle in party planning is deciding where I’m going to put everything so my guests can feel calm and cool. Our conversation went something like this:

Leah: “Where will the wine be?”

Chloe: “I think here, should we open some up right now?

Leah: “Yes, and I also think you can probably put the hors d’oeuvre here?

Chloe: “I think we will have them passed on trays.”

Leah: “How fancy is this party?”

Chloe: “The fanciest party I or anyone else has ever thrown.”

Chloe and Leah: “We have a lot to do. Let’s go get some wine.”

It’s worth noting that Leah also noticed that my skin was looking more radiant than usual. What are friends for?

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Hanna Hillier

I didn’t want to stress over doing my own makeup for the party, so I called in a pro (and booked a test run before). I haven’t figured out my actual wedding makeup, but I knew I wanted this look to be traditional: gorgeous eyes, gorgeous cheeks, gorgeous lips.

We started by creating a clean base and building from there. The more mascara, the more blush, the more color, the better! I have big plans for my party, and I want my makeup look to reflect that. My body glow was being taken care of through the two-week challenge, so I needed to create a face beat that matched. After a few trials and errors, I decided on the ultimate look and was really happy with the result.

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Hanna Hillier

My mom came into town from southern California a week before our actual engagement party, and, lucky me, she’s always been my go-to when it comes to fashion. We’ve been conjuring up looks and scheming all things bridal since I got engaged a few months ago, so it was a no-brainer she’d help me pick out my party look.

I wanted something white—you’re only a bride-to-be once!—to keep with the getting-married theme, but didn’t want to go full-on matrimonial. I found Mom a comfy chair, and we turned my bedroom into its own runway. Mom suggestions as follows: “Maybe we can get it a little shorter?;” “Let’s get it tighter;” “Your skin is so soft and glowing!”

I have a cool mom, not a regular mom.

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Courtesy of The Bride

The party was the. best. night. ever.

We laughed, we danced, we drank, we were merry. My two-week challenge was complete and I could not have been happier with the results.

I ended up changing my outfit last minute—I needed to show off that glow!—and ordered a feather mini dress. It arrived two hours before the party, but was perfect. The cut showed off my shiny, shimmery legs and arms and really stood out among the crowd, a priority when you’re the bride. Plus, it was the perfect match to my fiancé’s classic crisp white shirt (he ended up really loving my feathers).

The signature drink was popular—maybe a little too popular—and all of our guests really appreciated our theme of cheap fast-food noshes. The life-size cardboard cutout of us we ordered on a whim was a big winner too.

If planning the engagement party was this easy, the wedding should be a piece of cake, right? I’m moving forward prepared for some frustrations, but fully confident that I’ll have gorgeous skin for the bigger big day.

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