40 Best Beauty Products Brides Couldn’t Have Wed Without
“Hello, gorgeous!” The top picks from our fourth annual survey.
We asked the most reliable experts of all—brides, along with dermatologists and top hair and makeup pros—to share their favorite base, blush, shampoo, polish, and more. The ones that make you look and feel amazing, while withstanding tears of joy, inclement weather, and dancing till dawn. Here, the winners of our 2015 Big-Day Beauty Awards.
BareMinerals Original Foundation
Is it a setting powder? A foundation? A concealer? This multitasking marvel, a three-peat winner, does all that and more. Brides praised BareMinerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 for its “elegant, timeless finish” and color-matching coverage that hides flaws, well, flawlessly ($28).
Benefit High Beam
Every bride has a natural glow, but when nerves and stress step in, even Mother Nature can use an assist. A few dabs of Benefit High Beam on cheekbones delivers that magic, leaving skin luminescent and eyes a bit more twinkly. Consider this an I-dew ($26).
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
Category: Tinted Moisturizer
“There’s nothing like Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen,” says San Francisco makeup artist Joshua Conover. A much-imitated formula—and the cornerstone of any “no-makeup look”—it’s been perfecting skin for 17 years ($44).
Make Up Forever HD Invisible Cover Foundation
This foundation won’t leave skin looking chalky in pictures or washed-out on film. (The wedding album and video are saved!) Plus, “It gives complexions a natural radiance,” raves Seattle makeup artist Tiffany Lowry, and it’s available in 26 shades with a consistency that can be built up from sheer to full coverage ($43).
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
A wedding-day favorite for the second year in a row, Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer minimizes fine lines and pores and keeps makeup from migrating. And here’s a piece of prime intel: A few dots on lids or under eyes remove unwanted mascara without messing up foundation, divulges Conover ($36).
MAC Cosmetics Pro Longwear Concealer
For concealer that doesn’t collect in crevices or look cakey in photos, pros and real women alike swooned over MAC Cosmetics Pro Longwear Concealer’s luxurious, full-coverage formula. A little bit goes a long way toward obscuring everything from dark circles to discoloration ($20).
Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel
Category: Skin Savior
If a clear, smooth complexion is your goal, tear into Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel. A two-wipe regimen, with glycolic and salicylic acid-soaked towelettes, “It is worth the splurge,” says newlywed Cat DeHart, of Wildwood, Missouri. “It had my dry, sensitive skin glowing like never before.” ($88 for 30)
Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment
Category: Lip Tint
Low-maintenance gals and makeup mavens are united in their passionate love for Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment. Each of the 10 buttery-soft balms quench parched pouts without resorting to petroleum, lanolin, or mineral oil ($22.50).
Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss
Category: Lip Gloss
As this third BDBA win proves: Chanel lip gloss is beloved by brides everywhere. The newest, Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss, has a lacquerlike finish that “transforms lips from boring to gorgeous,” says newlywed Cassie Guerrera, of Norwood, Massachusetts ($34).
Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder
Consider this a foreshadowing of your honeymoon: Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder replicates that post-vacation, relaxed tan (minus the UV damage). Every one of the six options delivers a sun-kissed look with a matte finish ($40).
MAC Cosmetics Lipstick
There’s a reason the legendary MAC Cosmetics Lipstick is No. 1 for the third year running: Brides fall for its creamy formula and ultra-pigmented color. With an endless array of shades, textures, and finishes, you’re sure to find your other perfect match. We don’t think your spouse-to-be will mind ($16).
Garnering three times more votes than the runner-up, Nars Blush is a favorite, thanks (in part) to its mind-boggling selection of flattering shades—31 in all ($30).
Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray
Category: Setting Spray
Tear up the dance floor, or face a hot, sunny day with confidence that your makeup won’t have a melt down. A quick mist of Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray is like an invisible force field for your cosmetics. “I call it my ‘disco spray,’” says New York City makeup artist Sharon Becker ($30).
Diorshow earns its iconic status by delivering plush, glam, sky-high lashes that emulate falsies. We suggest the waterproof version ($25)!
Clinique All About Eyes
Category: Eye Cream
Whether you’re concerned about dryness, allergies, fine lines, puffiness, dark circles, or all the above, Clinique All About Eyes has you covered. It also helps keep concealer and shadow in place ($31).
Urban Decay Naked3
Category: Eye Shadow
To re-create the magical light at sunset, Urban Decay developed a range of universally flattering dusky-to-dark tones for its Naked3 palette. “I had no fear of appearing dated or trendy in my photos,” says bride Jennifer Vander Veer, of Rensselaerville, New York. “I looked like me—the glamorous version.” ($54)
Stila Smudge Stick Eye Liner
Among the 33 percent of surveyed brides who did their own makeup (or had a friend or relative help), many sang the praises of the waterproof Stila Smudge Stick Eye Liner, which comes in 30 shades ($20).
Clarins Beauty Flash Balm
This secret weapon works multiple miracles on skin that needs TLC ASAP, making it (wait for it) da balm! It can moisturize, brighten, and contour in 10 minutes flat ($46).
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz
Category: Brow Pencil
A well-defined brow instantly refreshes your face. For goof-proof results, the pros grab Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz. “The baby-fine-tipped pencil replicates the look of individual hairs,” says newlywed Audrey Crandell, of Petaluma, California. Available in nine shades ($21).
Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil
Category: Hair Treatment
This cult favorite can nourish skin and nails, but brides also love it for its third use: A drop of Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil distributed from roots to ends smooths wiry strands, leaving hair silky and shiny (from $14).
John Frieda Frizz Ease Original 6 Effects Serum
Category: Frizz Fighter
John Frieda Frizz Ease Original 6 Effects Serum is a triple-crown winner, earning three consecutive BDBA titles for ensuring hair doesn’t morph into a halo of ends. A tried-and-true favorite among professionals and non-pros, “It does exactly what it promises,” says New York City hairstylist Liam Carey ($10).
L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray
Category: Hair Spray
From runway looks to reality, L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray remains the go-to spritz for keeping updos (and down-dos) in place. “Other sprays always weighed down my fine hair,” says newlywed DeHart. “Trying it for the first time was like finding a whole new world of hair spray—as dramatic as that sounds!” ($15)
Pantene Pro-V Sheer Volume Weightless; Living Proof No Frizz
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray
Category: Styling Product
When hair needs some oomph, Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray comes to the rescue. “Spraying it on roots before styling created volume like never before!” exclaims Sara Grimaldi, a bride from Minneapolis. P.S. It doubles as a dry shampoo (from $22).
It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product
Brides rate this secret weapon tops for building body and de-tangling. However, this marvel also treats dry hair with natural and organic ingredients to repair damage, add shine, and control frizz. Plus, it can be used as a thermal protector on damp hair ($18).
Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub
Our respondents had a clear choice for getting a smooth complexion: Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub. The exfoliator washes away dead skin cells and impurities without causing irritation, revealing fresh, baby-soft skin beneath ($7.50, at drugstores).
Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser
You don’t want your wedding-day flush to be a bad reaction to a harsh face wash. Detergent-free Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser “has a 20-year track record with doctors for avoiding irritation,” says Boston dermatologist Ranella Hirsch ($8, at drugstores).
Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer With Sunscreen
We weren’t surprised when readers chose one of our all-time favorites, Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer With Sunscreen, for this year’s top honor. The vitamin-rich formula marries a light texture with solid sun protection: #oldiebutgoodie ($8, at drugstores).
Dove White Beauty Bar
Category: Body Wash
Talk about an old flame! Dove White Beauty Bar is a three-time BDBA winner (one that’s been beloved for 60 years). Melessa Chaves, of Queens, New York, turned to this “gentle, effective go-to” for her big day and beyond ($3.75 for 2, at drugstores).
St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse
“I tested oodles of self-tanners before my wedding,” says Jenna Galloway, of San Francisco. “St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse gave me the most natural glow that didn’t rub off on my dress.” With four times more votes than the competition, this is one bronzer that’s earned its gold-medal reputation ($42).
Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Spot Treatment Cream
Category: Spot Treatment
When it came to naming a product that banishes last-minute breakouts, Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Spot Treatment Cream was a natural. It gets its blemish-busting powers from salicylic acid, tea tree-leaf oil, and calendula ($10, at drugstores).
Nivea Skin Firming Hydration Body Lotion
Category: Body Cream
“To prep for my December wedding, I applied Nivea Skin Firming Hydration Body Lotion at night, confident I’d wake up to supersmooth skin,” says San Francisco bride Kathryn Kalabokes ($11, at drugstores).
Essie Nail Polish
Category: Pink Polish
Everyone has their favorite pink shade of Essie Nail Polish, but our brides gave shoutouts to Mademoiselle, Sugar Daddy, Ballet Slippers, Fiji, Allure, and Limo-scene, among many others, proving that those who want rosy tips reach for this little square bottle ($8.50).
OPI Nail Lacquer
Category: Red Polish
For classic crimson nails, OPI Nail Lacquer gets the red ribbon. This two-time winner seals the deal with an illustrious lineup of glamorous scarlet hues; our respondents name-checked Big Apple Red, Dutch Tulips, and I’m Not Really a Waitress ($10).
Category: Gel Polish
To get a manicure that lasts all the way through the wedding weekend and long after the farewell brunch, readers relied on CND Shellac. This pro-administered polish is cured with a UV light that locks in the effects for up to 14 days—long enough to go from aisle to island (manicures from $35, at salons).
Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle
“I chose Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle to feel ethereal, feminine, and strong on the biggest day of my life,” says California bride Shelby Wallace of the bergamot, jasmine, and patchouli blend—and she was in good company. “To this day I continue to wear it.” (From $90)
Crest 3D White Luxe Whitestrips Supreme Flexfit
Category: Smile Strip
Respondents raised their glasses to the ease and efficacy of Crest 3D White Luxe Whitestrips Supreme Flexfit for erasing signs of teeth-staining Kona coffee and plummy pinot noirs. The innovative strips custom-fit to your teeth and the no-slip grip means you can actually drink water while whitening ($65).
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