Photo: Courtesy of vendors; Illustration by Christina Park
Looking like the best version of yourself on your wedding day (and beyond!) can be pretty pricy. In fact, brides spend an average of $1,851 on beauty products during their engagement alone. Instead of dumping those funds into products that don't perform, try our editor-approved list, filled with the very best beauty buys for 2015.
So how do you know these picks are actually worth the price? The editors at Brides tested hundreds of products to bring you the best of the best and today we're focusing in on our favorite products to give you a flawless face by the time you say "I do."
1. Cleansing Wipes: Yes to Cucumbers Facial Wipes, $5.99
After a long night of dancing (or working on that seating chart!), there are a tired girl's best friend. "They're quick, they're easy, and they're the only wipes that didn't leave me with raccoon eyes," says our tester, who also loved the fresh, nonperfumey scent.
2. Makeup Remover: Maybelline New York Except Eyes 100 % Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover, $4.65
We love a good smoky eye, but the full-on production to remove them? Not so much. This formula, which whisks away shadow, liner, and mascara without the rubbing, tugging, or greasy residue typically involved. Says one editor, "I wear industrial-strength waterproof mascara and this is the only thing that took if all off without leaving me oily."
3. Redness Reducer: La Roche-Posay Rosaliac Localized Redness Skin Perfecting Moisturizer, $38
"I'm usually self-conscious about the redness on my cheeks, but this really neutralized it," says our tester of this lotion, which combines Zanthine (to calm flushing) and green tint (to help conceal ruddiness). "It also didn't irritate my skin at all — even though pretty much everything does! — and made a nice layer under my foundation."
4. Night Cream: Nia 24 Skin Strengthening Complex, $93
In a category packed with enriching nutrients, this tube stood out. The ceramides soften, while niacin strengthens skin's barrier and goes to town on fine lines. Our tester was immediately hooked. "Ever since I started using it, my skin has felt moisturized, not greasy, and looks so much more even," she says. "I'm convinced that it cleared up some pimples on my forehead too."
5. Day Cream: Olay Regenerist UV Defense Regenerating Lotion SPF 50, $25
This light-as-air, peptide-and-antioxidant-packed hydrator sinks in immediately with zero chalkiness, which is why we did a double take when we saw the ultrahigh SPF on the label. "It moisturizes without being overpowering. You won't even feel it on you skin," says our tester. "And there's not a hint of that yucky sunscreen smell."
6. Gadget: Clarisonic Mia 2 Sonic Facial Cleansing Brush, $149
We haven't met a derm yet who doesn't swear by this ting, and after giving it a whirl, our tester agreed: "The oscillating bristles are powerful but not too abrasive for my sensitive skin," she says. "It feels like a deep cleaning for my pores — in the best way possible."
7. Face Mask: SK-II Facial Treatment Mask, $95 for six
Models, celebrities, and makeup artists are all obsessed with this mask. And for good reason: It gives you a noticeably bright complexion in just one 10-minute session, making it the perfect wedding-day pregame. Says our tester, "My skin felt baby soft after using it and had an almost J.Lo level of radiance."
8. Antiager: SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum, $270
Lines, wrinkles, dark spots? Bring 'em on! And no need to pile on treatment after treatment: This potent blend of proteins, peptides, and antioxidants is a total overachiever, tackling virtually anything your complexion wants to dish out. "It makes my skin so glowy, and I love that I need only a tiny dab to cover my entire face and neck," says our tester.
9. Brightening Treatment: Garnier Skin Renew Dark Spot Treatment Mask, $17
This 10-minute miracle has vitamin C to reduce dark spots, glycerin to hydrate, and one completely devoted new fan: "It makes my skin so dewy and radiant," says our grateful tester. "I don't have to give it back, do I?"
10. Acne Fighter: Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment, $5.99
If you have a recurring dream about waking up with a pimple on your big day (it's not just us, right?), keep this classic benzoyl-peroxide treatment on hand. It's just the right thing to swiftly battle last-minute pre-wedding breakouts. Says our tester, "I put it on before bed when I could feel a big zit coming on, and it was barely visible by the time I woke up." Sold.