Big-Day Beauty Awards 2017: The 45 Best Beauty Products for Brides
A lot of legwork goes into finding the best of everything for your wedding—doesn't your beauty routine deserve the same attention? Luckily, we've done the sleuthing for you. This year's list of award winners is our biggest yet, with more than 800 brides and experts divulging the 44 hair, makeup, and skin-care hits that deliver flawlessly every time. Drumroll, please!
From the moment that ring first graces your finger, your manicure is on full display. To get hands ready for their close-up, brides love Essie Nail Polish's range of blush, rosy, and bright bridal hues—including Mademoiselle and Ballet Slippers, two colors that have earned cultlike status.
Essie Nail Polish, $9 each, essie.com.
Whether it's thanks to the stress-relieving lavender scent or the certified-organic ingredients, Dr. Bronner's 18-in-1 Hemp Lavender Pure-Castile Soap is a product brides feel good about. Made with a blend of coconut and jojoba oils, this concentrated formula can be used to wash most anything—your hands, body, hair, even the dishes!
Dr. Bronner's 18-in-1 Hemp Lavender Pure-Castile Soap, $11, drbronner.com.
Nuts for Argan
The word miracle is often bandied about when women describe the effects of this nourishing, frizz-fighting oil. So as extra insurance for the unpredictable Hawaiian weather, bride Stefanie Schmidt of Las Vegas made sure to lather up with OGX Argan Oil of Morocco shampoo and conditioner on her wedding day.
OGX Argan Oil of Morocco shampoo and conditioner, $8 each, ogxbeauty.com.
One and Done
Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes have earned a triple crown (they're a three-time winner) for their potency at dissolving long-wear and waterproof makeup, with ingredients that keep even sensitive skin happy. Praising their convenience, Morristown, New Jersey, bride Diane Rezek admits she'll never go back to soap and a washcloth.
Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes, $7, neutrogena.com.
You can thank the French for our brides' favorite cosmetic import: micellar water. The tap water–like cleanser is filled with molecules called micelles that gently whisk away makeup and dirt. It's "perfect for the big day—and every day," says Kenvil, New Jersey, reader Danielle Wilk of her love for Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water.
Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, $9, garnierusa.com.
There's nothing sexy about dandruff, though many of us are plagued by the flakes at one time or another. Now you can throw up your hands and rejoice over the new, sulfate-free L'Oréal Paris EverFresh Antidandruff shampoo and conditioner. Without the presence of stripping detergents, shoulders remain sprinkle-free and keratin and hair color maintain their vibrancy.
L'Oréal Paris EverFresh Antidandruff shampoo and conditioner, $8 each, lorealparisusa.com.
Rinse & Repeat
As a six-time winner, Dove body wash is a classic with a capital C. New this year: Dove Deep Moisture Shower Foam, which cleans with a lighter feel.
Dove Deep Moisture Shower Foam, $6, dove.com.
It's Da Balm
When skin is feeling tight and dry, Clinique Take the Day Off Balm does the trick, melting into a milky lather that removes makeup and quenches thirsty skin. Detroit bride Meaghan Anderson considers it her "holy grail" product.
Clinique Take the Day Off Balm, $29, clinique.com.
Who doesn't need a little R&R before the wedding? We suggest kicking back with Sephora Collection eye masks. Because they can tackle everything from fatigue to dullness, Morgantown, West Virginia, bride Taylor Campbell calls them "the perfect beauty buy for an at-home spa night."
Sephora Collection Eye Masks, $5, sephora.com.
Your Main Squeeze
Got a cold? Take vitamin C. When your complexion seems under the weather, try the new Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask, a jammy lemon, orange, and clementine mix packed with natural AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) to gently refine and brighten. Oh, and did we add this is an editor's pick?
Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask, $62, fresh.com.
Talk about a crowd-pleaser! Readers raved about the blemish-blasting, pore- tightening effects of Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask. Boston makeup artist Alisha Cratty agrees: "Minimizing the appearance of pores is an essential step to creating the ultimate canvas for your makeup."
Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, $26, origins.com.
Every bride has a natural glow; why not amplify the effects with Olay Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream? The vitamins and amino acids in this daily moisturizer help fade dark spots as it fortifies skin against pollutants.
Olay Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream, $27, olay.com.
"I needed a product that would go on matte to keep the makeup from sliding off my face," says San Francisco bride Victoria Carlson of oil-free winner Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. And just think how cooling it'll feel in tropical temperatures.
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, $15, clinique.com.
Why limit this superfood to toast alone? Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado was a runaway favorite among our Instagram voters. Staten Island, New York, makeup artist Lauren Dattolo regularly reaches for it because it "evens out the delicate skin around the eyes, giving them an awakened look."
Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado, $29, kiehls.com.
If you're the sort that needs instant gratification, then it doesn't get much better than Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads. Each disk is saturated in a skin-smoothing blend of glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acids. Wipe over skin, and—ta-da!— dull, dead skin cells disappear . . . and all that remains is a bright, pore-cleansed glow.
Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads, $45, peterthomasroth.com.
Twice As Nice
Category: Long-Lasting Formula
For two years running, our brides have voiced their approval for Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation. The introduction of the new Nude Cushion Stick elevates the beloved base with its sheer finish and bare-skin tones—all packaged in a cushion-tip applicator that's ready for blending and buffing on the go. In 21 shades.
Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation, $40, esteelauder.com.
Category: Tinted Moisturizer
For three years now, our brides have gushed over Laura Mercier's version, extolling its no-makeup feel and SPF 20 protection. Chicago bride-to-be Elizabeth Coston says, "I'm a makeup minimalist; this delivers even coverage without feeling like I'm wearing too much."
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, $44, lauramercier.com.
Category: Mineral Foundation
When Bare Minerals Powders garner accolades for the fifth year in a row, you know they're a makeup must-have. Torrance, California, bride Rachel Matonis says they "cover blemishes like a dream and give skin a fresh, glowing look." Psst: A few readers admit they've been loyal since high school.
Bare Minerals Powders, $29, bareminerals.com.
Category: BB Cream
Mud and makeup seem like an odd mix, but brides had nothing but raves for the Tarte Amazonian Clay BB. It feels lighter than a foundation, and the clay helps balance slick spots. "I've used this product for years and couldn't imagine wearing anything else on my wedding day," says Cary, North Carolina, bride Kate Lynn Beale.
Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer, $36, tartecosmetics.com.
To ensure that makeup lasts, Laura Geller Spackle Tinted Under Makeup Primer is many a makeup artist's go-to. Available in several shades, the glow-enhancing, champagne-tinted version is a no-brainer for brides, says Geller.
Laura Geller Spackle Tinted Under Makeup Primer, $32, laurageller.com.
Consider the new Bobbi Brown Retouching Wand your Facetune app for real life. A few clicks of the pen dispense just enough of this weightless foundation-concealer mash-up to neutralize redness and hide imperfections—undetectably. Tuck one in your pocketbook to treat those "yikes!" moments. In nine shades.
Bobbi Brown Retouching Wand, $46, bobbibrowncosmetics.com.
Category: Liquid Foundation
High-definition video delivers picture-perfect images, but that's not necessarily a good thing with makeup. (It's like holding a magnifying glass to skin!) Fear not: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation—a two-time winner—covers imperceptibly. And "the light formula doesn't bleed when you sweat," says New York City bride Rachel Bell Carpenter. In 40 shades.
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation, $43, sephora.com.
Get a Grip
Every bride needs a hairspray that will hold firm when she breaks it down on the dance floor, and John Frieda Luxurious Volume Hairspray does just that. The flexible formula ensures a flyaway-free, full 'do—without the crunch.
John Frieda Luxurious Volume Hairspray, $10, johnfrieda.com.
Skip the Suds
Say hello to your hair's new reset button. Mendham, New Jersey, bride Lindsey Chadzynski was sure to pack Batiste Dry Shampoo for her island honeymoon. "I knew I would have a hard time styling my hair in a tropical, humid climate," she says. "I blew it out before we took off and then used Batiste between washes to add volume."
Batiste Dry Shampoo, $8, ulta.com.
The winner by a landslide, Moroccan Oil Treatment, is beloved by our brides for more than its transformative abilities. A few drops of this argan-oil blend smooths frazzled strands and boosts shine. Carmichael, California, reader Nancy McKay praises the oil for its "just-left-the-salon feeling of being pampered and confident."
Moroccan Oil Treatment, $44, moroccanoil.com.
Adding beachy texture, body, and lift to any style, Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray is a "desert island product" for Colleyville, Texas, makeup artist Lindsey Przano. Nourishing kelp and seaweed extract deliver softness and separation.
Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, $27, bumbleandbumble.com.
No More Tangles
A two-time winner, It's a 10 Potion 10 Miracle Instant Repair Leave-In is a trusted choice for brides in search of soft, knot-free hair. But the benefits don't end there. Among its attributes, it helps prevent split ends and breakage on any hair type and acts as a thermal protector against heat tools.
It's a 10 Potion 10 Miracle Instant Repair Leave-In, $24, ulta.com.
For a voluminous look without the added weight of multiple styling products, look no further than Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment. Delivering on its name, this two-time winner strengthens, smooths, and conditions hair while adding shine and volume.
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment, $27, livingproof.com.
Make Some Waves
This tool was invented for Gisele—and, well, we'll use what she's using. The Harry Josh 2-in-1 Ceramic Marcel Curling Iron, which has a kicky mint-green finish, was designed by Bündchen's hairstylist to create texturized bends and beautiful, face-framing curls. With its quick heat-up (under a minute) and ionic effect, silky, shiny tendrils are within reach.
Harry Josh 2-in-1 Ceramic Marcel Curling Iron, from $175, dermstore.com.
Hold It Together
"My biggest fear on my wedding day was dancing my makeup off," says Joanne Randazzo of Brooklyn. "After a couple of spritzes of MAC Prep + Prime Fix, my face was on lockdown. It didn't smudge, even under sweaty conditions." An added bonus: The formula doubles as a primer. Spray before and after makeup application for a lasting effect.
MAC Prep + Prime Fix, $23, maccosmetics.com.
Ever notice how incredible skin looks in candlelight? The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette helps replicate that effect: Available in three shades, this highlighter-powder mix changes the way light is captured and reflected to impart a dewy, celestial glow.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, $62, hourglasscosmetics.com.
For sun-kissed skin without UV damage, brides adore Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer. "It works miracles on my sensitive skin and looks completely natural," says Falls Church, Virginia, reader Julia Zenger. And did we mention its subtle chocolate scent? Indulgence without the guilt.
Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer, $30, toofaced.com.
We love a product that does double duty—and Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Shimmering Body Oil checks all the right boxes. The lightweight dry oil, with its delicate flakes of gold and platinum leaf, leaves limbs luminous and soft to the touch. And the scent—a white floral bouquet accentuated by amber and sandalwood—smells like the beach in a bottle.
Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Shimmering Body Oil, $98, tomford.com.
For the fourth consecutive year, Nars Blush in Orgasm steals the spotlight. This peachy-pink staple with the unforgettable name lends just the right amount of shimmer to perfectly mimic the aforementioned flush . . . or so we're told.
Nars Blush in Orgasm, $30, narscosmetics.com.
Self-tanners don't have to be scary: Two-time winner St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse turns skin a believable bronze (never orange). Pro tip: Apply 24 hours prewedding, then shower the morning-of to ensure the color won't transfer. "I even got my [now-] husband to try it," says Laurie Bosco of Westchester County, New York.
St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse, $32, sttropeztan.com.
Low-maintenance brides: ChapStick Total Hydration Moisture + Tint will have you rekindling your romance with a classic. All three shades deliver the brand's signature moisture while adding oomph to lips' natural color.
ChapStick Total Hydration Moisture + Tint, $5, shopchapstick.com.
To say our brides love Urban Decay's Naked palettes would be an understatement. With several versions to choose from, the six-time winner stole the show, receiving three times more votes than any other eye-shadow palette. Clifton, New Jersey, makeup artist Samantha Linn loves the shadows' versatility, including their "super soft textures and color ranges that work with any skin tone."
Urban Decay's Naked palettes, $52, urbandecay.com.
Long-wearing lipstick is a boon for brides, but not if it comes at the expense of a soft, pillowy pucker. Giorgio Armani Beauty Rouge D'Armani Lipstick is your ticket to a flawless smile, with 24 elegant, satiny shades and eight hours of wear. Perfect for that "you may kiss the bride" moment.
Giorgio Armani Beauty Rouge D'Armani Lipstick, $37, giorgioarmanibeauty.com.