No matter a bride’s style or aesthetic preferences, there’s one thing all brides can agree on—the importance of the bridal glow. Every bride wants fresh, smooth, dewy skin when she walks down the aisle, but the ever-elusive bridal glow can be hard to achieve with so many products to choose from. But not to worry—we’ve tried and stress-tested the market’s top products to bring you today’s roundup. Below, we’ve broken down must-follow skincare steps and our favorite must-have products in each one. Read on, and get ready for that oh-so radiant skin you’ve only ever dreamed about:
MONTHS PRIOR: Start Using Sonic Facial Cleansing Tools
A great bridal glow comes from a great skincare routine, which starts months and months before the Big Day. You’ll want to cleanse your face using a sonic cleansing tool at least twice a week in the months leading up to your wedding. Just like a Sonicare toothbrush helps to vibrate away all of the plaque a manual toothbrush can’t, a sonic cleansing facial brush helps to buzz away all of that dull, dead skin you can’t scrub away with just your hands or a washcloth. Sonic cleansing tools work to both deep-clean your pores and exfoliate your face—leaving you with soft, glowy skin. Our favorites are the Foreo LUNA series, a pulsating silicone brush that lasts up to five full months on a single charge and comes in a number of options for sensitive skin, combination skin, etc. We also love the classic Clarisonic Mia 1 Skin Cleansing System—the first pulsating cleansing brush on the market, which remains a cult favorite to this day.
MONTHS PRIOR: At-Home Facial Masks and Peels
In the months leading up to your wedding, you’ll want to do a facial masks or peels once every two weeks. This will help to get rid of layers of dead, dry, dull skin, which will ultimately work to reduce breakouts, minimize pore size and give you a healthy glow. To make your own at-home mask, mix manuka honey (available at health food stores) with a teaspoon or two of turmeric powder—the combination works miracles when it comes to reducing redness, inflammation and acne scars (but be careful--the turmeric will stain anything it touches, so wear an old t-shirt, wash your hands well afterward and exfoliate your face to remove the yellow coloration the mask will leave on your skin). Or, try mixing activated charcoal powder (which you can buy in pill form via health food stores—and then just break open the pill to get to the powder) with manuka honey for a mask that deep-cleans pores and scruffs away dead skin (trust us—this one is amazing). We’re also huge (HUGE) fans of Drunk Elephant’s TLC Sukari Baby Facial, a mask that dramatically reduces the appearance of fine lines, dull skin and skin discoloration. (Trust us—you have to try it to believe it; it’s an absolute miracle worker.) We also love First Aid’s Beauty Facial Radiance Intensive Peel, an extra-strength at-home peel that does a killer job of reducing dullness and minimizing pores.
MONTHS PRIOR: Incorporate Facial Oil into Your Skincare Routine
Facial oils are big right now in the beauty market, but the idea of adding oil to acne-prone skin can sound like adding fuel to the fire. That being said, we’ve spent a few months testing skin oils and we have to say, we’re firm believers. The key lies in finding the right oil. If you have super oily skin, you want to look for oils meant for acne-prone, oily skin as opposed to those meant to hydrate dry skin (and vice-versa for brides with naturally dry skin). We’re huge fans of Drunk Elephant’s Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil for those looking to combat dullness or add some firmness back to sagging skin. Tata Harper’s Beautifying Face Oil is also one of our favorites for glowing, dewy skin. Our all-time favorite though for all skin types is Bobbi Brown’s Extra Facial Oil. For acne-prone skin or brides with large pores looking for blemish control, we’re obsessed (as in super obsessed) with Bobbi Brown’s Skin Clarifier No. 75, an oil that cleans out pores, controls sebum and works to normalize skin-cell turnover. As counterintuitive as it may seem, a light layer of this oil all over an oily face works to balance skin’s natural oils and reduce the appearance of breakouts overnight—it truly is liquid gold.
DAY-OF: Foundation Primer
Now that you’ve spent months prepping your skin, you want to be sure you create the absolute best canvas possible for your makeup application on the day of your wedding. After going through your skincare routine outlined above, apply a foundation primer to reduce lines that will appear in your makeup from all of that laughing you’ll be doing during toasts and to help reduce the cakiness that can happen as a result of makeup sitting on your skin for too long. Smashbox’s Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer is a favorite of makeup artists, and we’re also pretty obsessed with COVER FX Blurring Primer, a primer that works to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and large pores prior to applying foundation. Our all-time favorite, though? Bobbi Brown’s Vitamin-Enriched Face Base, a super creamy foundation primer that smells (and feels) like heaven.
DAY-OF: Hydrating Sprays & Setting Sprays
For a dewy bridal glow all day (and night) long, you’ll need to invest in a great setting spray and hydrating spray. We’re head over heals for Caudalie’s Grape Water, a cult favorite amongst makeup artists that can be used as a toner, a setting spray (before applying makeup) or a hydrating spray throughout the day. We also love Jurlique’s Rosewater Balancing Mist—it smells dreamy and will invigorate you the second you spray it on your skin. It can be used prior to applying moisturizers to help your skin absorb skincare products or after applying makeup as a setting spray or throughout the day when dry or dull skin needs a little extra dewiness. Lastly, we recommend Algenist’s Splash Hydrating Setting Mist, a spray formulated with mineral-enriched seawater that’s meant to be used after makeup application.
*In the spirit of full disclosure, this is an affiliate link, which means that we may get commissions if you decide to purchase anything from any of these companies. We only recommend products that we love ourselves and we think you'll love, too.
Photo courtesy Shane and Lauren Photography