Engaged friends, friends of friends, and perfect strangers alike are constantly asking for wedding advice. This is what I send them.

A few months ago, I received a series of frantic texts from a friend of mine whod recently gotten engaged. She wanted me to tell her exactly what she should buy to begin to get her skin into shape for her wedding day. I, of course, responded with a psychotically long email explaining what products she should and shouldnt use, what treatments she should get (and how often), and even what makeup artist to hire for the big day (Shayna Goldberg, always).
This was not the first nor last time Ive written a long, specifically tailored response to a bride-to-be (whether that bride-to-be is a friend, a friend of a friend, or a perfect stranger who DMd me on Instagram) looking for advice on how to get bright, glowy skin before their wedding day.
While each email is slightly different, I find that there are a few products that I always end up recommending to my skin-obsessed brides. Those products, plus my treatment advice, are listed below. (A note: Most brides that reach out to me ask for splurge-worthy skin care, so this list is on the pricey side. Look here for an article on some of my under-$30 skin-care favorites.)
MorningCleanserVitamin C SerumTonerEssenceMoisturizerSPF
EveningCleanserTonerEssenceHyaluronic Acid SerumMoisturizer
Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm
Then I Met Yous Living Cleansing Balm and Dr. Lorettas Hydrating Cleanser are two of my favorite cleansers in the entire world. Both are super gentle, hydrating, and brightening. The balm is better for taking off makeup and the hydrating cleanser is a bit more nourishing on the skin. I recommend using them together (balm first to take off makeup, then gentle cleanser to clean your skin).
Then I Met You The Skin Balancing Duo
These two products together are just so intensely plumping and hydrating and will make your skin so glowy wedding skin in a bottle, in other words. After you wash your face, apply a few drops of the toner, then pat it into your skin (warning: Its mildly exfoliating, so dont use it with any other exfoliant). Then apply a few drops of the essence and pat that into your skin. Before weddings, youre at a big risk of using too many products while trying to make your skin look perfect (over-exfoliating is the worst thing you could possibly do pre-wedding), but these are both incredibly gentle and insanely effective.
Allies of Skin Vitamin C 35% Collagen Rebuilding Serum
People all the time ask me, Do I really have to use a vitamin C serum? I dont see it doing anything! Well, the answer is absolutely yes, you should be using a vitamin C serum daily especially if youre trying to get extra-bright skin for your wedding day. And for any skeptics, this serum is here to prove you wrong. Its an extra-potent vitamin C serum (35 percent), and you just will notice a change in the brightness and overall radiance of your skin if you use it daily. This will help lift any dark marks or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (the spots left behind after zits), making sure youre a clear, super-watt light bulb for your wedding day. If youre sensitive to vitamin C, you might prefer something a little milder, like this serum from Klairs.
Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream
So this is like theIt cream right now. Theres tons of insane science behind its magical, skin-healing properties, and every celebrity in the world endorses it. Its intensely thick and a tiny bit goes a long way dont overdo it. Just to be completely transparent, I know people who love it and I know people who dont really like it (it can make you break out), but its the kind of thing where if it does work for you, its absolutely insanely game changing. Like take your skin to the next level vibe. If you have a while before your wedding I would maybe try it and see if it works for you because if its good, its really, really good.
Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream
This is my personal go-to moisturizer (and the one Id use if you dont want to spring for the Augustinus Bader). Its really moisturizing but not greasy and heavy, and its really helped my skin a lot this winter.
Dr. Loretta Urban Antioxidant Sunscreen SPF 40
Wear sunscreen every single day! On top of sun safety, there are so many anti-aging benefits and also can make sure your skin looks as bright as possible on your wedding day. This wont break you out. Also it even protects you from BLUE LIGHT from your computer (!!!).
Colbert MD Illumino Anti-Aging Brightening Face Mask x 5
My favorite pre-event sheet mask ever. It fits wonderfully, feels great and cooling, and my skin just soaks up all the amazing plumping and hydrating treatment instantly. Do this on your wedding day. Its so brightening and hydrating and makeup goes over it perfectly.
May Lindstrom The Problem Solving Correcting Masque
This is one of my favorite fixer-upper masks when Im dealing with breakouts or when my skin just generally looks all-around bad. This is kind of a DIY situation the mask comes as a powder and you mix it with equal parts water (in a cup or in your hand if youre lazy) to create this black charcoal mask. Throw it on, hang out, then hop in the shower (I find its the easiest way to wash it off without making a complete mess). My skin looks glowy, less red and irritated, and ultrasmooth afterward. Use this one about every two weeks leading up to the wedding if you have dry or sensitive skin (once a week if you have oily skin).
Joanna Vargas Bright Eye Firming Masks
As far as eye creams go, I always recommend the very inexpensive Snail Mucin Cream to use as a daily treatment. However, when I do want to splurge on my problematic, sunken eyes I love this eye mask from Joanna Vargas. These eye masks are packed with wonderful ingredients like hyaluronic acid, chamomile, hexapeptide-8, and algae extract, all of which help lift, hydrate, and brighten up your under eyes. Use them for the five days leading up to the wedding (including before the rehearsal dinner, and on day of after the Colbert sheet mask).
New YorkFor my monthly maintenance I see Sofie Pavitt, who has a charming studio on Canal Street (shes a goddess and her facials are so reasonably priced). But, when Im feeling particularly indulgent I head uptown to Mia Wagner Salon, where skin legend Sofia Visan works (she was formerly at Aida Bicaj, another famous uptown salon). Her facials are expensive, but so incredibly worth it. Trust me when I say her hands are magic. I dont know what it is about her, but after I see her my skin is insanely clear and radiant for weeks. The first time I saw her I was struggling with really terrible breakouts and she completely turned my skin around. This is definitely the kind of treatment you want to indulge in pre-wedding. A friend of mine, Alison Chemla (who runs jewelry company Alison Lou) saw her religiously before her wedding this year and said that she couldnt be happier with the way her skin looked on the big day.
Los AngelesIm sure you have a facialist in L.A. already, but there is this one woman called Joomee Song who does really intense facial massages that essentially sculpt the shit out of your face. She was Lady Gagas facialist during the production of a A Star Is Born since she wasnt able to wear makeup in a lot of scenes, she had to make sure she looked snatched all the time, and Joomee helped her do that. This is an incredible pre-event thing. She makes you look so chiseled and awake. I would definitely go in and see her before an engagement party or rehearsal dinner or whatever. She doesnt do deep-cleaning extractions, but anytime Im doing a photo-heavy thing in L.A., I see her.
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