Perfect bridal beauty pins are all over Pinterest and you can’t throw a stick without hitting a beautiful pretend bride in a pictorial of the perfect wedding. Barf. I mean, I understand that vendors want to show off their style and demonstrate what they’re capable of. That’s cool. I love looking at beautiful weddings as much as the next girl (well, I run a wedding website so let’s be honest I probably love it more!).

WeddingPack724But what I hate seeing is people who hashtag these perfectly manicured brides standing, inexplicably, on a chicken coop that has been bedecked in fairy lights and expensive flowers that are only in season about one and a half days per year: “#perfection #weddinggoals #beautygoals #mywedding #futurewedding”. It’s not possible that you’re going to look like that on your wedding day. First of all, we’re on a budget here! Second, you aren’t paid to look pretty like the models in these photo shoots. It’s super hard to go through a beauty regimen stricter than most boot camps when you also have a job (or two), school (or grad school) or any number of other real-life issues that might prevent you from spending your days drinking Evian, staying out of the sun and being really, really hungry. image source is a model photo shoot, fyi

So let’s get real, and talk about the products that can help perfect your wedding day beauty long before the day arrives.  I can personally vouch for these products because I am desperately trying to find the product that will erase the years of sun damage I got when I parked myself on a lounge chair with a bottle of baby oil in high school.  I have spent THOUSANDS over the last decade looking for the cocktail of products (not including injections or surgery) that will make me feel like I have 20-year-old skin again. These are the best of the best.

caudalie_instant_detox_mask_900x900Caudalie Instant Detox Mask

“The ultimate in skin rehab, Caudalie Instant Detox Mask draws out impurities and flushes clogged pores to revitalize a tired, lackluster complexion.” I don’t know about the ultimate in skin rehab, but I know that my skin felt immediately fresher after wearing this mask for ten minutes and rinsing it off. It dries to a crackly clay texture and is a soft pink. It smells nice and the bottle lasts for quite a while. Following this mask with the Paula’s Choice Retinol stuff makes for a blissful afternoon where I feel positively glowing at the end of it!

paulaschoice_resistwrinkerepairserum_900x900Paula’s Choice RESIST Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum

Following a detoxifying mask like the Caudalie Instant Detox Mask or even an at-home DIY mask (recipes that I have not tried but look good are here) with Paula’s Choice RESIST Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum (golly, that’s a mouthful) packs a double whammy.  It’s ironing out your face and reducing dark spots after you’ve cleaned all the ickies out of your pores. It doesn’t get much better.  I highly recommend this one before bed, for the sheer luxury of it!

strivectin_arnighttreatment_900x900StriVectin-AR™ Advanced Retinol Night Treatment

Right before you go to bed, and after the Paula’s Choice Resistalalalalalala schmear, put this StriVectin-AR™ Advanced Retinol Night Treatment on all over your face and neck (I swear I’m going to write a whole column on how we need to take care of our necks) as your overnight cream. I also have the eye cream because I don’t think you realize how obsessed I am. Why do you think this site has ads? I’m hoping it will eventually pay server costs and buy me more face cream, duh. Don’t laugh, just click!


philosophy_timeinabottleface_900x900philosophy® time in a bottle

So these last two products are the two that I swap out every few months. Both of them come in about 1-ounce packages, so that’s about three months of product with normal use. I love philosophy® time in a bottle because it does what it says. It absolutely does work to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles.  I started buying this when the Hubs asked me not to use Botox because he didn’t want me to inject things in my face.  Settle down, I wasn’t going to do the injecting myself. But since he requested that I not freeze my face, I had to find something that didn’t let all my expressions wrinkle up my face. And here we are.

sundayriley_goodgenestreatment_900x900Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment

I ended up buying this product because the (no longer available) Vanity Affair box on Birchbox came with a really good size sample. I loved the lemony scent and couldn’t believe how bright and healthy my skin looked after just one application.  I swore this was a face-lift in a bottle, and was all set to buy it…and then I saw the price.  I know.  It’s just as expensive as the StriVectin, but I honestly would pick Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment again before I picked StriVectin.  It’s what I put on first thing in the morning right after I wash my face.  I follow that with my normal moisturizer and then my makeup. It’s literally the perfect start to the day!

I hope this information from my personal experiences can help you pick a product or two to start before your wedding.  I was only using time in a bottle before my wedding, and I would go back and do it all over again with a couple extra helpers in there because my skin now is much better!  Here’s a video I am terrified to share with the world – I have no make up on! None! Agghh!

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