Other than beautiful wedding dresses, anything rose gold and memes of Ryan Gosling (and Jamie Dornan), there’s one thing we can never go past: a beauty counter.
A trip to Mecca, DJs or Myer can quickly spiral into a flurry of samples, spontaneous purchases… and spending half your week's grocery money. And when you're trying to save your dollars for that luxe honeymoon, pair of designer shoes or deposit on a house, those impromptu beauty buys can quickly add up. That doesn't mean you can't get your beauty product fix though (we would never suggest that!), it just means you need to know what to buy. Put simply, you need products that deliver the promises on the packaging, won't have you looking like your three-year-old niece did your make-up and will give you change from $50. So, that's exactly what we found for you - 19 beauty buys, all endorsed by professionals who really know their stuff. We've even snuck in our own recommendations, too!
Proving that the best things can come in the tiniest of packages (with an equally low price tag) is Carmex Moisturising Lip Balm
($6.49). This beauty works wonders on dry lips, thanks to ingredients like lanolin and cocoa butter. There are strawberry and cherry flavours available, but we think that the original comes out on top - just ask Bride editor Lisa O'Brien. "I have sworn by Carmex for more than 10 years now - I'm not a big lipstick wear so this is my go-to everyday lip balm. When I'm forced to wear lippy (usually as a bridesmaid) I still slick a bit of Carmex over the top - I can't help it!"
Whether you're more of a Cara Delevingne or a Camilla Belle, this season's biggest beauty trend is all about the eyebrows. "Brows are such an important feature of the face, they can help shape, structure and lift the face," says Sydney make-up guru Georgia Hull
. "A bushy brow is also a youthful brow. For busy brides on the go, use Maybelline Brow Drama
($12.95) to easily groom, add colour to and define your brow without a trip to the salon!"
You've spent hours sifting through Pinterest boards and magazines to find that perfect hairdo for the big day - so it makes sense that you want to keep it in place all day. A quick spritz of L'Oréal Paris' Elnett Satin Mini Hairspray
($4.99) should do the trick. "It's the perfect size to fit into your handbag and will control any flyaways you may have," says Zoe Karlis
, a Melbourne based make-up and hair stylist. "This formula doesn't leave your hair stiff or crispy, and can be easily brushed out too."
Another of Zoe's top picks are the ModelRock Ultra Luxe Individual Lashes
($14.95). "By adding a few individual lashes to the corner of your eyes, it will add depth and volume to your lashes," she says. The result? Seriously striking eyes that pop in photos. And that isn't even the best part - these lashes are so good, no-one will even know you're wearing them.
Going to bed with a full face of make-up is one of the ultimate beauty sins, but hey, we know sometimes that walk to the bathroom just seems too long. Stashing a pack of Simple Micellar Cleansing Wipes
($7.99) in your bedside table could be the answer to your woes. The cleansing wipes are made with millions of gentle bubbles and are perfect for lifting off dirt, oil and make-up, as well as unclogging pores. The wipes are also suitable for sensitive skin.
"For anyone who has tried to apply false lashes with those tiny tubes that come inside some packets of lashes, please get yourself some DUO glue and you will never look back!" explains Jessica Kramp from Brush and Brows
. That's right, with DUO False Lash Adhesive
($16 each), you can pretty much forget fiddling around with tweezers or accidentally gluing your eyelids shut.
Did you know your mascara should be thrown out every three to six months to avoid any nasties getting in your eyes? Therefore it's definitely not a product worth splurging your week's wage on, says Georgia. "There are loads of mascaras on the cheaper side that do a fantastic job," she explains. "My favourite is the CoverGirl LashBlast ($19.95), which is a volume-boosting, hypoallergenic mascara. Its formula and brush are designed to max out each and every lash, leaving you with the ultimate big-lash look."
Having dry, cracked lips isn't on anyone's 'must-have' list, so to ward them off, this Malin + Goetz Lip Moisturiser
($16) should sneak its way into your handbag. "This product is well worth the money," says Jessica. "It's thick and hydrating, but doesn't feel sticky. It's very long lasting, fantastic for chapped winter lips and will keep your lips hydrated in the lead-up to your wedding." It's also rumoured to be a favourite of '80s supermodel/megababe Cindy Crawford, so there's that too.
If you're like us, your lippy collection is already brimming with pinks, reds and purples - but what about a nude? The brilliant nude lipstick is a must-have, and something you'll find yourself going back to again and again. The Stripped Nudes Collection from Maybelline
($16.95 each) has those spot-on nude shades, says Georgia. "If you're looking for a perfect day-to-day natural lipstick then you can't go past them! Try doubling up your lipstick as a cream cheek colour for a natural, glowing flush."
When trying out make-up in preparation for your engagement party, wedding or even a day out with the girls, Jessica says you should always be on the look-out for products with staying power, like the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner ($35). "Its long-wear durability is especially essential for bridal make-up. It can be used in a sharp line or smudged, and comes in a range of gorgeous colours." All you need is a steady hand, an eyeliner brush and you're ready to go.
Another product that's all about the durability is the Urban Decay Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion
($30), a go-to before you reach for your eyeshadow brush. "Nice and creamy, and easy to apply, this product primes your eyelids and helps to create a crease-free and more vibrant eyeshadow. It's perfect for keeping eyeshadow in place for the entire day," says Jessica. Melbourne make-up artist Vivian Ashworth
recommends popping this beauty in your shopping cart too.
Are you ready? Because you're about to learn a beauty secret - Embyrolisse Lait-Crème Concentré ($34), a bonafide miracle-worker when it comes to plumping and hydrating the skin. And best of all, it can be used on all skin types, says Georgia. "The moisturiser provides the skin with all the nutrients and water needed for its balance and it reconstitutes the skin's hydrolipidic film - the barrier that protects the skin from aggression - and accelerates cell renewal." See? We told you: miracles.
How do you know when a product is downright incredible? When two
MUAs (that's make-up artist, thank you) put it forward as their faves. These NARS blushes
($42) are cult classics, and come in a variety of shades to suit every skin tones. Georgia's pick is 'Deep Throat'. "It's my favourite blush of all time. It enlivens the complexion, creates a beautiful natural flush on the cheeks and is perfectly matched with a soft, bronzed eye." For Vivian, 'Orgasm' is the prettiest colour. "It's great for a fresh, dewy look and a woman who wants a youthful glow. Dust it to the top of your cheek bones."
When Kimmy K primps for a photo shoot or a selfie, she has a whole glam squad to help her; but all you need, says Vivian, is Motives Cosmetics 3-in-1 Contour, Bronzer and Highlight Kit ($43.50). The kit comes with instructions, but the basic steps are simple. The contour is the deepest colour and should be applied to the hollow of your cheeks and under the jaw. The bronzer is the middle shade and will give you that glow, while the lightest hue is a highlighter and should be used on those features you want to stand out, like cheekbones, brow bones or the bridge of your nose.
Hands up if you've ever had a run-in with the 'shiny face' before? You know, when it's too hot (or you've been dancing too hard) and you get a sheen across your T-zone? Us too. To nip that problem in the bud, Vivian suggests the No More Shine Makeup Setting Spray from Motives Cosmetics ($36.50). "A glowing bride is good, not a sweaty one. So, a final spray with this after your make-up is finished will really make a difference."
Is there anything worse than having your foundation looking cakey, or wearing off after only a few hours? Probably not. But that doesn't happen when you smooth a smidgen of the Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer
($45) on before your foundation. It's a lightweight, creamy gel that will act as an invisible barrier between your skin and make-up; it's also oil free and has a high water content, so won't dry out your skin either.
Want to have that bronzed goddess look, without baking in the sun and doing serious harm to your skin? You're in luck, there are a collection of amazing fake (or faux, if you're feeling fancy) tans available, meaning you're only a couple of applications away from gorgeous bronze skin. Our vote goes to the St Tropez Bronzing Spray
($44.99), which delivers a smooth, natural-looking tan - no Oompa Loompa vibes - that you can do at home. If you're a tanning newbie and are a tad nervous, try spraying the mist into your (gloved) hands and rubbing onto your body instead.
Everyone knows that having an amazing sunscreen is a beauty kit essential, and protecting your skin should be a top priority - not just in the lead-up to your big day, but in everyday life too. Mecca Cosmetica's To Save Face Facial Sunscreen ($38) has SPF30+ and should be a go-to for summer, advises Georgia. "This luxe facial sunscreen is lightweight, non-greasy and ultra-hydrating - it's the perfect protection under make-up. Even brides should remember to slip, slop, slap on their wedding day."