Best Of | Bridal Beauty


It’s that time of year again– if we’re not caravaning to the Hamptons or striking up a healthy residency at any (and, we mean any) available pool, we’re hopping from one wedding to another to toast our nearest and dearest friends. With different brides (and grooms) come different tastes– from the flowers to the food to the open versus not open bar (we beg you to choose the former)– but, one thing rings constant: a bride wants to look her best on her big day. So, in the spirit of our very own bride-to-be, our Editorial Director, Alexandria Geisler who weds tomorrow, we decided to phone our friends (think Jennifer Fisher and TeenVogue‘s Elaine Welteroth), pound the pavement and test out many a beauty treatment until we had the ultimate beauty guide for the New York bride. In each category, we’ve named NYC’s “Absolute Best”– think of it as our bridal bible. Amen.

Skin | Joanna Vargas

What do our girlfriends Jennifer Fisher, Pamela Love and Cosmo‘s Aya Kanai have in common? Well, for starters, flawless skin and Joanna Vargas (granted, it’s hard to have one without the other). Obviously then, when it came time for us to name a #1 for bridal skincare, we had only one woman in mind. A long-time celebrity favorite for skincare and facials, Vargas collects more “Best Of” crowns than anyone else in the biz, and after sending one of our editors in for her “Power Peel,” a multi-step treatment that includes a diamond peel, LED light and pure oxygen therapies, we know why– her skin has never looked brighter, dewier or more evenly toned (seriously guys, she didn’t wear any concealer or foundation for. a. week.). We brought Vargas to the table to share some of her greatest tips and tricks for the soon-to-be bride here. (MAP IT)

GO-TO BRIDAL TREATMENT: The week of the wedding, I usually suggest my Triple Crown facial. Your wedding day is your own “red carpet moment” and de-puffing and lifting are awesome for that!

BEST SKINCARE ADVICE: Six months out, pick an esthetician to help sort out any issues with your skin such as breakouts. Have the person pick out your perfect skincare routine with products at home as well so you know what you are doing and you don’t have to try new things closer to the wedding. Three months out, start LED light therapy— it’s the best thing to do for perfect wedding skin because it shrinks pores, stops breakouts and creates a real bridal glow. Get one once a week so you can complete the recommended twelve sessions before the big day. Typically, a month before the wedding is when the bride is stressed so I would recommend a deep pore cleansing to really get the skin nice and smooth (having one four weeks out will give the skin time to heal). I would follow with an LED light session so the pores start to shrink and you can get the skin evenly toned. The night before or day of is the last time for a microcurrent facial. As much as you should avoid it, many brides end up trying to manage stress with wine this last week which leads to puffiness. Microcurrent will make you look de-puffed, plus it will make your cheekbones high and your jaw and neck look really perfect for pictures. This is my favorite facial to give to anyone before a big day like a wedding or red carpet.

BIGGEST FAUX PAS: Trying too many new products too close to the wedding and drinking too much wine.

BEAUTY ESSENTIALS: I could never live without my rejuvenating serum, sunscreen or sheet masks.

HERO PRODUCT: On the morning of your wedding, I would use my exfoliating mask in the shower. It will brighten your skin before applying makeup. Also, under your makeup, I would use our daily serum. It’s really great for oxygenating the skin and giving you a rose-y glow. It’s so easy too because it can go on the face, neck and eyes!

Hair | Colorist Aura Friedman, Sally Hershberger

Aura Friedman is my hair color guardian angel,” TeenVogue Editor-in-Chief Elaine Welteroth once told us. “She keeps an eye on my hair via Instagram and every 8 weeks or so, I can count on her for a text saying, ”It’s time.” She’s given many a model their career-making color and she’s known for dreaming up unexpected, ahead-of-trend looks that can make any cut more flattering. I trust her implicitly.” We’ve waxed poetic over Aura before, but we really could agree more– when it comes to color (especially blondes), no one does it better than Friedman. (BTW, did ‘ya catch Allison Williams on the March cover of Allure as a (wait for it) bombshell blonde? Yep, all Friedman.) She paints hair like an artist does canvas, leaving clients feeling like their “best” selves by appointment’s end. Now really isn’t that how every bride wants to feel? Check out Friedman’s haircare tips for the big day right here… (MAP IT)

SS17 LOOK: Shaggy, beach-y, sun-kissed vibes

BEST BRIDAL ADVICE: Just be your best self: no drastic color changes, just enhancement.

HOW TO KEEP COLOR: Not washing your hair frequently (once a week if possible); when you do wash your hair, use a gentle cleansing cream like Shu Uemura’s Cleansing Milk which doesn’t have sulfates or silicone that strip and damage hair. Use Olaplex to maintain your hair’s integrity which will help the longevity of the color, too.

BEAUTY ESSENTIALS: Tata Harper Face Oil, Olaplex and Goop Revitalizing Day Moisturizer.


Lashes | Flair Eyelashes

Who doesn’t want thick, full lashes when it comes to their wedding day (… or any day), but we’ve heard so many horror stories of extensions doing more harm than good, we weren’t willing to take the risk (several contribs’ haven’t only lost their extensions within days; they’ve lost all of their natural lashes too!?!). But, after some serious legwork and “peer pooling” (AKA calling up every beauty goddess we know), we discovered Flair Eyelashes and we’re never looking back. The Midtown West lash spa is the brainchild of makeup artist and eyelash stylist Jessica Shin and it specializes in semi-permanent eyelashes, semi-permanent makeup and professional makeup applications. Without a doubt, the pro move is to spring for a set of mink lashes (you choose between 75, 95, 120 or 150 counts) which you can then “spruce up” with lash refills every other week. The service isn’t unique, but Shin’s results are: our editor had zero irritation during treatment, the minks looked natural, and her lashes stayed in place for approximately three full weeks; then, when it finally came time for removal, her natural lashes were unaffected, looking much like they did before treatment. There may be a lot of lash boutiques in town, but there’s only one we call the apple of our (perfectly lashed) eye. (MAP IT)

Brows | Danielle Vincent, Tenoverten

Tenoverten, one of CP‘s all-time favorite nail salons, has teamed up with Kimiko cosmetics’ founder Danielle Vincent to provide bi-coastal brow services at its NYC and LA salons. And given that Vincent is already beloved by style pubs like Vogue, WWD and InStyle, it’s big news for the East-Coast-West-Coast nail den. Though catching Vincent when she’s in town requires advanced planning (she personally travels between the locations), she is hands-down worth the wait. When we popped by for a visit, she perfected our arch symmetry, filled in spottiness and taught us how to make them look extra-full all on our own. Vincent’s brow shaping begins at $50; tinting is $30.

Nails | Asami Irigaki, Bisou Nail Art Atelier

A zen wonderland of white brick, marble and minimalist décor, Bisou Nail Art Atelier is no ordinary nail salon. You won’t find its menu plastered to the front window, nor will you be confronted with dated leather chairs (FYI, theirs are complete with shearling pillows). Instead, you’ll wonder (probably for the first time) if you can spend all day in this little beauty oasis, long after your meticulously polished nails are dry. Behind the salon is Japanese nail artist Asami Irigaki who, above all else, has an incredible eye for design; where nails are concerned, it translates to hand-painted micro-versions of Gucci’s SS’17 florals, Picasso line drawings and custom surrealist prints (seriously, check out her Instagram). To create the art, Irigaki uses Paragel, a high-tech gel that simultaneously protects the natural nail and the new polish— it requires zero buffing and lasts up to four weeks without chipping. Between the beautiful digs, custom art and polish that lasts, Bisou has taken this city’s nail bar to new heights. Below, we chat with Bisou’s Asami Irigaki on her salon and beauty. (MAP IT)

BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED: Instead of cutting cuticles with nippers, push them back after taking a shower when they’re moist. It’s the best way to keep your nails clean without hangnails.

BEST ADVICE FROM YOU TO US: If you want to keep your nails healthy, proper gel removal is very important! You need to know what kind of gel manicure you have (soak off gel versus hard gel). I highly recommend doing your gel removal and manicure at the same location since they will be most knowledgable about the products used.

SS17 LOOK: Clear base gel with white/gold lines and gold studs!

BEAUTY ESSENTIALS: Jojoba oil, Japanese face mask and Aesop scrub hand soap. 

WHY PARAGEL?: Paragel is great because it doesn’t require sanding or buffing of the natural nail surface prior to application. This way you can keep your nails healthy and prevent most nail problems. Also the gel itself is harder than shellac or calgel so it will protect that your nail tip from bending or breaking. As I mentioned before, correct gel removal techniques are just as important as the manicure, even with Paragel. If you peel them off, it will damage your nails so please be careful if attempting to remove them on your own!

BEST BRIDAL LOOK: White or baby pink ombre are beautiful for bridal manicures. I think a simple, elegant manicure is best for the big day, but each bride is different and we will do what we can to make you feel and look your best on your special day! CP


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