Over the last two decades, face recognition (FR) has become one of the most prevailing biometric applications for effective people identification as it offers practical advantages over other biometric modalities. However, current state-of-the-art findings suggest that FR under adverse and challenging conditions still needs improvements. This is because face images can contain many variations like face expression, pose, and illumination. To overcome the effect of these challenges, it is necessary to use representative face features using feature extraction methods. In this paper, we present a new feature extraction method for robust FR called Local Binary Pattern and Wavelet Kernel PCA (LWKPCA). The proposed method aims to extract the discriminant and robust information to minimize recognition errors. This is obtained first by the best use of nonlinear projection algorithm called RKPCA. Then, we adapted the algorithm to reduce the dimensionality of features extracted using the proposed Color Local Binary Pattern and Wavelets transformation called Color LBP and Wavelet Descriptor. The general idea of our descriptor is to find the best representation of face image in a discriminant vector structure by a novel feature grouping strategy generated by the Three-Level decomposition of Discrete Wavelet Transform (2D-DWT) and Local Binary Pattern (LBP). Extensive experiments on four well-known face datasets namely ORL, GT, LFW, and YouTube Celebrities show that the proposed method has a recognition accuracy of 100% for ORL, 96.84% for GT, 99.34% for LFW, and 95.63% for YouTube Celebrities.