Confession: I have always loved beauty products, to the point of it being a borderline problem (at least for my bank account and bathroom storage space). I think the solo CVS pharmacy in my college town must have experienced a dramatic decline in revenue upon my graduation. I’m the girl who never gets a basket when I walk into Sephora (why would I, I only need 1 thing!) but then 20 minutes later ends up with a helpful salesperson bringing me one after my overflowing armful of products appears untenable. I have been VIP Rouge status for as long as I can remember. If you don’t know what that is, congratulations, you’ve saved a lot of money. Anyway, I always love sharing my latest finds with my girlfriends and hearing about any new products or cult favorites that they love too. Below are my current favorite skin and hair products and hair styling tools in the event you are in the market to switch things up and/or share my same beauty product addiction, and please share any of your favorite products in the comments below if you have any – I am always in the market (clearly). 😉
STEP 1: Cleanser
About a year ago I tried this oil-based cleanser and have been a devotee to cleansing oil ever since. It took me a while to wrap my head around rubbing oil directly on my dry, made-up face, but it works so well and leaves my skin soft and clean without drying it out. It is especially amazing in the winter when my skin can get very dry. For whatever reason, it has been hard to find in the U.S. recently, so my backup cleansing oil is this Tatcha one and it’s equally amazing. I honestly might even like it better, especially when paired with this rice enzyme polishing powder that you mix with water and use right after the cleansing oil.
If I am traveling or need a little pick me up in the morning I also love these Caffeine Matcha Wake-up Wipes.
A couple times a week I also try to use my Clarisonic to remove the dead skin cells. It really brightens up my complexion and I feel like it helps the products in STEPS 2 & 3 absorb better.
STEP 2: Serums, etc.
After I wash my face I always apply a serum, and I change it up between day and night.
I have been focused on clarifying and brightening treatments lately (I am forever trying to achieve that elusive perfect skin of a 17 yr old eastern European model – which I’m sad to report is not going so well because of 1) genes and 2) time travel not yet being *a thing* (yet) but 3) hope springs eternal, hence the multi-billion dollar beauty industry). I have been using this Dr. Dennis Gross serum for several months now and I really like it. (This one has retinol in it so not good to use if you’re pregnant.) For a non-retinol option, I like this Caudalie Vinoperfect Serum.
A few months ago I discovered Sunday Riley Power Couple – this duo is INCREDIBLE. The Luna Sleeping Night Oil has retinol in it (so another one not to use it if you’re pregnant) and combining that with the Good Genes lactic acid treatment made my skin more smooth and glowy than I recall it being in years. If you are trying to avoid retinol products I love this Sunday Riley night oil too.
STEP 3: Moisturizer
I have been using this SK II eye cream for the last six months or so and I love it. It feels very lightweight going on, but the skin around my eyes feels really moisturized and I feel like the lines around my eyes have become less noticeable – pretty major given that I feel like I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in nearly 5 years (thanks kids!).
During the day I never leave the house without a moisturizer with sunscreen, which is especially important since I am using products that contain retinol. This moisturizer from First Aid Beauty has been my favorite for the last year (SPF 30).
At night I go a little more heavy duty with my moisturizer. After years of resisting, I finally broke down and got some La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream and I have to admit it is pretty amazing. It is heavy though, which is great in the colder winter months but sometimes I want something a little lighter when it is warmer/more humid. When that’s the case (or if you are more prone to break outs) I am a fan of this SK-II RNA Cream.
I swear by these SK-II Facial Treatment Masks. They give your skin a serious moisture boost and are also perfect for freaking out your family/roommates as you’ll look like you’re about to murder everyone with a chainsaw. Win-win.
I recently switched over to Moroccanoil Hydrating shampoo and conditioner about 2 months ago, and I have noticed a huge change in my hair. It’s so much silkier and shinier and it also smells great. I like the hydrating shampoo for the cold, dry winter months as well (and because I beat my hair up with styling tools that can dry it out), but once a week or so I will use a different shampoo as a refresh if I feel like my hair is feeling a little heavy/weighed down. If I’m letting my hair air dry I love their oil (included in the link above and also here) which is also great on dry ends/to tame flyaways, and if I’m using a hairdryer/curling iron I have been using this heat protectant that is amazing. I try to only wash my hair every 2-3 days, and this Bumble & Bumble dry shampoo powder is the best I’ve found for helping extend the time between washes.
Also for those interested in styling tools, I usually use a 1.5″ curling iron for loose curls/waves (like the ones in the pics above). I think the one I’ve had forever is an old version of this Conair one. I also have this 1.25″ GHD one that is also great and maybe a little better for your hair (not sure it’s THAT much better given the price differential, but I like it a lot too). My favorite brush that helps reduce breakage is this Wet Brush.
For braiding (like in the pics above and below), I am obsessed with these braiding bands (which I also use on my daughter’s ultra fine hair for pigtails). They are thin and clear so aren’t very noticeable.
For buns and top knots I am obsessed with these spiral bobby pins – each one is supposed to have the hold equivalent of around 10 traditional bobby pins. They REALLY hold your hair in place – so much so that you can even pull your bun apart a bit to make it look thicker/a little messy if you’re into that look. I used them to make the bun in the pic below this summer.
Anyway, these are just a bunch of my current favorites – please share any of yours in the comments if you have any! xoxo