So since the holidays are approaching, I’ve decided to a Favorite Things List – just like Oprah, except not nearly as many people care, and I can’t give away things for free. But I get really excited when I find products that I love, or things that make great gifts. So I figured I’d share some. This is specifically for makeup and skincare. I’ll post other categories as well in upcoming posts.
Supergoop! Zincscreen SPF 40
I love this sunscreen. My favorite things about this sunscreen are the SPF protection, the formula, and the finish. It’s all-mineral, so it’s great for sensitive skin and there’s less need to reapply every two hours to get the full sun protection. It’s fragrance-free and cruelty-free. And, it leaves a really nice, dewy, glowy finish. I was wearing this sunscreen while FaceTiming with my mom, and she asked me if I had just returned from getting a facial. This gives your skin a nice glow without looking greasy, and the tint helps subtly even out your skin.
Cerave PM Moisturizer
I’m obsessed with Cerave. You can have an entire skincare routine using just their products (and I actually do have that). This moisturizer in particular is HG status–it keeps my skin moisturized and hydrated throughout the day (and night), it’s fragrance-free, it contains ingredients that help restore and maintain the skin barrier, and it’s lightweight. I’ve used this moisturizer for almost seven years now. It’s been there for me through breakups and job changes. Guys come and go, but Cerave is forever.
Cerave Moisturizing Cream
See? I LOVE Cerave. I discovered this moisturizing cream because I had just gotten off a flight, my hands were really dry, and the lotions I had just weren’t doing it. Normally when my skin starts to dry up and peel, I turn to oils, like marula oil. I didn’t have marula oil on me, so I went to Target and picked up a tube of this moisturizing cream. Holy crap, it was a game-changer. I use it all the time now, and it keeps my skin moisturized and supple and happy. The only thing I don’t love is that it’s packaged in a jar, but hey. If you’re really against jar packaging, the travel-sized version of this comes in a tube that lasts pretty long.
Drunk Elephant Marula Oil
I’m generally more selective about expensive products when it comes to my skincare. But, this product is one of the few exceptions. I had never used any kind of facial oil prior to purchasing this marula oil, but since then, I’ve become a convert. Oils, and marula oil in particular, is incredibly versatile. I use this on my face, usually in the winter when my skin tends to get drier. I mix a drop or two in with my Cerave PM moisturizer, apply it to my skin, and it keeps my skin from drying out. I also use this on my hands whenever they tend to get dry. I use this on my cuticles. I even use this on my hair. I recently started color-treating my hair after going my entire life without dyeing it. I notice that my hair starts to get a bit drier than it did prior to my highlight job, especially towards the ends. So, I’ll take a couple drops of this oil, rub it between my palms, and then just apply it to my hair, from about the second half, down to the ends of my hair. This keeps my hair moisturized and keeps the ends from looking fried. So, considering the multiple ways this can be used, and how well it works (it’s better than other oils from other brands!), this is well worth the price.
Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops
This stuff is like liquid metal. This was the first highlighter I loved, and this product is what really sold me on highlighter. It was the gateway product into my obsession with that blinding highlight. But, with this, you can do a subtle highlight if that’s more your speed, and build it up if you want that blinding effect. Plus, you can mix it in with your foundation if you want an all-over glow. This stuff is super easy to blend, a tiny, tiny bit goes a long way, and it lasts all. freaking. day. Another more high-end product in my arsenal, but so worth it.
Supergoop! Shimmershade SPF 30
When Supergoop! first introduced this product, I wasn’t all that excited about it. I don’t wear a ton of makeup on a daily basis, and for the longest time, my go-to eyeshadow was Urban Decay (the Naked palette). I thought, I don’t need another eyeshadow. But when I tried this out in-store, I was hooked. What really sold me on this eyeshadow was its versatility. Yes, it’s a great, subtle, everyday shadow that gives just a hint of shimmer, really brightens up your eyes, and gives sun-protection in an often-neglected area. But, this eyeshadow also works so well as a subtle highlighter. I used this a lot as both an eyeshadow and a highlighter in the summer, when I needed as much sun protection as I could get. Plus, this stays on all day. And the packaging is great–it’s so easy to just throw in my purse and keep on-hand for touch-ups.
Cerave Skin Renewing Retinol Serum
I used retinol before when a dermatologist prescribed it to me for acne. But then I stopped after my skin calmed down. However, since I’m approaching my 30s, I started incorporating a retinol serum again in the winter for preventative anti-aging. It’s part of my nighttime skincare routine. I love this particular retinol serum because it contains encapsulated retinol, which is much better tolerated by most skin types, including sensitive skin. Your skin is less likely to peel or experience irritation or redness as it adjusts to the retinol. So far, I really love this and I notice a difference in my skin. If you’re going to incorporate a retinol serum into your skincare routine, this is the way to go.
Benefit Gimme Brow Gel
When I first started looking for products for my brows, this was the first one I used. At the time, I didn’t really apply very much so the definition in my brows was really subtle. I switched to a brow pencil (below) and I preferred using that. However, Sephora sent me a sample of the Gimme Brow, so I started using it again, and applied it a lot more liberally than I had before. The difference was definitely noticeable. It’s still not quite as defined as when you use a brow pencil–and you have a lot more control over the shape of your brow with a pencil–but for every day, and for more of a no-makeup look, this is a great product that gives a subtle definition to your brows and enhances them without looking too precise.
Anastasia Brow Wiz
This is one of the staples in my makeup kit. I used to avoid brow pencils, but once I started using this, I saw how versatile pencils are. You can go for a really defined, sharp, Instagram-makeup brow look, or a more natural look if you use a lighter hand and just fill in sparse areas. Your brows can still look natural, even with a pencil. The trick is to get one in a shade that’s 2-3 shades lighter than your hair color. This brow pencil looks natural and stays on all day–and it’s super easy to work with. Whenever these go on sale, I stock up and buy like, four of them.
Anastasia Contour Stick
I recently hopped on the contour bandwagon, and this stick is a really good product if you’re new to contouring (or if you’re lazy like me and prefer using fingers over brushes). I literally apply these by just drawing the contour line on my face, then blending it out with my fingers. The result? A natural-looking, yet defined, contour (hello, cheekbones!), that looks like you actually spent time blending it with different tools and brushes and products.
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
This came in one of my Sephora Play boxes, and it was honestly one of my favorite products from that box. I used the Laneige lip balm before, and I liked it–but I did notice that was not quite as emollient as I would have liked. The Lip Sleeping Mask is so much better. It’s thicker, more moisturizing, and stays on longer. I apply this at night before going to bed, and in the morning when I wake up, my lips feel soft and moisturized, and I don’t feel like I need to reapply this. Plus, it gives your lips a nice shine, like a lip gloss, but less sticky.
Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer
I tried this moisturizer over the summer and ended up really liking it. It’s sort of like a thicker version of the Cerave PM. However, note that this product is not oil-free and the Cerave PM is oil-free, so depending on your skin type, you can choose which one is best for you. This is another moisturize that would work well in the winter, when your skin might need a bit more of a moisturizing kick. Plus, all DE products are made thoughtfully, with ingredients that are safe for sensitive skin and beneficial to your skin, and without any ingredients that are potentially irritating.
Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist
This is another great Supergoop! product that multitasks. (As you can probably tell by now, I love multitasking products. Anything that requires less work is a win for me; I’m all about being lazy.) This mist sets your makeup, and helps reinforce your sun protection when you need to apply sunscreen. Plus, it smells amazing–the scent comes from peppermint oil, rather than fragrance. (Any fragrance in skincare is a big no-no!) It’s great for all skin-types including sensitive skin, and the bottle is sleek and great for throwing in your bag on the go.
Pantene Sulfate-Free Rose Water Shampoo + Conditioner
I’ve never really been all that particular about my hair products prior to color-treating my hair, but since I’ve crossed over to the dark side (or should I say, the light side 😉 ), I’ve had to be a bit more thoughtful about my hair products. I’ve had to start choosing sulfate-free shampoo, as well as heat protectant, leave-in conditioner, oils, etc. This shampoo is sulfate-free, so it’s gentle on color-treated hair. And, it smells AMAZING. It leaves my hair feeling soft and smooth, and smelling like rosewater.
Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb
I don’t normally like lip glosses, but this is one of the few lip glosses that I love and is definitely worth the hype. It’s surprisingly emollient when you first apply it–it feels almost like a lip balm. The colors are all universally flattering, and the shine lasts for hours. And, the packaging is gorgeous, and the glosses have a nice, sweet scent that isn’t too overpowering.
Givenchy Rouge Interdit Black Magic Lipstick
Black is my favorite color, and when I saw this lipstick, I knew I had to have it. I am pleasantly surprised with the product. The lipstick itself is really emollient, and it reacts with the natural pH of your lips to create a custom, flattering berry shade. I love using this when I want to add a nice hint of color that looks natural. You can apply just a couple swipes for a bit more color than your natural lip color, or you can build it up to a much richer, berry shade. It’s such a cool product and it’s become one of my staples in my makeup bag.
Sephora Collection Cream Lip Shade
I am actually a huge fan of Sephora Collection. Sephora’s in-house brand makes really good products at reasonable prices. Most of their makeup products, including foundation, BB cream, etc, are fragrance-free, generally non-irritating, and have a really inclusive shade range. This lipstick was probably the best 14 bucks I ever spent. I have this lipstick in several shades, including the signature red shade, and they are all so great. The color is vibrant and lasts almost all day, and is easy to remove at the end of the day.
Stila Liquid Eyeliner
Sometime this past year, I made the switch from pencil eyeliner to liquid. I used to use liquid and gel liners, and I remember how much staying power they had. I had some good luck with a lot of pencil liners, but since I started using more liquid foundations and less powder foundations, I’ve found that eyeliner and mascara still tends to smudge a bit. So I made the jump back to liquid, and this liner is my absolute favorite. It’s almost like using a pen–it has a felt tip so the application is really easy to control. Once you get used to creating that winged-eyeliner flick, application can take a little as a couple minutes. And, the best part? This stuff lasts all. damn. day. Eyeliner smudges are a thing of the past.