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EHD Team Picks: Our Absolute Favorite Beauty Products (That We Can’t Quit)

Picture this: You walk into a Sephora/Ulta/your beauty store of choice and every product had a recommendation underneath it from someone you knew and trusted (like your friend Jenn, for instance, who stockpiles free makeup samples and knows the difference between hyaluronic acid and alpha-hydroxy acids.) Those recommendations from “Jenn” don’t come from a hunch…they happen to be totally educated information after she trialed said product for months or years (or even decades)…I mean, how much would you love that?!? Never again would you have to spend $568.47 only to find that 87% of what you bought was mediocre, soon to be forgotten, sadly covered in dust until you get the bug to clean out your medicine cabinet and think “oh yeeeaaahhh…I hated this.” Yes, of course, there are reviews online you can look at prior to shopping, but I mean its hard to trust a bunch of strangers. Now, we are all, of course, A BUNCH OF STRANGERS, BUT you know us all by proxy as people who work behind the scenes of a site you (hopefully) visit often. We’re friends, right? I’d like to think so. So, as your friends, we are highly recommending the following 73 beauty products for face, body and hair.

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Name: Emily
What I Do at EHD: I play the role of Emily Henderson in Emily Henderson design.
Skin Type: I have what I call “cheap white skin” which means thin, English/Irish skin that can be super dry and wrinkles easily when in sun (or as I get older, obviously).
Pain Points: Besides the challenge of not knowing how to do my brows (compounded with the fact that I don’t really care), I need a moisturizer that I can smother myself in, that won’t get caught even in my small pores. My last facialist on Mother’s Day told me that I had so many blackheads and I was shocked because I couldn’t see them at all. She said it’s from over moisturizing, but then I was like “you said I had dry skin and that I need to moisturize a lot!!” So, it’s a lose, lose. 
Beauty Expert Level (scale 1 to 5): 1+ I basically just do whatever my friends or makeup artists tell me to do. It’s hard to trust most magazines, blogs or even beauty influencers these days nor do I like to spend thousands of dollars experimenting so I do what my friends tell me to do. I don’t really like the look of makeup on my face but I really want to do a post where someone experiments and does cool/weird stuff to convince me that I can pull it off.
Product Wish List: I like as few products as possible both in my bathroom and my purse. I want cruelty-free and for it to look as natural as possible on my fair skin. Mostly, I want whatever will make me look like a young sexy French model. I’m accepting daily suggestions to help in that transformation.
Skincare Philosophy: I just want to wake up and go (which is why I get lash extensions and want microblading so badly on my brows, but won’t do it because I know it won’t look good on me). 

1. Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Color Balm in Chunky Cheery, $17.50: I’ve been using this product for 10+ years and I love how it pops and feels. It’s never crazy bright and it goes on so smooth, and yet I don’t need to look in the mirror to make sure it’s in the right place because it glides on so easily. So while it does add a lot of color, it’s more of a chapstick. It doesn’t look like I’m wearing “lipstick” which is what I like to go for generally.

2. Lashfood Browfood Tinted Brow Enhancing Gelfix, $24: I don’t actually know yet if this works, but I’ve been told to use it, so use it I will. I’ll let you know in a year if I grow the 10 hairs it promises.

3. Kate Somerville DermalQuench Liquid Lift + Retinol, $98: I just started doing this a couple months ago and I swear it works and my skin looks, well, younger. It feels VERY scientific because its weird foam that sizzles on your skin. 

4. St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse with Mitt, $32 + $6.50: I speak self-tanner fluently and this is my favorite at-home treatment (so far) that I’ve used for years. YOU MUST use that mitt, but if you apply it right, you look tan, not orange and it’s super even and lasts for 4 days (dependiing on how often you shower). I literally dreamt of this product when I was a teenager before it existed. 

5. DPHue Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse, $35: I have a dry scalp and well, extremely dry hair what with last year’s bleaching situation, so I try not to shampoo too much and mostly use this to remove impurities, and argon is super moisturizing. Also, Justin Anderson (one of the founders of DPHue) is just an awesome person so if you like to support nice people then know that I recommend him fully. If you have brassy hair his purple shampoo is great, but my hair is too cool to use it.

6. Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment, From $24: I’ve been using this for years as an exfoliating mask and it’s a noticeable difference when done with it. I think they call it the “10-minute facial” or something super catchy like that. Plus, it’s bright green so it feels like it MUST be healthy for my face.

7. NARS Blush in Orgasm, $30: I really should try a different blush but for now (and the last 10 years) this is that pop of pink that I love.

8. Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil, $34: I’m listening to you guys and I’m trying to have better brows, I promise. I went to Striiike and Kristie recommended this product to me and so far I’m happy. A friend of mine also thinks that I need a sharp pencil to make it look more like real hair so I’m searching for that to help supplement. But the tone is good with my face (I’m told—I guess I was using a pencil that was too warm previously).

9. Kate Somerville Goat Milk De-Puffing Eye Balm, $38: I love the idea and the feeling of this product (and so does Brian). I don’t see a huge difference but on those days when I’m puffy and I don’t have time to do anything proper, this smooths and just feels really good.

10. Caudalie Premier Cru Cream, $140: I started Caudalie when I was pregnant with Charlie (it’s organic so that was my excuse to splurge) and I just love it. I use the daily moisturizer and when I’m not out of it, I use this night cream. It smells good and just feels really smooth.

11. Kristin Ess Dry Finish Working Texture Spray, $14: My hair has a lot of texture, but can also be super fluffy and fuzzy so this kinda tames the texture to look more “fun and messy” than frizzy.

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Name: Arlyn
What I Do at EHD: Editorial Director
Skin Type: Is “Can’t Make Up Its Mind” a skin type? No? Okay then…combination (but mostly oily and acne-prone).
Pain Points: My skin is really sensitive and breaks out just for THINKING about chicken wings. I have a very oily T-Zone and tend to get hormonal acne along my jawline (bummer), but if I don’t moisturize enough, my skin is tight and dry and dull. My pores are the size of sinkholes so they suck up ALL the filth, and my eyebrows are patchy and have seen lusher days (hello, 33).
Beauty Expert Level (scale 1 to 5): 5+ (my darling husband would surely leave me if he knew what being Sephora VIB Rouge meant in terms of $$$ spent).
Product Wish List: Prefer anything natural, cruelty-free but that actually works (though I bend for NARS…GET IT TOGETHER, NARS). I’m also a sucker for “prestige” brands and anything that feels like #selfcare and will keep me YOUNG FOREVER.
Skincare Philosophy: There’s no wound—emotional or physical—a sheet mask can’t heal.

1. Acure Day Cream, $17: When I don’t feel like splurging on Drunk Elephant (#3), I usually turn to Acure, which I get at Target, and frankly, I always forget how much I love this stuff until I’m feeling frugal and avoiding Sephora. It’s a budget pick that performs like a splurge. Bonus: It’s vegan and cruelty-free.

2. NARS Matte Lipstick Pencil in Cruella, $27: Every woman (who likes makeup and lipstick) should have their signature “red” and this is mine. I discovered it kind of by accident and I’ve re-upped several times since. It’s velvety and luscious and makes me feel super vampy. The formula isn’t meant to be long-lasting, so I do have to reapply a few times during the day, but it does last several hours and doesn’t get all clumpy like some all-day formulas do.

3. Drunk Elephant Moisturizer, $60: I’m all for brands like Drunk Elephant that are cruelty-free. This face cream provides the perfect level of moisture for my really-oily-but-also-kind-of-dry face. It doesn’t break me out, it absorbs quickly and the pump applicator dispels the ideal amount each time so you never have any wasteful “whoops” moments.

4. Amika Dry Shampoo, $25: Another HG (holy grail) product for me. My hair is GREASY (I have to wash it every day, basically), but since finding this when I was working on a “best dry shampoo” story last year, I was instantly sold. It doesn’t feel chalky or leave my dark strands dusty and white. And it smells really yummy.

5. Benefit Rollerlash Mascara, $24: I loved Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara for a looooong time, but got so tired of it flaking off (and the water-proof formula was not my favorite). Then I found Rollerlash from Benefit and while it doesn’t give me the same insane falsies-like volume, it still lengthens really well and doesn’t give me raccoon eyes halfway through the day. I’ll take it.

6. Beauty Blender Pro, $20: Best tool I’ve ever used to put on foundation (and I’ve tried a lot)…full stop. It leaves my face even, not streaky, is easy to clean (I used the branded soap that was $$$ for a while until I discovered Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap worked just as well for so much less) and lasts for months and months (so I don’t feel wasteful tossing out single-use sponges).

7. Glossier Sunscreen SPF 35, $25: Sunscreen and my face do not get along. I’ve tried so many and they either feel really thick and paste-y or break me out. I used SuperGoop’s City Sunscreen Serum for years until I found Glossier’s, which I like just as much and it’s almost half the price.

8. NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Vallauris, $49: I think the last time I had smooth skin, I still thought boys had cooties, so I feel best with foundation. I DO NOT like thick, full-coverage foundations, but need something with some actual coverage that feels light and doesn’t LOOK like I’m wearing thick cake-y base. After decades of wearing bad foundations, I finally discovered this one from NARS. It’s insanely light and thin yet somehow still covers all my acne marks and discoloration without added concealer. If I don’t set it with powder, I do get a bit oily, but it lasts basically all day, isn’t streaky, blends really well and I can’t be without it.

9. Sunday Riley Power Couple Duo, $85: Yes, this is pricey, but whoa does my skin transform when I actually use the kit. It smells AWFUL, but the Good Genes’ lactic acid must eat away at the top layer of my skin or something because after a week or so of using it religiously with the sleeping oil, my skin is SO SMOOTH. It’s basically magic (that comes at a cost). This is Holy Grail stuff. So stinky, but effective!

10. Thayers Witch Hazel, $9: Take a quick look at the 4.5-star rating on Amazon from OVER 10,000 PEOPLE…this stuff is freaking awesome and is super affordable. I bought it when I was having a particularly bad breakout thing happening on my jawline, and after using it a few times a day for a few days, the toner really started clearing me up. It’s alcohol-free, smells really nice and makes my face feel awesome.

11. Korres Foaming Face Wash, $26: This is the face wash I go back to time and again when I stray (I’m a beauty product player…#playasgonnaplay). It leaves my face clean as a whistle without stripping it (it’s a cream cleanser, which works great for my combo skin). More pluses: it doesn’t have sulfates, formaldehyde, mineral oil, phthalates, silicones or other yucky ingredients I don’t want seeping into my pores twice a day.

12. Sephora Liquid Liner, $12: Are greasy eyelids a thing, because if they are, I have them. My eyelid skin EATS makeup, so finding a liner that stays put is hard. I’ve spent big bucks on “24-hour” formulas (I call BS because they’re never an all-day thing for me unless I use a primer), but I find that Sephora’s eyeliners (including this liquid version) work just as well as the “premium” brands, are easy to apply and come in lots of fun colors.

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Name: Sara
What I Do at EHD: Photographer
Skin Type: ‘A dry, red war zone of angry hormonal acne’ wouldn’t be an exaggeration.
Pain Points: I’ve always had acne, but when I turned 25 it took a turn for the cystic & hormonal. My skin is also typically dry & ruddy. No powder ever touches this skin. While the products I’m highlighting are essentials in my skin & beauty routine, the only thing that has truly helped battle my hormonal acne directly is a medication called Spironolactone I began taking about 7 months ago after a conversation with my doctor. It’s made such a difference in my skin (but took about 3 months to kick-in).
Beauty Expert Level (scale 1 to 5): 5-ish
Product Wish List: Cruelty-free whenever possible! There are so many good brands on the cruelty-free train these days (I love using this site to quickly check brands if I’m out shopping). Routine: AM – Wash, Tone, Moisturize, SPF, CC Cream. PM – Wash, Tone, Lactic Acid, Retinol, eye cream.
Skincare Philosophy: In Caroline Hirons we trust. Skincare is an investment in yourself – you only get one face.

1. Kristen Ess Dry Finish Working Texture Spray, $14: This is what hair dreams are made of if your dream is that perfectly unperfect, bed hair that so many French girls on Instagram seem to be born with. If that sounds great (it does, right?), then you want a can of this.

2. Glossier Cloud Paint, $18: I love the texture of these blushes, the layerability of their color, the wide range of colors they come in, how they don’t look/feel like a dry powder, and the fact that one tube will last you FOREVER. I’m crushing on Beam for summer, but also love the color Dusk.

3. Lush Fresh Farmacy Soothing Calamine Bar, $12: This is the face wash I use in the mornings or when my face is feeling a little more sensitive (for example, after sun exposure). It’s gentle, non-exfoliating, and specially formulated to be super soft on skin.

4. Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment, $158: ACID EXFOLIATION, people. This is pricey, but I see real results with consistent use (for me that’s every night). I follow it up with Sunday Riley’s Sleeping Night Oil, which has retinol. Retinoids will keep your skin young, friends.

5. Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner, $32: Toners are super important to a skin routine. This non-acid toner is what I use in the mornings after I wash my face. It’s super hydrating with aloe and hyaluronic acid, and the perfect foundation for my moisturizer.

6. Lush Herbalism Natural Herbal Face & Body Cleanser, $17: I have a few different face washes, which I switch up depending on how my skin is feeling (this is a PM wash for me). This is more of a paste, with ground almonds that gently exfoliate. It’s helped my acne prone skin glow, but be wary because particle exfoliation isn’t for everyone.

7. MILK Makeup Kush High Volume Mascara, $24: This is new to the MILK Makeup line, and I’m very into it. It’s super thickening, so I like to use this for volume near the roots and then layer on Glossier’s new Lash Slick mascara (with fibers!) on my tips for amazing added length.

8. Pixi Skintreats Glow Tonic, $15: This is my current night time toner, which has 5% Glycolic acid (the holy grail of acid exfoliants which dissolves dead skin cells and helps skin look brighter, feel softer, fades pigmentation, and fights signs of again). It’s affordable AND sold at Target. It didn’t make it to the board, but their Double Cleanse face cleanser is another favorite Pixi product and the best for removing stubborn makeup.

9. Grace & Stella Anti-Wrinkle + Energizing Gold Collagen Eye Masks, $19 for 12 pairs: Up too late? Out last night drinking? Ate too much salty food yesterday? Whatever made your face puffy or put dark bags under your eyes, these little guys really help.

10. Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40, $32: The sun is the number one most aging and damaging thing for your skin. Even though I’m in the office most of the day, I still slap this stuff on, just in case the sun grazes my face for a single second while I drive to work. It feels like velvet, is completely invisible, and goes on seamlessly over any face tint I’m wearing.

11. It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream SPF 50+, $38: This is as close to foundation as I have ever gotten. It’s an opaque tinted cream that helps hide my acne scars and even out my redness, but still has a glowy/dewy effect. A little goes a long way, and it works really well. Plus, it has built-in SPF! If this is a little too opaque for you, try MILK Makeup’s Sunshine Skin Tint, which is my weekend go-to.

12. Josie Maran Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Treatment, $56: This is the only moisturizer I use because it keeps my skin feeling fresh all day. I have a very serious romantic relationship with this stuff. Please Josie Maran, never ever discontinue this magic-in-a-bottle.

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Name: Velinda
What I Do at EHD: Design Team!
Skin Type: Combination
Pain Points: Eyes that puff and hair that poofs.
Beauty Expert Level (scale 1 to 5): 3? I’d be entry-level if not for my beauty-savvy friends/cosmetologist sister who have shared enough to keep me afloat.
Product Wish List: Pretty content, currently…though those black, charcoal peel-your-face-off masks look like so much fun. Are those actually good for you?
Skincare Philosophy: Fingers Crossed!!! And Sunscreen.

1. Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Spray SPF 15, $36: When I visited a dermatologist as a 22 year-old in an attempt to take care of my skin for the first time ever, the doctor told me more than any other product/procedure out there, SUNSCREEN was the secret to “lasting youth.” I can be pretty hit-or-miss when it comes to any beauty regimen, but I can now claim sunscreen use as a decade-long ritual. Shiseido makes a product that’s both face-friendly AND a spray. Sprays are my favorite! Easy to use/reapply, without ruining makeup.

2. Oz Naturals Vitamin C Facial Serum, $18: I first used this when I found a bottle in a check out lane at Marshall’s. I seemed to notice more even, bright skin, but never bought another bottle. Then, this year, I met with a friend/makeup artist in preparation for a wedding skincare routine. I confessed that my only existing “routine” consisted of some oil, sunscreen and alcohol-riddled hair products, she educated me on some basics. (I told her to keep it VERY simple, or I’d abandon). Vitamin C was on her short-list of “must do these four things at night” so…back to this I go.

3. Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo, $34: Remember that makeup-artist friend I mentioned a few lines ago? As a wedding gift, she gave my wife and I a basket of some of her favorite products to use in preparation for our day. The basket included many incredible items I wouldn’t have EVER known to look for. The Alterna products were the ones Katie and I fell in love with most. This shampoo and conditioner apparently contain “real caviar extract, rich in omega 3 fatty acids” and my hair now pretty much feels like silk and so does Katie’s. We have different hair-types and have had to get different shampoos/conditioners in the past. Having one we can share? We’re in. There’s also a ton of bad things it doesn’t include (which my friend was super excited about…but I only remember “sulfates”).

4. Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Conditioner, $34: Love this for all the same reasons mentioned for its sister shampoo in #3. 

5. Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging Omega+ Anti-Frizz Dry Oil Mist, $34: I don’t know why I didn’t list this one first. It’s my personal favorite. Several weeks ago, Emily asked me what I put in my hair after I go swimming (spoiler alert for future blog posts?). My response was, “some cheap, alcohol-based thing I couldn’t recommend to anyone.” But this stuff is actually worth mentioning! It uses skincare oils (avocado oil, Abyssinian oil and camellia oil) to smooth frizz, even in humidity. I like that I can put it in my hair while it’s still damp (i.e. after I go swimming) so I can prevent frizz. But it can also go on dry hair…which Katie likes to use as a heat protectant before she uses her irons and I like to use on day three of having not washed my hair to tame/add shine.

6. Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil, $10: I’ve tended toward a hippie-dippie approach thus far in my self-care and it wouldn’t be complete without coconut oil. I’ve used it as moisturizer in the past (I’ve found more penetrating options recently). But I still use it to tame some of my curly-hair frizz and to remove eye-makeup. (Olive oil has proven another good option, but has a more distinct smell that I don’t want lingering in my hair). My “high-end” brand of choice: Trader Joe’s.

7. African Shea Butter 100% Natural, $9: I found a jar of this stuff in a surf shop in Florida a few years ago. The lid made such claims as being a “treatment for eczema, arthritis pain, skin discoloration, stretch marks, diaper rash, wrinkles, muscle stiffness, dry hair/skin” and more. But you can’t trust anything coming out of Florida, right (well, except for Arlyn, of course, who just moved here from there)? I figured since it claimed to be a miracle cure for everything from dry hands to cancer and it cost $7, I’d try it. I can’t attest to every claim, but I’m still using it as a fantastic moisturizer! So much better than a lotion.

8. Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging Sheer Dry Shampoo Powder Spray, $25: Katie loved this product. I had never used dry shampoo before (my hair gets frizzy vs. greasy…that means I don’t need dry shampoo? Excuse my ignorance). But I’ve tried this stuff because my wife raved about it and I figured more “shampoo” just made me cleaner? I liked it because I couldn’t feel any product in my hair and it wasn’t chalky. It smelled nice. Katie liked how voluminous it made her hair. And they’ve squeezed 200 pumps into a travel-sized bottle… extra points for good design!

9. bareMinerals Mineral Veil Finishing Powder, $23: My wife turned me onto this one. I couldn’t tell you what it was exactly, so I looked it up. Turns out, it’s a “finishing powder” and it “gives your skin a soft, airbrushed quality.” Cool. I just like it because it makes my complexion super even and it isn’t heavy-looking like a foundation powder. AND, it’s translucent so it doesn’t involve matching skin-tones. It suits anyone and is super natural-looking.

10. Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF 55, $9: When I don’t want to spend the $36 or hunt down the Shiseido spray from #1, this SPF from Neutrogena is a great substitute.

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Name: Grace
What I Do at EHD: Design Assistant
Skin Type: Combination
Pain Points: My skin is pretty clear, but I do get the occasional zit (around that time of the month) and ALWAYS around the same area—near my mouth/chin or the side of my nose. Before, like 5-10 years ago before, it would always clear up on its own as if nothing ever happened. But now, for some reason (or maybe the reason is called turning 30), when it “heals,” it leaves a dark spot that takes MONTHS to fade! Oh, and my skin can get oily so unless I take 1 million hours to do my makeup, it’s just all gone by the end of the day.
Beauty Expert Level (scale 1 to 5): 3? Not an expert, but I did go through a phase where I was obsessed with watching makeup and skincare videos on YouTube.
Product Wish List: I have this dream of being responsible enough to actually be one of those people with a 10-step Korean skincare routine (it’s a thing), so I’ve been eyeing either the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence or the Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence Rose Edition. I’m also forever on the hunt for that perfect foundation that’s kinda dewy but also kinda velvety matte that would stay on my face all day long!
Skincare Philosophy: Less is more! If the minimalist route has been working, why fix what’s not broken?

1. Caudalie Beauty Elixir, $49 for 3.4 oz: Any product that makes me feel cooler and momentarily makes me forget about my disdain for the heat is a favorite in my book. The fact that this spray sets your makeup and also freshens up your face mid-day are just two little bonuses! I recommend getting the mini version so you can take it with you wherever!

2. Glossier Cloud Paint in Beam, $18: Maybe it’s because it’s summer, but I’m currently very into anything coral colored. Historically, this is a color that I shy away from because I don’t think it works for my skin tone, but I tried this on at the newly opened Glossier store on Melrose, and was pleasantly surprised! On my skin, it’s a pale coral blush with a slight luminescence, which I feel gives off just the right amount of summer glow. And because it’s a gel-cream formula, it has really good lasting power on my (kinda oily) skin!

3. Soap & Glory Heel Genius Foot Cream, $9: It literally says ‘Better Than A Pedicure?!’ on the packaging and it is indeed! Especially when you are pressed for time and can’t get to the nail salon, but need your feet to look their softest, smoothest and silkiest selves! Apply to feet at night, pop on some socks, and you’ll be beach/sandals-ready by morning!

4. Maybelline Makeup Superstay Ink Liquid Lipstick in Amazonian, $8: This one is a real game changer, guys! If you can buy only one out of all my picks, this liquid lipstick from Maybelline would be it! This matte lipstick actually does what it promises (“16 hours of liquid matte intensity”) and literally lasts ALL DAY. It also doesn’t feel as dry or as tight as when I’d have Colourpop on my lips. Every lip product out there seriously needs to switch their formula to this one! (I, along with two other friends, have a couple shades and would like more, but our all-time favorite is Amazonian. Go get it now. You’re welcome.

5. Heimish All Clean Balm, $17: The best oil-based cleansing balm that I’ve ever tried for removing eye makeup, hands down! I feel like oil-based makeup removers do a better job of removing makeup, but I really hate the oily residue that it leaves afterward. That is not an issue with this cleansing balm—it removes all the gunk without the icky oily feeling! (P.S. If you have sensitive skin or Malassezia Folliculitis, maybe skip this one.)

6. Origins Peace of Mind On-the-Spot Relief, $14: One thing that you should know about me is the fact that I absolutely 100% abhor the heat, so any product that would give me some sort of immediate relief from it instantly becomes a favorite. This Origins Peace of Mind On-the-Spot Relief is one that I’ve loved for years and even got me through two hot and humid summers in the Philippines. Dab a tiny bit at the back of your neck, temples and earlobes and in less than a minute, the minty formula will cool you off and make you a much more pleasant person to be around!

7. Duo Adhesive Lash Adhesive Dark, $5: I think everyone who has used this will agree with me on this one—Duo is the best eyelash adhesive out there! It’s easy to apply, long lasting, pretty forgiving (aka you’ll have time to readjust) if you mess up putting one of your falsies on, is not irritating or painful when it gets too hot and you start sweating, and most importantly, very easy to remove. I’ve used other glues that were a pain to take off and at the end of the day, one just shouldn’t have to deal with that (one time I thought this other glue had ripped out all of my real lashes and I ended up avoiding looking at my eyes for two weeks).

8. Neogen Real Fresh Foam Cleanser Blueberry, $21: I use this as either my morning or night facial wash depending on what I feel like that day, but definitely always after I use my Heimish All Clean Balm (these two are the only ones left in my skincare rotation from my failed attempt at getting on the 10-step Korean skincare bandwagon). It contains fermented ingredients (a big thing in Korean skincare from what I’ve heard) that are supposed to have many benefits for your skin, makes your face feel so fresh and smooth after, and the best part—it actually smells like blueberries. So good it makes me want to eat blueberries every single time!

9. Eyeko Black Magic Eyeliner, $22: I got hit with a double whammy of eyelid problems (hooded Asian lids and oily lids—never a good combo), so finding a good eyeliner that actually stays on and does not smudge within an hour of putting it on is a tough ask. Enter this Eyeko eyeliner—my holy grail now and forever! It’s got a very fine brush tip so you can be as precise as you want, it’s super black, and stays on not all day, but pretty darn close! I’ve never found any other eyeliner (even those that are highly touted by beauty vloggers) that has worked for me as amazing as this one.

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Name: Jess
What I Do at EHD: Blog Assistant/Office Manager
Skin Type: Dry…like the desert
Pain Points: My skin is really sensitive so I rarely try new lotions or oils because no one likes a face rash. I also have dark circles which are both hereditary (thanks mom AND dad) and caused by my lack of sleep/minimal vegetable intake. This means a good under-eye concealer is non-negotiable.
Beauty Expert Level (scale 1 to 5): 3. Not hopeless but could use some help.
Product Wish List: I just want to look natural with a little glow (you know, like a sun goddess). But I also want LOW maintenance makeup that I don’t need to touch up throughout the day. I am moving more and more to natural products because well the less harsh chemicals the better. A cup from the fountain of youth would be great, too.
Skincare Philosophy: The fancier/expensive it is the better it works right? #easilyinfluenced

1. Blinc Mascara Amplified, $26: Raccoon Eyes might as well have been my nickname ‘til this gem of a mascara came into my life. Due to magic (or science?), this mascara forms tiny tubes around your lashes instead of painting the ink onto them. It sounds weird but go with it. Let’s just say no more nasty rings under those beautiful eyes!

2. Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30, $36: Like I said, I am wary of putting new lotions on my face but this one passed the rash test. Plus, the tint matches my skin tone to give me a nice even glow without needing to put on foundation which I hate. BONUS, it has 30 SPF and is nontoxic.

3. Ilia Satin Cream Lip Crayon in Push It, $24: I just bought this and I love it! It’s the prettiest coral I’ve ever worn and doesn’t give you the dreaded “faded lip liner” look after a couple hours of wear. Not crazy long-lasting but it’s natural so I’m okay with it.

4. Innersense Color Awakening Hair Bath, $26: Natural shampoo is a real hit or miss but this one is awesome. It suds up, smells beautiful and for us “not so natural” hair types, this one protects your expensive color.

5. Kosas Color + Light in Tropic Equinox, $34: In my sun goddess quest, I feel like this creamy highlighter/bronzer combo was a game changer. It’s so pretty and glow-y, easy to use (I was a contour virgin, so phew) and it’s another product that’s natural.

6. OPI Nail Polish in Crawfishin’ For a Compliment, $8: Hi my name is Jess and I like orange. Sorry EHD! Okay, that felt really good to get off my chest and onto my nails because this pale orange nail polish is my perfect shade. Fun but not too loud.

7. Schick Intuition Sensitive Care Razor, $8: When I was 14, I was given this razor for free at the grocery store and I have never looked back. That’s 16 years people. Aside from the annoying commercial jingle, this thing is magic. No shaving cream needed because soap is already around the razor. The refills are expensive but to me, it is SO worth it.

8. Sephora Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in 01 Always Red, $14: I love a bold red lip and this puppy is seriously the best! Super long wear and matte. I’m never wearing any other red…plus it’s $14. Please and thank you.

9. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Biscuit, $30: Dear NARS, you may have a ton of toxins in your makeup which is a real bummer, but this concealer is my everything. Maybe one day I’ll eat all the kale and get a lot of sleep but until then, my dark under-eye circles need you. To me…you are…perfect. Love, Jess

10. Wet Brush Classic Brush, $8: I don’t know if your wet hair could win a gold medal in a tangle competition like mine but my life changed FOREVER the day this hairbrush came into my life. If you don’t have one, buy one right now. Yes, I mean it. RIGHT NOW. But P.S. don’t use it with a hairdryer. It will melt.

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Name: Julie
What I Do at EHD: Assistant Designer / Project Manager
Skin Type: Classic combo…I always have issues with dryness in the morning but then I can use an oil blot sheet in the afternoon and make that thing clear (so gross, but the truth).
Pain Points: I have very fair skin with freckles so summertime is not my favorite season. I have to get the annual bad burn before my skin (and myself) accepts the fact that it is 90+ degrees, then the sun and skin become frenemies.
Beauty Expert Level (scale 1 to 5): 2.75 (ironically, I went to makeup school back in ’09).
Product Wish List: I am a big proponent of drugstore items, finding products that are not only good for my skin and the environment but easy on my bank account. I am as frugal as they come, so products that work well and last a long time are always also my go-to priorities.
Skincare Philosophy: Hydration, I try my best to drink a lot of water during the day but is a task I fail to do often. Nothing is better for your skin in my opinion.

1. Majestic Pure Lavender Oil, $17: I’m one of those people that will take a bath over a shower and if you’re a fan of lavender like I am than this oil is AMAZING. Two drops of this stuff and all the stress of the day fades away. One bottle of it lasted me over two years ’til I had about a quarter of it left and it broke in my car when I was moving back to LA. The upside of it is now every time I get into my car, I feel like I am running through a field of lavender.

2. Maybelline Face Studio Master Strobe, $8: My makeup routine is pretty minimal but this product makes the cut. I think of it as my “fancy” item, it’s so easy to use and gives my cheekbones the perfect highlight for that summer dewy look. Just swipe, dab, and go!

3. Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Peppermint Soap, $16: Clean your hair? Check. Wash your clothes? Check. Brush your teeth? Sure, why not. There is a reason why this soap has been around since 1858, it works for everything and on top of that, it’s biodegradable so it is better for the environment than most other brands out there. Plus, it lasts

4. Pursoma Detox Beauty Jute Dry Brush, $32: The first time I ever tried dry brushing, all I could think is “Why do people do this, it hurts?” More I did it the more addictive it was and I was seeing some amazing benefits. Exfoliates, detoxifies, reduces pores and cellulite…it’s trendy for a reason people.

5. Maybelline Full ‘N Soft Waterproof Mascara, $8: I tried this mascara my sophomore year of high school—that’s 13 years ago—and have never used another one since. Not sure if now I just love it or it’s just routine but it works so well and cheap, why try anything else? #setinmyways

6. Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, $45: This cream does magical things, like transforms your butt back to the baby smooth one it once was (you know back in the day) and transports you to a tropical vacation. It smells so good and is basically the main reason why I buy it time and time again.

7. Dr Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt Soaking Solution, $5: When I used to workout, I loved taking an Epsom salt bath for sore muscles and this coconut scented one makes you feel like your laying in one big pina colada. Hmmm…I’m seeing a theme of products that make me feel like I am on vacation, “Hey guys, I’ll see ya in a week”. ?

8. Green Goo All-Natural Skin Repair, $18: This is my version of a night cream, it helps so much with my dry skin and when I get those bad sunburns. It has all of the good stuff: olive oil, coconut oil, rosehip seed oil, aloe vera oil, basically all the oils, so I don’t feel bad when I slather it all over my face.

9. Mountain Ocean Coconut Skin Trip Moisturizer, $11: By far this is my most coveted product on this list. Speaking of a tropical vacation, I literally get compliments on the coconut smell often. A big pet-peeve of mine is the greasy residue of moisturizer and this one is perfectly lightweight and did I mention it smells delicious??? It is my favorite part of my morning routine.

And because sharing is caring, PLEASE chime in in the comments with some of your own recommendations, holy-grail type beauty and skincare products you just can’t live without. Oh, and if there is anything you’ve been dying to try but haven’t gotten to, let us know, too. Maybe we can collect all of those requests, do a big slather-all-over-out-bodies-in-the-name-of-blog-science party and report back with our thoughts.

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Karen T.
5 years ago

What about Brady?!?!??! 🙂

5 years ago
Reply to  Karen T.

Yes what about Brady?! I love his gift guides cause I use it to get ideas from my Husband 🙂

5 years ago
Reply to  Jen

He’s been in Portland super busy working on the project there, so we couldn’t wrangle him THIS TIME. But we’re sure he’ll be smugly happy to know he was missed, haha.

5 years ago
Reply to  Karen T.

Brady! Boys read this blog, too 🙂

5 years ago

Thank you for this! Inspired some early morning coffee-fueled shopping on Glossier (Cloud Paint, Invisible Shield), Target (Kristin Ess Dry Finish, Soap & Glory Foot Cream), and Amazon (Wet Brush, Beauty Blender, Thayers Witch Hazel, Caudalie Beauty Elixir). Excited for the packages to start rolling in next week!

5 years ago

My beauty fave here in Australia is Go-To skin care… and good news for the EHD team, it’s now stocked in Sephora! Here’s a link to their Aus website, def worth checking out because its all natural, cruelty free and the products all have funny descriptions which make me laugh 🙂 I also use the Invisible Zinc tinted sunscreen daily, instead of foundation. And have just started trialling a shampoo bar instead of regular shampoo to cut down on plastic and use something more natural. Not sure how that will go but fingers crossed.

5 years ago
Reply to  Kate

I absolutely second Go-To! It turned my red, blotchy, dry and oily, occasionally spotty skin into a smooth, clear dream. I was hesitant at first to put a face oil on my already oily skin, but it has done miracles.
I’m just waiting for them to come up with a sunscreen!

5 years ago
Reply to  Nicola

I think oils are actually supposed to work great on already oily skin (or so my research and experience seems to say). I think this is often because more liquid type beauty products have a higher water and alcohol content that actually dry skin out more, even though they feel more hydrating at first (again, this is what I think I remember reading a few times BUT I COULD BE WRONG). Basically, people with oil skin shouldn’t be afraid of using oils and should totally experiment to see if they work for them! Your comment about fixing dry, red skin has me googling Go-To so fast. Which products do you use?

5 years ago
Reply to  Sara Tramp

You have to use Face sheep! Seconding all the comments above, the whole range is amazing!! It is really reasonably priced for how freaking good it is!

Bettye Greenwood
5 years ago

I am a 63 year old woman who had very bad acne as a teenager. My oily skin and large pores kept me from using moisturizer at all until I hit my 50s. Now I only use a light moisturizer like Aveeno Absolutely Ageless. I have recently discovered Neutrogena’s pure and free liquid sunscreen, which I love because it is not greasy. I now use it every single day because I don’t need anymore dark spots. Laura Mercier’s silk creme moisturizing foundation evens out my skin tone and covers up any dark spots and residual acne scars without looking heavy. I don’t wear a lot of eye make up but I do wear Smashbox Always Sharp waterproof kohl liner. It goes on smoothly and lasts all day. When I wear mascara it’s IT cosmetics superhero. There are so many really good products now, for all skin types.

5 years ago

I’m also a huge fan of Kate Somerville. In addition to ExfoliKate, I use (and love) the Glow Moisturizer. Haven’t tried the eye cream yet, but now I’m excited to give it a go!

5 years ago

LOVE all things Drunk Elephant as well as Vintner’s Daughter Serum and Tammy Fender Cleansing Milk. It’s all pricey but it lasts so long that I feel like it’s totally worth it.

I feel you Sara and Grace on the hormonal acne around the chin area and wanted to note that the solution for me was totally unexpected. I was on spironolactone for a while with pretty good results (but definitely not perfect). I went off of it while pregnant and then did Whole30 18 months ago and found that the acne completely disappeared. Dairy seemed to be the biggest culprit – every time I ate it, I’d break out. Now that I’m pregnant again, I’m eating all the dairy with no regard for my skin, but I’m very glad to know that I seemingly have total control over it and just need to cut out dairy if I want it to go away. Getting the dark marks/scars to go away faster remains a frustration and mystery…

5 years ago
Reply to  Rachel

Yep, minimizing dairy has been another BIG help to my hormonal acne! I’ve read a few articles that say this happens because dairy has natural estrogen hormones in it which just spurs on my hormonal breakouts. And drinking a LOT more water has also helped my skin. I don’t go anywhere without my water bottle these days.

5 years ago

What, no Brady? His entry would definitely have been fun to read!

5 years ago
Reply to  sg5785

He’s been working up in Portland on the renovation project, but we’ll be sure to grab his picks from him next time!

5 years ago
Reply to  sg5785

HA. everyone misses Brady!!!!

5 years ago

This was so helpful! I’d love a more in-depth article on retinol, the acid face wash stuff Sara was talking about….all that intimidating stuff that I know will help me!

5 years ago

I am so psyched for this but would find it a lot helpful if we could learn a bit more about the folks (besides Emily) in terms of their age and ethnic background – or a photo of each of the posters would be helpful guidance. I’m not trying to profile anyone, I just know from long experience that being fair skinned, Northern European background myself, my skin issues and what products work tend to work on me are generally quite different than, say, someone of Asian or Mediterranean descent. And my issues now at 44 are not what they were at 25.

5 years ago
Reply to  bubu

I am also 44 and while i love seeing what everyone’s favorites are I also felt reading this that these fabulous gals are all just hitting their 30’s and are still really into experimenting which I, at this age, am not so into. I found Paula’s Choice which works and is priced well and the website is a wealth of ingredients knowledge…and while it still takes some experimenting to get the right regimen they are a company I trust so I just don’t need to look anywhere else. Still enjoy figuring out the make up though! Always looking for the best liner that will not budge! And looking for a great leave-in conditioner or hair treatment that is not an oil but smoothes and shines…. oh and also is not smelly!

JoAnn Gilles
5 years ago

To whom do I send photos of art for the Portland house? I lead a community of artists, Val Hubbard is one of my students and part of our group. (We’ve met. )

Most work is small. But not all.

I Have 3-4 larger paintings. I can send you photos.

JoAnn Gilles

5 years ago
Reply to  JoAnn Gilles

Oh HI Joann!! It’s Emily. You can email He’s managing all the art up there (I get up there on monday). Thanks!!

5 years ago

Such a fun post for a Friday morning! I love beauty products, but am a die-hard frugalista, so most of mine come from a drug store with the exception of my MAC powder foundation and anti-wrinkle fighters. I am 41 and have acne-prone, oily skin. For over a decade, I’ve sworn by Neutrogena’s Oil-free broad spectrum 35 spf moisturizer. It probably isn’t the most toxin/cruelty-free choice, but it works, is cheap, and meets my Dermatologist’s daily 30 spf recommendation. Dry shampoo: I use it at least every other day and swear by Not Your Mother’s original, unscented formula–again cheap and doesn’t leave my hair smelling like a coconut. I do splurge on a nighttime skin care routine, and use: Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% retinol treatment and RESIST Daily Pore-Refining Treatment With 2% BHA.

5 years ago

I would also be interested in the men’s favorite products. It’s not like my husband really shops for himself or is that adventurous. But if it’s in his drawer, he will put it on.

5 years ago
Reply to  Laura

I buy Brian’s products and mostly just what looks like something he would use (Baxter) but I have no idea if its actually good and he only uses it like twice a week. But I’m sure we could do some research and maybe I could use him as a test case.

5 years ago

Arlyn, I SO wish that NARS matte lipstick was $2! Got me excited for a second. I will probably still get it though… 🙂

I have been LOVING Supergoop sunscreen this summer. I actually ran out in Hawaii, got another brand at the drug store and it broke me and my daughter out! Supergoop is so worth the price.

I have also been loving the bareMinerals BARESKIN concealer. It is SO good – covers my bags and red spots so well – I don’t think I will use anything else.

5 years ago

I love trying new products…..

Randomly, last night, I got sucked into the Environmental Working Group (EWG) site that rates and also certifies cosmetic and skincare products (for safety and better understanding of the ingredients). Passing along the link below in case anyone else is interested.

5 years ago

I love new products….

Randomly, last night, I got sucked into the Environmental Working Group (EWG) site that rates and also certifies makeup and skincare products (for safety and better understanding of the ingredients). Passing along the link below in case anyone is interested….

5 years ago
Reply to  Laura

Thank you for posting this. Caviar is the eggs of endangered fish [also mostly is really polluted rivers so not sure how that could be good for your skin.] I suspect that products made from it aren’t environmentally friendly at all.

5 years ago

I loved this post! I connected most with Julie’s post which makes me think that I need a vacation!! As I’ve gotten older (47 next week) I definitely have used less and less on my face. Natural exfoliation is key for me and using Argan and coconut oils! I also make my own charcoal mask out of activated charcoal and honey or with aloe.

I also missed seeing Brady here!! Maybe he should do his own fashion skin care post!!

5 years ago

Hi team EHD: How about an “intro” series so we can meet the team members individually? I feel a bit confused on who everyone is with all the changes in the last year or so, would love a post series that introduces each person one by one, with a few pics, background, what they do at EHD, etc….I know you’ve given some of this info here and there but individual posts would really help to feel like we “know” each member. Just a thought! Thanks for all your fantastic content. xox

5 years ago

Love this post as I am always looking for new products to try. As a “cheap white skin” gal myself, you must try the Weleda Skin Food as an overnight moisturizing mask. Its very thick and greasy in a good way but by morning your skin is plump and moisturized. I am on my third week of using and noticed compliments on my skin when i am make up free. I swear if has helped my crows feet around my eyes as well.


5 years ago

Emily – as a fellow pasty girl of Irish extraction – whenever I see your Instas or blog posts – i always think you look so cute and HAPPY! Happy girls are prettiest. Your skin always looks fabulous esp when you wear red!

I can’t use self tanner as it makes me itch like mad, so i just embrace my pasty legs, but i just started using Bobbi Brown’s bronzer on my face – all over with a big fluffy brush and then on my cheekbones with a blush brush. It is giving me LIFE this summer, I feel like i haven’t looked this healthy in a long time!

5 years ago

@Grace – what is it about the YouTube beauty tutorials? I wear minimal makeup and yet, am weirdly obsessed with them? Especially the British ones…

5 years ago
Reply to  Sarah

Seriously!! I haven’t been binge watching as much lately, but I LIVED for these British lifestyle/beauty vloggers! Every time a monthly favorites video came out, I would go on a Sephora “retail therapy” kick!

5 years ago

If you truly want beautiful healthy skin, watch what you eat and drink. Use products that are actually going to benefit your skin like Obagi, ZO Skin Health. If you do want to use makeup, opt for pure natural products: like Pacifica or Mineral Fusion.
Stop wasting your money at Sephora or Ulta. These products will just suck the life out of your skin. They might claim to be natural, but they are not. Too many chemicals. They’re like a bandaid, just covers your skin problems, but once you remove it, your skin issues are still there. Lots of good skin products you already have them in your pantry and fridge.

5 years ago

If you have greasy hair and your scalp gets all itchy after one day of not washing it – and little skin colored bumps on your face that never go away – look into fungal acne. It’s super common and it makes your skin have a bad reaction to stuff that’s in ALMOST EVERYTHING. Simple face wash + squalene are my everything. It has changed my life!

5 years ago
Reply to  Monica

Very interesting, Monica! So much information!

5 years ago

This was fun, even though I am much older than you all and have different needs. We do overlap a bit, though. One product I’ve discovered recently is Mac Prep and Prime Highlighter in Bright Forecast. This is fantastic for color correcting red or blue under the eyes, You use it under concealer, and it lasts all day.

One more observation – I love Caudalie products but I buy them in France – I didn’t know Sephora carried them. They are very much cheaper there – so find a friend who is going to France and get them to bring you some.

Brooke K
5 years ago

Love these! Cloud paint is my number 1! As someone who also struggled with hormonal acne for years (and sometimes still do!), spironolactone was big for me too! I also now try to check out any new skincare or face makeup on the CosDNA website ( It looks super janky, but you can search for products by name and they will give you a breakout of the ingredients and give a number for each indicating how likely that ingredient is to cause acne. My derm advised me to avoid products with ingredients rated 3 and up. Obviously not a guarantee, but it’s a good reference and can sometimes help identify the specific ingredients causing irritation. 🙂

5 years ago

I swear by the Botanics line by Boots (sold at Target), which you often photograph and link because the packaging is pretty darn cute. I had very oily and acne-prone skin as a teenager, then it dried out in my twenties. I have finally found a routine that gives my skin a lovely glow, and these products smell delightful and won’t break the bank. I can’t use foaming cleansers due to an allergy, but the anti-aging microdermabrasion cleanser is fabulous. The calming cream cleanser is also great and I use them interchangeably. I follow the cleanser with the toning spritz, a serum, and moisturizer both morning and night. I can usually go all day without getting greasy or feeling too dry. I don’t think you will be disappointed!

5 years ago

I worked for Sephora HQ in merchandising for 3 years, and I absolutely LOVE reading other peoples routines and favorite items!

Some of my Sephora favorites are Peter Thomas Roth’s 3% Retinol (changes my skin literally overnight), It Cosmetics CC Cream, Too Faced Eyelid primer (hello greasy eyelids!!) and Laura Mercier’s translucent loose setting powder. Oh! And I can’t leave the house w/o doing my brows with Benefits’ Gimme Brow.

Some non-Sephora favorites include Glossier’s perfume and lip stains which are layer-able and leave your lips looking like you ate a popsicle. And if there’s one thing you read here and try, let it be this: jojoba oil+aloe vera gel from TJ’s, $10 total, just a pea size of both, mix in your palm and it makes the BEST moisturizer for all skin types. I’ve always been skeptical using oils on my oily skin and this combo has been a game changer for my skin. And SO cheap!!!

5 years ago
Reply to  jenn

Thanks for the TJ’s tip!!

5 years ago

I’m also very fair, and I tend to avoid bright (especially red) lipsticks. Are there any red lipsticks that the very pale faces can wear and not look like a deranged clown???

I love ExfoliKate! Great product.

My recommendation? Mixed Chicks Gentle Clarifying Shampoo. I was just looking for shampoos designed for curly hair when I found this one. I’d been using it for about a month when I realized what the name meant. Ha. I’ve have my dna analyzed, and I am so NOT mixed, but this is a great shampoo for curly hair. Smells good, too.

5 years ago
Reply to  Paula

Hi! I’m also pale with dark blonde hair, and my sister in laws are both Irish-freckled-pale, one with very dark brown hair and one with red hair. We all LOVE the NARS cruella color that was recommended here – I don’t understand how, but it comes off as the perfect red that flatters all of us. Hope that helps!

5 years ago

I have not finished reading Jess’ recommendations but I wanted to dive into the comments already because as I was reading it my dry dry D R Y face was begging for someone on the EHD team to have dry skin but who also wants to glow like a goddess. Thanks Jess for being my beauty searching equal and for the entire EHD team’s recs.

I’d also like to go ahead and recommend Clinique’s Take Off the Day balm for the easiest and very soothing, non-irritating makeup remover balm.

5 years ago

My HG products:

Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation – the best foundation I’ve ever used. It’s under $20 and comes in a ton of shades so will work for a wide range of skin tones. Light to medium coverage and leaves a dewy finish.

Nars eyeshadow -. it’s expensive but worth every penny. It wears well, has a nice texture, and is very pigmented. Some eyeshadows look, like, dull or sheer or both when you put them on. Not NARS. I even use it to line my eyes instead of eyeliner – just apply with a damp brush.

Paula’s Choice 10% AHA – I use it once a week and it has changed my skin. Once I hit my 30’s, my skin started getting duller and I started seeing fine lines on my forehead (already…wahhhh). My aesthetician said it was because I needed to exfoliate more. She recommended a product by Skinceuticals and I loved it but it was very expensive. I did some research and ended up buying the Paula’s Choice AHA and it’s awesome.

5 years ago

I use AHA, BHA, Retinol and daily sunscreen from PC and I love it. Never had a better skin.

5 years ago

@Grace: I have no time/diligence for a 10-step skin care routine, but the SK-II Essence is now ESSENTIAL to my 4 step skin care routine. I have sensitive, generally dry skin with oily t-zone and tried all kinds of heavy moisturizing creams vs serums that usually ended up too greasy, but the SK-II Essence did the trick. It is light and absorbs instantly and adds the perfect amount of hydration before applying moisturizer. The 2.5 oz bottle lasts me about 6 months; I buy during Sephora’s semi-annual sales.

5 years ago
Reply to  shaz

Same, Shaz, SAME!! I tried the 10-step skincare earlier this year (which is why I ended up with those two Korean skincare items), but just don’t have enough dedication in me to do all 9-10 steps every. single. night. I’ve also switched to a more manageable 4-step skincare routine – or 3 depending on how lazy I am at night! I’ll have to keep a look out for the next semi-annual sale, so I can finally get the SK-II Essence!

5 years ago
Reply to  Grace

A cheaper but great alternative to the SK-II is the Missha Intensive Moist First Treatment Essence. (It is fermented purple barley). I’m a 10-steper (46 yrs old) and this is one of my HGs. Also for what its worth you don’t have to do all 10 steps every night. And I find that I can do it pretty quickly combining it with my shower/night routine. 0–remove eye makeup, 1(oil cleanse Banilla sensitive), get in shower (rinse oil), 2 (foam cleanse, Cerave Salicylic or Cosrx Good Morning Low pH cleanser), get out of shower, 3 (tone–I like Acwell pH 5.5 licorice), 4 (sometimes) (exfoliate, Neogen pads, or Biologie Recherche Lotion p50 for sensitive skin, Tascha enzyme rice powder-sensitive), floss, 5 (essence Missha, above), brush teeth, 6 serum (either a vitamin C or Missha Time Revolution Night Repair (HG!)), 7 Moisture (Missha super aqua cell renew snail cream, Retinol moisturizer, or Kiehls Midnight Recovery Oil–if I’ve used Vit C serum). I only sheet mask 1x/week. Only exfoliate 2-3 x/wk. Oh and have added eye cream (testing Tatcha). Mornings are easier (and minimal makeup now that may skin is balanced). Wash, essence, moisture (kiehls ultra facial cream), sunscreen (Neogen spf 50+), eye cream.… Read more »

5 years ago

Some of those are definitely part of my favorites too! But i’ll have to check out the others on your post!

5 years ago

Love reading about other people’s beauty routines! Super surprised no one had any products from The Ordinary in their round-ups though! Products are clinical grade formulations and many are around US$10 mark. Personally love their Hyaluronic Acid, Buffet and Niacinamide serums. Also, Emily FYI, Biologie Recherche P50 lotion has been a game changer for blackheads and overall skin condition (i have fair sensitive dry skin and use the P50T). For oils, love the Josie Maran argan milk in Sara’s round up (and the JM argan oil), but just started a new one which is amazing but pricey Lumity Oil (which apparently Meghan Markle’s UK facialist uses on her!)

5 years ago
Reply to  Ally

I love The Ordinary! Right now I’m using their Hyaluronic Acid too 🙂 And I just ordered the toner, Buffet, and vitamin C to try out. It’s so easy to fill up my cart because their price points are so great. I had been using P50 for about two years, but took a break to try some other options as it is pretty expensive and unfortunately there isn’t much info on their animal testing. But it’s so hard to fight the hundreds and hundreds of rave reviews about life changing that stuff is for people’s skin.

5 years ago

Emily, I’m so glad you mentioned cruelty free products… it’s an absolute must for me!

Sadly, Clinique and Caudalie are not cruelty free though. Wish they would be!!!! 🙂

5 years ago

Maybelline Lash Paradise mascara is my favorite and not expensive to replace every month.

Deb K
5 years ago
Reply to  Emily

Do you mean L’Oréal Lash Paradise? It is also my favorite. Gives my short and sparse lashes length and volume without clumping. Costco is currently selling a 3-pack for around $17.

5 years ago

I’m a skincare junky. And I humbly say I will be 50 this year and look about 35. I completely recommend The Ordinary products. Their Caffeine serum is a game changer for anyone with dark circles or puffiness – huge results! Holy grail! Also use their Retinol, Buffet and Vitamin C powder mixed with Reservatrol Feruluc Acid serum. Their rose hip face oil is also amazing but I still love Fresh Seaberry oil the best. But seriously get the caffeine serum!

5 years ago
Reply to  Sandra

You’ve just convinced me! I had it in my cart but didn’t push “check-out.” But that’s the first thing I’m doing when I get home now, haha.

5 years ago

Thank you for this! I especially appreciate the mascara recommendations that promise not to give me raccoon eyes – a problem I have been plagued with my entire mascara-wearing life.

My two can’t-live-withouts: It Cosmetics CC Cream (recommended above), and Colleen Rothschild Sheer Renewal Cream. The best daily, non-greasy, fast absorbing moisturizer EVER!

5 years ago

I’m loving Julie’s picks! I have sensitive and dry skin. I tend to lean towards the natural side of beauty skincare and try to use products that do not include things I can’t pronounce. For instance, sodium laureth sulfate which is found in cleaning products to clean a carburetor. We really don’t need to put that on our skin and a lot of skincare products include it so always read before you buy. Some of my favorite skincare go-to’s: 1. Cocokind Organic Facial Repair Serum – I’m in love with this brand and this product. It’s an amazing moisturizer and helps get rid of acne and prevent it. The serum absorbs easily and won’t leave your face greasy. The best part is you can get it at target and sometimes TJ Maxx. 2. Rahua Shampoo & Conditioner – Kiehls used to be my go to for washing my hair but then I started getting a rash over my eye lids, my scalp was itchy and saw they put SLS in their products so I did my research and started using Rahua. It’s amazing! It made all the bad stuff go away. Made with Organic, Natural, Pure Plant Derived Ingredients. Vegan,… Read more »

5 years ago

Loved this! I’m always curious about other peoples’ routines…thanks for satisfying my nosy interests and giving good insights to every product! I LOVE the Pixi GlowTonic, Rimmel’s Kate Moss matte lipstick in 111, and Urban Decay’s make up setting spray. Ps…there’s a typo under Sara’s list on #8. I’m assuming it means aging, but it says “again”. ?

5 years ago

Yep , I want Brady too. Loved his apt , the kitchen was so good/is so good.

Katie P
5 years ago

Arlyn! We are skin and hair twins!! THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

5 years ago

How about a photo of the people making the picks next time so we can see if they have a similar skin tone/look to what is being recommended?

5 years ago

Oh my goodness. I looooove virtual creeping in medicine cabinets (I don’t care if the writer’s skin is wildly different from mine, it’s just FUN) and I’m gonna give some side-eye to those in the comments making SWEEPING pronouncements (my sephora shit is treating my skin juuuuust fine and I am only discovering the pleasures of face washing at age 35 thankyouverymuch!) ANYWAY. EveryOne coconut lemon body wash (available at some grocery stores) is amazing & cost-effective plus the scent is very low-key. First Aid Beauty face cleanser (sephora) has a nicer feel than cetaphil and is very gentle. Drunk Elephant products every now and then. Fresh rose petal toner on occasion. And a Fresh face lotion that also has a faint rose scent. Weleda skin food (whole foods) is my go-to deep-moisturizing lotion (I have super dry spots on my ankles) I love my Laura Mercier blush in rose petal for a happy pink glow, I am obsessed with Kiehl’s BB Cream for sunscreen and even tone (I also love my Kiehl’s facial sunscreen) and I have been pretty happy with Dior Airflash for more coverage of undereye stuff/evening out skin. I have a Sara Happ lip gloss in… Read more »

5 years ago

For anyone over 40, I am convinced you should pass go and head directly to the dermatologist for the “real deal” in skin care. Yes, it’s more expensive to get pharmaceutical strength products (tretinoin, hydroquinone, etc.) but it’s a lot less expensive than wasting your money on expensive products that contain only a trace of these items . I love the Obaji line.

Love the make-up lists though!

5 years ago
Reply to  Karina

You can also buy retin-A over the counter in Mexico for about $35!

5 years ago

Loved this type of post. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Go team!

5 years ago

Sara– you are 100% spot on with the Spironolactone! That was a lifesaver for me. I did accutane 2x and post kids my skin was still in a funk. Really turned things around.

5 years ago

I love this! I also have “cheap white skin” that I constantly over moisturize to my aesthetician’s horror. I’m really into Paula’s Choice BHA recently to help clear blackheads and stay moisturized! I would love to see everyone’s beautiful faces by the products next time! Do this again, it’s fun! Would love specifics, like fav skin care, fav hair care, fav makeup, etc. Love reading!