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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 for.ev.er.
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.