Growing up, I loved magazines. While we were more of a Highlights or Ranger Rick subscription family, I would often dream about purchasing a Tiger Beat, Bop or Seventeen magazine while in line at the grocery store, even as they were deemed a bit too racy by my parents. But come on, those frosted tips and center parts on the young male stars of the 90’s… gah! I lived for the Saturdays I went to my friend Erin’s house as she had ALL the good ones. We would sit on the floor of her room for hours drinking grape soda with NKOTB (their first go-around) blaring on her pink radio as we slowly perused each and every page of those glossies.
Time and again, I would find myself drawn to the beauty product line-up pages. I’d make notes about the latest products recommended by the stars, in vain hope I could scrape together enough crumpled dollars earned from odd jobs around the house to purchase my very own bottle of Sun Ripened Raspberry body spray so I could smell just like Claire Danes. Or the Twinkle Starlight Long Curl mascara guaranteed to make my eyes really pop.
Never mind the fact I didn’t actually wear makeup until well into my collegiate years… it was still fun to dream. That is, until the day post-graduation I landed a job on a national publication and realized the truth: Those iron-clad-sure-to-change-your-life beauty product recommendations were usually paid advertisements. In fact, I was now responsible for writing the so-called “expert” recommendations. Me. The girl who dreamed about makeup, but didn’t really put any more effort in than some tinted moisturizer and a swipe of mascara – and then not even Twinkle Starlight!
World rocked, I decided never again to rely on recommendations from unknown sources. Instead, I’ve always gone back to suggestions from people I know and trust. With this in mind, I thought I’d put together my current favorite beauty products I can’t seem to live without. Now, I realize you don’t necessarily know me or trust me. But you CAN rest in the fact these are products I personally use and are currently thrown haphazardly around my bathroom. They’re just plain good. So here we go, a (very) random sampling of things I love right now…
I am officially at an age requiring me to take my skincare routine seriously. And by “seriously” I mean, no longer should I skip my evening moisturizer as I fall into bed with that day’s mascara slowly spreading down my cheeks. I need to actually carve out extra minutes from my day to take care with my face. I have a hunch my older self will thank me. Over the years, I have tried so many (too many) skincare brands ranging from the aisles of CVS to a friend’s kitchen apothecary to the shiny counters of Nordstrom. Here is what I am using at present.
Valoie: The Glo Series of Skincare
Valoie is a relatively new company on the beauty scene, preaching hygge-beauty with their belief you can have “elevated minimalism” in your skincare routine. Their products work in a multifunctional capacity, thus requiring fewer steps than other brands I have tried. What does this mean? At the end of a long day when Netflix and my bed are both calling to me, all I need to do is wash my face before applying a pore repair serum and my moisturizer. And done. Not to mention my skin has never been better!
I was slow to try a sheet mask because when friends would post selfies on social media with #girlsnight flashing below and a glass of wine in their hand, all I could think of was me slowly suffocating beneath a damp looking sheet across my face. But then I gave it a go and love using the Que Bella Sheet Mask on nights I want to feel like I’m giving myself a little extra care. Does charcoal actually work? I’m not sure. But it makes me feel good knowing I use it.
Gel Under Eye Patches
Have you ever been finishing up at the Target self-checkout register, minding your own business while quietly yelling at your toddler to “stop peeling the tops off the grab-and-go Nutella, just because you can reach them doesn’t mean you can eat them,” only to look up and jump back in total shock at the stark state of your under eyes peeking out from beneath your mask? Just me? Well, I have found that apart from getting more sleep and drinking more water (an ever-losing battle for me), using under eye gel patches gives me a push in the right direction. My favorite brand right now is the Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Hydra-Gel Eye Patches. I’ve found I can slap them on to wear during The Kid Bedtime Routine and they work their magic.
Rose Water Facial Spray
I’ll be honest, even if rose water didn’t do anything for me I would still use it because it smells amazing and also helps perk me up midday when I feel in a slump. I use it to spritz on my face for a quick refresh. My favorite is by Glossier but I’ve found other brands at Sephora and Target that all seem to have similar ingredients.
Makeup Setting Spray
Okay, this is a total pandemic purchase. About six months ago I was tired of getting my makeup all over the inside of my masks. Granted, it isn’t that big of a deal at the end of the day, but it bothered me all the same. After lots of research, I found this setting spray by Urban Decay that has made a huge difference for me. It’s not perfect, and many days I simply forgo makeup since I’m wearing a mask anyway but… for those days I am wearing it, this spray helps keep it in place and not all over the inside of my mask.
Oh, and just for kicks, my favorite all over makeup is Chanel’s Vitalumière Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup. It stays on all day, even through most workouts, and has SPF 15 – a necessity even with a mask in place. It’s quick, it’s easy and it makes me feel put together!
Some Other Favorites
So as not to continue with this loquacious deluge of products – I’m starting to get embarrassed by how many products I keep cluttering my bathroom shelves – here are a few other things we really and truly love in our family.
- Tubby Todd Bath Co. Products: Made for kids, but I actually love their full range of products and scents for my sensitive skin.
- Goodfellow & Co. Body Wash: My husband’s current favorite is the No. 6 Cedarwood & Geranium scent. He even likes the shampoo.
- Aquaphor: For dry lips, legs, hands… everything! We always keep it around for the entire family.
- Aesop Hand Lotion: I know I just said Aquaphor is the bomb, but I also keep Aesop hand lotion next to my bed because it’s just so lovely. Reverence is my current favorite scent.
So there you have it, a stream of consciousness rundown of nearly all the products strewn about my bathroom at present. Now it’s your turn! Tell me what you absolutely love! I’m always game to try something new.