I’m not a beauty blogger. I’m not a celebrity. But I am a human—a female human—and I’ve been using beauty products for a long time. Does that make me an expert? Meh, maybe just someone who wants to share.
So here’s a random list of stuff I love; some of it might not work for you, in the same way, you might not like gefilte fish or houndstooth sweaters. This list is totally personal, highly selective and no one has paid me to mention them.
Not that I’d mind…but they haven’t.
Herewith, in no particular order:
1. St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub – this stuff is great; it smells great, has the perfect amount of abrasion (on the back it says it has a ‘deep exfoliation factor’ and while I’m not sure if it makes my skin glow, it sure feels good. Oh, and you can buy it in a drug store.
2. Kiehl’s Coconut Shampoo & Conditioner – it’s a beast finding the perfect shampoo and conditioner; one that doesn’t cost a ridiculous amount of money so that when you use it you’re using teeny tiny amounts that don’t really wash and/or condition your hair. This stuff smells like coconuts (my personal fav) and is silicone and paraben-free. Whatever that means. Kiehl’s has been around since 1851 and while it’s no longer owned by the super cool Kiehl’s family (they sold to the L'Oréal Group in 2000), this stuff still rules.
3. Now Solutions Liquid Coconut Oil – I’ve spent my whole life looking for this stuff—a body oil that smells like coconuts (as I said…), goes on lightly and absorbs fast and isn’t filled with unpronounceable ingredients. Know what’s in this stuff? Liquid coconut oil. Know where I found it? The New Seasons supermarket in Portland, Oregon.
4. Retinol Correxion Eye Cream (ROC) – I didn’t believe it but now I believe it. For some reason (I can think of one million), I started waking up in the morning with lines under my eyes. I wondered if this was it—if I was just getting old and must relegate myself to the future. Of course the minute I thought this, I did a deep dive into the internet to find out how to stop it and lo and behold, one of the suggestions was to get this stuff, which costs $17.99. Which is basically free when you consider what it does—ERASES UNDER EYE LINES!!!
5. Herbivore Lapis Facial Oil – my sister-in-law (thank you?) introduced me to this line at Christmas. This stuff costs $75 so, you know, it’s a nice present and now, I’m hooked. The bottle is insanely gorgeous, it feels amazing on my face and smells...I dunno what it smells like, but I LOVE IT. This is my special Sunday night treat myself right with indulgence.
6. Stork shaped scissors by Tweezerman – mine are crazy sharp even after one million years and so pretty which makes them a pleasure to use. Mine actually have bird feathers patterned on them and while I don’t see these specific ones available online anymore, the regular scissors still look like birds and I image they do the same wonderful job.
7. Fresh’s Sugar Lip Treatments – these guys are the best combination of shades/moisture/price/staying power. They come in a bunch of different colors so grab the one that works for you and give it a test drive. On their site, they call it a “cult favorite” which I’m not really sure what that means since calling something a “cult” means a relatively small group of people know about it and/or deceive people into believing crazy things, but I do believe that it has SPF 15 and sugar, which is “a natural humectant that helps to prevent moisture loss.”
8. Weleda Skin Food Hand Lotion – I love all of their scents, but I am particularly crazy about this one. The lotion has the ideal amount of moisture that nourishes and sinks in fast so, if you’re like me, you can immediately get back to obsessively doing things. They also have a sea buckthorn version. I never heard of sea buckthorn until last month when I had sea buckthorn in a dessert and it was delicious.
9. Dadi’Oil – I found this stuff in a nail salon in Austin, Texas. It’s meant for your cuticles, I think, but I put it wherever I want. It comes in a tactile-y pleasing round bottle with a dropper and makes an ideal essential oil. And also, you know, I put it on my cuticles.
10. Nectifirm – You know those products you don’t know you can’t live without until someone tells you about them and you try them and then you can’t live without them? This is that. The imagery online is a little hard to look at, but I am here to tell you that some of those stretch marks and sun damage have faded thanks to regular use. I think.
Really, none of us can know what works and what doesn’t until we lead parallel lives—one using stuff, another using other stuff. In the interim, this is as objective as it gets.