As someone who works in the beauty industry, I get a lot of beauty products for free. Between event gift bags, products from the brand I work at, gifts from fellow PR girls… my bathroom is a well-curated beauty department.
Because of this, it physically pains me to place a Sephora order, but there are certain things that I will shell out my own cold hard cash for, even if it bankrupts me. And no, I don’t care that I have a perfectly fine unopened jar of moisturizer waiting to be cracked into – I just need these products on-hand at all times. Here are my top can’t-live-without-will-spend-all-of-the-money-on must-haves in my beauty routine.
Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream
Okay, remember when I said I don’t spend more than $100 on anything? I meant most things. Augustinus Bader’s The Rich Cream is the one item that breaks that rule. Being in beauty, I keep a close eye on trends and this brand that seemed to pop up from nowhere seemed to be everywhere this year. I finally caved on a 15ml bottle (for a cool $85) and after waking up with the babiest soft skin of my life the next morning, and for the full next week, I was sold. That 15ml supply lasted for a teeeeeny bit over 2 weeks. I soon found myself at Neiman Marcus purchasing a new one. In a physical store no less. Who the hell shops in a store anymore? I haven’t looked back since. PS – The Rich Cream is pregnancy safe.
I prefer The Rich Cream to The Cream. I use it AM and PM. In the morning, I just apply 2 pumps straight to skin and massage in upwards and always take the excess down my neck. No, I don’t wash my face beforehand (here’s why). I add SPF on top, if I’m really being responsible. At night, I take my makeup off with a cleansing oil (love this one I’m testing from Caudalie) and micellar water and again, apply 2 pumps of The Rich cream the same way. The difference at night is that I’ll lock it in with a face oil.
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
My lips are chronically chapped and dry. And as someone who has a self-proclaimed nice lip ratio going (without any filler, thank you very much), this is truly unacceptable. I want juicy, glossy, pouty lips at all times. Cue Laneige’s Lip Sleeping Mask. I wear this every night (for real, I don’t skip a night – the vanilla flavor is my fav) and have one at my desk for when I need an extra boost, especially during the winter. It’s a little sticky – it kind of has a honey texture to it – but somehow doesn’t end up all over my face and pillow each night. I’ve gone through about four tubs of this since I discovered it and no other lip product compares.
Mario Badescu Lip Balm
Again, my lips are insanely dry like all of the time and most chapsticks/lip balms do nothing for me. A co-worker recommended this balm from Mario Badescu and I officially swear by it. It’s the perfect balm to complement the Laneige Lip Mask – not sticky, thick enough that you feel like you’re getting hydration without being so thick that you feel like you’re eating it all day (hate that feeling – don’t you?)
Wander Beauty Do Not Disturb Overnight Repair Concentrate
Full disclosure: I work for Wander Beauty. But if anything, that means I’m totally spoiled by our products and I don’t need to buy them, ya know? That being said, the brand’s overnight concentrate with 1% retinoid completely turned back the clock on my skin. I can’t use it while I’m pregnant, and it may be the single hardest product I’ve had to say goodbye to from my usual routine. My skin was aging in reverse for the three months I used it for – and I saw a significant decrease in my pigmentation, acne scars, etc. in just six weeks. Plus, unlike most retinol/retinoids, I experienced zero flaking, redness, or any side effects of using a retinoid. If you’re in your 20s and starting to think about wrinkle prevention, this is it, people.
St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Mousse
I hate being pale. I feel 100x hotter, thinner, smarter when I’m tan and that’s just how it is. I’d rather be mistaken for an oompa loompa than a blank piece of paper (unless you’re referring to my weight). While I’ve tried a dozen different self tanner formulas, I always come back to my tried-and-true St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse. HOWEVER, I despise their bronzing mitt and much prefer this mitt for a streak-free approach. During the winter, I use the Classic shade. For summer, I go for Dark.
Do you want to hear my whole routine for applying self tanner? Leave a comment and let me know.
IT Cosmetics CC Cream
I’m not going to lie – this CC Cream is a staple in my routine, but I can see it being a miss for some people. I custom mix my shade and tinker with the formula a bit to get my perfect finish. And with this formula, a little goes a loooong way, so there’s a bit of a learning curve. BUT, this truly covers everything while letting your skin look like skin.
My personal shade formula is 1.5 pumps of Tan and 1 pump of Light (or Medium) mixed together. If I want to sheer it out, I add a small squeeze of Embryolisse and mix it all together in my hands before applying to the face. I try to avoid my eyebrows, since it does have coverage and will coat them in excess product. When I want more coverage, I use this IT Cosmetics brush to apply straight to the face.
I don’t care what anyone says: There is no blender like a BeautyBlender. I have a whole jar of them at home and I’ve thrown out every other one I’ve gotten for free for one reason or another. My favorite way to use is as the finale to blend all of my makeup together and blur the edges on everything. Make sure you wet your BeautyBlender (and squeeze out excess water with a clean towel – you don’t want it to be dripping wet, just damp) before using it, or you’re missing the entire point.