Hello there! It’s your resident beauty product junkie, Lisa! Back in this post, I mentioned how, despite wearing minimal makeup on a daily basis, I have quite the collection of makeup and beauty products, and sang the praises of my favorite red lipstick (you can see pics of me wearing it here). Well, I have so many other products besides the red lipstick I can’t wait to tell you about! I’ve tried many glosses, creams, eyeshadows–you name it–over the years, but these are the nine products that have stood out to me.
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1. In the winter, the effects of the freezing cold air outside combined with the dry heat inside can leave my skin looking dull. Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Serum to the rescue! You can read all about the benefits of Vitamin C in the product description online, but what I love about this serum is how the milky texture sinks right into my skin, giving an extra boost of hydration which leaves my skin velvety smooth and radiant, but never greasy. It’s light enough to use year round, and it smells fantastic!
2. Applying makeup is all about adding definition to the facial features–but for some reason, the brows are often neglected, despite their facial feature status. Eyebrows not only frame the eyes, but also act as punctuation marks for the face, expressing a range of emotions with just the slightest shift of position. A well-defined brow also gives a face polish, so don’t forget about them! As is the case with many women who lived through the 90s, I was a victim of over-plucking my arches into thin little lines. They’ve grown back, but they’re not as full as they once were, so I started filling in the sparser sections with this brow pencil from Sephora. While I like a well-defined brow, I also like a natural look, so I chose a shade that is a hair (no pun intended) lighter than my eyebrows, so as to not create a severe or painted-on look. I fill them in with short, hair-like strokes in the direction of the growth, and voila! My brows are expressing delight.
3. The color of this super comfortable and hydrating lip balm is called “grapefruit,” but I describe it as “my lips but better.” It’s a sheer shade that falls somewhere in the midst of pink, red, and coral, and gives lips a subtle but lively wash of color that brightens the whole face. It also amplifies the color and shine of lipstick when dabbed on top. And you cannot beat the price!
4. I’ve tried cleansers that are too harsh and leave my face feeling stripped, and I’ve tried overly creamy cleansers that leave a waxy film on my face. Purity Made Simple cleanser does neither. It removes my makeup and simply leaves my skin feeling pure and clean but not tight, giving my face a fresh start every time I use it!
5. I like to warm up my pale skin, but I want it to look like a natural sun-kissed glow. Historically, using bronzer has either left my skin looking muddy, or sparkling in gold shimmer, or vaguely Oompa Loompa-ish. But this cream bronzer by Chanel is actually a makeup base, so it goes on with sheer, buildable, natural color with a glowing, but not glittering, finish. In the summer I wear it alone to make it look like I spent a day at the beach, and in the winter I layer it with a dab of cream blush to make it look like I spent a day on the slopes.
6. I color-treat and heat-style my fine, naturally curly hair, which means it’s Breakage City for my delicate locks. I can’t give up my highlights or my blow dryer, so I need a product that will quench my hairs’ thirst, give my brittle strands strength, and add gloss to my dull ends. Just a small amount of Kerastase hair oil does all that, as well as tames flyaways and frizz.
7. This is going to be a weird one for a lot of people, but I love the Khao San Road shade of this Nars eyeliner so much that I feel the need to explain. Back in this post on using pops of color in home decor, I mentioned that in my younger days I loved to rock bright blue eyeliner for a night out. I would draw a bold, substantial line just below my lower lashes, with just simple neutral shadow, and mascara. The look was rocker chic, which was super fun for me to wear because I am not, nor have I ever been, rocker at all! But also, I liked how the vibrant color brightened my eyes. Well, as my days of going out for a fun night in the city were replaced by suburban mom-hood, I let go of that favored makeup trick. But I like to draw attention to my eyes, and of late have been getting bored with the rotation of subdued black, brown, plum, and navy liners. Several months ago I came across this metallic aquamarine blue liner by Nars, and it reminded me so much of the blue I used to love back in the day that I couldn’t resist getting it. But to make the color more subtle and wearable for my life now, when I’m getting ready for night out, I use a light hand to draw a thin line on just the bottom inner rim, or waterline, (rather than a bold line below the lashes) and then define the lid, crease, and below the bottom lashes with neutral shadows, and finish with mascara. You can barely notice that thin blue line, but something about how the metallic aquamarine hue reflects back into my eyes makes them look awake and almost electric. It makes me feel instantly cooler, without looking over the top.
8. I have always had faint, slightly purplish shadows under my eyes. Many times I had read pieces in magazines touting the wonders of this Cle de Peau concealer, but I always balked at the expensive price tag. And then I had kids. I gained two adorable children, and the sleep deprivation that accompanies them. My faint undereye shadows turned into full-blown dark circles, and my concealer was no longer cutting it. I needed to bring out the big guns, so I bit the bullet and bought this Holy Grail of concealers, and now that’s all I’ll use. This stick concealer is so densely pigmented that a little goes a long way. The stick lasts forever, making the price more palatable, and the excellent coverage makes it worth it. Because of the thick texture, applying it right after putting on a moisturizing eye cream is a necessity for easy blending. While it can be applied with a brush, I keep things fast and simple, and just swipe a single stripe under each eye directly from the stick and then gently pat to blend. And poof, I look reasonably well-rested!
9. I rarely get manicures because regular polish always starts chipping within a few days, which is so frustrating! Yes, long-lasting gel manicures are an option, but they are a pain to remove, and they always make my nails brittle afterwards. So when I heard that Vinylux nail polish (which comes off easily with acetone just like regular polish) lasts a full week, I was skeptical. But it really does! I have gone seven full days, even longer, with nary a chip. The line has lots of gorgeous colors, but does need to be used with the special Vinylux top coat to last for that long. This brand really nailed it when it comes to an easy-on, easy-off, no-chip nail polish.
Here is a pic of me wearing almost all of these products (including that bright blue eyeliner, worn very subtly!), as well as a couple others not mentioned, to show you that these products are totally wearable!
So there you have it. If you are feeling like your beauty routine needs a fresh, bright new start in the dead of winter, give these products a try!
- I believe that a home and a life can be not only functional and family friendly, but also beautiful and stylish. I love vivid colors and energetic prints, and infusing classic design with contemporary personality, global influences, and coastal elements. I'm so excited to share my thoughts, tips, and ideas, from my nest to yours!