When it comes to beauty products, I’m a sucker for packaging. I like to ogle the myriad options online, in catalogs and in stores, but I don’t often pull the trigger. The truth is, I can’t be bothered to spend too much time on my beauty regiment…it seems no matter how much time I spend I always end up looking pretty much the same. So while I often walk slowly through the aisles of the cosmetic department at Nordstrom, plotting my next purchase, I mostly stick to a few tried-and-true products. Here’s a list of some of my favorites:
I’ve been off lipstick for about 10 years because my ultra-chapped skin makes for a colored, flaky mess. To keep me from looking like the walking dead, I rely on this gloss. It’s the perfect consistency, going on smooth and thick — but not too thick. It stays on for hours, comes in a wide array of colors and smells delicious. And for a designer cosmetic, it’s relatively affordable ($14.50, online and at department stores).
Burt’s Bees Lip Balm
I’m constantly applying chapstick, thanks to the aforementioned chapped lip problem. And while some may argue chapstick only exacerbates the problem, I don’t care. Burt’s Bees is my favorite of all the chapsticks — it soothes as it coats my lips with its all-natural, honey-kissed goodness ($3, drugstores, grocery stores).
Clarisonic Mia Sonic Skin Cleansing System
I’m not gonna lie, I was totally talked into buying this thing at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale last summer. But it turned out to be a shrewd purchase. My skin is so dry it often feels like tissue paper. The only thing that could cut through the layers of dead skin was a professional facial, which can really add up. I don’t know how this “sonic” brush works, but the gentle vibration exfoliates my face nearly as well as a trip to the spa. And at $149 and $25 for replacement heads, it’s more cost-effective than monthly visits to Klara, my esthetician.
Almay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover Pads
I’ve been using Almay eye makeup remover pads since my college roommate Erica introduced them to me. Over the years I’ve tried other brands, but nothing can compare. The get rid of every speck of eye makeup without any stinging, and the non-greasy formula doesn’t leave my skin feeling dirty. I really can’t live without these guys ($6, drugstores).
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate
This miracle serum leaves my skin feeling supple and fresh, and I feel like a million bucks when I get up in the morning. But the absolute best thing about this nighttime special sauce is the smell. Oh, the smell. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but I think it might be the evening primrose that is so heavenly. I look forward to putting it on my face every night ($42, department stores).
Kiehl’s ‘Imperial’ Body Balm
This was an extravagant purchase. I made it at the suggestion of my friends Anne and Jody, who talked about it on Facebook. It is worth every penny. I rub this insanely thick, incredibly luxurious body butter on my feet and other trouble spots every morning. At $42, this is way over my usual budget. But a little seriously goes a long way, making the purchase a little easier to swallow. And, again, Kiehl’s kills me with the scent — this time it’s sea buckthorn berry oil. I kind of want to eat it, because I believe it has to taste so delicious. I will not go without this yellow dry-skin saver ever again.
Bumble and Bumble Thickening Hairspray
This is quite literally the only hair product that keeps my thin, dry, limp hair from looking like three hairs I comb from one side of my head to the other to give the appearance of a full head of hair. It’s a lifesaver ($26, salons).