Being a beauty expert and spa proprietress for over a decade, I talk to people about my favorite skincare and make-up “must haves” a lot. And you know what? I never get sick of it. Ever! There are some truths I never sway from: good packaging, no animal testing, independent brand. I’ve tried everything, and I realized after a few trips across the pond and weekend escapes that I definitely over-pack. And I’m not talking shoes here—I’m talking products, of course. Now that resort season is upon us and many of us will soon be off to escape the winter, I decided to really let the “beauty out of the bag.” Here’s what I use always (truly) and throw into my purse not only for vacay, but everyday.
1. Glossier Stretch Concealer, $18
They Say: “…a new type of concealer with elastic micro waxes that move with your face instead of caking on top of it, and nourishing oils that give a dewy, glowing finish. The buildable formula covers everything from dark circles to redness and zits. In five shades painstakingly developed to enhance, brighten, and—most importantly—completely disappear into the widest range of skin tones.”
I Say: Yes to all of this. This concealer is super-easy to apply. Like, you don’t even need a mirror as it melts into the skin, creating a gorgeous radiance and covering redness, pigmentation and under eye darkness all at the same time. The best: I never worry about caking or creasing because it never happens. The packaging is clean but super cute and easy to wipe down if necessary.
2. Obal Oil, $80
They Say: “…our nourishing skin elixir uses ingredients full of vitamins and minerals to hydrate, brighten, soothe irritation and protect against environmental damage. Since we do not deodorize our product or alter ingredients to enhance shelf life, OBAL OIL has a natural, earthy fragrance that quickly dissipates. Once applied, oil will absorb into skin creating a healthy, even glow. It may take up to one month for skin to experience the full benefits of using face oil. Each batch is made-to-order and paraben and fragrance free.”
I Say: I love using beauty oils. I seriously have used every oil for post-cleansing hydration including neem, coconut, and marula. I could go on all day. When I first used Obal Oil it felt different: my skin was slightly damp and freshly cleansed. I put a few drops of the oil on my fingertips and applied it using effleurage gliding strokes. It absorbed beautifully and gave my face the perfect balance of dewy and fresh. Don’t even get me started on the packaging: it’s seriously FASHION. I love to look at it every time I reach into my make-up bag. This is beauty oil perfection.
3. Armour Beauty Lipgloss, $24
They Say: “…moisturizing formula is long wearing, rich in natural oils and butters to hydrate and protect lips, Vanilla/grapefruit scent, paraben free, gluten free and no animal testing, Sterolin softens and reduces age spots. Rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins A, D and E, lecithin + potassium all increase collagen production.”
I Say: The Diana shade has been my no make-up make-up go-to for two years. Every claim made by Armour is true. This gloss is so healing and hydrating that my lips feel soft daily, all the time, even before I have applied it for the day. I noticed that my lips don’t even flake or chip in the winter anymore. I never imagined that a gloss could be long-wearing but this one is. I apply it much less often than any other gloss I have used. Overall perfect shade, hydrating and long wearing. This gloss is the pinnacle.
4. Revitabrow Advanced, $110
They Say: “#1 selling, award-winning brow enhancing conditioner. Enhances natural eyebrows that may appear damaged from over styling or environmental effects…We promise you will fall in love with our products within 60 days…”
I Say: Thicker, fuller brows in 60 days? Not really. But in 90 days? YES. I was born with 90’s brows. Thin. Thin. Thin. I just figured an eyebrow pencil would be a way of life and one of my “can’t live without items.” After receiving a tube of Revitalash in the mail from Athena Cosmetics, I was blown away. After about 3 months of daily application, my lashes doubled and became long and feathery. When the company alerted me that they were making a brow serum, I was so excited. Revitabrow does not disappoint. After a few months of daily application, my brows are twice as thick and much longer in shape. There’s a reason Lena Dunham shouted it out on Insta and Allure gave it the coveted title of “Best Of Beauty” award winner. It works!
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