It's impossible to say just how many products I've tried since starting cupcakes and cashmere, but the number is easily in the thousands. Testing out new brands and product launches is one of my favorite parts of my job—not to mention, an excellent perk—so that I can make informed recommendations. But over the years, I've come across a few skincare and beauty products that are so good, they've become mainstays in my routine—no matter how many alternatives I try out. Below are 14 skincare and beauty products that have earned a permanent spot in my routine:
ILIA Super Serum (in 'Diaz'): This Super Serum provides just the right amount of coverage to hide imperfections while letting my natural skin shine through. It has a really dewy effect, so it almost reads as if you're not wearing makeup, and are instead living inside an Instagram filter (bonus: it has SPF).
Cle de Peau The Foundation (in '30'): Anytime I wear this foundation, I get asked questions about my skincare routine. It offers more coverage than my daily Ilia Super Serum, but the finish is still glowy and bright, so it doesn't read as a heavy foundation. Besides the fact that it's very expensive (though a little goes a long way and it lasts forever), I only like to wear it for special occasions since people really notice a difference. The last time I wore it, a friend DM'd me, "How does your skin look like glass? Asking on behalf of everyone," in case you need further proof that this foundation is the best one around.
NARS Brow Perfector: I've tried nearly every single brow liner on the market and this is the one I always come back to. You barely have to use any pressure to get brows that look like the ones you had before over-plucking them as a teen.
Supergoop Glowscreen and Tula Protect + Glow Sunscreen: It wasn't until my 30s that I finally embraced consistent sunscreen usage, and I credit much more appealing variations to doing the trick. The two that I use most consistently (from Supergoop and Tula, respectively) are both clean and leave your skin looking luminescent and lit from within.
Lanolips 101 Ointment: I used to be one of those people who had perpetually dry lips, no matter how much water I drank (...admittedly not that much) or the time of year. That all changed when I began applying lip balm as the very last thing I do every night before bed and finding a product that really works. I've used up more tubes of Lanolips 101 Ointment than probably any other product, and always keep extras on hand since it's that good.
Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks: I own just about every color in this genius product that manages to glide on like an eyeliner, but appear more like a hydrating eyeshadow. It's hard to explain if you've never tried it, but it also makes even the most makeup-averse people into immediate converts (my favorites are: Khaki, Amethyst, and Burnished Bronze).
Dehiya Highlighter: I love a highlighter in a little tub since I feel like I can get so much control over exactly where I place it. I dab this one, which leaves the most natural glow, on the tops of my cheeks, on my cupid's bow, and on the inner corners of my eyes for a finishing touch.
Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lipstick and Liner: I started with just the lipstick and have since added the lip liner to my repertoire since I find it stays that much better when worn under a mask. It's a cult classic for a reason—the shade works on just about every skin tone and manages to look like your natural lips, but way better.
Olive and June Polish in 'CCT': The prettiest, barely-there pale pink. Even though it's subtle, I always get people asking me the shade, since it manages to be both transparent and opaque at the same time.
Benefit Porefessional Pore Minimizing Primer: A primer that both mattifies and almost acts like a blurring tool for fine lines, creating a smooth canvas for makeup.
ILIA Mascara: We had a team contest years ago to figure out which one of our personal favorite mascaras reigned supreme, which was when I was introduced to ILIA's lengthening mascara. Thanks to Leslie, it's still the one I reach for when I want long, defined lashes that look dramatic, but natural. Bonus: It washes off with cleanser alone, so no makeup remover is needed!
Laura Mercier Lip Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick: When I want a bold lip color, I always reach for this product. The tip of the lipstick more closely resembles a crayon in size, versus a liner or lipstick, and it delivers the punchiest, boldest matte colors that won't budge, even through multiple meals ('Fire' and 'Clique' are my favorite shades).