One of the perks of our jobs is that we get to try out a lot of of beauty and skincare products. So, when we come across a standout lipstick, serum, or hand soap that we use until the very last drop, only to replenish it again almost immediately, it's hard not to take notice.
Way back in January (full stop: Remember January?), Jess asked everyone on our team to start documenting our "empties." It goes without saying that the products we now find ourselves reaching for have shifted a bit from our "new year selves" (a few more at-home face masks than perfect date-night glittery eyeshadow, if you catch our drift). That said, we can't get enough of the following products (in fact, we've already finished them!), and we hope you enjoy them too:
Revitalash Brow Conditioner ($98): I started using this brow serum twice a day last year and I've gone through two tubes since then. It really works (my friends comment on my thicker brows at least once a FaceTime session these days) as long as you keep it up!
Supergoop! Everyday Play Sunscreen ($22, gifted): Even though it would seem like I have a lot more time on my hands these days, I'm still all about a two-in-one product and this is one of my favorites. The sunscreen glides on like a silky, but-not-too-thick, lotion and the SPF offers just the right amount of coverage.
Caudalie Premier Cru Anti-Aging Lotion ($140, gifted): I have perpetually dry skin and this lotion is as rich and emollient as they come. It feels so luxurious going on and I love that a little goes a very long way. In the winter I use it morning and night and transition it to just part of my evening skincare routine when I'm not as parched.
Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser ($28, gifted): I've been using this cleanser for years and love that it leaves my skin feeling clean, but not in that squeaky-clean way that also feels dry. It suds up immediately and lathers into a pleasant foam and washes off without having to splash your face a bunch of times.
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray ($23-$48): I swore off heat styling in quarantine (why I didn't embrace my natural waves more consistently until recently I'll never know), but still need a little oomph every now and then in the form of a texturizing spray. The smell is seriously intoxicating (G compliments me every time I use it) and it also doubles as a dry shampoo on those days when I'm trying to avoid washing my hair for an extra day or two.
Nars Brow Perfector in 'Komo' ($25): I've switched up brow pencils more than just about any other beauty product, but this is the one I always come back to. The thin tip deposits color in a way that is natural without having to use any force, so your eyebrows appear effortlessly filled in.
Necessaire Body Wash in Sandalwood ($25, gifted): I love all of the Necessaire body wash scents and actually rotate the one I use based on time of day. The sandalwood is my favorite, if only by a smidge, since I used it up quicker than the Bergamot and Eucalyptus, but honestly they all make showers or baths that much more indulgent.
Lanolips 101 Lip Ointment ($17, gifted): I'm fiercely loyal to Lanolips 101 treatment and apply it, without fail, every single night before bed. I used to be someone with constant chapped lips and attribute how soft and moisturized they now are to this single product.
Paula's Choice Clear ($25): When I do sweaty workouts consistently, I get back acne—even when I shower immediately after my workout is over. Ever since getting my Peloton, I've been sweating profusely for 30-plus minutes a day (especially now that it's so hot, and I'm A/C-less), so you do the math! Thankfully, a few spritzes of this magical acne body spray as soon as I'm out of the shower keeps back breakouts at bay!
ILIA Mascara ($28): I've used mascara exactly twice since quarantine began, with both occasions well-documented on my Instagram (here and here), but I switched to a fresh tube of my very favorite mascara for my wedding and felt like a million bucks! (Pro tip! If you buy it directly from ILIA, they offer 15% off your first purchase.)
The Body Stone ($45, gifted—perk of becoming friends with the founder, Kate!): On a busy day, moisturizer is the one part of my routine I'm sure to skip (who wants to pull on jeans while their legs are still slick?). But since quarantine began, I've been taking the time to thoughtfully apply my very favorite moisturizer, the Daily Stone which is about as "clean" and environmentally friendly as a moisturizer gets and are hand-made in Brooklyn.
Weleda Skin Food ($19): I only apply this natural hand lotion once a day, before bed, but haven't had chapped hands, despite washing my hands more frequently and aggressively than ever before. Speaking of which...
Refresh Eye Drops ($14): Earlier this year, I was diagnosed with a condition that gives me extremely dry eyes, which feels like a not-funny karmic joke for someone with an eye phobia (🙋♀️). In addition to using a heated eye-mask everyday and something that resembles an eyeball removing machine (Google "nulids" if you're brave—but I recommend you don't), I use these drops recommended by my eye doctor all day, everyday.
Maelove Love 31 Oil ($75, gifted—again, friends with the founder!): Jackie Kim, founder of Maelove, was one of the last people I saw before we all began sheltering in place—and what I'd give to be grabbing a tea with her now! Her oil, which I was a fan of before ever meeting her in person, is one of the only skincare products I'm still applying to my face daily. It's incredibly hydrating and smells sooo good.
Savon Liquide Marseille in Rose ($23) and Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Castile Bar Soap ($5): Soap was the very first thing to go in quarantine. We generally use Savon Liquide for hands (though I've recently made the switch to Trader Joe's hand soap due to the sheer quantity used), and Dr. Bronner's for body!
Sanitas Beta Clarifying Solution ($32): An excellent toner recommended to me by my facialist, Adrina (who I miss and can't wait to return to!). P.S., She's starting to take clients again—details for booking are at the end of this Highlight. I genuinely adore her and can't recommend her more highly.
Tom's Antiplaque Toothpaste ($5): Just your basic, natural toothpaste! Side note: I've found that the key to a happy, healthy marriage is having separate tubes of toothpaste.
Dr. Loretta Antioxidant Sunscreen ($50, gifted but not friends with Dr. Loretta—yet): I haven't been wearing any makeup while in quarantine, but this sunscreen gives my skin a pretty sheen while protecting it from rays that get through the window. I also really love their gentle, but effective face wash ($35), which I just rebought in the middle of writing this paragraph.
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray ($23-$48): While I've only come close to my makeup drawer twice in the past five months, I have been doing my hair nearly every morning. It doesn't require much, but after creating a couple of waves, adding in Oribe's Texturizing Spray is such a little luxury. It gives me tons of volume and I catch whiffs of the intoxicatingly delicious scent all day.
Living Proof Shampoo ($28): I'd been using Sisters shampoo for nearly a year, but this past January, when I went to get my hair cut, my hairdresser told me she noticed that my scalp was unusually oily. She asked for the products I'd been using, and informed me that the shampoo was likely causing the buildup. I swapped it out for Living Proof's Perfect Hair Day Shampoo, and used every last drop. I loved it so much that I upgraded to their Jumbo option.
Sisters Nourishing Conditioner ($32): While Sisters shampoo and I may be on a break, I'm still in a deeply committed relationship with their conditioner. Nothing has made my hair softer or shinier, and all of their products are formulated without any harmful sulfates, parabens, PEGs, chemical preservatives or chemical fragrances. Instead, they use natural essential oils (the conditioner is a combination of sandalwood, bergamot, patchouli, and geranium). I'd written about my love affair last year, and I've been continuing to support their small business as I make my way through this product.
Maelove Love 31 Oil ($75): This facial oil is like a spa in a bottle. It smells like heaven and is incredibly effective–my skin soaks it up, and has never been clearer. The finish is dewy, and I only need to apply a single drop to see a major difference. In full transparency, my first bottle was gifted, but I purchased the one I'm currently using. I'm a huge fan of all of Maelove's products, but if you're going to invest in one, make it this.
Maelove Glow Maker ($28): I use eight drops of this serum a day (four during my morning skincare routine and four in the evening), so I go through a bottle pretty quickly. If you're looking for a product to prep, brighten, and hydrate your skin, Glow Maker is it. Packed with Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid, this stuff works wonders, even for someone with sensitive skin (like me!). Again, the first bottle was gifted, but now I'm a paying customer.
EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 ($29): If I had a skincare sidekick, EltaMD's Sunscreen is who I'd tap. The formula barely has a scent, goes on smoothly, and hasn't made me break out once. I mix it with The Ordinary's Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA each morning (yes, even when I'm quarantining and spending most of the day inside), and apply it to my face, neck, and hairline.
Kérastase Elixir Ultime Oil Serum ($50): It took me weeks to finally add this beauty investment to my cart nearly a year ago ($50 for hair product I wasn't sure would work felt excessive!), but here I am, 14 months later, so pleased with my 2019 self. I finally finished my first bottle of this highly-rated oil, and I made sure to have my second on deck for the moment I ran out. I run a single pump of serum through the ends of my hair after each shower, and it tames frizz while also protecting it from damage caused by heat tools. Plus the base notes of the scent are santal–that's what I call a holy grail product.
Tea Tree Essential Oil ($7): I thought my acne woes were long behind me, but alas, mask-ne is now very much a part of my life. I had to replenish my tea tree oil in July because it's one of the best (and cheapest) products I've found to fight inflammation and redness when I have an acne flare-up.
CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion ($10): My love for this everyday face lotion exists way outside the boundaries of COVID. I go through probably three bottles a year, using it two to three times per day. It massively changed my skincare routine a few years ago and I will be a fan forever!
Collective Laboratories Activating Serum ($39/month): I'll just say it–the last 12 months have been the most stressful period of my life. In February, I noticed that my hair had started falling out, presumably as an unfortunate side effect of stress. I started using this serum as a way to stimulate new hair growth, and it is definitely working! The amount of short baby hairs I have now is actually pretty crazy (and really annoying when I try to put my hair in a slicked-back ponytail). But, it's a relief knowing that my hair will be back to "normal" at some point once the baby hairs grow out. I use one bottle every 6 to 8 weeks, and will probably keep using it for the rest of the year.
Curology (price varies): I'm still on the Curology train, y'all. It's been an everyday part of my skincare routine for almost two years and I don't see that changing any time soon. At my current pace, I use one custom bottle every four months or so.
Glossier Lash Slick Mascara ($16): I live alone, and barely wear makeup anymore (sorry to my co-workers who see me on Google Hangouts every day). However, Lash Slick is the one beloved beauty product I've had to replenish this year, and I suppose I should start wearing it every day because it does make a big difference (and hey, you can still see it with a mask on!).
Farmacy Green Clean Cleansing Balm ($22): I'm a big ambassador of double-cleansing, especially to remove makeup (which is rare nowadays). This cleansing balm by Farmacy comes with a mini spatula that you use to scoop out product and then apply to your face. As it melts into your skin, you feel it break down all your makeup. It works like magic on mascara and eye makeup without you having to rub harshly or worry about irritating your eyes. I'm very bummed that I missed out on their limited-edition Cherry version but you better believe this will be repurchased.
Klur Gentle Matter Daily Moisture Cleanser ($22 - $40): I've already mourned this empty on my Instagram page so it definitely deserved a spot on this list. It's the most luxurious cleanser I've ever used and does exactly what it says it does. The price tag is a bit hefty for a cleanser but if you can afford it, I highly suggest you give it a try.
Versed Wash It Out Gel Cleanser ($13): I have yet to find a Versed product that I don't like. This cleanser was one of the first that I tried and became an instant favorite. It's lightweight, a little goes a long way, and the price point can't be beaten. I like a simple cleanser that doesn't give my face that squeaky-clean, dry feeling. This is a great second step in my double cleansing-routine and leaves my skin ready to soak up serums and moisturizers.
Versed Dew Point Moisturizing Gel Cream ($15): This product has all of the great features of their gel cleanser and absorbs so well. Pre-quarantine, I actually carried this product in my bag. I have dry skin and suffer from rosacea, so sometimes I need an extra boost. This moisturizer always delivered instant hydration without making my face look greasy.
Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C + Turmeric Face Oil ($40): This oil was my introduction to Sunday Riley and let me say, the hype is 100% real. I call this liquid gold because it is a small bottle for the price but each drop delivers incredible results. There were nights where I would skip my moisturizer and simply finish with this oil. I'd wake up with smoother and brighter skin. If you suffer from redness or hyperpigmentation, this product is for you.