I don’t have a TON of make-up, but what I do have tends to be from department stores and beauty specialty shops like Blue Mercury, Ulta, or Sephora. My mother (may she rest in peace) was a make-up hoarder, and as beautiful as she was, having that much make-up never appalled to me. I tend to take after my aunt, who believed in quality over quantity and always gave me her Clinique, Estee Lauder, and Lancome gifts-with-purchase when I was a teenager. All those little make-up bags clearly affected me, as I still love shopping when the cosmetics companies offer incentives.
So what are some beauty products I can’t live without? I am most definitely not a fashionista like the lovely Vicky, but I am a very loyal shopper when it comes to what goes on my face. With that in mind, here are some of my favorite products.
1. Laura Mercier Lip Glacé: My go-to daily make-up routine is ridiculously minimalist: moisturizer, concealer, and lip gloss. My gloss of choice is Laura Mercier’s Lip Glacé, which comes in 26 shades, stays on even after I’ve had a grande latte, and is moisturizing without being overly glossy or shimmery. My fave colors: Baby Doll and Desert Rose for day and the new Wildflower and discontinued Sangria for night. Price: $25
2. Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream With Super 7 Complex: Like I said above, I use moisturizer twice daily, and after trying dozens of different moisturizers and night creams, I settled on Fresh’s organic (parabens, sulfates and phthalates free), affordable (believe me, some of my friends pay $300 for their moisturizer!) and revitalizing face cream. Price: $42
3. Natura Bissé Oxygen Mousse Fresh Foaming Cleanser: I found out about this Spanish skincare line when I was browsing at Cos Bar in Charleston last fall, and I love it. I use the foaming cleanser with my Clarisonic Mia 2 (sadly not under $50), and follow it up with the moisturizer. It has a clean, fresh citrus-y scent, and has decidedly reduced the appearance of blackheads since I started using it. Price: $48
4. Le Métier de Beauté Colour Core Stain Lipstick: If I’m going to an event that requires what the full evening treatment, I love the French brand Le Métier, which encourages users to layer their products. Ideally you would start with their lip pencil, then layer on the lipstick, and finish off with their gloss. I have three tricolor sets, and I’ll be wearing them until they’re down to nothing, because they are admittedly pricey. Their lipsticks are also fabulous on their own, AND they’re all named after cities. My picks: Bondi Beach, Castelo, and Miami — which work beautifully with the lip glosses in Creme de la Creme, Framboise Creme, and Sheer Brilliance Dubai. Price: $32 for lipsticks; $36 for lip glosses.
5. La Maison de la Vanille: If I’m going to wear perfume, it’s usually a spritz from my ancient five-pack sampler of these vanilla-based fragrances. I’m particularly sensitive to scent after my three pregnancies and can’t stand the overly musky or flowery perfumes. I had to give away several nearly full bottles I inherited from Mami or had bought pre-kids. But I have a thing for vanilla and can’t commit to just one of these, so I get the sampler. They are the perfect size for traveling too! Price: $50