Beauty favorites - skin
1. Vaseline mini: Such an old-school favorite... I apply this on my lips every night before bed, no exceptions. It prevents chapped lips and keeps them smooth. Occasionally, I'll use it as a moisturizer for severely dry hands and feet, too.
2. Lush Mint Julips lip scrub: a delicious, effective lip scrub for dry lips or (my favorite) tricky lipstick removal. Plus, the little jar lasts a long time! One of my close girlfriends (the gorgeous blonde [and my sorority little sis] behind this drool-worthy vegan instagram) gave one to me for christmas last year, and it's still going strong. Bonus points: it's edible and tastes like dessert.
3. L'Occitane shea butter hand cream: the ultimate moisturizing hand cream. I keep a 5.2 oz in my bedside table and a few 1 oz creams scattered throughout frequented places (in my car, in my purse, in my carry on) so that I never go without. I'm sure you've heard the hype (it's frequently voted one of Allure's "best of beauty" winners), but the reviews don't do it justice. Would definitely recommend.
4. Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive: I've always had sensitive skin, so I generally steer clear of peels, but when birchbox sent this little guy my way, I was hooked. It's non-irritating but leaves my face feeling smoother, tighter, and lighter than ever before.
Beauty favorites - hair
5. Kerastase Masque Nutri-Thermique: When I first started going to my current hair stylist five years ago, I had no idea that I'd come out with long, soft, smooth tresses that would actually STAY that way after I washed my hair (because seriously, how often does that happen??). Now that I no longer live in San Diego, I still fly down just to see Autumn and her amazing team. They turned me onto Kerastase products, and I've been hooked ever since. I use this masque as a substitute for conditioner once per week, and my hair has never looked or felt better.
6. Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk: Another birchbox gift, Klorane is everything I've ever wanted in a dry shampoo. It's natural, smells great, and won't leave your hair feeling sticky or powdery. I've tested it against other big-name brands like Enjoy, Big Sexy Hair, Oscar Blandi, Tresemme, and Paul Mitchell, but nothing compares. I don't think I'll ever try another dry shampoo.
7. Kerastase Ciment Thermique: another recommendation from my stylist, ciment thermique has been a part of my daily beauty regimen for the past five years. It's a heat protectant that smells like grapefruit and leaves your hair shinier and smoother than before.
Beauty favorites - makeup
8. Elizabeth and James Nirvana White Eau de Parfum: I had a hard time deciding whether to include the perfume or the soon-to-be in stores perfume oil (check out Sephora on the 25th!) that I received as a gift at NYFW, but I think the perfume suits my tastes better. It lingers a little longer and doesn't require reapplication. It's fresh and intriguing, and definitely my current signature scent. The Nirvana black is equally captivating, and definitely worth checking out.
9. MAC matte lipstick in Ruby Woo: A long-lasting bright red lipstick in a perfectly matte texture. What more could a girl ask for?
10. Sephora Collection Long Lasting Eyeliner High Precision Brush: After years of using expensive liquid liners and being unhappy with poor results (liners rubbing off too soon, a line that wasn't quite dark enough, ingredients that irritated my eyes, and felt tips that were never exact enough), I finally tried Sephora's affordable high precision liner. At $12, it's a steal, and it lasts me at least four months with daily use. It's dark, easy to use, and lasts all day. Winged eyeliner was never easier.
11. Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Mousse: I'm a firm believer that a good set of brows can change a face, and this mousse tackles my thin, uneven brows whether I've just had a wax or it's been a few weeks. I've tried pencils that ran out too quickly, gels that made my brows look wet, and sticks that looked too drawn-on. This mousse does none of those things, AND it comes with the handy brush/spool. The only con: it doesn't come with enough shades! There are more than three hair colors, but there are only three options available... for now. Luckily for me, I'm a perfect match for the Medium Brown shade, but for those of you with different coloration, I can only hope that Tarte will expand their brow shade collection soon to bring great arches to a wider variety of customers.
Honorary mentions: Diorshow Blackout Mascara, Diptyque Baies Candle, NARS makeup brushes, and Kai Body Glow. Worth it, worth it, worth it, worth it.