Written by: Alexandra Lotzgeselle
When it comes to beauty products, I find that 85% of the time, they don’t work the way they’re supposed to. You spend a ton of money on some magic elixir, and if it ever works the way it’s advertised, after a few uses it seems that your skin catches on and the product goes bust. But, once in a blue moon, a magic product comes along and continually does exactly what it should. I know everyone has different skin and hair, but I also know I’ve really struggled to solve all the problems that the below products solve. I’m no makeup or hair expert. I don’t even know how to blow-dry my hair, if that gives you an idea of my beauty routine. I like low-maintenance, easy products that just work the way they say they will. All these products have become a part of my regular routine, and I am so thankful I was able to find them all! If Here are my top ten, absolute favorite, can’t live without, beauty must-haves:
1. [Roc-Retinal Corrective Under Eye Cream]
Words cannot describe how much I love this product! For a while I had terrible dark circles under my eyes. I tried everything under the sun from holistic techniques to EXPENSIVE department store brands, but nothing I tried gave me any improvement at all. Finally, I came across a random list online where readers voted on their favorite products. This was the only one on the list under $75, and being pretty cheap, it was naturally the first one I figured I would try. WOW- within about 3 days I saw noticeable, remarkable improvement. The product is less than $20 at both Target and Amazon and it lasts forever. You use a tiny amount every morning before you put on your makeup and magically you look as if you’ve had 12 hours of sleep. And each tube lasts me about a year so it’s both highly effective and cost efficient. You can find this product here.
2. [Arbonne FC5 Mattifying Lotion]
I suffer from terribly oily skin. Again, I’ve tried everything from inexpensive Target brands to $100+ department store brands without finding anything that solves that problem or even manages to make my skin slightly less oily. Luckily, my sister-in-law introduced me to this awesome Arbonne day lotion. I LOVE IT! It’s just under $50, so it’s more than I would normally prefer to spend, but it really works great. Another bonus is that it has a metered pump, so it only puts out a small amount (way less than I would naturally assume I need) so it lasts pretty long. It gives me all day oil and shine control, and has a broad spectrum SPF which, unless im laying out all day at the beach, offers enough sun protection for my face. So far, it is the only product I’ve yet to try that can tackle my oily skin without over drying. You can find this product here.
3. [Clinique High Impact Mascara]
I have been using this mascara for going on a decade now. I first bought it randomly from a duty-free shop on a boat from Paris to London. I used it once ,and was instantly hooked. They rolled it out in the U.S. right after I fell in love with it, and I haven’t looked back since! Every now and then I’ll get a sample of something else that I think is great, but when I buy the full-sized mascara it just doesn’t work the same. This Clinique High Impact Mascara is perfect. It makes my eyelashes look really full and plentiful without even using an eyelash curler. Of the dozen plus mascaras I’ve tried in the last decade, nothing has even come close. It’s the one product I will never leave the house without first putting on. You can find this product here.
4. [Dead Sea Mud Mask]
A few of my friends had gone to Israel over the past year or so, and everyone mentioned what the mud in the dead sea did to their skin. One friend said it was incredible and that it brought all her acne out to the surface almost instantly. I get obnoxious and stubborn pimples from time to time, but even worse, I get acne deep under the skin on my chin. You can’t see it from the surface, but I can feel the bumps and it drives me crazy, so I thought I would give this a try. I did a brief Amazon search and came upon this beauty. It got great reviews, and was pretty inexpensive, so I thought I would give it a try. Another miracle treatment! I use it for 3 stages. First, I started using it once I had a pimple that I picked at enough to the point where it got inflamed and impossible to hide. When I get these breakouts, it do this mud mask in the shower, and the next day the pimple is significantly less red (if still red at all) and the skin around it has calmed down. Somehow, it dries out the pimples, without drying out the rest of my skin even a little bit. Hopefully, I do this within the first day so that it doesn’t get worse! Now, if I’ve been on a trip and don’t have it with me, or I’ve just had a bad breakout and picked like crazy without remembering to do the mask, I look at the mirror and finally realize I need to do something or call in sick to work for the rest of the week. At that point, I normally go “Oh yeah, MUD MASK TIME!” Since the damage has already been done, I’m just hoping it doesn’t get worse. Again the mask clears up my skin right away, dissipates the redness, and leaves my skin feelings incredibly clean and fresh. Now, I can be forgetful and easy distracted, but in a perfect world, I would make this third stage my rule. When I use it regularly, once a week or so, it actually prevents my breakouts. It’s completely gotten rid of the deep acne in my chin, and when used regularly, really helps prevent my breakouts completely. You can find this product here.
5. [The Wet Brush]
I have really, really thick hair. And a lot of it. When I get my hair done, they actually need to set aside extra time because I have so much hair. Because of this, it makes brushing my hair out after washing it difficult and painful. Or at least it was, until I tried this amazing little beauty. It’s like brushing through silk strands. Some sorcery makes it so this brush touches your hair and POOF! No knots or tangles. It brushes through amazingly without getting snagged at all. And, added bonus, it’s REALLY inexpensive. I got it on Amazon for about $9. You can find this product here.
6. [Bumble and Bumble Dry Shampoo]
I’ve always been told at hair salons that you should wash your hair as infrequently as possible. I pay good money to get my hair done very 8 weeks, so I’ll do whatever I can to help make my color last. In addition, I have naturally curly hair, so if I were to wash it every day, I would also have to get up and straighten or style it everyday, which really doesn’t work for my get up and go lifestyle. Luckily, I was introduced by my hair stylist to this incredible dry shampoo. It isn’t as cheap as a Target store brand, but it lasts FOREVER. I’ve had it for over a year and a half, and I’m not even halfway done with it. It’s a nice powder (MUCH better than the spray bands) and it has a slight vanilla scent. You just shake a tiny bit along your part, and then rub it in as if you’re rubbing in a normal shampoo. I also then part my hair about an inch away from my real part on each side and do it again. Do it the night before when you go to bed, and again in the morning if your hair still looks greasy. It’s amazing and because of it, I only need to wash my hair twice a week. I always hear from women “If I don’t wash my hair every day, it gets greasy”. Wrong. Read any article from any hair expert, and they always say that your hair gets greasy because you’re washing out all the natural oils. You need to give it a try, with the help of a dry shampoo, and add a day or two in between washes. It’s better for the quality of your hair, and MUCH better for hair color. This product is a must have if you’re like me and don’t want to wash your hair everyday! You can find this product here.
7. [Eva NYC Rock-A-Wave Curl Cream]
I was lucky enough to stumble upon this product from the monthly sample subscription service IPSY. I use it in the morning if I wash my hair, and it gives me perfectly defined curls without making them stiff or crunchy. It eliminates a majority of my frizz, and gives me the best version of my curls I have ever had. In addition, I can then straighten my hair the next day if I want without any gunky build-up that you may have from a mousse-like product. Really inexpensive and even better than any pricey brand I’ve tried. You can find this product here.
8. [Bumble and Bumble Hairdressers Invisible Oil]
Another amazing Bumble and Bumble tonic. It’s an oil that comes out of a metered pump in very small amounts. I use about two pumps o run through wet hair, and then also use one or two after styling it to eliminate frizz. The product smells great, protects your color from heat and sun, and never leaves you hair greasy or oily looking, It adds shine and smooths and really is an amazing product. Not inexpensive, but lasts a really long time thanks to the metered pump and minimal amount needed. You can find this product here.
9. [Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips: Sunset Strip/Bronzer]
This is my go-to eye palate. I think its supposed to be used as an all-over face bronzer, but I use it as an eye pallet. The lightest color is a perfect highlighter for under your eyebrows, the bottom, darkest colors work as a great base color, and the lighter colors below the top strip work as a good highlighter and added shimmer. It’s so convenient to have such a great pallet in a small compact form, and it’s everything your really need for an eye pallet. It’s about $10 at Target, but you can find it for a few dollars left on Amazon. You can find this product here.
10. [Sleeping Eye Mask]
This product may be the most important one to my “beauty regimen”. It may not seem like an actual beauty product, but I think it addresses a deeper issue with beauty- sleep. I began sleeping with an eye mask a couple years ago, and it has made a HUGE difference in my life. It took about a week to get used to sleeping with an eye mask on, but once I did, I noticed a huge difference in my sleep. I was sleeping much deeper and more solid, which in turn allowed me to wake up more well rested and in a better mood. Getting a good nights sleep is one of the most important bases of any good beauty regimen. A good nights sleep has a number of health benefits, and I noticed many differences. I like the eye masks from Target (in their beauty/face mask isle) because they’re inexpensive, have an adjustable strap, and a nose cushion so it’s pretty comfortable. Sleeping with this on will allow you to get a much better nights sleep, which will in teen make your body, and of course your skin, much happier! You can find this product here.
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