Beauty Products I Love

I may have mentioned it here once or twice before, but I live in a small house with very little bathroom space.  We have big plans to renovate in the future (in fact, we will have to add on before baby #2), but until then I made due with the space that I have.  I used to have tons of beauty products, but living in a smaller space has taught me to scale down a bit and be pickier when it comes to choosing what I keep around to use.

I don’t use the term “love” loosely when it comes to products.  I really like trying new things, so for me to actually purchase a beauty product twice, means that I really really love it.  Here are a few of my absolute favorites — the beauty products that I love —  that I have and will be purchasing over and over again.

Avène Cold Cream Lip Balm 

I’ve been obsessed with this lip balm since I wandered into a drug store in a small town in Provence, France and asked a sales associate for lip balm to heal my chapped lips.  Those French — they know their stuff.  It was love at first application.

I’ve never been excited about lip balm before and frankly, compared to the stuff I buy in the States (ahem! Burts Bees!), this stuff is like nine million times better.  It’s creamy and doesn’t need to be applied over and over again.  When I first bought it, I was suffering from some major chapped lips after forgetting to pack lip balm for a two-week vacation and suffering for a week and a half. But when I first tried this lip balm, I felt instantaneously better.   And even though I didn’t really need to keep applying it, it felt so luxuriously creamy, that I couldn’t help but want to.

I’ve looked high and low for this stuff in US stores (Ulta and Sephora) and as best I can tell, it doesn’t exist in brick and mortar stores.  BUT, you can order it online.  Before you gawk at the price, I’ll go ahead and warn you that is easily four times as much as your typical drug store brand lip balm.  But it is so incredibly worth it.


Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser

I’ve been using this particular face cleanser since I was a teenager.  I’ve tried other products but have always went back to the Fresh Foaming Cleanser for two reasons: 1) It’s gentle on my skin and 2) It gets all of my eye makeup off easily without having to use a second product.

I am lazy when it comes to my beauty routine at night.  I’m tired and frankly I don’t care to go through a multi-step process.  I just finally started flossing on a nightly basis so yeah, a five-step skin care process is never going to be something I do regularly.  That’s why this stuff is perfect for me and has been for the past fourteen years.

Urband Decay’s Naked Basic Palette

For the past few years I’ve asked the question, “Why are all eye-shadows shimmery or sparkly?”. Don’t get me wrong, I love a little shimmer every once in a while.  But on a daily basis, I like a more matte look when it comes to my eye makeup.  Also, my eyelids tend to be a bit dry and the sparkles from eye shadow, often end up on my cheeks.

One day, I finally had enough, so I walked into Sephora and told one of the sales associates that I was looking for a matte eye palette.  They showed me the three (can you believe there were only three?) that they carried  This was the smallest palette and the one with the most basic colors (hence the name!).

After using it for the past month, I’m in love.  On days where I wear hardly any makeup, I use the first three colors for just a bit of highlighting.  On regular makeup days, I use the fourth and/or fifth with the lighter colors.  And when I want something really dramatic (at night), I work in that super dark color at the end for a smoky eye.  This might be the first eye palette that I buy more than once.

Tocca Eau de Parfum – Collette

I’ve been looking for a new fragrance and decided to test some scents one day.  With a little bit of help from the sales associate at Sephora, I found the Tocca fragrances.  I smelled every single one of their fragrances, and finally narrowed it down to Liliana and Colette.  Since the sales associate recommended Liliana to me, I bought a small roller, but lucky for me, she also sent me home with a sample of the Colette.  After wearing both, I’m finally sold on the Colette and find myself wishing that I had purchased the roller version of it.  I will be purchasing the large bottle very very soon.  The scent is intoxicating.

Top Notes: Italian Bergamot (a fruit in the orange family), Neroli (oil produced from the bitter orange tree), Watery Peach
Middle Notes: Muguet, Gardenia, White Peony
Bottom Notes: Sandalwood, Musk, Benzoin, Patchouli

I wish I could say that I am in love with a particular under eye concealer.  But after some umpteen years of searching for the perfect one, I’m still searching.  Under eye circles are one of my biggest beauty “challenges”.  In the past few years, I’ve used Neutrogena 3 in 1 Concealer for Eyes and Laura Mercier Secret Concealer.  I find the Neutrogena to be a little too light — it doesn’t conceal as much as I’d like.  It reminds me too much of a tinted moisturizer.  However, the Laura Mercier is too creamy and heavy so I feel like it doesn’t blend into my skin as well as I’d like. Maybe a primer would help?

I’m definitely open to suggestions if anyone has found THE perfect under eye concealer for dark circles.  Please share! In fact, please share any of your favorite beauty products in the comments. I love finding new products.

16 Responses to Beauty Products I Love

  1. I haven’t found an under-eye concealer I love either – and let me tell you, I have some scary dark eyes right now!

    I do love a few products though that make my life SO much easier — Garnier BB Cream (I put this on with a little Bare Minerals finishing powder and it stays for HOURS) and the Urban Decay Naked Flushed (it’s very subtle and natural – and perfect when you want to wear makeup because you just had a baby and look like hell, but you don’t want people to think you are trying too hard!).

    • Hmmm, I wonder if I’d like the UD Naked Flushed too. I’m guessing you use it solo without any additional blush, right? I like taking something that is multi-step and making it into one step (obviously). 🙂

  2. I have the Naked 2 Palette and adore it. I recently picked up Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar BB cream and am totally in love- we were on a cruise in the massively hot and humid Caribbean and it stayed put all day. I’m tempted to pick up a few extra tubes in case they stop making it.

  3. Emily sutton

    YSL Touche Eclat is supposed to be the gold standard of under eye “concealers” . I haven’t ever take the plunge, so I use Neutrogena Eye Brightening skin perfector. I find these highlighter type products are better under eye because concealers get all cakey there.

    My fave product is Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. It is slightly more pigmented than other TMs, and a tube lasts forever.

    • Wow! I wonder how I can sweet talk a salesperson at Sephora into giving me a sample. It would have to be pretty spectacular for me to purchase it on a regular basis. Have you ever tried the Neutrogena 3 in 1? Just wondering how it compares with what you have?…like it is heavier or lighter…hmmmm.

      • Emily S

        i have not tried the 3 in 1 – but i use neutrogena visibly bright cleanser (vitamin c!) and also the neutrogena face wipes and love both. i get most of my beauty recommendations from Lucky magazine 🙂 for instance, i just tried the Garnier Moisture rescue gel moisturizer and love it for summer!

        i used to be a bigger beauty junkie and bought a lot of dept store stuff, but not much anymore. I stick with the Laura Mercier TM because it’s the best and a tube lasts 6 months.

        i am on the hunt for a good gel or creme blush!

        • Because of my ruddy cheeks, I showed up late to the blush party. I was so happy to cover up my pink cheeks in the past, that I’ve only started regularly wearing blush about five years ago. So I’m no help with that one!

          Do you use the Garnier moisture as your night cream or your day cream? I got so confused trying to figure out what I could and couldn’t use while pregnant that I’ve been sticking to pretty basic stuff. I like to mix and match dept. store and drug store stuff. Sometimes the drug store stuff is just as good…like when it comes to mascara.

          • Emily S

            i am like you – late to the blush train. for years i had prominent hyperpigmentation (still have some – when i am done breastfeeding Avery i want to get microdermabrasion) due in part to persistent acne. So i never wore blush. and i avoided creme blush because i had oilier skin and was terrified of breaking out. now, my skin is clearer – pregnancy cleared me up; that or cutting out excess caffeine – and i want to try a creme b/c theyre supposed to be more subtle.

            i could talk a blue streak about skincare b/c i struggled with it for so long. i have worn SPF 30 every day since i was 20. I use the Garnier moisturizer at night, and this lotion with SPF 30 for day:

            Since I’ve been pregnant and breastfeeding the better part of three years now, I haven’t even been able to delve into the anti-aging stuff as I’d like/need to! I guess I’ve just been doing preventive to this point and will get to the restorative later. Hopefully I don’t get too old looking while I’m nursing – ha!

            Drugstore eyeshadows have come a LONG way. I used to use all Stila and MAC. Now I find that Revlon’s quads and Wet n Wild quads (really!!!) are super pigmented and last a long time.

            This ends my novel!

  4. Erin B

    Love these posts! My favorite undereye concealer is Bobbi Brown. It’s a two-step process (the corrector and the concealer kit) but the extra step goes a long way. Your undereyes look airbrushed… can’t live without it! I need to order the lip balm.. sounds great!

  5. The lip balm sounds great. I need to try it!

  6. Danielle

    I’ve become quite addicted to the Smashbox primers: light photo finish for face and their mascara primer. With the mascara primer I can use cheap (Covergirl) mascara and it never flakes off – even after a 16 hour day it looks just like it did in the morning. I desperately need to find some sort of eyeshadow primer or a better shadow for oily eyelids (especially in the summertime). And generally learn how to properly apply eyeshadow. I never quite feel like I know what I’m doing there….

    I used to use that same Neutrogena face wash but recently switched to Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple, mostly because I make an ungodly mess with the Clarisonic and whatever I use always gets in my eyes and I found the Philosophy wash to be the adult equivalent of Johnson&Johnson’s No Tear Baby Shampoo.

    I had to pick up a chap stick in the Czech Republic when I lost mine and now I’m obsessed with Labello Classic Case ( ). It looks like the Nivea ones (they have the same parent company), but that does not feel at all the same (might be a difference in ingredients by country, since Labello isn’t sold in the US). So I just ordered a bunch online to stock up. It feels similar to but less sticky than Vaseline, which I have to put on my lips every night from a giant tub or I can’t fall asleep. True story.

  7. Geneen

    I can’t live without high brow by benefit. It is a pale pink stick you smudge under your eyebrow and it makes your eyebrows look super cleaned up like you just them done. It also adds a lift effect. Love it!

  8. Urban Decay is one of my favorite make up brands. Their eyeliner makes me look like a stripper – AHHHHH HA HA HA! And I LOVE IT 😀

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