It's not too surprising why my friends always come to me first for A+ beauty product recommendations. Not only do I receive a nonstop flow of new makeup, hair, skin, and wellness elixirs on a daily cadence, (testing all the newness is a 24/7 job!), but I also routinely meet with the industry's coolest brands and founders, gleaning top-secret sneak peeks at the new launches that won't hit the public for months.
Obviously, I can't share those confidential bottles with my friends until they've actually launched, but I do offer up a regular roster of products whenever my friends need a new blush, serum, or self-tanner recommendation. Don't get me wrong—I always talk about the new and exciting things hitting shelves, but there are certain products I've used and tried (for years) that are so spectacular I recommend them to my loved ones with satisfaction guaranteed confidence.
Curious? Below, I'm sharing 26 fan-favorite beauty picks I've turned even my most product-picky friends on to. Keep scrolling!
Perfector No. 3 is probably my most prized haircare possession. Why, you ask? It's the only reason I still have (long, healthy) hair on my head despite my bleaching addiction. That said, you don't need to have colored hair to reap its breakage-preventing benefits—there are lots of copycats trying to sneak their way into the market, but nothing works as well as this OG.
I pay it forward by recommending Oribe's Gold Lust Shampoo and Conditioner to any of my friends who are working toward glossier, healthier hair. (Especially anyone who dyes or lightens their strands!) I could be perfectly happy using Oribe products, and Oribe products alone, for the rest of my life, but these two are my all-time faves. A fellow friend and beauty editor recommended them to me years ago, and I've continued the tradition of recommendation.
In the name of hair health, put. the towel. down. Whenever I find out a friend is using their regular ol' bath towel to dry and twist up their strands post-shower, I immediately tell them they need one of these soft, good-for-your-hair wraps from Aquis instead. It will cut your hair-drying time by about 50%, and trust me—your neck will thank you!
Don't be a Kelly with split ends. The Olsen's actual longtime stylist Mark Townsend once told me this stuff is a haircut in a bottle, and he wasn't lying. Now, I tell anyone and everyone, but my friends first and foremost.
I noticed a huge change in the integrity, strength, and shine of my hair once I switched over to this über high-tech flat iron from T3. Essentially, you customize the settings to suit your hair type (texture, length, and color), and then it monitors and maintains the heat of the irons to keep your strands safe and happy.
I love this serum from Alo, and even though it's been around for less than a year, I've gotten a number of friends, my mom, and my dad hooked on the stuff. It's half the price of other popular serums on the market but there's no sacrifice where dewy, bouncy, super-hydrated skin perks are concerned.
If you don't have a high-quality sunscreen on deck for spring and summer, now is the time to bite. Technically, Colorscience's brush-on formula is more famous, but me, my mom, and a handful of my friends like this sheer mineral face screen instead. It has an impressive dose of SPF 50 and it will also shield your complexion from UVA/UVB rays, pollution, blue light, and infrared radiation.
So here's a fun fact: I used to live and die by this mushroom-infused serum in high school and college (just ask my then roommates), but it kind of fell off my radar after I became a beauty editor and I started testing a bazillion products every week. Recently, however, I've re-discovered my old flame, and I forgot how smooth, glowy, and even it makes my complexion. It's formulated with reishi, fermented chaga, and coprinus mushrooms—all of which build-up your skin barrier and resistance to outside aggressors. Oh, and it's especially nice for anyone with sensitive skin.
This chapstick from Fresh is the best thing to ever happen to my lips, and now all of my close friends have caught on to the magic, too. It's quite literally the only formula that keeps my dry, chap-prone lips, smooth, plump, and hydrated. The marketing boasts a full 24 hours of flake-free moisture, and I can 100% vouch for that.
This cleanser is like the Maserati of natural, organic face washes. Tata Harper has no shortage of divine formulas, and whenever anyone asks me where they should start, I tell them this is my top pick from the roster. It's multi-tasking, so you're getting a handful of benefits like cleansing, exfoliation, and a potent dose of brightening all in one go.
There's nothing more disappointing than a super hyped-up product that, well, disappoints. This oil-free formula is basically considered the holy grail foundation amongst celebs, makeup artists, beauty editors, and facialists (hint: it won't break you out or clog your pores!), and if you haven't tried the magic for yourself yet, I'd add it to your beauty bucket list, stat.
I love this high-coverage CC+ cream so dang much, and I always end up coming back to it. (And don't even ask me how many times I've gotten a friend hooked because it's more times than I can count!) If you like your face makeup infused with skincare-grade ingredients that will make your actual skin look and feel healthier, too, you have to try this. Oh, and if you're looking for something more satin or matte (there's a lot of glow with the CC+ formula!), I highly recommend the brand's new foundation.
ICYMI, I recently cited this fan-favorite blush as one of the best of all time. I've been using it since college, and the perfect ratio of pigment and glow always has people asking what I use. (And yes, when my friends and roommates wouldn't stop borrowing mine, I made them go out and buy their own!)
If I'm going to wear concealer, I don't mess around. I have no patience or time for wimpy coverage, so when I have dark circles, redness, or zits that need next-level camouflage, this long-lasting, full-coverage formula from MAC is my girl.
Nothing compares to this iconic setting spray, and it's the only formula that gets consistent seating on top of my and my friends' vanities.
There was a time in high school when my friends and I thought we were very chic by all wearing the same perfume: Chance Eau Tendre from Chanel. Years later, we honestly still keep it in our regular rotation because the melding of grapefruit, quince, jasmine, white musks is classic, and never translates as juvenile or overbearing.
I could talk about this still relatively new perfume from Tom Ford until I'm blue in the face. It features the dreamiest mix of notes—a divine blend featuring pêche de vigne accord, Sicilian blood orange oil, cardamom oil, heliotrope, davana oil, rum absolute, cognac oil, jasmine absolute sambac, sandalwood, benzoin resinoid, cashmeran, vanilla, tonka bean absolute, labdanum absolute, styrax resinoid, Indonesian patchouli. A mouthful, yes, but it's absolute magic as it warms into your skin.
I don't think I've ever worn this perfume from Killian and not received at least three or four compliments. The range of orange blossom, osmanthus, tuberose gives it its signature hit of lush florals, but it also has a slight, mysterious edge to it. Hence its name.
I wholeheartedly believe that every single person has a soul fragrance from Byredo. (Everything from the brand is just that addicting.) For me, it's Mojave Ghost—one of the brand's all-time best-sellers composed of super-special notes like ambrette, Jamaican nesberry, violet, sandalwood, magnolia, chantilly musk, crisp amber, and cedarwood.
I have about four or five fragrances from Maison Margiela's Replica collection that I regularly spritz, but it's the perfect time of the season to embrace this particular springtime scent—a personal favorite that highlights sunny notes of pear, lily of the valley, and musk.
Bath and Body
I'll just say this: If you thought body wash was just body wash and all formulas are the same, you definitely haven't sudsed up with Nécessaire's top-notch formula. It's filled with ingredients to keep your skin balanced, smooth, and healthy, and the Eucalyptus scent, in particular, will transform your shower into a five-star spa experience. My parents love it, guys love it, and my friends love it.
Popping one of these babies before I eat lunch and dinner is my not-so-secret secret for evading unwanted bloating post-meal. (The results are so great the bright green bottle has caught on like wildfire amongst my friend group.) I've tried other digestive enzyme supplements, and this one by far has worked the best for me.
It's that time of the season! If you're someone like me who notices an uptick in ingrowns once spring and summer roll around, you'll want this preventative ingrown insurance from Fur handy ASAP.
Whenever friends or readers ask me for my tip self-tanner picks, this is the one I point them towards. I love that you can customize your color (the longer you wear it, the deeper your final result will be), and I love the express factor—you only have to have it on your body for one to four hours depending on your bronzing goals which makes it easy to wear during the day versus sleeping in the stuff overnight. (The worst.) Just make sure you apply this mousse with a mitt to ensure super-even coverage, and make sure you're thorough when you rinse off with warm water to make sure you don't end up with streaks. (Also the worst.)
I started using this luxe body lotion from Lancôme after I found out it's one of the most-used products to prep celebrities' skin pre–red carpet, award show, or event. It makes you glow like none other and it offers epic ingredients like royal jelly to provide elevated relief from perpetually dry, itchy, scale-prone skin.