I Moved Home for a Month—These Are the 24 Effective Beauty Products I Packed

You know that game where you're asked what three items you'd choose to bring if you were stranded on a deserted island? Well, that's exactly what I felt like I was playing when I made the last-minute decision to temporarily move back in with my parents and had approximately two hours to pack my belongings. It's a long story, but essentially, my lease was just about up in NY and apartment showings were understandably put on hold for the time being. So I made the swift decision to put everything I couldn't fit into two suitcases in storage and move back home to Arizona until I could resume my apartment hunt.

Somehow packing clothing was the easy part and choosing which beauty products to take and which to live without for (potentially) multiple months was the challenge. I knew my parents would have some basics stocked, like shampoo and body wash, so after some deliberation, I landed on these 24 beauty products that lie within the haircare and skincare categories.

color coordinated beauty products



I immediately decided that this was my chance to color coordinate my medicine cabinet (see above) like I've always wanted but couldn't do while sharing a bathroom with my roommate in NY. It may not be the most practical choice, but lately, it's the little things that spark joy. Below are the full details on each of my picks, in rainbow order of course.

While I've been blowing out my hair less frequently as of late, I always use this heat-protecting cream when I do. 

I can't recommend this lightweight, gentle face cleanser enough.

I completely eliminated the use of makeup-remover wipes after discovering this cleansing balm.

I much prefer this chemical exfoliant to traditional face scrubs. However, since my skin is on the sensitive side, I only leave it on for about half of the recommended 20 minutes.

This spray protects hair from heat, whether it's coming from a blow-dryer or the sun.

I use this face oil at night with my jade roller at least three times a week.

My hairstylist recommended this detangler for my ultrafine hair about a year ago, and I've never looked back.

Another Amika product I'm now hooked on. The smell of this dry shampoo is reason enough to spend the $10.

The newest daytime moisturizer in my skincare arsenal.

I'm so impressed with how gentle this retinol serum is compared to most others I've tried. It's a steal for the price.

I've been taking advantage of my parents pool during this time, which has led to really dry strands. This hair oil, applied just on the ends, helps so much.

This has been my go-to sunscreen for years.

For fresh-feeling skin in the morning, I apply this toner after cleansing and before moisturizing.

I use this mud mask about once a week for a deep clean.

I love that I don't have to wash off this rich nighttime mask.

Oat milk may seem like a strange ingredient to find in a dry shampoo, but it adds much-needed moisture to second- or third-day hair.

If you've yet to catch on, I'm a big fan of this affordable skincare line. I was wary of its new spot treatment, but it truly works.

I may physically be in my backyard on a pool towel, but when wearing this guava and mango sunscreen, I'm mentally on a tropical beach with a piña colada in hand.

One of my friends let me borrow this Honest Beauty face cream once, and I bought it immediately. I've used this for years now because it's so moisturizing (thanks, hyaluronic acid) and has a soothing eucalyptus scent.

I've added this serum to my nightly routine (after cleansing and before moisturizing) and have noticed a major difference in the redness of my skin.

This lightweight eye cream really adds a boost of moisture.

My hands are so dry from washing my hands 300 times a day, so I put Aquaphor on them every night before bed.