Like many of you, I've been spending a lot more time at home, which has made me reassess my beauty lineup. Why should I waste time on products that don't bring me joy, make my skin glowier, or you know, just make my life easier? There's only so much my brain can handle these days, so I'm really just trying to do myself a solid and cut back on all the things I rarely use and stick to what brings me joy, like the cleanser that changed my view on cleansing, the $5 cream that has lightened so many of my dark spots, and so on.
So me being the thorough editor (or nosey gal, however you want to put it) I am, I reached out to my fellow co-workers to share the life-changing products that are always on their vanities. Ahead, you'll find a long list of items that make us all very, very happy and we imagine would make you very happy, too.
In all honesty, I never really cared about the cleanser I used. I was always more focused on the other steps of my routine—until I tried this. And wow. My skin has never felt so clean or smooth! It's made with white willow bark, which exfoliates and tightens the appearance of pores, and antioxidants derived from chamomile and centella asiatica, which help heal skin damage.
I don't know who I think I am for getting myself hooked on such pricey products, but here we are. This has truly changed the overall tone and texture of my skin. It's formulated with tons of antioxidants, vitamins C and E, and retinol, and it does everything from minimizing the appearance of pores to brightening dark spots. I can honestly say my skin has never looked so even and glowy. For the first two weeks, you're supposed to use this twice a day, and then you can move to once a day, so it does last a while.
I'm a skin picker and have a few dark spots that I've been trying to lighten. Hydroquinone is an effective lightening agent that’s great for reducing the appearance of acne marks, and this one contains the highest concentration of it allowed in an OTC product. I like to dab some of the cream onto specific areas I'm trying to lighten versus slathering it all over my face. It's a great, cheap option!
I realize that this is pricey, but it's so worth it. It's a patented formula with a blend of 15% pure vitamin C, which brightens skin; 1% vitamin E, which replenishes skin lipids; and 0.5% ferulic acid, which is a plant-based antioxidant that basically enhances the benefits of vitamins C and E. I apply four drops to my skin after cleansing in the morning by pressing it into my skin versus rubbing, then let it do its thing for a few minutes before following up with any other product. I’m telling you: Your entire face will be brighter and more glowy. It does have a weird smell, though, but I find that it goes away after a few minutes.
By now you're probably sick of me telling you how much I love this tool and how everyone needs to get on board. It's just so good. Basically, when you use it on your face, it increases blood circulation, which increases elastin and collagen, and it also helps with lymphatic drainage. My face looks so much more lifted after using it for five to 10 minutes daily. Suspicious? This video is all the proof you need.
After using a different body exfoliator for ingrown hairs for a long time, I recently made the switch to this one from Fur, and it's made such a big difference. It's helping disappear the existing ingrown hairs I have, and I haven't noticed any new ones coming in. It's also super gentle on my sensitive skin. I haven't tried this yet, but for even more exfoliation, you can leave it on as a mask for 10 minutes.
When I really need to focus on work or if I feel a bit overwhelmed, these capsules really help. It has ingredients like L-tyrosine and GABA that keep you calm and sharpen your mind throughout the day. It's a must for me when I have a lot of projects going on and feel anxious about all the things on my to-do list.
If you have super fine hair like me, then you know that detangling sprays are not just for kids. I can't say enough good things about this product. It really gets the job done and smells amazing. I spritz this on my hair right after the shower and then use a wet brush to smooth my strands.
I recently started using this cleanser and can't imagine taking my makeup off any other way ever again. I've used several makeup-melting balms, but this one is definitely the best I've tried, so it will be a permanent product on my vanity until further notice.
I'll admit I was hesitant to buy the full-size bottle of this Sunday Riley product after trying a sample last year. It's arguably quite pricey, but it's worth every single penny, in my opinion. The lactic acid treatment leaves my skin so soft and radiant. I use it about once or twice a week, and my skin has never looked better.
As someone who finds flossing to be the most annoying task of all time, these floss picks have truly changed my life. (My dentist is beaming with pride right now.) They're so easy to use, have a refreshing minty taste, and are eco-friendly. I keep them in a cute little glass jar next to my sink so I remember to use them daily (and so they're not a total eyesore).
I used to think I had bad under-eye shadows because I didn't sleep very much (four to five hours a night was my normal), but now that I've been consistently sleeping eight hours a night and my shadows are exactly the same, I realize it's just me. Until I learn to embrace them, I'll keep using this concealer because it's been my tried and true for years. It highlights my under-eye area, lasts all day, and doesn't dry out my skin.
There's a reason this is every dermatologist's favorite sunscreen. It's so lightweight and good for your skin. It doesn't feel particularly luxurious, but it doesn't feel like you're wearing sunscreen either, which is saying something. I've also haven't gotten a single sunburn since I started wearing it (many years ago!).
I think Bite discontinued this lipstick, which is a real shame because it's pretty much the only lipstick I ever reach for. I don't feel like many shades work for my face, but I love this deep pinkish-red so much. Somehow it works for most outfits. The best part? It's such a hydrating and pigmented lipstick—perfect for any night featuring multiple cocktails.
This conditioner actually changed my life. I try shampoo after shampoo in search of the holy grail for my roots, and throughout all those trials and disappointments, this conditioner has always kept the rest of my hair bouncing with voluminous waves. I'll never swap it out.
Rosewater! I've pretty much concluded that there isn't anything that rosewater can't cure. Okay, I'm kidding but also not. Quality is really key when searching for the ultimate rosewater mist, and this one from Chantecaille can't be beaten. (Makeup artists also love the super-pure formula!) I spritz it on my face whenever I need some extra hydration or a pick-me-up; I spritz my Beautyblender with it; I use it to set my makeup; and I use it a toner.
Speaking of my Beautyblender, I also have about five hanging out on my vanity at all times. I've gone back and forth over the years between using my fingers, foundation-buffing brushes, and other look-alike (aka knockoff) makeup sponges, and there's something that's just incomparably perfect about how this OG blender applies your foundation. My foundation and concealer just aren't the same without it!
The key to any good lip-product application is a faultless lip balm. It sounds (and should be!) simple, but so many formulas still leave my lips crusty and dry, which is not the look I'm going for. I'm obsessed with this tube from Fresh. It's one of the few balms that keeps my lips soft, smooth, and plump for hours and hours, and I find applying it at night before bed and first thing in the morning is all I need.
Even pre-quarantine, I've always been a home-mani person. I'm obsessed with Olive & June's polish spread (the finish is also super glossy and long-lasting!) and brilliant DIY manicure kits. If you took a peak in my bathroom right now, you'd find every single shade from O&J's latest summer collection on my vanity.
Glossier's new hand cream is my latest favorite. Not only does it turn a rough, dehydrated hand situation into more of a liquid-silk kind of hand situation, but it also smells soooo good. I have two—one on my vanity that the brand sent me pre-launch and another on my nightstand that I just bought because I'm so concerned about running out.
I have lots of prized beauty possessions, but the Ziip device is one of the very few products I can honestly say changed my life. Or, at least, my skin. Not only does it offer both instant and long-term gratification where lifting and toning are concerned, but it has also significantly reduced my breakouts. It's also worth mentioning that the gold conductive gel is an amazing product in and of itself. I slather it on and treat it like a mask—lips, too!
The initial splurge is an investment, but after that first leap, you'll only have to rebuy your conductive gel. I've actually saved money since I'm not having to see facialists as often for regular skin maintenance and can do with fewer daily skincare products. I've noticed the best results when I use it two to three times a week.
I swear by this miracle cream! I have pretty sensitive skin, so I'm always cautious when I try new products, but I've been using this mask for a little over a year now, and it's never given me any problems. I use it on my face, neck, eyes, and even my hands and elbows if I squeeze out too much.
I never thought I'd be the type of girl to tout a face cream this expensive, but this Augustinus Bader pick is truly a game changer. It kept my skin moisturized and protected throughout the winter, when my skin typically decides it's thirstier than a marathon runner in the desert. Now, this cream isn't for the faint of heart or those managing excess sebum (after all, it's called The Rich Cream for a reason), but my skin has been thriving ever since I started using it.
I just started using these peel pads again after taking a break from them for a few years, and my skin is loving them! I can't remember what made me stop using them, but I won't be making that mistake again. They're loaded with glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acid for a full-spectrum exfoliation that leaves my skin plump and glowy. Lately, I've been swiping any extra product from the pads onto the backs of my hands to see if they'll have the same fountain-of-youth effect there.
I'm something of a professional bath taker, and the most incredible product I've added to my bi-weekly soak is this body mask. First of all, it smells like heaven. I spread it over my whole body and let it dry as the tub is filling up, then buff it in as I step into the tub. The volcanic pumice gently sloughs dead skin cells from the surface of my body, leaving it primed to soften up even further from the luxurious oils I add to my bathwater.
I keep this ice roller in my freezer so it's cold and ready for a soothing, muscle-relaxing roll whenever I need it. I've been experiencing more headaches than usual over the last few months (as I imagine just about everyone is!) and this handy little gadget has become an integral part of my nighttime relaxation ritual.