My adoration for Violet Grey (aka, one of my favorite retailers, which only offers the crème de la crème of beauty offerings) comes at a price. And yes, I mean that literally. Even though I've been leaning into more affordable skincare and makeup, I've had champagne taste, according to my mom, since preschool. Eek, I can't help it! I pretty much always have a running list of splurge-worthy lipsticks, face creams, hair masks, and other glittering beauty concoctions I desperately want to slather all over my body.
But back to those high-price stakes I mentioned. Due to Violet Grey's highly selective nature, the majority of products it offers swings heavily toward the "intense" side of the cost pendulum. Therefore, when I do splurge for something on my wish list, it's usually in one- or two-product increments. I'm totally fine with this cycle, and it gives me something fun to look forward to—yes, even beauty editors still experience a high from product shopping—but I'd be lying if I said Violet Grey's sparse (but exceedingly satisfying) sales didn't make my heart flutter in happiness and anticipation.
In honor of Memorial Day, one such sale has arrived, and from May 19 (that's today!) to May 25, you're in for some serious savings to help chip away at your beauty wish list. Aside from a few brand exclusions (Chanel, Vintner’s Daughter, May Lindstrom, Charlotte Tilbury, and Victoria Beckham Beauty), the sale extends sitewide, and you'll get $15 off $100, $50 off $250, $100 off $500, or $250 off purchases $1000 and above.
I'm pretty sure you already know what to do here, but in case you're curious, I'm sharing my personal stockpile below! Keep scrolling, and may the savings be ever in your favor.
When it comes to sheet masks, I'm very meh about 99% of them. This one, however, is worth every dang penny, and it's become a once-per-week ritual my skin thirstily looks forward to. Developed by 111Skin founder and cosmetic surgeon Yannis Alexandrides, MD, it seals in yummy, dew- and glow-enhancing moisture along with the skin perks of NAC Y2—the brand's unique formula of actives that simultaneously protect, brighten, and strengthen the skin barrier. It's the best thing you can do at home if you're missing your facialist.
I'm not sure if it's stress, allergies, or my obsession with flaky Maldon sea salt (probably the latter), but my eyes are almost always puffy and irritated when I wake up in the morning. I've seen so many celebrities swear by these fancy cryo-freeze tools to beat eye bloat, and Violet Grey's sale feels like the right opportunity to splurge!
Whenever I go in for a facial (pre-COVID-19, obviously), estheticians always wax poetic about how game-changing and worthwhile of an investment these Hannibal Lecter–esque LED masks are. I've been holding off due to sticker shock, but considering I can get shave some serious dollars off, I'm going in! The LED lights provide three different treatment options: Red mode spikes collagen production and elastin to discourage wrinkles, sun spots, sun damage, and redness; blue mode obliterates acne-causing bacteria; and the epic option of both targets all of the above. (I'm especially excited about said acne-busting benefits.)
I'll keep this short and sweet. I'm 110% convinced this is the best cleanser on Earth, and since I refuse to go one day without it, I stock up five bottles at a time. It's an expensive formula as far as face wash goes, so pouncing during Violet Grey's epic sale is my zero-fail spending strategy.
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. Now, I pretty much categorize my beauty game BZ (before ZIIP) and AZ (after ZIIP). It's also worth mentioning that the gold conductive gel is an amazing product in and of itself. I even slather it on and treat it like a mask (lips too!) because it makes my skin look as if there's a sunbeam radiating out from within.
The initial splurge is an investment, but after that first leap, you'll only have to rebuy your conductive gel, and 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.
For anyone who loves a dreamy French makeup aesthetic, I highly recommend Jeanne Damas's line, Rouje. The creamy matte results are as sleek and stunning as the chic gold bullet they're packed in. I have one shade I've worn down to the nub, so I'm going all in and ordering every single hue while the sale is playing to my bank account's favor!
ICYMI, Armani Beauty launched a long-awaited accent to its iconic foundation. If you go wild for the brand's Luminous Silk Foundation ($64), you'll love this silky-smooth concealer just as much. If you're looking for lighter coverage this summer, you can even buff this out over your complexion wherever you want some coverage without having to go all-in with a foundation.
This radiance-promoting pen (which also has a touch of handy coverage) has been around forever. Thus, it's telling that it remains one of five (or so) products that are always inside my makeup bag for on-the-go touch-ups. It's also clutch for those inevitable groggy mornings when my dark circles are at their most merciless. For heavier-duty coverage, try this version, which offers a greater ratio of camouflage!
Anyone who knows me is clued in that I just can't with powder eye shadow. I'm obsessed with liquid and cream formulas instead, which I find far easier to apply, blend, and manipulate into a pretty, low-key sheen. The name of Kosas's 10-second option doesn't lie, and it's my forever go-to. I own most of the earthy shades, but this summer, I'm planning to expand my horizons with some of the more "out-there" hues like the blue (Waterfall) or lilac (333.0).
I haven't actually tried this spendy mascara, but it's been on my wish list forever due to how much gushing it garners from celebrities and makeup artists. I'm always a fan of mascaras that have a slim comb like this, and it yields every result I'm after when it comes to mascara—curl, volume, and flutter-friendly separation. As someone who has recently converted to brown mascara formulas (it can look more natural), I'm psyched about this brown-black situation as well.
These Power Drops from Oribe are like a liquid IV for stressed-out strands. I have long, bleached, easily compromised hair, so I go through my stash remarkably fast. It's a great remedy if your ends feel more straw-like than hairlike right now.
I collect every single hair product from Slip as though they're going out of style. (Spoiler: That's literally never going to happen.) However, I have yet to get my hands on the brand's new silk headband, which helps keep those pesky hairline strands out of the way while you do your makeup or skincare routine.
Despite my longtime bleaching habit, my hair is longer and healthier than ever before. Aside from having an impeccably talented colorist (I miss you, Cass!), I blame it all on Olaplex's holy-grail rebonding treatment. No matter the retailer, whenever it's on sale, I buy at least three bottles. I keep it constantly stocked and slather a very healthy helping all over my head at least once every week.
Given the current quarantine situation, I haven't been styling my hair as often, and weirdly, I've really been missing my T3 Whirl Trio. The interchangeable set allows you to create every kind of curl, wave, and bend under the sun, and I swear I haven't had a bad hair day since adding it to my mix of styling tools. Even when I'm leaning into my air-dry routine, I'll use one of the irons to add just a tad more polish and well-intentioned styling to my natural texture.
Without fail, the stroke of spring and summer makes my scalp turn into an itchy, flake-prone, and, frankly, just disturbed state. This soothing treatment from French haircare brand Leonor Greyl never fails to be my saving grace; its ingredient roster features antioxidant-rich natural oils that calm inflammation and help purify a disgruntled scalp. It also rebuffs redness, dandruff, and any scalp that's getting too grease-happy.
Bath & Body
My at-home work situation has not been great for my easily aggravated head, neck, and shoulders. (I miss my office standing desk!) Since I can't go in to get a massage to help the situation, I've been heavily relying on the muscle-soothing magic of these CBD bath salts from Lord Jones. Oh, and if you want to get really crazy, I recommend slathering the brand's High CBD Formula Body Lotion ($60) as well for cherry-on-top stress relief.
Meet the body oil that finally turned me into a body oil person. It's THE most ridiculously luxurious formula on the market, and double-dipping with the brand's decadent Body Butter ($95) keeps my skin topped up with supple, glowy moisture for a full week without having to apply any other body moisturizers. I think of this investment as maximalist minimalism!
That said, if you're not an oil or butter person and prefer a straightforward but highly effective lotion, Nécessaire makes the best in all the beauty land, hands down. I keep at least three bottles of the fragrance-free option on standby.
Never before have my hands been so clean. But because of that, never before have they been so dry, chapped, and all-around sad looking. Obviously, there are more affordable hand creams on the market, but it's the little things in life (especially right now), and treating my extremities to luxurious formulas has been a surprisingly effective self-care mechanism for me the past couple of months. I'm really obsessed with everything and anything rose-scented right now, so I can't wait to (quite literally) get my hands on Byredo's best-selling hand cream. (FYI—the brand also makes a really amazing Rinse-Free Hand Wash, $35.)
On that same note of self-care, I plan on emerging back into society (whenever that might be for us in L.A.) with the brighter, whiter smile I've been saying I'll get around to for, oh, maybe a year now? This accomplished set is my vehicle of choice, complete with everything my coffee- and wine-stained mouth needs for a little reboot—a chap-busting lip loofa, mouth rinse, minty floss, blue-hued lip gloss (which makes your teeth look whiter), and toothpaste.
Wellness & Fragrance
The Nue Co. is one of my all-time-favorite functional wellness/beauty brands, and these skin-improving capsules are my next venture! I'm notoriously picky when it comes to supplements, but touted as "ingestible retinol," this is a science-backed concoction chock-full of radiance-enhancing MVPs like vitamin C, zinc, champagne grape seed, melon, and other nutrition-packed antioxidants that feed your skin from the inside out.
Even though I try my best to stay balanced diet-wise, I'm also really good at convincing myself that ramen and red wine equate to a well-rounded meal. (Whoops!) I don't believe in food guilt, but I do know I feel better when I'm getting all my greens and nutrients in, so this organic, vegan, superfood- and protein-packed powder is my morning smoothie's favorite PIC.
Countless celebrities rely on Dr. Barbara Sturm for keeping their skin clear and photo-ready, but I personally rely on her for keeping my beauty sleep on schedule (which, in turn, keeps my skin on good behavior as well). The strategic mix of Saint-John's-Wort, 5-HTP; valerian; purslane; passionfruit; melon extracts; vitamin B3, B1, and B6; and hop extract work in harmony to boost production of crucial brain neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and GABA in addition to the overall health and appearance of your complexion.
I've been burning through all of my favorite candles at lightning speed, so I'm taking advantage of Violet Grey's Memorial Day sale to spring for some new scents. This one from Joya is an olfactory interpretation of beauty rituals after hours (kind of perfect for a beauty editor, no?) and features soul-soothing notes like lemongrass, pomelo, rosemary, cedar chips, clove bud oil, Medjool date, and sugar cane.
In the same vein as candles, I've really been leaning into the power of scent to elevate my mood and provide comfort. Although it might sound minor, applying a long-loved and familiar fragrance really makes a difference whenever I feel a funk coming on. Just one spritz feels like a low-lift reset, which I'm all about. I have a pretty big collection of perfumes, but Diptyque's Do Son will be a forever favorite. It's a best seller for a reason—the melding of African orange flower, rose, iris, tuberose, pink peppercorn, benzoin, and musk is ethereally lovely and mingles with my skin just right.