As some of you know, I'm kind of a beauty product junkie. I just love to try new things, especially if a friend, a magazine, or a cosmetics counter makeup artist tells me it's fabulous. The cosmetics counter chicks love to see me coming. I'm like a moth to a flame, powerless to resist their sales pitches. I once spent $60 on a Yves Saint Laurent Limited Edition err...something or other. Honestly, I don't think it does anything. Angelique said it was the hottest beauty item at New York's Fashion Week and that all the runway models can't live without it. It makes their pores invisible. I exclaimed, "I want invisible pores!" There's a sucker born every minute, yes?
That said, I embrace drugstore bargains and I recognize the value of high-priced department store items. Yes, I am a complex creature. I also exhibit a willingness to shell out untold dollars on items I would consider "necessary" that most reasonable women would consider "frivolous". Nowadays, I am attempting to streamline my beauty regimen and sift through what's fluff and what's fantastic, opting for long-lasting, multi-purpose, affordable alternatives when possible. This is partly because I know that motherhood will require that I simplify my life in all areas, and partly because I am reaching an age where 1) I do not have the energy or enthusiasm for the drawn-out daily primping of my college years, 2) Looking like a drag queen is rarely acceptable given my current lifestyle. 3) My previous cosmetics habits will soon be cost-prohibitive.
It first occured to me to catalogue my beauty favorites blog-style during a particularly long commute to work where I attempted to mentally list my beauty needs. I was delighted when, later the next day, I read my pal Natalie's blog post on her beauty must-haves. Check it out for some terrific tips and insight. Now, on to my own list. I chose not to make this list comprehensive because I'm only attesting to those products for which I have the most loyalty. One such item to not make the list is an eyelash curler. I own both the Maybelline ($5) and the acclaimed Shu Uemura ($19) and guess what? They both curl eyelashes nicely. Some of these products are quite pricey, so I think it's worth noting that, with the exception of mascara, no product has lasted me less than six months. I definitely get my money's worth with these bad boys.
CLEANSER: Visual Changes Ultra Gentle Enzyme Cleanser ($30)*
SERUM: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($142)
EYE CREAM: Obagi ELASTIderm Eye Cream ($95)
MOISTURIZER + SPF: Jergens Natural Glow Healthy Complexion Daily Facial Moisturizer ($8.49)
TOOL: Clarisonic Skin Cleaning System ($149-$225)**
PRIMER: ColoreScience Skin Bronzing Primer SPF 20 Wild to Mild ($45)***
CONCEALER: Laura Mercier Secret Concealer ($22)
BLUSH: Nars Orgasm Illuminator ($29)
EYE PRIMER: Laura Mercier Eye Basics ($24)
EYE SHADOW: Trish McEvoy Glaze Eye Shadow White Peach and Topaz ($16)
EYELINER: Trish McEvoy Eye Definer and Finish Line ($16 and $22)
MASCARA: Lancome L'Extreme Waterproof ($24.50)****
LIP GLOSS: Chanel Glossimer Sunset Gold ($27.50)
TOOL: Trish McEvoy brushes ($20 and up)
LOTION: Kiehl's Creme de Corps ($27)
LOTION WITH SUNLESS TANNER: Jergens Natural Glow Revitalizing Daily Moisturizer ($8.49)
SHAMPOO: Bumble and bumble. Thickening Shampoo ($21)*****
CONDITIONER: Bumble and bumble. Thickening Conditioner ($22)
STYLING PRODUCT: Bumble and bumble. Styling Lotion ($23)
TOOL: Conair Instant Heat Jumbo and Super Jumbo Hot Rollers ($30)
*This is not widely available, but it gently cleanses and exfoliates so brilliantly, I'd swim a mile through Ivory Soap to get me some.
**This may seem unnecessary, but I declare that my face was never truly clean before I used this. Washing my face without it seems about as beneficial as brushing my teeth with my index finger.
***Another treasure not easy to find, it provides necessary sun protection, soothes redness, leaves skin silky smooth, and provides a hint of color to leave you with an even tone you look like you were born with. The reason I don't list a favorite foundation or powder is that thanks to this primer, I don't need it.
****This one is a trick question. My favorite mascara was a $4 tube of Maybelline that was discontinued in 2003. Since that time, I have tried over 25 different mascaras (yes, I counted) in search of a suitable replacement. This. Is. It.
*****In my never-ending quest to have the most luscious hair in the land, I have tried everything. The most important lesson I have learned is that, for the most part, all these products make my hair look the same. I am a firm believer in the value and superior quality of salon brands--and a great haircut. Beyond that, I reach a point where "more expensive" does not equal "better hair". Bumble and bumble products strike the balance I need: solid product, not the most expensive. It's a Lexus.