Instead of your usual intro about how I love beauty products and have tried a lot of products this year (I’d probably tell you it’s part of my job!), I’m just going to cut right to the chase: I love these eight products with my heart and soul, and spending the time to tell you about them was like soup for the soul. After the year we’ve had, we all deserve a little time to sit here and chat about beauty products for a moment. Grab your beverage of choice (I’m drinking hot mint tea right now with a face mask on because sometimes WFH has its perks), maybe a snack, and your wallet—because I’m about to talk you into a few things and I’m not even sorry.
This had to be the first product on this list. I’ve written blurb after blurb about this product, and you can read my full review here. This is the first skincare product I’ve actually repurchased more than once, and I’m not even remotely close to being sick of it yet. I love that it works both instantly and over time because I don’t feel guilty when I skip a few days, but I also have noticed that my skin looks better with continued use. I *truly* will not stop telling people about this until they stop making it (Maelove, please never, ever do that). I’ve raved about it so much that even our editor Maddie’s boyfriend bought it—and after a date recently told me I had nice skin (flattery will get you everywhere), I convinced him to try it too. If I can convince a man who uses four-in-one shampoo as a face wash to buy a vitamin C serum, then you know it must be good (or that my powers of persuasion are just extremely high).
I texted our Graphic Designer Kelly the second I bought this because I was so excited to hopefully try something that would banish my blackheads for good. I used it once and saw a minimal difference, but now that I’ve used it a few more times, it is a godsend. I use it for skin gritting, and it works better than any other oil I’ve ever used. I’ve been using it a few times a week since I got it, and my nose has never looked clearer. If you suffer from blackheads or clogged pores, you’ll want a product like this in your skincare routine. And at less than $10 a pop, you might as well buy one for your BFF too.
The need for a good moisturizing body product is growing as the days get chillier and chillier, and last summer, I found the best one. This body butter saved me from shaving irritations and flaking sun-exposed skin, and now, it’s at the top of my list to tackle everything that comes with dry, winter skin. I use it on my elbows, knees, and ankles every night before bed, and my skin has never been softer. Plus, the lavender vanilla scent is glorious at bedtime. For the daytime, my favorite scent has been orangesicle—it smells so dreamy, and when I catch a whiff of it while I’m working, it immediately makes me happier. They’re releasing holiday scents soon, and I’ve already saved the money to buy this for everyone I know for Christmas.
I’ve been known to rave about mascaras on occasion. It’s the easiest makeup product that arguably makes the biggest impact—how can I not shout out the best ones?! After testing a lot of high-end formulas, I’m on a journey to find the best options at the drugstore, and I started with this one after I saw it on Allure’s 2020 Best of Beauty list. It immediately made its way into my rotation, topping some of the expensive mascaras I’ve loved for years. It gives so much impact and volume while adding a little length too. It’s the perfect dramatic mascara to wear during the day. I’ve already told all of my friends to buy it on their next Target run, and now I’m telling you!
This was basically the only foundation I used all summer, and I’m still using it for practically every Zoom call and casual trip to the grocery store. It’s extra glowy, so I always make sure to powder afterward, leaving me with a glowy look that doesn’t get shiny or oily. I apply it on my face straight from the tube, and use either a brush (when I want extra coverage and less glow) or a beauty sponge (less coverage, much glowier). It is so easy to put on when I just need a little something on my face and makes me look alive on Zoom. I would recommend this to anyone looking for an everyday foundation. But heck, I’d be convinced to wear this on my wedding day honestly.
I’m still working through swapping my daily beauty products for Black-owned alternatives, and body wash felt like the easiest one. I saw this earlier this summer and thought seeing this gorgeous label every morning will make me excited to shower. Little did I know I would fall in love with the product inside too. I had a friend come over recently who saw this in my shower and said it looked “cool” (men are weird), and I went on a 10-minute tangent about how much I love it. This scent is amazing to use for my morning showers, and the peppermint actually cools down my skin, which I love after a sweaty workout. My skin feels clean and soft, and I’m noticing less KP on my arms too which makes this product an ultimate winner.
As we enter the time of the year that looking glowy isn’t just a given (oh how I miss my summer dew!), I’ve had a lot of my friends ask me for highlighter recommendations. This one from Nabla has been my go-to, especially because they have shades for every skin tone. It’s not filled with shimmers or glitters, so instead of adding a very prominent powder-y finish on the skin, it looks like your skin is naturally glowing. It’s a really fine-milled powder, so it looks better the more you blend it in. It’s the perfect glass skin powder highlight that looks both natural and impactful.
I’ve been embracing my natural brow shape the last few months in an attempt to head to my salon as little as possible (and save money… and achieve the Bella Hadid brow… and because I’m lazy). With that has come unruly brows that absolutely look nothing like a Hadid sister and more like a caveman. I snagged this a few months ago now, and it is, without a doubt, the best brow product I’ve ever tried. It takes a little extra time than your typical gel in the morning, but when you have the time, it’s worth it for that laminated brow look.