My Essentials | Beauty products

Caudalie beauty elixir | $48 at Sephora
Josie Maran argan oil | $48 at Sephora
YSL Touche Eclat | $40 at Sephora (I use number 2)
Bobbi Brown pot rouge in pale pink | $25 at Sephora
Bobbi Brown skin foundation | $46 at Sephora
Shu Uemura eyelash curler | $18 at Shu Uemura
Pangea Organics lip balm | $12 at Pangea Organics
Hourglass visionnaire eyeshadow duo | $38 at Sephora
Hourglass calligraphy eye liner | $38 at Sephora
Lancome defincils mascara | $28 at Sephora
Laura Mercier lip glace in blush | $28 at Sephora

Happy New Year! I’m going to be putting together my definitive “essentials” lists the beginning of the year, with a new one each week. Today I’ll start with my makeup/beauty products essentials. And these are REALLY essentials – every single product I’ve listed is one I’ve used for many years and trust on my face. I will admit, however, that since I started wearing makeup, I’ve always used “high-end” beauty products – MAC in my 20’s to cover imperfections (I didn’t wear makeup in high school), and for a long time, Bobbi Brown. I do use several holy grail drugstore products, but not makeup, and anyway, that’s another post πŸ˜‰

I have to start first with the Caudalie beauty elixir – which is actually the product I’ve been using the least amount of time, but I am thoroughly addicted and will never be without it. I bought the small size right before leaving for Amsterdam because I wanted something to soothe my face on the flight and while traveling. I used it twice a day for 5 days and within three I could see a dramatic difference: my skin felt smoother and looked much less red. It was also radiant, and bright. I have NEVER been able to see such results using ANY other product, except for Caudalie’s serum, and anyway, I think I like the spray better. Of course, I can only speak for my own skin type, which is VERY dry, with slight redness on my cheeks, and some spots, but I’ve been very very pleased with all the Caudalie products I’ve tried. I use this cleanser to remove makeup and it gets EVERYTHING off without even trying, while feeling soft and moisturizing at the same time.

Other than that, all I use on most days is the beauty elixir, Argan oil (this has saved my face – keeping it feeling moisturized even in very dry air), Bobbi Brown makeup, a little creme blush, Touche Eclat, and then I curl my eyelashes. I’ve been using the argan oil forever, and I never go without; I have a small bottle I fill up for traveling, use it on the plane, and sometimes on my hands. I love the BB makeup, I feel like it gives perfect coverage for me, without feeling heavy (which is a challenge for me and makeup) or too creamy. Although when I travel, I generally take a small tube of Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer because it’s easier to manage, and I like the extra moisture.

After trying tons of concealers, I’ve gone back to YSL’s TOUCHE Γ‰CLAT. It’s the perfect all-purpose whatever (I don’t even know what to call it). I use it under my eyes, in the corners of my eyes (and if I’m not wearing eyeshadow, I swipe it on my eyelids), on the bridge of my nose and on my upper lip area. I’m not exactly sure why, but I feel like it just adds a bit of illumination and oomph to my face. I don’t generally have dark under-eye circles, so it’s sufficient for me, but when I did, I think Laura Mercier’s concealer worked well.

Finally, a last word on one of my dailies, the Pangea Organics lip balm: it is INSANE. I have been addicted to this stuff since I got one in a birchbox a couple of years ago. It’s expensive, but it popped up on Gilt once and I was able to get 6 for about the price of one, so I snagged them. They last forever, so I still have a few that are un-opened. I keep one by my bed, in the kitchen, in my desk drawer, in my purse and in the bathroom πŸ˜‰ For color, I love Laura Mercier, and since you guys told me to throw out my old one I’d had for many years, I got a new one in “blush” and think it’s a great color. I only like a little color on my lips, and it’s good for that!

On days when I want to wear a little more makeup, I add some mascara, eyeliner, lip color and eye shadow and call it a day. I love Lancome’s defincils mascara, but I’m not beholden to it; I’ve tried lots and like them, as long as they’re not waterproof. The Lancome mascara came off with my cleanser really easily, and I liked the definition it gave without being clumpy. I have used Great Lash off and on in an emergency, but I don’t really like it – I always got racoon eyes when I used it.

For eyeliner, I’ve tried it all, and liked a lot of it, but my all-time, absolute favorite is this one by Hourglass. I’ve had mine for several years and it still works – keep in mind that I don’t use it every day, maybe once or twice a week. I love how easy it is to use and the color is deep. It also comes off really easily with my cleanser. I have several pots of Bobbi Brown’s gel eyeliner and I like it for drama, but it’s really intimidating for me to use if I don’t need to. I also really like Hourglass’s eye shadows, they NEVER crease and are really pigmented so they last forever and go on very smoothly. Again, I tend to keep/use things for many years, so while these products are expensive up-front, they stand the test of time and I can continue to use them. Except mascara – I always replace that every few months.

I’m actually a beauty product junkie, so (within reason), I’ve tried everything. But these are the products I love the best and that have worked for me. What’s worked for you? What are your beauty product essentials?

**please see my April 2013 video for more of my new essential beauty products!!

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  1. Mamavalveeta03 says

    Yay to Caudalie! I received a ton of eye cream samples from a generous Sephora employee, who shall remain unnamed to protect the innocent, and I love it, so I’m up for more Caudalie. I am SO into serums, so I’ll try that one. Plus, Josie Maran’s argan oil is BRILLIANT! I, too, have been using it on the recommendation of my former facialist (who had to tell me about it on the hush-hush because they didn’t sell it!) and it’s helped with redness, dryness, pore size, evenness of skin tone. It’s truly a miracle worker (oh, and I do the cuticle thingy, too!). Great Bobbi Brown choices for you! “Skin foundation” was ALWAYS the MUA’s favorite. The team artists always used to try and get us to use something else on our clients (you know…sell, sell, sell!), but we always went back to Skin. And I love the Laura Mercier gloss you chose. Perfect! I adore the smell of those, too. Makes me think I’m eating a caramel. I’ve never gotten on board with Touche Eclat, but I might have to give it another try, now that they have color variations. I’m big on “Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer” since it won a “Best of” award in MORE magazine. And I love the coverage and level of moisturization I get. I use the neutralizer shade. I am trying the new “Cover Girl Clump-Crusher” mascara, but haven’t opened it yet. I’m always kind of “meh” about mascaras. I also love Josie Maran’s “Argan Color Stick” and in a pinch, dab some on my lips, too. At 52, I still receive compliments on my skin! I just realized that I’m rambling, but I tend to do that about makeup, my passion! Oh, and why don’t you use mascara daily? Do I recall that you had your lashes tinted? That would explain it. LOVE this post!!!

    • says

      i do also love the caudalie eye/lip cream, but i haven’t used it lately, and i can’t say i really can tell a big difference. i’ve been using coconut oil around my eyes a bit more often, and i can’t tell that that makes a lot of difference either, but it’s definitely cheaper πŸ˜‰

      i do use mascara almost daily, but not always. i don’t know why not. sometimes all i do is go to the grocery store, so i don’t necessarily feel the need for mascara i guess…it’s not because i have my lashes tinted!

      which argan color stick color would you recommend for me if I want to try it? i’ve thought about it. but lately, i’ve not been buying duplicates of things πŸ˜‰ as in, if i already have half a pot of BB rouge, why do i need another blush/lip color?? i used to have so many products lying around, i thought i had to try everything, but now, i’d rather just have things i know i love. and use.

  2. Julisa says

    Have you ever tried bare essentials buxom lash mascara? It is the best IMO. It gives crazy full lashes without clumping much. It doesn’t last all day, which is my only complaint. Still, it’s the best I’ve used and I’ve tried a lot.

    • says

      i don’t think i’ve tried that one. i guess my only requirement for mascara is that it doesn’t give me raccoon eyes, and that it comes off easily. some i notice seem to give me longer lashes, or fuller lashes, but none that i can REALLY REALLY tell a difference. when i need a new mascara, i’ll try buxom! thanks for the recommendation!

  3. joannawnyc says

    Love the Caudalie beauty elixir, but I’ve never splurged on the big one. I usually go through two of the smaller ones a year. I’m allergic to talc, so I mainly use mineral makeup/powder, but honestly I wear makeup so rarely, except for lipstick/mascara, I couldn’t really tell you brand names. I wear tube mascara (Blinc or L’Oreal Beauty Tubes) which does not come off at all, until you take it off with warm water. I also often wear lip stain–Revlon Just Bitten or the Stila one in cherry. I have a diy Stila eyeshadow quad, which I like, but again, rarely wear it. I have good skin and good coloring, so make-up isn’t a big deal for me (ask me about hair care though …!)

      • Mamavalveeta03 says

        I love “blinc” if you want the staying power of a waterproof without the harshness, but the downside is that unless you have long lashes to start with, it won’t give you a lot of length. But it IS a good one!

  4. says

    I am trying to go through some of your older posts…for dry skin do you have a favorite moisturizer?
    I have very dry sensitive skin so I go back forth with Eucerin and then have tried Elizabeth Arden.

    • Mamavalveeta03 says

      Farha, I have super-sensitive skin, and I use Josie Maran’s argan oil anytime I need to calm down my skin. See if they’ll sample it for you at Sephora. I’m sure they will since they can put almost anything in a jar/container!

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