*Note: I wear a lot of red nail polish and received several messages over the past few weeks asking for my go-tos. I love Essie’s Really Red, Russian Roulette, and Geranium (more orangey), and OPI’s Big Apple Red and Coca Cola red. I am currently wearing something a bit darker/more blue than I usually go, Essie’s “Limited Addiction,” which feels SO glamorous and old world Hollywood to me.
I always go on a little new beauty binge at the dawn of the new year, and I’m already loving some of the items I’ve just started testing, including Olaplex’s Bond Smoother (obsessed — reduces drying time and leaves hair so smooth), Saie’s Slip Tint (more notes on this below but I am IN LOVE with this affordable tinted moisturizer) and — finally — Biologique Recherche’s iconic Lotion p50, an exfoliator that has been around since the 70s and enjoys a cult following (my mother included). There are several different variations but I tried their newest, PIGM 400, which is “enriched with both the exfoliating active ingredients of the Lotion P50 and the brightening agents and antioxidants of the PIGM 400 range.” I have only been using a few days and am wowed by the results. It feels as though I’ve shed an exoskeleton — skin is so bright, happy, even, shining. Other items are the top of my list to try this year: Thomas Grove skin oil (a blend of three oils packed with vitamins that I’ve been reading good things about), Westman Atelier brow pencil (recommended by my friend Nan, whom I trust implicitly), and Biossance Eye Cream (a longtime favorite of many Magpies).
01. LEATHEROLOGY TRAIN CASE — I just love the shape of this cosmetics bag, and the shadow lettering is so fabulous.
03. OPI NAIL AND CUTICLE OIL — This stuff is FANTASTIC. I keep on my nightstand and apply regularly during the winter months. It has a clever little brush applicator that makes it a cinch to use (not messy, easy to apply in bed before lights out).
04. BIOSSANCE EYE CREAM — So many Magpies have insisted this is the only eye cream that actually does anything. Going to try this year.
05. WELEDA SKIN FOOD — I have been using and loving a very expensive body cream from Byredo (absolute heaven in every way) and am challenging myself to alternate with something much less expensive to assuage the guilt (ha). I’ve long heard fabulous things about Weleda’s Skin Food and am going to give it a try this month.
06. OLAPLEX SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER — I’ve been so obsessed with this brand’s bond smoother (heat primer / conditioner / detangler), I’m planning to try their shampoo and conditioner, which I know many of you have raved about (and with which my sister is in a committed relationship). I tried the shampoo awhile back and was lukewarm on results but maybe you need both, or maybe I didn’t give it enough of a try, etc.?
07. DENMAN STYLING AND DETANGLING BRUSH — Good for a quick comb-through when you’re zhushing before a night out but don’t want to muss up your style too much.
08. TERRY CLOTH HEADBAND — A clever way to keep hair back while washing your face.
09. OUAI SCALP AND BODY SCRUB — This stuff looks divine and won an Allure beauty award!
10. SAIE SLIP TINT — I am IN LOVE with this stuff! I generally prefer tinted moisturizers to foundations and this stuff is BRILLIANT and just as good as products from higher-end/prestige beauty labels like Chantecaille and Laura Mercier (both of which have excellent tinted moisturizer) at about half the price. Blends right in, easy to apply. I would say it is more blendable than the SuperGoop tinted glow SPF I have been using for awhile now, with a better consistency and a bit more coverage. A+.
11. FORGET THE FILLER LIP PLUMPING GLOSS — Never tried this category of product but intrigued.
12. WESTMAN ATELIER BROW PENCIL — My friend Nan has raved about this product awhile back and I’m keen to try. I have to be honest and say I was underwhelmed by the last two Westman products I tried, their complexion drops (expensive, trying to do too much, and difficult to apply IMO) and their liquid lip balm (I’m just not a gloss kind of person? I don’t know – this just didn’t send me). But I have loved absolutely everything else they’ve made and I’m intrigued by Nan’s enthusiasm.
13. MAKEUP BY MARIO SKIN ENHANCER — I’ve been seeing some hype around this brand lately and I’m intrigued by this product in particular: “A three-in-one tinted complexion balm that warms and nourishes with sheer coverage to even out the appearance of skin tone.” I’ve been noticing that my biggest complexion challenge lately is uneven skintone (no longer blemishes so much — thank God), and I’m pulled in by this description…
14. SHISEIDO FACIAL COTTON. Not new to me, but mama mia, this is the best little upgrade to which you can treat yourself. If you’ve never tried this cotton, you’re in for a treat. Ultra-soft and plush — perfect for swiping on Lotion p50, toner, makeup remover, nail polish remover, etc.
15. SNAIL MUCIN SHEET MASKS. I haven’t yet been able to convince myself to try this latest beauty fad that everyone in the world seems to rave about (snail mucin…?) but if you’re braver than I am, please test and report back. Skincare queen Courtney Grow is an evangelist!
16. U BEAUTY SKIN HYDRATOR — This is going to be the facial lotion I try next. I think I first heard about this brand from Bradley and have since been targeted by a ton of ads that have totally influenced me. There is one where a customer says: “After using for a few weeks, someone asked if I’d had a face lift.” Um…?
18. DAGNE DOVER TOILETRY ORGANIZER — I thought this was such a brilliant way to stow skincare/products while traveling — everything upright in its own slot and therefore easy to find (and less likely to spill/open/etc).
19. EUCERIN ADVANCED REPAIR BODY LOTION. I have been needing something heavier duty for my skin during these dry winter months and I keep coming back to this drugstore basic, which people absolutely love. For $10, worth a try! (Read the 24K five star reviews!)
20. L’OREAL REVITALIFT. My mom read rave reviews of this affordable serum (includes both Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C), and I’ve been testing myself, too. To be honest, I was layering it on top of other skincare products to which I am permanently wedded (e.g., Clarins Double Serum) and I didn’t see much of a difference and am too committed to those other products to test it on its own?? But I feel like this would be a good product if you’re looking to test a serum without the steep pricepoints of other competitors.
21. AMAZON COSMETICS BAG. Again, love the shape of these “train case” style cosmetics bags. I have lots of the standard pouch style ones but this feels like it can hold a lot (and, possibly, be tossed in the laundry after?). The print was darling — Laura Ashley-esque.
22. PATCHOLOGY EYE MASKS. I’ve never used eye masks before but I keep encountering them — do they do anything? They do look relaxing? Whenever I’m sick or feeling rundown, I really like to take a hot shower, apply a ton of really thick moisturizer and eye creams and serums, and climb into bed with wet hair. Lately I’ve been wishing I could add eye masks to that particular self-care moment.
24. WANDER BEAUTY EYE SHADOW DUO. An Allure beauty winner that I’ve written about a lot this season, but it’s pretty much the ONLY eye shadow I wore all holiday season. The cream palette is so incredibly easy to apply with a finger — it blends in so beautifully and has great, buildable color. I need all the colors STAT.
25. BIODERMA LIP CONDITIONER. This French pharmacy brand tends to know what it’s doing. For under $10, a great choice for dry winter lips.
P.P.S. A lot of inexpensive beauty/cosmetics finds and gear in this post.
P.P.P.S. What do you splurge vs. save on?