There is a blog tradition where on your 100th post, you write 100 things about yourself. As that I have already done this on my other blog, I have decided to log my 100 favorite beauty items. And yes… I believe I can log 100!
1. Vitamin C Face Wash from The Body Shop: I have sensitive skin in the winter, it dries out quickly, produces oil quickly in the T-zone and will turn red, peel, or itch if someone looks at it the wrong way. This face wash is a cream, non-foaming, non-soap. I use it after a makeup remover to gently remove any dirt and impurities. Works great with a face brush without making my skin more angry. The faint citrus smell is nice in the morning. When I worked at the Body Shop, some clients found this product to be too caustic for overly sensitive skin (Vitamin C can be irritating) but I have liked it. Vitamin C is an antioxidant – it fights free radicals which helps you have fresh and healthy skin.
2. Vitamin E Face Spritz from The Body Shop: Trains, planes and automobiles. This face spritz is great for hydrating your skin when on the go. I spray it every hour when on a plane. I have one in my desk drawer at the office. One in the bathroom which is used as a gentle toner and a great way to create a dewy finish post-foundation and powder. It's very light moisture, a slight rose scent and a cooling feel to the skin. People use it under makeup to make it apply better, over makeup to help set it but give a more dewy finish. It's a great pick me up.
3. Nivea Eye Makeup Remover: This stuff is very gentle, non-irritating, and packs a punch. I put a bit on a cotton pad and hold it to my eye for a few seconds. No need to rub – when I wipe all my makeup comes off. It even removed liquid liner and waterproof mascara! You need very little, a tube will last you for MONTHS and it doesn't make me have to rub and tug at the skin to get rid of my eye cosmetics.
4. Oil of Olay Total Effects Cleansing Cloths: I am a lazy bum. I'll admit it. When I am tired, I just want to go to bed. I don't want to wash and tone and moisturize. I just want to curl into bed and leave black smears of mascara on my pillowcases. I store these wipes in my nightstand and can wash my face as I fall asleep. They don't work as well as face wash, but they're better than going without.
5. Bag Balm: This stuff doesn't smell too good, but it works well. I read an interview where Shania Twain said it was her favorite beauty product. I decided to try it out – I liked the retro looking tin. Each night I slap this stuff on my lips, heels, cuticles and wake with smooth and soft skin. In the winter I often slap it all over my hands and go to sleep with socks on my hands, and in the winter I do the same to my feet.
6. Nars blush in Orgasm: You HAD to know that this would be on the list! I swear by this product, as do many other celebrities and bloggers! This is a peachy pink color that can go from a sheer wash to a burst of color depending on how you layer it. It has a slight shimmer to it, but nothing that recalls ravers, more of a slight glow or dewy finish to the cheeks.
7. I.D. Bare Escentuals Foundation: I had watched the infomercial dozens of times, and have even watched Leslie on QVC sell her wares. I was skeptical, but finally decided to try it. I ordered the trial kit available on the QVC website and was SO GLAD I DID! This foundation lasts all day, it covers my ruddy cheeks and allergy dark circles without making me look as though I am painted. Somehow it covers all that I want covered, but still lets my freckles show through! It’s tricky to apply and gets all over the sink and my top, but it’s worth the trouble for the natural end result.
8. M.A.C. Zoom Lash: When I first got this stuff I HATED it. I found it too goopy and was constantly wiping the wand with a Kleenex so I didn’t look like a raccoon. Soon I got the hang of it, and was pleased with the result. Long, thick lashes that survive eye rubbing, tearing, sweating and naps. It’s a bit tricky, but it’s worth the time for the end result – especially if you are like me and have allergies!
9. Lancome Defincils: This is one of the best mascaras out there! It doesn’t make you have drag queen lashes, but it gives very clean, separated and defined lashes. A great day mascara, or a mascara for those who fear eye makeup. No irritation with contacts or allergies, and it lasted all day. I wore the waterproof version on my wedding day – applied it before 10 a.m. and still had lovely lashes at midnight!
10. Body Butter from The Body Shop: I fell for the fragrance of the Coconut Butter, but was committed with a touch. I was in the mall, window shopping and crossed my arms. My hand touched my other arm’s elbow – just a brush. I felt as though I had touched a stranger’s skin. My elbow was soft and silky to the touch. An ELBOW! And in the WINTER no less! Celebrities can afford million dollar creams, but many celebrate the benefits of The Body Shop’s Body Butter for good reason. Unlike many replicas, this company’s butter is predominately moisturizer, not water. No waxes or petroleum – the moisture comes from shea nuts, cocoa nuts, brazil nuts. The nuts have oil that melts at a lower temperature than many other moisturizers, letting it seep into the skin more easily than say, Vaseline or regular body lotion. Try it – they sell travel sizes. I’m sure after one use you’ll run back for the big container… or two!
11. OPI’s I’m Not Really a Waitress Nailcolor: The red with the most class. I don my tootsies with it 75% of the year. Goes with everything, and isn’t too tartish for the office.
12. OPI’s Coney Island Cotton Candy Nailcolor: the pale pink/nude that doesn’t look chalky or cheesy. The only nailcolor I will allow on my hands, and I like it on my feet in the spring, when I am wearing open toed shoes but am still pale. Very elegant. I wore it on my wedding day.
13. L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream: Amazing stuff. It is so decadent – so rich, but not greasy. No candy scent, and it really seems to heal my hands. My sister says it’s one of the greatest gifts for a woman, and I agree. I don’t think any woman would be disappointed with a tube of this in her stocking or from her Secret Santa!
14. Short Sexy Hair’s Play Dirty Dry Wax: I borrowed this product from a friend when at the beach. My hair was too… clean. It was hanging limp and was boring. I lifted some pieces and took a few spritzes, figuring that if it looked like crap I could throw it all up in a ponytail. No need, for that night I had the best hair I had worn in months. The wax separated the hair gently. It didn’t feel gross to the touch, and the scent was not overpowering. It held better than hair spray, even while sweating and running around. It gave my hair body, texture and all the stuff other products claim to do and really don’t. I find it works on my hair from shoulder length and shorter. Anything longer, and it can’t seem to fight gravity.
15. Chanel No.5 Parfum: Wanna feel like a goddess? Spritz this stuff on your wrists. A little goes a long way, but once you get a whiff, you will be standing taller, walking more gracefully, and feeling like a lady. A sexy lady. Think Marilyn (who wore it as her signature scent). My mom has worn it since college, and every time I smell it on her I think of weekends as a kid watching her get gussied up for a night on the town with my dad. My sister bought me a bottle a few years ago. I don’t wear it often because it is my mom’s scent. I do spritz a bit when I need to feel more confident – a job interview, a presentation, a high school reunion. Every time I wear it, and smell it on those around me I feel as though I posses a bit more confidence, a bit more class.
16. Sephora’s Bronzer Brush: I am a brush snob. I have brushes from M.A.C, Trish McEvoy, Shu Umera, Bobbi Brown. However when I can find a bargain brush that’s worthy, I stock pile. I have two of these brushes – one for my powder foundation, one for my bronzer. This brush has tightly packed bristles, but they are very soft to provide even application. It fits well in the hand, washes nicely without losing bristles, and has worn well – they look brand new after a couple of years of use! I fully believe in buying the best tools possible – they last you for years and make all cosmetics apply and wear better.
17. M.A.C. Blot Powder: This stuff is wonderful. You can apply over and over all day without getting cakey. It really controls the shine. I used this powder on my wedding day and through tears, sweat, hugs and kisses I only needed to reapply once in a twelve-hour span. I was never a huge fan of pressed powder until I was introduced to Blot.
18. Victoria’s Secret Lip-Gloss in French Kiss: I have bought this little pot over and over through the years, always go back to it. I will buy designer lipglosses, but I find this gloss to have the prettiest natural shimmer, the most elegant nude color, the right amount of stickiness without being gross. It lasts a long time, doesn’t have an overwhelming scent, and applies well over lipsticks and pencils to add a subtle wet look without being “too much.” I have even added it to my cheeks and lids in the summer – really highlights a tan nicely.
19. A Face Brush: I pick mine up at The Body Shop because I like the length of the handle and the softness of the bristles. A face brush can make any gentle cleanser a scrub. I wash mine regularly (along with my makeup brushes) so that it doesn’t harbor bacteria and yuckies. A circular motion a couple of nights a week with your regular face wash will really help the skin stay clear, revitalized and fresh. Once I started using one regularly I saw a marked improvement in my skin – especially those pesky blackheads on the nose.
20. The Body Shop’s Soy and Calendula Face Scrub: This product is sold for sensitive skin, but I highly recommend it for any skin types as a scrub. The gel base of the scrub rinses clean and is not drying. Soy is a great product for the skin and is toted as an age deifier. Calendula is an anti-redness ingredient. The granules are round beads that don’t scratch the skin like many face scrubs. It’s not overly harsh, but does the job of removing the bad and leaving the good.
21. Aveda Be Curly: This is a lotion-like product for curls. When I used to wear my hair in long layers, I would go to bed with wet hair; a large dollop of this product mixed in, and would wake up with ringlets and beachy waves. Amazing stuff, and a little goes a long way. It seemed to keep the waves all day as well.
22. Conair’s Dry N Style Iron: I know there may be better straightening irons out there, but I love this one because I travel so much. In one product I have a large barrel curling iron and a ceramic straightening iron that gets very hot. Also, this product claims to be a dryer. The drying tool sort of sucks, but is great for getting those little damp ringlets at the nape nice and straight. It was less than $20 at Target and has traveled the country without causing me any trouble.
23. Large Round Boar Hair Brushes: I didn’t realize how great these brushes are until this past weekend when I forgot my brush and used my friend’s large barreled brush with a metal barrel and black plastic bristles. The brush helped my hair get super straight with the dryer, but I returned home with a heedful of split ends. A boar bristle brush protects the hair, adds shine, and gives body to hair that is being straightened.
24. The Body Shop Lip Liner in Beech: This is the SAME EXACT color at M.A.C.’s Spice lip pencil that is ravced about by all makeup artists. Wet-N-Wild’s 666 pencil is as well, but I don’t find it to glide as nicely as The Body Shop or M.A.C. This is a brownish pink color that blends with 99% of lipsticks and 99% of skin tones. Great color to fill your lip in with and top with a gloss for a long-lasting color for day. I know I am mentioning a lot of products from The Body Shop. No, I don’t work for them though I did. While there I saw that some of their products SUCK, and some are really amazing enough for me to still buy now that the discount is gone. This is one of them. My pencil is about an inch long – I’ll have to go soon to get a replacement!
25. The Body Shop’s Shimmer Cubes in Warm: I have raved about this shadow set in many posts before. I used to give this as a prize to my staff for achieving sales goals and always got great results. Black, Asian, White, Latina, whatever… you will find that these shadows are flattering, shimmery without being childish, and easily blendable. The quad of shadows lasts FOREVER. I bought one in 2003 and am not even halfway through. I use the pale on my whole lid, and the dark in the crease and around the lash line. I have used the copper on darker complexions for a wonderful effect.
26. Smith’s Rosebud Salve: This is a treat. It’s really just Vaseline with a feminine smell, but the whole experience – the retro tin, the pale pink color, the faint rose smell all is wonderful, and the product is quite soothing to lips. It’s also smooth enough to actually work under lipsticks for more of a wash of color.
27. Trish McEvoy Brush #29: This is an essential brush for eyeshadow application. The length of the bristles, the softness, the rounded shape all create the perfect contour on the crease. I have used this brush on multiple people with the same result – a gentle sweep of color in just the right place. It’s easy to use also – just swish-swish from side to side and you have a perfectly applied contour. The price may be frightening, but I have had my brush for about a decade and it is still going strong and working well.
28. Neutrogena Oil Free Moisturizer with SPF 15: Ladies and Gentlemen, if you are not wearing a MINIMUM of SPF 15 every day (even in the winter) you better START before you look like a leather purse! I love this moisturizer because it absorbs well, hydrates the dry cheeks and doesn’t drown the oily T-zone. I recommend a higher SPF in the summer, but in the winter, this is a great choice for oily/combination skin.
29. Bath and Body Works Breathe Energy Fragrance Mist: This crisp green scent is light enough to spray all over my skin and hair. I found the other pieces in this fragrance line to be too herbal, but the spray is fresh. It wears well and just makes me feel Springy without being a Mitchum Man. I wore it a lot this summer in place of perfume.
30. C.O. Bigelow Clementine Superb Body Cleaner: It’s a relatively gentle soap, the smell is utterly divine. Sweet oranges, similar to The Body Shop’s old formula for their Satsuma shower gel (that I MISS HORRIBLY SO!). The smell is a sweet wake-up. There is a matching lotion that matches but is mediocre in moisturizing. If you don’t mind mixing fragrances, I recommend this body wash!
31. Goldie Lip Gloss in Blossom: A pale coral color that just looks as though you have been licking your lips. Goes on smooth, smells like cake batter and is pretty hydrating. This is not a gloss that will last all day, but with it’s texture and flavor, you won’t mind reapplying.
32. BioSilk Silk Therapy: Buy the smallest bottle they have, you don’t need a lot. I have the travel size and have been using the same bottle for three years. Just a drop on dried hair will make it soft, silky and never greasy. A little in damp hair will help it wave softly and not look frizzy. Whatever leftover on your hands makes a phenomenal moisturizer. I know people who use this product on their feet, their elbows, whole body and even face for moisture. It feels amazing and has barely a scent. I use it on curls for definition and shine, and in straight hair for slight separation and a smooth sheen. The best glosser I have ever tried.
33. Maybelline Ultra Liner: I am a fan of liquid eye liner. I know it goes in and out of style, but I have always stuck to it. I like the Audrey Hepburn/Playboy Playmate looks it can create, and I like how it lasts through most anything. I have tried dozens of liquid liners, from Chanel to Trish to Cover Girl. I have tried the dry that you wet, the pen styles, the brush styles (hard and soft). This liner pleases me the most. It’s just the right length of brush (soft) and thick enough to give a strong line in one swoop. This may not be the best liner for those new to the liquid scene, but for an old pro, I love the price, I love the texture, I love the wearability and I love me some liquid liner!!
34. Chanel Quick Cover Concealer: This concealer claims to be waterproof. I don’t know about that, but it’s rub-proof, cry-proof, sweat-proof and hug-proof. Again, I chose this product for my wedding day and was thrilled with the results. It is not cheap – I keep this concealer for very special occasions. It dries fast with a matte finish and works well either over or under foundation… and well alone too!
35. M.A.C. Studio Tech: This is a compact foundation. It’s best applied with a synthetic foundation brush. It gives some major coverage. Perfect to cover ruddiness, dark circles and faint scars. It layers well to add more coverage, or can be applied with a damp brush for a more sheer effect. Though it’s a heavy foundation, I like it in the summer because it STAYS through sweat and even through a dip in the pool. There are plenty of colors to find your right match. I wore this also on my wedding day and had much success and little rub-off on those I hugged.
36. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer: Yet another product I purchased thanks to watching QVC. This product can be worn alone as a mattifier in the Summer, or under foundation to give a smoother look and a longer lasting finish. Usually I found primers and toners and this kind of stuff as being all hype, but this time I found this product to be useful and quite lovely!
37. Chanel Chance Eau de Toilette: I’m biased. My husband bought me this for my 30th birthday. I didn’t express an interest in this specific fragrance. He saw the ad on the back of one of my magazines, knew my mom wore Chanel, and headed to the counter alone to find a fragrance he thought smelled like “me.” I really like it. It’s feminine without being too girly, sexy without being too much for day or work. It smells elegant, classy and expensive without being pretentious. It’s a lovely scent.
38. Olay Total Effects Eye Transforming Cream: I am a fan of eye creams. As someone who rubs her eyes a lot, I have seen the skin is not so elastic as I get older. I started using eye creams about four years ago and have seen a marked improvement in the skin around my eyes. This is the most recent eye cream I have used, and I like it. I use it every morning and every night. It is very gentle, non-irritating, not greasy. It hydrates the skin without making it puffy, and I think all the anti-aging stuff is working a bit!
39. Jergens Soft Shimmer Moisturizer: I am not one for body bling. I fond body glitter tacky, hate fake bakes, and am grossed out by crazy sparkle on the face. I bought this product because a male client of mine said it made his muscles look more toned without him looking feminine or greased up. I bought a bottle that night. The very subtle shimmer makes your skin look dewy a la Mandy Moore. It does seem to add definition, and just makes the skin look luminous, not sparkly. I wear it every time I get gussied up, or when I go to a beachside bar in a sundress.
40. DiorShow Mascara: If you want drag queen lashes, you have found the right product. This is not your day mascara, your office mascara, your demure mascara. This is mascara for a night at a club, a hot first date, a dancing till dawn sort of event. DiorShow will plump, thicken, lengthen, and if you don’t watch out will clump all over. If you use a light hand you will have bat-worthy lashes all night.
41. Cargo Bronzer: I don’t own any right now because I am thrilled with my discontinued Almay bronzer (not worth noting since it has gone bye-bye), but once the current stuff is gone I plan to pick up a tin of this goodness. It has a faint amount of shimmer that works similar to the above mentioned Jergens Soft Shimmer Lotion, but for your face (and collar bone and cleavage). I like the Light in the Winter and the Medium in the summer.
42. The Body Shop Bronzer: It’s cheap, it’s neutral, it’s matte. Light skinned Black women often use this color for pressed powder. I like it for a hint of color and just that. Not contour, no straight from Bali look, just a faint hint of color to whisk away the sallowness of winter. Be warned: the packaging is annoying, the lid will pop off and the compact does not travel well (crumbles easily). However if you want a very natural look from a bronzer, this product will give it to you with not too many greenbacks.
43. Fresh Umbrian Clay Treatment Bar: I would have NEVER picked up this product if it weren’t for this adorable Sephora salesperson with the loveliest skin. I asked her what she used and she grabbed me a bar of this stuff. It doesn’t lather, it doesn’t “do” much of anything when in the shower, but used as a face wash, it removes impurities while not removing moisture. As a mask it leaves skin baby soft and glowing. I know people have used it on mosquito bites, rashes and other irritations to calm the skin and reduce redness. I have put it as a mask on knees and elbows to help soften and have had success. It’s a really interesting product. Just don’t leave it in the shower or it will crumble away. Keep it dry except when in use and that will make it last.
44. Aveda SPF 15 Lip Tint: I realized while researching my favorite beauty products that I have thought forever that my beloved lip tint was from Origins. Nope, it’s from Aveda (same company, so I don’t feel too awful). It gives more color than many lip tints, moisturizes, but is dry enough that it doesn’t get all over your teeth and face. They carry intense colors (like Spice, which I wear often) and very subtle shades for those more wary of strong colors. I really like the feel and look of this product. My lips do too!
45. Benefit’s High Beam: So I usually don’t like shimmer and shine, but sometimes the situation calls for it. Bachelorette party, New Year’s Eve, sassy summer night… this product gives me EXACTLY what I’m looking for. Ethereal shimmer, dewy shine without looking overly made-up. I put some on the cheekbones, on the brow bone, in the corner of the eye. A bit on my shoulders and collar bone. You can make it as subtle or as shiny as you like. The pink tint is quite flattering. It works best when I moisturize my fingers before applying – makes it glide better.
46. The Body Shop’s Damson Eye Shadow: This is a dusty purple color that works well as a contour or liner color. I have the most success wetting the brush before applying it to the last line, as that Body Shop’s shadows go on light and work better in layers. I think this is a flattering color on a multitude of skin tones, and is soft enough to give me a doe-eyed look when under the edges of the lower lash line.
47. Sally Hansen Extra Strength Crème Hair Remover for Face: Yes, Dilly gets a ‘stache if she doesn’t take care of herself. That Eastern European blood coursing through my veins. I have used varying products, but like this products the best. Least offensive smell, doesn’t leave my upper lip numb, and no redness. Eight minutes, rinse off and apply the balm and you’re ready to head out the door.
48. Sally Hansen Diamond Lip Treatment: I am such a sucker for a lip gloss. These smell good, feel good, have a nice soft brush to apply with, a trim bottle that fits in the tightest jeans and the colors are very natural. I own five different colors, I am that much of a fan. Not the longest lasting, but not terrible, and a lovely shine that isn’t to little-kid-like.
49. Clean and Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets: I always have these in my bag. They don’t add any powder or product to my face, just remove the shine. The packet is durable and can handle a night at the bars in my jeans’ back pocket.
50. Wow, I have gotten to 50. I really can’t think of 50 more today so I will have to continue this. Say, with Post #200?