Take a look at any—okay, some—beauty editors’ desks, and you’ll most likely be greeted with what appears to be a beauty product landfill. Lipsticks, foundations, perfumes, and face creams lay jumbled next to (and on top of) each other vying for attention, all so tempting and glorious. We take these products home, vetting and testing them so we can recommend only the best to our readers. From these, only a select few make it into our own treasured stash, and an even smaller group prompts us to repurchase—we’re a choosy bunch, after all.
With that in mind, we’re giving you a peek into our own personal regimens by revealing the skincare gems we tried, loved, and now will gladly throw our financial goals to the wayside for. Some are to be expected (hi, Eve Lom Cleanser), while others are more… niche (boob masks—hear us out). Keep scrolling to see our picks.
I had been using the same day and night cream for years when I paid a visit to the wonderful people at Elemis for a bespoke facial. (Don't I sound fancy? Sorry, it's an occupational hazard.) During the treatment, the esthetician recommended an entire new skincare routine using products that were made specifically for my skin type (mostly dry but sometimes combination, based on the weather). After that day, I have never looked back. This rich day cream nourishes dry, dehydrated skin, stocks powerful anti-aging properties and doesn't cause breakouts. Truly, my skin has never looked better. So much so that I've gifted this particular product to friends and co-workers with my signature just trust me grin. They're in love, too.
A blend of a ton of essential oils, this product is nothing short of opulent. The fragrance calms your soul, and the warm, silky texture feels like a hug. Jessica Richards, the kick-ass founder of the Brooklyn-based shop Shen Beauty, was one of the first to stock the U.K.-born product—and I've been smitten ever since. It deeply moisturizes (but it's all-natural, so no worries if your skin is sensitive), gently lifts off dead cells, and reduces redness and irritation. I apply it to my face, neck, and chest.
Okay, hear me out. I first caught wind of this French skincare brand from a Courtney Love tweet. She was raving about the way the masks took years off her face, and yes, her boobs. Naturally, I was intrigued. Turns out, this mask duo is every bit as effective as Love claimed. The face offering literally feels like it's melting into your skin. The serum is super concentrated and composed of highly enriched nutrients that provide a supple, tightened, and plumper look after about 15 minutes. (I leave mine on for 30 because #goals.) The results last for days afterward, making this the most mind-blowing sheet mask I've ever tried.
Now on to the boob portion of the program. The breast mask does the same thing for your chest that it does for your face (though I can't apply it on my couch for fear my roommate will leave me). It gives an instant lifting effect, which leaves behind visibly younger-looking boobs. Lol, seriously.
Are people sick of me talking about this product yet? Probably, but I feel like I’m in love—I can’t stop. This unassuming gel is, quite frankly, a miracle worker. Rub some over a pimple or breakout and I guarantee you’ll wake up blemish-free. I never travel without it—it’s like knowing you have a life raft, always there to bail you out during an emergency. It makes the higher-than-average price tag totally worth it.
I think all Charlotte’s products are worth every penny, but this face mask is a particular favorite. The soft Spanish clay is infused with sweet almond and rosehip oils to actually moisturize your skin after you apply, instead of drying it out. It doesn’t harden into a tight, uncomfortable mask, and once you rinse it off, your skin will actually appear noticeably brighter, softer, and more balanced. I can’t get enough.
I splurge on serums, almost exclusively. While a $50 price tag on other products makes me a little dubious, I'm willing to spend upwards of $250 on a good serum—that's where all the active, skin-penetrating ingredients are. I originally tried this serum because it promised to make me "lineless" in two weeks. The product didn't quite live up to that ambitious timeline, but I saw enough of an improvement within two weeks to want to stick with it. Within a month or so, I started receiving more compliments on my skin, and almost a year later I'm still using and loving the product.
I may sound like a broken record at this point, but I'll say it again: C E Ferulic Acid is worth the $166 price tag. It's one of the products that made a noticeable difference in my skin. Backed by the clinical trials and the patented formula, I trust it to protect my skin. (As a pale girl, I'm hyper-paranoid about sun damage.)
I can't justify spending $95 on a cleanser regularly, but thank goodness this bottle is large enough that I can stretch it out for months and months. It cleanses my skin so gently and gets off every last bit of makeup with just one small pump.
I love so many things about this mask. First, it smells like lemongrass and essential oils so I always feel so refreshed and rejuvenated when I apply it. Second, I love its tan color, so it's not an alarming shade on my face. Third, it really works. Especially if my skin is broken out before using it, I always notice clearer skin the next day.
I've tried plenty of great, thriftier cleansers, but this will always be the product that inspired me to take better care of my skin. And, honestly, it really is worth the hype.
I'd say you get plenty of bang for your buck—I've had the same container for more than a year, and it is easily the most effective mask I've ever tried. It does everything its name advertises—all with well-sourced, all-natural ingredients.
Sure, there are brightening masks that cost half as much and last twice as long, but after discovering this one, I don't even care. First of all, it smells like a freshly peeled orange (delight!), and after leaving it on for 20 minutes, your skin has noticeably more glow and brightness, and it feels baby soft. The jar is tiny, and the instructions recommend using it three times a week, so doing this mask the right way is expensive. However, it actually does what it claims, and for that I think it's worth it.
Which luxury skincare products do you swear by? Tell us below!