When you've worked in the beauty industry for 12 years, it becomes easier to spot a cult classic product in the making. Having tested thousands of products, I have a pretty strong gauge for whether something is going to live up to the hype or whether an under-the-radar buy should actually be shouted about. I know how to read ingredient lists, I don't judge a beauty product by its packaging and, to be frank, I can smell B.S. from a mile away. I'll even sing the praises of drugstore buys as long as they are worth the money. So each week I'll be sharing with you the products I'm loving right now. Some will be new, others will be long-forgotten finds or cult classics. The filter I'll be using for this (which is actually the filter I use for all my recommendations) is, "Does it work, and is it worth the money?" Without further ado, here are the products I've been loving.
Oribe Power Drops Damage Repair Booster
Oribe, the brand behind my favorite dry texture spray, has created Power Drops. Three to five drops of this booster should be added to a leave-in product of your choice, be it a conditioner, serum or hair oil. With 2% linoleic acid (which is VIP skincare ingredient) with the help of sea kelp extract and biotin strengthens, repairs and nourishes the hair.
I remember when I cut my hair into a "Rachel" style and then was desperate to grow out the awkward layers I bought kelp and biotin supplements because, apparently, that's what Jennifer Aniston was taking too. So you know those ingredients must be good. Think of this as you would an anti-aging face serum, it's getting those active ingredients deep down to where they need to be.
Chanel Rouge Allure Liquid Powder
Forget the heavy, matte, liquid lipstick we're used to. Chanel's new matte liquid lipstick gives a soft, blurred, effect that's super pretty, incredibly flattering and downright cool. It's also seriously comfortable on the lips.
Ancient + Brave True Collagen Sachets
Jennifer Aniston adds collagen to her morning smoothies to help her skin glow and, as my hair story attests, I am obsessed with her and do everything she says. I now add collagen to my smoothies, you can also add it to juices, yogurts or coffee it's tasteless and easy to mix. My skin does look better than it has in years but the trouble with supplements is it's not always easy to know if the improvement can be pegged to that. However, at less than $2 per sachet, I'm happy to take the chance.
Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum
Of all the Drunk Elephant products that launched, this was the one that beauty editors are most excited about. The lightweight potent serum houses a hefty amount of vitamin C, brightens the skin and protects it from the elements. I'm hooked.
Mount Lai Gua Sha Facial Lifting Tool
I was hooked on my jade roller, but now I'm all about the Gua Sha a massage tool. The edge with the inlet hugs around your cheek and jawbones to ease out any tension and toxins. It also boosts circulation to brighten the complexion and lifts the skin.
This Works Stress Check Breathe In
This handy rollerball contains 100% essential oils including eucalyptus, frankincense, and lavender. Either apply to pulse points and breathe deeply for five seconds or just sniff it direct from the rollerball for an instant hit of relaxation. (I carry mine around the office.)
It Cosmetics CC+ Oil-Free Matte SPF 40
I'm not going to lie—I love the CC+ Illumination formula so much that when this matte one came into the office, I just put it away in a drawer. Eventually, though, I gave it a chance, and you know what? I really like it. It mattifies the complexion but (and this is the important part) doesn't make it look flat. This makes my skin still look luminous without being too dewy (dewiness is not everyone's cup of tea). For anyone who has shine-prone skin or prefers a matte look, this is the base for you.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Liquid Concealer
Recently my attention has been drawn to my eye area for two reasons: dark circles and crow's-feet. Apparently I'm not immune and I have succumbed to both this year. While I'm trying all manner of skincare to tackle the root of the issues (more on that later), this concealer makes light work of blurring and concealing both the dark circles and the fine lines. Brightening without being super illuminating, you can use this on blemishes and areas of redness too, so no need for multiple concealers.
Living Proof Instant De-Frizzer
I air-dry my hair because life is too short. I'm also lucky that—because my hair has some bleach in it and a natural wave—it takes on a beachy texture once dry. Where I'm not so lucky is that my hair tends to dry pretty frizzy (I never tend to notice, as the frizz gathers at the back). From the front, I look like I've spent the day on the beach, but from the back, I look like I've been pulled through a hedge. This de-frizzing mist is lightweight, so it doesn't feel heavy or leave a residue on the hair. It simply tames the frizz so I look a little more put together. I keep it on my desk so I can spritz it in before meetings.
Erno Laszlo Multi Mask Eye Serum Mask
As I've mentioned, my eyes are starting to show my age (I'm 33). I've also never bothered with eye creams because I always thought they were an extra product we were made to feel like we needed (thanks to clever marketing). But maybe there is something in a separate eye product.
These Erno Laszlo masks contain algae extract to preserve the all-important collagen and vitamin B3 to brighten. You simply apply the gel-like patches to the eye area for 10 minutes. I wear them before bed and notice straight away that my fine lines aren't so noticeable. My eyes also look brighter after taking them off and the results usually last until the next day.
Becca Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid Highlighter
Want to get that enviable lit-from-within glow that looks like you've had a facial every day? This golden primer adds serious radiance to any complexion. Trust me—people will start complimenting you on your great skin.
Elixseri Opening Act
Fact: I've literally used this twice, and I'm hooked. Simply leave the serum on overnight and let the acids resurface the skin to reveal a brighter, smoother surface. The product contains prebiotics that feeds the good bacteria found on the skin. I'm astounded at how good my complexion looks after just a couple of uses. It's pretty powerful, so you only need to apply it two to three nights per week.
Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vitamin C Glow Powder
Each of these sachets contains two sections. First, you fold the sachet, then you rip off the top and pour the powder into water to create a paste. After that, all you need to do is massage it onto your face for 30 seconds. It lathers and leaves skin feeling super smooth and clean. It contains 20% vitamin C along with AHAs. Like the Elixseri serum, you only need to use this a couple of times a week. I have acne-prone, combination skin that can take a lot, so I'm using both each week (what can I say, I'm a rebel).
Nude by Nature Precision Brow Mascara
I still love Glossier Boy Brow and Benefit Gimme Brow, but this really gives those a run for their money. The tinted formula imparts color to the brow hairs whilst the waxy texture combined with the miniature brush helps you to create full, bushy brows. It's a game-changer if you love that sort of brow look.