7 Days, 7 Products: How Our Team Became the Ultimate Beauty Minimalists

Updated 01/29/19
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Let us be frank and tell you that beauty editors own A LOT of products. So when the time for our 7 Days: 7 Products challenge rolled around, many backed away in fear (we're looking at you, Publisher Alison). But, both Editorial Director Amanda, and Writer Emily were up for it. So the rules were simple: For a full week, only seven skincare and makeup products were allowed. Nothing else. Aside from forcing creativity, this challenge really honed in on what we love and rely on and aimed to prove that a streamlined beauty routine is 100 percent possible, no matter how product-obsessed you are.

 

So, if you're dying to know how it all went down, keep scrolling. 

What seven products did you end up going with? 

Rationale Proceramide Cleanser $92
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I recently switched to the Rationale skincare line (more on that in the coming weeks), so this cleanser was an obvious one for me. I only use it at night, and would normally cut through makeup first with my Bioderma Sensibio ($43), but seeing as I wasn't wearing much makeup, just this cleanser alone did the job. 

Rationale B3-T Superfluid Sunscreen SPF50+ $70
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Sunscreen. What kinda' beauty writer would I even be if I didn't preach the benefits of SPF? This one is light, comfortable, and hydrating enough to forego moisturiser (for the week, anyway). 

Rationale DNA Night Cream $185
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This is my regular night cream, and it's a Vitamin A-rich formula, so while I couldn't wear it during the day, it still felt good to get some actives in there. 

Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum $423
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One of the only serums I use outside of Rationale is this one from Dr. Sturm. It's light as air, hydrating, and leaves my skin bouncy and plump. I pat it on of a morning before sunscreen. 

Nars Creamy Radiant Concealer $44
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If this concealer ever got discontinued, I'd cry. It covers a multitude of sins, including pimples you might have picked at, under-eye circles, pigmentation, and redness. Creamy and thick, I often skip foundation and just use this anyway. 

RMS Living Luminizer
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RMS, my old friend. This creamy highlighter lasts years and gives me a Bella Hadid-level glow. This challenge forced me to get crafty, so I used it on cheekbones, eyelids, the tip of my nose, and cupids bow. In a pinch, I even used it to soothe chapped lips (thanks to the coconut oil base, it's super hydrating). 

Benefit Cosmetics Precisely My Brow $42
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I actually think I'd give up my iPhone for seven days before I gave up eyebrow pencil (if you do not have naturally even brows, like me, you will understand where I'm coming from). This one's natural-looking, easy to use, and has a great spectrum of cool-toned colours. I've actually finished four of them in the last two years. 

Did you love or hate the challenge? 

I mostly enjoyed it, although the operative word here is "mostly". It's funny because I haven't been wearing a lot of makeup at all lately, so that element was easy. I will however confess that I STRUGGLED with skincare. I have a regime of seven products I heavily rely on to keep acne and inflammation in check, and I was terrified something bad would happen when I cut some out. Thankfully, I was all good. 

What products did you miss the most?

Where do I start? I left out my regular antioxidant day serums—that was sad. And my Dr. Sturm Face Mask ($212) is a Sunday night ritual I had to forego. It Cosmetics CC Cream ($61) was another blow, but my Nars concealer softened it. The only real rookie error I made was forgetting lip balm! I know I mentioned my RMS highlighter, but it just was not the same. 

Would you swap anything out if you could choose your seven again?

I was pretty strategic when choosing, so I don't think I made any terrible decisions, but I probably could have been smarter and opted for my RMS Signature Set ($63), so I would have been equipped with cheek colour, lip colour. and coconut oil as well as the highlighter. Actually, in hindsight, I would 100 percent swap that out. 

What seven products did you end up going with? 

Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 $91
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There’s a reason why this is a cult product—it really, really works. It’s a gentle liquid exfoliate that cleanses, tones, and helps brighten skin. I actually don’t use it every day, only every second night, but I couldn’t go a week without. It’s my little facial in a bottle.

Venustus Organic Eye and Lip Serum $49
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I love anything that’s mutli-purpose, and this Venustus eye and lip serum is one of those beauty cupboard heroes. I’m onto my third bottle of the stuff. I use it to remove my eye makeup pre-cleanse. While the label says it’s an eye and lip serum, I also lightly dab it across my whole face in lieu of moisturiser. Not something I can do year-round as I need a heavy-duty moisture surge in the cooler months, but while the weather is still warm, this is my hydrating skin hero.

RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Curious $52
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A natural flush on my cheeks makes me look (and feel) alive. If I ever have to leave the house with a minute’s notice, I forego all other makeup and just add this to my lips and the apples of my cheeks. I’m pretty no fuss, so love that I can just use my fingers and dab it where I want to add colour.

It Cosmetics CC+ Illumination $61
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The It Cosmetics CC Cream needs no introduction—it’s easily the MVP in my beauty bag. I’m not one for a full foundation, but I love the coverage of this CC cream. It delivers a glowy, even skin tone. Ordinarily I’d pair it with the It Cosmetics Bye-Bye Under Eye Concealer ($42), but as I only had seven products to play with, I ditched the concealer and just went for the CC. To counteract the no-concealer, I just added a little more CC cream than usual under my eyes to cover dark circles.

Kate Sommerville EradiKate Daily Cleanser $55
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After my year-long acne journey (which you can read about on Byrdie) I discovered this magical foaming cleanser. It helps target acne, blemishes, and congestion for clean, clear skin. If I move to another cleanser for a few days, I immediately notice a difference in my skin, so this has quickly become a non-negotiable.

Benefit Cosmetics Bad Gal Bang Mascara $42
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I’m always asked where I go for my fake lashes whenever I’m wearing this mascara but the truth is, I've never had falsies. The result is all down to this Benefit mascara, which is why this product makes the cut for my beauty diet.

Benefit Cosmetics Goof Proof Brow Pencil $42
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This eyebrow pencil is super easy to use and sculpt my brows in the morning. It stays put all day, and I love the wand to feather out brows after filling in.

Did you love or hate the challenge? 

I loved the challenge! It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut and use the same products day in, day out, but taking stock of what I actually use, and the products I really do love was useful in seeing what I should re-purchase, and where I can maybe branch out and try something new.

What products did you miss the most?

I missed my Lanolips ($15) more than anything! I’m not sure what I was thinking when I thought I could go without—it’s my ultimate multi-tasker that I use for (almost) everything. My beauty kit really missed it. I keep one on my desk, next to my bed, in my gym bag, hand bag and use on everything from my lips, to cuticles, and dry elbows and knees. Sorry I left you out, dear Lano.

Would you swap anything out if you could choose your seven again?

My thought process behind choosing my seven products was very considered. However on reflection, I could easily go without the eyebrow pencil. I know not possible for everyone, but my brows are quite dark to begin with, and I’d recently been to visit Lien Davies at Brow Confidence, so my brows were feeling very groomed and manicured; I barely needed any product. I’d go out with the brow pencil, and in with the multi-tasking Lanolips.

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