Along with several other personal objectives I set for myself at the beginning of the year, I also made some beauty-related goals – I know that sounds strange, but hear me out! I feel like I was getting pretty lazy with my skincare and haircare routines towards the last half of the year. Some of that just meant that I got stuck in a rut of always doing/using the same things and, honestly, a lot of it was just a function of my schedule being too busy.
So I’ve resolved to take better care of the tools I have, purchase new items for those that need to be replaced and find new products that will best serve my particular beauty needs. As part of my mission, I’ve been buying & testing quite a few things and wanted to share the best of the best with you today!
Makeup Brush Shampoo
This is one area where I am committed to making a change – it’s slightly embarrassing how infrequently I was washing my brushes and, once I started doing it more regularly, I immediately noticed a difference in how much better my brushes perform. This cleanser is by far my favorite – it gets my brushes looking brand new & the formula doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin (plus, it’s super-affordable!).
Makeup Remover Cloth
I’m not a big fan of cleansing wipes because my skin never feels that great after using them – and, did you know, wipes are the third most wasteful product in the world? This reusable cloth is the perfect solution because it removes even the most stubborn makeup with just warm water (waterproof mascara included!) and you can toss it in the wash afterwards. More colors & sizes available here.
Detangling Hair Brush
To be fair, I originally purchased this for my daughter because she has such a hard time getting the tangles out of her coarse, wavy hair. But, when we were in Oregon over Christmas break, I realized I forgot to pack my brush, so I borrowed hers and didn’t want to give it back! I was amazed by how well this worked – it detangled my wet hair without pulling and, when I used it on my dry strands, I felt like it created less static than the brush I was previously using.
Air Drying Hair Balm
At my last hair appointment, my stylist mentioned that I had a lot of breakage & she suggested that I try to minimize using hot tools as much as possible. So, I’ve been trying to let my hair air dry & embrace my natural waves whenever I can. This leave-in creme has been a lifesaver in helping me achieve defined curls without the frizz. I rub it through my strands and then take 1-inch sections of hair & wrap them around my finger, creating a ringlet. Once my hair is completely dry, I separate the curls & finish with this texturizing spray.
My husband bought me a this silk pillowcase a couple of years ago and I’ve been a huge fan ever since. Even though it’s amazing for your hair & skin, it is quite pricey, so I was happy to find this more affordable option. I actually might even like this one better because the material isn’t quite as thin (also, with it being satin, it’s a vegan-friendly alternative to silk).
Fask Mask Applicator
I will never apply a face mask with my fingers again! This handy tool has a flexible silicone applicator that is perfect for masks, body butters & hair removal creams. I feel like less product goes to waste because I’m not getting it all over my hands and then having to rinse off – plus, they’re much easier to clean than a brush!
Firming Eye Patches
There’s nothing worse than eye patches that slowly slide down your face after you’ve applied them. These are hands-down the best drugstore eye patches I’ve tried – not only do they actually stay put, but the paraben-free formula is super-hydrating & was gentle enough for my sensitive skin. I keep mine in the fridge for an instant cooling & de-puffing effect.
This is one of those products I didn’t think I needed until I started using it & realized what a HUGE difference it makes. When I’m trying to extend the time between washing my hair, I often use dry shampoo, but the problem I have (particularly in the winter) is that the ends of my hair look dry & straw-like. So I started applying my favorite dry shampoo at my roots to absorb any excess oil and then spraying this dry conditioner from mid-shaft to my ends. I’ve found it to be the perfect combination to keep my hair looking fresh while still feeling soft & looking healthy.
If you’re not familiar with dermarolling, it’s basically a form of micro-needling, where this roller tool creates tiny pricks in your skin to activate your body’s healing response and stimulate collagen. I’ve been doing this for the last 2 years and have seen such great results. However, my tool was needing to be replaced so I picked up this one on a recent Target run. If you’re new to this technique, make sure you wash your face before using & soak your roller in an alcohol-based soak once a week.
Anti-Aging Night Cream
I received a sample of this in the mail a couple weeks ago and have been testing it out ever since. I really love the thick, velvety texture and I’ve noticed my skin is much softer & more dewy since I’ve been using it – which is really saying something because normally I’m so dry & flaky this time of year! Needless to say, I’ll be buying another jar once my sample runs out. I’ve been applying this cream after my dermarolling process at night, which really helps the formula sink into the skin deeply for maximum benefit.
Plant-Based Nail Polish
As soon as I heard about this new vegan, 16-free polish, I quickly jumped online to order some & I used the in-store pickup option so I could test them out immediately. I painted my nails on Saturday and I’m happy to report that they still look just as fresh with no chips 5 days later! The colors I bought: Raw Cocoa, Pink Cardamom & Pomegranate Punch. I haven’t tried them yet, but there’s also a nail strengthener & top coat in this line too.
As most of you know, I can be a little perfectionistic when it comes to my nails – I’m pretty obsessive about keeping them filed & painted and I always carry a little nail kit with me (which includes a file, nail glue, clear polish & cuticle oil). When I was traveling last month, the cap to my oil came loose and went all over my carry-on bag, which was a nightmare to clean up. Thankfully, I found this replacement for on-the-go cuticle care, which is much less messy but just as effective.
Leakproof Clear Pouch
After the aforementioned airport fiasco with my bag, I decided it was time to invest in a few more clear pouches for storing things in when I travel. This bag is TSA-approved & has an airtight seal so you can use it for snacks, toiletries or beauty products. It’s also easy to clean so you can reuse it over and over again – no more spills for me!
If you’re like me, the battle to cover your dark circles seems never-ending. I’ve been using the same concealer for the last few years and, all of a sudden (thanks to my aging skin), it just isn’t cutting it anymore. I bought this concealer to try after a beauty blogger I follow shared it in a tutorial and I’m really loving it. I use the shade Blue Corrector 1, which helps to neutralize & color correct my undereye area and then I set it with my favorite brightening powder. It’s not cheap, but I’m willing to pay just about anything to look less tired each day! Note: it has a slightly less creamy consistency than liquid concealers, so be sure to use eye cream first before applying.
Coconut Gel Sheet Mask
Part of my new skincare routine that I’ve begun this year is to do a mask every Sunday. I stocked up on a bunch during the Sephora VIB Sale that happened at the beginning of December. I’ve been rotating through a few different ones based on what I feel my skin needs, but I keep going back to this one because it’s so hydrating (there’s also a brightening version here that I’m anxious to try). Other honorable mentions include this pore-minimizing mask and this dewy skin mask.