In line with my recent post of budget beauty buys, I thought it might be fun to share beauty buys that are worth the bucks, in my humble opinion. I feel like prestige brands like those sold at Ulta and Sephora are a gateway drug. Once you try them and get amazing results, it’s really hard to go back to the cheap stuff. That can be said about all of these products, which I LADORE (love and adore). In fact, I couldn’t even narrow it down to my usual 10, so you get a dozen.
1. When I first saw the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders at Sephora, I thought “Forty five bucks for powder? Ummm, yah right!” But then I swatched it and was kind of intrigued at how buttery soft and ethereal it looked. So I bought one… I don’t even like powder and rarely use it because I have such dry skin, but this stuff is incredible. It adds the softest, most natural glow to the face. The lighter shades can be used as a highlighter for the brow bone and cheekbones and the darker tones for bronzer, but I actually use the shade Dimly Lit all over my face just to set my foundation. I can’t even describe how beautifully it adds radiance without actually adding any shimmer. Hourglass products tend to be very pricey, but I really haven’t been disappointed by anything they make yet. This one is tops. I hit pan on this one right away and that never happens!
2. I received the Serge Normant Meta Revive Dry Conditioner in one of my subscription boxes and thought I read the label wrong. Dry shampoo I’ve heard of, and am kind of a hair disciple of, but dry conditioner? I know it sounds weird but the finish on this stuff is so lovely. It takes dry, brittle, unruly hair and just adds the slightest kiss of moisture without having to shower and deep condition. I kind of lived on this stuff during the newborn years when showers were pretty much a weekly occurrence, and I consistently got compliments on how nice my hair looked. To top it off, it has a lovely scent as well. Win win.
3. I know it might seem a little pretentious to require a prestige eyeliner but I am kind of picky about my eyeliner formula. I HATE those dry pencils that pull and tug at delicate skin and end up looking patchy and crooked. Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Eyes eyeliner has an awesome almost gel-like consistency. It goes on super smooth and is the most waterproof eyeliner I have ever used. It’s available in about a million shades but I consistently use the matte brown shade 25 L.
4. Tweezerman tweezers have pretty much been a cult classic so this one probably isn’t a surprise but I wasn’t really a believer until I bought my first pair in the last year or so. I don’t really have bushy or unruly brows but I do occasionally get those stray hairs and stubborn fine hairs that are tough to pluck. This are so sharp and precise that they get every little hair. With maintenance, these will last a lifetime as well.
5. I’m very sure I have blogged about my eternal search for the perfect mascara and it’s still in the works, but Guerlain Maxi Lash is nearly perfect. The formula goes on beautifully and makes the longest, most beautifully slightly curled lashes. It has a delicate rose scent as well, which I love but might annoy you if you don’t like scented products. The formula is very soft so you never get that dry spidery look and the tube itself never dries out prematurely either.
6. I really wanted to hate this stuff based on the insane price tag and all the hype in the beauty blogging/vlogging world. But after hearing over and over again that it was basically magic in a bottle, I had to try it. I hate how amazing Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist is. I do not even know how this stuff works, but a little spritz on the face and you glow like an angel. Not a glittery, stripper glow, but a natural dewy gorgeous glow. It is frankly, amazing. I have used it both under makeup and as a setting spray and the results are equally beautiful.
7. If you are going to spend some bucks, I do think it is best spent on skin care. Ironically, my regimen is fairly budget-friendly because I’ve just found the right products that work for me and they happen to be pretty afforadble. However, if you are over the age of 30, it’s time to add a serum to your regimen and this one is amaze! That’s not a typo. I don’t even need the “ing” on the end. A bottle of Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair will last you a fair amount of time and will do beautiful things for your skin. When I feel like spending the extra money, usually seasonally, when my skin really starts to get unmanageable, I will splurge on this. It’s like medicine for sad skin.
8. Blush is also something that seems sort of strange to spend a lot of money on, but they simply don’t get better than the ones by Nars. The color range is huge, providing a shade for every skin tone and every look and mood. The texture on these is beautiful. They go on smooth and they last a very long time. Some are matte, some have a kiss of shimmer and some are flat out blingy. I feel like Nars has gone the extra mile in considering the most flattering colors for cheeks, taking into account different skin tones, and they have aced it. My favorite shades are the cult classic Orgasm and the slightly milder Deep Throat. Okay… the names are pervish, but you can get past that. 😉
9. If you have the extra cash, there is nothing like a luxury lipstick. The range by Tom Ford is super duper incredible (and stupid expensive). Rich, buttery and in the most beautiful range of colors. They go on silky smooth, last for hours and look pulled together and polished. My favorite shade is the dusty neutral Indian Rose.
10. I’ve only recently embraced the daily use of bronzer and love how much healthier it makes my pale skin look. The tricky part is finding the right shade for your skin. Bronzers tend to be too ashy or too orangey, too shimmery or too matte, too pigmented or too chalky. I have found respite in the range of bronzers by Guerlain, particularly the Terracotta line. They are natural looking, the perfect soft and blendable texture and last very well on the skin. Again, stupid expensive, but worth it to not look like an orangey tanned Jersey girl.
11. When the Clarisonic first came out, I thought it was stupid. I thought, “You seriously can’t just use your fingers to wash your skin?!” But I kept seeing vlogs just praising the thing and how amazing it was for skin. So I got a killer coupon and bought one on a whim, and wow, my skin looked incredible. It does a fantastic job at gently exfoliating skin while cleaning and removing makeup and dead skin. Skin glows after a week or two of using this. Mine just died after about 2 years (which is a bit disappointing) and I’m fairly certain that I must replace it. My skin is crying for Clarisonic.
12. There is just something about a really nice lip liner and the ones by Bobbi Brown are perfection. The shades are so natural and flattering. The formula is creamy and comfortable but still long wearing. I love a nice pinky beige neutral lip and her liners are the only ones I’ve ever found that work with lipstick instead of against it. LOVE. I can’t even pick a perfect shade because I love so many… but Pale Mauve, Beige and Nude are tops.