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Ten Things Tuesday: Simple Luxuries

Remember when I wrote a Ten Things a couple weeks ago and told you all about my fave drugstore products? Well, I couldn’t resist sharing my favorite products on the other end of the spectrum — those that I’m willing to shell out some coin for. Beauty secrets should be shared, after all! Which reminds me: what are some of your favorite beauty “luxuries”? Don’t be a stranger, leave ’em in the comments!

First, for the record, two of my cannot-live-without items are Laura Mercier’s oil-free tinted moisturizer and Murad’s Essential-C toner. I’ve already written about them before, so I won’t include them here, but if this was a list of things that HAVE to go in my overnight bag, those two would be at the top of the list. Now that that’s out of the way:

Philosophy Purity Made Simple, $10-$45.50

I have to say, when it comes to skincare, Philosophy is NOT one of my favorite brands. I think a lot of their lotions smell horrible, and aren’t especially effective. BUT. I tried Purity late last year, and it has become one of my favorite face washes. It lathers up well, has a light, soapy scent, and leaves your skin feeling so thoroughly clean and refreshed. I use three different cleansers (the Neutrogena bar, and sometimes, Shu Uemura’s cleansing oil), so the 8oz of Purity has lasted me nearly a year. Not a bad deal, considering.

Philosophy The Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash, $25-$55

The only other product from Philosophy that I’ve really fallen in love with is their Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash. Before this stuff, I was a St. Ives Apricot Scrub girl. However, I had numerous estheticians (and friends) tell me over the years that the crushed apricot seeds and other random rough matter in St. Ives’ scrub can actually scratch your skin, because it’s not perfectly rounded. I switched to this exfoliating wash last year, and find it does an amazing job of refinishing and polishing your skin, though it’s also very gentle. The smell is a little funky, but once you wash it off, none of the scent is left behind.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, $24-$35

Still one of the best, after years and years of putting others to the test. I like DDML because it’s so excellent as a “layering” moisturizer. On it’s own, it does a good job, but sometimes I like to layer it over nighttime moisturizers or sunscreen, which really makes it the ultimate “drink” for your skin. It’s so good, even Joe will use it every now and again.

Nars blush in Nico (for a natural glow), $26

If you’re on the lookout for a powder highlighter, Nars blush is a good option. Two of their lightest shades, Nico (above) and Albatross illuminate your cheeks when brushed lightly above the cheek bone. And one compact lasts FOREVER. Using highlighters on your face is a quick way to instantly wake up your complexion, and give you that much sought-after glow. If you have dry skin though, don’t use a powder highlighter. Instead, opt for a creme or gel based option, like….

Benefit Moon Beam, $24

Benefit’s Moon Beam is a creamy, almost liquid highlighter that looks like nail polish. You simply dab a little bit on your skin, then blend it in well with either your fingers or a sponge. A little bit goes a LONG way. Versus a powder highlighter, Moon Beam will give you a more dewy finish. I’ve been using it for a couple months, and I really like it. Depending on your skin tone, you might also want to try High Beam, which has more pink tones to it.

Stila Smudge Pots, $20

If you want last-all-day (and all night) eyeliner, look no further than Smudge Pots. I usually only wear this product when I’m going out for a night on the town, as it lends itself well to creating that smoky eye. If you purchase this, you’ll want to get a good eyeliner brush as well. I like to use a stiff angled brush to smudge it on. FYI: You’ll need eye makeup remover to get this stuff off, for sure!

Bumble and bumble Straight, $11-$26

It’s just like the bottle says: “If you’re born with curly hair but dream of straight, all you need is this, a blow dryer and a brush.” It’s a gel based product that doesn’t feel heavy when it dries, and it leaves your hair super shiny.

But for good measure, I always like to spray a bit of this in my hair before blowing it out:

Biolage Smoothing Shine Milk, around $15

Though this product is just okay at smoothing, I actually think it is a great, lightweight leave-in conditioner. It makes my hair very soft, and helps protect it when I use heat styling. It also smells really good!!

MAC Fix+ Spray, $19

If your skin has been a little dry, but you still need to set your makeup (or tinted moisturizer) with a bit of translucent powder, MAC’s Fix+ spray is the ultimate finishing spray for your entire look. It sort of liquifies everything on your face (that sounds grosser than it is) and gives you this super dewy, fresh finish. Make sure you spray it at least an elbow’s length away from your face though, otherwise, it ends up dousing your face versus misting it! The spray is infused with some herbs, and I find it moisturizes pretty well. You can also use it before applying makeup to help give your skin a boost.

Les Exclusifs de Chanel Gardénia Eau de Toilette ($200), and Ralph Lauren Romance Eau de Parfum ($45-$78)

Finally, if there’s one thing I learned in Paris, it’s that fragrance is absolutely an accessory. It was amazing to walk behind women on the street there and find that more often than not, they were wearing some fabulous perfume. Fragrance, I think, is one of the simplest luxuries in life. It looks beautiful sitting on a vanity (I like to group mine together and set the bottles on a pretty tray), and which one you choose to wear is very much an expression of who you are and how you’re feeling that day. I have several different fragrances I wear, but two of my favorites are Chanel’s Gardénia (only available online and in select Chanel stores), and Ralph Lauren’s Romance.

{Image Credits: Sephora, Bumble and bumble, Matrix, MAC, Chanel. Click on any image above to learn more about the product.)

5 Responses

  1. Yes to Laura Mercier Oil Free and Nars blush! I also love Vincent Longo gel lipsticks and Urban Decay eyeshadow primer.

    I’m going to have to try that Biolage spray – looks like what I need to calm down the frizz.

  2. Ooh goodie! These are my favorite kinds of posts! I’m very intrigued by that MAC Fixx stuff. My friend turned me onto L’Oreal HIP eyeliner pots (very similar to the stila you posted), and I love them! They last all day and go on very smoothly with an eyeliner brush. They sell for $12, so if you’re ever looking to save a few on the eyeliner, I recommend!

  3. PS: Haven’t ever shopped Paper Source, but thanks for the recommendation! My favorite paper store in NY is called Paper Presentation. It’s like Candyland in there!!

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