The Beauty Tools I Can’t Live Without

The Beauty Tools I Can’t Live Without

It seems like every day there is a new “must have” beauty tool that will “change your life.” I’ve tried them all, partially so I can be informed, but mostly because I think it’s fun. 

The truth is, when it comes to our wardrobes and our beauty routines we don’t need dozens of products and tools. Instead, we need a few well made, useful products.

Recently I did a purge of every drawer and cabinet of my bathroom.  I got rid of all the rarely used lotions, everything that had expired, the countless bottles of half used self-tanner I accumulated in my search for the best one, a basket full of free samples and anything else I didn’t love.

What I was left with is a streamlined, well-edited line up of the best of the best. 

Last month, I shared my night time skincare routine. It’s a little involved but it works for me, and my skin has never looked better.

A Peek at My Night Time Routine on Instagram

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Because I spend so much time caring for my skin at night, my morning routine is straightforward. I use the same oil cleanser to quickly wash my face, followed by Vintner’s Daughter Serum, Caudalie moisturizer with SPF and a small dap of eye cream by Dr. Barbara Sturm (expensive but will last a full year).

I realized as I finished sorting through my products and writing out my evening ritual that there were just four tools I use in both my skincare and makeup routines that make a significant difference.

What’s great is that aside from the fact that they are effective, they are also easy to use and affordable. 

The Beauty Tools I Can’t Live Without

The Beauty Tools I Can’t Live Without

Microneedle Derma Roller

A microneedle is suppose to “exfoliate your skin and help plump and diminish fine lines and wrinkles.” That’s a bold promise we hear ALL THE TIME, but this gizmo really delivers.

I’ve used it every day for years and I see the most significant difference around my eyes.  My skin is noticeably smoother, with less crows feet, and a few acne scars have faded. 

It also helps your skin better absorb products. For example, I take a tiny bit of Vintner’s Daughter ( 4 drops) and apply it to my skin. Next, I use the microneedle as directed: working in small sections rolling vertically, horizontally then diagonally across my skin.

It pinches a little but no big deal. Once you’ve covered the surface of your face, apply a regular amount of serum – about 8 drops to your skin, and gently press in.  The roller helps the skin drink in the serum for maximum benefit. 

Since this post was first published, I switched to this microneedle kit by Love & Pebble available on Amazon. It’s under $25, and comes with 4 replacement heads, so it’s a fantastic value and allows you to easily keep the tool sanitized. 

Related: The $25 Microneedle Derma Roller We Love 

Jade roller

I have three kids, a full time job, a husband who frequently travels for work and no nanny.  Right now, I’m getting minimal sleep. So I’m T.I.R.E.D.  But looking tired is not an option on most days.

I use this jade roller almost every morning. I roll it around my eyes to help reduce inflammation and puffiness. It’s like giving your face a massage, it gets the blood flowing .

Don’t spend here. There are some on the market for $50 – $100.  Mine was about $10 and does the job – you can pick them up on Amazon, just make sure it’s real jade. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Beauty Blender

The trick to smooth and well-blended makeup is the Beauty Blender. There are many knock-offs out there, but the original is still the best. It washes better and lasts longer than the lower-priced alternative.

To use, pour a drop of foundation on the top of your hand and dab with a damp beauty blender. Then, working from your nose outward lightly press, or “bounce” onto your skin.

You’ll notice you’ll use less product and get better coverage, making it ideal for fresh and healthy looking makeup. 

You can also use beauty blenders with powders as well.  And, like the name says, it’s the best for finishing your look by blending around your hairline, cheekbones and where your jawline meets your neck. 

Tip! Don’t throw out the container it comes in, use it to store it so it stays clean in your make up bag or sitting on your counter. 

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler

Finally, I’ve tried a dozen eyelash curlers over the years, from the free to the cheap to the super expensive and I always end up going back to Shu Uemura. This lash curler is durable, reasonably priced and, most important, easy to use.
What makes this one “the best” is that it fits all eye shapes so you can get all the lashes inside the clasp at once. It has a nice weight which makes it comfortable to use, and you get a natural bend to your lashes. 

It’s an easier way to get bright eyes and dramatic lashes without the time and expense of extensions. 

Related: My Favorite Beauty Buys of 2019 

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Our content is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers in any way. Recommendations are based on personal experience and my time working with women as a stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission. All items have been personally purchased by me. 

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My Favorite Beauty Buys of 2018

My Favorite Beauty Buys of 2018
My Favorite Beauty Buys of 2018

At the end of every year, I like to share some of my favorite beauty products. I try new things all year long and also stay loyal to the products that give me the best results.  As I’ve gotten closer to 40, I’ve paid attention to quality products filled with good for you ingredients.  For the most part, I tend to spend on skincare, and expect them to perform.

This year I discovered a few new products and gadgets that have earned a permanent spot in my medicine cabinet. Since I’m going to end the year a little bit early  (we are a bit over three weeks away from my official maternity leave!) I’m sharing those products, and some old favorites, today.

Exfoliating Instant Facial, $125  |  Vinter’s Daughter, $180  |  Silk Pillowcase, $119  |  Camellia Cleansing Oil, $48  |  Jade Roller, $25  |  Eye Shadow Palette, $20  |  Micro Roller, $30  |  Dr. Barbara Sturm Eye Cream, $140  |  Salt Scalp Scrub, $42

1. & 2. Exfoliating Instant Facial, $125 and Vinter’s Daughter, $180 are not new discoveries, I’ve been using them religiously for over a year.  They are worth mentioning because I think they make the biggest difference in my skin.

The goop Instant Facial is a lovely, few times a week exfoliate that leaves your skin fresh and glowing.   I see a noticeable difference in the texture of my skin after using it for close to two years.

Vinter’s Daughter is the greatest face product I have every used, ever in my life.  I use it twice a day, and panic if I start to run low.  I once spilt a third of the bottle on the bathroom counter in an hotel room and screamed as I watched the liquid gold run down the drain.

It’s changed my skin entirely.  I don’t have nearly as many breakouts, the redness I use to have around my nose and checks is gone, the wrinkles around my eyes have soften and my skin texture just looks more healthy.

3. Silk Pillowcase, $119. I though this was going to be a ridiculous purchase but I absolutely love it.  The silk helps prevent wrinkles, keeps your hair healthy and is cooling at night – especially helpful since I’ve been running so warm this pregnancy.

Plus, it just feels luxurious, which is nice when your life is not luxurious at all.  I like it so much I have a new one packed in my hospital bag.

4.  Camellia Cleansing Oil, $48 was a middle of the night, QVC purchase that turned out to be delightful. I’ve been trying different cleansing oils since my skin is so sensitive but found many of them to be too drying.

Not this oil from Tatcha, it’s rich and light at the same time.  It removes even the most stubborn waterproof mascara with out any pulling and tugging and leaves your skin fresh and clean.

5. Jade Roller, $25. This inexpensive Jade Roller lives in my bedside drawer.  I use it every night before I put on night cream to give my skin a soothing, quick massage.  It helps cool your skin and helps keep the blood flowing to your face.

6. Eye Shadow Palette, $20.  The Honest Company’s $20 eye shadow palette is fabulous.  You don’t need to spend a fortune for clean make up.  Each color has rich pigment and stays all day.  I picked one up for my oldest who is getting super into playing with make up as a stocking stuffer too.

7. Micro Roller, $30.  This little gizmo is a game changer.  I use it twice a day to plump my skin and help it absorb product.  First, I wash my face, then I take a few drops of Vintner’s Daughter and apply it all over my skin, next take the roller and run it over your face, in sections going up and down, and then across.

Once you’re done, apply some more oil and let it set.  The only time I don’t use it is if I applied the instant facial, since that is also exfoliating.

8. Dr. Barbara Sturm Eye Cream, $140. I’ve tried dozens of eye creams over the years and this one is the best. It’s rich but absorbs quickly and doesn’t feel tacky.  I apply it morning and night and over the last few months have notice a difference in the puffiness around my eyes and general smoothness of my skin.  It’s expensive, but lasts since you only need a little at a time.

9. Salt Scalp Scrub, $42. Do you need this? No.  Do I LOVE it? Yes.  I just scrapped the bottom of my first jar for one last use and quickly reordered it.  It takes some getting use to since it’s not a traditional shampoo, and you don’t use it everyday.  I use it once or twice a week. You literally scrub your scalp with it and it helps remove all the build up from daily product and pollutants

When you get out of the shower, you feel so fresh and clean it’s crazy.  Like you just went to the spa.  It’s a lovely pick me up, or gift for your favorite girlfriend.