6 Affordable Luxury Beauty Products and Tools You’ll Love

6 Affordable Luxury Beauty Products and Tools You'll Love

Right now, we all need a little self-care. Something simple, inexpensive, and uncomplicated to take our mind off things.  A small indulgence to make us feel good. For me, when I do a little pampering, I feel better.

I’m a big believer in maintaining as much normalcy as possible when things feel uncertain.  And for many of us, we’re focusing on maintaining that normalcy for our families. 

Now, more than ever, it’s going to be really easy to forget about yourself. 

Carving out some time, even if it’s just a minute, for self-care will help you feel centered and allow you to take better care of yourself and everyone around you.

So, I thought it would be helpful to roundup my favorite beauty tools and products. These are some of my all-time favorite finds, that I use regularly, and are all under $40. 

You can incorporate these into your day without a lot of fuss, and seriously, since none of us will be hitting up a salon in the coming weeks, we’re going to need all the help we can get! 😉 

6 Affordable Luxury Beauty Products and Tools You’ll Love

6 Affordable Luxury Beauty Products and Tools You'll LoveClay Mask, $39  |  Ice Roller, $15  |  Derma Roller, $23  |  Dry Brush, $20  |  Hand Cream, $29  |   Hydrating Mask, $38

Clay Mask, $39


6 Affordable Luxury Beauty Products and Tools You'll Love

This is my favorite face mask. It’s gentle, not drying, and effective. It’s a clay mask, so it gets tight on your skin. Keep on for ten minutes, and wipe off with a warm washcloth. Use once or twice a week to help remove dirt, oil, and pollutants from your face.

I like to use it as part of my nighttime skincare routine.

Ice Roller, $15

6 Affordable Luxury Beauty Products and Tools You'll Love

I bought this ice face roller in 2019 while I was up in the middle of the night and pregnant with Vivi, unable to sleep. By the time it showed up, I had forgotten about it. I eventually used it, and it is surprisingly fantastic.

I keep it in my freezer drawer and use it first thing in the morning, while the house is still quiet and I’m getting my coffee ready. This helps reduce redness and puffiness and also tightens pores. It also just feels so good and helps wake me up.

Derma Roller, $23

6 Affordable Luxury Beauty Products and Tools You'll Love

Of all the gizmo’s I use on my face, and there are many, it is by far the most impactful. A Microneedle, or Derma Roller is a small, handheld tool that rolls thousands of tiny needles across your face.

Doing so does a few things, first, it helps stimulate collagen – something we all need. Second, the small little holes the needle makes allows your products to absorb into your skin better, making them more effective. 

Does it hurt? No, but it might feel uncomfortable at first. You get use to it. 

Start once a week and work your way to two. When you use this, skip any other exfoliate you might use.  


 Dry Brush, $20

6 Affordable Luxury Beauty Products and Tools You'll Love

Dry brushing is an excellent technique used to reduce cellulite, improve circulation, smooths skin, and help with lymphatic drainage – which in turn helps strengthen our immune system. I started using it simply to exfoliate before learning about all the other good-for-you benefits. 

Use it once to twice a week, before you shower. Work in sweeping movements up your body from your toes to your chest, and then in a downward motion from your neck to your chest. It feels weird but good, and your skin will feel great right away and start to glow a few weeks from now with regular use. This is the brush I use, from goop.

Hand Cream, $29 

6 Affordable Luxury Beauty Products and Tools You'll LoveWe’re washing our hands and wiping down every surface in our homes all day long. We need a good hand cream, and this one from L’Occitane is the best. I keep tubes of these all around the house: in drawers, in my bag, and the pocket of my robe. 

And as an extra little something, warm a wash cloth and wrap it around your hands – like when you get your nails done, and then apply this cream before bed. You’ll wake up with soft and supple skin, ready for the next round of cleaning. 

Note: this is not the family hand cream, this is just for me. 

Hydrating Mask, $38
6 Affordable Luxury Beauty Products and Tools You'll LoveEarlier this week, my hair stylist called me to confirm that my appointment for this week was canceled.

Breathe in, breathe out.

I am NOT a natural blonde, as you’ll soon see yourself.

Since we’re not using a lot of heavy chemicals and tools on our hair right now, spend a little time bringing it back to life. 

Because all those things do a number on our hair. This mask by Moroccan Oil will help infuse your strands with hydration and it takes only five minutes to use!

Simply wash your hair, towel dry it, work it through your hair in with a wide-tooth comb, wait for 5 minutes, and rinse it out. You’ll thank me later.

Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist View Postand wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

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My Best Beauty Buys of 2019

The Best Beauty Buys of 2019

Looking presentable is part of my job, but having a professional hair and makeup team on hand is not part of my budget. Whether I’m getting ready for an event, a photo shoot, or simply getting ready for the day, it’s me, in my bathroom, begging my children to leave me alone for just five minutes.

I’m not a beauty expert (and have no interest in becoming one), but I do try a TON of products and tools during the year. I buy everything with my own money and have never done a review or made a recommendation in exchange for any kind of compensation.

That means when I say I like something, you can trust that I do.

And my requirements are high. First and foremost, it has to work. It has to save me time, or in some way, make my life easier. Much like yesterday’s Best Buys of 2019 post, I have to be delighted that I bought it every time I use it.

The Best Beauty Buys of 2019

Things you should know: 

My skin is normal, but sensitive. I burn just looking at the sun. I used to deal with pretty severe acne in my early to mid thirties, but have cleared it up amazingly with proper skincare and drinking a ton of water every day. 

When it comes to products, I am incredibly loyal. That’s one of the reasons I don’t write regular beauty content. There’s not a lot to talk about, since once I like something, it stays in rotation for a long time. 

Over the years, my skincare philosophy has gone from focusing on makeup and covering things up, to taking the best care possible of my skin. I put the time and money into that, and the benefit (aside from glowy natural skin) is needing less makeup and spending less time getting ready.

I take my nighttime skin care routine most seriously, as you can see in the post from earlier this year. Some people loved it, some thought I was nuts. It actually doesn’t take long to do, and it’s a lovely way to get ready for bed. Most important, since my skin has healed from the acne I feel a million times more confident, and I don’t think you can put a price on that. 

Favorite Products

Vintners Daughter is still my most favorite product of all time. It transformed my skin. The Goop Exfoliating Instant Facial is a close second and I wouldn’t be able to pick between the two since I think using them together is the holy grail of skincare. 

I am also still obsessed with my dermaroller and recently upgraded to this one. I use it several times a week, depending on what else I’m doing to my skin.

This year I found some real winners, so let’s jump in. 

My Best Beauty Buys of 2019

The Best Beauty Buys of 2019RMS Signature Palette, $44  |  Ice Roller, $15  |  Juice Beauty Overnight Cream, $75  |  Wander Beauty Mascara, $26  |  Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede, $60  |  Almond Oil, $50  |  Hanacure Facial Set, $29  |  T-3 Curling Iron, $136  |  Tyme Iron, $165 

RMS Signature Palette

This pocket size palette is ideal for an on-the-go, five minute face. It includes a bronzer, highlighter, two lip and cheek stains and a balm.  I love it so much I bought two, so I always have one in my makeup drawer and one to float around in my handbags. The colors give just enough pigment, that you can layer, in hues (I use the palette called “Pop”) which is a classic color, for warmer tones go with Mod (pictured above).

Shop: Pop / Mod

Ice Roller 

I’ve mentioned this ice roller a few times this year. It was a middle of the night purchase made in between feeding the baby and trying to sleep. I still can’t believe how much I use it. It’s perfect for the morning after a late night, maybe you overindulged or watched a sad movie and had a good cry. If you’re puffy or red, roll this over your entire face, and it will wake you up and depuff instantly. 

I’ll even use it after my morning routine, before I put on makeup. The cold tightness your skin, and makes your products glide on flawlessly. 

Shop: Assorted Colors 

Juice Beauty Overnight Cream

For a while, I was using Goop’s night cream, and it was just okay – not worth the price. Then I used Estee Lauder’s Night cream and liked that very much. But when I read about Juice Beauty’s Cell Renewal Night Cream, I decided to give it a try.
It’s loaded with good-for-you ingredients, like Hyaluronic Acid, and helps cell turnover and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In the winter, I prefer a thick night cream since it’s cold outside, but my house is dry and I notice how the change of temperature almost immediately affects my skin. I can see a difference in my skin’s moisture and texture in the morning after I slather this on at night.

Shop: One jar last approx. 2 – 3 months with daily use 

Wander Beauty Mascara

Early this fall, my social feed was flooded with ads for Wander Beauty, and after a while, I couldn’t resist. (I am clearly their target market.) Admittedly, I have a drawer full of mascaras, yet still always on the hunt for the next great one. This one by Wander Beauty hits it out of the park. It lengthens, it’s smooth, doesn’t clump, and doesn’t leave a dusty residue on your face.

Shop: Mile High Volume Mascara

Jo Malone Fragrance

For the longest time, my go-to fragrance was Flowerbomb by Viktor&Rolf, and it remains an all time favorite. But Jo Malone has always been one of those aspirational brands, with their chic packaging and exotic fragrance combinations. So while I was in NYC a few months back, I splurged on Peony and Blush Suede, and it’s stunning. It’s a similar scent to Flowerbomb, less sweet, and a little more sophisticated. I get nonstop compliments on it, with everyone saying it smells uniquely fresh and feminine.

Shop: Travel size, currently 15% off

Almond Body Oil

Body oil absorbs into your skin better than lotion, so I went on the hunt for an effective, daily oil that didn’t leave a slick residue. After trying a few, I discovered this Almond Body Oil by L’Occitane. It’s expensive, but a little goes a long way. It dries quickly, doesn’t leave a mark on your clothes, and smells clean without being overpowering. The key is to put it on damp skin right after your shower, so you lock in as much moisture as possible.

Shop: Supple Skin Oil

Hanacure Facial Set

This all in one, at home facial, claims to fix everything with regular use – from dullness, and wrinkles, to fine lines and age spots. That’s such a tall order I almost didn’t buy it. But out of curiosity disguised as research, I bought the all-in-one set, which includes four treatments.

I used all of them, and I’m telling you, your skin does look amazing when you’re finished. Whether I see a long term, lasting difference is yet to be determined.

BUT! I used a treatment before a few parties and photoshoots, and my skin looked fantastic for those events, so I’m keeping a stock of them for that very reason, and if my skin improves over time, even better.

Shop: Starter Set (One Application) / Kit (Four Applications)

T3 Curling Iron

This is my second T3 Curling iron. I bought my first one several years ago and only replaced it because I left the first one in a hotel.

It’s fantastic. My hair is flat and straight, but I like to wear it with curl. This lets me get a gorgeous barrel curl, around my entire head, in less the five minutes. 

Be sure to use it on dry hair and spray on a heat protector, because this gets hot. To give the curl lasting hold, I let it cool completely in my hand once it comes off the barrel, and then I leave it. I don’t run a comb or brush through it. Eventually it falls and gives me the natural wave I’m looking for. 

Shop: T3 Curling Iron

Thyme Iron

Yes, I bought two rather expensive curling iron tools this year. I actually bought them within a few days of each other and I ended up loving them both equally. The Thyme Iron is different than the T3. You’ll get a lot more volume and a different kind of curl. I use the T3 to get my everyday style, parted to the side, with a soft curl.

The Thyme Iron can be used in several different ways, but I use it for a more dramatic look. It takes some time to get the hang of how to use it, but the company does a fantastic job creating how-to videos and tutorials. Once you get the hang of it, the process moves fast.

The real benefit is how long the curls last. If you do it the right way (and depending on how frequently you need to wash your hair), you can get a full day and then next out of one style.

Shop: The Thyme Iron (be sure to purchase from Thyme and not one of the knock offs.) 

Hydrate, Protect, Prime, and Cover Your Skin with A Single Product

Suntegrity 5 in 1 Tinted Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen

Just last week, I ran out of my full-coverage foundation and Suntegrity’s Moisturizing Face Sunscreen on the same day. I knew I wanted to reorder the sunscreen, but I wasn’t thrilled about the foundation I was using, so I was open to new ideas. 

(You can read my full, gushing review on the Moisturizing Sunscreen here.)

During my last pregnancy, I experienced some hyperpigmentation, so I clung to that full-coverage makeup. Pregnancy hormones are cruel! I’ve worn full-coverage foundation for as long as I can remember; I started in my teens, when my gorgeous youthful skin definitely did not need to be covered up.

But I’ve been working hard on evening out my skin tone, with help from SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF, and have seen a big improvement in the last couple of months. So when I saw that Suntegrity has a tinted version of my Sunscreen I thought I would give it a shot. This felt super risky for me and I was skeptical that my mid-30s skin would look better with less makeup. 

Suntegrity 5 in 1 Tinted Natural Moisturizing Face SunscreenBut wow, what a difference it made! My skin looks so much better with less makeup, which is absolutely not what I expected. The tint is generous, so combined with my concealer, my skin has a nice, even tone.

However, it’s sheer enough that my skin looks real. It doesn’t have that cakey or airbrushed look and some of my freckles peek out. I chose the “light” tint, which they said is for “skin tones similar to Angelina Jolie, Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Katie Holmes, and Carrie Underwood.”  Twinsies!

Also, don’t forget the broad-spectrum mineral filters that protect you from harmful UVA and UVB rays with SPF 30. 

It does look quite dewy, which is not my preferred look, especially in the office. I add a few light swipes of Laura Geller’s Balance-N-Brighten on top. You could use any finishing powder of your choice, like the magnificent Laura Mercier Translucent Powder.

I suppose I’m cheating a bit because the Balance-N-Brighten also has some color to it, but I use a very light hand with it.

What’s so great is that with Suntegrity’s 5 in 1 tinted Moisturizing Sunscreen, I am eliminating several steps in my makeup routine. The tinted 5-in-1 renews, hydrates, protects, primes, and covers the skin all in one product. Also, it has an excellent rating in Skin Deep’s Cosmetic Safety Database, which is something to be celebrated.

I have not yet found natural or organic replacements for all of my beauty products, but I am happy to shout from the rooftops when I do.

Our readers loved Suntegrity’s non-tinted sunscreen option that I shared last summer. So much so that it was one of the Readers’ Favorites for that month. I have a hunch that you will all love this tinted version just as much – if not more! 


My Favorite Skincare Product and Giveaway!

GOOP Exfoliating Instant Facial

Last month I shared my nighttime skin routine, an extensive, but effective system I use to keep my skin clear and healthy. I use a mix of luxury and drugstore products, and for whatever reason, this specific combination has provided me with impressive results.

The point of the post was to share what I learned about how to properly layer skincare to get the best outcome, regardless of the products you’re using. 

Of all the products I use, there are two I won’t live without:  Vintner’s Daughter Serum, and Goop’s Instant Exfoliating Facial.  Today, we’re talking about Goop’s Facial, and because I love it so much, I’m giving one away

Instant Facial, $125 

I ordered a jar of Instant Facial when it was first released after reading some positive initial reviews. I was in the midst of cleaning up my skincare, trying to focus on more organic, good for you ingredients. For the price and the buzz I had high expectations, and because my skin is extremely sensitive, I was prepared for this to be a total bust. 

It didn’t disappoint. After just a few uses my skin was noticeably softer and brighter, after a month it was the clearest it has ever been. This is how the goop website describes it: 

The Exfoliating Instant Facial instantly brightens and softens skin to reveal a glowing, smoother-looking complexion. Natural alpha and beta hydroxy acids sweep away dead skin cells; plant-based cellulose beads exfoliate further, while releasing soothing vitamin B5, leaving skin supple, soft, and utterly revitalized. The Exfoliating Instant Facial is formulated with USDA-certified organic ingredients and contains approximately 86 percent total organic content.

There are so many products at all price points that make incredible claims. This is one of the few that has actually delivered for me. I use it 3 -4 times a week as part of my regular maintenance. I also travel with it because nothing feels better after a long flight than washing the airplane off your face. 

There’s no denying it’s a splurge, but much like building a wardrobe, I’d rather use a few highly effective products than fill my medicine cabinet with a lot of junk. I’m 39 years old, I work hard and at the phase in life, I’m cool spending on keeping my skin looking it’s best for as long as possible.  

Each jar lasts me about three months so for $40 I’m month I get a lot of value. 

Since it’s spring, and our site has been growing like crazy, I thought it would be fun to host a giveaway.  One lucky reader will win a full size jar of Goop’s Exfoliating Instant Facial. This is not at all sponsored by Goop, I’m buying the product myself and having it shipped directly to the winner. 

To enter:

  • Head over to our Facebook Page 
  • Find this post pinned to the top of the page
  • In the comments ON FACEBOOK tell us the one beauty product you can’t live without.

That’s it! You can like our page to get updates and share the post with friends so they can enter too. 

A winner will be randomly drawn and announced on Thursday, April 4th. 

Here’s the deal ladies, building our Facebook following will help us grow and expand our community, and this seems like a fun way to do it. But Facebook has a funky algorithm, so just because you “like” our page, doesn’t mean you see what we post. Growing a following on FB the right way is excruciatingly slow. 

It’s super frustrating. The good news is the more engagement we have on the page, the more we’ll be able to use the platform to communicate directly with readers. I don’t love that social media has to be such a big part of our marketing plan, but it’s the world I’m operating in. 

If you don’t have Facebook, don’t worry, we have other giveaways planned for the rest of the year that won’t require it. Facebook is, however, a great platform for us to use that allows more interaction than I’m able to do on the blog, especially in our private group. 

Things you should know: 

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook.

The Well Dressed Life and Megan Kristel LLC, is paying for the prize.

This is not a sponsored post. 

US Residents Only must be 18 years old to enter. The prize is nontransferable, void where prohibited. 

Contest ends Thursday, April 4th at 9 am EST. One winner will be selected at random and announced on Facebook.

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 


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. 

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram for even more free tips, and join our Private Facebook Group for access advice in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.


The Secret Process to Glowing, Healthy Skin

The Secret Process to Glowing, Healthy Skin

When Megan and I took a much-needed 72 hour trip to Vegas last fall, I insisted that we spend time at the spa so that I could enjoy a facial. It had been years since I was able to invest in monthly facials as one half of a DINK (double-income-no-kids). I am starting to show some fine lines and wrinkles around my eyes and my face had been feeling very tight and was obviously dehydrated.

During my very pricy facial, my lovely skin therapist pointed out all of the trouble spots I had been seeing and recommended an additional service. She thought that my skin needed a precut mask used by…wait for it…burn victims to restore the moisture to my skin. I was shocked and offended but immediately agreed to the addition.

Baby Soft Skin

The mask adhered to my skin as a second skin, trapping a layer of moisture on top of my skin, which my face drank up in nanoseconds. Ladies, when I emerged from that facial, it’s as if (just my face) was completely reborn, Benjamin Button-style. My approaching-mid-thirties skin looked like my toddler’s.

That facial was a wake-up call to me. I needed to start paying attention to my skin again; the message finally got through. I have been involved in this blog for years, so there’s really no excuse for the lazy, haphazard way I was going about my skincare.

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I could no longer get away with simply washing my face twice a day, moisturizing, and slapping on sunscreen.

Related: The Best Order to Apply Skincare Products at Night

I needed to craft a new skincare routine for myself that didn’t include a monthly trip to the Spa at Mandalay Bay, as amazing as that would be. The first thing I wanted to tackle was cleansing properly. Enter the double cleanse.

The Secret Process to Glowing, Healthy Skin

The Secret Process to Glowing, Healthy Skin

How to Double Cleanse Your Skin

Double cleansing is low effort, high-impact. I adapted this routine from Caroline Hirons, the matter-of-fact British skincare guru. Her website is a wealth of information which borders on information-overload. I spent many hours pouring over her site so I am happy to share the fruits of my labor with you all. Here’s how I do the double cleanse:


If you are wearing waterproof makeup, you’re going to need to use an eye makeup remover. I like Lavera Gentle Eye Makeup Remover.

Wet a washcloth and wet your face with it.

Cleanse #1

Wipe a creamy or milky cleanser into your face. You’re breaking down your makeup in this step. I am using Dr. Hauschka Soothing Cleansing Milk. As an alternative, Megan’s favorite Eve Lom cleanser would be great for this step.

Wipe the cleanser off of your face with the washcloth. This is how skin therapists wipe products off your face during a facial, so why not mimic that at home? The washcloth provides some gentle exfoliation and your counters aren’t soaking wet from splashing water all over the place. (Please tell me that’s not just me!) Rinse out the washcloth.

Sidenote: you might want to stock up on washcloths! You don’t have to go fancy. I use utilitarian IKEA washcloths.

Cleanse #2

Massage an oily cleanser into your face. In this step, you are cleansing and moisturizing. Two good options are Tatcha Oil Cleanser  and the beloved Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser.

Wipe the cleanser off of your face with your washcloth.

The process takes maybe a minute and a half longer, but your face is CLEAN. Since I started double cleansing, I have noticed that I have fewer breakouts and my skin does not look as dull because I am actually getting all of the gunk off my face. I do not double-cleanse in the morning because I do not have make-up to scrub off. I just do Cleanse #1 (creamy or milky) and skip Cleanse #2.

Give it a shot and tell me what you think!

Of course, after your cleanse, you should follow with eye cream, serum(s), moisturizer, and sunscreen. But we’ll save all of that for another day! In the meantime, if you’d like to take a peek at some of Megan’s nighttime routine, check out that out here.

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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.