It’s funny, because while I don’t typically partake in fast fashion, I gobble up allllll the trendy beauty things like they’re candy. Not surprisingly, I’m typically left with a sort of beauty-sugar-crash when after a few uses, I toss them aside.
As we explore our style this week, I thought I would apply the idea of fashion essentials to beauty and ask the team what beauty product is their hero product — the one they use up, and then re-buy, re-buy, re-buy.
The coolest part, a large portion of these products are drug store buys (okay with the occasional La Mer thrown in for good measure). Read on to take a peek inside our makeup bags.
Emily | @emnote
I’d love to tell you my beauty essential is something impossibly chic and sophisticated like a red Chanel lipstick or a $200 serum. But it’s not. It’s good ol’ Bioderma Micellar Water. I first discovered it at a French pharmacy when I studied abroad in college and I’ve been buying it ever since. Nothing new here, the secret is out on Bioderma. But I’m grateful for that because now I can buy it on Amazon and the days of having to stock up on it every time I go to Paris and having to check my bags due to the liquid contents are over. I’ve found that no matter what moisturizer, serum, exfoliator, foundation, etc., if I don’t start by cleansing my skin with Bioderma it’s a disaster. I’ve tried so many other cleansers, but they strip my skin. I ascribe to Garance’s method of no water on my face and even if I don’t have access to my Biologique Recherche, it’s ok, as long as I can swipe some Bioderma on my face.
So I guess my other essential would be a cotton round? Because I need something to put the Bioderma on.
Gabby | @gabrielle_rubino
I can NOT go anywhere without wearing lipstick! And not a nude or light gloss kind of color, I mean cherry red, fuchsia, an orangey-coral color lipstick.
But if I had to choose my one and only, my world-would-stop-if-discontinued lipstick, it would be Fire & Ice by Revlon. I was first introduced to this beauty icon from the 50’s by my beauty icon, my mama! Wearing this color makes me feel glamorous, even if I am just running to the grocery store in my sweats.
Second runner up, Chanel Vamp nail polish. It’s just a classic!
Veronica | @veromcc
My best friend, Hailey, and I discovered Cover Girl CG Smoothers our first summer of independence (i.e. when we got our driver’s licenses). You would have thought we did really cool things with the freedom of driving in LA, but in reality we spent the majority of the summer trolling the aisles of our local Rite Aid. There we would spend hours reading the magazines without paying for them, debating if we should dye our hair (Hailey always, me never), stalking the random cute boy two aisles over, and of course agonizing over what piece of make-up we should buy with our babysitting money.
One fateful occasion we decided on Cover Girl CG Smoothers. This was before BB Creams were a thing. We didn’t even know what a BB Cream was, but it sounded fancy. Turns out, it’s not that fancy, but it is something I’ve put it on my face everyday since. Cover Girl CG Smoothers is a magical elixir that evens out your skin tone without coming off on your white t-shirt. It’s light, non-greasy, and cheap as hell.
It also contains sunscreen. So technically I’ve put sunscreen on my face everyday for the past twenty years without even thinking about it. I credit the fact that wrinkles are still at bay not to moisturizers, lotions or potions, but because I have put on sunscreen everyday without even thinking about it.
My runner up beauty essential would be any eyebrow pencil because the same day I discovered Cover Girl BB Cream, was the day I discovered tweezers…. and my eyebrows have never forgiven me, or recovered.
Bogdana | @Bogdanaya
I can leave the house without makeup or sunscreen or perfume. But, I can never leave without a hand lotion.
The other day I was telling a story to the girls at the Atelier about the glorious time when I was working at the convenience store of a brand-less gas station. While working there, I developed a form of germaphobia and would wash my hands after every single transaction. Sometimes, to save myself another trip to the bathroom sink, I’d just wipe my hands with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to cut short the lives of all the germs hoping for a chance to go through their adolescence and successfully procreate.
Not sure if I actually did anything to the germs’ young lives, but I sure did wipe all the moisture off my hands. And because I never liked conventional lotions, I ended up making my own potion that I proudly carry with me every day. My husband has witnessed me turn mad-witch many times as I melt shea butter, cocoa butter, and coconut oil in a double boiler.
Say what you want, but it’s the only thing that keeps my hands nourished and moisturized 24/7.
Carie | @cariep
I distinctly remember the first time I wore eyeliner and mascara to school. I was in 8th grade and I ran into a good guy friend before class. He asked, “Did you do something different with your hair?” and I knew I’d hit the gold mine of makeup. A change was evident but so subtle that others couldn’t quite distinguish why I suddenly looked new and improved, which was exactly the impact I set out for when I purchased what promised to give me Full ‘N Soft lashes.
I have used this mascara ever since with the exceptions of the one time I accidentally bought the waterproof version and immediately regretted it when five of my lashes came out trying to wash it off my face, and the handful of times when I’ve been gifted a free mini mascara when purchasing fancy makeup. None of those minis made it more than two swipes because nothing is as good as this mascara.
I’ve cheated here and there with a friend’s mascara when in a pinch, but it always led to disappointment. Maybelline’s Full ‘N Soft has the perfect wand that’s neither curved nor rubbery and the product is just thick enough that it doesn’t flake or lead to raccoon eyes an hour later. It packs the perfect punch and I’d be supremely devastated if they discontinued it.
Linne | @linnehalps
I’m addicted to the way Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment feels gliding across my lips. It’s so silky and smooth and moisturizing. I’ve never found a lip balm THIS good. Fresh has started making tinted versions as well, which I also use and love, but I find myself replenishing my stash of the original, colorless balm most frequently. I keep a tube in my mini pouch that I transfer daily from bag to bag, on the side table where I keep my keys so I remember to swipe it on before leaving the house, and most importantly, next to my bed for overnight nourishment. And I’ve turned my mom onto it (and she used to work in beauty and knows her products!) and now she swears by it as well.
Oh! And! For all my curly-haired girls out there, my absolute beauty musts are a Devachan haircut every 4-6 months and running globs and globs of Aquage’s Defining Gel through my hair every time I get out of the shower.
Caitlin | @caitlinvillarreal
I’m a creature of habit when it comes to beauty. A true loyalist. If I find a product that I love, chances are I’ll be buying that product until the company pulls the plug and stops producing it. That being said; there are only a handful that are my absolute essentials — the rest is a constant trial and error…. The hit list is:
Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir: This is by my bed, in my medicine cabinet, and in my travel pouch at all times (pro tip – keep another one in the fridge in the summer).
Aquaphor: Yes, Aquaphor – mostly as a lip balm but if you don’t use it for dry skin (cuticles, anyone?!) you’re missing out.
Creme de La Mer: Nothing has been as heavenly, and effective in my facial regime as this moisturizer. Yes, it’s an indulgence, but it’s my skin and way more important to maintain than buying new shoes every season.
Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve: Seeing the trend here!? I like to stay moisturized… this hand lotion gets me through east coast winters, but also looks right at home on our decorative tray in the living room (and gets tons of use from friends when we’re entertaining).
Christina | @christina_holevas
I’m not sure when I first discovered Embryolisse cream. It might have been during my early days of reading Into the Gloss, which also coincided with my study abroad semester in Paris. I’m a real sucker for French pharmacy products and I am not ashamed to admit that my obsession is fueled by their elegant packaging. However, Embryolisse walks the walk. It’s the best and I will use it forever.
Mary | @_marebear_
If you know me well, you know that I always have chapstick on me. At a ripe age of 4, this started with every color/flavor of lip smackers chapstick, I then graduated to carmex and Sugar by Fresh once I entered junior high/ high school… once I got to college I was introduced to Paw Paw Ointment by my best friend in the world Ashton. Her family owns a makeup company, Alcone/Limelife, and she told me every makeup artist they worked with swears by this chapstick… and not only for dry lips but burns, cuts… you name it! At this point, I don’t even know if I need chapstick on the day to day, but it has become such a ritual for me that I can’t live without it. First in the morning, then about 20 times during the work day I re-apply, and always before I go to sleep. At the end of the day, I personally believe I have the softest lips in the world and I thank all chapstick brands that have provided me with my favorite beauty essential since I was 4. XOXO
Sarah | @sarahhfischer
One summer, I think I was 12 or so, I developed a really bad rash, a reaction to the sun. My aunt gave me Aquaphor for it and it literally saved me from weird dry patches taking over my face. Ever since then it’s been in my beauty bag/ purse and I always (somehow!) need it! That and also Burt’s Bees.
Jane | @_janekim
I’ve been wearing eyeliner since middle school, which means I have about 20 years of expertise in the eyeliner biz (don’t know whether this is a cool or sad fact). I’ve tried everything from pencil to gel to ink- and while eyeliner isn’t for everyone, and the type of eyeliner probably has a lot to do with personal preference and overall look you’re trying to achieve, my holy grail is Kat Von D’s Tattoo liner. It’s smudge-proof, yet easy to fix when you royally mess up a wing (which is crucial, because after 20ish years of wing-ing, I have yet to master the art). It’ll take some time to get used to maneuvering, but it’s worth putting the time in. Thank me later!
Vanessa | @sawsomething_
Even I find it odd that my beauty essential is (a taupe) eyeshadow. I feel like eyeshadows are often associated with make up heavy routines and intense smokey eyes and I’m quite the opposite of that. I wear very minimal make up every day. So minimal that I barely see the difference.
My mum gave me all the make up I’d need for a decade on my 18th birthday and I’ve been using Mac Embark Eyeshadow ever since (TEN YEARS!).
I can’t really explain why it’s my beauty essential. Maybe it’s because I’m more of an eyes than lips person and I think that eyeliner looks weird on me, so I had to find an alternative? Also, I don’t need to re-apply it multiple times a day like lipstick which is a major plus. Don’t get me wrong, I love lipstick. I’ll forever be impressed by women who manage to apply lipstick without a mirror. Tried it once in a cab and I looked like The Joker.