Here are 6 of my favorite beauty staples that I keep going back to year round! No matter the weather, these babies have stuck by me through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Together, they keep my eyes, lips, face, hair, skin and pearly whites in tip top shape. Sometimes, they’re the stuff you instantly spray or rub on for beauty emergencies, other times they’re little slices of luxury when you actually have time to pamper yourself. The best kind of products are the versatile kind! Here’s what’s on my bathroom shelf (and always in my travel bag):
1) FACE: FIRST AID BEAUTY Ultra Repair Cream. Also known as “FAB,” this versatile skincare line helps to tackle any sign of dryness with a versatile product formulated without parabens, phthalates, and sulfates. Regardless of season, random parts of my face just get dry sometimes, ie. the area by my mouth or nose. This cream is a one-stop shop that I throw in my bag wherever I go; it’s literally “first aid” for any sudden skin dryness, itchiness, or discomfort. Creamy and thick consistency, but absorbs fast with no smell.
2) HAIR: milk_shake Leave-in Conditioner. Made in Italy, this milkshake conditioner smells like a creamy coconut vanilla cookie, but not in an overwhelming, artificial way. Conditioning in the shower makes my flat hair fall even flatter, but a few spritzes of this stuff after I get out of the shower, and I’m golden. It’s the only thing that moisturizes my thin, fine hair without leaving it greasy and oily the next day. Just be prepared when random people start asking you why you smell so good. Made with honey, milk and wheat proteins, it’s a detangler-and-conditioner-in-one that also protects against harmful rays with its sun filter. Don’t be fooled by how fun the bottle looks; it’s a serious salon brand that uses ingredients inspired by nature, and this conditioner delivers on multiple fronts.
3) SKIN: (MALIN+GOETZ) Vitamin B5 Body Moisturizer. This brand is family-owned and operated in NYC, and they formulate their products especially for sensitive skin. Mr. Malin himself has rosacea, eczema, dry skin, and fragrance allergies – the skin challenges many of us face. I love this moisturizer because while it’s oil-free and very light, the honey and shea butter leave my skin balmy and refreshed. The bergamot gives it a fabulous, aromatherapeutic scent. It’s fresh and citrusy minus the overpowering, artificial smell. It’s pure luxury before bedtime and especially whenever I’m traveling.
4) LIPS: Sara Happ Lip Scrub in Brown Sugar. I have perpetually chapped lips and piling on Carmex just doesn’t cut it. First, you have to remove the dry skin through exfoliation. I first saw this lip scrub with my friend Naomi at a mud-bath spa resort in Calistoga. We were both fixated on how cute the little jars and flavors were. When Christmas rolled around, I surprised her with a Pink Grapefruit scrub, and soon after, decided to try one for myself. I’m always tempted to lick it off my lips and eat it, but instead I’m obedient and rub it around like I’m supposed to, wipe the sugar and dead skin off with a tissue, and finish with lip moisturizer. I take this with me whenever I travel to make sure my lips are always good to go. Like your skin, good lips start with a good scrub!
5) EYES: SK-II Facial Treatment Essence – Eye. The SK-II brand actually began at a sake brewery in Japan, where they discovered their elderly workers had extremely soft and youthful-looking hands thanks to a naturally-derived liquid from the sake fermentation process. I’ve used a lot of eye creams from La Mer to Kiehl’s and it’s hard to find a consistency that’s just right and doesn’t just lay there making your skin hard to breathe. This serum is the best I’ve found for dryness and dark circles, and it absorbs immediately. All I need is one pump for both eyes, so this little bottle has lasted quite a while! My eyes look noticeably refreshed and the texture is perfect for morning and night, even in humid Shanghai weather!
6) TEETH: COCOFLOSS. With all the topical beauty products out there, don’t forget about your smile! Floss may strike you as more of a health product, but health = beauty! Made in Italy and designed by my amazing dentist Dr. Chrystle Cu and her superstar sister Catherine Cu, this floss is smart AND luxurious for your teeth. Not only can you choose from coconut, mint, and strawberry flavors (I’m all about the delicious-smelling coconut one), the unique microfiber floss is the equivalent of a facial for your teeth. My teeth have never felt cleaner and brighter. On the plus side, COCOFLOSS is also environmentally conscious and socially responsible. But don’t just listen to me rave about it, try it for yourself! Your teeth will thank you.
“Fresh Coconut Delivery! Get ready to SMILE.”