Update: photos are glitching my posts, so I had to remove them. Sorry! This has been updated to include #7, #8, and #9!
I am a dedicated experimenter in all things beauty. I am constantly trying new skin care, makeup, and haircare options (So I LUV the samples that come with every Sephora and Ulta order!), as well as new fashion directions and travel/luggage gadgets.
It’s an expensive habit, but I have gotten good at saving receipts and executing returns, so I manage expense to a degree.
But there are some items that I just rely on, over and over and over. I buy, use, use up, and replace.
Here are some of them:
1.My Old Navy Breathe-ON Waist Defined Jumpsuit. Anyone who follows me on social media knows I’ve been posting about this jumpsuit for weeks. I literally cannot take it off. It is in particular the premier travel outfit of my entire life. It FEELS like traveling in pajamas, but LOOKS like a super-stylish ensemble! It’s the only article of clothing I’ve ever owned that I keep digging out of the laundry to wear again!
For those who very justifiably wonder what it’s like to wear a jumpsuit on a flight or a long travel day (ie, will you end up trapped in yards of fabric in a tiny airplane bathroom?): this particular jumpsuit is the only one in Old Navy’s athleisure line, and this Breathe-ON fabric is some kind of sorcery: completely flexible, can be easily pulled down over your shoulders for the bathroom, but springs right back, and never loses its shape. The elasticized drawstring waist gives just the right silhouette to make the outfit look stylish, but is totally unconstricting, like a pajama waist. I pop this beauty on with a denim jacket and jewelry and cute flats, and I can sit crosslegged on the airport floor during a 3 hour delay, sleep on a 5 hour flight, and look completely fresh and unwrinkled and cute upon arrival. Also looks amazing with heels. And iT hAs pOcKeTs.
I have invested in many excellent travelwear items, but nothing has come close to this jumpsuit. I just bought it in two additional colors. BTW: never pay full price at Old Navy! They are running a 40% off online sale today–grab it now at $27!
2. My Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush. I have just bought my third one, always in Moon Exposure. I searched for about two years for a blush that met all my requirements: subtle but visible, appropriate for a middle-aged face, long-wear, cool-toned, with glow but no shimmer or sparkle. This is it. And it comes in small travel size–what more could I possibly want?
3. My Eyeko Sport Mascara. Yes, i’ve tried others. For awhile I thought Thrive Causemetics would replace it. But no. Nothing comes close in terms of ABSOLUTE BUDGE-PROOF, SWEAT-PROOF, RUBBING-PROOF, ALLERGY-PROOF, TRAVEL-PROOF, NO-SMEAR, NO-FLAKE longevity.
4. My Becca Under-Eye Brightening Corrector. As I told my agent (the wonderful Alia Habib!) when I saw her in NYC – and we got totally distracted from discussing a possible second edition of the Professor Is In book to delve deeply into our makeup obsessions – “they will have to pry this from my cold, dead hands.” This product is pure magic. I buy it in medium-dark (I am squarely in the middle of all foundation color ranges), and I think more than any other single makeup product I use, this removes a decade off my face, and adds 8 luxurious hours of sleep.
5. My Beauty Bakerie Lip Whip lipcolor, in Syruptitious. Yes, I experiment constantly with other brands, products, and colors. Yes, I love a brilliant berry, a cool red, a dramatic plum, and a retro scarlet. But, day in and day out, when push comes to shove and I need a color that I know is going to go with whatever I have on and last all day without a single touchup, I go back to this stalwart. And… shoutout to the reader who wrote to say: “Thank you for the Beauty Bakery lipwhip recommendation- my lipstick lasted from the point I changed into my suit in the La Guardia bathroom through dinner with the search committee- about 10 hours of walking, heat, humidity, and sweat!” YAY!
6. My Smashbox DoubleExposure Eyeshadow Palette. [Note that this is the first one, NOT the one labeled 2.0] I love this rare cool-toned palette – so hard to find! I use either the mauve range on the right, or the plum range on the left, basically every single day. The black is perfect on the rare occasions I need a powder liner (rare because any kind of dark liner is too harsh for an older face), and the bright blue is vivid and fun for party looks (and I have other shadows for that). The shadows are velvety and long-lasting and easy to work with, but most importantly, they can be used wet or dry, so a) you’re getting twice the shades for the price, and b) they aren’t defeated by my chronically allergic, watery eyes! This palette is no longer made, so you have to get it used on Poshmark, etc.
7. My Vince Blair slip-on sneakers. I’ve worn through two pairs and am on my third – always in Woodsmoke color. They go with skirts, pants, and shorts. The perforation keeps them cool for summer wear. Yes, at full price they are pricey, but a) they are incredibly substantial, well-made, supportive, wear for years, and feel great on the foot (unlike cheaper knock-offs) and b) you can get last season colors half off on Amazon, 6 PM, Saks on Fifth, etc.
8. My Sabbatical Beauty skincare products. Specifically: Dorian Gray serum, Asian Powerhouse, Marine, Donkey Milk Cream, and various masks. On my fourth year of those, I think.
9. My NYX Dewy Setting Spray . $8 a pop and better than any prestige brand I’ve tried! Also comes in Matte.
10. My Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer. I buy this, use it up, buy again, use it up… Make no mistake, I adore trying out all the primer samples that come my way in all my makeup shipments. They’re entertaining and edifying. And then I go right back to my Tarte. Note: I feel this might be a product best for older skin as, honestly, it’s a bit spackle-like. (Some other brand actually does make a primer called Spackle, lol). But OMG what it does to my skin–a smooth, flawless surface that adds this visible-yet-invisible perfecting finish under foundation. Honestly, I wear it alone sometimes on no-makeup days because it’s that good. Alert readers might remember that I once loved Dr. Brandt’s Pores No More Luminizing Primer, and I do still love it! But as I aged from 50 to now this month 55, I find that my pores have gotten a little more visible, and my skin needs more help texture-wise. Glow can be added with other products, but only primer can create a (nearly) flawless surface!
Please share on Facebook YOUR must-have makeup or fashion items. I’ll choose someone at random for another package of mostly prestige brand unused/barely used makeup/skincare samples from my stash! Remember: comments must be on Facebook, not the blog.