When I was a child, I very specifically wanted to be one of two things when I grew up: a country music singer or female NFL referee. As time passed, a few key things happened that shifted my interests. With time and the wisdom that only years 8 through 12 of your life can bring, I realized that I couldn’t sing, wasn’t southern, and, like absolutely zero other children I knew, I lost my fascination with officiating football games. Once my totally unrealistic dreams were dismissed, I settled on a more traditional, yet equally unrealistic career goal: I wanted to work in fashion and beauty. This dream was paired with the Devil Wears Prada-inspired notion that, of course, that job would never happen and that, if it did, my fancy-grilled-cheese-making boyfriend would leave me because I was so busy. In this charming fantasy, I also would, obviously, have terrible (yet excellent) bangs. Despite it all, though, I somehow, some way I ended up as an adult, in New York City, with the very job my teenage self wanted. Once that realization set in, a few questions hit me: How the hell did I get this lucky? Is this a real job? Am I being PUNK’D? What do you mean I get to keep all of these tubes of mascara? Why does my boyfriend not make grilled cheeses with 15 different types of gourmet cheese? It was (and still is) a lot to process.
Now, it’s not necessarily easy in the sense that it’s still a job — and FYI most New Yorkers and beauty editors alike can’t afford to just be blowing through gourmet brie and grueyere night after night (screw you, Adrien Grenier). But at the end of the day a large part of my job is trying beauty products. And no, I absolutely cannot complain about that. Someone has to do it, and that person often gets to be me. And it is wonderful. While I loved makeup and skin care before I had my current job, being bombarded daily with new (and often weird) products is something I didn’t really think about. But here I am. On the one hand, my bathroom now looks a little bit like a Hoarders episode, and if my cause of death is one day just “person was crushed beneath 245 bottles of serum,” I will not be surprised. On the other hand, my skin has never looked better.
I’ve learned a lot during my time as a beauty editor, but most importantly that there are a lot of things that I did not know existed three years ago (and still managed to live a perfectly fine existence) but you would now have to rip them from my cold, dead, surprisingly well-moisturized hands to get them away from me. Here are some of them.
There are makeup brushes. And then there are Sigma makeup brushes. I, too, was of the belief that all brushes were created equal before I started receiving roughly 8 – 12 makeup brushes in the mail every month and keeping all of them. Once I started actively comparing how brushes handled application, fall out, and pigment, it was like discovering a whole new world. I love Sigma brushes for eyeshadow. If you’ve ever been annoyed by fall out, or just can’t get the color to sit right on your lids, try Sigma. They’re affordable, pretty to look at, and will make you feel like you know what you’re talking about when it comes to makeup, even if you really don’t (that’s me, folks!).
Because I test out so many products, I’m generally skeptical of most brands that I haven’t heard of yet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always curious and excited to hear about a new line or product iteration, and I try more products that my skin would probably like — but rarely do I expect to fall in love with anything. Complexion products in particular are tricky, too. For me, foundation is hit or miss and more often miss; too thick, and it slides right off my face with the first sign of humidity. Too sheer, and my skin tone isn’t evened out and my redness comes through. And then I tried Elcie’s Micro Silque Foundation. I knew it was really something when I realized I had used the entire bottle to the very last drop, with no exaggeration. I can count on my hand the times I’ve used the entire bottle of a new product I’m trying.
They’ve been sold out of my shade (cameo) for a bit, but if you’re looking to try a new brand, new product, or new foundation, go for this foundation. It’s great, trust me.
If you know me, you know I love highlighter more than almost everything else. It makes me feel like my very best self, no matter what kind of day I’m having. I hoard almost all highlighter, but there are a few I love with a particularly deep passion. Cover FX drops are the best of the best and a little goes a long way. Any product that can make me feel like my best self for months and months is a good choice in my book. The shade ‘moonlight’ (above) is my favorite, but all of the options are gorgeous.
Hello! Yes, You! Microfiber towels will change your life and your hair — trust me. If you’re using anything other than a microfiber towel to dry your hair, think again. I bring one with my on vacation, and I use one twice a day when I shower (yes, I shower twice a day). It will improve the quality of your hair like you won’t believe and will keep damage to a minimum. Of all the things I’ve learned in my time in the beauty world, this is one of the easiest and most effective tips I’ve learned.
5. Face Oils, In General
Ah, the ole “but won’t oils make my face more oily?” question. Even though I understood the logistics of why exactly an oil could be good for your skin (even if it was combination or oily) before I was in the beauty world every day, it took finding the right oils to really convince me to start using them every day. Guys: using high quality oils consistently on your face makes the biggest difference you can imagine. Whether you are breakout-prone, dry and flakey, or somewhere in between, oils will save you. Embrace them. But here’s the kicker: do a little research. High quality ingredients mean high quality results. A few of my favorites are listed below.
Yes, you read that correctly. Yes, Michael Buble has a perfume. And, yes, it smells good. Now, a full disclaimer for you all: I am no fragrance connoisseur. I couldn’t tell you what specific undertones and scent notes and essential oils I prefer in a perfume than others. I like and use a lot of perfumes. I probably have 30 different bottles on my dresser, and I enjoy all of them in their own individual ways. Having said that, even I can probably guess that Michel Buble’s “By Invitation” (yes, that is the name of the perfume — I have many questions about how they arrived at that name, but alas, some things shall remain a mystery) isn’t exactly a prestige perfume if you will. However. However. If you would have told me two years ago that 1. Michael Buble would be creating a perfume and 2. It would actually smell kind of lovely, I would have laughed. I mean, I still laugh about the fact that Michael Buble has a perfume, but I also use the perfume. So, in conclusion, it is probably Michael Buble who is laughing at me, all the way to the bank.
I can’t describe perfumes perfectly just yet, but here’s a little tidbit from a reviewer on the Kohl’s site of the perfume who is clearly passionate about fragrance: “This perfume has a natural smell that reminds you of walking through the woods on a spring day! Strong smell but if sprayed a few inches away is just right! Beautiful bottle!!”
There you have it. Woods, spring day, Michael Buble. What more could you want in a fragrance, really? (Don’t answer that).
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