For the four years I was a fashion and beauty editor, I don’t think I bought toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, lotion, or makeup even once. When I left my full-time editing job, I worried that my access to all these free products would go away. I thought I would get FOMO seeing other editors get samples that I was no longer sent. I was frustrated at the idea of finally having to decide how much money I was actually willing to spend on everyday products, and that I would therefore most likely end up with cheaper products that I just wasn’t as crazy about or weren’t as effective. I still get samples now, but it is certainly drastically less than before. For the most part, I buy the products I love again and again now. At first, it stung a little to spend the extra money when I wasn’t used to it, but ultimately it’s turned out to be a good thing.
For all those years, I definitely had my favorite products, but having a favorite product that you never have to actually pay for versus a product that you are willing to shell out your cold, hard cash for again and again is a very, very different thing — despite the fact that no one talks about it. Saying that you’d be willing to spend X-amount of money on something (something that I wrote in stories many times myself) and then actually being willing to do it when no one is sending you the product anymore are not the same thing, I have now learned.
So while I do still get some products for free (and to be transparent, some of the below were originally sent as samples to me), I now know my favorite, go-to products that I will use every day and will happily pay for again and again — and they aren’t changing anytime soon. Below are my go-to, everyday, I-will-pay-for-them-again products that I use for my 10-minute daily beauty routine. I have other products that I like, or I feel indifferent about (all body wash is pretty much the same, and I will fight anyone who says differently), but these are the ones I’ll buy again, no question. Happy shopping!
This post has been updated throughout the year to reflect any routine changes. Last update: 2/17/2020.
I’ve talked and written about this shampoo and conditioner a lot. It’s my go-to, my holy grail, and I will never stop buying it. BUY HERE.
I’ve also written about this one and man, it is one of my favorite things I’ve discovered in 2019. I recently went on a trip and couldn’t fit the travel size version of this in my bag and I noticed a difference in my hair immediately. I missed this product, which sounds crazy, but I did. It makes a difference unlike anything else I’ve ever tried — and I am not a hair product person. BUY HERE.
I’ve been talking about this towel that keeps my hair healthy and dries it quickly for years. I travel with it. I feel weird if I have to use a regular towel. It’s simply the best. BUY HERE.
This toner changed my skin. Full stop. I can’t live without it. I’ve written stories about it. You need to try it. That is all. For reference, I use this once on the morning and follow with sunscreen and a serum, oil, or moisturizer. BUY HERE.
I’ve used this product for about six months and all I can say is WOW. I will be using this liquid exfoliant for a long, long time. I used to be skeptical of liquid exfoliants as someone with sensitive-ish skin, but this is everything my skin has ever needed and more. Have noticed a visible reduction in hormonal acne, pore size, and redness over the past month or so. For reference, I use this once at night, after removing my makeup, but before moisturizer/oil. BUY HERE
I am already fairly certain I’ll continue using it for… the rest of my life? If you follow me on Instagram, then you know how much I love this stuff. I mix it with a couple drops of a brightening oil (I have loved this one from Savor Beauty for years now) and wake up with near-perfect skin pretty much every morning. A total game changer. For reference, I use this as the very last step in my nightly skin care routine. I’ll also use in the morning as the last step before makeup if my skin is feeling extra dry. BUY HERE.
I use this stuff at night and in the morning to keep my lips hydrated and smooth. A little goes a long way, and even in the coldest, driest winter months, my lips feel great. BUY HERE
I wasn’t a CC cream believer until I tried this product. It feels like nothing, but wears like a medium-to-full coverage foundation. If I’m wearing a “full face” of makeup, I wear this — on planes, working out (when I forget to take off my makeup), and have never had a skin issue because of it ever. Plus, it usually looks like I’m wearing nothing. BUY HERE.
This is a recent addition to my daily routine, but it is glorious. I’ve discovered it’s the perfect solution for wanting some coverage (I have underlying redness in my complexion pretty much always), but not wanting to wear any other makeup. I find sometimes wearing a CC cream with nothing else can look a bit odd (especially IT Cosmetics because it can be so full-coverage if you want it to be), but this truly wears like a tinted moisturizer. It is like an Instagram beauty filter in a jar, basically. It has tons of other benefits (blue light blocker, SPF, moisturizer), but the way it looks is my favorite part. BUY HERE
For this list, I’m specifically talking about the products that I will buy again. You’ll notice I skipped things like concealer, because I’ve used a dozen different concealers I love (from super expensive ones to drugstore dupes) and they’re all pretty much the same in my book, give or take. Same could go for tinted lip balms — but then I tried Dior Lip Glow. Friends, this product is amazing. I understand that it’s a $34 lip balm essentially and it seems totally nuts, but it is glorious. I am deeply, deeply, deeply obsessed with how it makes my lips look and feel and I will buy it again in heartbeat. Worth every penny. For what it’s worth, my favorite shade is Pink Glow. BUY HERE.
I love highlighter in all of its forms — liquid, powder, stick, etc. But this liquid highlighter is my most beloved, everyday product. It gives the perfect natural glow and it’s built-in brush makes application and then blending with my fingers an easy 2-second process. It’s the one thing that I think takes my everyday makeup from basic to another level. I personally use and love the Magnetic Nude Glimmer shade. BUY HERE.
If you’ve read this post before, you might have read this section on mascara and noticed I didn’t list a favorite mascara. This is because I ran out of the combination I was using for almost two years and decide to use whatever I had in my beauty closet. I recently decided to repurchase my former holy grail mascara, and guys… I can’t believe I ever stopped. I’ve talked about this a ton on Instagram Stories by now. But my gosh, there is nothing like Thrive Causmetics Liquid Lash Extensions. It, of course, lengthens like crazy, but it also does not smudge, stays put all day, and comes off easily with micellar water. Combined with my favorite primer? There is no comparison. I even wrote a whole story about the combo. As for primer, this PUR Cosmetics one is the OG in my book. Combine it with Liquid Lash Extensions and you’re good to go. BUY HERE.
While all of the above are my holy grail products, the below are some honorable mentions (and also things I am currently using daily):
- Garnier Micellar Water / A solid, affordable makeup removal option. I stopped cleansing my face long ago, and instead only use micellar water to remove makeup and regular water to remove any excess. BUY HERE.
- Soap & Glory Body Scrub / I bought this on a whim at Target, but it legitimately smells better than any dessert I’ve ever eaten in my life. It’s heavenly. Plus, it actually works smooth out the skin on the back of my arms. BUY HERE
- Nest Jasmine Body Wash / Do I believe that all body wash is created equal? Pretty much, yes. But this one does smell divine, and I happen to be using it right now. BUY HERE.
- Wet Brush / A great, solid, everyday brush for those of you who also usually brush your hair when wet. My go-to for sure. BUY HERE.